Coffee and Contemplation: IT by Stephen King

I’m posting a little late today. Don’t hold that against me. Today’s book discussion is about “IT” by Stephen King. What can I say about this book? It came into the world around the same time I did. It was published in September of 1986. I was also “published” in September of 1986. Coincidence? I think not. But I digress. This book was long. Longer than it needed to be. While I enjoyed the back-and-forth of childhood and adulthood with the main characters, half the novel could have been left out. And the ending was anti-climactic.

I did enjoy the newest film adaptations of the book. The ending of “IT Chapter 2” was still lackluster. The first film was perfect and is still in my top ten favorite films of all time. But back to the book. Lots of scary sequences. I enjoyed most of the novel. As I mentioned earlier, several parts could have been cut out to make the overall novel stronger. Part of me also wants to know more about Pennywise before meeting the kids that eventually killed the hungry clown. It’s worth reading once. It doesn’t feel like something that needs to be read multiple times.

I do recommend this book. Definitely not for children.

Spooky Spider Scale (How scary was the book?): 8/10 spiders 🕷️🕷️🕷️🕷️🕷️🕷️🕷️🕷️

Overall rating: 4 stars ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐

Coffee and Contemplation: Beloved by Toni Morrison

The first book I’m looking at in my studies of supernatural storytelling is “Beloved” by Toni Morrison. Published in 1987, it won the “Pulitzer Prize for Fiction” in 1988. The genre is American Literature. This is not a horror novel; however, something supernatural takes place in the story. The story is about a family of former slaves living in Cincinnati after the American Civil War. Their home is haunted by a malevolent spirit. Part of the story was based on a true-life incident that happened in 1856 involving an escaped slave from Kentucky, Margaret Garner.

The spirit in their home is a character in the story. The spirit doesn’t kill anyone but does cause problems for the family. Overall, the novel is not that scary. It’s not supposed to be. There is one scene that was difficult to read. This was the scene that depicted the real-life events of Margaret Garner killing one of her children to prevent them from growing up as a slave. The scene is important because the family believes the spirit in the house is the child that was killed. This is not a novel for children because of the adult content.

I recommend this book to everyone. If you haven’t read anything by Toni Morrison, you should. 

Spooky Spider Scale (How scary was the book?): 1/10 spiders – 🕷️

Overall rating: 5 stars ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐

Coffee and Contemplation: My Favorite Books of 2020

I enjoyed many of the books I read during this last year. I read more books than I have in an entire year and I’m proud of myself for that. There were two in particular that stood out to me. It wasn’t so much the stories themselves but the writing and the way the stories captured my imagination. This isn’t a book review. Not really. I hope what I say will encourage you all to read these books, though one might be hard to find. These were both new approaches to old ideas. And there was something supernatural and magical about them.

The first book is “The Wolfman” by Nicholas Pekearo. Many have said this is the best werewolf novel ever written. I’m inclined to agree. It was tragic that Pekearo died before seeing it published. The story is about a man who is a werewolf and uses this condition to hunt and kill bad people like murderers, serial killers, etc… The main character reminded me of my father in many ways. Both his good and bad qualities. Copies of this book are online. Physical copies are more expensive. I don’t think it’s being printed for the moment. If you prefer e-readers, it’s still more expensive than others. Just fair warning but it’s worth every penny.

The second book is “The Night Circus” by Erin Morgenstern. The synopsis makes one think this will be a romance novel, but the romance is subtle. I didn’t notice the two characters were starting a courtship until half-way through. This could be because of the non-linear narrative. There’s no mushy stuff. There’s too much magic going on in the story. It has a little of everything and is well written. My enthusiasm for this novel overshadowed many of the others I read in 2020. This book is a little easier to acquire than the first one I mentioned. 

What were your favorite reads of 2020? I often stick with supernatural or magical realism type stories but please share any books that stuck out in your mind during 2020.