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    July 2020 - How Many?

    6 Reads completed in July:

    Henrietta & Eleanor: A Retelling of Jekyll and Hyde by Libby Spurrier (Adaptor) and Robert Louis Stevenson:

    A modern retelling of Jekyll and Hyde. Enjoyed it but would stick with the original over this adaptation.
    4 Stars

    The Souls of Black Folk by W.E.B. Debois:
    Debois mixes stories of the times with folk tales to try to present what is stated in the title. At time fascinating and at time middling. Worth a read.
    3 Stars

    The Real Sherlock by Lucinda Hawksley:
    A biography of Conan Arthur Doyle. The writer works with members of Mr. Doyle’s family to provide a look into his life. Very interesting and informative.
    4 Stars

    Exit Interview with My Grandmother by Lily Meyersohn:
    I was expecting a tale about her grandmothers’ life. I got an autobiography with a few conversations with her grandmother thrown in. Interesting but could have been much better.
    3 Stars

    The Cuckoo’s Cry by Caroline Overington:
    I young woman arrives at the door of a 70-year-old man on the eve of the beginning of the Covid lockdown in Australia. She explains that she is the daughter of the man he gave up for adoption at 18. All is not what it seems and the truth is often very complicated. The story has incredible depth and a lot of twist and turns. You of the best stories I have read. I am seeking out more from this author.
    5 Stars

    Ghostsitter – A Crazy Inheritance by Tommy Krapweiss:
    Another Audible original free selection. A 14-year-old boy inherits ten million euros form an uncle he never heard of with one condition. He must run is uncles traveling carnival attraction Ghost Train until he turns 18. This was advertised as a family friendly story for fans of Hotel Transylvania and The Addams Family. I decided to give it go as the price was right. Absolutely loved it and want more. Audible has seven books in German but only this one in English. I really hope they do the rest in English because this is a fun story!
    5 Stars


    #2
    I listened to all 3 audio books in John Scalzi's Interdependency series. I really enjoyed all 3 books, I just didn't particularly care for the route they went with the ending.
    CD Email: danhocker@cemeterydance.com

    Non-Work related social media and what not:
    Instagram

    Buy my stuff! - https://www.etsy.com/shop/HockersWoodWorks

    Comment


      #3
      Originally posted by Dan Hocker View Post
      I listened to all 3 audio books in John Scalzi's Interdependency series. I really enjoyed all 3 books, I just didn't particularly care for the route they went with the ending.
      I could not agree with you more. I really enjoyed the series but the last book left me a bit unsatisfied. With that I will still read whatever Mr. Scalzi puts out.

      Comment


        #4
        Originally posted by Martin View Post

        I could not agree with you more. I really enjoyed the series but the last book left me a bit unsatisfied. With that I will still read whatever Mr. Scalzi puts out.
        Largely I liked the last book, just not how it ended. There's a very important event at the end the just felt completely out of no where and entirely avoidable.
        CD Email: danhocker@cemeterydance.com

        Non-Work related social media and what not:
        Instagram

        Buy my stuff! - https://www.etsy.com/shop/HockersWoodWorks

        Comment


          #5
          Books read and recommended for June-July, 2020.

          Hard cover -

          1. Driving to Geronimo’s Grave and Other Stories by Joe R. Lansdale from Subterranean. Damn this guy can write.

          2. Dead Daughters by Tim Meyer from Another Ghost and Thunderstorm Books. My first Meyer read but surely won’t be the last.

          3. Leaders of the Pack: A Werewolf Anthology from Horrific Tales. Anthology of original stories that are consistently good with a few great ones.

          4. Rites of Extinction by Matt Serafini from Thunderstorm Books. Did not get into the main story but the two shorts were good.

          5. A Fresh Start by Somer Canon from Thunderstorm Books. Canon weaves a good tale. Ghosts don’t always just scare us.

          6. Devil’s Creek by Todd Keisling from Thunderstorm Books. Did not get caught in any of the characters. Seemed quite repetitious and got bored. Hard read for me. Maybe cut 100 pages?


          Paperback -

          7. Of Mice and Minestrone: Hap and Leonard The Early Years by Joe R. Lansdale from Tachyon. Lansdale can do no wrong and Hap and Leonard rule.

          8. Lost Homicidal Maniac (Answers to “Shirley”) by Jeff Strand. Not my favorite Mayhem novel but still good, fun read and will read #5 in the series.


