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Familiar Diversions

I'm a librarian who loves anime, manga, and reading a wide variety of genres.

Currently reading

The Garden Plot
Marty Wingate
Progress: 492/609 minutes
On Borrowed Time
Jenn McKinlay
Progress: 201/271 pages
K.Z. Snow
Progress: 20/160 pages
Sinclair Lewis
Progress: 24/319 pages
The Sting of the Wild
Justin O. Schmidt
Progress: 12/230 pages
Princess Prince
Tomoko Taniguchi
Progress: 310/336 pages
FREE: Locke & Key
Tatiana Maslany, Audible Studios, Joe Hill, Gabriel Rodríguez, Kate Mulgrew, Haley Joel Osment, Full Cast
Progress: 91/806 minutes

Reading progress update: I've listened 492 out of 609 minutes.

The Garden Plot - Marty Wingate

"I trust you, Christopher."


Ooh, I'm taking points off for this convo and the stuff that led up to it. Pru is saying one thing, but her actions are demonstrating something else entirely. If she really trusted him, she wouldn't have actively interfered with him doing his job. This is at least the second time they've had to go over this. It also emphasizes that it was a bad idea for Christopher to date someone so closely involved in the case.


While I'm thankful that this series doesn't have a love triangle, at this point anyway, it still has some immensely frustrating relationship moments.

Reading progress update: I've listened 486 out of 609 minutes.

The Garden Plot - Marty Wingate

Wait, what? Why would the hospital give someone who I assume was knocked unconscious a "light sedative"? Unless the nurse meant that Pru was unconscious because someone gave her a light sedative, in which case [redacted character's] story should be immediately suspect.

[Non-book post.]


This is cute, and for once no one is trying to tip the poor thing over.

Reading progress update: I've listened 413 out of 609 minutes.

The Garden Plot - Marty Wingate

Pru is too trusting. At least one suspicious-acting person in her life has already turned out to be bad news. Now I'm worried about another person close to her, one who seems to be keeping important details from her. Pru even knows this person has kept stuff from her. Why isn't she wondering what else they might be hiding?


And OMG, mice don't move whole pieces of furniture. I get that it can be comforting to lie to yourself about things that worry or scare you, but Pru takes it to a whole new level.

Reading progress update: I've listened 336 out of 609 minutes.

The Garden Plot - Marty Wingate

Today was not a good day - too much built-up stress and not enough opportunity to let it drain off over the weekend. I'm trying to decompress a little by playing some mindless computer games while listening to this. Hopefully I'll be easier to be around by tomorrow.


Pru and DCI Pearse are now on a first-name basis - his name is Charles. And yes, he's definitely the love interest. They went on a date, and ended up sharing an umbrella. It was sweet. I'm a little surprised that a guy like Charles would date someone involved, even if only tangentially, in an ongoing investigation. But I do like him. As it turns out, he isn't just a fan of hedgehogs but badgers as well. He helped found some kind of badger enthusiast group back in the town he used to live in.

Reading progress update: I've listened 198 out of 609 minutes.

The Garden Plot - Marty Wingate

I believe the rules of cozies dictate that DCI Pearse (had to look that spelling up, I thought it was Pierce) will end up being Pru's love interest. They just had one of those stereotypical "female character stubbornly refuses to move, is suddenly aware of how close the male character is standing" moments (Pru was standing in the way of Pearse and some evidence she'd just found).


He wears suits on his days off and seems overly stiff, but he gets excited about hedgehogs. He could turn out to be adorable. We'll see.

Reading progress update: I've listened 176 out of 609 minutes.

The Garden Plot - Marty Wingate




I think Pru has finally gotten a job offer, or at least something that sounds really promising, and her phone just got broken in an attack. I hope she finds about about it and calls in time, or I might actually scream in agony.

(show spoiler)



Each chapter (or section?) starts with one or more of Pru's gardener position rejection letters. They're all very nice rejections, but this latest set makes me anxious for her.

Horror StoryBundle

I haven't looked it over very carefully yet, but if you need some last minute additions to your Halloween Bingo reading list, this might be worth checking out. Three of them are short story anthologies (I was bummed to see that Every House Is Haunted was one of those). I haven't read anything by any of these authors before, although I recognize one or two of their names.

