May 2, 2014

Chasing Tale [5/2/14]: The Art and the A-Hole That Made It

Chasing Tale is a recurring feature on the blog in which I highlight the latest books to wind up on my to-be-read pile. Some of them are advance review copies, some are bargains from the Kindle Store, and others are forgotten gems from local bookshops.

Roman Polanski is a coward and a criminal, and that's putting it mildly for a guy that drugged and raped a thirteen-year-old girl. But to this day, I enjoy sitting down to watch movies like Chinatown and Rosemary's Baby. That's because I'm able to separate the art from the artist ... most of the time.

The trick is to experience and appreciate the art before learning of the artist's abhorrent acts. And it applies to books especially. Some authors are a-holes, plain and simple, but some of those a-holes write good stories. So long as I get to read those stories before finding out how bullheaded, racist, and/or sexist they are in daily life, chances are I will continue to enjoy those stories. It worked in the case of Orson Scott Card and Ender's Game, anyway.

But when the first thing I hear about an artist is his/her addle-brained ignorance spewed over the internet or elsewhere, well, more often than not that artist is one less I need concern myself with reading. Hey, Hitler used to paint pretty pictures, but that doesn't mean I want to hang one on my f--king wall.

Ah well, enough ranting. I have a ton more reading material to get through, and I'm pretty sure none of these authors are a-holes either, so have a gander then let me know what wound up on your bookshelf recently.

The Keepers / Keepers & Killers by Donna Augustine - These are the first two books in an urban fantasy series. I believe you can still get the first one for free on the Kindle Store, too. I even have audiobooks to get through, so I may even do some of that Whispersync business again.

White Hot Pistol by Eric Beetner - According the product info on Amazon, the book "begins with an abandoned truck, a dead body and a sack of cash." Alrighty, you have my attention.

Fay Joe by Larry Brown - For the sheer curiosity of a film adaptation starring Nic Cage, I bought Joe. Interesting to see some literary noir brought to the screen with him in the lead. And because it and another of Brown's novels were so cheap, I bought both in one go.

The Education of a Pulp Writer by David Cramner - Here's a collection of short stories from one of the brains behind BEAT to a PULP. This ought to be good.

The Shore by Robert Dunbar - I think Amazon's publishing wing needs to improve their communication skills with authors, because when this novel went on sale for 99 cents last week, Robert had no idea until I told him.

Sleepers by Jacqueline Druga - This one from Permuted Press has a post-apocalyptic vibe to it, with a cross between The Stand and Left Behind by the looks of it. There are already four books in this series, too. Druga ain't wasting time.

The Wolf Cycle by W.D. Gagliani - I managed to win myself the entire series of werewolf novels by Gagliani through Erin's great blog, Hook of a Book, not too long ago. I do love me some lycanthrope-y goodness, so this should suit me fine.

Savage Nights by W.D. Gagliani - After winning those five books, I saw this one as a freebie on the Kindle Store a few days ago. If you're quick, you might get it free, too!

Motherless Child by Glen Hirshberg - Here's a prize via that looks to be a twist on the vampire novel. I continually hear praise for Hirshberg's work, so now I have a prime chance to find out for myself how good his stories are.

Half Way Home by Hugh Howey - I haven't even finished the Wool series, but I added this one to my TBR pile because of the cool-sounding space colony run amok plot. Gotta love some rockets and rayguns every now and then.

Federales by Christopher Irvin - Here's a cool-lookin' crime-thriller from One Eye Press set in Mexico. I can't recall reading Irvin's work, but I've read a couple glowing reviews that make me think I should.

The Reach of Children / Mannequin Man and the Plastic Bitch / In the Valley, Where Belladonna Grows by Tim Lebbon - A few novellas have been re-issued as ebooks this year by Tim Lebbon, and I managed to get my paws on these three. The subject matter is about as diverse as you can get, but I'm sure the quality is as consistent with everything else I've read of Lebbon's work.

The Wrong Man Collision Cocktail by Matthew Louis - I have an interview with Matt coming up next week, and part of my prep for that came from glancing his site, Gutter Books, and at these two noir titles, which I am very keen on digging deeper into through the summer.

The Becoming by Jessica Meigs - Nothing wrong with a little zombie action, I always say. I used to say enough with the zombie novels, but there's always one more that surprises me. I'm officially addicted to undead fiction, I guess.

Ugly as Sin by James Newman - James is facing some serious recovery time and mounting medical bills. In my own small part, I bought one of his books. I recommend you do the same, as the guy is a talented sonofagun.

The Bible Repairman and Other Stories by Tim Powers - This collection popped up on sale a week or two ago, and since Powers' name gets bandied about fairly regularly as a consummate short story writer, I figured I would bite.

High Moor 2: Moonstruck by Graeme Reynolds - This was a freebie on the Kindle Store this week. I haven't read the original High Moor yet, but that's no reason not to add the sequel to my e-reader.

Twisted City by Jason Starr - As renowned as Jason Starr is as a crime writer, his books are never in my local bookshops. Well, he's on the Kindle Store, so that solves that problem.

A Manhattan Ghost Story by T.M. Wright - For 99 cents, I thought I could take a chance on what has been called one of the best haunted house novels of the 80s re-released through Crossroad Press.

Hoods, Hot Rods, and Hellcats by various authors - This anthology is right up my alley, with stories from Eric Beetner, Heath Lowrance, David James Keaton, Thomas Pluck and more. And no sign of John Travolta or Olivia Newton-John.


  1. A Manhattan Ghost Story may need to get added to my Nook.

  2. Thanks for giving Hoods a shot. Hope you dig it.

  3. This comment has been removed by the author.

  4. This comment has been removed by the author.

  5. Ryan - If you read it before me, you'll have to let us all know what you think of it in a review.

    Chad - Well, a pretty good chance I will given the contributing authors.