Some short and quick book reviews!

Hey all! I just wanted to share some short and quick thoughts on a few of the books I read this month!

ghostland

First up, Ghostland. This book was not quite what I expected, but I still liked it. It was definitely as it says in the title, more about the history than the ghost story. I found some of Dickey’s insights very interesting, especially concerning the country’s turbulent history with race, and how he feels that even impacts ghost stories. It was definitely an interesting read, although it did feel a bit long.

city of ghosts

City of Ghosts: This middle grade book was a delight to read! It was appropriately scary for the age level, and the book itself was pretty cool, even for me. I loved the whole premise, and definitely the location. I really liked that Schwab was able to work the definitions of the British/Scottish slang or language into the story without it being obtrusive. What a great idea for kids who read this book who may not be familiar with certain terms. (adults too!) Definitely a book I would have purchased for our library collection when I was working at the library. ( I used to work/run an elementary school library)

spellbook

Spellbook of the Lost and Found : I loved this book. It was a quiet book, a slow burner of a book, that works on you bit by bit. It’s not splashy. And it was so good! There were some twists and turns that I never expected, and I wanted to just keep reading to find out what the heck was going on! I thought the premise was unique as well. Overall, I really liked this read.

I didn’t get as much reading done as I wanted to this month, but life throws curve balls sometimes doesn’t it. Lol. And tomorrow is Halloween already! My favorite holiday of the year! It looks like we will be homebound, as kiddo is just getting over a fierce cold as is my husband, but I also love handing out candy. They are predicting rain though, so..it might be a pretty slow trick or treat night. Good thing I bought candy that I like….

My Sunday-Monday Post

This past week has been all about rest and recovery. My little kiddo came down with a terrible cough Monday, requiring breathing treatments, so we have been taking it easy this week. Of course, my husband and I are both sick now too, but at least it is the weekend and we can all be sickies together. The three of us have been holed up in our bedroom a lot, watching television, reading, coloring, singing, and napping. It was some nice family togetherness but I wish we had all been feeling better!

So, a pretty uneventful week around here, although I did manage to get a start on my Christmas shopping, buying some stuff online, and I also made quite a few lists of plans and ideas. Now, to just feel well enough to start on them!

I didn’t make it to the library unfortunately, to pick up my holds, so my reading material was a bit limited. Oh! And I bought the first book I have bought for myself in TWO YEARS! And of course the delivery is scheduled for sometime before the end of November. Lol. Oh well, it will be here eventually and I am excited!

Read Last Week:

spellbook

I really enjoyed this book!! I loved the writing and the characters, and I thought the concept was unique as well. I plan to review some of my recent reads very shortly!

Reading This Week:

I am going to try to get to the library this week, but I am diving into my review book pile as well. I wanted to save this for after Halloween though, so this plan might change. We shall see!

 victory garden

The Victory Garden by Rhys Bowen – I love reading about the Land Girls in England during the war! I heard about them first when I watched these BBC productions on different farms during different eras which I thought was fascinating, but the WWII farm was one of my faves to watch and learn about.

Watching:

Lots of YouTube, Sabrina (SO GOOD!), Reign, Curious George Halloween, It’s the Great Pumpkin, Daniel Tiger, Star Trek reruns, HGTV. Lol. It’s been quite a mix!

How about you all?

 

 

My Sunday-Monday Post

Check out the The Caffeinated Book Review for the Sunday Post
It’s Monday! What Are You Reading is hosted by Kathryn at Book Date
We have begun the trick or treating gauntlet! It seems like everywhere has a trick or treating event these days. We have many on our calendar, although I am not sure if we will actually go to them all. We did go to the Detroit Zoo Boo Saturday night with my brother and fam. We had a fantastic time, although a slightly chilly one. Wyatt is going as a wolf this Halloween, while my niece L. is going as a witch.
Speaking of nieces – I have a new one! My brother-in-law and his wife had their second girl on Friday! She has the chubbiest cheeks and the cutest little face. I loves her.
Read Last Week:
I really enjoyed these two books! City of Ghosts was really well written – the kids at my old school that I used to work in the library at would have gone crazy for it! They were all about scary books there. I could not keep enough in the library!
Reading This Week:

I’m hoping to read and finish both of these this week!

