Tag: history

Interesting Halloween Tidbits

Interesting Halloween Tidbits

This year has not been very Halloween-intensive around the apartment, but I wanted to give it a nod anyway. Halloween is an interesting holiday, so it wasn’t hard to come up with this list. Even if we aren’t actively celebrating, who doesn’t love spooky things?

  1. While technically not about Halloween itself I think it’s kind of crazy that the Halloween Franchise has 11 movies, plus one coming out this Friday, AND at least one more planned. Also, it was begun in 1978 and there’s a movie coming out in 2022 that’s part of series started with a direct sequel made in 2018 that retcons 40 years of movies. Blows my mind.
  2. Jack O’ Lanterns come from an Irish legend of a man who tricked the Devil, was refused entry by God, and wanders the Earth (or Ireland, I guess) with a hollowed out turnip lit by a candle. Americans have to make things bigger, so we turned it into pumpkins. Apparently, anyway.
  3. Trick-or-Treat used to be Trick-and-Treat – kids would do tricks not play tricks for non-candy-related treats. Now, there are very few tricks and far more treats. Apparently there was also a version where kids would offer to pray for your dead. That’s also not a thing anymore. I don’t think.
  4. Halloween used to be all about getting married (as most things used to be), but my favorite is watching hazelnuts as they roast. You named all your hazelnuts with the names of all the guys you wouldn’t mind getting married to, then tossed them in the fire. Whichever one didn’t pop and burned to ashes instead, that’s your man. How these ladies kept track of which hazelnuts had which names isn’t mentioned. And what happened if 2+ burned to ashes? Will you be widowed and have to marry again? I have questions.
  5. The same article from above mentions hiding jewelry in mashed potatoes and whoever found it would also find true love. Which would be easy – it’s the cook who put the jewelry in the mashed potatoes. They have the money for jewelry and the ability to make delicious mashed potatoes. Win win.

Okay, I won’t lie, none of these are very spooky. The spookiest thing I know about Halloween is that black cats are sometimes removed from adoptable lists around Halloween so they don’t get sacrificed or whatnot. I have no idea how much truth there is to the idea of cat sacrifices, but I hate it.

Anyway, I’m going to go watch the Scream movies.


My Fall Reading List

My Fall Reading List

This fall, I’m sticking with a “to-be-read” list of 5. Ten books seems like too many books for this year. Well, books that aren’t historical romances from Kindle Unlimited, anyway.

Sun Down Motel by Simone St. James

I’ve read every other book by Simone St. James, and I can’t believe it’s taken me this long to read Sun Down Motel. I actually started it in bed last night and was torn between being creeped out and telling myself “one more chapter”. I expect this to be another excellent entry by one of my favorite authors. A creepy read perfect for Spooky Season.

Omens by Kelley Armstrong

One of my favorite series is Kelley Armstrong’s Rockton series. A lot of her other books don’t seem like books I’d enjoy, but I do love her writing, so I’m going to try out this Cainsville series. Maybe it’ll be a stepping stone to some of her other works. A gateway series, if you will. The description also sounds like a perfect Halloween read.

Old Bones by Douglas Preston & Lincoln Child

I used to love Preston & Child books, but their Pendergast books lost me after awhile and my interest in their books (together & individually) kind of waned. BUT a lady archaeologist investigating the Donner Party? By authors I know can write super books? Yes, please. Sign me up.

Bellevue by David Oshinsky

I love history, medical/scientific history in particular, and I think this book is going to be so fascinating. The hospital has been around since the mid-1700s, so there can’t be a shortage of awesome, interesting stories. I really can’t wait to dig into it.

Good Morning, Monster by Catherine Gildiner

The workings of the human mind amaze me. I really love anything that breaks down what goes on in people’s minds, especially by people who are trained in psychology. I’ve read some reviews saying that it’s a pretty dark book at times, but overall has a hopeful message, so I’m looking forward to learning about these stories.

So that’s them – five books I’m really looking forward to this fall. I’ve been reading a lot of simple, easy, historical romances and while I’m still going to do that a good bit, it’ll be really nice to have a change of pace.

Top Ten Cozy Winter Reads

Top Ten Tuesday is a feature run by That Arsty Reader Girl.

Little House in the Big Woods | Anne of Green Gables | Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone
The first three of this Top Ten were easy to come up with: the first three books of my three most treasured childhood series. I can’t think of a better way to pass snowy (or more likely in my area – icy) day than revisiting old childhood favorites. 

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society | The Midwife | The Maid’s Tale | Life in a Medieval Castle
Another thing that’s nice to do is escape to another time or place. Two memoirs by women of the past, a guide to medieval life, and a novel of post-war England certainly do that. I really can’t wait to curl up with some of these this winter.

The City Who Fought | The Dragonriders of Pern | The Name of the Wind
Speaking of ‘another time or place’ – a great sci-fi or fantasy book is just as good at taking you away. Anne McCaffrey is my all-time favorite author, and honestly a big part of why I want to write books. Her Brainship books are some of the first science fiction I ever read and her Pern novels are the first blending of sci-fi/fantasy that I ever really got into. Patrick Rothfuss has created a masterpiece as well, and sitting in a cozy chair reading any of these books would be an amazing thing to do on a cold winter day.