I’m pretty excited about the selection we have here. The theme is Slightly Spooky Stories. It ranges from Halloween to Christmas, from the deliciously creepy to the downright chilling. Each piece has something different to offer, including:
Until Mount Etna Speaks, a poem by David Rounds, will take you to the treacherous side of an active volcano. You may remember poetry from school as being opaque, boring, or overly dramatic. But good poetry is none of those – it’s the distilled essence of human experience. Read it and see if you don’t agree.
and to calm the waves of mismapping is a powerful excerpt from Jennifer Derilo’s memoir-in-progress, as performed at this year’s LitQuake. This piece juxtaposes the intense battles to survive that join together a grandfather and granddaughter, fighting 50 years apart. i can’t do it justice, you’ll have to go read it.
Bus Ride, by Annie Gowan Stone, is another memoir excerpt. This one, however, combines campfire-style storytelling with chillingly clear childhood memories.
The Haunted Man and the Ghost’s Bargain is our novel this month. While usually we’ll be featuring powerful new and emerging writers with our novel selections, for a spooky box at this time of year there was no other option: it had to be Charles Dickens. I was surprised to learn that “A Christmas Carol” was just the beginning for him: he actually wrote five ghostly novels set during the holidays. This one was his last.
Although some of his language is a little archaic after 164 years, the terrific balance of comedy and emotion keep “The Haunted Man” very readable. On the surface, it’s a supernatural romp reminiscent of “A Christmas Carol”. But underneath, he addresses many questions about how we deal with grief, resentment, and fear – without losing our humanity. This special edition features an array of classic paintings and photographs that bring Victorian London to life.
Spooky Recipes: And for dessert, a mini-cookbook from PeaceMeals, full of creepy and cute recipes for festive fun. These dishes are Halloween-themed, but who doesn’t love surprising playful kids or friends with “worms in a bun” and real “finger food”?
Phew! Pop them into your e-reader or just open up right here as a PDF, and enjoy! And thanks again for checking it out!