Category Archives: Books and Reading

The Rereading Dilemma

I don’t dare to do a count, but the current state of my TBR is, well, pretty bad. These days, not only do I have a physical TBR:

Part of my physical TBROne of my TBR stacks

I also have an ebooks TBR, an audiobook TBR and a Scribd TBR. Not to mention the library holds I pick up every week.

When your TBR piles are so big you know you don’t have much of a chance of getting through them all unless you swear off adding new books to your to-read lists for the next ten years or so (and I know lots of you know exactly what I’m talking about here), what do you when you feel the urge to reread a book?

Every now and then, this happens to me. Despite all these new, unread books beckoning to me, calling out my name, almost but not quite reaching out to wrap their bookish arms around me, I suddenly think of a much loved older read and I want nothing more than to cuddle up in my reading chair, snacks at hand, and re-read to my heart’s content.

Sometimes I give in. And sometimes I resist. But it’s always such a dilemma every time this happens.

And that urge to reread? Anything can trigger it. Here are some books I’ve found myself wanting to reread over the past three months or so, and the reasons why they came to mind:

Emily of New Moon, by L.M. Montgomery. Because I was on Twitter the other night when the #womeninfiction hashtag came up and I immediately thought of Emily.

The Forever King, by Molly Cochran and Warren Murphy. Because I was reading The Camelot Kids for a book tour, and The Forever King is one of the best urban fantasy King Arthur novels I’ve read.

Pride & Prejudice, by Jane Austen. Because I always want to re-read Pride & Prejudice, at least a few times every year. Despite this, it’s been nearly ten years since my last re-read of it.

Make Way for Lucia (The Mapp and Lucia books), by E.F. Benson. Because I received an email a while ago from author Guy Fraser-Sampson who has written some sequels to the Mapp and Lucia books (and this reminds me, I never emailed him back—this was way back when I was at inbox 1000 and non-essential emails were getting lost all over the place). What really bugs me, though, is I went hunting for my copy of Make Way for Lucia and couldn’t find it. And I suspect it accidentally got placed in the books-to-give-away pile when we made our big move to the city four years ago.

Any of the Bill Bryson travel books (I have all of them). Because I read this post from the Guardian Books blog about Bryson’s forthcoming new release, The Road to Little Dribbling, and suddenly I wanted to sit with one of his books and spend the night smiling and laughing with his words.

The Good Soldier, by Ford Madox Ford. Because I read an article about this book recently (I can’t remember where or even what the article was about specifically) and this happens to be one of the few classics (that’s not a play) that I really enjoyed when I was in school.

Where’d You Go, Bernadette, by Maria Semple. Because Candace happened to mention on Twitter a few weeks ago how amazing the audio version is, so now I really really want to listen to it in audio.

So there you go. My ongoing rereading dilemma. Out of all these books I’ve just mentioned, I know I’m going to do a reread of Where’d You Go, Bernadette in audio (I put a hold on it at the library as soon as I heard how good the audio is), and I am *this* close to rummaging around for the first Emily book. And the others? They’re still tugging at my heart.

What about you? Do you like to re-read books? Do you ever feel that re-reading dilemma?

#Comics on my mind

Thanks to Memory and Kelly, my comics TBR has grown immensely this month. The two of them are absolute geniuses when it comes finding comics gems in Scribd (and on Amazon too), and as a result I have a very nice comics reading list now.

So it’s no wonder I have comics on my mind!

All. The. Time. (Well, maybe not all the time, but it sure feels like it sometimes.)

Here are the comics I’m hoping to get to this month:

Lumberjanes

Lumberjanes by Noelle Stevenson, Grace Ellis, and Brooke Allen.

Wilds end

Wild’s End by Dan Abnett

monster on the hill

Monster on the Hill by Rob Harrell

Hexed

Hexed by Michael Alan Nelson

The Fall of Cthulhu

The Fall of Cthulhu omnibus by Michael Alan Nelson

I just need to pick which one I want to read next!

