FREE books AND a list of Recommendations
So to make this not just a post where I am plugging my stuff I thought I'd make a little list of things I've been enjoying lately. But first I wanted to tell you that my short story collection THINGS THE DEVIL WOULDN'T DREAM OF and other stories and my novella ALL THE DARK PLACES are both free on amazon now, so if you haven't grabbed those already now is a good time!
The first things I should mention are the podcasts that I've been listening to because most of the things I've been consuming lately has been picked up because someone discussed it there. So the podcasts that have been in my ear lately are:
I've been listening to nothing else while walking the dog and I've been reluctant when I've had to pull the pods out of my ears and actually start working. I've been grabbing my phone while listening, out in the forest to make notes of authors to look up, books to read, movies and TV shows to watch.
Now I'm not one of those people who is always up to date on everything so a lot of what I recommend might be old news, but here it is.
THE ENDLESS directed by Justin Benson and Aaron Moorhead
It was a recommendation on THE HORROR SHOW podcast and I found it on one of my streaming services so I watched it one evening. Now, it's hard to blow me away with a movie these days. I used to go to the movies ALL the time, but for some reason I've grown weary. I've surely grown harder to impress and I think a lot of what is made these days is just not very interesting, or (and this might VERY well be the case) I've been looking in the wrong direction. THIS is a movie that would have gone past me unnoticed had I not heard the raving recommendations on the podcast. I watched it and was completely blown away. Best movie I've seen this year by far.
TRAIN TO BUSAN (Busanhaeng)
Train to Busan was another such recommendations talked about on more than one of the podcasts. It's a Korean flick and as I've enjoyed a lot of Korean films before I figured it was worth watching. I think I can honestly say that this is the first zombie film to ever make me cry. It's got character and style, though there's nothing about it that's different from a lot of other zombie films this one is full of great storytelling and believable, heartfelt characters - which is so rarely the case with zombie flicks. Definitely worth a look if you haven't seen it. (And there are so many Korean films you should see! But that's a list for another day).
WHITE by Tim Lebbon
Deeply creepy, an apocalypic story set in the snow, which was refreshing. Perfect length and a very well told story that leaves you thinking. It's still on my mind and it's been weeks since I finished it. Great read.
THE BALLAD OF BLACK TOM by Victor LaValle
Stunningly told story that would have made Lovecraft pack his bags and go home. Creepy, topical and definitely not just for people who like horror. Highly recommend this to anyone.
LITTLE DEAD RED by Mercedes M. Yardley
This story gets under your skin. A devastating take on Little Red Riding Hood that makes you think 'WHY didn't someone write this story before?' Really magnificently told and completely soul-crushing (in a way that's quite good, and even healthy for a book to do!) I love new takes on fairytales and this one did not disappoint me - and Little Red Riding Hood is a favourite of mine.
THE HALLOWEEN TREE by Ray Bradbury
I had not read this one before and when I saw it on the audiobook site I subscribe to I thought it was the perfect story to listen to around Halloween. I must say I absolutely LOVED it. Such a complex, creepy story that sends you on such an adventure. I might have to make this one a tradition around Halloween but next time I'll try to find the written book. As Halloween is something I didn't celebrate in my childhood but love to do now that I have a kid I'm constantly looking for new traditions for it. And I loved this story!
THE MONSTERS WE DESERVE by Marcus Sedgwick
I bought this book in London just before it was time for me to sign books for the first time in my life. What a great experience. But before the signing I bought this book, amongst others, and I sat down in a café close to the bookstore and I started reading it. It sucked me in right away and I couldn't put it down. Wonderfully written, quirky and handles one of my favourite monster stories, Frankenstein. Absolutely a must read.
WE SOLD OUR SOULS by Grady Hendrix
Hendrix has quickly become one of my favourite authors. When I read the premiss for this book I had just finished MY BEST FRIENDS EXORCISM which I loved. This book? It's like it's written for me PERSONALLY - heavy metal and the FAUST theme? In one book? YES, THANK YOU! And it did not disappoint. Absolutely loved this book. Grady Hendrix is a magician.
SHORT STORY COLLECTIONS
LOVE SONGS FOR THE SHY AND CYNICAL by Robert Shearman
A collection by my good friend Robert Shearman. This is a fantastic collection of short stories, funny, heart-warming, heart-breaking, odd, shady, well written and different! I listened to this one as an audiobook and it has commentary about the stories and some excellent readers. A lovely experience all together.
PHANTOMS edited by Marie O'Regan
I haven't actually finished this one yet, but I've read most of the stories. It's a very well put together collection of short stories and there are some grand stories in there but for the past days I've been completely in love with Paul Trembley's story. It's a quirky story told in a manner that is innovative and that works so well. I've read stories before that have played with the format but Trembley brings that to a new level. I tweeted, after I finished it, that the collection was worth getting JUST because of that story. And I stick by that statement, but having said that there are other stories in this that are absolutely marvellous. Great collection.
THE ALCHEMY PRESS BOOK OF HORRORS edited by Peter Coleborn and Jan Edwards
This is also a collection of horror stories, but that's what my reading shelf is usually full of. These are subtle, weird and get under your skin in a great way. Really loved Susan Barbieri's story which is strange in a way that surprised me and caught me off guard. Really nice collection of stories.
OH, and since we're at it. If you haven't read THE MAMMOTH BOOK OF HALLOWEEN STORIES yet?
I know I have a story in this and am therefore partial but there are a lot of OTHER stories in it too and they are really, really good. It's not just a book for Halloween either, it's a book of scary stories that all revolve around All Hallow's but otherwise they are diverse and gruesome. Very honoured to have a story in such a great collection.
Now I really don't have any excuse not to continue my work. I hope you are having a good month of December with little stress and lots of happy Santa's (Or whatever else rocks your boat!) And if you have a recommendation to me after reading this list feel free to contact me and tell me about it! I love getting recommendations.