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Books to Occupy Your Mind

I was walking the dog earlier. There was still a little snow left on the ground here and there but the sun was shining brightly and since I know all the nooks and crannies of the local forest I know how to stay away from the crowds that now inhabit it during the weekends.

I have been listening to short stories by H.P. Lovecraft as I walk and it occurred to me that I should do a list of books that might keep people's mind off the world at hand and maybe bring something positive, hope, joy, laughter...

Literature has always been an escape from reality for me, wether it's horror or something else. So here I have a small list of random books that came to mind as I was walking. They are in random order and there are lists and lists of these to be made, but here you have a few gems that surely made my life richer.

I need not tell you how funny this book is and it's occurred to me more than once that this might just be the perfect books to read right now. I have it on my kitchen table at the moment and read from it a bit when I eat - it certainly beats scrolling the news or social media. And if you haven't read this book yet, what on earth are you waiting for?! The end of times?

It's been a long time since I read this one but I remember feeling very optimistic after reading it. It was one of those quiet, shy books that stuck with me for a long time.

Michael Marshall Smith has the ability to turn words in on themselves and make them gleeful and funny even when discussing the mundane or the macabre. This is a favourite of mine, full of fun, adventure and seriousness and it promises to keep your mind off the matters at hand.

THE OCEAN SEA by Alessandro Baricco

There is something very haunting and quiet about Baricco's prose. I read this one a long time ago but I still remember the feeling it left me with. Highly recommend any book you can get your hands on by this author.

This is one of those rare gems that easily passes by people. It's serious atmosphere and topic kind of dissolves in the weird plot and the, somehow, tranquil prose. Now is a great time to read this book if you haven't already.

Waiting for Shearman's new book that's supposed to come out SOON you might want to pick this up. His prose is ominous, creepy, sinister and ever so funny. Sometimes all at the same time. These stories are so strange they are bound to keep your mind off the state of the world.

EMBASSYTOWN by China Miéville

It's hard to choose between this one and PERDITO STREET STATION but when push comes to shove I enjoyed this one a lot more. Miéville is the master of weird fantasy and strange fiction and this book blew my mind when I read it. It is serious and not too upbeat perhaps, but it's interesting and bound to keep your mind off things in real life. Full of strangeness and the unusual - there is no-one like China Miéville.

Last but not least I want to remind you that you can now pre-order the Alchemy Press Book of Horror's volume 2. I have a short story in this book called FOOTPRINTS IN THE SNOW and it is bound to be full of other fascinating tales, by very talented authors. Short stories are quick and focused prose and they always capture my mind.

The Alchemy Book of Horror 2 edited by Peter Coleborn and Jan Edwards


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