Sunday, July 29, 2018

Recent Updates and Currently Reading | July 29

I am in my summer slump for both reading and blogging. I don't want summer to end, but I'll be glad to get back into the swing of things. I spent all day yesterday doing back to school shopping so I know it won't be long now.

I have a few nonfiction books on the go right now, and I'm really looking forward to some buddy reads I have lined up for the next few weeks. I'm very fortunate to have friends who read with me!

If you haven't read Dandelion Wine by Ray Bradbury yet (or if you are due for a reread!), we are going to be doing a Buddy Read over at the Horror Aficionados group on Goodreads starting August 6.

I would love for you to join in. This will be my first time reading it.

Finished Reading

Nameless: The Darkness Comes by Mercedes M. Yardley - This was my first full length Mercedes Yardley book to read.

A Poetry Handbook by Mary Oliver - This was a lovely little book on poetry and forms.

Currently Reading

Rules for the Dance: A Handbook for Writing and Reading Metrical Verse by Mary Oliver - More poetry nonfiction from Mary Oliver.

Lost Highways: Dark Fictions From the Road by D. Alexander Ward - This is shaping up to be a great anthology.

We Sold Our Souls by Grady Hendrix - This is fabulous. I'm such a Grady Hendrix fan.

Recently Acquired

Candle and Pins by Jacqueline West - Jacqueline West sent me a copy of her beautiful poetry collection.

The Sea Was a Fair Master by Calvin Demmer - Many thanks to Calvin Demmer for sending me a copy of his short story collection.

Ilium (Ilium #1) by Dan Simmons - Ilium was a Goodwill find I couldn't resist.

Harry Potter y la piedra filosofal by J.K. Rowling, Alicia Dellepiane Rawson (Translator) - I made the mistake of looking up the Spanish print editions of Harry Potter. I had no idea how gorgeous they were, and I clearly need them all.

Harry Potter y la camara secreta by J.K. Rowling, Adolfo Muñoz García (Translator), Nieves Martín Azofra (Translator) - The first two editions were my Prime Day picks.

Tau Zero by Poul Anderson - This book is all Lilyn. I was frightened of Tau Zero, but now that I have it in my hands, it's not as intimidating as I thought it would be. I'm looking forward to checking it out.

So what about you? Let me know what you're reading this week or leave me some links!

This post is being shared as part of Book Date's It's Monday! What Are You Reading? and Caffeinated Book Reviewer's The Sunday Post.


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Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Book Review | If You Died Tomorrow I Would Eat Your Corpse by Wrath James White

If You Died Tomorrow I Would Eat Your Corpse is a poetry collection by Wrath James White.

Poems of the Erotic, the Romantic, the Violent, and the Grotesque.

After reading No Mercy by Alessandro Manzetti last year {my review}, I've been wanting to read a lot more horror poetry. The only exposure I have to horror poetry these days is the occasional inclusion in an anthology. This year I'm seeking out single author poetry collections so get ready to see more poetry reviews from me.

If You Died Tomorrow I'd Eat Your Corpse was an interesting first selection for me. I am not an erotica reader so I was throwing myself outside of my comfort zone in both format and content.

Overall, I'm extremely glad I read this one.

I've noticed something over the last year in particular: collection introductions can be extremely helpful. I feel like most of my reading life I've skipped over the introduction (give me the stories already!), but the last few collection introductions I've read have really put me in the correct frame of mind heading into the stories.

In the introduction to If You Died Tomorrow I Would Eat Your Corpse, Wrath James White comments on the time span in which he wrote these poems. Some of them go back to his "angst-ridden youth". A lot of his comments show in the unevenness of the collection, but I was prepared for it.

Not being an erotica reader and not being a regular reader of poetry, there were a lot of misses for me in the collection, but there were some hits, too.

One "poem" in particular (Perpetual Motion) is one of the greatest things I've read this year. I say "poem" because there is a short poem that leads into basically a short story*. I hate to say my favorite thing about this poetry collection is a short story, but it is and it's worth reading the entire collection to just have it framed around that one short story.

