Literary Karaoke

The Best of The Week

Under the Whispering Door
by TJ Klune
Tor, 2021

Under the Whispering Door is a light fantasy and romance novel by the same author as the recently popular The House in the Cerulean Sea.

Wallace is not a particularly nice person, but that's okay, because he's dead now. He had no real friends at his funeral, no one left behind to miss him, and perhaps a few people were made happy by his death. Which is a bit annoying for him, as he has just now discovered that you don't disappear when you die, and you actually have to sit through all this funeral stuff, invisibly following your body around until it's buried.

Then the reaper takes you. In this case, his reaper is a chipper young lady named Mei (pronounced 'May') who is a bit of a hugger and not especially good at explaining this 'death' thing. It's her job to deliver him to the ferryman, who is apparently just some guy running a tea shop. A tea shop…

A quillow is both a quilt and a pillow, able to be converted between the two forms through the ingenious placement of a large square pocket on one end of the quilt. When in quilt configuration, the pocket is a warm place for the user's feet, or a utility pocket for sundries like remote controls, smartphones, or skeins of yarn for knitting, when it is used as a lap blanket. The quillow can be converted into a pillow by folding the quilt into lengthwise thirds, then turning the pocket inside-o…

In the works of J.R.R. Tolkien, Caragdûr refers to the steep stone escarpment upon the northern face of Amon Gwareth, the vast hill upon which the Elvish city of Gondolin was founded by Turgon the Wise. The word Caragdûr is Sindarin (Grey-Elvish) for "dark tooth" or "dark spike," a compound of dûr "dark" (found in the more recognisable place name Barad-dûr) and carag "tooth, spike."

Like many place names in the works of Tolkien, Caragdûr appears to largely…

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