          Favorites = #1, 2, 3, 5, 7 and 8.


          Support Indie Publishers and Enjoy

          Comment


            #6
            Originally posted by kresby View Post
            Books read and recommended for June-July, 2020.

            Hard cover -

            1. Driving to Geronimo’s Grave and Other Stories by Joe R. Lansdale from Subterranean. Damn this guy can write.

            2. Dead Daughters by Tim Meyer from Another Ghost and Thunderstorm Books. My first Meyer read but surely won’t be the last.

            3. Leaders of the Pack: A Werewolf Anthology from Horrific Tales. Anthology of original stories that are consistently good with a few great ones.

            4. Rites of Extinction by Matt Serafini from Thunderstorm Books. Did not get into the main story but the two shorts were good.

            5. A Fresh Start by Somer Canon from Thunderstorm Books. Canon weaves a good tale. Ghosts don’t always just scare us.

            6. Devil’s Creek by Todd Keisling from Thunderstorm Books. Did not get caught in any of the characters. Seemed quite repetitious and got bored. Hard read for me. Maybe cut 100 pages?


            Paperback -

            7. Of Mice and Minestrone: Hap and Leonard The Early Years by Joe R. Lansdale from Tachyon. Lansdale can do no wrong and Hap and Leonard rule.

            8. Lost Homicidal Maniac (Answers to “Shirley”) by Jeff Strand. Not my favorite Mayhem novel but still good, fun read and will read #5 in the series.


            Favorites = #1, 2, 3, 5, 7 and 8.


            Support Indie Publishers and Enjoy
            Some intriguing titles in there. Thank you.

            Comment


              #7
              Originally posted by kresby View Post
              Books read and recommended for June-July, 2020.

              Hard cover -

              1. Driving to Geronimo’s Grave and Other Stories by Joe R. Lansdale from Subterranean. Damn this guy can write.

              2. Dead Daughters by Tim Meyer from Another Ghost and Thunderstorm Books. My first Meyer read but surely won’t be the last.

              3. Leaders of the Pack: A Werewolf Anthology from Horrific Tales. Anthology of original stories that are consistently good with a few great ones.

              4. Rites of Extinction by Matt Serafini from Thunderstorm Books. Did not get into the main story but the two shorts were good.

              5. A Fresh Start by Somer Canon from Thunderstorm Books. Canon weaves a good tale. Ghosts don’t always just scare us.

              6. Devil’s Creek by Todd Keisling from Thunderstorm Books. Did not get caught in any of the characters. Seemed quite repetitious and got bored. Hard read for me. Maybe cut 100 pages?


              Paperback -

              7. Of Mice and Minestrone: Hap and Leonard The Early Years by Joe R. Lansdale from Tachyon. Lansdale can do no wrong and Hap and Leonard rule.

              8. Lost Homicidal Maniac (Answers to “Shirley”) by Jeff Strand. Not my favorite Mayhem novel but still good, fun read and will read #5 in the series.


              Favorites = #1, 2, 3, 5, 7 and 8.


              Support Indie Publishers and Enjoy
              I have DEAD DAUGHTERS, A FRESH START and DEVIL'S CREEK are all in my TBR pile. Surprised to here that DEVIL'S CREEK didn't do much for you. It's been getting a lot of buzz and some pretty solid reviews. I'm also bummed that things went the way they did with Another Ghost. I really liked the look and feel of those books and was hoping for a shelf full of them.

              Comment


                #8
                Oh, and I read NOTHING for July. I'll sit here quietly while you all point fingers and chant "Shame" over and over again...

                Comment


                  #9
                  Originally posted by kresby View Post
                  Books read and recommended for June-July, 2020.


                  8. Lost Homicidal Maniac (Answers to “Shirley”) by Jeff Strand. Not my favorite Mayhem novel but still good, fun read and will read #5 in the series.


                  Favorites = #1, 2, 3, 5, 7 and 8.


                  Support Indie Publishers and Enjoy
                  A few weeks ago in July I also read LOST HOMICIDAL MANIAC (ANSWERS TO SHIRLEY), along with the fifth Mayhem installment, CEMETERY CLOSING (EVERYTHING MUST GO) -- as well as his other two new ones, ALLISON and THE ODDS. Went on bit of Strand binge, and I don't apologize for a second of it. I find Strand's work immensely entertaining, and it drew me out of a bit of reader's block I was having, though I seem to have again slowed down...unfortunately, there's no more unread Strand to fix it this time. Anyway: all great books, though I think THE ODDS was probably my favorite of the lot, and LOST HOMICIDAL MANIAC the better of the two new Mayhems. His new one, a coming-of-age thriller set in Alaska, sounds great...he just posted the first chapter to read.

