The Spellbook of Katrina Van Tassel by Alyssa Palombo (Historical Fantasy Novel, October 2018). This involving novel takes “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow,” Washington Irving’s classic short story of love, jealousy and the supernatural, and simultaneously expands and re-imagines it with Katrina as the central character. As in the original, Katrina becomes the unwitting focal point […]Read more "BOOK REVIEW: The Spellbook of Katrina Van Tassel"
With the Grand Midway’s owner Blair Murphy out of town, your truly opened and ran the weekly coffeehouse at Windber’s fabled haunted hotel. We had a nice turnout from 6 till 9, then things slowed considerably for the last 2 hours. The turnout was mostly, but not entirely of regular attendees. A full-sized coffin, recently […]Read more "Windber Coffeehouse Nights, September 13, 2018"
Prairie Fires: The American Dreams of Laura Ingalls Wilder by Caroline Fraser (Literary Biography, 2017). This thick, detailed, well-written and insightful biography of one of American’s most beloved authors is already a Number One Best Seller, so my saying it’s deserving of a wide readership may be considered gilding the proverbial lilly. But what the heck? […]Read more "REVIEWED: Prairie Fires: The American Dreams of Laura Ingalls Wilder"
Uncle Tom’s Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe. (Historical Novel/Classic Literature, 1852). This anti-slavery epic from shortly before the American Civil War is of great historical significance (Lincoln himself claimed that it played a major part in bringing on the war itself). It was certainly in its time an influential and controversial book. Yet as a famous […]Read more "REVIEWED: Uncle Tom’s Cabin"
Watership Down by Richard Adams (Anthropomorphic Fantasy Novel, 1972). I’ve been reading (and reviewing) a wide range of mostly recent books of late and will continue to do so. But I felt the itch to tackle a recognized classic and got hold of this famous, wonderful book. I’m happy to report that this much-honored fantasy adventure proved […]Read more "REVIEWED: Watership Down"
Norse Mythology by Neil Gaiman (Myth-Based Story Collection, 2017). In his new book, the incomparable Neil Gaiman (a multiple award winner and best selling author in a variety of genres) faces the challenge of converting the often fragmentary surviving myths from the Viking Era into a series of connected short stories accessible to modern readers […]Read more "REVIEWED: Norse Mythology"
Hag-Seed by Margaret Attwood (Novel, 2016). Bestselling and much honored, multiple-award-winning Canadian author Margaret Attwood’s latest is (typically for her) something a bit off the beaten-path. Hag-Seed is both a simultaneous tribute to and a re-imagining of one of Will Shakespeare’s more funky works–The Tempest. Magic, revenge, love and redemption–all the aspects of the play are here. The […]Read more "REVIEWED: Hag-Seed"