Top Ten Tuesday October 29: Halloween Freebie

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish.

Updates are now at That Artsy Reader Girl.

October 29: Scary books I read/listened to celebrate Halloween. 

1) Bruja Born by Zoraida Córdova; 336 pages; September 26-October 10, 2019; 4 out of 5 Hearts.

2) The Baby-Sitters Club: Claudia and the Phantom Phone Calls, by Ann M. Martin, narrated by Elle Fanning;  2 hrs and 50 mins; October 12, 2019; 4 out of 5 Creepy House Noises.

3) Carrie by Stephen King, narrated by Sissy Spacek; 7 hrs and 24 mins; October 13-17, 2019; 4 out of 5 Proms.

4) Evil Eye by Madhuri Shekar, narrated by  Harsh Nayyar, Annapurna Srira, Bernard White, Nick Choksi , Rita Wolf; 1 hr and 38 mins ; October 21, 2019; 5 out of 5 Phone Calls.

5) The Legend Of Sleepy Hollow by Washington Irving, narrated by B.J. Harrison; 1hr 23 m; October 22, 2019; 3 out of 5 Heads.

6) The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson, narrated by Richard Armitage; 3 hr and 7m; October 23, 2019;  3.5 out of 5 Elixirs.

7) The Demon Next Door by Bryan Burrough, narrated by Steve White; 2 hrs and 45 mins; October 24, 2019; 4 out of 5 Handcuffs.

8) Dracula by Bram Stoker, narrated by B.J. Harrison; 17 hours; October 25- 31, 2019; 3.5 out of 5 Fangs.



New York Comic Con 2019 – Saturday

New York Comic Con 2019 – Saturday, October 5

I was going to wear my Padmé green velvet costume that I wore at Celebration Chicago, but since I was not feeling well I decided against it. I just didn’t want to schlep around in a gown. I wanted to wear a comfy hoodie with pockets that I could put my tissues in.

So I wore my Her Universe Padmé hoodie. It’s the yellow, pink and purple ombré hoodie that I bought at Celebration Chicago.

I am bummed that I didn’t dress in cosplay, but it’s ok. I’ll wear my costume next year. I’ll also take even more vitamin C so not to get a cold.

My sister and I started our morning by going straight to the Penguin booth for The Starless Sea (by Erin Morgenstern) ARC giveaway.

Like I had said in an earlier post, the set up was super annoying and chaotic. I guess Knopf Doubleday were told they were not allowed to have people line up, which is stupid and ridiculous because A) every other booth at Penguin had lines, as did all the other booths on the show floor, and B) people will still loiter around until 11 and be in the way anyway.

The people loitering around the booth became a disorganized crowd of people just storming the booth at 11am sharp to get the free ARC. They would have been much better off counting the number of books the had, line people up and give them a numbered ticket after scanning their badges. Or first come, first serve, scan badge – hand out numbered tickets starting at 10am and then ask people to return anytime that day after 11am to get their guaranteed copy.

I think they totally underestimated the demand for The Starless Sea. This is the first book that Erin has written since the beloved The Night Circus ,which was published in 2011.

That is a big break, so of course people want this book. One girl told us that an ARC of the book was stolen right out of her hand at a giveaway at Book Con.

SO the fact that they didn’t line us up properly was a nightmare. The people working the table told the crowds not to loiter and come back at 11. But no one listens because they know if they do – they will miss out.

And they were really down to the second. It was at 11 sharp when they started scanning and handing out the books. The loitering crowd became a pushing mosh pit. You can say no pushing – but come on? How are people supposed to get out of the crowd once they got their book? At least when there is an ORGANIZED LINE there is an entry and exit point.

Utter ridiculousness.

My sister and I did manage to keep ourselves towards the front of the loitering crowd and were successful.


My sister and I also took the Book Wizard quiz. I got an ARC of Bonds of Brass by Emily Skrutskie.

I forgot to mention in the previous post that we also tried to guess the number of books in this stack for Orbit Books.

We were guessing by the thickness and adding it up on the calculator.
We guessed 9,594 pages. The answer is 9,590 pages! Off by 4 pages! UGH!

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New York Comic Con 2019 – Friday continued.