                  Twitter: https://twitter.com/ron_clinton

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Here are the books I read in July.

                    T.E.D. Klein - The Ceremonies (5/10) There is a good story buried in here but boy do you have to wade through a lot of guff to get to it. Could easily have been improved by making it 200 pages shorter.

                    Jonathan Janz - The Sorrows (7/10) Ambitious debut novel. Not all of the elements work but there is enough here to entertain most readers.

                    Brendan Deneen - The Chrysalis (6/10) More melodrama than horror but an okay read.

                    Kevin Lucia - Mystery Road (6/10) Good but somewhat cliched coming of age story.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Finished 7 in July.

                      Crooked House by Joe McKinney was a traditional haunted house story with more than a nod of the head to The Shining. A down on his luck college professor with anger management issues moves his family into a house provided by a university in Texas. Things in the house are slightly off (geometrically, similar to Lovecraft's Dreams in the Witch House) & problems from the past soon return to haunt the family. I like McKinney's writing style, and the story flows right along. A good, quick read. 4 / 5

                      If It Bleeds is the latest novella collection from Stephen King. Of the four stories, I liked Mr. Harrigan's Phone the best (5/5). I also liked If It Bleeds (4/5), a follow-up to King's novel The Outsider, in which Holly Gibney goes it alone against a different kind of outsider. Rat was a weird story about how far a middle age college professor will go to complete his first novel (3.5 / 5). Life of Chuck was too existential for my taste (2.5 / 5). Overall 4 / 5.

                      Thin Air by Michelle Paver was a traditional ghost story about a mountaineering expedition haunted by the failure of a previous expedition's attempt to climb Kanchenjunga, the third highest peak in the Himalayan mountain range. I found Thin Air to be a worthy follow-up to Paver's previous ghost story, Dark Matter. 4 / 5

                      The Cabin at the End of the World is the second novel I've read from Paul Tremblay, following his excellent Head Full of Ghosts last year. I didn't find the narrative flow to be nearly as sharp as it was in HFOG; it was too easy to put Cabin down and go do something else, unlike HFOG which was a very compelling read. Despite that, I was always curious where Tremblay was going with the story. I found the ending to be very anti-climatic. It was one possible way to end the story, but also the least dramatic. 3.5 / 5

                      While The Valancourt Book of Horror Stories, Vol. 3 didn't live up to the overall story quality of the first two volumes, there were several stories I did enjoy. In 'Courage' by Forrest Reid, a young boy overcomes his fear of a haunted house and discovers what happened to his lost mother; in 'Peter Barker's Shanty' by Ernest G. Henham, two travelers find their return to an isolated cabin in the Canadian plains haunted by the violence of the their previous visit; in ' Mothering Sunday' by John Keir Cross, a strange boy may be the son of witch, and in 'The Bottle of 1912' by Simon Raven, a solider thought lost in WWII India returns home to tragedy. 3.5 / 5

                      Devolution by Max Brooks is one of the best books I've read this year, It tells the fictional account of a Sasquatch massacre following an eruption of Mt. Rainer. Told through journal entries, interviews, and book excerpts, the epistolary style lends a feel of realism to the story. Due to the eruption, a group of people living in a green-deal style community are cut off, physically & electronically, from the rest of world. As the wildlife flees the eruption, they start to notice strange occurrences in the surrounding woods, which ultimately leads to a fight for survival with a tribe of fleeing Sasquatch. By the end of the story it was debatable if the book title was referring to the Sasquatch tribe or the remaining human survivors. Highly recommended. 5 / 5

                      A Little Black Book of Quiet Horror by Charles L. Grant was a collection of four short stories by the classic writer. Now, I'm the first to admit, I don't always get Grant's style of fiction. At times he can be too subtle, too obtuse for my tastes. Of the four stories in A Little Black Book, my favorites were 'When the Children Call My Name', were a group of adolescent kids use the supernatural to turn the tables on a group of teenage bullies, and 'Snowman' the most whimsical piece in the collection, where a dead man (?) helps a lost woman who may or may not be the woman of his dreams. 4 / 5

                      B

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Originally posted by brlesh View Post
                        Finished 7 in July.

