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Saints in Art
Thomas Michael Hartmann, Stefano Zuffi, Rosa Giorgi
The Gorgeous Nothings: Emily Dickinson's Envelope Poems
Emily Dickinson, Susan Howe
Selected Poems
Emily Dickinson
Emily Dickinson
Cynthia Griffin Wolff
Lies My Teacher Told Me : Everything Your American History Textbook Got Wrong
James W. Loewen
Gone with the Wind
Margaret Mitchell

Through the Woods

Through the Woods - Emily Carroll First off: This book is gorgeous in every way. It's small but surprisingly hefty thanks to the wonderfully heavy, glossy, richly-painted pages. You're holding a small work of art when you pick it up.

Read this at night if you can. Preferably in the winter. It's a good old-fashioned spooky read. If you're lucky enough to have a fireplace, set something ablaze and curl up as close as you can get. If that's your only source of light, all the better -- Emily Carroll's dark art will be all the eerier when viewed in flickering glances.

I read this through (not by firelight, sadly) in one shivery sitting. The writing and art are a hypnotic combination. I'm sure a video of my face as I read would be hilarious -- my eyes widening as I turn a page, and then narrowing as I squint to read the scribblings of a mad character; my mouth opening in a gasp as I read a terrifying twist on the Bluebeard story, or pursing as I suddenly realize a narrator is at least unsympathetic and possibly unreliable.

The only reason I hold back a star on this beautiful collection is that the endings of a few of the stories are too enigmatic. The first two are perfect; the third and fourth prompted a "Hmm;" the fifth and longest made me say, "Wait -- what?"

Just to make sure I wasn't guilty of Reading While Stupid, I had a smart friend take a look. (This book is a regrettably quick read.) He confessed to being baffled in the same places I was. So I do think a few of the stories should have been a little clearer.

The reason this collection still gets a solid four stars (possibly 4.5) is that even when you're not quite sure what's going on, these stories grab you and will NOT let go.

Do yourself a favor and read this book -- and grab a copy for a friend the next time you need to give a gift.