Calvin Trillin.
I'm starting to think it might just be me.

A nice atmospheric read.

MonsterAlthough I didn't re-read Ray Bradbury's Something Wicked This Way Comes for Halloween this year, I did read a YA novel that had kind of a nice autumn atmosphere. (Although it's atmosphere is decidedly not "nice"; it's both a bit scary and very sad, I just mean that the author did a nice job giving it an "autumnal" feel.)

I don't know where I heard about Patrick Ness's A Monster Calls, but I'm really glad I brought it home. It's a fascinating little book (which is actually based on an idea by YA author Siobhan Dowd, who died before she could write it into a story) and it's beautifully illustrated by Jim Kay. It's set in Great Britain, and it's about a boy named Conor who has more than a few problems. His mother is sick, he's getting picked on in school, his father's left him and his mother to start a new family in America, and the grandmother he dislikes is about to come stay with him and his mother to help out. If that weren't enough, a monster comes for him. This is how the book starts:

"The monster showed up just after midnight. As they do."

"A monster, Conor thought. A real, honest-to-goodness monster. In real, waking life. Not in a dream, but here, at his window. Come to get him.

But Conor didn't run.

In fact, he found he wasn't even frightened.

All he could feel, all he had felt since the monster revealed itself, was a growing disappointment.

Because this wasn't the monster he was expecting.

'So come and get me then,' he said." (p. 9.)

It's an interesting book, the illustrations are beautiful, and it can be read in about an hour or so. I'd recommend it.