October TBR

I’ve spent the last two Octobers reading creepy books. The cooler weather makes it feel good to curl up under a blanket and read something scary.

There will be a couple non-scary reviews in October too. I’m behind with NetGalley reviews and Jennifer Egan’s Manhattan Beach comes out on the 3rd.

I’ve picked out seven for this month:

Frankenstein by Mary Shelley

I read this back in February and have been sitting on the review. It’s not scary, but seems seasonally appropriate given how Frankenstein’s monster is a common Halloween costume.

 

Let the Right One In by John Ajvide Lindqvist

I’ve seen both movies—the Swedish original and the American remake—though it’s been a while. I don’t read many vampire books, but this one sounds good. Both movies had some excellent jump scares so I plan to read this with all the lights on.

 

The King in Yellow by Robert W. Chambers

I picked this up after the first season of True Detective, but haven’t read it. I tried the first story, but it was weirder and trippier than I thought it would be.

 

It by Stephen King

According to my Kindle, this book is 1,477 pages long. What a doorstop! I wouldn’t have put it on my October list if I hadn’t just finished it because I’m not sure I could fit seven reviews into the month if I had to read 1,000+ page books too. The book is more frightening than the movie; many of the most terrifying/disgusting scenes would be hard to put on film without looking campy/cheap. Still though, if you haven’t seen the new movie—you should.

 

The Loney by Andrew Michael Hurley

The end of this book is strange so it’s been on my reread list since I read it last year. The religious mania in the book creates an uncomfortable, unsettling tone and there are TWO gothic mansions, not just one. That’s twice the fun.

 

Zero K by Don DeLillo

I wouldn’t call the overall story “horror,” but there was one chapter in the middle that made my blood turn cold. I had to set it down and walk away. Zero K taps into the whole fear-of-death thing, though not so obviously as White Noise. White Noise has a repeated refrain of “who will die first” every time the lead character looks at his wife that similarly got under my skin.

 

The Talented Mr. Ripley by Patricia Highsmith

No ghosts, vampires, or werewolves here—just creepy ol’ Tom Ripley who kills his friend and takes over his life. Yikes.

For some recommendations in the meantime, here are links to reviews from previous years:

Bird Box by Josh Malerman

The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson

Hell House by Richard Matheson

The Little Stranger by Sarah Waters

The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde

Shutter Island by Dennis

Slade House by David Mitchell

The Turn of the Screw by Henry James

We Have Always Lived in the Castle by Shirley Jackson

And don’t forget the most terrifying, skin-crawling vampire book of all time: Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight. 😛

Happy October!

 

 

20 Books of Summer 2017: Wrap Up

A new personal best!

Summers pass faster now than when I was a kid. By the time I hit Publish on this post, I’ll be mulling next year’s list and it’ll be June again soon.

But before I bid farewell to this year’s list, I need to break out the champagne.

I read 16 books!
I reviewed 9 books!
A new personal best!!

I went off-list a little in the middle, but still made a sizeable dent in the original list from my sign-up post. The links below lead to my reviews. Happy Summer, Everyone!

Original Reading List

All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr

Postponed

 

Breathing Lessons by Anne Tyler

Read and reviewed!
Rating: 4.6

 

The Buried Giant by Kazuo Ishiguro

Postponed

 

A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab

Read and reviewed!
Rating: 4.5

 

Dead Wake by Erik Larson

Read and reviewed!
Rating: 4.8

 

The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls

Read, not yet reviewed…

 

Girl with a Pearl Earring by Tracy Chevalier

Read, not yet reviewed…

 

Hungry Hill by Daphne du Maurier

Read, not yet reviewed…

 

The Intuitionist by Colson Whitehead

Read and reviewed!
Rating: 4.7

 

The Moving Finger by Agatha Christie

Read and reviewed!
Rating: 4.4

 

My Brilliant Friend by Elena Ferrante

Postponed

 

The Punch Escrow by Tal M. Klein

Read and reviewed!
Rating: 4.4

 

Red Mars by Kim Stanley Robinson

Postponed

 

