Friday, May 20, 2016

Murder by Candlelight: The Gruesome Crimes Behind Our Romance with the Macabre

 
Murder By Candlelight has a great cover and talks a lot about murders in The Past, which means you don't have to feel as guilty as usual when reading about them, because there are not currently people alive who were affected by them.

shut up, Ayn Rand

Short non-fiction books are maybe my favorite. So many non-fiction writers have the tendency to let their work be bloated & distended, so those who can keep it short and to the point have my immense respect. Murder By Candlelight is subtitled "The Gruesome Crimes Behind Our Romance With the Macabre." How can you not read that.

It covers a number of murders, starting with the unshocking-for-our-times murder by Jack Thurtell, moving to James Greenacre and the murder of Hannah Brown, the murder of Lord William Russell by his valet, the Ratcliff Highway Murders of 1811, and ending with some Jack the Ripper. Michael Knox Beran ties in all of these with literature of the time, while talking about the shift from the Enlightenment to the Romantic Era, and it's all very fascinating.

look at this great image I found. Damn.

While I never felt it was made quite clear why the people in the murder cases were murdered, the surrounding detail has stuck with me long enough (I read this months ago) to make it a book I'd consider re-reading. He talks about things like public executions being "a rare public edition of a fact which, like the other great biological acts of birth and copulation, is generally hid under so many decent veils...Even so, there is a barrier. The gallows is a stage, and those who tread it are conscious of playing a part."

If you can't handle an author enjoying his own writing, then this is maybe not for you. I chose to like when he wrote phrases like "the vituperative savagery of the 'raff'" and saying Thomas De Quincey was "found in supine thrall to the juice of the poppy," because it meant he was having a good time while writing the book. It's a little unfocused, but it's fun and interesting.

The book mainly focuses on De Quincey and Thomas Carlyle and how their writings reflected the age in which they lived. Beran is distinctly anti-the Enlightenment and Modern era when it comes to murder.

The rational or empirical investigator affects to solve the mystery of a particular evil when he has in fact but grazed the surface of its horror; it is as though he had lit a candle and, pleased with the little circle of illumination he had made, flattered himself that he had vanquished darkness.

I want to just quote him on this subject, because he has a lot to say, and it's all excellent. So:

The more one gets into the habit of thinking of evil as a byproduct of social or economic circumstances, or as an anomaly in the neural architecture of the brain, the harder it becomes for one to take it seriously as a permanent element in the soul, one's own included. The first principle of goodness, it would seem, is to accord evil a healthy respect.

Evil loses a good deal of its horror when you succumb to the illusion that it can be done away with by means of better plumbing or a saving pill, the establishment of a more intelligent school curriculum or a reformation of the gene pool.

It's so interesting. I mean, is evil a real thing? Our teachings today would say it's due to something like a head injury that damages key areas of the brain. But are we saying then that someone or something cannot just be evil? My own Christian beliefs blanch from "someone" because I want to believe that all of humanity has the ability to be good. But to outright say that evil doesn't exist in the world, that doesn't seem right either. One of the most thought-provoking things he says in the book is:

Like cancer and mental depression, the phenomenon of the psychopath appears to be of those malignancies which flourishes most abundantly in the sunshine of progress and enlightenment.

This goes along with industrialization creating cities, which created masses of people not knowing each other, which created easy targets for someone with psychopathic tendencies. It's harder to be a serial killer in a small English village. Or, as Beran says:

Modernity was an acid, one that rapidly corroded customs and restraints that in the past had done something to restrain the sick man's more vicious impulses. As the same time, the monster-cities of the modern world gave such a soul a new habitat in which to hunt: he found a protective coloration in the anonymity of the urban crowd, with which he could blend himself more easily than his counterparts in less congested ages.

What do we do about this? Nothing. We can't do anything. We just have to know that one of the opposing sides of our faster, sleeker age is that we have provided humans with evil more prominently inside them than some a much easier time of it than they've ever had before.

One of the lines that's stuck with me the most, mainly whenever I look at a detective story, is "Surely it is no coincidence that at the very moment when murder was being degraded into a socio-medical problem, to be alleviated by Acts of Parliament, it was simultaneously being trivialized into a form of light entertainment, the literary equivalent of a parlor game."