Posted Last Week:

Our Favorite Halloween Reads

A Wonderful Weekend

Drinks with a Ghost

Watching:

Lore Season 2 on Amazon. It is so scary this season! I love it. I am also watching Reign on Netflix, and HGTV.  And I can’t wait for Sabrina the reboot!! It looks so awesome! And how cool that it is part of the whole Riverdale world. I think that is why Riverdale got so dark last season, they were paving the way for Sabrina. Have you seen the trailer?

So that is it from my side of the laptop! What has been going on in your corner of the world?

 

Drinks with a Ghost..

Like every city out there, Detroit has its own ghost stories and weird lore. From the Nain Rouge , the little hobgoblin who appears before a disaster, to the myth of Harry Houdini haunting the Majestic Theater, to the various and sundry other ghosties out there, we have our share! Usually I don’t think about them, but of course Halloween and my current reading material has them front and center in my thoughts.

Billy and I have been trying to have more date nights lately and last night we splurged. We headed downtown to The Whitney, which is an old beautiful mansion from the lumber baron days of Michigan’s history, turned into an elegant, fancy restaurant. It was built in 1894, and was described at the time as being one of the most opulent houses in the west. It is one of the few opulent mansions left, and it is a gorgeous old lady, towering high above Woodward Avenue in Detroit.

And it is said to be haunted.

Stories are told of the elevators operating themselves, doors opening and closing and moving between floors; one staff member even saw an older gentleman disappear into thin air when asked to leave.

The third floor of The Whitney serves spirits – and people thank goodness – in its Ghostbar, and it is where we chose to go for our date night. When we got there, the bar was empty, but it was early on Wednesday night. We chose to sit in the big leather seats, all cozied up to the bar, and indulged in decadent drinks and desserts.

 

I ordered the yummy nutty tasting Chocolate Ugli Cake, which is a flourless cake with a chocolate ganache, and their famous martini, the Witching Hour. And it was delicious!! Made with Valentine White Blossom Vodka, Limoncello, St. George Raspberry Liqueur, and fresh lemon, it was delightfully sweet and tart, without being too much of either. I can see why it is a drink that they are known for.

 

Billy ordered the Kahlua cheesecake, which was exactly how you think it would taste – rich and chocolatey, a bit boozy. Yum! It was topped with a coffee infused maple cream that was delish as well. To drink, he had the Spoonful, which is made with Mansion reserve Bourbon, sweet vermouth, Luxardo maraschino, and angostura bitters. It was pretty good too, but not as good as mine! Lol.

We had a great time, enjoying our little moment. It was such a cold night midweek, and we had the place to ourselves with the just the bartender. Although, it did make me feel a little bit like I was at the bar in The Shining..just a little. And that bartender – was he real? Hmm.

I can’t say we witnessed any ghostly behavior or saw any ghosts, but it was fun to hang out there and spend time with my guy.  If you are ever in Detroit and want to grab a cocktail before a show or after dinner or just because it’s a cold Wednesday night and you have a bit of free time, I suggest you step into the Ghostbar and try one of their amazing cocktails. You won’t regret it – and maybe you will see a specter!


If you are interested in more Haunted Detroit, there are many options out there! If only I had the time to do all of these, how fun would that be? Some of the events may be seasonal, or sold out but these tour groups have different tours all the time, so maybe one will open up, or something completely different will catch your fancy!

Wheelhouse Detroit- Haunted Tour and Dusk Tours – Visit haunted locations from the seat of your bike!

Preservation Detroit – Cemetery Tours

Haunted Detroit Tours

Detroit History Tours – they offer a Halloween in Detroit tour which is sold out, but there is a bizarre Detroit tour that still has availability

Historic Fort Wayne Tours After Dark – these are also sold out, but the Fort has many cool events coming up, including a Christmas at the Fort event. And there is always next year!

A Wonderful Weekend

Sometimes everything just falls into place and things turn out perfectly.

This weekend was like that. The weather was gorgeous, sunny, with that bite in the air that lets you know that fall is here and summer has waved goodbye. I love the crispness, it feels so fresh and alive to me. So weather, en pointe. Add in some of my favorite people and a day of laughter and eating, and it was just the icing on the cake.