New York Comic Con 2019 – Friday, October 4- Part II



After Lucasfilm Publishing- Stories from a Galaxy Far, Far Away I immediately went to a room near by for another book panel: Family Members: The Best of Allies, The Worst of Enemies.

Whether they’re genetically related, or found family, one’s relationships with one’s parents and siblings are often among the most complex and intense of one’s life. Authors relate the familial entanglements with their characters’ best friends and worst enemies. Explore the tangled limbs and pointy branches of some family trees with Adam Silvera (Infinity Son), Nikki Richard (Demon In The Whitelands), Bob Proehl (The Nobody People), Joan He (Descendant of the Crane), and Akwaeke Emezi (Pet) in conversation with bookseller Ali Kokmen.

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Carrie by Stephen King, Narrated by: Sissy Spacek


Carrie knew she should not use the terrifying power she possessed… But one night at her senior prom, Carrie was scorned and humiliated just one time too many, and in a fit of uncontrollable fury she turned her clandestine game into a weapon of horror and destruction…

I had seen the movie years ago and it’s a classic film.  The adaptation is close to the book, but the book is still better. Since I listened to The Shining and Doctor Sleep last year for my October books I wanted to keep the Stephen King tradition this October with Carrie.

I really liked the way it was told through many points of view, especially through articles and testimonies. The one thing that did annoy me was that there are no chapter breaks.

Even though it is a horror story, and certainly the events that take place are horrific, I was not frightened like I was with The Shining.  I didn’t literally jump out of my seat.

If anything I was more angry.  Angry at the bullies, at the school authorities,  at Carrie’s mother, Margaret. And I was especially angry with Chris Hargensen and Billy Nolan. By the way, I pictured  Billy Hargrove (Dacre Montgomery) from Stranger Things as Billy Nolan because they are both super A-holes characters.

I was sympathizing with Carrie and I just wanted to rescue her from the disgusting and poisonous people in her life.

I read somewhere that the book was banned in school libraries. Interesting, because I think this should be given to high school students as warning to not bully the odd kid because that odd kid will snap and you will be sorry! Instead show compassion and be more inclusive.

It was awesome to hear Sissy Spacek narrate the story. Although I did cringe when she said the word “roof” with her southern accent.

This is my favorite quote from the book and even though it is morbid, it is poetic:

“Kenny’s brother slid between the slats, lifted the pig’s head toward the moon – the glazing eyes regarded the crescent with rapt blankness – and slashed.”

4 out of 5 Proms. 






New York Comic Con 2019 – Thursday and Friday.

New York Comic Con 2019 – Thursday, October 3

I don’t have much to say about Thursday. An important project had to be finished at work and so I had to sacrifice the panels I wanted to see. I ended up getting to the Con a little after 4PM and I only stayed a couple of hours.

I missed out on some of the ARCs the publishers were giving out but I did buy a mystery box from Penguin Random House.


I chose Ladies First in Sci-Fi and Fantasy and inside the box were two pins, a lined notebook, and these books.
Trading in Danger (Vatta’s War 1) by Elizabeth Moon
Sorcerer to the Crown (Sorcerer Royal 1) by Zen Cho
Gods of Jade and Shadow by Silvia Moreno-Garcia. Even though this book has already been released the book in the box is an ARC.

Besides buying those books I walked around the floor and checked out the Hallmark Pop-Minded booth. There are some ornaments that I will want to buy when they come out. I didn’t buy any of their NYCC exclusives this year. There were none that interested me.

The panels I sacrificed were:

Star Wars Audiobooks: A Behind-the-Scenes Conversation at 11:15 am-12:15 pm.
Get the inside scoop on how the Star Wars audiobooks are recorded and produced with some of the biggest Star Wars authors, voice actors, and producers in the business! You’ll hear from narrators Marc Thompson, Saskia Maarleveld, and Euan Morton in a tell-all panel moderated by Nick Martorelli (PRH Audio producer) about the new Star Wars titles they’ve worked on, how they create the characters, what it’s like in the recording booth and how production builds different layers of voice narration, sound effects, and music into the final track.

Rotten Movies We Love: Critics and Fans Reflect on the Stinkers that Stole our Hearts at 12:30 pm-1:30 pm. (Such a shame I missed this one because these Rotten Tomatoes panels are always a fun time.)