Ouch. Yes, sir. That is what we have done. And it makes me feel guilty now every time I think of picking up Lord Peter Wimsey or Robert Galbraith, because murder has been trivialized in our minds. In detective stories, you're just waiting for the next dead body so the detective has more clues (and also so there can be some more action, thank you very much, story, you were starting to drag). We aren't able to take in the seriousness of murder unless it's under the most shocking of circumstances.

A kind of fatality hangs over our choices; this I suppose is why the great stage tragedies seem to us so true in their account of human chances and human destinies. A small sordid character like Greenacre's is but a petty thing in comparison to such a work of tragic art as Othello or Oedipus; yet, studied closely, it discloses the same Sphinx's puzzle of madness and unreason, the same horrors, darknesses, inscrutabilities.

Murder By Candlelight gives you a lot to think about in terms of our modern sensibilities, rethinking dismissing the Romantic era, and what role good and evil play in our world.

As much as Ibsen, De Quincey knew that the trolls and goblins of myth are real, only, like Ibsen, he saw that they are not (as our ancestors supposed) outside of us, but inside.

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

It's New York Time

Or it was New York Time. I went to NYC week before last to visit my oldest brother, see Hamilton and meet DOMA-defeating lawyer Robbie Kaplan, which made for a pretty kickass five days.

First we had the mismatched socks debacle at the airport, which consisted entirely of me realizing with increasing horror that I had put on different socks (BUT OF COMPARABLE THICKNESS) that morning, somehow believing no one would see them in the course of the day.

Foolish, foolish girl


I arrived in NYC around 11 PM Tuesday night, where I immediately made my way to my brother/brother-in-law's in Astoria. They got a cat! Her name is Numi! She loves one particular crinkle ball very much.


WEDNESDAY was the Big Important Day, so I put on my favorite blouse and hit the town.


see the hope in those eyes?

I was having lunch with Robbie Kaplan (whose book was my favorite of 2015) at 12:30. It was a disgusting day out, so when I arrived downtown much too early on 5th Avenue, I proceeded to walk around inside the Ritz while thinking how little the interior now looks like the one in the perennially great Bette Midler movie Big Business, and then hit Fifth Avenue Presbyterian Church, which is gorgeous and has a tremendous organ (hold your jokes for the more plebeian among us).


But! There was even more time to kill! So off I went to The Knave:


The Knave is Fancy and inside the Parker Meridien (omg I'm so sorry — Le Parker Meridien). I basically acted the gauchest possible, primarily by attempting to do things for myself when no no, the server will do those things for you, how embarrassing for you that you didn't assume that would happen. I then tried to find the damn hotel's bathroom, which I succeeded in doing.




Then off! to lunch with Robbie Kaplan at Momofuku Má Pêche, which is essentially Japanese tapas (no it's not, Alice). I can't imagine how busy her schedule was, and it was fairly awe-inducing to be able to spend an entire lunchtime with someone whose work I admire so highly. If you haven't read her book yet, you really should. 

After Robbie Kaplan lunch, I was killing time before seeing Hamilton, so I stopped at St Patrick's Cathedral, where I saw what I assume is Elizabeth Seton?

Then Brother and Brother-in-Law and I went to a Peruvian restaurant called Pio Pio that I was very excited about, as we were led back from the front, which looked rather like a travel agent's, and went back and back and down and down and then we were in a large room with branches all over the walls and what, the front looked so regular and small.

branch walls!
 Then....you knew it was coming...


Yeah, so. I like musical theatre. A lot. From back when I was like five and my mom would play tapes of Oliver! and The King and I  in the car, leading my brothers to learn all the lyrics against their very will. I was seriously dubious of a hip hop musical about Alexander Hamilton when my friend first told me about it around January 2015. I finally told her I would essentially deign to check it out and she was like "Oh...the preview run is...sold out forever." 

Then the cast recording was released on NPR in...September? But I didn't want to listen to it because it wasn't sectioned into tracks. They just presented it in a big glob. I did some cursory listening and only sat up and paid attention when I heard My Shot. It came out on Spotify and so it began. My other musical-loving friend Emily and I started listening all the time and by early October, we decided we had to buy tickets. But tickets were selling out fast. We said ok, it's fine, we just have to see before the Tonys because most of the original cast will probably still be there.

AND SO IT CAME TO PASS that we paid appx $180/ticket, sat near the front of the mezzanine, and saw Hamilton seven months after we bought the tickets.


