Inspiration From The Distant Past

Inspiration From The Distant Past
Found note in an old book... warms the cockles of my bookish heart...

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Pseudo Celebrity

Ahem. Hello. It's me. I know. I haven't been around lately. I won't go into a looooong boring story about where I have been, BUT I will apologize. I apologize.
I am soooooooo SORRY!

Is that a tear I see? It's ok. I am here. Shh. I am here.

Let's move on, shall we? Stop looking back? Look to the future? A future filled with blog posts about books and book cases and book nooks. Yes. That is what we will do. Look to the future bookish posts. That's why you are my favorite reader. You are always so positive.

Awhile back, my kids' school hosted Celebrity Readers. The idea was to get exemplary people from the community and have them read to a few classes. They would explain why they loved reading, how it made them successful, and whatever else they thought may inspire young people and their spongy little brains. Our future, if you will.

So. Being the world famous blogger that I am, I volunteered. Actually, it was more like, "If you need readers to fill in, I'd be happy to come in. Just FYI: I'm NOT a celebrity. And I am not particularly exemplary. I will, however, sign autographs."

did, of course, mention that I love to read and, in fact, participate in a witty, fresh, and unique book blog. The organizer was im.pressed. Actually, she did like it. I sent her a link and I was IN, baby!

I got to read for both of my kids' classes. It was fairly easy to find a book for my first grader. But how do you choose a picture book for fifth graders? I asked the school librarian. No help. The books she had chosen, to me, were boring (Yes, I said it. Books a librarian chose were boring. I know that's sacrilege). So, I went online in search of books for fifth graders. It was still difficult, since I had to read reviews and reviews and make trips to our library to find something funny but not too babyish, not too adult, AND that could be read within 15 minutes.

"Wait a minute," you are saying. "Too adult? How could that be?" Excellent question. I am glad you asked. Well, many picture books that I found are, for example, studied in college classes. They use to them analyze attitudes and cultures and child psychology, et cetera, et cetera. And so it seems the author wrote them more for adults than children. Anywho.

Here are the books I chose for my kids.

Scapegoat by Dean Hale, illustrated by Michael Slack.

For my first grader, I chose Scapegoat.

This is the cutest story. It is about a goat named Oat and how she gets blamed for everything bad that happens.

As you can see in the title, the -oat is used throughout. Very helpful for teaching those vowel combinations.
The illustrations were bright and funny. The words had a nice rhythm.

Bottom line: the kids loved the story and asked me to read it twice! Even the teacher was laughing.

The Secret Knowledge of Grown-Ups
by David Wisniewski 
For my fifth grader, I found The Secret Knowledge of Grown-Ups.

Ok. This story was hilarious. It finally reveals the real reasons behind all of our rules. Why do we tell kids to eat their vegetables and drink their milk and not to pick their noses?

Life as we know it could end otherwise.

Check out this book for all the details. But I warn you, there are those that would like to keep this a secret, so be very careful!

Bottom line: at first the kids were fidgety. But a few paragraphs in and I had their full attention. They were giggling and "ewwwing", and crept closer to see the pictures. The teacher even stopped her work a few times to listen and laugh.

I am really proud of schools these days. They are really stressing reading, and getting the community involved in these projects is a great idea. I just wish more parents and neighbors would take half an hour occasionally and get involved.

What about you? Do you have a recommendations for next year? Have you participated in a project like this? If there is nothing like this in your local schools, maybe you could take the initiative. Everyone loves being read to, and it's a lot of fun for the reader as well!

Monday, December 12, 2011

Bargain Book Bonanza (29): Kindle Mysteries

Welcome to Bargain Book Bonanza!

DeLynne is hosting this week!

We all love a bargain, and books don't come any more basement-priced than free.  Here are three Kindle mysteries I picked up for nothing, nada, niente.  Remember, folks, if you don't have a Kindle you can read these books using your laptop or apps on other devices.

Archie's Been Framed manages to be farcical yet hard-boiled in the best James Bond tradition.  Amazing gadgetry, gastronomy, a bon-vivant lifestyle and murder are a wonderful combination.  I thoroughly enjoyed meeting Julius and his electronic side kick.  Knight Rider eat your  heart out, Archie is Julius' friend, assistant, secretary and nagger.  This is a series I'd actually pay to read.

The Noon God is a quick read from Donna Carrick, and I do recommend it.  The characters and investigation are a bit shallow, but that's understandable for the length of the book.  Carrick sucked me in and I was shocked when she revealed the murderer.  I'd really like to know if other readers were able to pick who-done-it better than me, and plan to read it again to see which clues I missed the first time through. 

