We Have Always Lived in the Castle by Shirley Jackson

We Have Always Lived in the Castle
 by Shirley Jackson

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I picked this up for bookclub. I spent a lot of time overthinking the book.

It was a quick read, and I did enjoy the book. Because it was labeled horror, I was expecting it to be scarier. I did not find it scary at all. Maybe a little creepy, but not necessarily scary.

It was an ok book. I don’t think I’d really recommend it to anyone, but I had it recommended to me many times.

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We Have Always Lived in the Castle

Going Postal

I had Terry Pratchett bookclub last week. This was the first time we’d met since February. Somehow, I never actually got to the book, but I managed to get to the mini-series.

I LOVED the mini series. I wish I had managed to get to the book before the discussion, but it just didn’t happen. I have it still, from the library, so I might get to it before the library claims it again at the end of September.

The story was great. I understand, from the bookclub group discussion, that a lot was left out of the mini series and it would be worth it for me to read it. I plan on it, but I have other things due first. The mini series was definitely worth the 3 hours or so that I spent watching it. It was beautifully done.

Modern Classics

Modern classics

The above linked article is an older article, but I was looking for suggestions for Modern Classics bookclub. All of these books are newer than 1950, but are older than 20 years old. I have read some of them, and I want to read some of them. I got a few suggestions for what to request for Modern Classic bookclub, which was my goal.

Excellent Women by Barbara Pym (1952)

Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison (1952)

The Crucible by Arthur Miller (1953)

Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury (1953)

A Kiss Before Dying by Ira Levin (1953)

Waiting for Godot by Samuel Beckett (1953)

Who Was Changed and Who Was Dead by Barbara Comyns (1954)

A Good Man is Hard to Find by Flannery O’Connor (1955)

The Talented Mr. Ripley by Patricia Highsmith (1955)

The Fountain Overflows by Rebecca West (1956)

Night by Elie Wiesel (1956)

Palace Walk by Naguib Mafouz (1956)

The Assistant by Bernard Malamud (1957)

Memories of a Catholic Girlhood by Mary McCarthy (1957)

On the Road by Jack Kerouac (1957)

Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe (1958)

The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson (1959)

A Raisin in the Sun by Lorraine Hansberry (1959)

To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee (1960)

Catch-22 by Joseph Heller: (1961)

The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie by Muriel Spark (1961)

Revolutionary Road by Richard Yates (1961)

Cassandra at the Wedding by Dorothy Baker (1962)

The Golden Notebook by Doris Lessing (1962)

Pale Fire by Vladimir Nabokov (1962)

The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath (1963)

The Fire Next Time by James Baldwin (1963)

Hopscotch by Julio Cortázar (1963)

The Sailor Who Fell From Grace with the Sea by Yukio Mishima (1963)

The Spy Who Came in From the Cold by John le Carré (1963)

A Personal Matter by Kenzaburō Ōe (1964)

The Woman in the Dunes by Kobo Abe (1964)

The Autobiography of Malcolm X by Malcolm X, Alex Haley (1965)

The Crying of Lot 49 by Thomas Pynchon (1965)

Stoner by John Williams (1965)

In Cold Blood by Truman Capote (1966)

Wide Sargasso Sea by Jean Rhys (1966)

One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel García Márquez (1967)

A Sport and a Pastime by James Salter (1967)

Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep by Philip K. Dick (1968)

Slouching Towards Bethlehem by Joan Didion (1968)

I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou (1969)

The Left Hand of Darkness by Ursula K. Le Guin (1969)

Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut (1969)

84, Charing Cross Road by Helene Hanff (1970)

Lives of Girls and Women by Alice Munro (1971)

Bless Me, Ultima by Rudolfo Anaya (1972)

The Summer Book by Tove Jansson (1972)

An Unsuitable Job for a Woman by P. D. James (1972)

The Gulag Archipelago by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn (1973)

Pilgrim at Tinker Creek by Annie Dillard (1974)

The Woman Warrior by Maxine Hong Kingston (1976)

Too Loud a Solitude by Bohumil Hrabal (1976)

Ceremony by Leslie Marmon Silko (1977)

The Hour of the Star by Clarice Lespector (1977)

The Shining by Stephen King (1977)

The Sea, The Sea by Iris Murdoch (1978)

If On a Winter’s Night a Traveler by Italo Calvino (1979)

Kindred by Octavia Butler (1979)

Sophie’s Choice by William Styron (1979)

Clear Light of Day by Anita Desai (1980)

Housekeeping by Marilynne Robinson (1980)

The Transit of Venus by Shirley Hazzard: (1980)

Midnight’s Children by Salman Rushdie (1981)

So Long a Letter by Mariama Bâ (1981)

What We Talk About When We Talk About Love by Raymond Carver (1981)

The Color Purple by Alice Walker (1982)

The House of the Spirits by Isabel Allende (1982):

Look at Me by Anita Brookner (1983)

