August 5, 2014

Chasing Tale [8/5/14]: The Scarecrows' Wedding and the Strawman's Argument

I am not a parent. I have my reasons, not the least of which is a deep-seeded fear that having a child may cause me to turn into a delusional nutbag like the outraged a-holes decrying Julia Donaldson's children's book, The Scarecrows' Wedding.

I can appreciate wanting a world in which smoking is not so pervasively advertised. After all, we are not so far removed from the years of Joe Camel and flagrant attempts by cigarette manufacturers to lure children into smoking. But there comes a point when you, as a concerned parent, cross a line into crackpot territory. And guess what, slamming a children's author with righteous indignation and raw fury plants you squarely on the corner of Asshole Avenue and Paranoid Delusional Drive.

My advice: Check your health insurance to see if you are covered for the surgery necessary to remove your head from your ass.

Anyway, a whole bunch more books wound up on my bookshelf and my Kindle recently. Have a look and leave a comment with what you've added to your own to-be-read pile.

Hard Case Crime had a sale on quite a few of their titles in July, and the sale is still going on as I post this. I went kind of nuts, since they were less than $2 each. Here are six of the books that caught my eye:

Shooting Star / Spiderweb by Robert Bloch - This is a double-novel from the bloke who penned Psycho.  Considering the notoriety of that novel, I'm curious to find out how these stories rank.

The Last Quarry / The First Quarry by Max Allan Collins - I had the good fortune to interview Collins last month (read that here), and lo and behold, a couple of his contributions to HCC went on sale. Nothin' wrong with that.

The Corpse Wore Pasties by Jonny Porkpie - Honestly, I just bought this novel on the title alone. Not sure who the writer is behind the pseudonymous narrator, but I'm hoping it's good.

Gun Work by David J. Schow - I'd previously only heard Schow's name bandied about as a heckuva horror writer, but he is apparently quite handy in other genres too, so I had no qualms in snatching up this title.

Fake I.D. by Jason Starr - And, heck, I couldn't pass up a chance to read about a bouncer's hard-luck story as told by Jason Starr.

The Year I Died Seven Times #5 by Eric Beetner - The serial thriller from BEAT to a PULP continues with its fifth installment. I'm only two books in so far, but I'm digging it and I suspect things will heat up a fair bit leading into the final two books.

The Weirdness by Jeremy P. Bushnell - What if you woke up from a hangover to find Satan on your sofa, offering you your world's desire if you'd just go out and find his pussy cat? Yeah. I bought this.

The Price of Creation by Lance Conrad - I won this novel in July through the Fans of Fiction giveaway. Sounds very historic/epic fantasy, which is a genre I don't read enough of.

Bloodstain by John C. Dalglish - I downloaded the Kindle version and the Audible version for review. I didn't even know "clean suspense" was a genre, but I'll give it a shot. It's a short novel, closer to novella lenth, and part of a series that works as a stand-alone.

Closter's Branch by Robert J. Hay - My interview with Robert went up on the blog yesterday (click here to read that), and I've got my review copy of this weird western.

The Last Final Girl by Stephen Graham Jones - I vaguely recall the Booked.Podcast reviewing this novel a year or two ago, and thought it sounded pretty cool. Then I noticed a couple weeks ago that the Kindle edition was super cheap. So yeah. Finally got a Jones novel.

The Forty-Two by Ed Kurtz - Sleazy New York noir, anyone? A new one from New Pulp Press, all I really need to know is that it's written by Ed Kurtz. Seriously, have you read his stuff yet? Get on that.

The Dead Never Forget / The Missing and the Dead by Jack Lynch - Here are a couple upcoming releases from Brash Books. Actually, they might be re-releases. The publisher is amassing a fairly impressive list of authors and they're just getting started.

Mountain Home by Bracken McLeod - A diner under siege by a gun-wielding maniac. Simple enough premise, and apparently pretty darn good to get praise from the likes of Christopher Golden and Kealan Patrick Burke.

The Spectral Book of Horror Stories edited by Mark Morris - Look for an interview with Mark in the coming days, discussing this very cool-looking anthology with a snazzy cover and snazzier table of contents.

Tomorrow Wendell by R.M. Ridley - An urban fantasy about a guy living on borrowed time and the grizzled P.I. trying to keep him alive.

A Brief Guide to Superheroes by Brian J. Robb - A little bit of a history lesson on superheroes. Brian J. Robb is one of the authors published by Constable & Robinson that does a bang-up job with these Brief Guides.

Cheapskates by Charlie Stella - An ex-con with fifty grand and a bulls-eye on his back. I saw this one on the Kindle Store for a buck last week and couldn't resist. It sounded too insane to pass up.

Low End of Nowhere / Token of Remorse / A Long Reach / Totally Dead by Michael Stone - More books from Brash Books coming out in September. Actually, the first book, Low End of Nowhere, might be out now. A bounty hunter series? Yes, please.

There Is No Lovely End by Patty Templeton - How about a historical novel with some horror elements for your Kindle? Patty's debut novel has already garnered praise from the likes of Mort Castle and Richard Kadrey, so she must be doing something right.

Lust 4 Life by Sean-Paul Thomas - A thirty-something with terminal brain cancer decides to play by his own rules in his final days, living out his deepest--and darkest--fantasies.

Earthly Things by Julian Vaughn - Lee Thompson's alter ego has finally published his YA supernatural thriller. I don't care what name he goes by, Lee's a damned good writer, so you should check this one out.

Common Nonsense by Alexander Zaitchik - I actually listened to the Audible version, narrated by Tom Dheere, for review. Glenn Beck's huckster routine is at times fascinating, while at other times just an insult to my time and intelligence. Imagine a book devoted to chronicling his tomfoolery.