Book Review: Later by Stephen King

Later by Stephen King is a really fun ghost story, about a boy who can see ghosts and talk to them is it a gift or a curse. I would say it is the Sixth Sense meets combined with a short story he wrote in if it bleeds Mr. Harrigan’s phone, this story went in another direction and it was good. Later was part of the Hard Case Crime series, that not really a series but more of a style of books. This is my fourth so far and favorite. I have read the three that Stephen King wrote and one by Brian DiPlama. Later is a good fun ride that gets exciting and a little gruesome. When rating Stephen King books you can’t help but compare to his other works. I have read 26 King books so far, and this one is good. When looking at the 2000’s King books it looks better. King will always create characters that you can connect instantly to and Jamie the lead is no exception. The pacing is fast I was able to read it in a day and had moments where I could not put it down. I really enjoyed the neck out of this book.

Jamie Conklin is writing about his life as a child through teenager, he will explain some things now and somethings later, hence where the title comes from. Jamie can see and talk to ghosts, he has some power where the ghost always have to tell the truth. He uses this power for good the only one who knows about this is his single mother. His mother starts dating a cop who Jamie generally liked but in desperation his mom reveals the secret to save her career as her client dies while completing his last manuscript in the series. Jamie talks to him and gets the plot points. He fills bad about this one, and doesn’t want to use this power anymore until he is forced to.

What I Liked: This novel is so fun and easy to read. I liked the connections other books to IT through the ritual of Chud and to Different Seasons with the descriptions of Shawshank Prison. Jamie the lead character you were so easily connected to and cared about. I like that King acknowledges that Jamie is just like the kid in the Sixth Sense, he acknowledges right at the start then moves on. I liked the gruesome moments and how they were described where I could get a good mind picture. The climax was exciting, I knew where it was going but was still surprised in parts. The structure and how it kept building, It was like small short stories about Jamie building up to the conclusion. The novel within this novel about Roanoke sounds so interesting I kind of low key want Stephen King to write it with all the tawdry details.

What I Disliked: This novel was focused more than most, but their was some details that were not needed. I really disliked the ending after the conclusion, I felt that could have gone a different way.

Recommendations: Read this really fun Stephen King Novel. With his big catalog of books and me reading 26 I would say this in the top 15. He has so many five stars this on was close. I rated Later by Stephen King 4 out of 5 stars.

Book Review: If It Bleeds by Stephen King

If It Bleeds by Stephen King is four novellas in one book, which he has done previously in Different Seasons and Four Past Midnight. As King has grown older his main focus has not been primarily horror, and this collection reflects his growth. If It Bleeds is my favorite story and the most horrific, Mr. Harrigan’s Phone reminded me a lot of his Hard Case Crime book Joyland, and how it was set up the first part was all history, but the supernatural comes at the end and well worth the wait, Rat is a story I thought was going to be a little like Secret Window just gone a different way, but it end up being a just okay modern day fable, and Like of Chuck was a story told in reverse and is more whimsical like his novella Elevation, which would have fit well in this collection. If It Bleeds takes 2/5ths of the book, it adds character’s from the Bill Hodges trilogy and The Outsider. The story is really good and the clear stand out in this collection, It is the one I see having the best chance of getting adapted into something. After having read Different Seasons and Four Past Midnight I would say this is the weaker of the three but, there is still enough moments for King’s fans to enjoy.

Plots and Ratings:

Mr. Harrigan’s Phone is a coming age ghost story. where Craig known for his readings in church is hired my Mr. Harrigan to read to him. Mr. Harrigan is a rich, old and very set in his ways. He and Craig develop a friendship. Craig wins money thanks to Mr. Harrigan and decides to by him one of the first I-phones. At first he rejects it, then shown what he can do it never leaves his side, even in death. I got some chills with this one. Phone calls after death are instantly creepy. Mr. Harrigan’s Phone has stuck with me since it was the first and I changed my initial rating of 4 out of 5 to 5 out of 5 because I kept thinking about it, after the story was done. There’s a little hokeyness but the story and the history really work.

The Life of Chuck is an okay story, the most interesting thing is it is told backwards. I was liking it at first, with the theme we are the center to our own universe. After having recently read Malcolm Gladwell’s Outliers I did like some of the discussion the book did bring up, not one of King’s best just okay. I rate The Life of Chuck 2 out of 5. I like the afterward where he talks about how he came up with the story, better than the story.