It's as much a family saga as a mystery, with tragic characters struggling to overcome damage done by relatives (usually parents).  Not a cheerful book, but thought-provoking nonetheless. 

Dark Horse is great.  I've fallen for Jim Knighthorse even if he is narcissistic and talks to a bum who thinks he's God.   Actually, those traits endear him to me, and I was hooked by his story.  

Jim tries to prove his client, a high-achieving black high school student, didn't kill his white girlfriend.  The plot is tight and quick, and this book has everything a good mystery should.  Jim has a troubled past he's trying to resolve, and this is probably the grittiest of the three books reviewed here.  There are some moral dilemmas to ponder, too.   

Three good reads for free.  Actually my grandfather used to say nothing is free, and he would have pointed out that even a $0.00 Kindle book requires internet connection, a reading device, etc.  But this is as free as it gets, readers!


BBB is a book haul linky party for bargain loving bookworms!

Want to join the party? Just visit the Bargain Book Bonanza page for the particulars.

If you have a bargain book post, please link up and share. We love to brag on bargains!

Friday, December 9, 2011

Books in my mother's house

My mother loves books in the kitchen...

...on a cake stand... the couch...

...near the back door...

...and  under a lamp....

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Storytime Gift-away Giveaway: Llama Llama Hardback Picture Book Set Of Three ($50 value)

Welcome to the first official Storytime Gift-away Giveaway!

USA entrants only please.

Children's books are the berries! 

And as parents and educators, we know that reading aloud to babies and young children can instill an early love of reading and appreciation of books.  Even more importantly, it gives little ones a strong foundation for building cognitive, language and pre-literacy skills.

It is any surprise that we feel books make the best children's gifts for any occasion?  

The joy and value of a book is endless-- it truly is a gift that keeps on giving.  

So we are utterly over the moon and beyond thrilled to share our love of children's books by offering this stupendously spectacular gift to the lucky winner of the Storytime Gift-away Giveaway:

Three hardbook picture books from the Llama Llama series by Anna Dewdney!

A fifty dollar value!

The titles:
llama llama red pajama
llama llama misses mama
llama llama holiday drama

Are you familiar with the llama llama books? 

 Oh my, they are as cute as can be: absolutely delightful rhymes and illustrations! 

And the stories are spot on in showing situations that bring a three to five year old to the end of his/her tether.

llama llama is such a typical toddler and llama mama is such a good mama.

I love these books!  My little one and I have paperback editions of llama llama red pajama (about bedtime drama) and llama llama mad at mama (about shopping drama-- not included in this giveaway) and it is really funny how we both relate to the stories. 

These books never get tiresome to read aloud-- at least not to me. 

This set would make an ideal gift for any child or split it up and give one each to three children. Or gift them to an early childhood teacher.

But before you can hear the oohs and ahs of delight from gifting, you gotta win it! 

Enter to win with this nifty Rafflecopter form!
(Rafflecopter is so cool but this is my first time setting up a giveaway with it so fingers crossed that it works)

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Alice-Miranda At Sea!

 So sorry I haven't posted in awhile. I finished reading Alice-Miranda At Sea, (awhile ago!) and found it was just fabulous. (As all Alice-Miranda books are.)

 The story is about a little girl named Alice-Miranda, and her aunt is getting married. And, of course, the wedding is on a private cruise boat that her other "aunt", Auntie Gee owns. (She isn't actually her aunt, but it's one of those special-connection things, Oh and her aunt is royal!) But there is a twist, there's a stow-away on the ship... Who? Well thats for you to find out!

This book is filled with lots of drama, mystery and intrigue. I recomend this for ages 8 to 12. 

Monday, November 14, 2011

Bargain Book Bonanza (28): Narnia Edition

 Welcome to Bargain Book Bonanza!

Lesa is hosting this week!

 I'm not much of a gambler but book hunting at my particular Goodwill is always a sure bet especially in the children's book section.  And at only twenty cents a pop for paperbacks, I splurge like crazy. Why, I've even been known to buy 10 or 15 books at a time!  

  Love my Goodwill store but sometimes I can't get over some of the books that have been donated. 
Recently, I was astounded to see Narnia books offered. Narnia?! What is up with that? Narnia books are keepers!

There were multiple copies of four of the books available and I chose the best of each... 

To keep forever and ever...  or until they fall apart.