Have you read any of these? Any suggestions as to which one I should reach next?

A day off work, and … books!

We took Dylan to the Art Gallery of Ontario yesterday to see the Basquiat exhibit. We decided to get one of the phones they use for the audio tour and let him use it, then we had him tell us things about the various exhibits based on what he heard from the tour.

It was fun seeing what things he thought were important! Often it wasn’t something I would have picked up on, personally, so even though this was my second time at this exhibit, I felt like I’d broadened my perspective somehow.

After the exhibit, the book-reading demon had to leave for a meeting, so it was just me and Dylan. We decided to download the AGO’s Time Tremors game, and was it ever fun! And really ingenious, too, as it had us looking at a lot of different paintings and exhibits, trying to find the ones that matched the clues.

We stopped by the library on the way home to pick up some holds. Guess what I came home with?

This:

strong female protagonist And this:

Dead WakeI’m really excited to read Strong Female Protagonist – I’ve heard all sorts of good things about it.

I’m not as sure about Dead Wake. I mean, I’m still excited about it, but I’ve also seen a lot of people saying it wasn’t quite as good as they had been hoping it would be.

Have you read Strong Female Protagonist and Dead Wake? Are they on your to-read list?

[TSS] A beautiful piece I hope all of you will read

I’m not going to post a Bookish Bliss post for today’s Sunday Salon. I’m still going to talk about reading, but this time it’s not about books. I really want to share this with as many readers as I can, and I didn’t want it to be in a fleeting way on social media, where a handful of people might see it and a fraction of that handful might click through.

I came across this personal essay by Cade Leebron earlier this week. Her words reached deep into me and wrapped tightly around my heart. And as I read, I cried.

Some of the frat boys are enraged, as expected. I just don’t care, I just don’t give a fuck if they’re feeling upset or inconvenienced, the safety of women on campus will always mean more to me than their hurt feelings or whatever loss they’re experiencing. I want to ask them to come lie on the floor with me, to feel really low with me, to understand that because of the actions of one boy four years ago I still sometimes stay up until five in the morning doing absolutely nothing other than lying in bed hating myself. I want them to know that he didn’t go to therapy, I did. He didn’t think about dropping out, I did. He didn’t drink himself to sleep for months, I did. Even now I am constantly monitoring myself, interrogating myself, trying to make sure that I don’t fall into those bad habits again, I’m still reminding myself to practice whatever self-care I can manage.

Rape is something that happens to too many young, college-aged women across North America today. It’s something that shouldn’t be happening at all, and yet it does. I am the mother of a strong, beautiful college-aged young woman, and it has happened to her. It has happened to many of the young women she knows. It is something that continues to happen, and without acknowledging that it is happening, that it is happening to those we know, that it is happening to those we love, without acknowledging the extent of the damage that’s done, we have no chance of stopping it from happening.

I hope all of you will click through and read this beautiful piece, even if it might make you cry. This piece, these words, this voice, everything this essay stands for and stands behind – it all deserves to be heard.

Update: Thank you everyone for your concern and support for my daughter, Hayley. She made this video last year, and it marked a turning point n her healing process.

On set today, what I’m reading, and some random stuff

I was in stage mom mode again today. It’s been a while since the last time I had stage mom duties, when Dylan was a child extra in a number of operas during the CoC’s 2013-2014 season. Last year when he was in the National Ballet’s Nutcracker (he played a guard and a chef), there was no need to be a stage mom, as parents were not allowed backstage at all (and they were very strict about this rule), so there was no waiting around, which was nice. We just dropped him off and picked him up (although what the book-reading demon and I actually did for each performance was buy the cheap standing room tickets, and came back to watch Act II, which was the Act Dylan was in).

Today, Dylan was an extra in a film my daughter Hayley is working on. It’s a thesis film for her final year in filmmaking school, and for this one she’s the cinematographer, or director of photography. They were to be on set the entire afternoon, and I had this vague idea that I’d be able to drop Dylan off and pick him up again later in the afternoon. Ha!