If It Bleeds is a great story that features Holly Gibney, from the Bill Hodges trilogy and The Outsider, a woman on the hunt for the same changeling creature from the Outsider. This time she finds a news reporter that has changed through out the years and keeps reporting on tragedy that he feeds off. This time he’s not just going to report it but make it happen. This is great story that has some real nail biting tension, and an exciting climax. Also if you want more history on Holly and why she turned to private eye King adds a nice history. I rated If It Bleeds 5 out of 5 stars. My favorite story out of the bunch.

Rat is horror story about writers block and the length writers will go to break it. Will you make a Faustian deal for your success if it meant some one you know would die. This story is a modern day fable that is pretty interesting in the way it describes the madness of writer’s block. The story is very relatable in that aspect, but the story goes i a direction that was just okay. I rated Rat 3 out of 5

What I Liked: I liked that we got a mix of genres, and some combined. I have been a fan of Stephen kings for some time it has been fun to grow with him. I liked how the supernatural element in Mr. Harrigan’s Phone stuck with me, days after I read it. I loved that If It Bleeds gave a big glimpse of Holly’s home life, and added on the legacy of the Outsiders of Changeling. Rat is only a story Stephen King can write a horror story about writer’s block, I do which it would have explored this more, I was heavily invested when it stuck with this element.

What I Disliked: The Life of Chuck had potential I liked the first act, I wish it would have went more supernatural. For Rat I really liked the writer’s block horror, when it got to the rat, the story took I left turn that was just okay.

Recommendations: Two out of four of the stories over delivered, If It Bleeds and Mr. Harrigan’s Phone will make you feel tension and creepiness of the stories. Rat is probably King’s most personal you can feel the desperation in an author can’t get past his own writing. I rated the novel If It Bleeds 4 out of 5 stars.

TBR: October 2020

October 2020 TBR list: last month was so successful I read all 7 books ; I decided to do it again and add another 7 and knock out some horror books I haven’t gotten too.   This month will be spooktackular.

Harrow the Ninth by Tamsyn Muir is the sequel to Gideon the Ninth a book I read last month.  Lesbian necromancer got me intrigued, but the great story and world building had me really excited for the next book.  Gideon’s love hate relationship with Harrow made the last book work so well, so with Harrow taking the center stage, things could get interesting. I’m more than half way done with this book I went in a direction I wouldn’t have predicted. I’ll let you know if it was a good or bad decision soon.

If It Bleeds by Stephen King it is rare when I read a Stephen King book in the year it was published.  This book is a 4 book novella much like his popular book Different Seasons. A story in this book acts as a stand-alone sequel to the Outsider, a recent Stephen King novel I quite enjoyed. Stephen almost always delivers the chills

William Gibson’s Alien 3 by William Gibson is a graphic novel by Dark Horse Comics that illustrates Gibson’s original screenplay for Alien 3.  This story continued off Aliens the movie with all the last surivors of the film making it, where in the original movie only Ellen Ripley survived the journey and lands on a prison planet.   I really want to check out the audible where stars Lance Hendrickson and Michael Biehn do the voice of their original characters.

Kingdom of the Wicked by Kerri Manicalco is the first book of a new series, that has the Tag lines of Two Sisters. One brutal murder. A quest for vengeance that will release hell itself… And an intoxicating romance.  I like how Maniscalco write murder and the macabre.  I just finished her first four book series Stalking Jack the Ripper, so I was happy to get approved  by Netgalleyf or the advance readers copy that is published 10-27-20.

Black Sun by Rebecca Roanhorse is a book that is getting a lot of buzz and the start of a new science fiction series.  I don’t know a whole lot about it, but it is inspired by pre-Columbian Americas with prophecies, politics and dark magic. This is another advance reader copy from Netgalley that is released on October 13th 2020.

Goosebumps: The Werewolf of Fever Swamp by R. L. Stine is  Goosebumps book 14 on my quest to read and review all the Goosebumps books.  This is a Book I don’t know too much about, I bet it has that original twist that only Stine could dream up.

 The Saturday Night Ghost Club by Craig Davidson is set in the 8o’s Canada with the tag line of Stranger Things meets Stand by Me, I’m instantly in and have to experience it. It’s getting good reviews and looks like a lot of fun.

Wrap Up: June Book Reviews 2020

Hello dear readers, June has been quite a month. I cannot believe we have hit the mid point of the year.  Look forward to my best of books I have read so far this year, coming out soon. I managed to read 6 novels this month.  I read zero rereads  this month. I read one graphic novel, one book that has been on my TBR for years now The Shining by Stephen King. I read one new release, thanks to Netgalley. I read a couple books in a series, and was able to finish the Power of the Dog series, this year it has been my goal to finish more series, I had a bad habit of starting a series and not finishing it. So far I have finished 2 trilogies, and have made gins in on-going series.   Thank you, to all followers I just hit 2 years running this blog yesterday, and it has both inspired me and uplifted my passion for reading thanks to you.

