What I’ve been reading…
The Trees Grew Because I Bled There by Eric LaRocca.
I only discovered Eric LaRocca a couple of months ago. I read their book We Can Never Leave This Place and was instantly hooked. I bought all of his book and when I saw he had some coming out, I pre-ordered those too!
This new collection of short stories is exactly what I’ve come to expect! These stories are unsettling, grotesque and just really really messed up. Please know that what I just wrote is a compliment. I think Eric LaRocca is an incredibly talented author who knows exactly how to make your stomach turn. I actually read this latest book after marathoning some sillier, more light-hearted horror and WOOF what a punch in the gut. Highly recommended for those who enjoy exploring the darker aspects of the human condition!
Hammers on Bone by Cassandra Khaw.
“John Persons is a private investigator with a distasteful job from an unlikely client. He’s been hired by a ten-year-old to kill the kid’s stepdad, McKinsey. The man in question is abusive, abrasive, and abominable.
He’s also a monster, which makes Persons the perfect thing to hunt him. Over the course of his ancient, arcane existence, he’s hunted gods and demons, and broken them in his teeth.”
This novella is a fast-paced and gripping read. Khaw’s writing style is evocative and atmospheric, with vivid descriptions that make you feel like you’re right in the story. I’ve never been super into noir or detective themes but wow, this makes me see the appeal! I think my biggest complaint is that it wasn’t longer (not because I didn’t feel the story was complete but simply because I wanted MORE!)
I loved Hammers on Bone and am definitely looking forward to picking up the second book in this series, A Song for Quiet.
How to Sell a Haunted House by Grady Hendrix.
“When Louise finds out her parents have died, she dreads going home. She doesn’t want to leave her daughter with her ex and fly to Charleston. She doesn’t want to deal with her family home, stuffed to the rafters with the remnants of her father’s academic career and her mother’s lifelong obsession with puppets and dolls. She doesn’t want to learn how to live without the two people who knew and loved her best in the world.
Most of all, she doesn’t want to deal with her brother, Mark, who never left their hometown, gets fired from one job after another, and resents her success. Unfortunately, she’ll need his help to get the house ready for sale because it’ll take more than some new paint on the walls and clearing out a lifetime of memories to get this place on the market.
But some houses don’t want to be sold, and their home has other plans for both of them…”
I’m really enjoying Grady Hendrix at the moment. I dove straight into this after finishing up The Southern Book Club’s Guide to Slaying Vampires. I will admit it took me a little bit of time to get into this one. The siblings in the story bicker quite a bit and honestly, I don’t care. It felt petty and draining BUT once the story really got going, I was IN.
While I do feel the beginning dragged a bit when I think about the book as a whole, I loved it! It was very entertaining. Oh, and I cried happy tears at the end.
My advice? Don’t futz around reading reviews on this book that might spoil what kind of horror it is or what/who is haunting the house.
My next three are part of a four part series (in which I will absolutely be buying #4 too!)
John Dies at the End, This Book is Full of Spiders, and What the Hell Did I Just Read? by Jason Pargin.
Oh goodness, these books are stupid. If you’ve read them, you know what I mean but in case you haven’t…
“John Dies at the End is a genre-bending, humorous account of two college drop-outs inadvertently charged with saving their small town–and the world–from a host of supernatural and paranormal invasions.”
John Dies at the End is horror written by someone with the sense of humor of a thirteen year old boy. What I’m saying is that it’s perfect for me. These three books are ludicrous.
Each one had me going “ahhh, maybe just one more chapter” over and over again. After the first book, you definitely have a feel for how absurd things can get but I feel like you can never truly be prepared for what might happen next. I can’t say that they’re perfect for everyone but I was certainly entertained. I think after spending so much time in this series, I’m going to be really sad to leave this very strange universe.
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