The lobby at intermission was madness. MADNESS. There's one ladies bathroom at that theatre, and it's in the basement. I was, again, near the front of the mezzanine, i.e. almost the furthest I could possibly be from that bathroom. BUT. My brother-in-law (Mike) had told me before the show that the hotel next door had bathrooms. So WHAT DID I DO I'll tell you what I did, I zipped through this:


went next door to the hotel, used their empty bathroom, and was done in 45 seconds. BAM. #Hamilhack

Hamilton has been chronicled in so many corners of the internet, I can add nothing but my opinions. And they are:

1. Daveed Diggs as Jefferson is vastly superior to Daveed Diggs as Lafayette
2. Renee Elise Goldsberry as Angelica cannot really act but we love her anyway
3. Leslie Odom, Jr in everything. Leslie Odom, Jr doing 'The Room Where It Happened' over and over for the whole show. 
4. Best chemistry in the show was Hamilton + Maria Reynolds, and y'all have to fix that because it's not right.
5. Wait, I still don't get it -- in Take a Break, are Angelica and Eliza offering to have a three way with Hamilton by a lake? My mind doesn't usually jump to these things, so thinking it makes me think everyone else has been positive about it for months.
This seething mass of humanity was the stage door after:


I opted to buy an ice cream bar and go home.

THURSDAY. 

Thursday was Hang Out With Book People That I Love Very Much day. First I went to Lillie's with my lovely lovely friend Meghan from Little, Brown so we could talk about upcoming Book Expo America and 90% probably how great musicals are.

This is the door handle to that restaurant
I was all over this place
Meghan gave me books, including one on Civil War nurses that I will be reviewing in two seconds because I love it so very very much. CIVIL WAR NURSES FOR ALWAYS. Meghan and I have been friends for...two? Three? Some number of years now. We met through my blog and thank GOD, because she is the most fun to hang out with and I bugged her daily at the Hachette booth at Book Expo.

Then I met my friend Lauren at Balthazar. Lauren is a literary publicist and probably one of the most fascinating people I know. She gave me S.J. Watson's new book (REMEMBER S.J. WATSON?) and we talked astrology, people in our lives, and probably books? Yes. Books definitely entered the conversation at some point. 

From there I walked through Union Square because #EmmaGoldman, then met up with Mike to see The Woodsman, an excellent off-Broadway origin story about the Tin Man that has almost NO DIALOGUE but is great nonetheless. I got into a brief tiff with the man sitting next to me, as our elbows were bumping, and what happens when that occurs? Someone shifts their arm to another part of the armrest, or removes it. But oh no, not this guy. He was gonna be in that spot, resting his arm in a way that made it impossible for me to re-situate mine. The situation got to a point where I finally asked him "Look, can one of us move our arm to the back of the armrest?" Where he looked at me fairly blankly, I tried, he still wouldn't accommodate, and I finally gave up the battle and ceded the whole thing to him. 

But oh look, the show was pretty

Later that evening with books

At The Woodsman, I felt an odd tickle in the back of my throat. 'Oh no,' thought I with mounting terror, 'do not get sick.' But it was TOO LATE. A lack of bringing my regular probiotic + running around + a terrible sleep schedule meant Friday my plans for going to Philadelphia were crushed like so many almonds and I stayed in the apartment with Numi the Cat all day watching episode after episode of Veep.

wasn't too bad
Saturday I felt slightly better, which was good because ALLEY from What Red Read and I were meeting up at Trinity Church to look at #Hamilgraves. If you do not know Alley, you should. We have now met enough times we don't even have to say we're internet friends WE ARE RL FRIENDS. She is 100% always fun to hang out with, and I was super-glad she was there at Trinity with me instead of me skulking about on my own, staring at Angelica's grave that DOESN'T EVEN HAVE HER NAME ON IT and is on the opposite side of the church from Hamilton + Eliza's.

View from Angelica's grave
Who lives, who dies, who tells your story (a girl with a blog, apparently)
We wandered over to the other side to see Hamilton and Eliza, where she is buried AT HIS FEET looking like one of those benches at the end of a bed like the one Michael sleeps on in The Office when he lives with Jan.