They weren’t too sure exactly when they’d be done (although they knew the time when they had to be finished by), so I ended up hanging around, just in case. (And can you believe it, I forgot to take pictures  of the set- I really need to make picture-taking a habit.)

At first I was on my phone – I mean, I can spend hours on my phone, right? Only I’d already spent time on my phone in the morning, and after a while, I realized I should have brought a book to read. Luckily we live close to where they were shooting, so I ended up coming back home and getting my Kobo (for Pet Sematary) and Dead Scared, the second in S.J. Bolton’s Lacey Flint series.

It was a good thing, too – I read a few more chapters of Pet Sematary for the #gangstercats readalong, and a huge chunk of Dead Scared. It was quite nice to get some unexpected reading time into the day. Dylan had a great time (there were seven other kids there) and we got home in time for a bit of a rest before having to trek back out for his dance class.

Dead Scared

While waiting for him during dance class, I managed to finish Dead Scared, so that’s another one for the done pile! (Now that I’m tracking my reading, I find myself geeking out every time I get to add another entry to my spreadsheets.)

Now the random stuff:

  • our dishwasher started leaking yesterday, so we’re handwashing until the plumber comes tomorrow morning to fix things. My hands are not particularly pleased – this weather’s already been pretty rough on them, and the soapy dishwasher isn’t helping!
  • yesterday on their way home from dance class Dylan and the book-reading demon decided to expand the taxi counting game. We’d been counting only the taxis coming and going on the street we were on, but now it’s been extended to any taxi we see while we’re waiting for the bus or riding the bus back home. They came home with a whopping 267, so tonight on our way home, Dylan and I were determined to beat yesterday’s total. And I believe we would have, too, only the bus we got on had extremely dirty windows, and we had a tough time seeing out them. We only counted 231 taxis but I believe in my heart we would have bested 267 if we’d only been able to actually see out the window.
  • I bought a new laptop today. It should arrive in a few days. The current laptop has been acting rather temperamentally for about a year now. Little things like a black screen even though the rest of the laptop is running fine (when that happens, I have to hook it up to a TV or monitor so I can power it down properly, remove the battery, remove the AC/DC power cord, hold down the start button to discharge whatever energy it is that’s jiggling things up, replace the battery and power cord and restart. Really. I found these instructions online last year and was so amazed they actually work). Oh, and documents not saving when I use “save as”, for a variety of programs. Chrome being laggy, oh, so so laggy. Many more grievances I won’t air here. I’m happy about getting a new laptop, BUT I’m not looking forward to that “transition from old laptop to new laptop” thing we all must do. Mainly because there are a number of programs I think I might have forgotten to save the serial codes for on Evernote (hello, Word? And Roboform?).

Reading: The Camelot Kids by Ben Zackheim

I don’t do very many blog tours – one a year, at the most. Because the lovely ladies at TLC Blog Tours always seem to send me an email in the beginning of every year with a title that catches my eye.

This time around, the title that caught my eye was The Camelot Kids by Ben Zackheim.

Camelot kids

I love the Arthurian legends, and anytime I come across a book about King Arthur and his knights, it goes straight to my TBR list. There are several Arthurian-based fantasies out there, and the ones I love best are those that are set in today’s world. So I simply couldn’t resist the The Camelot Kids.

Here’s the synopsis:

What would you do if an odd girl in a cloak told you, “You know you’re a descendant of King Arthur’s knight, Lancelot, right?” You’d probably do the same thing 14-year-old New Yorker Simon Sharp does. Back away nice and slow.

But Simon learns the truth when he’s kidnapped by a drunk troll, rescued by a 7-foot man named Merlin, and thrown into training with 149 other heirs of the Knights of the Round Table.

Can Simon survive a prophecy that predicts the world will be saved through its destruction? The Camelot Kids is about one boy’s struggle to make it to tomorrow in a world both real and fantastic.

