An Exercise in Not Working on Your Newest Short Story: Book Recommendations and Current Reads

Evening, folks.

Here are a few book recommendations for you as we speed ever-onward to the cold-weather days which necessitate hunkering down with hot drinks, snacks, and stacks of reading material:

  1. I’ll Be Gone in the Dark: One Woman’s Obsessive Search for The Golden State Killer by Michelle McNamara (this one’s true crime and dives deep into the origins and operations of the man, dubbed by the author, known as The Golden State Killer, who terrorized northern and southern California for a decade. In the book, McNamara also conveys her own journey with researching, investigating, and writing the story).
  2. The Mere Wife by Maria Dahvana Headley (this is referred to as an update or reinterpretation of the Beowulf story, but Headley takes ownership of the story and makes it her own, looking at familiar character and setting archetypes through a feminist lens. Powerful. The story takes place in a suburban gated community backed up against the wilderness.)
  3. The Cabin at the End of the World by Paul Tremblay (eerie, intense, heart-wrenching thriller. Tension so thick you could bludgeon it with a specially hand-crafted doomsday gardening tool. WARNING: It’s scary and graphic, so if you’re not into that kind book, this one might be hard for you.)
  4. Trail of Lightning by Rebecca Roanhorse (I first “read” or rather heard Roanhorse’s work on The Levar Burton Reads Podcast as the host offered up Roanhorse’s short story  “Welcome to Your Authentic Indian Experience.” I was blown away, and immediately {as I do with most writers whose work I’ve only just discovered} sought out what else Roanhorse had. TOL is the first in her Sixth World series. It’s page turning, Southwestern, Indigenous, Post-Catastrophe Fantasy, which’ll make you stay up way past your bedtime to find out what happens next.)

And here’s what I’m currently reading (which I’d also recommend):

  1. Us Against You by Fredrik Backman (This is a follow-up to Bear Town, and once again Backman explores the impact of club hockey culture in a small Swedish community. That’s not the most comprehensive assessment of what these complex and layered novels are about, but it gives you an idea of your starting point. Technically, I “read” these by listening to the audiobooks {impeccably narrated by Marin Ireland} on my commutes and evening walks…if you haven’t hopped onto the audiobook game yet, do so. It provides the opportunity to squeeze an extra book into your rotation…on less for the nightstand.)
  2. The Calculating Stars by Mary Robinette Kowal (alternative historical science fiction…kind of a combo of Hidden Figures and The Right Stuff. Once again, apologies as this isn’t a fair assessment. In my defense, I’m not done yet. I will say that Elma York, the story’s protagonist, is awesome!

On deck:

  1. The Fisherman by John Langan
  2. I am Providence by Nick Mamatas
  3. Perdido Street Station by China Mieville
  4. Home Land by Sam Lipsyte

What are you reading currently? What books would you recommend and why?

Alright, friends, I think I’ll call it a night. The evening wags on, the hour grows late, bedtime looms, and I still want to get some pages in before my eyes get too heavy.

Take care. Be good to each other.

So long.




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