“Night-Gaunts and Other Tales of Suspense” by Joyce Carol Oates

via “Night-Gaunts and Other Tales of Suspense” by Joyce Carol Oates


Review: The English Wife by Lauren Willig



Release date: January 9, 2018

Publisher: St. Martin’s Press

Genre: Historical Fiction


Annabelle and Bayard Van Duyvil live a charmed life: he’s the scion of an old Knickerbocker family, she grew up in a Tudor manor in England, they had a whirlwind romance in London, they have three year old twins on whom they dote, and he’s recreated her family home on the banks of the Hudson and renamed it Illyria. Yes, there are rumors that she’s having an affair with the architect, but rumors are rumors and people will gossip. But then Bayard is found dead with a knife in his chest on the night of their Twelfth Night Ball, Annabelle goes missing, presumed drowned, and the papers go mad. Bay’s sister, Janie, forms an unlikely alliance with a reporter to uncover the truth, convinced that Bay would never have killed his wife, that it…

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Is Anyone Else Feeling Guilty?

I celebrate Christmas and have an annual Open House on the Eve, meaning I’ve been decorating and baking for weeks.  No time to read or review.  I do not get paid for my reviews but I do get books I would buy for free in exchange for an honest review.  I feel just like the title of one of my favorite books “So Many Books So Little Time.”  So, I am sort of drowning in guilt.

“The Fall Guy: A Novel” by James Lasdun

Genre:       Physical ThrillerThe Fall Guy
Publisher: W. W. Norton and Company

Mini Review

We meet two cousins that have a long history together.  At one point in their teens they lived together.  They have loving memories as well as buried resentments for one another.  Throw in an obsessive attraction to the wife and what you get is a murder mystery.

I enjoyed this book, but I suspect many fans of the genre, Physical Thriller, will not be.  The difference between “Fall Guy” and most other thrillers is that this is a slow paced novel, which is written taunt and (for lack of a better word) intelligently.  I often found myself having to look up the meaning of a word.  It is always nice to build up one’s vocabulary.  My major criticism is that the dialogue for obsessed cousin happens mostly in his head, which gets trying.  But, there is a twist at the end to stay true to form for this genre.

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Stoking a Hunger: The Scent of a Book

Kristen Twardowski


For many of us, the scent of a book represents windows into innumerable worlds. Chemists have tried to translate this experience and have described books as smelling grassy and acidic with hints of vanilla and mustiness.

However, that combination of scents does not simply arise through happenstance.

Traditionally printed books produce those smells as a result of the paper, ink, and glue that compose them. In their book Perfumes: The A-Z Guide, Luca Turin and Tania Sanchez discuss this more eloquently, stating:

“Lignin, the stuff that prevents all trees from adopting the weeping habit, is a polymer made up of units that are closely related to vanillin. When made into paper and stored for years, it breaks down and smells good. Which is how divine providence has arranged for secondhand bookstores to smell like good quality vanilla absolute, subliminally stoking a hunger for knowledge in all of us.”

In addition…

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