Friday, January 11, 2019


Ghost Stories of an Antiquary. By M.R. James. Published 1904. There are multiple versions of this book. Part 1 is the first 8 stories. Part 2 is another 7 stories. This version is all 15 tales.

The stories are set in the 1500s to 1800s, and are told by an antiquary who has heard a peculiar tale in the course of research. James is very good at setting up unsettling descriptions of sights and events and is famous for leaving most of the horror to his reader's imagination.

"Oh, Whistle, and I'll Come to You, My Lad": Holy mackerel! Need to read Dombey and Son, chapter xii, referenced in this.

Several of the stories have been filmed for various programs or movies. (See the IMDb listing for Montague Rhodes James for details.) I've actually seen "The Runes" as the basis for the 1957 Dana Andrews movie "Curse of the Demon," which occasionally turns up on Turner Classic Movies around Halloween. H.P. Lovecraft was a fan of James'. Leonard Maltin gives the movie three and a half stars out of four, and viewer reviews are equally favorable. 

This book satisfies the POPSUGAR Challenge calling for a ghost story as well as 1900-1909 in the BookCrossing Decade Challenge.

*The page numbering on this Kindle edition is eccentric: several multi-page stories are listed as starting on "page 101 of 101."

Sunday, January 6, 2019


1/3-6/2019: I've finished my second book for 2019: Little WomenIt's 400 pages in fulfilment of several POPSUGAR challenges: #1 A book becoming a movie in 2019. #2 A book that makes you nostalgic. #31 A book about a family. #34. A book that includes a wedding. #37 A book with a two-word title.

A book about a family:
"I do think that families are the most beautiful things in all the world!" burst out Jo, who was in an unusually up-lifted frame of mind just then. "When I have one of my own, I hope it will be as happy as the three I know and love the best.

Next: Ghost Stories of an Antiquary.

Wednesday, January 2, 2019


1/1-2/2019: Second day of the new year, and I've finished my first book for 2019: Alice's Adventures in Wonderland. It's 96 pages in fulfilment of the POPSUGAR advanced challenge, prompt #9: A book that has inspired a common phrase or idiom (e.g., Big Brother from 1984). In Alice, there's the thought of "Mad as a hatter."

Last year, I listened to the Audible version of Alice, but as so often happens, I zoned out in sections of the story. I don't do that with printed materials, so it was good to read this.

Next: Little Women.