The Satisfaction of a List

It’s Media Monday here on WeWoHa and so I thought I would share some media finds in the form of a list. I’m using the prompts over at The Daily Post to help inspire the posts here and “The Satisfaction of a List” jumped out at me. It’s sort of low-key and no pressure. On a Monday, no pressure is the best kind of pressure. So here goes.

A list. Easy enough, but how to relate it to our purpose here? How about a list of books I’m working my way through?

Here goes:

  1. Haunted Connecticut: Ghosts and Strange Phenomena of the Constitution State by Cheri Revai

I’ve had this one sitting in my bookshelf for a while and have just recently started to flip through its pages. The book takes common lore throughout Connecticut and breaks up the stories based on region. It’s a mixture of myths and legends, UFO sightings, and ghostly haunts. The stories are short and sweet and to the point, just the way I like ‘em. It makes it nice to just flip through and find a tale. No need to read from cover to cover, it’s a go as you please kind of style that I can dig. Recommended for you Nutmeggers out there.

  1. Weird New England by Joseph A. Citro

So this is a part of the Weird U.S. phenomenon created by Mark Moran and Mark Sceurman. I had that big book o’ weird but have since misplaced it. Perhaps I lent it to someone and now it’s gone forever. That’s ok though, because my current focus is on New England and lo and behold we have an equally weird book to guide us through the…well…weirdness. Again, it’s a go-as-you-please type of style that I find so appealing. This one just has more pictures and is for a much larger region. I also like that they give a little credit to the people that took time to submit their local history to the author. It lets me know that someone who grew up with the phenomenon right in their backyard is giving the best dirt available to dish.

  1. Old Ghosts of New England by C. J. Fusco

This is a recent addition to my collection and one, I have to admit, I haven’t much read yet. It seems to have a collection of haunted sites throughout the region. What I really like though, is that not only does it give the site and the history behind it, but it also tells you exactly how to find the place it just described. I mean, it gives you literal directions. It also gives you contact information in case you want to know more. Very helpful and I look forward to using this resource as I check out various sites over the summer.

  1. Legends, Lore and Secrets of New England by Thomas D’Agotino and Arlene Nicholson

I had the pleasure of meeting the authors at Terror-Con (or it might’ve been Comic-Con) in Rhode Island last year. They were both a pleasure to speak with (if briefly) and had a collection of books. This wasn’t one of ‘em. I did get a different one though and will maybe talk about that another day. Legends and Lore is a bit more in depth than the books I’ve mentioned already on this list. So while you can pick or choose, the 10 minute read will likely be more like 15-20 depending on your pace. The details add depth, and in some cases, a real sense of tangible reality, to the legends that create intrigue for each site described.

  1. Connecticut Curiosities by Susan Campbell and Bill Heald, Revised and updated by Ray Benedict

Another book that I only just recently purchased. This is isn’t just the haunted sites or your paranormal excursion. This is everything from bookstores to burgers with burnt cheese and from carousel museums to dinosaurs. It’s the wonderful side of WeWoHa and all the curious sites you’ll find all throughout the state. I appreciate the fact that nearly every town/region is represented, including my home town. (We have a trolley museum) So if you’re looking for sites of the non-haunted variety, this is the book for you. And just like in “Old Ghosts…” they give directions and contact information to help you plan your trip.

Well I hope this format worked for ya and that you got a little bit more information than you had before you came. I look forward to using more of the Daily Prompts because I feel like it will create a little bit of variety to the posts. Keep being Weird and Wonderful! And maybe even haunted?

-Red

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WeWoHa Wednesday: Stephen King’s Revival

On Tuesday, November 11th, Stephen King released his newest novel, Revival. He also kicked off a week long book tour with a signing at the Barnes & Nobles near Union Square in New York City. I had the pleasure of being one of the idiots super awesome people standing in line! Seriously though, it was a ton of fun. I got there at around 1:30 AM and there were already around 50 people in line, either sleeping on the sidewalk or dozing in chairs.

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Thankfully there was a 24-hour CVS and a deli across the street. They had something that passed as coffee. Dunkin Donuts didn’t open until 6 AM though. Our spot in line had some great King fans. Everyone was excited and nice and just wanted to chat (when we weren’t dozing of course.) I met people from as close as Long Island and as far away as England. Everyone just seemed genuinely thrilled. There was only one heckler on the street. Some Irish dude that had clearly just been kicked out of the bar at closing time calling us “fools” and asking what we were doing with our lives. He was mostly unintelligible though and it provided some much needed entertainment.