My thoughts on Camelot Kids:

  • For a middle grade novel, this is a big book, weighing in at 506 pages. It’s a length that might put off some younger readers who aren’t used to longer books. It’s also quite a heavy book, too, physically.
  • The illustrations by Ian Greenlee are really really lovely. They both reflected and added to the images I had in my mind from reading Zackheim’s descriptions, which I feel is something all good children’s book illustrations should do.
  • I felt the book could have used more editing, especially in the first third. Not so much the copyediting, but rather the broader, overall editing, to tighten up scenes, make characters more consistent with their personalities, and clean up some other, general inconsistencies. For example, I found the scene between Digby and Simon in the nurse’s office didn’t match Digby’s character from earlier in the book; he didn’t seem the kind of man to say “if you touch my boy again, I’ll kill you myself.” And as an example of a general inconsistency, on page 170 of my copy, there’s a line that reads “He [Merlin] also does pro bono work, of course, because he’s a sucker for gold.” This type of inconsistency should have been caught by the editor, as the author obviously meant paying work, not pro bono work. And also, gold is prohibited in New Camelot, which is something that becomes an important plot point later in the novel, so where did Merlin stash this gold?
  • There was also too much smiling, winking and smirking. Again, something that should have been caught during the editing phase.
  • Despite the lapses in editing, there’s a great deal of story going on here that younger readers will likely enjoy. It’s a very interesting and original retelling of the Arthurian legends. And at the midpoint of the book (the end of chapter 23), I was really taken by surprise! I definitely didn’t see that one coming.
  • It was also at this point that I felt the story really found its legs and took off.
  • There’s much to like about the author’s worldbuilding when it comes to the town of New Camelot. I especially enjoyed the marketplace known as The Spell. And there are lots of delightful little instances of magic that are pure fun. Very inventive!
  • There’s also bits of humour injected into the prose here and there which made me smile.

And now for some thoughts which will have to be on the vague side because I don’t want to give away spoilers:

  • I loved what happens with Excalibur! But the story fails to expand on that, which was a great pity. I would have liked to have seen more made of the whole Excalibur thing.
  • I didn’t really feel the main villain of the piece (well, there were several villains, but I need to be ambiguous about this as it’s a huge spoiler) was credible in that role. I would have liked to have his character built up a bit more in previous scenes, so when we see him doing what he does, we think to ourselves, yes, I see it now. Too much of his motivation was given to us through telling rather than showing in a later chapter, which I thought detracted from the story.

The first half does lag – we get a lot of information during the first half, none of it in infodump format, thankfully, but while it is interesting, it isn’t of the page-turning, what happens next variety. The second half manages to do both (trust me, a lot goes on in the second half). I would have also liked the main villain to have been more credible in his/her/its role (keeping you in suspense here!). And more made of what finally happens with Excalibur. Overall, this is an original middle grade read that kids who like fantasy, especially of the Arthurian legend variety, will likely enjoy.

I think I’ve created a book-reading demon …

It’s funny how things happen sometimes.

Take the whole cooking thing around here, for example. Cooking always felt like a chore to me, but hey, if I didn’t do it, who would, right? And then, about eight or nine years ago, out of the blue, my husband Ward said he’d like to try cooking Saturday night’s dinner. I, of course (but of course!) immediately said yes. And somehow that first Saturday became every Saturday and then suddenly he was cooking most of the meals.

I am not one to look a gift horse in the mouth. I oh so quietly yielded the keys to the kitchen to him and slipped away to the nearest sofa with a good book.

It was a big change, and I took it in stride. And now another big change has happened.

Back in February, I posted about how Ward and I were starting a book club of two. I’d read an article about how relationships are greatly improved when couples make an effort to experience each other’s hobbies. Ward and I discussed it, and we decided I’d start going to more of the music-type things he likes doing, and he would start reading some of the books I was reading.

