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Let's Talk About Books

An out of practice reader discussing the books I get around to reading. 

Currently reading

House of Small Shadows
Adam Nevill
Progress: 183/320 pages
Tim Lebbon
Progress: 58/656 pages
In cold blood: a true account of a multiple murder and its consequences
Truman Capote
The Haunting of Hill House
Shirley Jackson, Laura Miller
Progress: 10/182 pages

Eat a Snickers

The Hunger - Alma Katsu

On my phone, so forgive any errors.


I enjoyed this one a lot! I love the take on the Donner Party Katsu took and the fact she wrote a story around them at all. I haven’t seen a ton of horror centered around the party, which is really surprising when you think about it. She took an interesting take on all the members of the party and they felt so real I could imagine them being exactly as they wrote them. The scares and tension were also great with good tension building up. I really liked the incorporation of the concept of disease and the way she wrapped everything up in the end. 


As far as critiques, the pacing was a little slow. It could also be difficult to keep track of characters since there were a LOT. More for me, I wish she had delved into the nature of the creatures and the hunger more.


Essentially, it boiled down to “the white man brought disease which made the monsters”. But there was something undeniably supernatural about them - one has its jaw shot off and it still kicked - so to reduce it to just a disease was unsatisfying. I did like that the Germans brought it over, since that drew a connection in my mind to werewolves, but she didn’t explore much of that either. Finally, I think she missed a huge opportunity for horror in regards to the nature of the condition and the myth of the Wendigo. From what I’ve heard, some versions of the Wendigo myth come from the theory that cannibalism is what creates a new one. So for the party, that creates a horrible choice: die of starvation or become the monster. I suppose that could maybe be implied in the end, that many of them are infected, but she didn’t lead for that avenue. 

(show spoiler)


Overall, just some opportunities missed. It was a great read though and I recommend it.


Final rating: 4 out of 5

Reading progress update: I've read 80%.

The Hunger - Alma Katsu

Me when the party eats the ox: 


Reading progress update: I've read 10 out of 182 pages.

The Haunting of Hill House - Shirley Jackson, Laura Miller

I read on wiki that this book is one of the plots parodied in Scary Movie 2, which helps geat an idea for the basic plot. Looking forward to the story!

Reading progress update: I've read 66%.

The Hunger - Alma Katsu

They’ve used the term Skinwalker, so I’m curious to see if that’s the monster of the story. My money is still on Wendigo.

Bingo Update


Read Not Called:

- A Grimm Tale

- Fear the Drowning Deep


Called Not Read: 

- Cozy Mystery

- Classic Horror

- New Release

- Cryptozoology

- Modern Masters of Horror

- Terrifying Women

- Free Space




Jaws - Peter Benchley

I listened to this one on audiobook via Overdrive, which I highly recommend. The narrator did awsome. He kind of sounded like Edward Norton, but that's not who it was. 


The book has a lot of differences between it and the movie, and honestly, I think this is one of the few times the movie is better. The book is terrific, it just focuses more on political/cultural drama that felt almost soap opera-ish at times, whereas the movie feels more straight to the point of the battle between man and fish. The movie also has better characterizations, for that matter. Hooper, as mentioned before, is skeevy and douchey in this version and I hated that he and Brody didn't get along since their friendships is one of my favorite parts of the movie. I thought I would enjoy Ellen having a bigger role but she just seemed so shallow and dramatic for most of the book that I didn't care for her character at all. So the book is great, but the movie definitely improved upon it.


That said, I really liked the character of Henry Meadows and wish he had a bigger role in the movie. I also really liked that certain portions of the book take place from the perspective of the fish and the way it truly characterizes it as an animal rather than this man-killer. It did a great job of showing that sharks are chill, just not great at figuring out what is or isn't food. 


Final rating: 4 out of 5. Very good and if you enjoy the movie I think you'd enjoy the book just as well.



Last note: It's definitely a product of it's era with some mild racism and sexism thrown in. And the sexy talk between Ellen and Hooper made me ridiculously uncomfortable. The affair, in general, makes me mad but whatever. Glad they didn't put that into the movie.  

(show spoiler)


Reading progress update: I've read 75%.

