On My Read-ar (geddit?)

Lots of big exciting releases coming up in the next year. Some favorite authors, some new names. Which are you most excited about?

  • Mexican Gothic – Silvia Moreno-Garcia (US release June 30, 2020)
  • Tender is the Flesh – Agustina Bazterrica (US release Aug 4, 2020)
  • Sisters – Daisy Johnson (US release Aug 25, 2020)
  • Summerwater – Sarah Moss (US release January 12, 2021) – guess what I’ll be getting shipped over from the UK when it is released there in August?
  • The Dangers of Smoking in Bed – Mariana Enriquez (US release January 12, 2021) – literally gasped when I saw this on NetGalley.
  • Klara and the Sun – Kazuo Ishiguro (US release March 2, 2021)

Short Stories

I finished How to Pronounce Knife by Souvankham Thammavongsa. Gorgeous little stories concerning Lao immigrants, and their everyday challenges. I loved the way the subtle way Thammavongsa shares the emotional strain on people living in an unknown country; she’s an incredibly engaging writer.

I’m having a difficult time mentally right now (aren’t we all?) so I sought solace in Daphne du Maurier, Leonora Carrington, and Samanta Schweblin. I also started Nicole Flattery’s highly-praised collection, Show Them a Good Time. The opening, title story was about a strange gas station that does not actually sell gas, but exists as a training ground for people to gain skills for the real workplace. Bonkers, but also totally believable.

Random Bits

This month’s Powell’s Indiespensible subscription box was wonderful. The fact that they could pull anything together is extraordinary. The signed edition of The Unseen, by Roy Jacobsen, is gorgeous. Being a tea-lover, I cheered when I saw a mug in the box (my current Midsommar mug has some serious competition).

I started listening to the audiobook of Stephen King’s The Stand, all 48 hours of it (no exaggeration). I am optimistic I might finish it before I die. I’m alternating this with Alan Bennett’s Untold Stories, as his voice soothes me.

Speaking of Stephen King, my favorite purveyor of book merch, Out of Print, just launched a Stephen King collection. I wisely dropped my daughter off at daycare wearing the frankly terrifying The Shining shirt this week. Just leave my “Mother of the Year” award with Lloyd at the bar.

While we’re on the subject of buying things I don’t need, my book-buying ban has been lifted, because I’m incredibly weak. Book Outlet remains to be crazy good, and crazy cheap. I got Ellen Datlow’s Echoes anthology (which is an 800 page beast), The Testament of Jessie Lamb by Jane Rogers, Imitations by Alexandra Kleeman, and The Good House by Tananarive Due for less than 30 bucks! Bargain.

I hopped over to Two Dollar Radio this week, to grab a copy of the Shirley Jackson award-nominated The Book of X by Sarah Rose Etter, and they have a ton of great deals right now. I did a blind date with lo-fi horror books, and got Bennett Sims’ short story collection, White Dialogues. The first story, House-Sitting, was both unnerving and hilarious in equal measure.

I finished Djinn Patrol on the Purple Line this week. I arrogantly assumed I knew how the book was going to end, but I was dead wrong. I was absolutely floored by the chaos of the ending, as well as Deepa Anappara’s devastating afterword. Highly recommended.

I’m about halfway through Zoje Stage’s new novel, Wonderland, which is absolutely batshit crazy so far, and I love it. I gasped in disbelief TWICE while reading last night. Hints of The Shining, and Graham Joyce’s The Silent Land. Comparisons have been made to Shirley Jackson’s work, but I personally don’t see it. No one does quiet unease quite like our Shirl.

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