November 6, 2013

Chasing Tale [11/06/13]: The War on Christmas Ads

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.

Oh man, with Halloween in the rearview, the Christmas blitz is upon us. I am gonna have to keep the TV turned off from now to New Year's, because the commercials are insufferable. Heck, even social media is getting in on the act, it feels like. Come on, people. Can't we just leave that Jingle Bells bullsh*t alone until December? What ... no? Ugh, fine. At least do me one favor: don't play that "war on Christmas" card. Please. And if someone next to you does start with that humbuggery, do me a favor and smack them in the face with an inebriated elf.

But, hey, if you're going to buy books to give as Christmas presents, here are a few titles that were added to my own bookshelf recently that might serve as suggestions when you try to pick something out for that bookworm in your life.

The Howling by Gary Brandner - While I've seen the movie, I've never read the book. And it's been so long since I saw the movie that I can't really recall much about it beyond a couple scenes. So after word of Brandner's death, I went and bought this iconic werewolf novel so I could at least put it in the queue.

The n-Body Problem by Tony Burgess - Okay, zombie fiction is getting out there ... literally. Burgess' latest novel from Chizine Publications has the zombie hoards being jettisoned into orbit, since they're such a nuisance down here on terra firma. But that only creates a whole new batch of problems for humanity. If an author can make a story like that work, I expect it to be the guy who wrote Pontypool Changes Everything.

Coreyography by Corey Feldman - I am loath to read memoirs, especially celebrity memoirs, but I gotta admit that this one enticed me when I heard about it. The fact the man survived a childhood and adolescence in Hollywood when so many others wound up dead in a ditch somewhere, that's a story right there. Throw in some quirky anecdotes about the characters he crossed paths with over the years, and I figure this should be a really interesting read.

The Demon's Wife by Rick Hautala - Journalstone recently published the late Rick Hautala's latest novel and I managed to win myself an ebook edition. Stepping away from the horror genre, it looks like Hautala ventured into the paranormal romance territory. Personally, I am always interested to see an author dip their toes in multiple genres. Bring it on.

Cover by Jack Ketchum - I happened across this early Ketchum novel on the Kindle Store back in October and just had to get it. A) It was priced for 99 cents at the time, so ... yeah. Instant buy. And B) it features Ketchum's take on a psychologically ravaged Vietnam vet fighting for his sanity in the wilderness.

The Supergirls by Mike Madrid - I don't buy a whole lot of nonfiction, but this one caught my eye when it was on sale in October. It's a look at female characters in comic books. Oh boy, I can just imagine the horrendous ways in which the good ol' boys portrayed women back in the mid-twentieth century. Isn't that considered the so-called golden age of comic books? Silver-age, at least. This should be good.

Tampa by Alissa Nutting - I won a copy of this acclaimed novel from vvb32reads, one of the great blogs you'll find on my sidebar. This one first caught my attention when Megan Abbott reviewed in on ... I want to say The Guardian website. Sounds a bit salacious with discomforting subject matter, namely a school teacher with a sex addiction having an affair with a student.

Limbus, Inc. edited by Anne C. Petty - A shared-world anthology featuring stories by Anne C. Petty, Benjamin Kane Ethridge, Joseph Nassise, Brett J. Tally, and Jonathan Maberry. It's got a cool premise of an otherworldly employment agency, so I'm curious to check it out, and it's got some great blurbs from notable authors and reviewers.

Thuglit Issue #7 edited by Todd Robinson - I think the eighth issue is probably out by now, but I'm starting with this one, since it has a story by Ed Kurtz called "Pegleg" that has me interested. This noir mag has been popping up on my Kindle Store recommendations lately, so I figured it was time to give it a go. I read Todd Robinson's short story, "Peaches," not too long ago as well, and that was a good one if you can get your hands on it.

Kiss Me, Deadly by Mickey Spillane - I happened across this book at my local used-book shop, tucked away on one of the floor-level shelves. It's in fairly good condition given it's a decades-old pulp novel, and was priced for a scant fifty cents. Hard to beat that price.

The Sinister Mr. Corpse by Jeff Strand - Zombies, man. They've been every which way but loose in movies and books, but this novel sounds like an original twist on an old trope. How about a group bringing a dead guy back to life just for the sheer entertainment of it all?

Monsters in the Heart by Stephen Volk - One of my favorite novellas from this past year was Stephen Volk's Whitsable, and now Stephen has a short story collection coming out through Gray Friar Press. Looks like some quality British horror just snuck its way onto my to-be-read pile.

Smoke by Donald E. Westlake - What if a thief turned invisible? Okay, I think that was H.G. Wells' The Invisible Man, wasn't it? Anyway, I think Westlake has a much different and much funnier take on this, which has me intrigued.

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