Of Ghouls, Ghosts, and Gingerbread

I’m a creature of habit.  Every few years I reread The Lord of the Rings series, along with The Hobbit.  I hit Emma and Pride and Prejudice in the winter.  Fall is reserved for comfort reading — and a few good scares.

For the first, there’s nobody better than Laurie Colwin.  I first discovered her years ago in Gourmet Magazine, and loved her so much I went to the library and searched out all the back issues in which she appeared.  When she died – the same year I discovered her, I think — I felt as if I’d lost a friend. Every year, just when it starts to get cool, I reread her cookbooks/memoirs — Home Cooking and More Home Cooking —  then bake a gingerbread in her honor.

Of course, fall’s the time for Halloween, too.  And though Colwin does offer up a chapter entitled Kitchen Horrors, I still feel the need for something slightly more spooky. My favorite is Haunted, by James Herbert.  It’s a slim little volume, and I’d never heard of it before I stumbled across the movie by the same name.  I was in London, jet-lagged, and looking for something soothing on television to help me sleep.  Instead, I wound up sitting up most of the night, completely terrified.  When I got home I searched out the book, figuring it could never be as good, but it is quite chilling in its own way.

Here’s a link to the movie Haunted:  It’s a slow start, but worth it. (Plus, it stars Aidan Quinn and Kate Beckinsale — more reason to hang in there.)

What are you reading and watching this fall?

Liz Michalski


  1. Vaughn Roycroft on October 18, 2011 at 2:02 pm

    It makes me happy that you’re a fellow LoTR fan. It’s one of the few books I reread with any regularity. I’m just finishing up the newest in George RR Martin’s Song of Fire and Ice series (A Dance with Dragons). It’s super long and is taking me forever. But I’m loving every page. Even new, it’s a comfort read. I’ve been following the characters since Game of Thrones came out (’02 or ’03, I think). I love that he can throw out the rules, and just write his world full of rich detail and his characters full of such edgy depth. No one’s questioning his story mechanics or word counts at this stage of the game. 😉 Ah, maybe someday, eh?

    I’ll have to check out Haunted, at least the movie version. Thanks for the tip.

    • liz on October 18, 2011 at 6:30 pm

      I’m listening to The Hobbit in the car with my kids, who are hearing it for the first time. It seems very new that way.

      I’ve never read the books you’ve mentioned, but will plonk them on my list. I need something large and world-building to get me through this coming winter!

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