7/10: Recommended Read

Update: Since writing my review I have learned about "prose poems" which are written in prose without line breaks but maintain a poetic quality. This would be an appropriate description of Perpetual Motion.


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Sunday, July 15, 2018

Recent Updates and Currently Reading | July 15

The last two weeks have been pretty chaotic for me. Some really amazing things have happened in the middle of some not so amazing things which is what life seems to do! All I want to do today is spend time on the blog, check in on how you guys are doing, and see what everyone is reading.

Finished Reading

If You Died Tomorrow I Would Eat Your Corpse by Wrath James White - How is that for a title? I've been on a poetry kick, and I'll have a review out for this one this week.

I Am Not Your Final Girl by Claire C. Holland - This is another poetry collection. I didn't enjoy it as much as the Wrath James White collection. I haven't decided if I will review it yet.

Meg: Origins - Thank you, Barb, for suggesting Meg is a better read if you read Origins first. I took your advice!

Currently Reading

Saga, Vol. 5 by Brian K. Vaughan (Writer), Fiona Staples (Artist) - My library finally came to their senses!

Meg by Steve Alten - I'm having so much fun reading Meg with Lilyn and Toni. I can't wait to see the movie, too.

Review Copies

Huge thanks to Flame Tree Press for these ARCs! If you guys aren't following Flame Tree Press, you need to be! These are the first 6 books they will be releasing (in September). I'm super excited for these books and what's to come.

Creature by Hunter Shea - "Something is in the woods, screeching in the darkness, banging on the house, leaving animals for dead." After I finish Meg, I will be so happy to have another creature feature.

The Bad Neighbor by David Tallerman - "The Bad Neighbor is a gritty contemporary crime thriller set in the north of England, rooted in the author's personal experiences of the region while drawing upon wider issues of racial intolerance, gang crime, and police corruption." I'm excited to check out what kind of crime fiction will be coming out of Flame Tree Press.

The Mouth of the Dark by Tim Waggoner - "Jayce’s twenty-year-old daughter Emory is missing, lost in a dark, dangerous realm called Shadow that exists alongside our own reality." Tim Waggoner is a well known name in the horror genre, but I don't think I've read his books before. I'll try to put aside my child horror fears and step lightly into this one.

The Siren and The Specter by Jonathan Janz - "When David Caine, a celebrated skeptic of the supernatural, is invited by an old friend to spend a month in “the most haunted house in Virginia,” he believes the case will be like any other. But the Alexander House is different." I featured The Siren and the Specter in one of my wishlist posts. This is one of my most anticipated books for this year.

The Sky Woman by J D Moyer - "Progressive scientific culture lives on among orbiting ringstations, descendants of early pioneers who rejected terrestrial life in favor of contained biomes and well-organized, collective societies. One of these ringstations is The Stanford." Will this be outside of my comfort zone? We'll see! Maybe I can talk Lilyn into reading it with me!

Thirteen Days by Sunset Beach by Ramsey Campbell - "Before their holiday is over, some of the family may learn more than they can bear about the secret that keeps the island alive..." Ooooh. I can't wait for this one!

So what about you? Let me know what you're reading this week or leave me some links!

This post is being shared as part of Book Date's It's Monday! What Are You Reading? and Caffeinated Book Reviewer's The Sunday Post.


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Monday, July 2, 2018

Book Review | Off Season by Jack Ketchum

Off Season is a horror novel by Jack Ketchum.

Off Season by Jack Ketchum

September. A beautiful New York editor retreats to a lonely cabin on a hill in the quiet Maine beach town of Dead River—off season—awaiting her sister and friends. Nearby, a savage human family with a taste for flesh lurks in the darkening woods, watching, waiting for the moon to rise and night to fall...

And before too many hours pass, five civilized, sophisticated people and one tired old country sheriff will learn just how primitive we all are beneath the surface...and that there are no limits at all to the will to survive.

Off Season is about a woman who rents a cabin on the outskirts of town near the ocean. She has the house for a couple of weeks so she can get an editing project completed and spend some time vacationing and relaxing. Shortly after she gets to the house, her sister and some friends arrive to spend a few days with her in the cabin. Unfortunately for them, there's a group of savages in the area who live off the land and its inhabitants.

