#952 The Mystery of the Singing Ghost created by Gertrude Chandler Warner

The Mystery of the Singing Ghost created by Gertrude Chandler WarnerThe Mystery of the Singing Ghost created by Gertrude Chandler Warner

<irritated>Short and abbreviated version of this post because WordPress ate my post.</irritated>

The Aldens are helping a family friend who bought a house that other people wanted to buy. They hear a girl singing and they wonder where it’s coming from. They also find a dress. Who used to live in this house? Is the person who wrote the diary and the letters still alive?

What I liked

I had this bit about how I liked learning about the history of old houses here. I think it’s neat that the Aldens did get to learn the history of a house in this story.

What I didn’t like

If someone else buys the house you want, you kind of just have to deal with it. You can’t go around trying to keep people away from it.

Weigh In

What would you do if someone was terrorizing you because you bought the house they wanted?

Have you ever thought your house was haunted?

#951 The Mystery at Skeleton Point created by Gertrude Chandler Warner

The Mystery at Skeleton Point created by Gertrude Chandler WarnerThe Mystery at Skeleton Point created by Gertrude Chandler Warner

The Aldens are visiting a friend who bought a piece of property. There’s a skeleton there. It’s not a real skeleton. It was used for educational purposes. It was kind of strange at first, but the children got used to it. They say hi to the skeleton whenever they pass it. There are some statues on the property and a mystery surrounding them. What’s going on?

What I liked

I think the skeleton is kind of neat. True story–I’ve been in a group photo involving a skeleton. Fun times.

What I didn’t like

Where does Grandfather go when his grandkids are pawned off on all kinds of other people? They’re with other people a lot of the time. What does Grandfather do? I imagine he probably swims in all of his money like Scrooge McDuck.

Overall

If you use a skeleton for decoration, people may think you’re weird.

Weigh In

Would you use a skeleton as decoration?

Have you had any strange photo ops with anatomical models?

#950 Why Does he do That by Lundy Bancroft

Why Does he do That by Lundy BancroftWhy Does he do That by Lundy Bancroft

Simply put, if you suspect, even a little, that you might be a relationship, or that you’ve been in a relationship, with an emotionally abusive person, you should read this book.

In my own research, trying to figure out why certain things in life have happened to me when I did nothing to deserve those things, I came across recommendations for this book. I was pleased with the subject content.

Lundy runs a program that attempts to reform men who have been abusive, both physically and mentally. This program was really one of the first programs of its kind.

This book describes behavior of the abusive person, why they do it, and what you can do. Unfortunately, the what you can do part is most often getting away rather than reforming because reforming is incredibly rare.

If you’re looking for a text-book explanation of what mental abuse is or can be, this book has you covered.

What I liked

Although this book is full of a terrible subject matter, it is highly useful. I read this book and feelings I had about relationships in the past were confirmed. I was right to trust my gut and err on the side of caution in many cases. I dealt with a “Mr. Right,” as in, someone who is always right, no matter what, you’re always to blame, you’re not as smart as they are, and they seem to have an opinion about everything. I didn’t really have a description for this before I read this book, but it fits.

This book confirmed that my actions were correct, or mostly correct, in dealing with this person. I would have liked to have known more of this when I was in the situation. I would have made different decisions, that got me out of the situation faster.

What I didn’t like

Despite having all of this explained, no one has a right to do any of this behavior, whether they be man or woman, but it still happens. These people don’t think they’re doing anything wrong because of their sense of entitlement, so they’re not just going to wake up one day and realize what they’re doing is awful. They don’t think they’re bad people, and in truth, they may not be all bad, but they’re abusive and it’s pretty much impossible to deal with them.

Everyone else just has to deal with it or escape it. There isn’t really the option of reforming this person, because it’s like many other things–they have to make the choice on their own to change and if they don’t realize they’re doing anything wrong, they can’t admit they’re doing anything wrong, and therefore cannot start the process of change.

In my experience, you have to get away from the person–cut them out of your life. No phone calls. No emails. No addresses exchange. The less they know about you, the better. The less you know about them, the better. This person, or persons, whatever the case may be, doesn’t have a right to your life. End of story.