Actually book friends, even fall aparts are safe at my house. Look at this Narnia set that I bought used over twenty years ago.

It has literally been read to pieces... mainly by me.

I intended to give it the old heave-ho as replacements were acquired but it is sooo difficult.

Is it difficult for you to toss tattered copies of beloved books?

BBB is a book haul linky party for bargain loving bookworms!

Want to join the party? Just visit the Bargain Book Bonanza page for the particulars.

If you have a bargain book post, please link up and share. We love to brag on bargains!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Wishlist Wednesday: Beauty and the Werewolf by Mercedes Lackey

Guess what I spotted in a GoodReads email? 

My wish book for this week! 

It is the latest in the fun Five Hundred Kingdoms Series by Mercedes Lackey. 

The eldest daughter is often doomed in fairy tales. But Bella—Isabella Beauchamps, daughter of a wealthy merchant—vows to escape the usual pitfalls.

Anxious to avoid the Traditional path, Bella dons a red cloak and ventures into the forbidden forest to consult with "Granny," the local wisewoman.

But on the way home she's attacked by a wolf—who turns out to be a cursed nobleman! Secluded in his castle, Bella is torn between her family and this strange man who creates marvelous inventions and makes her laugh; when he isn't howling at the moon.

Have you read any Tales of the Five Hundred Kingdoms? 
In this series, the characters are usually trying to avoid the powerful pull of Tradition or shape it to improve their lot. Tampering with Tradition can cause big trouble so Godmothers must find ways for 'Tradition' to be satisfied while ensuring the safety and happiness of all... even if it is in very unexpected ways.  
If you like quirky fairy tale retellings, you are in for a treat. 


Please visit Pen to Paper to see more Wishlist Wednesday offerings.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Ruby Redfort Look Into My Eyes by Lauren Child

Hello! Adele here!Remember the books that I wished for a couple of weeks ago?

Guess what?!  I went shopping and found both of the books: Ruby Redfort Look Into My Eyes and Alice-Miranda at Sea.

Of course, I bought them immediately and I've just finished reading Ruby Redfort.

Here is my review!

Ok,  the story line is that there is a girl, Ruby, from a wealthy family and her best friend is named Clancy Crew. 

Ruby is a code cracking genius, and when a suspicious butler, Hitch, comes along she has a "hunch" that he's not a butler. 

And, of course he's not. 

Hitch is an agent for a spy agency called "Spectrum". And when Ruby finds out why he's there , she gets an invitation to join Spectrum...

I won't spoil any more for you.

It is a fantastic book, with lots of mystery and intrigue.  I'm really into mysteries at the moment.

Ruby Redfort is perfect for 8 to 13 year olds. But, of course, whether you're 30 or 6, you can read it if you really want to.

I'm just about in the middle of Alice-Miranda at Sea, so I will review it soon.

Ok, gotta go read!


Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Wishing for Zombies?

PhotobucketHi! It is me, Lesa, wishing for a book. I think. 

You see the book in question is Zone One, a post-apocalyptic novel about the aftermath of a zombie plague, by Colson Whitehead

Post-apocalyptic novels, I do like.

Zombies, meh... not so much.

Now, no offense to zombies. It is just that I am not a 'Squee! Zombies!' sort of girl. In fact, my interest in zombies is zilch. 

Be that as it may, I have enjoyed the occasional zombie movie/book. The friendly but misunderstood zombies from the magically punny Xanth books are funny.  And The Forest of Hands and Teeth (with traditional unfriendly zombies) is an excellent post-apocalyptic dystopian YA read.

But do I wish to read another post-apocalyptic zombie book?

My interest waned a bit since first hearing about Zone One a couple of weeks ago in a NPR Fresh Air author interview. 

image Erin Patrice O'Brien/Doubleday

After relistening to the extremely engaging author, Colson Whitehead, discuss his novel and share anecdotes from his childhood and prep school days, I was completely enthralled again. 

So yes, I do wish to read this book. And Mr. Whitehead's previous non-zombie literary works as well.

Give a listen. Bet you won't be able to resist his giggle. (Or the fact that the book is a tip of the hat to his favorite sci-fi and horror shows/comics/books from childhood.  I can't resist, I love that sort of thing.)

Click 'summary' to read a synopsis and abbreviated companion article.

So, book wishing friends, is Zone One a wish-worthy book?  And have you read any Colson Whitehead novels?

Wishlist Wednesday is a bookish linky party hosted by Pen to Paper.  