At first, we were fairly evenly matched. We both read Haruki Murakami’s The Strange Library (I enjoyed it, he didn’t),  and then we read S.J. Bolton’s debut novel, Sacrifice, which we both enjoyed. From there, he read Bolton’s Awakening and I, well, I started feeling a little behind. I read Awakening while he polished off Five Children on the Western Front.

Feeling the pressure now, I decided to borrow Bolton’s Blood Harvest from the library again; I’d read it the previous month, so having him read it gave me a bit of a reprieve while I finished Neil Gaiman’s Trigger Warning, which he’d started but wasn’t that interested in. I finally managed to finish Five Children on the Western Front and he blazed through Blood Harvest. It turned out, it wasn’t much of a reprieve.

After Dark

While I found myself busy with Pet Sematary for the readalong, he decided to try Murakami’s After Dark, which Ti had recommended to me as a good book for getting into Murakami. And despite not having liked The Strange Library, Ward absolutely loved After Dark.

Since he finished it, he’s been asking me if I’ve started it yet. Which I haven’t. But I did put two more Murakami books on hold for him.

He was twiddling his thumbs, eyeing all the books we had around, so I suggested he read Norwegian by Night.

He finished it yesterday.

And now I’m two books behind, in our little book club of two.

What kind of book-reading demon have I created?!

Obviously the only way out of this dilemma is to hand him books I’ve already read. Never fear, I’ve already thought of that. I have American Gods and The Martian all ready for him. My only problem? He’s probably going to want to read more Murakami first.

Monthly Wrap-up: February 2015 Reads

February kind of flew by, didn’t it? It turned out to be a great reading month for me, though – I managed to finish 13 books! It breaks down to three audiobooks, two graphic novels, and eight print books. No ebooks! Which is a little surprising, although I did finish Stephen King’s IT in ebook format (because it was too suspenseful to finish in audio).

Here are my February 2015 reads, in the order I read them – and oh, can I just say here, I love love love my reading spreadsheets – never before have I had access to such information about my reading! Before I started keeping track this year, I would have been hard-pressed to tell you what I’d just finished reading the previous week, much less the format and the order of reading!

February1

What Did You Eat Yesterday? by Fumi Yoshinaga (manga/graphic novel). This is definitely one for those who like graphic novels about food. It’s the story of Shiro and Kenji, a gay couple living in Tokyo and the food they eat. Lots of cooking on these pages, plus a recipe after each story. Do not read on an empty stomach, or you’ll find yourself raiding the fridge.

Blood Harvest by S.J. Bolton (Sharon Bolton) (print copy). This is the third book written by Bolton, but the first one of hers that I’ve read (although I think I may have previously read the first in her Lacey Flint series a while back). This was a suspenseful mystery, with a nice twist at the end. My favourite character was Harry, the vicar. I didn’t like the way the book ended, in the epilogue, but I really enjoyed the book as a whole.

Amy & Roger’s Epic Detour by Morgan Matson (print copy). The story of a truly epic detour that Amy, whose dad has recently died, takes with Roger, the son of an old friend of her mom’s, when they drive cross country to the new life her mother’s making for herself in Connecticut. This is not the type of book that normally finds its way into my TBR, and I don’t know what prompted me to put it there in the first place, but I’m very glad that I did. The depiction of Amy’s grief felt so very true to me.

“Good-byes didn’t seem as important to me as they once had – I’d found that when you’re never going to see someone again, it’s not the good-bye that matters. What matters is that you’re never going to be able to say anything else to them. And you’re left with an eternal unfinished conversation. (p. 118)

IT by Stephen King (audiobook) (I talk about it here). I started this one in January, but it got so intense near the end, I had to wait until I could get an ebook copy from my library to finish it.  I really liked the way King went from the present to the past so effortlessly, without giving the reader any jolts. An enjoyable read, although I still say – what was up with that scene with Bev and the boys? It was SO unnecessary.

