Down the TBR Hole #5


This is a meme started by Lia at Lost in a Story. The “rules” are:

  • Go to your Goodreads to-read shelf.
  • Order on ascending date added.
  • Take the first 5 (or 10 (or even more!) if you’re feeling adventurous) books. Of course, if you do this weekly, you start where you left off the last time.
  • Read the synopses of the books.
  • Decide: keep it or should it go?

I’m modifying this a little since my to-read shelf is a mess of books that are mostly in storage. Instead, I’m going to look at my wishlist—all those books I add on a whim during my travels around the book blogging community—and weed out the ones that don’t quite sound as good now. The “keepers” I’m going to look for at online libraries or add to my Amazon wishlist.

alt text Thirteenth Night by Alan Gordon

Shakespeare. A secret guild of jesters. Yeah, this still sounds good. KEEP.

alt text Edge by Kōji Suzuki

On one hand, this sounds a lot different than something like Ring. On the other hand, it might be more like stories from Dark Water, which I prefer. KEEP.

alt text A Polish Book of Monsters by Michael Kandel

I thought this was more on the folklore end of things, instead of contemporary sci-fi/speculative. That makes it less interesting since I haven’t even read much classic eastern European sci-fi. GO.

alt text The Strange Affair of Spring Heeled Jack by Mark Hodder

Rereading the summary on this one, it seems like a little too much. Historical personages as investigators, magic, Spring-Heeled Jack, and werewolves? Plus, I still have The Map of Time to read. GO.

alt text House of Mystery: The Magic Science of David P. Abbott by Teller & Todd Karr

*grumbles about stupid limited-edition small-press nonsense*


Anyone have any experience with any of these? Any arguments for KEEP or GO?


Deal Me In Catch-Up, Week 41

(Deal Me In logo above created by Mannomoi at Dilettante Artiste)
(Deal Me In logo above created by Mannomoi at Dilettante Artiste)

Hosted by Jay @ Bibliophilopolis
What’s Deal Me In?

“Tales from the Original Gothic” by John M. Ford

Card picked: Week 41: Q
From: The Architecture of Fear, edited by Kathryn Cramer and Peter D. Pautz

The Story
This story had so much potential. In an anthology about hauntings and houses, this offered up a ghost house: a house that periodically manifests full of its former occupants. A team of scientists and ghost busters anticipates the house’s appearance and decide to go in. So much potential.

The introduction to this story describes it as a “gestalt whirlwind.” I suppose that’s what this story is, but I couldn’t get through more than half of it. Six pages in, I had no idea what exactly was going on with our team of paranormal researchers.


10 Years in 10 Books (sort of)

The thing about anniversaries, when you celebrate the first one, it’s actually on the second occasion of the event. So, 10th Anniversary of Readathon, but 11 books! The more the merrier!

Covers link to the books on Goodreads.

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(Lots of great books in 2011!)
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(Another year with some tough choices.)
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I really enjoyed this challenge. It was fun looking back on a great selection of books!

📚Dewey’s 24-Hour Readathon, Fall 2017⏲

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Dewey’s 24-Hour Readathon – Info & Signup

As often happens in October, my Readathon Saturday won’t be as exclusively dedicated to reading as I intended. A friend of ours is back home after being posted overseas and he’s excited to get a new gaming campaign going.  But, I should have a clear morning and late evening.


Continue reading “📚Dewey’s 24-Hour Readathon, Fall 2017⏲”

Review ~ Dark Screams: Volume Eight

This book was provided to me by Random House Publishing Group – Hydra via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Cover via Goodreads

Dark Screams: Volume Eight edited by Brian James Freeman & Richard T. Chizmar

Frank Darabont, Bentley Little, Benjamin Percy, Billie Sue Mosiman, Kealan Patrick Burke, and Glen Hirshberg share chilling tales of ancient evils and wicked desires in this spooky collection assembled by renowned horror editors Brian James Freeman and Richard Chizmar. (via Goodreads)

Why was I interested in this book?
Found it by searching for Glen Hirshberg at NetGalley, doubly interested because of Frank Darabont.

