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Reclusive Duck Woman. Artist. Writer. GR Refugee.

Currently reading

Popular Magic: Cunning-folk in English History
Owen Davies
Supernatural: Meetings with the Ancient Teachers of Mankind
Graham Hancock, Rick Strassman, Roy Watling
When Prophecy Fails: A Social and Psychological Study of a Modern Group that Predicted the Destruction of the World
Leon Festinger, Henry W. Riecken, Stanley Schachter
Madame Tussaud: and the History of Waxworks
Pamela M. Pilbeam
World Famous Cults and Fanatics - Colin Wilson

Yep, what Jim Morrison says, only make that insanely stupid, horribly misguided, unbelievably naive, gullible, downright nasty, bloody thirsty and vicious. Here we have Shakers, Ticklers, Mutilators, Flagellants, Assassins, Thugs, and a host of other religion-obsessed whackos.


A few quotes from the book: 


"Margaret then shouted: "It has been revealed to me that Elizabeth shall sacrifice herself," and she hit her sister on the head with a hammer. Then the remaining ten people in the room--including Margaret's other brothers and sisters--proceeded to beat Elizabeth with crowbars, hammers and wedges. "Don't worry,'' Margaret shouted, "I will raise her from the dead." (The Crucifixion of Margaret Peter)


"Surrounded by adoring women, he would call upon the "full spirit" to descend on them. They would sway and chant, clapping rhythmically, and as the excitement became hysterical, Joshua would cry: "Begone vile clothes," and start to fling his robes around the room. The women would do the same..." ( Franz Creffield, or Joshua the Second)


"In what seemed a peace gesture, Matthias went out to pick a big bowl of blackberries, a favourite dessert of Pierson's. Two others tried a few at dinner, but said they tasted bitter...On the fifth day of his illness, Pierson was found lying on his bedroom floor in a coma." (The Poisonous Prophet)


I don't recommend reading this book on a full stomach. It sickened me, terrified me, and made me shake my head in absolute disbelief.


It was also a hoot. I haven't laughed so much in years. 



Well worth reading.



Dnf--Too Bleak to Care

Rivers - Michael Farris Smith

I hesitated before purchasing Rivers. The kindle edition wasn't cheap and I had reservations about whether I'd enjoy it.


By page ten I was hooked. I loved the odd writing style, the lack of commas, the simple yet powerful descriptions. I also enjoyed the empathic way the author portrayed the people that populate his post climate change world, presenting them as complex, difficult creatures, even more so given the conditions in the rain drenched, lawless land. 


"Cohen watched Aggie and he didn't know what he was dealing with here in this place, with this man. Didn't know exactly who Aggie was or what he was capable of but he knew it was some bad shit. Women behind locked doors and one man with the keys. The Holy Bible stuck in his back pocket. Wearing the coat he'd taken off a dead man. The power to send out others to ambush and steal. The drop-dead glare of the unrepentant."


Then around 50% into the novel a strange thing happened. I put my kindle down for a moment, and found myself reluctant to pick it back up. Now I can usually manage to do all sorts of things while reading. I've been known to walk around our property, feeding chickens or collecting wood with my kindle clutched in one hand. Nothing stops me when I'm midway through a great book. This time I didn't pick it back up for several days. Then, when I eventually did, I found my attention wavering.


I finally made the decision to abandon the book at 66%. The bottom line was that the story line and setting were just too bleak for me to give a damn. I didn't connect with any of the characters, no matter how complex, and therefore realistic, they were. Yes,  I realise that Rivers is a dystopian novel, and bleakness is an aspect of that genre, yet there has to be some POINT (if not hope) to the story. Something that compels the reader to continue. 


All in all, for me Rivers was disappointing novel. 


Terrorscape Giveaway on Booklikes - 100 copies!

Since Terrorscape was removed from Amazon for content violation I decided to host a giveaway of my own so my loyal readers get a chance to see how the series ends.

I'm giving away 100 copies, and the giveaway ends on Halloween!

If you're interested, please feel free to apply HERE

Thanks to everyone for the support and encouragement. I really needed that.

Reblogged from the lovely Nenia at The Armchair Librarian

Very Useful

Writing Scary Scenes - Rayne Hall

While much of this was not new to me the passages on euphonics, saving the best word for last, and the 'Wimp Effect' were very useful. 

(Review edited: I notched the rating up to 4 stars as the 'wimp effect' was great)

Reblogged from I'll think of a damn title later:
On Writing
On Writing

Reblogged from I'll think of a damn title later

A real eye-opener--excuse the pun...

The Men Who Stare at Goats - Jon Ronson

"From the acclaimed author of "Them" comes a truly disturbing, often hilarious look at the U.S. military's long flirtation with the paranormal--and the psy-op soldiers who are still fighting the battle."

I don't think I've ever read a book that has made me laugh, almost cry, then feel horrified, sickened, and all in the space of one page. The Men Who Stare at Goats did all of this, a real eye-opener (excuse the pun on the various, painful usages of the Predator). 

Welcome to the psy-op soldiers, from psychedelic to psychotic. A whole new world of innovative torture. 

"'I guess if they play them Barney and Sesame Street once or twice,' I said, 'that's lightening and comforting, but if they play it, say fifty thousand times into a steel box in the desert heat, that's more...uh...torturous?'

'I'm no psychologist,' said Jim, a little sharply."

I feel older having read it (and I'm old enough already) but I'm glad I did.

