It’s 30 colorful pages of book recommendations and dazzling travel photos:
... and much more!
This American classic (9 hours and 5 minutes) was published in October of 2014 by Audible Studios. The audiobook takes you to a small town in 1930s Illinois. Melissa listened to Something Wicked This Way Comes and loved it; it wouldn't be on our site if she didn't recommend it.
In this modern Gothic classic, the lives of two boys are changed forever when a sinister traveling carnival rolls into their Illinois town.
Cooger & Dark’s Pandemonium Shadow Show is irresistible. It arrives by train, sometime after midnight, bringing Halloween a week early and enthralling Will Halloway (“thirteen years, eleven months, and twenty-four days old”) and his neighbor and constant companion Jim Nightshade. One blonde, one dark-haired, they’re as different and similar as best friends can be.
One night, as they explore the carnival grounds, they run afoul of the carnies — an illustrated man with tattoos that seem to come to life, an insane dwarf, a Dust Witch. And they see something they should never have seen. This sets off a chain of events that threatens to permanently destroy the innocence of their small town.
This is a big adventure story with plenty of action. But underneath the sparkle and danger of the carnival, this story is about love and courage and how life is beautiful and worth living, even when it’s hard and messy. It’s about friendship and loyalty and good versus evil — and just how unpleasant it can be to try to be a good person. It’s also about how, when we’re young, we can’t wait to be grownup — and when we’re old, all we want is to be young forever.
If you’ve only associated Ray Bradbury only with science fiction, this novel’s beautiful prose and heartfelt sentiment will surprise you, as it makes your spine tingle. Bradbury’s clever turns of phrase beg to read aloud, and this audiobook, narrated by actor Christian Rummel, strikes the perfect warm tone.
The train skimmed on softly, slithering, black pennants fluttering, black confetti lost on its own sick-sweet candy wind, down the hill, with the two boys pursuing, the air was so cold they ate ice cream with each breath. — Ray Bradbury
*More spooky fun for your ears: Listen to the song Something Wicked (That Way Went) by the steampunk band Vernian Process.
Strong Sense of Place is a website and podcast dedicated to literary travel and books we love. Reading good books increases empathy. Empathy is good for all of us and the amazing world we inhabit.
This is a weekly email. If you'd like a quick alert whenever we update our blog, subscribe here.
We'll share enough detail to help you decide if a book is for you, but we'll never ruin plot twists or give away the ending.
This 30-page 2020 Reading Atlas takes you around the world with dozens of excellent books and gorgeous travel photos. Get your free copy when you subscribe to our newsletter.
Content on this site is © 2020 by Smudge Publishing, unless otherwise noted. Peace be with you, person who reads the small type.