Five Star Reviews:

The Shining by Stephen King is a truly horrific book. Alcohol and ghosts do not mix! King gets into true fear, having someone you love, a father and husband, say, “I’m going to bash your brains”, then attempt to do it. The Shining is a ghost story but the scariest monster in the book is addictions and how it changes your rational choices, to choices that jeopardize your family. This Novel has been on my TBR for 15-20 years always meaning to read it but had not, until now.  I was shocked how different the book and the movie were, liking some and loathing some choices, but all in all a scary read, with truly horrific images, that only King can deliver.

Four Star Reviews:

The Border By Don Winslow takes the epic tale of DEA agent Art Keller and his war on drugs to a worthy conclusion. The Border is book three in the Power of the Dog series. This series starts in 1975 and takes us all the way up to 2019. The Border mirrors events that happened in real life and tweek them to fit the narrative, making it feel very real and current. The previous books in the series have remained in Mexico, but this book looks at the drug war going on in America. This book reminded me of J. R. Tolkien’s Return of the King when they destroyed the ring, they go back the shire is under siege (that happens in the book not the movie). Art Keller spent so many years trying to destroy drug kingpins in Mexico, that he returns to see that drugs are all around and didn’t stop anything. I did not like The Border as much as The Power of the Dog and The Cartel which were both 5 stars, but this delivered a pretty could conclusion wrapping up the series really well.

Welcome to Camp Nightmare by R. L. Stine is book 9 in the original Goosebumps series. Welcome to Camp Nightmare is scarier than most of the Goosebumps I have read before. The ending is a good twist that is set up from the start with little hints along the way, in my last review of The Girl Who Cried Monster Goosebumps 8 this was a big complaint. The Psychological horror of being stranded and having people go missing, that no one remembers being there in the first place works really well.

Rogue Protocol by Martha Wells is the third installment of The Murderbot Diaries. This novella like the previous stories in the Murderbot Diaries follows an A.I. SecUnit that is self aware and detached from the mainframe that controls all other SecUnits. He refers to himself as Murderbot because he has murdered hundreds as he was controlled and part of the mainframe. He know tries to discover mysteries of his past. The Murderbot Diaries are part character study and part action adventure. The character study is usually the best part, but I preferred the action a little bit more in this installment.

Three Star Reviews:

Devolution: A Firsthand Account of the Rainier Sasquatch Massacre by Max Brooks, is a fiction that is written like a nonfiction having a journal, expert interviews, and family interviews. The Legend of Bigfoot is something that I have always been curious about, this book does the research on past Bigfoot sitings and makes a story out of it. I like Bigfoot but I’m not a fanatic (note: though growing up I did name one of my dog’s Bigfoot), I think fanatics and believers will get a lot more out of this book than I did. I ‘m sad to say I found the first half of this book very boring, with me only connecting with two characters. Thanks to Netgalley and Random House Publishing group Ballentine Del Rey.

 Two Star Reviews:

Injustice: Gods Among Us: Year Four Volume 2 By Brian Buccellato is all about the new Gods (Superman, Wonder Woman, Hal Jordan, and the Flash) v. the old Gods (Zeus, Hera, and Hermes). Superman kills Zeus’ son Hercules, and in retaliation Zeus strips Shazam of his powers and sends him along with Harley Quinn to the underworld. We learn more about Ares, the God of War, plan for more war and who is pulling his strings. This Volume has been my least favorite so far, there was a couple of cool moments, but the dialogue remains stale and uninspired.

Book Review: The Shining by Stephen King

The Shining by Stephen King is a truly horrific book. Alcohol and ghosts do not mix! King gets into true fear, having someone you love, a father and husband, say, “I’m going to bash your brains”, then attempt to do it. The Shining is a ghost story but the scariest monster in the book is addictions and how it changes your rational choices, to choices that jeopardize your family. My girlfriend was very shocked that I had never read The Shining, and got it for Christmas. I was something not on my list really, because I had watched the Kubrick film so many times and thought I knew the story. I still really enjoyed it. The movie changes quite a bit, there are no creepy twins!! No axe, but a mallet, no maze, but animals made of bushes, we never get to see what Jack is writing, but know he is writing a history of the hotel, and we get a lot more of Dick Halloran the cook at the hotel with the shine. I have seen the Mini-series starring Steven Webber which is a lot more accurate to the source material, nails the ending. As a fan of Stephen Kings works I felt this was one of the better beginnings to one of his stories, I was hooked pretty instantly.