Ever been crushed to learn your favorite movie – or a new one you’re dying to see – has been given the infamous green splat from Rotten Tomatoes’ Tomatometer? Inspired by the upcoming book, Rotten Movies We Love, comedian and movie lover, Mark Ellis hosts Rotten Tomatoes Editor-in-Chief Joel Meares, RT editor Jacqueline Coley, and a number of critics in a lively discussion about films that are so bad they’re good, underrated gems, and iconic cult classics. An interactive experience, audience members are empowered to put on their critic hats and join the spirited conversation – and participate in RT’s fan-favorite Tomatometer guessing game, Street Vs. Elite. 

Part of Your World-Building at 2:30 pm-3:15 pm.
It’s our world. Just add monsters. And ghosts. And time travelers. Four acclaimed fantasy and science fiction novelists discuss bringing their books to life. Featured panelists include Kat Cho (Wicked Fox), Rebecca Roanhorse (The Sixth World Series), and Zoraida Cordova (the Brooklyn Brujas series).

This one was actually at the NYPL on 5th Ave. I thought, and was hoping, that even though I would definitely be missing the other two panels maybe I would be finished in time for this one. Zoraida Cordova was a part of this panel and so I brought with me Labyrinth Lost and Bruja Born for her to sign. But I didn’t even make it to this panel. Carried around the heavy hard covers with me for nothing.

The last hour of the day my sister joined me after she left work. She also bought a mystery box from Penguin. She picked my second choice which was Classic Sci-Fi. She also got two pins and these books:
Hyperion by Dan Simmons
The Last Unicorn by Peter S. Beagle
Foundation by Isaac Asimov

When she saw the Asimov book she was like, “I knew it!”

New York Comic Con 2019 – Friday, October 4- Part I

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Bruja Born by Zoraida Córdova


Lula Mortiz may be a bruja with healing powers, but after her family’s battle in Los Lagos, she feels broken in a way she can’t seem to fix. Then tragedy strikes when a bus crash leaves her friends and her boyfriend, Maks, dead. Desperate to reclaim normalcy, Lula invokes a dark spell to bring Maks back. It isn’t until she hears that all of the bodies from the crash have gone missing that she realizes something is wrong. Lula has unwittingly raised an army of casi muertos–creatures between the living and dead–and they’re hungry for freedom…which they can only achieve if Lula dies.


I liked the first book, Labyrinth Lost, in the Brooklyn Brujas series so much that I immediately bought book 2. Now that we are close to Halloween I included Bruja Born in my challenge for the month: creepy, supernatural reads.

I enjoyed the second book as much as the first. There was a good balance between the relationships, the magic and mythology and the action of the story. The pacing was good too. I never felt that it was being too cryptic or lingering too long on a particular scene.

Once again I loved the family dynamics, especially between the sisters. I loved the way that the supernatural world mixed with the contemporary setting of Brooklyn. I love that this was set in Brooklyn. It was so easy to picture.

I love that the world expanded in this story with the introduction of new characters and organizations. I was really amused by the humor from the characters too. I love McKay, Frederik and Rhett.

The action was fun and exciting. I liked this spin on the casimuertos. They are like zombies but aren’t brainless. And they don’t desire brains. A small critique I have is I didn’t understand how they turned others into casimuertos. It’s not that important but I was just curious.

Also, I did miss Rishi. I understand that the cast of characters was big enough and so it was easier for her to be away, but I still missed her presence.

The ending certainly did leave it open for the next book and I am very much looking forward to it.

4 out of 5 Hearts

Top Ten Tuesday October 1: Book Titles with Numbers In Them

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish.

Updates are now at That Artsy Reader Girl.

October 1: Book Titles with Numbers In Them (You could really challenge yourself and do numbers 1-10 or just any numbers at all. Submitted by Emma @ Words and Peace)


1) Year Zero by Rob Reid

2) The One Man by Andrew Gross

3) Choices of One by Timothy Zahn

4) Catalyst: A Rogue One Story by James Luceno

5) The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner by Stephenie Meyer

6) Three Dark Crowns by Kendare Blake

7) NOS4A2 by Joe Hill

8) How to Marry a Millionaire Vampire by Kerrelyn Sparks