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If it’s nearly Halloween, there must be a host of Edgar Allan Poe-inspired happenings taking place.

Richmond residents can get a head start on Halloween festivities at the Poe Museum’s last Unhappy Hour of the season tomorrow, October 27 (6-9 p.m.). Head back to the museum (left) on Saturday for Poe’s Pumpkin Patch, a party for readers of all ages. Among the activities on the agenda are pumpkin decorating, a “Black Cat” pinata, and a mummy-wrapping contest inspired by one of Poe’s stories. The museum encourages attendees to bring along the kids, especially if you want to “make sure [they] grow up weird.” Now there’s an invitation that might be hard to refuse. Entry to the extravaganza is included with regular museum admission.

If you’d like to find out “how Halloween is an ideal time of year to celebrate the works of Edgar Allan Poe,” stop by the National Historic Site dedicated to the writer in Philadelphia. At 2 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday, October 29 and 30, a park ranger will lead the 45-minute illustrated presentation at Poe’s former abode, and on Friday, October 28, the themed talk will take place at the Portrait Gallery in the Second Bank of the United States at Independence National Historical Park, also at 2 p.m.

In Baltimore this Sunday, October 30 (6-9 p.m.), is Poe’s Frightful Halloween at Westminster Hall, with a dramatic reading of “A Monkey’s Paw,” a costume contest, and more. Admission is $10 for adults, $3 for kids 12 and under. Proceeds are going to the Poe House and Museum, which has had its funding cut by the city of Baltimore and is in danger of closing its doors for good. Also in support of the historic landmark is The Spirit of Poe anthology, coming from Literary Landmark Press the first week in November.

New Yorkers will have to wait a little longer to visit the recently-refurbished Poe Cottage in the Bronx. The New York Times article “Poe’s Cottage, Weak and Weary No More” has the run-down on the house and a newly-constructed, imaginative visitor center.

Midwesterners can join our friend and fellow literary traveler Gary Wyatt this Friday, October 28 (7-9 p.m.) at Belmont Vineyards & Winery in Leasburg, Missouri, where he’ll be reading “The Raven” and other Poe tales. Cheers to that.

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“The goal of this book is to triple the size of your To Be Read pile,” claims Jane Mount in Bibliophile: An Illustrated Miscellany. I’m always thrilled for new reading suggestions, and there are plenty of them in this gorgeous and fun book, from Coming of Age novels to 1800s Brit Lit. There are place-themed pictorials, too—beloved bookstores, striking libraries, and literary sites like Thoreau’s one-room cabin at Walden Pond and the West Yorkshire parsonage where the Brontë sisters lived and wrote. 📚 But my favorite section is Writers’ Pets, with drawings of Mark Twain’s black cat Bambino, Flannery O’Connor’s peacock Limpy, John Steinbeck’s travel mate, the standard poodle Charley, and other classic writers’ companions. #animalsrock #booksrule #readingsuggestions #literarysites #bibliophileanillustratedmiscellany #janemount #chroniclebooks
Favorite reads of 2018. So many blue covers are a coincidence, although it is my favorite color. All of these stories are tinged with sadness but also hope and humor. Two of them I loved so much that I didn’t want them to end. I set them aside for weeks before going back to finish the final chapters (The Death of Bees and Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine). One made me cry and curse (A Man Called Ove). Two were book club selections (Another Brooklyn and An American Marriage). The latter inspired our most in-depth discussion, bringing up issues of marriage (of course), loyalty, race, and more. And Dickens’ storytelling stands the test of time. Originally published in serial form, Oliver Twist is a roller-coaster of a read. I fell hard for Oliver and the people that band together to keep him out of villainous hands. #somuchgreatstorytelling #books #bookish #bookstagram #bookrecs #read #reading #eleanoroliphantiscompletelyfine #thedeathofbees #anamericanmarriage #amancalledove #anotherbrooklyn #olivertwist
The last three of my book group’s picks for 2018, all of which are great reads. We take turns choosing what we’ll read each month, and the person whose turn it is has sole discretion over the selection. It’s a fun way to do it, as each time it’s a complete surprise. I’m already mulling over options for our February meet-up when it’s my turn to select. Suggestions welcome! #bookclub #bookgroup #greatreads #greatdiscussions #bookstagram #igreads #bibliophiles #pachinko #thesympathizer #thelefthandofdarkness

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