                        Crooked House by Joe McKinney was a traditional haunted house story with more than a nod of the head to The Shining. A down on his luck college professor with anger management issues moves his family into a house provided by a university in Texas. Things in the house are slightly off (geometrically, similar to Lovecraft's Dreams in the Witch House) & problems from the past soon return to haunt the family. I like McKinney's writing style, and the story flows right along. A good, quick read. 4 / 5

                        If It Bleeds is the latest novella collection from Stephen King. Of the four stories, I liked Mr. Harrigan's Phone the best (5/5). I also liked If It Bleeds (4/5), a follow-up to King's novel The Outsider, in which Holly Gibney goes it alone against a different kind of outsider. Rat was a weird story about how far a middle age college professor will go to complete his first novel (3.5 / 5). Life of Chuck was too existential for my taste (2.5 / 5). Overall 4 / 5.

                        Thin Air by Michelle Paver was a traditional ghost story about a mountaineering expedition haunted by the failure of a previous expedition's attempt to climb Kanchenjunga, the third highest peak in the Himalayan mountain range. I found Thin Air to be a worthy follow-up to Paver's previous ghost story, Dark Matter. 4 / 5

                        The Cabin at the End of the World is the second novel I've read from Paul Tremblay, following his excellent Head Full of Ghosts last year. I didn't find the narrative flow to be nearly as sharp as it was in HFOG; it was too easy to put Cabin down and go do something else, unlike HFOG which was a very compelling read. Despite that, I was always curious where Tremblay was going with the story. I found the ending to be very anti-climatic. It was one possible way to end the story, but also the least dramatic. 3.5 / 5

                        While The Valancourt Book of Horror Stories, Vol. 3 didn't live up to the overall story quality of the first two volumes, there were several stories I did enjoy. In 'Courage' by Forrest Reid, a young boy overcomes his fear of a haunted house and discovers what happened to his lost mother; in 'Peter Barker's Shanty' by Ernest G. Henham, two travelers find their return to an isolated cabin in the Canadian plains haunted by the violence of the their previous visit; in ' Mothering Sunday' by John Keir Cross, a strange boy may be the son of witch, and in 'The Bottle of 1912' by Simon Raven, a solider thought lost in WWII India returns home to tragedy. 3.5 / 5

                        Devolution by Max Brooks is one of the best books I've read this year, It tells the fictional account of a Sasquatch massacre following an eruption of Mt. Rainer. Told through journal entries, interviews, and book excerpts, the epistolary style lends a feel of realism to the story. Due to the eruption, a group of people living in a green-deal style community are cut off, physically & electronically, from the rest of world. As the wildlife flees the eruption, they start to notice strange occurrences in the surrounding woods, which ultimately leads to a fight for survival with a tribe of fleeing Sasquatch. By the end of the story it was debatable if the book title was referring to the Sasquatch tribe or the remaining human survivors. Highly recommended. 5 / 5

                        A Little Black Book of Quiet Horror by Charles L. Grant was a collection of four short stories by the classic writer. Now, I'm the first to admit, I don't always get Grant's style of fiction. At times he can be too subtle, too obtuse for my tastes. Of the four stories in A Little Black Book, my favorites were 'When the Children Call My Name', were a group of adolescent kids use the supernatural to turn the tables on a group of teenage bullies, and 'Snowman' the most whimsical piece in the collection, where a dead man (?) helps a lost woman who may or may not be the woman of his dreams. 4 / 5

                        B
                        Your views on If It Bleeds are pretty close to mine. You also read two that I have looked at but not bitten yet, Crooked House and Devolution. Devolution may be one I go for soon. Thanks.

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Originally posted by Martin View Post

                          Your views on If It Bleeds are pretty close to mine. You also read two that I have looked at but not bitten yet, Crooked House and Devolution. Devolution may be one I go for soon. Thanks.
                          Hey Martin,

                          Crooked House was good, Devolution in my opinion, was great.

                          B

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Originally posted by brlesh View Post

                            Hey Martin,

                            Crooked House was good, Devolution in my opinion, was great.

                            B
                            Good to hear. Thank you!

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Originally posted by brlesh View Post

                              Hey Martin,

                              Crooked House was good, Devolution in my opinion, was great.

                              B
                              Close to a third of the way into Devolution and it is vastly exceeding my expectations! You were not kidding, this is a great read.

                              Comment

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