The Name of the Rose by Umberto Eco (1983)

The House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros (1984)

Love Medicine by Louise Erdrich (1984)

The Lover by Marguerite Duras (1984)

Nights at the Circus by Angela Carter (1984)

The Unbearable Lightness of Being by Milan Kundera (1984)

Blood Meridian by Cormac McCarthy (1985)

The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood (1985)

Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit (1985)

Anagrams by Lorrie Moore (1986)

Beloved by Toni Morrison (1987)

Borderlands/La Frontera: The New Mestiza by Gloria Anzaldúa (1987)

A Small Place by Jamaica Kincaid (1988)

The Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan (1989)

The Remains of the Day by Kazuo Ishiguro (1989)

Animal Dreams by Barbara Kingsolver (1990)

The Things They Carried by Tim O’Brien (1990)

Possession by A. S. Byatt (1990)

How the García Girls Lost Their Accents by Julia Alvarez (1991)

The English Patient by Michael Ondaatje (1992)

Jesus’ Son by Denis Johnson (1992)

The Secret History by Donna Tartt (1992)

The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven by Sherman Alexie (1993)

A Suitable Boy by Vikram Seth (1993)

Breath, Eyes, Memory by Edwidge Danticat (1994)

Blindness by José Saramago (1995)

The Rings of Saturn by W. G Sebald (1995)

Infinite Jest by David Foster Wallace (1996)

The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy (1997)

I Love Dick by Chris Kraus (1997)

Underworld by Don Delillo (1997)

Horrorstör by Grady Hendrix


Horrorstör by Grady Hendrix
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I picked this up as a bookclub read. I normally don’t read horror, but because I was assured that it was humorous, I gave it a shot.

I enjoyed the book. The author made the characters that were important to the story important to the readers. 

I was surprised at the ending. I was waiting for a little longer epilog or maybe a promise of a sequel. 

I would recommend it, but the paper version. You miss a lot of the pictures that are important if you get the audiobook. This still isn’t my genre of choice, but it didn’t cause me to have nightmares. 

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Little Women – Louisa May Alcott

100 novel challenge

140+ Classic Books to Read

PBS great American Read

Little WomenLittle Women by Louisa May Alcott
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I have seen so many versions of the movie, and each was a little different. I wanted to read the book to see how the story actually goes.

I enjoyed the book a lot, but I realized how so many of the stories in the book were missed in each of the movies. Some of the movies combined several stories. This is understandable, since the book was so long. The story in the book makes a lot more sense.

The book is definitely worth reading, but it does take a long time to get through.

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Book club ideas

Book club ideas to impress your friends 

The above linked article tells about what you need to think about to start a bookclub. I included a list of books here, to get your club started.

The Club

The System

The Book

 Here’s a list of short books that will give you lots to talk about. 

The Clubhouse

The Food

The Discussion

The Little Paris Bookshop by Nina George

The Little Paris Bookshop

The Little Paris Bookshop by Nina George
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I picked this up for bookclub. It is a book I probably wouldn’t have read otherwise. 

I wasn’t sure where the book was going most of the time, and the middle dragged on longer than necessary. I wasn’t sure how it was going to end for the majority of the book. But, with the way it dragged on, I kind of didn’t care by the time I actually got to the ending. 

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Roses and Rot by Kat Howard

Roses and Rot

Roses and Rot by Kat Howard
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I picked this book up for bookclub. It’s not really a genre that I read regularly, so I was a little bit worried that I might not like it. I loved it! It took a chapter or two for me to get into, but I got to the point where I didn’t want to put it down. I wanted to know what happened to the characters.

It was a lot darker than the books that I usually read, but I am glad that I read it. I would recommend it to those who enjoy darker fantasy books. 

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Must Read Bookclub Books, 2020

Must read bookclub reads 2020

The above linked article lists books that would be great for 2020 bookclubs.  I left the update for American Dirt in, because it has some interesting links associated with it.  The list is great, and I have heard of several of these.

Such a Fun Age by Kiley Reid

Followers by Megan Angelo

American Dirt by Jeanine Cummins

Update: when I first recommended American Dirt by Jeanine Cummins, I was not aware of the whole context behind the story. I urge you all to read this Buzzfeed article as it breaks down the controversy.

In Five Years by Rebecca Serle

The Happy Ever After Playlist by Abby Jimenez

The Lies That Bind by Emily Giffin


The God Game by Danny Tobey

The Other Mrs. by Mary Kubica

Follow Me by Kathleen Barber

You Are Not Alone by Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen

The Eighth Girl by Maxine Mei-Fung Chung

The Herd by Andrea Bartz

Historical Fiction

Lady Clementine by Marie Benedict

All The Ways We Said Goodbye by Beatriz Williams, Lauren Willig and Karen White

The Sun Down Motel by Simone St. James

The Girl In White Gloves by Kerri Maher

And They Called It Camelot by Stephanie Marie Thornton

The Queen’s Secret by Karen Harper