With the new year, I will be posting a monthly “Books Read” on the first day of the following month (ex. January’s will be posted on February 1st). I’ll give my brief thoughts on the book, and if I really enjoyed it, it’ll likely be given a Book Spotlight post soon thereafter.
Jeff VanderMeer — Acceptance
Originally I intended to re-read Annihilation as a one-off at the end of 2019, but as soon I descended into the pool of VanderMeer’s world, I didn’t want to come back up. Still as well written, well paced, and overall as great as it was when I originally read in 2018.
Nicole Cushing — A Sick Gray Laugh
This book is a doozy. It’s cut up in three parts, and the narrator describes the Grayness that overwhelms her town, the origins of Grayness, and her plan to defeat Grayness. It’s very well written, the plot is weird and well paced, save for the second part; though it’s required to read to understand the third part, and overall a solid book. However, this book wasn’t a good fit for me, but it definitely could be a good fit for you.
Craig Laurance Gidney — A Spectral Hue
A vibrant, colorful ghost story from the POV of multiple well rounded, and varied characters set in the fictional town of Shimmer, Maryland. It could be considered historical fiction, because Gidney’s retelling of the horrible past of African Americans. Gidney’s prose was solid very whimsical/magical, vivid and, like I said before, colorful, but I just couldn’t become entirely engrossed in the story.
Brain Hauser — Memento Mori: The Fathomless Shadows
A modern, Lovecraftian story about two college students who dive deep into the underground world of indie film and film making. The one friend, Tina, becomes obsessed with filming — shooting, editing, creating — that pulls both friends down twisting road into the decaying world of The Yellow King. Memento Mori reminds me somewhat of Blair Witch Project, but done a way that’s far more interesting. Any fans of building and looming horror in a diary-like format will enjoy this book.
Carrie Laben — A Hawk in the Woods
Like Memento Mori, A Hawk in the Woods is modern story with a few Lovecraftian elements. It’s about two sisters who’re descendants of the Waite family (Lovecraft’s “The Thing on the Doorstep”) who have supernatural powers, and take a long drive to the family cabin in Minnesota. It switches between what’s going on, and flash backs of the sisters’ strange, rough past throughout the book.
Overall, I enjoyed it but I believe the family’s powers could’ve been explained more thoroughly at the start, and the plot was a bit more focused. Either way, I definitely recommend this book.
David Peak — Corpsepaint
A well written, fast-paced story about two black metal musicians who take a trip around Europe, eventually ending in Ukraine at a village out in the middle of forests and wilderness, to record a new album. I really enjoyed this book. It wasn’t too detailed, but in a good way, and the story just moved flawlessly from beginning to end. I’d consider this folk horror with a layer of religion over top. If you’re a fan of horror, metal of any genre, and an overall a good story, definitely check out Peak’s Corsepaint.
Philip K. Dick — The World Jones Made
A book about a man who can see into the future, the results of this on society, and space travel. There’s a ton of analogies throughout the story with politics, racism, and so forth, and, although written back in the 1950s, still resembles some of the things the States are going through today. This was a solid book, but not definitely one of PKD’s best. However, I’d still recommend this to any PKD fans.
Iain Reid — I’m Thinking of Ending Things
Damn was this book good, and a trip. It’s considered a thriller, but there’s definitely some horror elements thrown in. Written in present tense and in a way that makes the story fly, you’re wrapped up into plot of a couple taking a long drive to the boyfriend’s home for dinner. It sounds mundane, but Reid’s prose draws you in and keeps you there. Purchase this if you get the chance.