The Plot: Jack Torrance has been sober for 13 months, after close call involving drunk driving, and the almost loss of his family. Jack recently lost his job as a private school teacher, as he lost it on a student. Jack is hurting for work and still dealing with the struggles of addiction. When and old drink buddy that is also sober now, has an opportunity for Jack, care-taking for the Overlook Hotel, a Colorado hotel that needs a care-taker for the winter months of no operation. Jack sees this as the perfect job he can work on a play get paid and be away from his alcohol addiction for months. Jack takes his son and wife, Danny and Wendy, with him. Danny has an ability to read thoughts, and see the future called “the shine”. He has been getting warned that this trip will have dangers. Danny meets a cook with the shine ability that warns him as well about strange occurrences. Jack ends up becoming obsessed when he learns of the hotel’s killer past. Jack and Danny are both haunted as the hotel decides it wants to make them permanent residents.

What I Liked: The history of the Overlook hotel was really interesting. The reveal of what REDRUM means was a good one, it memorable from the film but the book did it nicely. The final 150 pages of this book are full of excitement. The main monster in the book was alcohol addiction. I loved the rational for Jack sabotaging the things to get help, was he knew if he was unemployed that he was going to give into to drinking, so the ghost was the safer bet in his mind. I liked “the shine” and how we got to see a couple people have it. I liked that the ghost used racism against Dick, but not any of the people. I love the way Mr. Ullman was described, I would have liked to see his reaction to the ending, because of the way he was connected to the hotel. I thought the stop drinking story was powerful and haunting. King books usually have way too much detail about a lot of things that do not matter, but I felt this was good example of most of the details having a purpose.

What I Disliked: The small subplot where Jack bragged about writing the expose on the Overlook Hotel to Ullman and Al. That plot was dropped towards the end. The point was to show manipulation of the mind, but I felt another way would have been better.

Recommendations: I had a lot of fun with The Shining. The writing is really good. The scares and the descriptions will give you chills. I had a lot of fun finding the differences from the film and the book. For a pop culture reference The Shining is the book that Rachael put in the freezer on Friends, and Joey put Little Women, which I actually did read this year coincidentally. The Shining out of the 30 some Stephen King Books that I have read would easily put it in the Top 10 maybe top 5. I rated The Shining by Stephen King 5 out of 5 stars.

Wrap Up: February 2020 Book Reviews

Hello dear readers, February is over, despite it being one of the shortest months I have had one of my best reading months so far. I read 9 books in February. I read all kinds of genres science fiction, mystery, general fiction, horror, historical fiction and young adult. I read 2 rereads, 2 advanced readers copies thanks to netgalley, 4 books in a series, a short story collection and a novella. I had three five star reviews, which is rare for me. So please let me share my mini reviews with you for these 9 titles.

Five Star Reviews:

Locke & Key Vol. 1: Welcome to Lovecraft by Joe Hill, is a graphic novel I have read 3 times and my rating of 5 star still stands. This book is incredible! I’m reading the series and this book in particular because of the new Locke & Key series started on February 7 2020 on Netflix. This graphic novel combines gothic horror with suspense and added fantastical elements, all of which I love. This novel starts off with a bang having two murders show up asking about keys that no one knows what they’re talking about. Then the family moves to key house a house none of the kids have been to before. A place where the keys only open doors and powers for kids.

The Holdout By Graham Moore is as good as a legal thriller can get, it is one very entertaining and will keep you guessing, and two makes a statement about how our current legal system is broken and can be manipulated. The Holdout is two mysteries in one. One is a mystery that took ten years ago, where one jurist was a lone holdout for a not guilty verdict and swung the jury to all vote not guilty, is was the alleged killer guilty. The new mystery is who killed a member of the jury when they come together for a documentary about the case ten years ago. This book was part 12 Angry Men combined with an Agatha Christie murder mystery. I really enjoyed The Holdout thanks to Netgalley and Random House Publishing Group for giving me an advanced readers copy. The Holdout was published on February 18 2020.

Full Throttle by Joe Hill is comprised of 13 short stories, two are written with his dad Stephen King. Some stories are bone chilling tales of fright, while others give whimsical insight of the the unknown. All tales draw you in in some way, some let you go easily, while other try to hold you in a death grip and not let go.