February2

Saga Vol 4 by Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples (graphic novel). I really enjoyed this one, although I’m a little embarrassed to admit, I was talking with Tasha earlier today about the Saga series and totally forgot I’d read volume 4 already. (I told her I really had to get to it – haha!). I think mostly I had it confused with volume 5, which hasn’t been released yet. That’s my story, anyway, and yes, I’m sticking with it. My bad book memory should in no way reflect on the awesomeness of this series.

Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell (audiobook). I will probably be in the minority here, but I enjoyed Fangirl mostly for the Simon and Baz segments (and I’m thrilled that Rowell is going to be releasing a book about Simon and Baz!). And it was lovely seeing Cath finally figure out how to be her own person who can stand apart from her twin Wren. The characters are also nicely developed – not just Cath and Wren, but Reagan, Cath’s roommate and Levi, Cath’s boyfriend. Where the story dragged a little for me was Cath and Levi’s relationship, once they were clearly together. But overall, I enjoyed this one.

The Strange Library by Haruki Murakami (print book). This was another good read – my first Murakami that wasn’t a short story, although I can’t call it my first full-length Murakami either, as it’s more of a novella. The illustrations really added to the very strange and quirky story. It was a fun read, and at the end, there are quite a few ways you can take the final paragraph. It does take some getting used to, this not being able to say with any certainty exactly what’s meant by that last paragraph. But that’s also part of the appeal, I think.

Sacrifice by S.J. Bolton (Sharon Bolton) (print book). I enjoyed Blood Harvest so much, I decided to check out Bolton’s debut novel. It definitely didn’t disappoint, coming as it does with twists galore. You do have to read it fully willing to suspend your disbelief, as the plot does get quite wild there at the end. It’s a page-turner, so don’t be surprised if you find yourself staying up late into the night to finish this one.

February3

Trigger Warning by Neil Gaiman (print copy). Trigger Warning is a collection of Gaiman’s short stories and poems. Very very lovely read, especially if you’re a Gaiman fan. I wrote more about it here so I won’t repeat myself now.

Syllabus: Notes from an Accidental Professor by Lynda Barry (print copy). Yes, I finally did finish this one! And it took me a while not because it wasn’t good – it was very very good – but because I’d put it down on my desk and it got buried under a pile of papers. (I find it impossible to keep my desk tidy.) Since it’s nonfiction, I didn’t miss it the way I would a story I was in the middle of. But I’m glad I remembered to dig it out and finish it, because it was very very good (oh, did I say that already?). If you’re interested in creativity, imagination or drawing comics, this is a fun one to read.

Victims by Jonathan Kellerman (audiobook). Kellerman’s Alex Delaware series is basically a comfort series for me. For the longest while now, I only ever read these in audio, and I obviously don’t retain much of what I hear, as another blogger recently reviewed this book and I was all like “hey, you mean there’s an Alex Delaware novel I haven’t read?” because the plot did not sound familiar at all to me. So I borrowed this from the library, and started listening to it. And while I was listening to it, bits and pieces felt very familiar. It wasn’t until I was about halfway through that I realized I’d already read this one before. But despite this, I still couldn’t remember how it ended, so I just kept on going with it.

Five Children on the Western Front by Kate Saunders (print copy). If E. Nesbit’s Five Children and It formed any part of your childhood reading, then you really must pick up this wonderful book by Kate Saunders. Saunders has taken the story of the five children (now six) and the Psammead ten years into the future, when England is at war with Germany. It is a lovely read, and it made me cry. I knew it would.

awakening

Awakening by S.J. Bolton (Sharon Bolton) (print copy). As you can see, I was somewhat enamoured of Ms. Bolton last month. Awakening is her second book, and another enjoyable read. It wasn’t quite as twist-worthy as Sacrifice and Blood Harvest but it was still a good read. I do enjoy the characters Bolton creates – in this case, particularly Clara, with that giant chip on her shoulder (and understandably so). And the larger than life Sean North! He was fun to read about.