Alley and I wandered around the old part of Manhattan, walked through Bowling Green, went through the old Custom House which is now the National Museum of the American Indian, and ended up at Fraunces Tavern, YES THAT FRAUNCES TAVERN where we had brunch and I got day-tipsy and Alley dealt with it because she is a lady.

Mmm Fraunces Tavern

I had to leave at 7 AM for my flight on Sunday, so Sunday night was mainly packing and watching Barbarella, which is a bananas movie. I was then sick for the next two days to the point of almost not being able to walk, so I basically slept for two days, but WORTH IT. IT WAS ALL WORTH IT.

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Charleston or, Alice Has a New Job

I left my job of seven years two weeks ago, and have been footloose and fancy free ever since. Haha, jk, I have a new job! But as it is a job that takes its employees to Charleston, South Carolina for a team meeting, I remain relatively footloose.

Here I am footloose as I dangle them in the water

A fair amount of the trip consisted of bonding, as my team members and I are spread out across the country. We stayed on the Isle of Palms, about 25 miles from downtown Charleston, and right next to the ocean. By right next, I mean it took appx 60 seconds to walk to the ocean. 




Where there were jellyfish! Jellyfish that I thought were dead, but then someone told me that nay, they were SUNNING THEMSELVES. However, I have just googled this, and it turns out that's a load of crap because jellyfish evaporate in the sun because they are 98% water.

Aside from amazing memories like hot tubbing  next to the ocean at night and being able to see All the Stars (note: no one can actually see all the stars, but you know what I mean), I also went to downtown Charleston on the last 2 days. The first day, I had nought but an hour! One hour! Before all the museums closed. So I chose the Charleston Museum, as it apparently has the oldest collection in America.

And they put chamber pots in their restrooms like fun people!


It's a canjo!

After inquiring of the Charleston tourism center what, if anything, is open after 5, he directed me down King Street, where I found Blue Bicycle Books! Where I had this conversation with the person on duty:

me to bookstore guy: "So are you one of the thriving independent bookstores in Charleston?"
"We are THE thriving independent bookstore in Charleston."
"Ooooooh."

I bought Still Life With Woodpecker, 100% because that's the book Drew Barrymore's character reads every morning at the Hawaiian cafe she goes to in 50 First Dates, and I love the hell out of that movie.

That night the dudes in our company put their impressive cooking skillz on display and dumped a giant pile of seafood on the kitchen table.

It was awesome.

The next day I went to two house museums and then cut myself off from all museumy things, because I am attempting to get better at self care and I was v. tired and would not in fact have fully enjoyed said museums. I did enjoy going to a cafe and drinking coffee/reading a David Sedaris book. But before that, the two house museums.

The first was the Joseph Manigault House, built in 1803 and constructed in the Federalist style. Joseph Manigault had a very nice face and also owned a lot of slaves. The tour guide (whose name was Samantha) really emphasized everything that would've been built/taken care of by enslaved people, as well as how awful their living conditions were, which I very very much appreciated. We also discussed how on trend the Manigault's mint green paint choice was.

Gorgeous Manigault House

They had a ticket deal where if you bought 2 house tours, you saved like $6, so yeah, like I'm not gonna take them up on that. The other house was the Heyward-Washington House, which I only photographed the "necessary" (outhouse) and spinnet of, but because my photo of the necessary sucks, here is the spinnet:

I got to get closer to it than normal because I was the only one on the tour.
Also the tour guide and I bonded over Tim Burton.

Oh! On my walk to the Heyward-Washington House (built in 1772 in the Georgian style and hosted Revolutionary War meetings), I stopped in at an old old church that had awesome box pews, so look!:

boxes!
So old. Mmm.

After both house tours, I wandered around Charleston, stopped to take a selfie with a British soldier mannequin


and wound up at the Second Presbyterian Church's (1809) graveyard.


I don't want my interest in graveyards to be seen as morbid or goth or whatever, although think what you want to. I like them for a number of reasons, which include liking the past, feeling linked to people throughout time, and experiencing one of the only places where our culture allows us to be somber/sad. If I were sitting in a graveyard crying, people would leave me the hell alone and not feel that awkward about it. Of course I'm crying, I'm in a graveyard. I'm not saying I did this -- the only exclamations I made were apologies to dead people as I probably walked over them in my quest to read a tombstone -- but the fact remains I could have.

This was my second trip to Charleston. My first was excellent but involved much more pouting over walking up museum steps.