Four Star Reviews:

The Queen of Bedlam by Robert R. McCammon. This was a reread for me, book two the Matthew Corbett series. A haunting historical fiction/mystery set in 1702. There’s a serial killer called The Masker that cuts the victim’s face like a mask, a woman in an insane asylum, that they refer to The Queen, and the starting of the first detective agency in America.

The Night of the Living Dummy by R.L. Stine is the 7th book in the original Goosebumps Series. I read this 20 years ago and forgot a good deal, there are still a lot of surprises and twist. This book messes with your brain a little bit, by asking what is real because of some clever pranks it make the reader second guess if this is really happening or a nightmare. I will say personally wooden dummies freak me out, so my fear factor might be higher than others.

Nothing to See Here by Kevin Wilson is very original plot, involving a woman looking after two twins that can spontaneously combust, bursting into flames at any second. How do you take care of kids like that? This novel is original in its approach taking the concept of kids that can burst in to flames seriously.

Snapshot by Brandon Sanderson is a Science Fiction Novella that tells a futuristic Neo Noir detective story. I was reminded a lot of a Phillip K. Dick meets George Orwell, especially The Eye, the story Minority report is based on, and 1984. In the near future a computer program can simulate an entire day of the past for every person , police step into this world to gain to find evidence in the real time, but every interaction with someone from the real time causes deviations in the day.

Three Star Reviews:

Foul is Fair by Hannah Capin is William Shakespeare’s Macbeth in High school! The story doesn’t hold back in its brutality, while keeping the dialogue foul and razor sharp. The language and camp are the best part of this novel. There are trigger warnings all over this book. Thanks to Netgalley and Wednesday books for the advanced readers copy. Foul is Fair was published on February 18 2020.

Black Hammer Volume 3 Age of Doom Part One by Jeff Lemire is a graphic novel that takes heroes from the bygone era, and stick them in a purgatory on a small farming town, where there is no such thing as superheroes. Some find love, others find betrayal, and some heartbreak in this purgatory, but most just want out. Is there something keeping the team there or someone? In this novel we find out the answer.

Book Review: Full Throttle by Joe Hill

Full Throttle by Joe Hill is comprised of 13 short stories, two are written with his dad Stephen King. Some stories are bone chilling tales of fright, while others give whimsical insight of the the unknown. All tales draw you in in some way, some let you go easily, while other try to hold you in a death grip and not let go. A couple of the the short stories are odes to his favorite authors like Ray Bradbury, Richard Matheson, Lawerence Block, David Mitchell, and Stephen King. Out of the stories in this collection I was familiar with two, I read You are Released in Flight or Fright, which is a short story anthology about chilling tales involving flight, and I watched the Netflix original movie of the adaptation for In the Tall Grass which he wrote with Stephen King. Joe Hill has been one of my favorite others for quite some time I have read all his novels, short story collections, and all but two of his graphic novels. So I’m a bit of a super fan of his after finishing Full Throttle I already want another story of his roaming into by head. My favorites of Full Throttle are Faun, You Are Released, By the Silver Water of Lake Champlain, Late Returns, and All I Care About is You. I broke each short story down individually to give each a rating and tell a little bit of what it is about.

The Plots and Ratings:

Five Star Stories:

Late Returns is about a bookmobile operator’s job delivering and picking library books from the alive and sometimes the dead. This story is really pull you heart strings type story. As the dead in most cases are able to checkout one last book. A a reader who wouldn’t love this story. I love the thought of giving new writer’s to people that died long ago. Hill remarks that his greatest fear is not finishing a book before he dies.

Faun is a story that was so good I didn’t want it to end, I think this story could easily be expanded into a novel. Faun is about a group of hunters that want to hunt more than just animals. One hunter knows about a place where you can hunt your wildest dreams. Think if a gateway to Narnia opened up, instead of go on an adventure it was used as a hunting ground. I this story was a great mix of Narnia meets Cabin in the Woods. This was my favorite story, the ending felt a bit rushed, but there’s so much potential to expand.

All I Care About is You is a story set in the future, on a mediocre birthday of Iris who has just turned 16. She ends up paying for a robot’s companionship for one hour, who’s mission statement is I will only care about you. This story is manages to balance sweet and sinister. The story has a weird beginning that took a little while to get into, but the story wraps up with a great unexpected ending.

By the Silver Water of Lake Champlain a story where there little kids find a dead dinosaur, like Nessie of Loch Ness, on the beach of the lake. They are kids so no one believes them until it is too late. This story was fun, really good dialogue, capturing the kids voices. This story was the most heartfelt of the bunch, it drew its inspiration from Richard Matheson’s Silver Water and Ray Bradbury’s The Foghorn

You Are Released is story about what happens in the passenger plane when nuclear war starts. A great story that jumps back and forth between passengers and the cabin, each dealing with their fates the way they know how. The best is we see through the eyes of a young girl that doesn’t know the world is changing and the adults our acting so strangely.