So those are the books I read in February. Hopefully I will do as well in March! How did your reading go in February?

[TSS] Bookish Bliss: The pleasures of late-night reading

I know. It wasn’t that long ago I posted about my quest to become a morning person. And I’m still on that quest. Just getting a little sidetracked, that’s all.

This past month, I’ve been really self-indulgent when it comes to my reading, giving myself permission to read late into the night. It’s been a while since I’ve done that, and I’m here now to say, yes, it is indeed a bookish bliss, one of the very guilty but oh so gratifying pleasures of reading.

I read 13 books in February, and much of that has been due to late-night reading. Around here, it’s the best time to read: everyone else is fast asleep, there are no interruptions, and even Twitter and Facebook are relatively quiet. And very few emails come in during those early morning hours, too.

I know early morning hours can be like that too, but to be honest, in the mornings, when it’s bright and sunny as Toronto winter mornings can be sometimes, I feel like I should be doing something productive, rather than reading.

So, I’ve been settling into a routine of opening up my current book at around midnight, glass of wine in one hand, snack-that-goes-with-wine in the other, and enjoying a rather bookishly blissful two to three hours of solid reading time.

I can’t keep doing this, I know. For one thing, I haven’t been waking up any later, so I’m starting to feel a little sleep deprived.

The other thing is, I’ve started reading Stephen King’s Pet Sematary for the #gangstercats readalong, and something tells me it’s probably a book I don’t want to be reading in the dead hours of the night, all by my lonesome on the couch with everyone else fast asleep.

On the other hand, I’m planning on balancing the horror with some lighter reading, like Helene Hanff’s The Duchess of Bloomsbury Street, which is included in 84 Charing Cross, a middle grade fantasy I’m reading for a book tour called The Camelot Kids and Neil Gaiman’s and Terry Pratchett’s Good Omens.

So maybe I can be self-indulgent for a little longer, as long as I remember to read Pet Sematary when it’s nice and bright out, and when the witching hour strikes, reach for a non-witchy type book!

Do you enjoy reading late into the night?

The Pet Sematary readalong starts tomorrow!

pet sematary readalong

Mind you, I thought it started today.  All week now, I’d been thinking Saturday was March 1. And as you all probably know, Saturday is not March 1. Sunday is.

This post was actually supposed to be titled, “The Pet Sematary readalong starts today!” Which would have been kind of embarrassing, but luckily I’m not organized or efficient enough to write and schedule my posts ahead of time.

On the bright side, I’ve now got a one day jump on things. This is a good thing, as I have a tendency to “fall behind in terms of stuff in general”, and I understand this is to be a totally stress-free readalong so now I won’t get stressed. Right?

There’s still lots of time for you to join us! The readalong runs from March 1 to April 15, which gives you six whole weeks to join in on the fun. Hop on over to Jill’s post to read all the details. It’s pretty informal – all you’ve got to do is say, “I’m in!” in the comments on her blog, or on Twitter or Instagram using the hashtag #gangstercats, and then readalong with us.

Why #gangstercats? Because gangster cats are funny, not scary. The same probably cannot be said of Pet Sematary.

Just how scary is it? I suspect the answer might be “very very scary”. In the intro, Stephen King writes,

“When I’m asked (as I frequently am) what I consider to be the most frightening book I’ve ever written, the answer I give comes easily and with no hesitation: Pet Sematary. It may not be the one that scares readers the most – based on the mail, I’d guess the one that does that is probably The Shining – but the fearbone, like the funnybone, is located in different places on different people. All I know is that Pet Sematary is the one I put away in a drawer, thinking I had finally gone too far. Time suggests that I had not, at least in terms of what the public would accept, but certainly I had gone too far in terms of my own personal feelings. Put simply, I was horrified by what I had written, and the conclusions I’d drawn.”

Seriously, doesn’t that make you want to just dive into the book right away?