There were a lot. I was tired.

I would for sure go back again. I feel I've spent a fair amount of time there and barely grazed what it has to offer. I turned down going into at least 3 museums that I just randomly passed by. It's an old old city that's done a great job preserving its old things in a muggy climate, and it has kickass restaurants.

Also, having a new job is the best and they've given me time to go to BEA and sometimes life does a splendid 180 on you, and all you have to do is put in the work to make it happen. #wisewords #goodthingsalicehassaid

Friday, April 29, 2016

How much Sherlock is too much Sherlock?

Remember when Arthur Conan Doyle tried to murder Sherlock Holmes because he was so sick of him? I get that.

Sherlock Holmes is a compelling character because he's a superhero, but he's got about as much personal depth as the Trix Rabbit. Why don't we just call him Perception Man, make a comic, and call it a day. "Alice, you sound kind of grumpy about this." Yes, because we won't stop carrying him through the decades in various incarnations. 


Stopppppp. (x)

The latest -- unless something new has been written in the last couple months, which I wouldn't be surprised by -- is A Study in Charlotte, where the descendants of Holmes and Watson are at a boarding school in America and have to solve mysteries.



I mean. It's fine. It's a fine book. I left it alone for a week and didn't feel any kind of impulse to pick it up except that it was due back at the library. Tbh I haven't even finished it yet, but my lackluster enthusiasm makes me feel ready to comment on it. If something horrible/great happens in the rest of it, I doubt it would change my feelings much. Essentially, Holmes is a girl, Watson's a boy, Watson's vaguely attracted to Holmes because sure, let's keep up that idea. 


I don't ship Holmes/Watson in any iteration, any gender, any setting. Probably, again, because Holmes is never enough of a person to be shipped with anyone. Sudden love (or whatever Holmes can approximate as love) isn't going to suddenly change him or make him less of an asshole. The only time I've shipped Holmes with anyone was with Irene Adler, and it's because she's the first one to sincerely confuse him, and they both suck. But even that ship is more like a little dinghy that could be subsumed by the waves at any moment.

I do, however, def. ship Watson/Moriarty on Elementary

A Study in Charlotte feels like veiled Johnlock fanfic. Johnlock for the masses, perhaps, where they reel you in with heteronormativity and then bam! Gotcha. Jamie Watson narrates as he and Charlotte Holmes try to solve a murder at the school. Again, me leaving it alone for a week does not make a case for it being extraordinarily compelling, but if you're into Sherlock Holmes/Johnlock, maybe you'd be really into it. I'll be over here being grumpy and unimpressed in the corner.


Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Michelle McNamara was someone you would probably have a great conversation with

Michelle McNamara died, and I can't get over it.



Michelle McNamara was not only Patton Oswalt's wife and the mother of their 7-year-old daughter, but a fascinating true crime writer and researcher. I found out about her through episodes of the podcast The Dork Forest, which she guested on four times, each time talking about her love of true crime research and what progress she'd been making on her book about the prolific but little-known serial killer The Golden State Killer.


She was funny, she was engaging, she was clearly ridiculously smart, and I liked her so much. Her talk about not liking anything comic con-related and therefore hating to go to those with Patton Oswalt gave me hope that in relationships, you can love a person and not have to love, or even pretend to like, one of the interests that gets them out of bed in the morning (for those unaware, Patton Oswalt is a SuperNerd).


I strongly urge you to listen to her Dork Forest eps (unless true crime squicks you out). Here's one, and here's one, and here's one, and here's one. She also ran the site True Crime Diary, and I just...damnit I want this one to still be alive. Michelle McNamara, wherever you are, you are awesome. And you made this world a more interesting place.


Thursday, April 14, 2016

Julian Fellowes's Belgravia: The Beginning



You might be familiar with writer Julian Fellowes and his endless series about the British upper crust and their servants. He's written Gosford Park, The Young Victoria, and of course Downton Abbey, among a ridiculous number of others. If you like him, you like him, because his tone doesn't vary much. I happen to like him very much, despite never having seen more than one season of Downton Abbey and being a bit suspicious of his fetishizing of the aristocracy. His stories are just so fun and dramatic and romantic and angsty. And now he is releasing a serialized novel, like the Victorian tales of yore. How very on brand for him! Belgravia is set in 1840s London, but begins at a ball in Brussels in 1815, right before the Battle of Waterloo.