A few of my friends and I headed out western Michigan way, to Holland, MI. I don’t know much about this town, except that it does have a windmill and in the spring a tulip festival that looks amazing, full of bright colors and all things spring. There is a college there too, Hope College. And it also has a quaint little downtown, full of boutique stores and restaurants.

We had lunch at New Holland Brewery, a thing which excited a few of the husbands who were back home, who had made requests of their wives to bring them back some sort of special beer that is only made at that particular location. The food was ok, not anything terrible but nothing special either. I think here it is all about the booze. And even though time was just creeping up on noon, we had a celebratory drink to our girls day out. I ordered Full Circle, a kolsch beer. I only drink lagers if I drink beer, and it was a good one! K and J had pumpkin martinis, while C had Dragon’s Milk, which has a fantastic name right?

holland

After we ate, we poked around shopping, in and out of stores, each of us buying what caught our fancy. I ended up taking home with me a soft, warm pair of wool gloves knit in Peru from a Fair Trade store, a t-shirt for Billy, and a cute little Halloween book for Wyatt. I bought those gloves just in time – it is freezing here this week!

After a few hours, we were pretty shopped out and were ready to head to our next destination – dinner! By this time we had worked up an appetite with all that walking around so we were ready to hit the road. We had made reservations in a nearby town at Schuler’s Restaurant, based on J’s recommendation. She had been wanting to go there, and I am so glad that we did! When we got there, we got shown to our table, which was right in front of the fire. It was so cozy and warm, on such a chill night, and the decor was very old world charming.  I absolutely loved it in there. We settled in, ordered our drinks from the fall themed drinks menu, and enjoyed the cheese and crackers that were brought to us as we perused the dinner options.  I ended up ordering the Roasted Beet Salad with salmon, and it was amazing. Everyone’s food looked delicious actually, but for me, it was all about dessert. I ordered the Devil’s Delight, a brownie with vanilla ic cream. This sounds so blah, but so wasn’t. Chocolately and gooey,  warm and delicious with that cold ice cream to save it from being too rich. Yum!

Then Sunday, my hubs, son, and I went to the apple orchard. It was another fantastic weather day, the perfect kind for strolling around an orchard, eating apple doughnuts, and picking out pumpkins. The perfect Michigan fall day, really. The orchard we got to every year, Bennett’s Orchard, also makes hard cider and has a tasting room, so bonus! Lol. We took home a growler of Elderberry Cider, and plan on going back in a few weeks for a cinnamon version for the holidays. The owner told us to cook sweet potatoes in it for the holidays, which sounds like a fabulous idea! As were getting ready to leave, the parking lot was starting to fill up with yogis – they apparently host yoga sessions in the orchard on Sunday afternoons, which sounds like it would be a lot of fun!

Finally, later that evening we made a giant pot of chili for dinner, and watched It’s the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown. It was a great end to a wonderful weekend.

Our Favorite Halloween Reads

 I love Halloween! One thing I love doing is hitting the library for Halloween books for the boy. Some of the ones we get are new, some of them you need a wayback machine for. These are the ones that I have made sure to grab, because they were my favorites growing up, and while they may not look as sleek and shiny and flashy, they are still great stories!

Samurai Scarecrow was a new addition to our holiday reading this year, as was Duck and Goose. I loved both, although they were very different. Samurai Scarecrow had great illustrations, while Duck and Goose was a Wyatt pick – he loves Duck and Goose. A lot. It was a long book so be warned. Lol.

Gus was a Friendly Ghost and Georgie’s Halloween are my two old favorites. I simply adore these sweet little ghosts. I also love the other Georgie books too. I know Gus has other books but I haven’t read them. I probably should!

Happy Halloween Witch’s Cat is super cool!! It is well loved here, both for the story and for the art, which is three dimensional and multi-media (I think this is the right way to describe it!) The author, Muncaster, is a miniaturist, who made tiny miniatures and then photographed them as the accompanying illustrations.

Room on the Broom and Click Clack Boo are just great reads. Simply put, Wyatt just loves sitting in my lap listening to them. Finally, A Dark, Dark Tale I picked up at a garage sale for its kind of creepy art. It doesn’t disappoint!

As for me, around Halloween I usually turn to books about witches and ghosts. These are a few of my top favorite witchy witch books and series. I am always looking for more, so please hit me with your recommendations!

 

How about you? Are you a seasonal reader? Any favorites? I’d love to hear them!