Recent reads

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I haven’t done an update on what I’m reading for a while, so here’s what I’ve read so far this year.

Norse Mythology by Neil Gaiman: I don’t talk about it much but I’m big into learning about Norse mythology both as a personal interest because of beliefs and because I think it’s cool to know about other belief systems.

Over the years I’ve read books about Islam, Christianity, Buddhism, Taoism, Hinduism and have read most of the texts associated with each of the beliefs I’ve listed. I enjoyed reading the Baghavad Gita quite a bit as well as Buddhism, but Norse Paganism is where I find myself.

The Best Horror of the Year, edited by Ellen Datlow: I loved every moment of this anthology. The stories were incredible and while I usually have a hard time getting through anthologies I read this over three days from the first story to the last. It’s the first time I’ve done that with an anthology. I usually skip around.

I told myself I’d read a bit more classic horror this year and the next book blew me away.

The House on the Borderland by William Hope Hodgson: This is a weird book and I found myself thinking of House of Leaves quite a bit as well as Hill House and various Lovecraft stories.

It’s a very odd novel and while I read it I compared it to those I above as well as The Worm and his Kings by Hailey Piper, which is one of my favorite books that I read last year.

The next book is one that I’ve had on my shelf for a while but hadn’t read. Last week as I recovered from Covid I read quickly.

The Silence of the Lambs by Thomas Harris: I’ve watched this movie dozens of times. I enjoyed the book more than I believed I would considering how much of its content is mimicked or mocked in our society. I feel more for Starling the book than I did in the film. Her childhood and what she went through to get to the FBI is a wonderful backstory and it’s my favorite part of the novel.

Now I’m going to add something I put as finished last year, but didn’t.

Lonesome Dove By Larry McMurtry: I started this book last year after a suggestion by Stephen Graham Jones. I read up to page 600 and got stuck. It may have been from reading it so quickly. I got there in a few days, but my brain fought with me a lot last year and it’s more likely than the former.

After finishing it I’ve been going through a rough spot in reading and have picked up three different books. Yesterday I went to the library and picked up Streets of Laredo, which is the book Stephen Graham Jones suggested I read after Lonesome Dove. I’m only 100 pages into that one and it picks up from Lonesome Dove a while later.

I enjoyed Lonesome Dove more than I thought I would it’s one of the best books I’ve ever read.

There are other books I’ll be reading this year, Hailey Pipers “Queen of Teeth,” Catriona Ward’s “Last House on Needless Street,” as well as my intentions to finish “The Great and Secret Show” by Clive Barker which I’ve put off the last couple of years.

I have a lot to read and with my Nightworms subscription, I won’t run out of things to read.

Find your happy place and read something you enjoy.

My Heart Is A Chainsaw

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Let’s start with basics, I love slashers, and there are few decent slashers in literature, at least that I’ve found.

I know the format for writing book reviews, but I can’t do it that way.

Here‘s a link to what you’re supposed to do when you review a book.

Let’s get into this.

I started this book after receiving it in my NightWorms horror book box, but I got sidetracked by writing projects, researching Norse Paganism, and reading other things. The Norse paganism is something for me personally, and if you look at my recent reads, you’ll see I’ve dived into that pretty heavily, but let’s get back to this review.

The book’s opening is classic for a slasher, much like the opening for Friday the 13th. It begins before everything goes crazy, and we see two people doing things that will get you killed in a slasher. What it also does is add some mystery to what’s happening and foreshadow things to come later, which Stephen is brilliant at doing.

After the opening, we move to Jade, who is now one of my favorite characters. I can’t wait for my wife to read this book. She’s going to love this character.

Jade is a character that we know a little about, but the discovery process is terrific as the first chapter moves along. The glimpses into her world, one that, as a guy and white, I can’t relate to, but wearing those tags, makes me feel terrible.

I know people who lived on reservations when I lived in Mesquite, NV, and I understand the way our government and society treat Indigenous people. I’ve had discussions about this with friends.

As we move along, Jade is deep into a belief that something is going to happen in her little town. To me, it appeared like she had mental issues caused by something, but I won’t get into that. Her refuge for her trauma is horror. It has been mine since I was a kid, and it’s one of the reasons I enjoyed the book so much.

The number of movies the author talks about is crazy. I had to go find a list of them. This list is a spoiler of coming attractions in the book, so be wary of looking at the list if you want to go in blind.

As the story progresses, more elements of slashers come into play. Jade believes that a girl is a final girl for whatever the killer’s purpose is. There are loads of red herrings throughout, but the sheer evil of some of them made me pause and wonder numerous times, but it all came around to the finality in proper slasher form.

The date of 4th of July is classic and is pulled from one of the best slashers, Jaws.

Now, as the finality goes on, other things come into play, and while I want to spoil it, I won’t.

This is a book that I enjoyed so much, and Stephen is one of my favorite authors.

I know this wasn’t a perfect review, but I want to leave some important things out. It’s best to experience this book for yourself, and I don’t want to be the one to screw it up.

On another note, I’ll be doing more of this in the future. If there is a book you’d like to me review, let me know.