Life is definitely stranger than fiction

Them: Adventures with Extremists - Jon Ronson

"In this eye-opening portrait of extremist groups--75 percent of which are located in this country--Jon Ronson takes readers inside the hearts and minds of people often summarily dismissed as kooks and crazies."

Jon Ronson is not only a witty and talented writer, he's also a very brave man. The one thing most of these extremist groups seem to have in common is their anti-semitism, and Ronson is Jewish. No way you'd catch me venturing into an Aryan Nation compound (and I'm half German). Once again Ronson made me laugh and shake my head in amazement. Life is definitely stranger than fiction. 

Hella Nation

Hella Nation: Looking for Happy Meals in Kandahar, Rocking the Side Pipe, Wingnut's WarAgainst the GAP, and Other Adventures with the Totally Lost Tribes of America - Evan Wright

I like this journalist's style. He appears to be able to draw the subject out without obvious effort, and gives them enough rope to either hang themselves, or present a hidden, redeeming side. After finishing this collection of articles, I'm left with a strong impression of our willingness to believe anything, no matter how pathetically stupid the idea, so long as it justifies our actions.

Latest Censorship News: Goodreads Can't Take Criticism, Badly Behaved Social Network?

Reblogged from Literary Ames:

Reviews are being deleted for being “potentially off-topic” – code for “being critical of GR” and for being “non-original content” despite permission given from original reviewers.



Read more


Reblogged from Literary Ames

Charlie Higson I hate you

The Fallen - Charlie Higson
Charlie Higson I hate you. You are one sadistic bastard. I can't believe you left me there, at that point. :/ You know I can't opt out of this series now that I'm so far in.  I don't trust you at all. I'm extremely suspicious about who you will choose to slaughter next, given the set up. The final scene was just sick.


Please hurry up and deliver the next book. And did I mention how much I hate you? 
 My review of the series so far: The Enemy Series by Charlie Higson

Didactic and Opinionated but Well Worth Reading

Back From The Brink: How Australia's Landscape Can Be Saved - Peter Andrews

The book blurb: "Peter Andrews is a racehorse breeder and farmer credited with remarkable success in converting degraded, salt-ravaged properties into fertile, drought-resistant pastures. His methods are so at odds with conventional scientific wisdom that for 30 years he has been dismissed and ridiculed as a madman. He has faced bankruptcy and family break-up. But now, on the brink of ecological disaster, leading politicians, international scientists and businessmen are beating a path to his door as they grapple with how best to alleviate the affects of drought on the Australian landscape. 

Described as a man who reads and understands the Australian landscape better than most scientists, supporters of Peter Andrews claim he has done what no scientist ever thought to do — he has restored streams and wetlands to the way they were before European settlement interfered with them. The startling results of his natural sequence farming are said to have been achieved very cheaply, simply and quickly."


I find Peter Andrews to be didactic and opinionated. He seems to think that just by firmly stating his view, it becomes a fact. It becomes extremely irritating at times.


However, after incorporating his ideas on two, rural Australian properties, I am convinced of the effectiveness of his vision. Australia is not like European countries, and our heavy handed treatment of our land has brought it to the brink. The good news is it recovers very quickly, given the right treatment. Trees and shrubs are not 'woody weeds', riparian zones need protection from stock, and recharge areas allowed to re grow on slopes. I can also tell you it's a bloody wonderful feeling seeing land recover, and native flora and fauna return and flourish. 




Reblogged from Tracy's Stay in Midian:
The Zombies Cometh Again - June Ashley

June Ashley - The Zombies Cometh Again




Reblogged from Tracy's Stay in Midian

Stiff by Mary Roach

Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers - Mary Roach

4.5 stars. Fascinating. Funny. Horrifying in parts. The chapters that cover medical animal testing, are especially hard to read. However the author's humor is never crass or at the expensive of another: human or animal.


A couple of quotes from Stiff:


“The human head is of the same approximate size and weight as a roaster chicken. I have never before had occasion to make the comparison, for never before today have I seen a head in a roasting pan.” 


“Here is the secret to surviving one of these [airplane] crashes: Be male. In a 1970 Civil Aeromedical institute study of three crashes involving emergency evacuations, the most prominent factor influencing survival was gender (followed closely by proximity to exit). Adult males were by far the most likely to get out alive. Why? Presumably because they pushed everyone else out of the way.” 



Telling not Showing

World Made by Hand - James Howard Kunstler

Little Miss Sour Puss says dnf at 9% because it's all TELLING and no showing, and frankly, I'm not interested enough to continue.

Nick Cave is an artistic genius

Bad Seed: The Biography of Nick Cave - Ian  Johnston

4.5 stars. Loved it. If you're not into Nick Cave or Punk, don't bother. I've been a fan of Nick Cave since his Birthday Party years, and I'm amazed by his creative talent. I love that The Good Son was his first narcotic free work, and that he could ditch that monkey and come up with such a brilliant album in the process. Seriously, it's true, Nick Cave is an artistic genius.

Strangely Lacking

There Once Lived a Woman Who Tried to Kill Her Neighbor's Baby - Ludmilla Petrushevskaya, Keith Gessen, Anna Summers

Dnf. Therefore no rating. Not sure if it was the translation, but I found these stories strangely lacking. I'm a huge fan of Angela Carter, whom Petrushevskyay is often compared to, yet Carter's short stories are visually rich and satisfying, and these, I'm afraid, were not.