July was…heavy, to say the least. There was some writing professional news that netted out less than positively, a meteor of a personal emergency that is still unfolding, and I think I finally figured a writing time management system that works for me (and a realization that I definitely write to run away, and there is a lot I want to run from).
I also went to NYC to see my family and catch up with some friends. Equally restful and stressful. I’ve stayed safe from disease the best I can, and wish the same for you and yours.
Genre: Adult Horror Short Story Collection Year Release: 2010 (2022 on audio) Source: Library Audiobook
Rating: 4 out of 5.
Listened to the audiobook
Prolific horror author Stephen Graham Jones also has a short story collection that are small doses of terror. From urban legends about murdered bulls, to kids making mistakes during the summer, to an island of shifters, to several families keeping secrets, these stories touch on a variety of horror.
With elegant language that keeps a sharp focus on the characters, these chilling tales drop the reader right into the middle, gently guiding them along a ramping up sense of dread and shattering reality for all parties involved.
I read 153 books this year in a 50/50 split between audiobooks and other formats. Being unemployed helped that along, didn’t do much for me in terms of my mental health. But there were so many good reads consumed and published this year, I had to make two lists. Enjoy!
Summer is coming to an end, I guess. The autumn equinox doesn’t hit until September 22nd, but we can already get pumpkin spice lattes, so I’m saying summer is over. A few more books read this month. No interviews, but I have so much excitement coming in September. Continue reading →
A slasher film comes to the page in this misadventure in a teenage prank gone wrong. Sawyer and his friends sneak a dressed-up mannequin into a movie theater and at the end, the mannequin gets up and leaves. Everything goes downhill from there.
This novella nestles deeply into Sawyer’s head. We get everything from his lens: his impressions of his friends, their families, his family, his logic (and all its holes), the town they live in, and all of it. The sentences meander, but paint such a clear image of his descent into paranoid homicide. By the end, you find yourself wondering what’s real and what’s a delusion and it works so well. Like a finely illustrated car wreck, I could not look away. Every moment had me wondering where Sawyer was going next, even when he was straight up telling the reader.
A wild ride from start to finish, definitely a must-read for fans of 80’s films coming to you on 9/1.
I hit my goal of reading 100 books in July! Which sounds absurd, but between Animal Crossing, unemployment, and ongoing lockdowns, there is so much reading to be done (television, for whatever reason, cannot hold my attention).
Read a NetGalley eARC Content and trigger warning for gore, animal violence, body horror, death of (several) dogsI like audibly screaming when reading a horror novel. The Only Good Indians follows four childhood friends who got a little greedy on a hunting trip and are now paying the price as adults.
This book hits all the highs of horror with gruesome imagery, specific language, and a deeply personal story. It is so intimate, with several layers of lived experience that just add depth to a book that also excels at delivering thrills. What makes this story particularly terrifying is the way Jones deliberately and pointedly plays with POV. For the most part, we see the terrors unfold from either Lewis, Ricky, Cass, or Gabe’s POV, but there are some surprises, like the shift to second person told from the Elk Head Woman’s perspective. She’s scary both from a character design standpoint and the strength of her character arc.
There are so many characters in this book and none of them feel frivolous or extraneous. Jones plays with the “final girl” trope in a way that I can’t speak more about because spoilers, but it is such a great exploration.
Gross at times and makes playing basketball one-on-one an absolutely terrifying experience, definitely a favorite new release of 2020.