Monday, October 31, 2011

Bargain Book Bonanza (28): Before Green Gables

 Welcome to Bargain Book Bonanza!

A book haul linky party for bargain loving bookworms!

Want to join the party? Just visit the Bargain Book Bonanza page for the particulars.

Lesa is hosting this week!

Howdy, bargain loving kindred spirits! I have such a sweet little book to show you this week.

See, isn't the cover as sweet as can be?

And it is new! Yes, brand spankin' new! Didn't want you to think I was only obsessed with used bargain books. Oh no, I am an equal opportunity bargain book buyer.

Now, this book did cost a bit more than the one dollar each discounted paperbacks that I usually pick up at Books-a-Million (look for them in future BBB posts) but considering that this book is trade paperback size and the original price was fifteen dollars, $3.97 is quite the bargain. 

Really, I just couldn't resist. Sweet cover aside, Before Green Gables is a prequel to Anne of Green Gables!  

What kindred spirit of Anne could resist that?!

*giggle* I know you bookworms with a phobia for prequels/sequels written by anyone other than the original author are cringing right now. 

  Not me. Anne of Green Gables may be one of my top five beloved rereads but I'm not afraid to give this book a try. 

And of course, I don't expect this book to be a perfect reflection of L. M. Montgomery's style (that would be silly).  I am just excited to read about Anne's life before she was adopted by Marilla and Mathew-- even though it will likely have lots of sad bits. 

This prequel introduces Anne's parents who died when she was a baby-- and remember the references Anne made about the horrid foster homes she lived in before Green Gables? No doubt all the particulars will be revealed in Before Green Gables.  

So my lovely bookish ones, are you fans of Anne? And if so, would you read this book?
If you have already read this book, did you like it?

If you have a bargain book, please link up and share. We love to brag on bargains!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Gifts for teenage girls

Hello all,
Now I think you realise that Christmas is just around the corner, whether you want it to be or not. So I'm just going to dive straight into one of the hardest tasks of the season: gift-giving. For teenage girls, to be exact.

I have researched the topic a fair bit and come up with a list of universal present ideas (for example, if you have a very alternative teenage girl this list may not work for you). These are some items I would love to receive/have received and loved. 

1. Magazine subscription

 A failsafe idea, especially if it's only for six months. My all-time favourite magazine is Teen Vogue, I read it like it's the bible. I think most teenage girls would. Here's the website!

2. Books! Lots of books!

(From bottom: Emma by Jane Austen, The Clique by Lisi Harrison, The Princess Diaries by Meg Cabot, another Clique book)

This little pile is some great girly reads with a bit of substance, so you don't feel like your brains are going to fall out of your head with every paragraph. And Emma, of course. I have been reading it lately and the plot is not too hardcore for my likings. Use this only for avid reader teenage girls.

3. Cosmetics

(Clockwise from bottom: Burt's Bees lip balm, lip shimmer and deep pore scrub, Prestige Soft Blend Kohl eyeliner in brown, Lucas' Pawpaw ointment, Palmers' Cocoa Butter)

Teenage girls love cosmetics. End of story. Not all of them like the same ones, though, so these are some general products I use for every day. And pretty much every other girl who goes to my school. 

TIP: When in doubt, go sample size! The smaller the better.

4. More books...

(From bottom: Fashionista: A century of style icons by Simone Werle, P.S. I made this by Erica Domesek, Fashion Illustration by Kolon books, What Shall I Wear Today by Fifi Lapin)

...Well this is a book blog. These are fashion/diy/hobby type books, not quite as universal as the other ones but I adore them. Find a hobby, find a book!

Hope these tips come in handy and you stress-less during the holiday season! Isabella X

Monday, October 24, 2011

Paperback Partners

Do you read more than one book at a time?  I do, and sometimes it works and sometimes it just doesn't.  Recently I coincidentally happened to pair two tomes perfectly.  

My rousing cries of 'Vive la France' could be heard for kilometers.  Or at least the dogs came running....London doesn't speak French, but Paris does, of course. (Yes, my dogs are named after European cities.  Next I want a sausage dog named Vienna.)

Patricia Highsmith's Ripley novel, Ripley Under Water (fiction) was a bit disturbing to me, but I couldn't stop reading.  It was like being stuck in a traffic jam you know was caused by an accident, and, when you finally draw even with it being unable to look away despite your best intentions.  

Set in France and francophone Magreb, the prose is lyrical, with references to  smirking camels and yellow silk sofas and Brahms and the pattern of light reflected from a pond.

