Does this blog title not sound like the world’s worst one-night stand?

Anyway, I have a couple of books to tell you about. One is Lessons of Evil, which my aunt wrote and recently self-published. If you have a Nook or Kindle, I think you should support an independent author and buy it for the very affordable price of $3.99, and I’m not just saying that because I love her very much—it’s a great read. The story deals in part with the condition of multiple personality disorder, which makes an awfully effective subject for a suspense novel. Her book is dark and fast-paced and occasionally really funny (right when you need it to be, sometimes), and I think she did a hell of a job. You can read an excerpt here, and buy the Kindle or Nook version here.


The second recommendation I have for you is on the polar opposite side of the reading spectrum: Whatever Happened to Pudding Pops? My friend Gael Fashingbauer Cooper is one of the authors, and she was kind enough to send me an advance copy. (Not only that, she included a package of Pop Rocks, and you should have SEEN the boys’ faces when I dumped some on their tongues. Man, I wish I would have had a camera handy.) This book is a sort of trip down pop culture memory lane from the 70s and 80s, and if you’re around my age (thirtyHARRRRUMMPPHHseven), every single page will remind you of something from your childhood. Sea Monkeys! That’s Incredible! Lik-M-Aid! What a fun way to revisit all of that stuff, with over 200 pages that include entertaining short descriptions and info on what actually DID happen to the item. The book hits stores on June 7th, and is currently available for pre-order.


And now it’s your turn to tell me what I should be reading, okay? After I finished The Passage I read The Strain and then moved on to a Sookie Stackhouse book and what I’m saying is I think I need a break from vampires. I’d like something kind of creepy, though, so if you’ve read anything lately that freaked you right the hell out, tell me all about it.


75 Responses to “Two quick plugs and a question”

  1. Spring on May 26th, 2011 8:36 pm

    I see a few people have already mentioned The Little Stranger by Sarah Waters, but it’s really a well written subtly creepy ghost story.

  2. Catriona on May 27th, 2011 3:54 am

    Try No Limit by Fred Anderson, another self published book. You can find it here:

    It’s a really good book, creepy and suspenseful.

  3. Halyn on May 27th, 2011 8:37 am

    I second the recommendation for “The Haunting of Hill House” and “We Have Always Lived in the Castle.” “The Lottery” as well. Shirley Jackson is awesome at the subtle creep. If you decide to switch to more light reading, her humor books are hilarious.

    You’ve probably read them, but “The Walking Dead” graphic novels are pretty awesome.

  4. Jennifer on May 27th, 2011 10:00 am

    “The Shadow of the Wind” by Carlos Ruiz Zafon. Set in Barcelona. Very different and definitely freaked me the hell out without being gruesome, or evil.

  5. Stacy H-W on May 27th, 2011 11:39 am

    Have you read Day By Day Armageddon by J.L. Bourne?
    It is a zombie book told in a journal style. There is a second book in the series so far called Beyond Exile. They were really good “Zombie” books.

  6. BabyKMama on May 27th, 2011 12:47 pm

    I love reading, but I always feel so behind that I don’t allow myself the luxury too often… But I loved the last book I read, The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls. I haven’t read your blog long enough to know if it’s your taste or you’ve already read it… Freaked me out in a way different than zombies or vampires! How could this poor girl survive with two parents as crazy as hers! Excellent book.

  7. Lisa Ann on May 27th, 2011 3:21 pm

    Don’t know if anyone else has mentioned this but even if they did it’s worth another shut out: Visit From The Goon Squad – Jennifer Eagan. Absolutely brilliant!

    Also recently read & liked: Lake of Dreams by Kim Edwards.

  8. Jackie Joy on May 27th, 2011 4:35 pm

    I mostly lurk but I had to come out of hiding to say that if you like creepy books you MUST check out John Connolly. (You are the second person today I’ve recommended him to–love his Charlie Parker novels!) Start with “Every Dead Thing” — but DON’T read it before bed!

  9. Maureen on May 27th, 2011 6:59 pm

    Have you read any Peter Straub? I read Ghost Story during one of my college summer breaks, I was so scared, I couldn’t stand to be in my apartment by myself.

  10. Angharad on May 28th, 2011 9:53 am

    Following on from the Joe Hills recs, his graphic novel “Locke and Key” is awesome and creepy.

    For really creepy / disturbing in the graphic novel dept try Garth Ennis’s “Crossed”.

    Book wise Ben Aaronovitch’s “Rivers of London” and sequel is a good read.