Reading progress update: I've read 201 out of 271 pages.

On Borrowed Time - Jenn McKinlay

Every time Lindsey has lied to Emma in order to protect her brother, I'm reminded of the previous book. Wasn't Emma in on the whole thing with Robbie? If she could handle that without any of it showing on her face even a little, she could handle this. This newest revelation makes all of that even more frustrating.

The Haunting of Hill House, Episodes 2-4

I wish this weren't an adaptation. The lines that are taken straight out of the book, but with a different context, are distracting. That said, it's growing on me. Although I wish it would stop it with the jump scares.


So far, each episode is concentrating on a different member of the family, which makes me wonder what's going to happen once the series runs out of family members to focus on. I feel like the first two episodes were the roughest, although part of that may have been due to the fact that I didn't like the primary siblings in those episodes as much.


Episode 1 was Steven, the eldest brother who turned his family's experiences into a book, with some embellishments that piss several of his siblings off. I know he needs to make money, but I cringed hard at the way things turned out with the woman whose husband died.


Episode 2 was Shirley, the funeral director. She and Steven are my least favorite Crain siblings so far. Some of it I get - Shirley has held the role of the "responsible and steady one" for years, and she's tired of the responsibility. FYI, this episode includes animal deaths. I could see them coming from a mile away and was still sad. The aspects of this episode dealing with the boy who didn't want to go to his grandma's viewing pissed me off. I was once that little boy, and being forced to look at my grandmother in her casket was a hideous experience I wish I'd been allowed to skip.


Episode 3 was Theo, whose personal life consists of one-night stands. She wears gloves because she is, from what I can tell, an empath. In the present, she generally only uses her abilities at work - she's a therapist for traumatized children. For the most part, I really liked this episode, although the entire dumbwaiter/basement portion of the episode struck me as massively stupid on everyone's part. Yes, I know, they were kids and kids do stupid things. But still.


Episode 4 was Luke, who, as it turns out, is Nell's twin. I had thought they were just really close in age. Theo is probably my top favorite of the siblings so far, followed by Luke. Kid Luke is adorable. I assume the series will get back to him later on, because this episode barely touched on the little girl who may or may not exist and who Luke befriended when he was a kid.

Halloween Bingo 2018: Update 13


I've finally managed my first Bingo. Anna Dressed in Blood got me the last square in that row, Supernatural. I chose a dopey dog sticker for it.


There's a chance I could get one or two more bingos, although the Creepy Carnivals square is proving to be a bit of a problem. I should sit down and power through Mongrel just to knock it out, but I'm still having problems forcing myself to concentrate on books. I haven't been able to find an appropriate audiobook for that square either.


I haven't been keeping track of the calls very well, but I think I have everything marked as "called" that should be. I almost missed the Gothic call - thank goodness for reblogs.


And ooh, I just realized that I have my second book club meeting in a week or two and still haven't gotten any closer to finishing Babbitt.




Killing Mr. Griffin - Lois Duncan Terrifying Women


Sunstruck - Polenth Blake Cryptozoologist


Horrorstor - Grady Hendrix Modern Masters of Horror


The Atrocities - Jeremy Shipp New Release



Spiral - Glynne Walley,Koji Suzuki Relics and Curiosities


The Wild Robot - Peter Brown Free


The Twelve Kingdoms: Sea of Wind - Fuyumi Ono,小野 不由美,Akihiro Yamada,山田 章博,Alexander O. Smith,Elye J. Alexander Diverse Voices


The Haunting of Hill House - Shirley Jackson,David Warner Ghost Stories


Get Well Soon: History's Worst Plagues and the Heroes Who Fought Them - Jennifer Wright Doomsday


We Have Always Lived in the Castle: Acting Edition - Shirley Jackson 13


Anna Dressed in Blood - Kendare Blake Supernatural


Read but not yet marked:



Missing Abby - L.A. Weatherly Spellbound or Baker Street Irregulars


The Lemonade Crime: Lemonade Series, Book 2 (MP3 Book) - Jacqueline Davies,Suzy Jackson Baker Street Irregulars

Reading progress update: I've read 316 out of 316 pages.