Ripley is concerned about the domestic business of a beautiful life--sketching, cutting flowers from the garden, playing the harpsichord, planning dinner, preparing for house guests and discussing the neighbours' lack of taste.  To his elegant French wife he describes with a shudder the decor of Pritchards next door as 'Style rustique. From the supermarket. Truly heavy.' 

He's also concerned about getting blamed for an old murder he thought was long buried (punny, eh?).  And so he ruthlessly, coldly goes about protecting himself and his adored wife.

I read it at the same time as Pardon My French  (non-fiction) by Charles Timoney, who absolutely charmed me and even taught me a thing or two.  An Englishman in Paris, he works in a French firm and shares what he learns about the culture and language.  

Now, without blowing my own horn, my French is pretty good and I've spent quite a bit of time in a French family.  So I'm pretty confident (read smug) in these matters.  What a surprise when Timoney both entertained and enlightened me in great measure. 

So, wherever you live you can grab these two books, pour yourself a glass of red wine or brew a pot of tisane and loose yourself in a francophile world.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Wishing For Books! By Adele, Our Newest Contributor!

Hello! I am Adele. I am 10 years old. You may have seen my guest review: English Roses by Madonna. I am extremely happy to become an official contributor!

 So, here is my first official Baja post.

I am soooooo excited at the moment!

My favourite author (or at least ONE of my favourites), Lauren Child, has a new book out!

You see, Clarice Bean is a book I am absolutely CRAZY about, and in the books Clarice is CRAZY about a book called Ruby Redfort. Clarice Bean has TV shows, badges and all sorts of things about Ruby Redfort.

Lauren Child FINALLY made a book of the book within the book! It's called, 'Ruby Redfort, Look Into My Eyes'.  I collect Lauren Child's books and I just have to have it!

Another one of my favourites is Alice Miranda by Jacqueline Harvey.

 I have all the books apart from that last one with the green cover. Its a new one and I'm trying to find it. 

So many books to buy!


Are there any books you are wishing for?  Please share. And to see more wishlists, please visit these linky parties:

Wishlist Wednesday hosted by Pen to Paper
On My Wishlist hosted by Book Chick City (Saturday link-up)

Monday, October 17, 2011

Bargain Book Bonanza (27): More Newbery Books!

 Welcome to Bargain Book Bonanza!

A book haul linky party for bargain loving bookworms!

Want to join the party? Just visit the Bargain Book Bonanza page for the particulars.

Lesa is hosting this week!

Welcome, bargain loving friends!

If you've been thinking: That lazy, Lesa! Where is BBB? Didn't she photograph all her bargain books for future BBB posts into infinity?

Well, yes and yes. I am lazy and I did photograph all my bargain books. But the computer had to be wiped. Thank goodness, my photos are safe on an external harddrive, whew! Still such a pain since everything had to be reloaded including my photo editing programs ect. Hub handles all that and it takes awhile (he is on the lazy side too).

Anyhoo, I'm now back in BBB biz.

So this week selection adds to my growing collection of Newbery winners and honor books...

Two paperbacks (.20 each) and one hardback (.50) from Goodwill 

Have you read any of these?

The only one I've read is Charlotte's Web. It is a fave from my childhood and I can't wait to read it to my little boy.

UH OH! He just ran in, saw the photo and said: Charlotte's Web! My teacher read that to us!

That is okay. He enjoys a reread as much as his mama and I'm thrilled he has such a wonderful bookloving teacher. I liked my first grade teacher but she didn't read cool books like that to the class. Did yours?  Actually, I only remember the school librarian reading picture books to the class. Hmm... I'm thinking my early education was deprived! 

If you have a bargain book, please link up and share. We love to brag on bargains!

Sunday, October 16, 2011

In Which An Intrepid Reader Falls Into Another Bookish Adventure

Help! I'm boxed in and can't get out!

This is the view from my desk at school. Can you guess what has me totally boxed in? 

Need a clue?

  Here is a peek through the crack right in front of my chair.

Did you guess....

Scholastic Book Fair!

In my room!

What luck!

And don't worry, I'm not really trapped. The cases have wheels so I can slip in and out of my little nook with ease.

Did I have so many bookish adventures before book blogging? I don't know... maybe I just notice them now. 

And you better believe, I appreciate and revel in all bookish delights that come my way.

But who to thank? The Universe? Book Gods? Book Fairies?

 Again, I don't know but:

 Thank you, bestowers of all bookish delights! Bestow, bestow, bestow, knock yourselves out!


