Wednesday, October 18, 2017

The World's Most Haunted House by William J. Hall

I borrowed this because it sounded pretty interesting, although I had no idea what I was getting into. Also, I've never heard of the house on Lindley Street so this was all new to me. Basically, this is about a haunting that took place on Lindley Street in Bridgeport. The book purports to be an objective account and analysis of the affair, but it's quite clearly on the side of "this is real".

This haunted house revolved around the Goodin family - Gerald (nicknamed Jerry), Laura, and the little girl they adopted, Marcia. Jerry and Laura had a little boy, who tragically passed away. Because of that, they were overprotective of Marcia. And then one day, weird stuff started happening. Things were moved, first small, and then large. And eventually, even the couch moved in the presence of eyewitnesses. In their attempt to get help, the Goodins called in quite a few people, but after a while the case was dismissed as a hoax.

The book starts with an account of the case, and then it gives information such as witness interviews, interview transcripts with the Goodins, etc. There are also a lot of photos but the quality isn't good and they seem to be there more for atmosphere than to illustrate a point (or maybe it was just my ecopy?).

While the book repeatedly mentions that the media called this a hoax, it never really goes into detail why or gives the other side. The most I can tell is that because Marcia admitted to faking some things, they assumed everything was faked. The book takes the stance that some things (the stuff that was admitted) was faked but there were actual paranormal phenomena involved.

I thought this was a fascinating read, but I would have much preferred to see the other side of the story as well and be allowed to make up my own mind instead of being told this was an objective account and that I should believe it. And this is another personal preference, but I would prefer the research to be woven into the narrative rather than be a separate part.

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Tooth and Nail, Fur and Scale by Anupam Arunachalam

I clicked on this book because of the cover and I decided to borrow it because of the blurb. From the blurb, I was under the impression that this book was going to introduce creatures from Indian myths. Since I don't know much about Indian myth and legends, I was super excited to learn more.

Well, I was a little mistaken. Sure, there were quick introductions to the creatures, but this is mainly a short story anthology featuring Indian mythological creatures. Which is just as interesting as a reference book (ok maybe more).

What I really liked about all these stories is that they were set in India with Indian characters. I know it sounds obvious but for some reason, a lot of stories with Japanese mythology tend to star white people (or perhaps those just stick in my mind because I don't like them). So I appreciated that these creatures were shown in the country, culture, and tradition that they actually belonged too.

I liked all the stories but my favourites were:

Last Words, which stars the Crocotta and has courtly intrigue and betrayal in it.

Guardian of the Font, which was mostly cute and a little sad story about how mythological creatures have to adapt to modern times. (Another story, The Great Understanding, also deals with this theme and I enjoyed it a lot too)

Safe Haven, about deadly ants and had a very smart girl as the heroine.

The Writing on the Wall, about a very unique witch and how one boy learns to use her curse against her - this character probably grew up to become a lawyer.

There are a total of 15 stories in this book and you should read all of them. It's available via the NLB ereads site (or it will be once I return it) and I would recommend everyone who enjoys myths and legends to read this.

Monday, October 16, 2017

Disney Manga: Tangled by Shiori Kanaki

You all should know that I'm a huge Disney fan. I mean, it's what I watched growing up and I still love the movies. And of course I loved Tangled (listening to the Chinese version of I See the Light as I write this review). So when I saw this manga up for review on NetGalley, I immediately requested it.

The manga is pretty much what you expect. The story is very faithful to the movie, so if you've watched the movie, you know what's going to happen (and if you haven't watched the movie, then what have you been doing??)

The only thing that I found a bit off were the bits that featured songs. And that part where Rapunzel is struggling with her feelings after leaving the castle. The scenes work great in the movie, but they're a bit awkward in manga form.

And as for whether you'd like this manga version, I think most of it depends on what you think of the style. It's pretty much like what you see on the cover, but here's a screenshot:

It's pretty close to the Disney original, but the eyes are a bit bigger and the features are softer. I think it looks pretty nice on Rapunzel, but it looks a bit off on Flynn/Eugene.

There's not much that's new here, so it's really for the super fans rather than people looking to see what Rapunzel is all about (again, what have you been doing?). I would recommend this for the die hard fans who love manga.

Disclaimer: I got a free copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for a free and honest review.

Saturday, October 14, 2017

Some Photos from Okinawa

As you may know, I've been on a holiday in Okinawa. While I'm still going through the photos that I took using my camera, I thought I'd share a few photos that I grabbed with my phone (yes, I definitely took too many photos):

Manzamo Cape

Taking a break at a cafe - The photo looks odd because the food was originally very dark and this was my best attempt to lighten it.

My sis and I at the beach.

Photo of said beach - I am in love with the beaches at Okinawa! The water is so clear!

One of the whale sharks at Churaumi aquarium - The aquarium was really cool and it's definitely a must-visit if you're ever in Okinawa! It is a little crowded though.

This photo was taken at Shuri Castle - also another must-visit spot. Do try the tea set (310 yen for sanpin tea + 4 types of sweets!)

At the entrance of Gyokusendo caves. It's part of a larger attraction called Okinawa World so if you ever want to explore caves, experience Okinawan culture and see some snakes, this is the place to go (we did not go see the snakes because I am not a fan).

My sister and I in Okinawan kimonos! We got this taken at Okinawa world as well!

I'll be blogging about the trip in detail at my other blog once the photos are ready, so feel free to check it out.

I also got quite a bit of reading done on the trip, so the reviews will be appearing here soon!