Chapter 1 is available for free, then the subsequent 10 are $1.99 each. I pre-ordered chapter 1 to download to my Kindle app because, to be honest, I am SO EXCITED ABOUT THIS IDEA. I don't make the time and I don't have the patience to sit down and read through a whole book, but 40 page sections released once a week? And then we can talk about it online? A+. So great. Bring it on.





Serializing a novel is also an excellent idea because it can encourage you to read genres you would normally avoid. If I see a 350 page historical novel, I go "mmmmmm is my time really well-spent reading that?" But if it's like "oh, look at this tiny amount of reading. I can give that to any genre." I was going to have an "except" here, but I went through this list of writing genres and I honestly think I could give 40 pages of reading to any of them. Such a manageable size!


So what happens in the first chapter. I was hooked into this whole idea in the first place because I watched a video on Twitter where Julian Fellowes explain exactly that. So there's a ball, which is a real ball that happened, and is apparently "the most famous ball in history," which I won't contest, because while I'd never heard of it, I also can't bring any OTHERS to mind.

This is the Duchess of Richmond's ball in Brussels on June 15, 1815. Almost all of the high-ranking officers in the Duke of Wellington's army were there, cavorting with the English nobility that had moved to Brussels in a show of support for Wellington, and in the middle of the ball, the army was given notice that Napoleon was invading and they had to march out at 3 AM, some of them going to fight still in their dress uniforms.



According to Fellowes, some scandalous thing happens at the ball, and two families know about it, one obviously being from the rising middle class, and one from the aristocracy. CUT TO APPX 25 YEARS LATER and we are in 1840s London with the scandal presumably about to come out. Oh how exciting. Chapter 1 ends immediately after Waterloo, so I assume right before we jump forward. I AM SO PSYCHED.

Friday, April 8, 2016

The Wander Society by Keri Smith: How to Wander in a Busy Life

It's hard to disconnect. It's hard not to be going somewhere with a purpose. But Keri Smith's The Wander Society encourages you to do just those things. It is a guide to wandering, to not filling your mind with anything but the impressions of your surroundings and the most unfocused of your thoughts. 



I'm not going to say we live in an age unlike any other in this respect, because if we were 16th century merchants and you told us to take some time off from scurrying to and fro from spice house to textile shop, we'd wheel about on you angrily and tell you to make off with yourself. [Exit, pursued by a bear]

We are like all humans have been for all of time. We focus on things in the future. We focus on things in the past. We run from task to task, and we don't let ourselves wander

Penguin asked if I wanted to review The Wander Society and I said yes, definitely, for a number of reasons.

1. I like things that are ostensibly going to tell me how to do something.

2. My church book group has been reading about Buddhism and this seems very closely connected.

3. I love wandering and I never do it. Well. Almost never.

When we repeat the same activities day in and day out, we limit our ability to have new experiences. Over time our bodies, senses, and brains start to atrophy. Our world becomes smaller and smaller until we are living in a tiny little box.

The above is in a section called "The Importance of Randomness." Which I love. I've had the best experiences with randomness. Most that immediately come to mind are, of course, bookish in nature. This book emphasizes that wandering can take many forms, and one of the ones that resonated the most with me, as I'm sure it would with anyone who's seeking out a book blog, is "Library Wandering."

Have you tried library wandering? She gives a list of "Ways to Subvert Your Browsing," which I'm going to try the next time I go, but in terms of basic, no-frills library wandering -- have you done it? I've found the most tremendous books by doing this, and they all feel especially special because they were found at random. I have absolutely no goal. I wasn't even particularly looking to check out a book; I just found a section I thought looked interesting and I started browsing.

I found Old Mr Flood this way. I found 50 Works of English Literature We Could Do Without. And just last week, I found The California Gold Rush and the Coming of the Civil War, which I am LOVING.

Different people will respond to different elements of The Wander Society. There are lists, there are diagrams, there are poems, there are assignments. They all encourage you towards a common goal: to let go, start wandering in your daily life, and see what happens.

––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––

Penguin is offering a giveaway copy of The Wander Society, so if you'd like to be entered, leave a comment and I'll pick someone on Monday. IT'S A SUPER-CUTE BOOK. US readers only, but international people, don't think I love you any less.


Not this cute though