There were only two adult novels on offer and one was...

I snagged it for lunchtime reading in my little hidey hole and it is AAH-MAAZING!! Have you read it? I wanted to read it before seeing the movie and the characters are so engaging that I can't wait to read the rest.  

I read four chapters and left Minny hiding in a bathroom in a panic! I was so tempted to buy the book but it cost sixteen dollars. SIXTEEN DOLLARS! For a paperback! Trade size, but really, that is enough to make a BBB girl pass out! 

So I scurried to the county library. No luck. It's on hold for someone else. Waah!

Tomorrow, after work, I will check the library in the adjacent county.   

Did you hear that, Bestowers of Bookish Delights? 

The Help. Adjacent county library. Tomorrow.

Thank you.


As a bookblogger, do you find yourself falling into more bookish adventures since you began blogging?  

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Short Stories on Wednesday: King of Creepy Edition

Short Stories on Wednesday is hosted by the lovely Risa of Bread Crumb Reads.  Click the text link to visit the brand new Bread Crumb Reads on Wordpress. Click the button to visit the old Bread Crumb Reads on Blogger. (but it really isn't old)

I'm so excited to finally be joining in Risa's celebration of short stories. I love love love short stories. As a child, I read them frequently. As an adult, not so much but I do miss reading them. 

During this year of bargain book buying like a wild woman,  I've acquired several interesting and eclectic (genre to literary) anthologies that I've been longing to read.  Since it is October, I decided to start with the King of Creepy.

Skeleton Crew, first published in 1985, is King's second anthology. It contains one novella and twenty-one short stories.

Sunday, I read three selections in the car coming home from a long weekend getaway. It was a five hour roadtrip so I could have read many more stories but three was plenty of creep for one sitting. 

By the way, I'm not a wimp. I am actually a backsliding Horror addict. And I blame my return to the genre on reading the always terrific and sometimes horroric blogs Shredded Cheddar and Serendipity's Library. 

So which short stories did I read? 

 Cain Rose Up 

This six page shorty, written in 1968, is about a nutter sniping people from his college dorm window.

Sounds like something off the current nightly news, doesn't it.  Scary!

 The sniper's attitude and negative way of describing other people is very reminiscent of Holden Caulfield but there aren't enough pages for him to get too annoying.  I really thought the story might be a little tip of the hat to Salinger but there is no information from the author about this story in the book's Notes.  Wikipedia states that the story might have been inspired by the 1966 sniper shootings at the University of Texas.  

(I'm from Texas but don't recall knowing about that mass murder. If you are into true crime, the article at Wiki is interesting. The guy left sane sounding notes, seemingly bewildered by his own behavior and requesting his own autopsy. He had a brain tumor.) 

 Anyway, back to this story.  The sniper justifies his rampage to a poster of Humphrey Bogart (yeah, he's nuts) with an interpretation of the Cain and Abel story.  After all, God isn't a vegetarian. God wants meat.

Here There Be Tygers

This five pager was also written in 1968. It is about a hungry tiger in a school basement bathroom. Is there really a tiger in the bathroom? Is it just the fantasy of a third grade boy who is constantly targeted and embarrassed by a mean teacher?  

I don't know but in the Notes, King says his first grade teacher was pretty scary. 

So fellow teachers: Stay out of basement bathrooms and whatever you do... do not use the word urinate in reference to a student!

The Monkey

This short story from 1980 is more of a longy at thirty eight pages and OooOOooOOooo... Can you guess which creepy monkey this is about? 

This broken monkey toy refuses to be thrown away and when it claps it's cymbals... yes, the cymbals clap even though it is broken... so when the cymbals clap... are you on the edge of your seat? 

Okay, when the cymbals clap... terrible things happen. Mwahahaha... You didn't really think I would reveal evil monkey deeds, did you?

I don't want no monkeys after me!

 In the Notes, King says this story was inspired in New York City by a platoon of wind-up monkeys for sale on the street, all bending, grinning and clapping... and looking very scary.

All three of these stories are good creepy little tales. Which is my favorite? Hmm.. Cain Rose Up is scary because random shootings by crazy people are real.  Here There Be Tygers is creepy in a folktale urban legend sort of way. The Monkey is traditional horror with supernatural evil.

I enjoyed them all but The Monkey is my favorite.

Do you have a thing for short stories? Any particular author or genre? Please share. And do head over to Bread Crumb Reads to check out all the other short story devotees' weekly selections.
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