Connecting today to a Christmas
a quarter-century ago....


115) The Witching Hour by Anne Rice, finished December 23
My sister gave me this book for Christmas about twenty-five years ago---somewhat begrudgingly, from the inscription. I guess me being hard to buy for is a longstanding trait. She gave it to me and I was excited to have it, but I had other Anne Rice books in my collection to tackle before beginning this 1000+page monstrosity.

I had already read and been delighted by Interview and The Vampire Lestat. But then I read the third vampire book, Queen of the Damned, which was terrible. As was The Mummy. I don't know what order these disappointments happened in, but add in the extreme discomfort that came from reading the first half of the first Beauty book as well.

Anyway, The Witching Hour went into storage. But I never forgot about it. And I pulled it out to read this fall as my Halloween book.

I have mixed feelings.

Much of the novel was excellent, although it did rather feel like more than one novel cobbled together. And then, towards the end there were literally hundreds of pages of stalling. And then, instead of properly ending, it just sets up for a sequel.

I know!

There are, Wikipedia tells me, two sequels, each shorter than the one that preceded it. Which is not how these things usually work. And which might make them sufficiently tempting. Although who would buy them for me? And would I live long enough to read them both?


In brief, an otherworldly creature has been breeding witches for twelve generations, all with some great plan in place. (Much of the spiritual whatnot, incidentally, sounds strikingly Mormon, which is rather bizarre as it clearly is not.) There is terrible violence and exotic sex and---

Oh, yes. I just remembered. Part of the reason I became leery of reading the book was because one of its main themes that reviews at the time dwelt on was incest. And yes: certainly plenty of that. I guess you can fit a lot of anything into 1000+pages if that's what you want to do.

I guess I just have a hard time believing this book will stick with me. Which is disappointing, given how much time I gave it. And, given how long it's been since I read her, I can't well say how it compares to her other books. Who knows what I would think of any of them were I to read them again?

Anyway, Merry Christmas!
eighty-four days


The other books of 2018

1 – 4
001) Black Panther: A Nation Under Our Feet Book 3 by Ta-Nehisi Coates &‎ Brian Stelfreeze & al., finished January
002) The Complete Peanuts 1950-2000 by Charles M. Schulz & al., finished January
003) The Things They Carried by Tim O'Brien, finished January 10
004) El Deafo by Cece Bell, finished January 12

5 – 9
005) Cleopatra in Space: Target Practice by Mike Maihack, finished January 13
006) Nabokov's Favorite Word Is Mauve by Ben Blatt, finished January 15
007) Glister by Andi Watson, finished January 18
008) Zita the Spacegirl by Ben Hatke, finished January 20
009) The Lay of Aotrou and Itroun by J.R.R. Tolkien, finished January 21

10 – 11
010) The Vision by Tom King et al., finished January 23
011) Miles Morales: Spider-Man by Jason Reynolds, finished January 24

16 – 16
012) Anthem by Ayn Rand, finished February 8
013) The City in Which I Love You by Li-Young Lee, finished February 14
014) Many Waters by Madeleine L'Engle, finished February 21
015) It Needs to Look Like We Tried by Todd Robert Petersen, finished March 7
016, 017) Fences by August Wilson, finished March 8

18 – 20
018) The Andromeda Strain by Michael Crichton, finished March 13
019) Star Wars Super Graphic: A Visual Guide to a Galaxy Far, Far Away by Tim Leong, finished March 22
020) Superman: Secret Identity by Kurt Busiek and Stuart Immonen, finished March 25

21 – 25
021) M Is for Malice by Sue Grafton, finished March 28
022) Harry Potter and the Cursed Child by Jack Thorne, J.K. Rowling, John Tiffany; finished March 31
023) It All Started with Hippocrates: A Mercifully Brief History of Medicine by Richard Armour, finished April 6
024) Don't Bump the Glump by Shel Silverstein, finished April 14
025) Coriolanus by Wm Shakespeare, finished April 16

26 – 32
026) The Trouble with Reality by Brooke Gladstone, finished April 24
027, 28) Coriolanus by William Shakespeare, finished April 26
029) The Secret History of Twin Peaks by Mark Frost, finished April 28
030) Twisted Tales from Shakespeare by Richard Armour, finished April 28 or April 29 depending on when midnight happened
031) Bless The Child: A Romance of Redemption and Glory in the Ancient World by David J. West, finished May 1
032) The Decline and Fall of Practically Everybody by Will Cuppy, finished May 3

32 – 34
032) Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare, finished May 9
033) Stargazing Dog by Takashi Murakami, finished May 9
034) Vader Down by Jason Aaron and Mike Deodato, finished May 18

035) The Book of Mormon: A Reader's Edition edited by Grant Hardy, finished May 23

36 – 50
036) Bad Kitty Camp Daze by Nick Bruel, finished May 24
037) I'm Just No Good at Rhyming: And Other Nonsense for Mischievous Kids and Immature Grown-Ups by Chris Harris, finished May 24
038) The Thrilling Adventures of Lovelace and Babbage: The (Mostly) True Story of the First Computer by Sydney Padua, finished May 30
039) Princess Leia by Mark Waid et al, finished May 30
040) Chopsticks by Jessica Anthony & Rodrigo Corral, finished June 12
041) Everything You Need to Know About a Mission by Ralph Thomas, finished June 13
042) The Invisibles by Grant Morrison et al, finished June 14
043) The Fifth Head of Cerberus by Gene Wolfe, finished June 15
044) Material Volume 1 by Ales Kot & Will Tempest & al., finished June 23
045) Love & Misadventure by Lang Leav, finished June 30
046) The Rain in Portugal by Billy Collins, finished July 7
047) Bucky Barnes: The Winter Soldier Vol. 1: The Man On The Wall by Ales Kos, finished July 7
048) Monster Verse: Poems Human and Inhuman edited by Tony Barnstone & Michelle Mitchell-Foust, finished July 10
049) Poems Dead and Undead edited by Tony Barnstone & Michelle Mitchell-Foust, finished July 10
050) Mary's Monster by Lita Judge, finished July 11