Anna Dressed in Blood - Kendare Blake

I wish I'd been able to keep up my original momentum on this, because reading it over the space of a week or two probably would have been better for the overall flow than the multi-week break I ended up taking. Still, I enjoyed this. I'm also glad that I didn't read it when it first came out, because the ending was easier to deal with knowing that there's a sequel and that it's already out. I don't know when I'll end up reading it, but I do plan to get to it at some point.


I was originally going to use this for my Ghost Stories square, but that's long since been taken by something else. So I'll be using this for my Supernatural square instead, which means I have an exciting Halloween Bingo update post coming up.

The Haunting of Hill House, episode 1 (spoiler-free)

It's...not necessarily bad when taken on its own (reminder: I'm a horror wimp, so I consider myself to be a bad judge of scariness, since it doesn't take much to scare me). As an adaptation, though, I'm wondering what the writer was thinking.


It stars a house-flipping couple and their family and takes place mostly within a couple time periods. Some scenes are flashbacks to when the whole family lived in Hill House, while other scenes are later, after everyone has grown up and drifted apart.


The characters:


- Hugh Crain, the husband


- Olivia, the wife


- Shirley, one of the daughters (In the present she's a funeral home director or something, but I haven't yet caught on to which of the older girls is which in the scenes set in the past)


- Theo, another one of the daughters (in the present she's either a lesbian or bisexual, wears gloves, and has lots of one-night stands)


- Steven, the eldest son (in the present, he visits the sites of supposed hauntings, debunks them, and then writes "non-fiction" books about the hauntings as though he truly saw ghosts)


- Luke, the youngest son (saw some creepy girl in the woods when he was a kid, and in the present he's an addict)


- Nell, the youngest daughter (suffered from what her parents thought were vivid nightmares while she lived in Hill House, always about the "Bent-Neck Woman," and still seems to have anxiety and other issues in the present)


- The Dudleys, the caretakers of Hill House. Mrs. Dudley is stern and religious.


You can see some of the bits and pieces that were taken from the original in the character list alone. There are also a few lines in the show that are taken directly from the book, but with a few extra lines added in between and/or the context changed. The writer also definitely has different ideas about how the scares should be handled. Lots of jump scares. I think the writer liked the hallway door banging scenes in The Haunting of Hill House and felt that the TV series should just get right to that stuff, ASAP.

Non-book post: I have a new car

I feel awkward and panicky about it for a variety of reasons. And I'm fighting a inner voice that keeps saying "why did you do that, you don't even like driving and the old car still worked." But now I have fancy things like cruise control, power door locks, a car alarm, a back-up cam, and Bluetooth. I listened to an audiobook over my car speakers on the way home, without having to dig out an adapter (or just give up and listen via the phone speakers with the audio all the way up, my usual method). So that's pretty cool. Also, the new car doesn't look diseased, or make a weird whining noise sometimes when I turn. Or any weird noises at all, for that matter.


I think I'm going to start The Haunting of Hill House TV series tonight, in the hope that it will help my stress headache go away. I had thought buying this car would be less stressful than buying my previous one, because that was rushed and had to be done ASAP, whereas I'd been planning this purchase for a few months and was as prepared as I was ever going to be. Looks like the amount of stress was pretty similar, though, just a different sort.

The Haunting of Hill House TV series is on Netflix now

I plan on at least trying it, although it looks like it's only vaguely (very vaguely) related to the book.

Reading progress update: I've listened 79 out of 609 minutes.

The Garden Plot - Marty Wingate

The narrator's Texas accent occasionally slides off a bit, and I wonder what a native Texan would think of it. I still think her narration is mostly good, and it's certainly pleasant to listen to.


Pru is slightly less impulsive than I originally thought. It turns out she does have a bit of a connection to England - her mother was English, possibly from London or somewhere nearby (I missed a few details here and there). She has no idea if her mother still has any living relatives, so I could see her family history coming up at some point in the series.


I did roll my eyes a bit at Pru lamenting her current lack of friends to meet up with and firm social connections. From the sounds of things, she's lived her life up to this point with as few connections to other people as possible. She never felt at home in Texas and actively avoided close relationships with anyone but her mother. Now that she's in London and actually wants close relationships, I'm not sure she has any idea how to go about developing some. And goodness knows there's still the issue of paychecks. She basically has to take any gardening job she's offered in order to make ends meet (there's been no sign that she's considered other types of work, even just to build up a financial cushion).