  11. Angharad on May 28th, 2011 9:54 am

    Oh! And I totally second Jackie Joy’s John Connolly suggestion!

  12. goingloopy on May 28th, 2011 7:43 pm

    For some dystopian YA fiction: “XVI” by Julia Karr, and “Gone” by Michael Grant. I also liked the Maze Runner & the Scorch Trials by James Dashner (except that the third book doesn’t come out till motherfucking OCTOBER). Also, in the YA fiction category, slightly fluffy but still entertaining, Amanda Hocking’s Trylle trilogy and “Hollowland” (it has zombies). She also has vampire stuff, but I haven’t read it yet. She is also self-published, and none of her books were more than $2.99.

    I will third the recommendation for “Stiff” by Mary Roach. I’ve also recently re-read Peter Straub’s Blue Rose trilogy: “Koko,” “Mystery,” and “The Throat,” which satisfy your creepy requirement. Joe Hill’s short story collection “20th Century Ghosts” had lots of creepy and was awesome.

    PS — count me among those you introduced to the Hunger Games trilogy and “Room.”

  13. Laura on May 28th, 2011 8:10 pm

    Completely random and OT, but I just wanted to tell you I’ve been reading your blog for years and I am a big fan! You are a terrific writer AND an excellent storyteller. Those things don’t always go together, but when they do — we readers are lucky, lucky ducks! Thanks!

  14. Mariah on May 29th, 2011 6:29 pm

    Kate Atkinson is brilliant; Sarah Waters, Donna Taratt, and Tana French are very, very good. If you want creepy, dark, and well written, try Asa Larsson. She’s got 3, and they are so good, so creepy, and so atmospheric. Jo Nesbo is also great (the protagonist is Harry Hole–can it get any better?), and if you’re hankering for something British, try PD James; good characters, good writing (though sometimes a tad pedantic), and good mysteries. Oh, and back to scandanavian mysteries (which are just dark, dark, dark), the Per Wahloo/Maj Sojwall mysteries do a fabulous job of critiquing society (in the 70’s, but still . . .), and Arnaldur Indridason is also quite good. I’ll stop now.

  15. Mariah on May 29th, 2011 6:30 pm

    Oops–should be Donna Tartt. Sorry for the misspelling.

  16. Anonymous on May 29th, 2011 7:11 pm

    I recommend a book called The Children’s Hospital, by Chris Adrian. It’s a long & very engrossing, unsettling read. I found it somehow by accident, and its one of the best books I’ve read in a long time!

  17. Anonymous on May 30th, 2011 7:16 am

    I will agree with the reccomendation on Stiff by Mary Roach, it was a great read and is a nice non-fiction selection if you’re up for a change.
    Have you read any of the Odd Thomas series by Dean Koontz? I really loved this character and couldn’t put the books down once I got started.
    I haven’t personally read any of Cherie Priest’s books, but I saw someone else reccomended her. She has several books out now and I have heard they are great reads and would probably be right up your alley. All proceeds go to support her and her husband, who also happens to be a friend of mine. : ) lol Nevertheless, she’s a Seattle local now and you could be supporting a local writer by checking her out.

  18. Sue on May 30th, 2011 6:36 pm

    I got your aunts book…LOVED it! She should be famous! And I don’t care what happened to pudding pops, I remember them being gross.

  19. Trenches of Mommyhood on May 31st, 2011 9:32 am

    I just read Room and it was uber-disturbing (especially as the mother of a 5yr old boy) yet enthralling. I would def recommend.

  20. telegirl on May 31st, 2011 12:45 pm

    I’m not talking to you. With a 4 year old and an 18 month old, I still don’t have time to read. Trying to make it through “Born to Run” by Christopher McDougall and it’s a really good read but I can only do snippets at night with a headlamp.

    Crap, I can never hold a grudge…

  21. babelbabe on May 31st, 2011 9:49 pm

    Sarah Waters’ The Little Stranger.

  22. sheilajane on May 31st, 2011 10:22 pm

    I recently read Duma Key by Stephen King and it was one of the best books I’ve read recently.

  23. clover on June 3rd, 2011 12:54 am

    yes to Duma Key
    and 5487042901 yeses to the Dark Tower series.. the first book sucks, honestly, it’s just a drag, but you need it for back story. the other 6 will change your life! I waited for years for each volume to come out (started in HS) and it was soooo worth it.

    PS — you turned me on to Room and I LOVED it. What a story.

  24. June Books « Holly Would If She Could on August 24th, 2011 7:54 am

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