No announcement yet.

June - How many?

  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

    June - How many?

    Completed six reads in June. The month got off to a really strong start but finished with a disappointment.

    Jane Goes North by Joe R. Lansdale:
    Received this in a Subterranean Press grab ba g. Purposely did not read what the book was about before I started it. Turns out it is a an unlikely buddy story with great characters and a fun story. I would actually like to read more with these characters. If you enjoy the Happ and Leonard stories I think you would also like this one.
    5 Stars

    Behind Japanese Lines: With the OSS in Burma by Richard Dunlop:
    I have read several stories about the OSS activities in Europe during World War II but had never even thought about their work on Asia. Turns out the first clandestine deployment was against Japan in Burma. This tells a story of that deployment from a few who served. I understand the reason for formatting this as a story but I think I would have preferred a straight documentation.
    4 Stars

    A Little Bronze Book of Greebles by Owen King:
    This Little Book is a blend of fiction, non-fiction and opinion pieces by Owen King. I have found the Little Books that are a random collection of the authors writing hit and miss. This one was a hit. The fiction is strong as is the non-fiction. The opinion pieces were a bit puzzling.
    4 Stars

    Timber Gray by Ronald Kelly:
    I was not sure what to think of this one. Southern Fried Horror writer goes traditional western. Wimple truth is that Ronald Kelly can write. This story of a wolf bounty hunter in the west shortly after the civil war is absolutely fantastic.
    5 Stars

    Children of the Dark by Jonathan Janz:
    I was able to read an ARC of Mr. Janz first novel. I enjoyed it but felt the author had not yet found his voice. Well as he went on to gain many fans I kept thinking I need to revisit his work. Well I am happy to report that he has found his voice. This is a story of a mass killing event in a small town told by a survivor who was in high when it happened. The story is well told and avoids the cliché coming of age elements that it would have been easy to fall into.
    4 Stars

    A Life in the Cinema by Mick Garris:
    I have thoroughly enjoyed the novellas and novels Mick Garris has published. This one has been on my want to read list for a long time. The stories in this collection rate from pretty good to absolutely horrendous. The writer too often writes like a thirteen-year-old boy trying to write porn. I initially rated this as a 3 star read when I finished on the strength of two of the stories. In retrospect I have lowered it to 2 stars. The bad simply outweighs the good.
    2 Stars

    When I first started collecting small press books, I spent a LONG time trying to track down a copy of A LIFE IN THE CINEMA signed by King and Barker, 100% because I wanted their signatures. I found a copy, but I never cracked it open and read it, and after reading some of Garris' fiction, I doubt that I'll ever get around to reading it. Your opinion makes me think that is the right decision, lol.


      The Goon- Bunch of Old Crap: An Omnibus, Volume 3 (9)

      The Goon- Bunch of Old Crap: An Omnibus, Volume 4 (8) I went on a GOON binge, and I loved these stories just as much as the first time I read them in floppy form. Comedy, Horror, pathos, bizarro, gross-out...This series has it all. You'll go from laughter to tears before you know what hit you.

      Fables Compendium Two (9) Another great read, and a great value.....over 40 issues in a massive paperback for around 60 bucks. The big battle that took years to build to was a bit of a letdown, but there is some stupendous character work on display here.

      The Stringbags (6)

      The Demon, Vol. 1: Hell’s Hitman (7) The Stringbags and The Demon...New Garth Ennis, and one of his oldest. Stringbags suffers from Ennis' fetishization of weapons of war, and The Demon didn't hold up very well after a few decades.

      Don’t Panic: Douglas Adams & The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (8) Fascinating Neil Gaiman penned story of Adams and the history of the Hitchhiker's Guide. I'm not much of a fan of the books- They got progressively worse with each new one- but this was a great, fun read.

      Full Bleed, Vol. 4: The End (8) If you haven't checked out any of these wonderful hardcover "magazines", you really should. Each issue is a treasure trove, and the production values are exquisite.

      Reading Stephen King (7) This collection of King-fanboy essays ranged from fascinating to snooze-inducing.

      Life presents Jaws: The Shark Movie that Changed the World (8) I could read about JAWS all day, every day.

      JLA by Grant Morrison Omnibus (6) I loved reading this in monthly chunks back in the day, but, wow.....was it a chore to get through in one massive tome. A little Morrison goes a long way.



        Books read and recommended for June, 2021.

        Hard cover -

        1. Under the Blade by Matt Serafini from Thunderstorm Books. This did not work for me. Couldn’t empathize with any characters. The suspense did not work. Maybe at novella length would have worked?

        Paperback -

        2. Aliens: Infiltrator by Weston Ochse from Titan Books. Superb effort by Ochse. Great first and last lines. Mucho thrills, spills and horrors along the way. Good characterization and pacing. This needs to be made into a movie.

        3. Dissonant Harmonies by Bev Vincent and Brian Keene from Cemetery Dance. 2 good novella’s. Keene’s especially dark.

        4. Of Men and Monsters by Tom Deady from Crystal Lake. Wow! Another fine Deady tale. Coming of age, love and loss all well done in this novella but the real tale is in who are the real monsters.

        Favorites = #2, 3 and 4

        Support Indie Publishers and Enjoy


          Finished 4 in June, all pretty good reads.

          Shadows Over Baker Street ed. by Michael Reaves & John Pelan was a very entertaining anthology of stories that placed the famous detective Sherlock Holmes against the cosmic horrors established in the Lovecraft mythos. Not a bad story in the whole book. Favorites included 'The Horror of Many Faces' by Tim Lebbon, were Watson is shocked to see Holmes committing murder; 'The Adventure of the Voorish Sign' by Richard Lupoff, were a young woman calls on Holmes to help find her lost husband & brother; 'The Curious Case of Miss Violet Stone' by Poppy Brite & David Ferguson, were Holmes is called upon to investigate the strange case of a young girl who hasn't eaten in three years; and my favorite, 'The Mystery of the Hanged Man's Puzzle' by Paul Finch, in which a man with aquatic tendencies may lead to the doom of all of London. A solid collection that can be enjoyed by both fans of Sherlock Holmes & Lovecraftian fiction. 4 / 5

          Those Across the River by Christopher Buehlman. This was the first thing I've read by Buehlman (in fact, Those Across the River was his first published novel) and I was very impressed. A failed academic & WWI veteran moves to a small town in GA with his young wife to write the history of a distant relative who was the last plantation owner at the end of the Civil War. After they arrive, the couple soon begin to notice strange occurrences happening throughout the small town. The first 2/3 of TATR was a great read, a slow boiling southern gothic that was genuinely creepy at times. In the last 1/3 of the story, the action picks up & the story at times seemed to be rushed. However, I thought Buehlman tied things up nicely at the end of the novel. Over all, very impressed with my first reading experience with Buehlman. 4.5 / 5

          Exorcisms & Ecstasies by Karl Edward Wagner. KE Wagner was putting together the collection Exorcisms & Ecstasies when he died in 1994. Editor Stephen Jones completed editing the volume of new stories, plus he added a section of Kane stories, a section of Adrian Becker stories (a Civil War era gunslinger who may be a descendant of Kane), & a section of older, previously uncollected fiction. In all, the final collection edited by Jones provides a very good career retrospective of Wagner's short fiction. Wagner was a master of the short story form, and Exorcisms & Ecstasies provides a good starting point for those previously unfamiliar with his work. 4 / 5

          Uncanny Valley is the fourth entry in the Jeffrey Thomas chapbook series. Uncanny Valley collects three stories of weird fiction. My favorite of the three was 'Stranger in the House' about a man so ordinary he literally disappears from his dreary every day life. 3.5 / 5