Overall

You should read this; no matter where you’re coming from this book will help you recognize abuse whether it’s your own life, or a friend’s. This book will point you in a direction that’s productive.

Weigh In

If you’ve had a toxic person in your life, what did you ultimately end up doing in regards to that person?

If you have been in an abusive relationship, spouse-spouse, parent-child, whatever, do you find that it negatively affected your life views from that point forward?

#949 The Zombie Project created by Gertrude Chandler Warner

The Zombie Project created by Gertrude Chandler WarnerThe Zombie Project created by Gertrude Chandler Warner

The Aldens are spending some more time with friends. There is a lodge one of Grandfather’s friends owns. The Aldens want to do some fishing, but people keep seeing a zombie. Zombies can’t be real can they? What’s going on?

What I liked

This just wasn’t one of the Boxcar books that I liked very much.

What I didn’t like

I am not a fan of zombie anything. I find zombies to be highly unlikely as far as the world of supernatural creatures goes. I would almost say I could see vampires being real before I could see zombies being real. I think zombies are generally a silly idea. I know zombie movies and television shows are a trend right now, but I just can’t hop on board with any of it, including this book, which is obviously meant to cash in on the whole zombie idea.

Overall

Braaaaaaaiiiiinnnnnssss…these zombie stories rot my braaaaaaiiiinnsss.

Weigh In

What do you think about zombie stories?

If you are favorable of zombie stories for reasons other than gore, what are your reasons? What makes zombies fascinating?

#948 Meddling Kids by Edgar Cantero

Meddling Kids by Edgar CanteroMeddling Kids by Edgar Cantero

It’s been years since the Blyton Summer Detective Club has gotten together. Each went their separate ways, including suicide and life in a mental institution, but it’s time to get back in the game. There are some strange things going on. Peter is dead, but Nate, Andi, and Kerri are alive, not necessarily well. There is also Tim, the weimaraner, the great-grandson of the original Sean who went on adventures with the kids, when they were kids. Things have certainly changed. The things they encountered in their younger years have left scars on each of them.

There’s a mystery they didn’t quite solve. It has to do with a creepy old mansion and an old woman. Things turn out to be even stranger than they ever imagined. This time, it’s not just someone in a mask. There is some real and terrible stuff going on. There are monsters and volcanoes and all manner of things four people and a dog would never expect to run into. Can they solve the mystery? Can they fix what is about to happen?

What I liked

I really liked Scooby Doo. This is very much the gang from Scooby Doo all grown up. I never really thought to stop and think about what effects such a strange life might have had on the teenagers involved. In the television series, most things were fake, except for the whacky races and the Boo Brothers. Most of the time it was just someone in a mask. I liked how this book was real.

Sometimes it is refreshing to have the thing, the question, the thought, the hypothesis actually turn out to be that strange thing. It doesn’t always have to be just one guy or a guy in a mask, maybe, just maybe, it really is some supernatural creature or happening. It can get old to read stories, over and over again, that always try to explain away the “woo” by blaming everything on one guy with an elaborate plot. While there certainly is an elaborate plot involved, there is certainly woo and it’s just not explained away.

I miss watching Scooby Doo. Why can’t someone put the cartoon on Netflix? I don’t care about the live-action movies at all.

This book also pokes at the possible relationships between the members of the group. Come on, we all know something has to be going on between at least two of them. I always figured Daphne and Fred would get together, but you know, maybe not.

What I didn’t like

I wish I would have had more time to read this book. I feel like there would have been more of it that I would have appreciated. The book also has a Lovecraft sort of feel, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but if you’re expecting run-of-the-mill woo, you’ll be disappointed. It’s definitely woo like the woo from the woo-master himself, H.P. Lovecraft.

Overall

I would have gotten away with it if it wasn’t for those meddling kids…if I had a nickel for every time I’ve used this phrase in real life–I’d have no nickels; I’d be broke and I’d have to live under a bridge.

Weigh In

If you could solve mysteries with your friends, which friends would you pick and why?

Did you enjoy Scooby Doo?