51 – 57
051) Bel Canto by Ann Patchett, finished July 18
052) Hostage by Guy Delisle, finished July 21
053) The One Hundred Nights of Hero by Isabel Greenberg, finished July 22
054) Paper Girls, Vol 4 by Brian K Vaughan and Cliff Chiang, finished July 24
055) Chocolate: The Consuming Passion by Sandra Boynton, finished July 25
056) [Aelian's] On the Nature of Animals translated by Gregory McNamee, finished July 27
057) Blue Yodel by Ansel Alkins, finished July 27

58 – 63
058) The 57 Bus: A True Story of Two Teenagers and the Crime That Changed Their Lives by Dashka Slater, finished July 31
059) Bandette Volume 1: Presto! by Paul Tobin and Colleen Coover, finished July 31
060) Legends of Zita the Space Girl by Ben Hatke, finished August 3
061) Darth Vader: End of Games by Kieron Gillen & Salvador Larroca, finished August 6
062) How to Read Nancy by Paul Karasik & Mark Newgarden, finished August 10
063) The Selected Poems of Donald Hall by Donald Hall, finished August 14

64 – 68
064) The Encyclopedia of Early Earth by Isabel Greenberg, finished August 15
065) The Humans by Stephen Karam, finished August 15
066) Space Cat by Ruthven Todd, finished August 16
067) Strip Search: Revealing Today's Best College Cartoonists, finished August 16
068) A Contract with God by Will Eisner, finished August 18

69 – 73
069) Space Cat Visits Venus by Ruthven Todd, finished August 19
070) Served: A Missionary Comic Anthology edited by Theric Jepson & Mike Laughead & al., finished August 22
071) Precious Rascals by Anthony Holden, finished August 24
072) The Peanuts' Guide To Life by Charles M. Schulz (sort of), finished August 25
073) Batman: The Doom That Came To Gotham by Mike Mignola et al., finished August 28

74 – 81
074) My Favorite Thing Is Monsters by Emil Ferris, finished August 29
075) The Customer Is Always Wrong by Mimi Pond, finished August 30
076) Bandette: Stealers Keepers! by Paul Tobin and Colleen Coover, finished August 30
077) You're All Just Jealous of My Jetpack by Tom Gauld, finished September 6
078) Baking With Kafka by Tom Gauld, finished September 7
079) Mooncop by Tom Gauld, finished September 7
080) Goliath by Tom Gauld, finished September 7
081) Educated by Tara Westover, finished September 12

82 – 85
082) Beyond the Light by Ryan Shoemaker, finished September 17
083) Space Cat Meets Mars by Ruthven Todd, finished September 22
084) Invisible Gifts by Maw Shein Win, finished September 24
085) Middlemarch by George Eliot, finished September 29

86 – 90
086) Murder in Manhattan, finished October 7
087) The Pillowman by Martin McDonagh, finished October 10
088) Player Piano by Kurt Vonnegut, finished October 10
089) Lumberjanes, vol. one by Noelle Stevenson and village, finished October 16
090) SkyHeart Book I: The Star Seed by Jake Parker by Jake Parker, finished October 16

91 – 93
091) Sharp Teeth by Toby Barlow, finished October 22
092) Homespun and Angel Feathers by Darlene Young, finished October 29
093) A Night in the Lonesome October by Roger Zelazny, finished October 29

94 – 98
094) The Möbius Strip Club of Grief by Bianca Stone, finished November 2
095) Jokes: Philosophical Thoughts on Joking Matters by Ted Cohen, finished November 7
096) Sunday Funnies by Gahan Wilson, finished November 9
097) Cold Comfort Farm by Stella Gibbons, finished November 15
098) Green Monk: Blood of the Martyrs by Brandon Dayton, finished November 15

99 – 108
099) The Witch Boy by Molly Knox Ostertag, finished November 19
100) Vacation by Blexbolex, finished November 20
101) The Mighty Captain Marvel: Alien Nation by Stohl/Rosanas/Garland, finished November 20
102) Rocket Raccoon & Groot Vol. 1: Tricks of the Trade by a hole slew o' guys, finished November 28
103) Ballad by Blexbolex, finished December 2
104) Seasons by Blexbolex, finished December 2
105) The Comedy of Errors by Wm Shakespeare, finished December 4
106) Spider-Gwen: Greater Power by Latour/Rodriguez/Visions, finished December 4
107) Captain Marvel: Higher, Further, Faster, More by DeConnick/Lopez, finished December 6
108) Legendary Star-Lord: Face It, I Rule by Humphries/Medina/Williams, finished December 6

109 – 114
109) True Grit by Charles Portis, finished December 9
110) The Assassination of Brangwain Spurge by M.T. Anderson and Eugene Yelchin, finished December 11
111) Captain Marvel: In Pursuit of Flight by DeConnick/Soy/Rios, finished December 11
112) Strong Female Protagonist by Brennan Lee Mulligan and Molly Ostertag, finished December 13
113) Why Art? by Eleanor Davis, finished December 18
114) Captain Marvel: Rise of Alpha Flight by Fazekas/Butters/Anka/Smith, finished December 22

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

* the most recent post in this series *

final booky posts of
2007 = 2008 = 2009 = 2010 = 2011 = 2012 = 2013 = 2014 = 2015 = 2016 = 2017

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