In the Tall Grass with Stephen King is the scariest story of the bunch it plays well with the fear of the unknown. Becky and Cal are siblings that are driving across Kanas, to reach the west coast where Becky can give away the unplanned baby away. There trip is halted when they here cries from help from the tall grass, once they enter they. They can’t seem to find their way out. The images presented are brutal and my leave some sick. The short story is the first 25 minutes of the Netflix film. There is no Travis in the short story, only a mention. I enjoyed both, there was parts I liked in both film and short story I liked. Both end pretty tragically.

Dark Carousel is a tale of four friends haunted by the creatures of an old carousel. I do like that this story is connected to Charlie Manx from NOS4A2 that Christmasland donated a cat for the carousel. The story and characters are great without the horror element, but when the moment comes the story gets scary and brutal.

Four Star Stories:

Mums is about Jack a sort of prisoner at his father’s separatist commune, his mother attempts to free but she is set up to look like a bad mother. Jack doesn’t realize learning to build fertilizer bombs is uncommon. The story goes all over the place and makes you the reader question what you’re reading is real or is Jack crazy.

Throttle by Joe Hill and Stephen King is about a biker gang terrorized by a semi, it’s Duel for the next generation. It had a weird opening telling about what is happening now and in the past at roughly the same time. The story gets good when it is biker v. Semi. I did love the family dynamic to the plot. Throttle ad the funniest lines of two characters describing stench.

Wolverton Station is a story about an American businessman on a train in London that just happens to be occupied by werewolves. The story makes some Little Red Riding Hood comparisons, with the businessman’s nickname being the woodcutter. The descriptions of the carnage are gorishly detailed. There’s a big of class warfare that didn’t fit so well.

Twittering from the Circus of the Dead is a story in tweet format, where we get the perspective of a teenage girl as she goes with her younger brother and parents on a road trip through America. They do a stop over at the Circus of the Dead. The show is fear based with zombies interacting with performers and patrons, the family doesn’t know it but they’re going to be part of the show. This story has a great ending with a bit of a twist.

Three Star Story:

The Devil on the Staircase is a story child growing up and working on the stairs of Sulle Scale. He lives on top and there is 820 steps to get to bottom. One side entrance with a red door that is always locked, is said to be stairs to hell. The type setting having the words cascade in columns looking like stairs works, but the story is a bit lagging.

Two Star Story:

Thumbprints this story has been me least favorite so far. A story about a female PFC Officer who held prison and torture duty, has that past creep up on her as she is a civilian working as a bar tender years later. Did not really care for the main character. I could see where Hill was going with this one we are all prisoners of our own design, but it just didn’t work for me.

Recommendations: I love Joe Hill I recommend his work when ever I get the chance. So far I have not been letdown by him. Full Throttle I whole heartedly recommend for fans of the horror genre. The stories are varied and carefully chosen. For people interested in the process of writing Hill breaks down how he came up with each story and who influenced him. This collection had seven stories which were 5 stars, four that where 4 stars, one that was 3 stars, and one that was 2 stars. The 5’s have it. I rated Full Throttle 5 out of 5 stars.

Book Haul: February 2020

Hello readers, it has been quite some time since I did a book haul, and thought I would share. This is a pretty good mix four horror, one graphic novel, one classic, one fantasy, one science fiction, one mystery, and two general fiction.

The Shining and Revival by Stephen King, My girlfriend was shocked that I had never read the Shining and got it for me, Revival is one of her favorites as well.

Kill Creek by Scott Thomas, I really enjoyed Violet by Scott Thomas last year about the imaginary friend who comes to life and wants to play forever. I want to read more of his work, I’m a sucker for a haunted house story.

The Deep by Nick Cutter, I own the Troop by Nick Cutter, haven’t got around to it yet but the reviews are amazing and the story of a boy scout troop discovering a plague on a camping trip and have to figure out how to stop it.  But the Deep is a story where a virus breaks out causing people to forget, and the only cure is at the bottom of the ocean.  Can they remember in time to save themselves.

Gideon the Ninth by Tamsyn Muir, this book had me at Lesbian Necromancers. The book has got a lot of great reviews that I kept seeing.  This book is book one of a trilogy.

