October 8, 2012

Chasing Tale - A Summer Roundup (10/4/12): Philippa Ballantine, Christa Faust, Genevieve Valentine ...

Chasing Tale is a regular look at the books I've and added to my to-be-read pile. Some are review copies sent to me, some are brand new books, and some are finds at the local used-book shops.

It's been a few months since I posted one of these, thanks to the Summer of Shorts Marathon monopolizing the blog's time. While the vast majority of books I acquired through the summer were e-books, I did wind up adding quite a few physical books to my to-be-read pile, too.

Hunter and Fox by Philippa Ballantine - I received an ARC copy of this novel courtesy of Mur Lafferty and I Should Be Writing, a great podcast worth checking out if you haven't already. I've never read Ballantine's work, but I've listened to her on assorted podcasts and am optimistic. And, hey, it gives me a chance to read another Aussie writer's work.

Mr. Shivers by Robert Jackson Bennett - I won a couple of books from the book blog, Insane About Books, and this is one that I chose. I've had it on my wish list for some time (WLW#34), and when Robert's new novel The Troupe caught my eye, I realized I haven't even read this one yet. Well, it's on the shelf now.

Santa Olivia by Jacqueline Carey -I made mention of this novel way back in WLW#57. Slightly YA, slightly dystopian, and it sounds all the way awesome. I'm looking forward to diving into this world.

Martyrs and Monsters by Robert Dunbar - This little gem came courtesy of Alex, over at Roof Beam Reader. I was a bit awestruck by Robert's ability to weave words when I read The Pines, followed by Willyand Wood. This'll be the first time to my recollection that I get to read any of his short fiction, though I imagine it'll be more of the same mastery I've come to expect.

Choke Hold by Christa Faust - I really enjoyed Christa's novel, Money Shot, from last year. Enough so, that I had this sequel on my wish list as soon as I finished it. A big thanks to Birgit at The Book Garden for sending it my way as part of a giveaway she hosted early in the summer.

The Magicians by Lev Grossman - This is the other book Birgit sent my way. I remember reading a couple reviews for its sequel Magician King, then heard some interviews, and the premise for the book sounded really good. So, I figured I'd put this one on my wish list, then work my way to its sequel.

Brown Girl in the Ring by Nalo Hopkinson -I keep telling myself I need to read more stories by Canadian authors. Well, here's a book that I heard recommended over and over through the last few years, and it sounds like it is right up my alley. A young woman tries to survive in a wasteland version of Toronto--not the Mayor Ford version, though.

Zombie Apocalypse! Fight Back edited by Stephen Jones - This is book is a sequel of sorts to a pseudo-anthology called Zombie Apocalypse! that presented a--you guessed it!--zombie apocalypse by way of journal entries, newspaper clippings, and other media. This new book takes the same approach, but with the humans fighting back. At first glance, it looks really snazzy, and the list of contributing authors is impressive.

Little Star by John Adjvide Lindqvist – I was pleasantly surprised to find an advance review copy of Lindqvist's new novel in my mailbox. I loved Letthe Right One In to pieces, and I was thoroughly impressed last year by Harbor, so I won't be at all shocked if I come away from this novel singing its praises.

Mark Twain and the Colonel by Philip McFarland - I don't really read nonfiction these days unless it's related to story research, but I figured I had to add this book to my to-be-read pile when I saw it was about Mark Twain and his contentious relationship with President Roosevelt. Not exactly dark fiction, I know, but Mark Twain had a dark sense of humor at times, so that's part of the appeal.

Husk by Corey Redekop - The setup for this one reminds me a little bit of Scott Kenemore's Zombie, Ohio, but with a bigger twist into the humorous aspects of zombie life. A struggling actor in Toronto dies and wakes up a zombie. Toronto? Hmmm.

Psychos edited by John Skipp - After being highly entertained by last year's anthology, Demons, I'm looking forward to seeing what kind of crop Skipp has harvested on the psychopath farm. I'd have to be crazy not to read this anthology.

Mechanique by Genevieve Valentine - Here's the other book I won from Insane About Books. There's something about carnivals and circuses, particularly in horror and fantasy, that are irresistible. I've heard enough praise about this novel to suspect I will not be disappointed.

As if my Kindle wasn't keep my reading time chockful of goodness, that's a big ol' pile of dead trees on my shelf too. A bountiful summer in the book department, that's for sure. What books have you added to your shelf lately?


  1. Nice list, Gef! I'm ever so stoked to see Nalo Hopkinson on your TBR pile--"Brown Girl in the Ring" is one of the best novels I've ever read, and she's a fantastic writer. Also glad to see "Psychos" in there among others :-)


  2. I think I first heard about "Brown Girl in the Ring" from a few years back with CBC Radio's Canada Reads.

    As for "Psychos," yeah, I'll probably crack that open some time around Halloween. :)