At 9:00 AM the doors opened and they let us into the store in groups of 10. We bought our book then headed up to the 4th floor. Ah, the 4th floor, how do I remember thee? It was hot, ok. And cramped. They shoved 350 people into the space. They had chairs, yes,but they also had the heat cranked. I started to doze off at one point and jerked awake so hard I hit the lady next to me. She thought it was pretty funny though. See, that’s the great thing about this event. Having the shared love of King’s works made it feel like you were hanging out with 350 friends you never knew you had.

Then came the noon hour and the man himself. The room became very still and very quiet. Everyone waiting in anticipation. He came up the stairs and there was a raucous cheer. He’s tall, ya know? Taller than you think he’ll be. He did a little photo op with the Barnes & Nobles people and we all took advantage.

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At this point my phone’s battery was near death. But then King walked up onto the platform and did some stretching exercises and I caught him in one of the greatest poses ever.

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Classic, right? So then my phone died. Guess I shouldn’t have been on various apps all night. King said a few words and the signing began. It moved pretty quickly. There were no pictures and no personalizations, just a nice signature. I planned on just thanking him for the book but I was wearing my Boston Red Sox hoodie. He looked up and noticed it, then gave the thumbs up and told me it was good and he liked it. I told him I hoped we had better luck next season and he agreed that this season wasn’t very good. Then I did thank him. It was a nice interaction and I am thankful for his kindness, especially with so many people wanting his time. But what really makes me respect him is what he did for the person in front of me. She was our partner in line for the entire night and had flown up from Florida just for the occasion. She had never met King before and was nervous and excited and anxious and overwhelmed. I can’t even remember her name because I think I caught it only once. She went up and thanked him and told him how grateful she was. He took her hand and said wonderful words back to her. He was genuine and gracious and she practically floated off stage. Afterwards she was in near tears. It made me proud to be a fan.

I can only hope that everyone gets such a wonderful experience with whomever they hold in high regard.

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Media Monday: John Connolly

One of the best things about my old boss is that we appreciated the same kind of books. We both liked mysteries, and even more than that, we both liked mysteries with a bit of a twist. Cue John Connolly. My boss comes in one day and tells me about a new book his Dad had picked up. His Dad lives out on the Cape somewhere and loves to grab paperbacks from the dump. He would collect a few dozen, read them, and bring them back to the dump for the next person to enjoy. And if they’re really good books, he saves them for his kid when he comes to visit. (Being that the guy lives on the Cape, you already know that summertime is great for visits.) So my boss comes back from one of these trips and tells me about a new find. “Every Dead Thing” by John Connolly. So of course, seeing as how he’s had some great recommendations before, I pick it up at my local (literally across the street, that’s how local it is) used book shop and give it a go.

“Every Dead Thing” is the story of Charlie Parker, a former New York City police officer turned private detective dealing with the murder of his wife and daughter at the hands of a sadistic serial killer. Ok, so far it’s par for the course, right? It gets better though. He enlists the help of a semi-retired hitman named Louis (pronounced Lou-ee, sans the s) and his boyfriend, a semi-retired burglar named Angel. See how we’re embarking on new territory here? Charlie and his band of misfit toys work together (and sometimes apart) over the course of 11 books (with #12 set for release in October) on various cases that often turn personal for at least one of the three main guys. Oh, and there’s a paranormal twists in every book. A good vs. evil theme emerges though the lines are blurred and unsettled. And the good vs. evil is in the quite literal sense of angels and demons featuring prominently. The beauty of his writing is how he works God and the Devil into the story. While the theme is self-evident it occurs alongside the main story which is often gritty and film noir-esque.

As a bonus to the already interesting stories is the humor embedded in the relationship our 3 anti-heroes. Even in the most dire of circumstances, a quip from Angel breaks the tensions and reminds the reader that this isn’t just a book, its real life. For after so many journeys together, from Maine (a primary locale) to Louisiana, and South Carolina to Europe, one can’t help but feel enmeshed in the lives of these familiar friends.

John Connolly has branched out from the Charlie Parker series as his career has grown.

You can learn more about John Connolly at his website and follow him on twitter if you so desire.

Frightful reading, friends!