Jaws - Peter Benchley

Why is Hooper so skeevy and douchey in the book?! He’s one of my favorite characters in the movie!

Reading progress update: I've read 107 out of 320 pages.

House of Small Shadows - Adam Nevill

I am REALLY loving this one. It's hard to stop reading. Neville has a great way of incorporating momentum into his writing. The emotions are starting to cut me deep though, opening some wounds. That's a good thing, right? xD

Reading progress update: I've read 50%.

Jaws - Peter Benchley

Dammit Ellen, you need to quit your shit!


Brody, you're not innocent either but right now I'm focused on Ellen.

Bingo Update








Read: A Grimm Tale

Called: Cozy Mystery, Classic Horror, New Release



Baba Yaga's Assistant

Baba Yaga's Assistant - Marika McCoola, Emily Carroll

I love Emily Carroll's art and I love Baba Yaga and Slavic folklore, so I HAD to read this one.


Overall, I really enjoyed the story. It played on a lot on the traditions of the folklore and I love the twists and the ways Masha was able to "outsmart" Baba Yaga. The biggest critique is the stakes really weren't that high. It was more of a steady pace, rather than becoming particularly intense. Still, it was a cute and heartwarming story and I'd be happy to read it to my baby cousins. 


Final rating: 4.5 out of 5

Close Contact

Close Contact (Body Armor) - Lori Foster

Not an uber long review, just short and sweet. 


I really enjoyed this one. The plot was actually somewhat developed and there was a good mystery developed throughout it. It wasn't life-changing, but I didn't expect it to be. It was just a fun read with some really fun, steamy scenes. 


Final rating: 5 out of 5. God help me, I can't be critical when picturing the biceps on Miles. 

Haunting of Hill House Movie

Saw this on IMDB today. Thoughts? Looks faithful, looks awful, too soon to say? I haven't read it yet - considering it for bingo - so can't say.



Reading progress update: I've read 260 out of 400 pages.

Close Contact (Body Armor) - Lori Foster

I love these books. So ridiculous and so fun. They're a great pallet cleanser between horror novels. 

The Battle Plan

Sad news: Been using Imgur since Photobucket's become a pain in the ass and Imgur doesn't have mustache stickers. Think it's gonna be aviators this year, but it won't be the same. 




1. A Grimm Tale: Vassa in the Night by Sarah Porter. - I say I'll read this one every year and every year I don't. Will this be the year?! 


2. Genre: Horror: Over Your Dead Body by Dan Wells. - It's been on the list a while, now is the time. 


3: Darkest London


4: Classic Horror: Turn of the Screw by Henry James - It looks like a short read which lord knows I need. 


5: New Release: The Cabin at the End of the World by Paul G. Tremblay - I've been intrigued about this one since first hearing about it. 


6: 13


7: Supernatural: The Hunger by Alma Katsu - I haven't finished it yet so might get my ass into gear and get it done for this square. 


8: Terrifying Women: Something by Shirley Jackson. Haven't decided what yet, but I've been wanting to read her stuff for a while.


9: Romantic Suspense


10: Doomsday: Coldbrook by Tim Lebbon. - Another one I've started but need a push like bingo to actually finish. 


11: Ghost Stories: Something by Adam Nevill. He has quite a few books that appear to be ghost stories so he seems like a good pick. 


12: Diverse Voices


13: Free Space:


14: Country House Mystery: An Agatha Christie novel, most likely. 


15: Creepy Carnivals


16: Fear the Drowning Deep


17: Amateur Sleuth:


18: Terror in a Small Town: Little Heaven by Nick Cutter


19: Modern Masters of Horror: Something by Joe Hill. Again, not sure what. We'll see what the library has. 


20: Slasher Stories: Would a true crime novel count? Hmmm....


21: Cryptozoologist


22: Murder Most Foul


23: Cozy Mystery: 


24: Genre: Suspense


25: Spellbound


I ran out of steam. I'll come up with the rest later. Though, as usual, suggestions are welcome. :D 

Let's Get Spoopy!

My card is ready thanks to the fabulous Moonlight and I am ready! I'll post my plans in a bit. This game always serves as excellent motivation to actually read.