Roverandom by J.R.R. Tolkien

Read and reviewed!
Rating: 4.0

 

The Shape of Water by Andrea Camilleri

Read, not yet reviewed…

 

She by H. Rider Haggard

Read and reviewed!
Rating: 4.5

 

Stone Mattress by Margaret Atwood

Read, not yet reviewed…

 

The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway

Postponed

 

A Visit from the Goon Squad by Jennifer Egan

Postponed

 

White Teeth by Zadie Smith

Postponed

 

As always, a few queue jumpers…

Sleep Donation by Karen Russell

Read and reviewed!
Rating: 1.5

 

The Terra-Cotta Dog by Andrea Camilleri

Read, not yet reviewed…

 

The Talented Mr. Ripley by Patricia Highsmith

Read, not yet reviewed…

Monthly Round-up: August 2017

Whew. August was a crazy month! The 20 Books of Summer 2017 reading challenge ends on September 3, which means I’ve got four books to finish reading in a short amount of time. Is it the weekend yet?

Books Reviewed:

  1. The Bedlam Stacks by Natasha Pulley
  2. Roverandom by J.R.R. Tolkien
  3. Sleep Donation by Karen Russell

Books Read:

  1. The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls
  2. The Terra-Cotta Dog by Andrea Camilleri
  3. The Talented Mr. Ripley by Patricia Highsmith
  4. Hungry Hill by Daphne du Maurier

Current State of the TBR:

  • Kindle Titles: 76 (includes rereads)
  • Paperback Titles: 178 (includes rereads)
  • NetGalley Queue: 14
Keen observers (creepy people?) may notice my TBR has surged a little. I sold some books to a used bookshop and picked up the following ten books for $7.11. That averages to seventy-one cents per book!! 😀

Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe

 

The Sea by John Banville

 

Mao II by Don DeLillo

 

Paddy Clark Ha Ha Ha by Roddy Doyle

 

The Big Sky by A.B. Guthrie, Jr.

 

The Talented Mr. Ripley by Patricia Highsmith

 

The Finkler Question by Howard Jacobson

 

A Good Scent from a Strange Mountain by Robert Olen Butler

 

Snow by Orhan Pamuk

 

Bel Canto by Ann Patchett

Monthly Round-up: July 2017

With just one month to go in the 20 Books of Summer 2017 challenge, I need to pick up the pace with my reviews. I’m running a bit off schedule, but I don’t feel too bad about it. I’ve been making huge strides in my own writing—10,000 words this past weekend! That’s a degree of productivity I haven’t had in years.

Books Read:

  1. Dead Wake by Erik Larson
  2. The Intuitionist by Colson Whitehead
  3. Norse Mythology by Neil Gaiman
  4. The Dinner Party and Other Stories by Joshua Ferris
  5. Stone Mattress: Nine Tales by Margaret Atwood
  6. Sleep Donation by Karen Russell
  7. Girl with a Pearl Earring by Tracy Chevalier

Books Reviewed:

  1. Dead Wake by Erik Larson
  2. The Stargazer’s Embassy by Eleanor Lerman
  3. The Intuitionist by Colson Whitehead
  4. The Punch Escrow by Tal M. Klein

Books Remaining for the Summer 20 Challenge:

  1. The Terra-Cotta Dog by Andrea Camilleri
  2. The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway
  3. My Brilliant Friend by Elena Ferrante
  4. A Visit from the Goon Squad by Jennifer Egan
  5. The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls
  6. Hungry Hill by Daphne du Maurier
  7. White Teeth by Zadie Smith

The Terra-Cotta Dog is the 2nd Inspector Montalbano mystery. I read the 1st early in the challenge and decided to review both together in a combination review. So far, White Teeth is wonderful (and funny) as is The Sun Also Rises. The plan is to save My Brilliant Friend for the end since everyone says it’s hard to put down and I should expect to read books 2-4 straight after.

Current State of the TBR:

  • Kindle Titles: 76 (includes rereads)
  • Paperback Titles: 175 (includes rereads)
  • NetGalley Queue: 168
    (42% Feedback Ratio)