Posts Tagged 'supernatural'

Book Review: Incubus, by Ann Arensberg

It’s not often that an American Book Award winner decides to write a supernatural thriller centered around the haunting of a small town in Maine, but that’s exactly what Ann Arensberg has done with Incubus. While the premise may not seem original (and indeed, seems like something Stephen King has pretty well covered!) Arensberg’s take is unique, owing to her choice of narrator.

We follow the increasingly frightening events through the eyes of Cora, wife of the town rector, Henry. The novel starts with a letter from Cora, stating that – due to the nearly unexplainable events that afflicted their town – she and Henry have established a center that studies supernatural phenomenon, and helps those who are currently suffering the way they suffered. It’s a nice touch, and made the novel seem as though it were actually a tale of true accounts.

Throughout the novel, Cora is preoccupied by the day-to-day, the mundane: caring for her garden, running the church’s bake sale, cooking three square meals a day for her husband. (Warning: Do not read while hungry. The descriptions of her food will set your stomach to rumbling!) Cora notes potentially-supernatural events – unseasonable heat, lack of rain, the paralytic nightmares suffered by her friends and family – dryly, straight-forwardly. Everything has a logical explanation for Cora, leaving the reader to doubt both her interpretations and our own…until there simply are not more logical explanations, and even Cora needs to recognize that something otherworldly has been influencing these events.

Continue reading ‘Book Review: Incubus, by Ann Arensberg’

Top Ten Tuesday Rewind (Pick any past topic you want!): Character Names

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created by The Broke and the Bookish. Each week, they post a topic and encourage fellow bloggers to list their own top ten answers. This week’s prompt was to pick any past TTT topic you wanted! I chose to do the TTT from February 8, 2011, which was the Top Ten Characters (and Literary Figures) That I’d Name My Children After!

My list is below.

1. A Song of Ice and Fire, by George R.R. Martin 
Okay, I cheated. I couldn’t pick just one name from Martin’s renowned fantasy series! Some of my favorites include Arya, Nymeria, Brienne, Jaime, and Asha. And I’m not the only one: Martin has an entire section of his website dedicated to fans who’ve named their children/pets after his characters!

2. Scout, from To Kill a Mockingbird, by Harper Lee
Predictable, I know. But Scout is such a great, classic character from such a great book, she deserves her place on the list.

3. Valentine, from Ender’s Game, by Orson Scott Card
Though I find his politics repugnant, I can’t deny that Card’s original Ender series is excellent sci-fi writing. It was where I first heard the name Valentine used as a first name for a girl, and I’ve loved it ever since. (Unfortunately, it rhymes with my boyfriend’s last name, and I’m not evil enough to give any future kids rhyming names…)

4. Caleb, from East of Eden, by John Steinbeck
While I like atypical names for girls, my favorite names for boys tend to be a little more traditional. East of Eden introduced me to the name Caleb, which I’ve had on my shortlist for my future/hypothetical son for ages.

5. Eowyn, from The Lord of the Rings, by J.R.R. Tolkien 
What can I say…I have a weakness for tough, independent, ass-kicking ladies. My hypothetical daughter could do much worse than to be named after Tolkien’s shield-maiden.

6. Lyra, from His Dark Materials, by Philip Pullman
I tend to likes names with the letter ‘y’ in them (perhaps because my own first name has a ‘y’). Past the coolness of her name, though, Lyra distinguishes herself as a brave, clever, and loyal heroine.

7. Cormac, from No Country for Old Men, Blood Meridian, etc., by Cormac McCarthy
I just really like the name Cormac!

8. Lily, from The House of Mirth, by Edith Wharton 
Whenever I wrote stories as a kid, I used flower names–Rose, Daisy, etc. Lily was (and still is) my favorite, though it now makes me think of Wharton’s doomed socialite.

9. Marlow, from The Last Werewolf, by Glen Duncan
I like this one for a girl or a boy. Hopefully the kid doesn’t grow up to be a werewolf, though.

10. Dean, from Supernatural
Okay, I’m cheating again (with a name from a television show rather than a book)! But I’ve always liked this name, and once I started watching Supernatural, I loved this name. Maybe it can be traced back to reading On the Road in high school?


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