June 14, 2013

Chasing Tale [6/14/13]: Graffiti in Books

Chasing Tale is a regular look at the books that I recently added to my to-be-read pile. Some are advance review copies, some I bought from one store or another, and others are freebies from promotional offers that caught my eye.

Buying used books is like treasure hunting sometimes, or maybe more like an Easter egg hunt. It depends on if you have a particular book in mind when you scour the shelves. And whether you find what you're looking for or not, there's a sliver of satisfaction in the simple exercise of it all. Depending on the store too, the organization of the shelves could be orderly or downright haphazard with books scattered in piles along the floor, adding to the vibe while shopping.

One thing that can really sour the experience for me though, is when I buy a book, get home, and find it's littered with a previous owner's handwriting. I tend to watch out for books that are marked up, as the graffiti really hammers home the fact the book is used. Silly, right? I know, but it's a hangup of mine--plus it kind of reminds me of English class in high school, a place that ultimately soured me on books for years.

Anyway, I found a book that I'd been keeping an eye out for and bought it without cracking open the cover. I was just so darned pleased to find a copy. It was only when I got home that I found my little bargain was polluted with underscores, highlights, scribbles in the margins, and bullet points at the end of each chapter. Crud.

Oh well. That's the risk when you're looking for books on the cheap, I suppose. Along with that book, I've added several others to my bookshelf. Take a look.

Lustmord: Anatomy of a Serial Butcher Vol. 1 by Kirk Alex - This is the first book in a six-book series. Criminy. And I don't think it's going to be a lighthearted romp, either. But, how many stories featuring a dungeon are lighthearted romps?

Hiding the Smile by Charlie Boucher - I believe this is Boucher's debut novel, and she dares to make it a vampire novel. Well, it's sort of a vampire novel, but sounds more like a darkly tinged tale of friendship and betrayal with a private girls school as the backdrop.

No Beast So Fierce by Edward Bunker - I know Edward Bunker solely through his supporting role in Reservoir Dogs. Before Hollywood came calling, the man was a talented author, and before that he was a career criminal. Hoo-boy, this should be good.

Double Indemnity by James M. Cain - This is the book I bought that had all the notes written in it. The handwritten bullet points at the end of each chapter might not be so bad, but the underlined words and highlights throughout the text are eyesores. Looks like it's a cast away from someone's English class. Why the hell didn't I get the chance to read any noir back when I was in school? Damn you, Robertson Davies!

Abandon by Blake Crouch - What's better than a haunted house? How 'bout a haunted town? This paranormal thriller looks to be quite promising, and likely to make The Blair Witch Project look like The Apple Dumpling Gang.

The Dead Man Vol. 5 created by Lee Goldberg and William Rabkin - Three more novellas in the series, bundled together for my convenience. The three books are The Death Match by Christa Faust, The Black Death by Aric Davis, and The Killing Floor by David Tully.

The Work of the Devil by Katherine Amt Hanna - I happened across this novella with a blend of horror, sci-fi, and western genres. I got it cheap and the Dark Tower vibe has me interested. I'll give it a chance, anyway.

Everville: The First Pillar by Roy Huff - One of the gripes I have with epic fantasy is the epic-ness of those thousand page anvils fans of the genre call books. The first book in Huff's Everville series clocks in around two-hundred pages, though. That's practically a pamphlet by epic fantasy standards, but it sounds like the perfect length for me to give it a chance.

The Allliance by Scott Klug - Among the plethora of review copies that get thrown at me, I think this is the first time the author has a history as politician. Former U.S. Congressman Scott Klug e-mailed me a review copy of his debut novel, and it's a thriller no less. Beats the heck out of a political memoir, I can tell you that right now, so that's already one detail in its favor, but is the title supposed to have three "L"'s?

Broken Branch by John Mantooth - While I've added this novella to my TBR pile, you may have seen John's guest post and giveaway posted here on the blog a couple of days ago, promoting his new book, The Year of the Storm. If not, check it out by clicking here.

Zombie Versus Fairy Featuring Albinos by James Marshall - The followup novel to Marshall's Ninja Versus Pirate Featuring Zombies. It sounds absolutely cray-zee.

Lost Girl of the Lake by Joe McKinney and Michael McCarty - I read a review for this novella over at HorrorWorld a while back and thought it sounded like something I'd go for, then I found out it was available as an e-book.

Choke by Chuck Palahniuk - I've only read a couple of Palahniuk's books, but quite liked them. I recall this book getting a film adaptation, starring I think Sam Rockwell. The trailer made it look interesting, so I'll have to give this a go sometime.

Huntress Moon and Blood Moon by Alexandra Sokoloff - I got these two novels about a month ago, when Alexandra had one promoted as a free download and one on sale for only 99 cents. Seemed like it was a no-brainer.

The Cleansing by Shane Ryan Staley - I have a subscription to the DarkFuse newsletter, and as such I receive the occasional free novella from them as a thank-you. Well, thanks right back atcha, DarkFuse.

The Killer Inside Me by Jim Thompson - I got this one through Book Depository when I saw it listed for less than five bucks, and since I've been meaning to read a Jim Thompson novel for years, it seemed like the perfect time. I never saw the movie, mainly because I tend to want to read the book first, and I haven't hurried to see a movie starring Jessica Alba in some years. Just sayin'.

Emergence by WilliamVitka - A band of superhero kids from Brooklyn battle an ancient evil that returned to claim the city? Uh, yeah. Sounds bonkers, and bonkers is my bread and butter these days. Sounds promising.

The Blue Blazes by ChuckWendig - After being wowed by Blackbirds and Mockingbird, I'm excited about Wendig's next offering through Angry Robot. It looks like more gritty urban fantasy goodness, so I'm already optimistic.


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  2. I love the movie version of Double Indemnity with Barbara Stanwyck, but didn't know it was based off a book. I'm going to have to check into more.