What Worked & Didn’t Work
Five of these six stories reminded me of the best episodes from late 80s/early 90s horror anthology TV shows (Tales from the DarksideMonstersFreddy’s Nightmares). Each had a great twist of an ending and variable levels of gore.

Frank Darabont’s “Walpuski’s Typewriter” sets the tone for the anthology. It’s a nasty piece of work (in a good way!) involving a writer and a demon possessed typewriter. Darabont is best known for his screen writing and adaptations; notably The Shashank Redemption and The Mist. I hadn’t read any of his prose. It did not disappoint.

“The Boy” by Bentley Little was the perfect followup. I found myself wondering if I was supposed to like Christine’s neighbors, especially as they make fun of a kid who supposedly smells. By the end of the story, I wasn’t sure who was worse. Christine solves their stinky kid problem, in a way that is probably more honest than her two-faced neighbors would consider.

With Benjamin Percy’s “Tumor,” we’re solidly back in the land of Tales from the Darkside. This is a simple short, tale, but full of gory glee.

A shift in tone happens in the latter half of Dark Screams, Vol. 8. The stories are more complex and a smidge more contemplative in their horror. The one story that didn’t work for me was right after the mid-point, “Twisted and Gnarled” by Billie Sue Mosiman. The story is told alternately through first person point of view of a serial killer, The Man, and a somewhat psychic mother, The Woman. The internal dialogue of both of these characters really didn’t work for me.

Quiet horror continued in “The Palaver” by Kealan Patrick Burke. Alluding to the stories of the late 19th century, this is a tale within a tale. Our narrator is the owner of the slowly failing Palavar Barbershop. He’s told a story of cosmic horror from the Great Depression that may or may not repeat itself in the 21st century.

The last story in the anthology is Glen Hirshberg’s “India Blue.” As with many of these tales, the “payoff” is at the end of the story, which means reading through one man’s endeavor to bring cricket to America. Not just cricket though, but America’s Rockin’ Professional Cricket, complete with cheerleaders and a showboat player who has been drummed out of respectable leagues. Luckily, the journey is possibly better than the ending.

Solid anthology. It’s release date is Halloween and it’s the perfect little reading treat.

Publishing info, my copy: Kindle/ePub, Random House Publishing Group, 10/31/17
Acquired: 8/17/17, NetGalley
Genre: horror

NaNoWriMo 2017 – Prep Post #1

Publicly declaring goals is often not a good thing for me (no, really), but I do like making lists of things that I need/want to get done. This is that.

Things to get done before Nov. 1st:

  • Finish a draft of Wicked Witch, Retired. I’m talking a super rough draft. A NaNoWriMo level of quality of draft.
  • Finish reading/editing/formatting pass on Eric’s SUPErViLLaINS.
  • Read through my Abbott notes. Maybe have an idea for the third story.

And if you want to find me at the NaNo site, I’m katen.

It’s Monday, What Are You… (10/16)


Saturday is Readathon! I’ll have more about that on Friday (probably).

Unfortunately, I haven’t been very excited about any of the novels I’ve been reading and a short story marathon will burn me out. It’s still slump city around here. I might be adding some nonfiction to Saturday’s pile.

alt text In the Matter of Nikola Tesla by Anthony Flacco

DNF – Every character not Tesla sounds exactly the same. And Tesla is super quirky. Tiresomely quirky.

alt text The Graveyard Apartment by Mariko Koike

Still reading – I think this one might be losing something in translation. The dialog feels…dubbed? But I’m about 45% through and the creepiness is accumulating.

alt text The Haunting of Maddy Clare by Simone St. James

Listening to – It’s a little more romance-y than my usual fare. There are certain tropes in romances that get on my nerves, but I’ll probably finish it.

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading, hosted by Book Date

Continue reading “It’s Monday, What Are You… (10/16)”