Nothing to See Here by Kevin Wilson, Wilson visited my local bookstore when he toured, I was not able to go because of work, but I watched the interviews.  This book sounds crazy, a woman is to be a care taker of twins, with the catch being, when the twins are agitated they spontaneous combust into flames.  This will probably be the first book I read with this haul.

Gone With the Wind by Margret Mitchell, this book is a favorite of my girlfriend’s mother, and knows I want to read more classics this year, so she bought it for me as a gift.

The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen: the Omnibus Edition by Alan Moore, I have never read this series all the way through I have picked up a comic book here and there, but the order is a little bit weird.  So now I have the full version in order.  Alan Moore wrote Watchmen which is my favorite graphic novel of all time.

Mr. Penumbra’s 24 Hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan, this book is the one I know least about, but Im a sucker for anything bookstore related.

All the Birds in the Sky by Charlie Jane Anders, this book has a witch and scientist battling each other as the world stars falling apart and they have to put away there differences to save it. It’s getting great reviews and sounds really interesting.

Midnight at the Bright Ideas Bookstore by Matthew Sullivan, remember I’m a sucker for anything  bookstore related.  This is a bookstore mystery where a loyal customer hangs himself, with a picture of one of the clerks as a little kid.  The clerk finds books defaced that she can’t understand why, until she starts to see a pattern that may lead to something bigger.

My Top Ten Books: of this Decade 2010-2019

Wow is this Decade over already it moved way to fast.  While making this list I kept thing of the amazing books that I have read, that were published this decade.  There was a lot too choose from.  I hope you enjoy my list, and i can’t wait for what the next decade holds for us, readers.

  1. Life After Life by Kate Atkinson – This is a book I’ve recommend time after time,   it deals with Ursula Todd and her many lives, it is not reincarnation, but a woman who lives the same life over and over in 1910 usually to World War II , It is like the film Groundhogs Day, but over an entire lifetime, and she can’t remember the choices exactly but she has intuition to save herself from traumatic events in her life and family.  It really analyzes why we make the choices we do, and it made me immediately think of my own life and choices.


  1. 11/22/63 by Stephen King – this novel was an instant classic for me. It has one of the better endings for a King novel. It is so much more than the Kennedy assassination. This is a story of choices and the repercussions of those choices; it has romance, adventure, spying, conspiracy, and a whole lot of heart. This was a novel that I thought I knew where it was going, but boy was I wrong and couldn’t be happier. This book is an incredible journey, with so much vivid detail; you’ll feel like you lived this adventure.


  1. The Way of Kings by Brandon Sanderson – This book is EPIC!!! The first book in the Stormlight Archive series. Too much plot to give a brief summary. Incredible world building, great organic magic system, excellent characters both heroes and villains. This is 1253 page book that you will be sad is over thankfully the book is a ten book series with the forth book coming out in 2020.


  1. Vicious by V. E. Schwab – This wasn’t your standard good Vs. evil it was kind of evil thinking he was good Vs. evil that still has some good in him. I love what this book does for the super hero genre.  It could be compared to Professor X and Magento, with different powers, and instead of one bad guy there is two each with his own ideas, thinking they were doing good. This novel has one sequel, Vengeful that was nearly as good and expanded the series in really different ways.


  1. Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn – This is the first book that I remember being floored by the twist. This book is already a classic as it gets compared to every novel with a good twist. This novel is dark revels in it. I remember reading this in an afternoon I could not stop.


  1. Red Rising by Pierce Brown – This novel started a series that is now five books and a six forthcoming. The first book was Hunger Games meets Game of Thrones. The novel plays out like a Greek tragedy. I loved this book so much, I recommended it a lot! Where a lowly red race who works in the mines ruled over by the gold race on Mars. When Darrow’s wife is murdered for defiance by a Gold he wants to go the same way, he is recused and made to look like a gold so he can infiltrate them, and change things on the inside, he soon finds out the Gold’s will murder there own to get a head as well.


  1. A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman – Ove is a wonderful book it reminded me of the Pixar movie “Up”, only instead of Carl wanting to have a balloon filled adventure, he wants to commit suicide. This book is a dramaedy it’s 30 percent drama and 70 percent comedy. It still manages to be heart breaking, tears welled up in my eyes as I finished this book, because the characterization is that good. It is rumored that Tom Hanks will play Ove for an American remake.


  1. The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas – We follow Starr who is in a car that’s stopped by the police with broken taillight, the driver is an old friend of the neighborhood who has fallen on rough times and starts selling drugs. The white police officer shoot the friend at the stop who the officer thought was going for a weapon as he checked on Starr. Starr is the loan witness and has to decide if she wants to stick up and say the truth about the incident. This book is pretty amazing with it’s approach about talking about important issues like, like black lives matter movement, interracial couples, gang violence, whether or not to talk to the police, why some people sell drugs, death of a loved one and prison life.