As much as I love Jack Ketchum’s writing, Off Season was a miss for me.

The first chapter jumped straight into the action, but it turned out to be much more of a prologue than an actual part of Off Season. I found myself whining for the action to return for the next 100 or so pages. I’d love to say those 100 pages were devoted to getting to know the characters in Off Season, but the setup to Off Season stayed at an extremely shallow level.

When the real action finally started, it was brutal and gory and relentless. I can see where extreme horror lovers would find things to enjoy in Off Season, but I simply didn’t care what was happening to anyone. Horror for horror’s sake just doesn’t do anything for me. I want to care about someone, something, anything. I didn’t have a reason to care other than just knowing it’s wrong for people to be tortured and eaten. The savages themselves were presented more as animals than humans so that actually eased the horror in my mind instead of enhancing it.

The only thing I enjoyed in Off Season was Ketchum’s writing. We have a limited supply of Ketchum novels now that he is gone so I will probably read the sequels to Off Season (Offspring and The Woman) at some point. If you are looking for a horror novel to get the adrenaline flowing, though, I wouldn’t recommend Off Season. Violent horror shouldn’t be so boring.

4/10: Not My Thing


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Sunday, July 1, 2018

Recent Updates and Currently Reading | July 1

Happy July! I can't believe how fast summer is flying by. My kids will be back in school before I know it!

GDRP has made blogging in blogger a lot tougher. I'm not getting notified of comments so feel free to hit me up on twitter if you need a quicker response. Please know I'm not ignoring you on purpose!

Posted Last Week

I didn't manage to post here on the blog last week, but I did write a guest post for Sci-Fi and Scary on one of my favorite topics: Underrated Horror Books! Check it out if you want to see some horror books that deserve more attention.

Currently Reading

*These were not all started this week but what I've been reading through over the last few weeks.

Cold in July by Joe Lansdale - I'm halfway through Cold in July, and I'm very interested in knowing what's happening! This book had one heck of a start.

Entropy in Bloom by Jeremy Robert Johnson - As you will see from this post, I'm having a lot of trouble focusing on what I'm reading. I have read a couple of the short stories from this collection for the simple sake of reading a complete story or two. This is my first experience with Jeremy Robert Johnson, and so far I really like his style.

Red Rising (Red Rising Saga #1) by Pierce Brown - This was an impulse grab from the library. I'm enjoying it, but I'm definitely going to have to renew it and put some focus on it!

Providence by Caroline Kepnes - If all goes well, I will finish Providence later today. I've decided Caroline Kepnes now lives on my autobuy author list.

Harry Potter y la piedra filosofal (Harry Potter #1) by J.K. Rowling, Alicia Dellepiane Rawson (Translator) - I'd like to start reading some books in Spanish. I'm planning to read books that were originally written in Spanish, but I'm working my way up to that. Harry Potter translated into Spanish is a great place for me to start because I know the story so well. I'm really enjoying it.

Off Season (Dead River Series #1) by Jack Ketchum - I read Off Season this week with Lilyn. I love Ketchum, but this book didn't really do it for me. I should be able to have a review out for it later this week.

Recent Acquisitions

Cien años de soledad (One Hundred Years of Solitude) by Gabriel García Márquez - I put a call out on Twitter for books originally written in Spanish. I got some great recommendations (Thank you, Matt Godfrey!) and decided to purchase a copy of Cien años de soledad.

If you have any Spanish recommendations, please let me know!

The Changeling by Victor LaValle - It is time for me to finally read The Changeling! The only thing I know about it is how much it is loved by other horror readers.

Lost Highways: Dark Fictions From the Road by D. Alexander Ward - This is collection will be released in July. Stories by Joe R. Lansdale, Kelli Owen, Jonathan Janz, Damien Angelica Walters, Christopher Buehlman, Josh Malerman, Rio Youers, and many others!

So what about you? Let me know what you're reading this week or leave me some links!

This post is being shared as part of Book Date's It's Monday! What Are You Reading? and Caffeinated Book Reviewer's The Sunday Post.


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