Cosy, Eerie, and Splendid, a writer’s blog

June Tea and a Book: the novels of Winifred Holtby

For June’s “Tea and a Book” I am celebrating the work of Winifred Holtby (1898-1935), an English author who published seven novels, two books of poetry, two collections of short stories, and a critical memoir of Virginia Woolf, all before succumbing to kidney disease...

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March Tea and a Book: Two offerings from Ruby Ferguson

For March Tea and a Book I am recommending two titles by English writer Ruby Ferguson (1899-1966). Like the authors previously featured this year, Ferguson published her novels in the middle of the 20th century (active from 1926 to 1965). In addition, she wrote...

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Tea and a Book: The New Moon with the Old, by Dodie Smith

For February’s “Tea and a Book” I am recommending THE NEW MOON WITH THE OLD, first published in 1963 by Dodie Smith. Smith began her writing career with plays and soon turned to novels. (Eventually she became a screenwriter, as well.) I CAPTURE THE CASTLE is my...

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January Tea and a Book — Penny Plain by O. Douglas

I'm getting back in the swing of things! After a year of struggling with attention span, ending with a very sad December in which we had to say goodbye to our dear kitty, I find myself craving sweet, simple reads. Lately I found a balm for my heart in Penny Plain...

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November Tea and a Book: The Loney, by Andrew Michael Hurley

For a while now I've struggled with attention span while reading, and I had a particularly hard time with my horror recommendations last month. After that I enjoyed a "cleanse" of sorts with The Bookshop on the Shore, a sweet romance about a London nanny who takes...

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Spooky Film Recs 2021 — the Horror of Grief and Alienation

The final category of this year's horror collection is my favorite -- Grief and Alienation. For me, the most gut-wrenching horror is not about terror. It's about loss. My standard disclaimer: I prefer horror about people and relationships, with stories that emphasize...

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Spooky Film Recs 2021 — Survival Horror

This collection of films features protagonists with a strong will to live. The characters must dig deep and use their brains and brawn to negotiate the horror landscape. Ultimately, their stories are more about survival than transformation. A reminder: I prefer horror...

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Spooky Film Recs 2021 — Sci Fi Horror

'Tis the season for horror! Gather around, children -- today's offerings feature pandemics, ecological calamities, medical misdemeanors, and alien incursions. What fun! FULL DISCLOSURE: I crave horror about people and relationships, with stories that emphasize the...

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Spooky Reads for 2021

This year it's been far too easy to put a book down. Many of us have suffered from diminished attention span during the pandemic, of course, and accepting this has made it easier to let go of books that aren't working for me. Lately I've found it particularly...

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Green Man / Green Knight

I've seen The Green Knight. It's a dark film, often bizarre and at times inscrutable. You'll find little of the pageantry or romance we often associate with Arthurian films. You'll also find little in the way of schmaltz or Hollywood sparkle. This adaptation is gritty...

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July Tea and a Mountain Getaway

How I love to walk a wooded path! Last week Steve and I celebrated our 30th anniversary with three nights in Park City, Utah. We had great weather for our hiking and ultimately managed about 30 miles and 209 floors climbed. Though we did run into other hikers and...

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