  1. NOS4AU by Joe Hill – A great horror story that shuck me to my core. Vic can travel anywhere she wishes by a magical bridge. She crosses paths with Charles Manx who has the same gift uses it for evil. If he wants to go somewhere it is to take children so they cannot get back. This novel will ruin Christmas for every one.


  1. The Last Time I Lied by Riley Sager –   “What none of them understand is that the point isn’t to fool others with a lie. The goal is to trick them by telling the truth.” The twist are incredible, there was two gut punches of twist, I haven’t been hit this hard since the Gone Girl twist. This novel takes you back to the sleepaway camp days, it will give you nostalgia and chills. I have read ever Rilely Sager book he is one of my top authors of this decade.







My Top Ten Books: of the Last Decade 2000 -2009

Hey all my fellow readers, in anticipation of this decade soon ending and me painstakingly lowering the over 400 books I have read in this decade, down to the ten best. I thought it would be fun for me to post my list of the ten best of the last decade that I originally posted to Facebook ten years ago.  I can not wait to check and compare everyones list and discover new reads.  The one thing I noticed the most is the little variety in genres that I  have now made up for. I t is a little crazy that 7 out of ten have gotten turned into either a movie of a series, with one that is currently available  Happy reading!
Best Books from 2000 up to the end of 2009

10. Timeline by Micheal Crichton – is one of the smart’s book about time travel, made into the stupidest movie, I was so disappointed. Crichton does so much research to have it all flushed away in the film.

9. Dogs of Babel by Carolyn Parkhurst-  this is a thought provoking novel about a husband who can’t deal with his wife’s death that he tries to teach the only witness to see the death, the family dog, to communicate with what he’s seen, if the death was an accident or something more.

8. Cell by Stephen King – the first fifty pages of this book are utterly terrifying, a new zombie novel about zombies created from technology, no one writes an apocalypse like King.

7. Choke by Chuck Palahnuik – this is a novel about a sex addict who works at a Middle Ages park and that chokes on food so people will feel like heroes and want to take care of him, he and other are lead to believe through a series of event that he is the second coming of christ. This kind of a crazy feel good novel, where the character learns to grow up. this was turned into a movie starring Sam Rockwell and Clark Gregg, and was actually directed by Clark Gregg who is agent Coulson in the Avengers and Agents of Shield.

6. American Gods by Neil Gaiman – This book is about the mythological Gods of America, there’s the god of TV, and Radio, all preparing for a huge battle with all the other Gods, and on man who’s the son of a god and a Woman. The book sounds simple enough but this plot is only a subplot for a smart mystery of a serial killer.

5 Heart Shaped Box by Joe Hill – who’s really Stephen King’s Son, His Debut novel reminds you of his Dad’s early stuff this is a really smart ghost story that will really scare you. The ghost doesn’t let daylight or crowded restaurant stop him this ghost story that doesn’t let up till the very end.

4.Life of Pi – by Yann Martel this book is so good, even though there are some slow part and at some points I really wondered where the story was going. Where it takes you I would never have imagined. I never would have thought that a book about an Indian boy, a Zebra, and a Tiger would have been so entertaining and have such a great ending. Turned into a movie that one best director for Ang Lee at the Oscars.

3. Water For Elephants – another book marketed as being chick lit, even though the main character is a man and there is masterbating dwarf, that probably won’t make it into the movie (it did not make it into the movie). This book reminds me of the way Stephen King’s The Green Mile was told. It’s about an old man in a nursing home that reflects on his life as he worked on a traveling circus in the 30’s. This is a love story, but it’s also about death and about how you want to leave this earth, waiting for it or doing something you love as your welcoming it.

2 The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay by Micheal Chambon – a book about World War I and II, 1930’s comic book writer’s starting a company creating heroes to deal with what they think of the war, this book also is about being jewish, about being gay, about going to war a supporting your country, the early movies in the thirty’s, and life in early New York City. It deals with even more then that and it all makes total sense, to where the characters wind up.

1. Shutter Island by Denis Lehane – this book is a page turner, that you can’t put down the ending will have you talking for days arguing with your friends about the ending. Hopefully the movie keeps that part alive.  is an illusion or isn’t it is it a hallucination or will the end answer that question, but then ask you even more allowing you to question the answers you’ve just learned. A great read that’s just fun to talk about.