I must confess that I haven’t actually read Practical Magic. It’s one of my favourite films, which doesn’t really count, I know. Truthfully, I didn’t even know it was a novel until I saw a Tweet about the release of its prequel, The Rules of Magic.
Happily, having since ordered Practical Magic for later, I decided to tuck into its prequel over the Christmas break.
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Wink Poppy Midnight by April Genevieve Tucholke wasn’t what I was expecting, which I guess is why you’re not supposed to judge a book by its cover. I did. The gorgeous black cover looked gloriously spooky and immediately caught my eye when I visited The Book Lounge to spend some birthday vouchers. I loved the assortment of owls, moons, apples, spiderwebs and stars set against the black background. I added it to my Halloween reads pile.
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Halloween is less than a month away. It’s about this time every year that I start frantically Googling horror movies I haven’t seen and listing scary books to read in October. This year I dove into a Halloween read early. Technically, There’s Someone Inside Your House is only being released in October – just in time for the big night – but I was lucky to receive an advance copy.
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The Breakfast Club meets Gossip Girl in this fast-paced teen murder mystery.
Five high school students are given detention when phones are discovered in their bags by a teacher notorious for searching gym bags before lessons. One of the students, Simon, runs a gossip App called About That, making him the most hated kid at school. What makes him so dangerous is that the rumours he reports always turn out to be true.
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Goodnight Stories for Rebel Girls has been sitting on my shelf for a while, (terrible, I know.) In my defense I had a book to finish, short stories to hand in and a workshop to plan. But once I had finished relaunching my website, it was the first book I reached for. To sum up my thoughts – it’s just magical.
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Edited by Jared Shurin and Mahvesh Murad, this gorgeous anthology features a diverse array of authors, including Nnedi Okorafor, Neil Gaiman, EJ Swift and James Smythe.
The collection comprises dreamy tales with a palpable middle-eastern flavour, reminiscent of One Thousand and One Nights. Many of the stories are set in the middle east. What holds them together is that they all feature the legendary djinn, a creature from Arabian mythology – commonly known as the genie from Aladdin’s lamp.
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From the archive: 5 June 2014
I read The Fault in Our Stars over Christmas (it was a gift to myself). In fact, I very rudely sat outside in the sun, while my partner and his family were inside in the middle of Christmas lunch celebrations. I couldn’t put the book down, not even on Christmas Day.
(See this picture? That’s me stretched out between two camping chairs while trifle is being served inside.)
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I know a few people who make a habit of not reading Next Big Thing books because ultimately, the end result never quite lives up to the hype. (I haven’t read The Girl on the Train and the movie’s already gone to DVD).
But sometimes it does.
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I’m not quite sure why I love Agatha Christie mysteries so much. Nostalgia. The challenge of trying to figure out who did it. I read them again and again, especially around this time of year. And each re-read is as satisfying as the first time round.
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Everybody wants to belong.
After her best friend ditches her, fourteen-year old Evie has to spend her summer wandering around the town alone. That’s when she notices the girls. They’re raggedy around the edges, with long hair blowing freely in the breeze. They’re misfits, who shoplift and break into people’s homes and even scrounge for food in dumpsters. But there’s something magical about them. They live without rules in a big old house near a creek and have wild parties at night around bonfires and burning cars. Their leader, a charismatic musician named Russell, teaches them about free love and togetherness.
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