Monday, January 29, 2018

24 in 48 End Post

I didn't quite make it to the end, I read a total of 21 hours 18 minutes, so almost the full 24.

I read 4 and 3/4 books: Truth or Dare by R.L. Stine, Ladies' Night by Jack Ketchum, Woman in White by Kristin Dearborn, Those Who Follow by Michelle Garza and Melissa Lason, and 3/4 of Annihilation by Jeff VanderMeer. I read a total of 831 pages.

Sunday, January 28, 2018

24 in 48 Update #2

I'm still reading, I've read for 16 hours 45 minutes, so far. Since my last post I've finished two books, Woman in White by Kristin Dearborn and Those Who Follow by Michelle Garza and Melissa Lason. Both are creepy, engrossing reads and I recommend both of them.

I love horror books with a winter setting, so I knew I would love Woman in White. It's about mysterious disappearances that leave a lot of blood and no bodies in the small Maine town of Rocky Rhodes.

I enjoyed Michelle Garza and Melissa Lason's first book, Mayan Blue, so I was really looking forward to reading Those Who Follow and it didn't disappoint. It's about a man who can
travel from our world to another and leads a double life - in our world, he's your average guy and in the other he's a sadistic monster who tortures and kills.

Challenge: the first book on your shelves and the last book on your shelves.

This battered copy of Off Season
by Jack Ketchum is the first book
on my shelves because Jack Ketchum is my
favourite writer so I shelved all his
books at the top. 
Dope by Sara Gran is the last book on my
shelves because it's on my non-horror shelf,
the last (and smallest) of my shelves. 

Saturday, January 27, 2018

24 in 48 Update

So far, I've read for 7 hours 45 minutes and I've finished two books, Ladies' Night by Jack Ketchum and Truth or Dare by R.L. Stine.

Jack Ketchum is one of my favourite writers and I was devastated earlier this week when I found out that he passed away. The Girl Next Door is my all-time favourite horror novel - it's the most disturbing book I've ever read and if you're a horror fan and haven't read it yet, then you should read it immediately. I highly recommend all of his novels, in addition to The Girl Next Door, Off Season, Red, Right to Life, Stranglehold and his short collection, Peaceable Kingdom are all excellent. The Girl Next Door, Red, Offspring, The Lost, The Woman and short story "The Box" were all made into great films as well ("The Box" was a segment in the film, XX).

There are still a few Ketchum books I haven't read yet, so I decided to read one this weekend, Ladies' Night. It's a gory and fun book about a toxic spill in New York City that basically turns all the women into zombies. If women going insane and murdering men in gruesome ways is your idea of a fun read, then I definitely recommend this book. I thought it was a very entertaining read.

Truth or Dare by R.L. Stine is a Fear Street book that takes place outside Shadyside in rich girl's ski cabin - or mansion - where a group of high school kids get snowed in...with a KILLER! I actually thought this was a pretty good Fear Street book, it's one of the few where I didn't guess the identity of the killer.

OK, back to reading now. I'm currently reading Woman in White by Kristin Dearborn and really enjoying it.

24 in 48 Readathon

This weekend is the 24 in 48 Readathon! The idea is to read for 24 hours over the course of the weekend, starting at midnight last night (I was in bed by 10:30, so I didn't get started yet). I plan on reading 12 hours today and 12 hours tomorrow.

What I plan on reading (most of these are on my Kindle):

That's my cat, Betty, photobombing
  1. Someone at the Door by Richie Tankersley Cusick 
  2. Truth or Dare by R.L. Stine 
  3. The Snowman by R.L. Stine
  4. Annihilation by Jeff VanderMeer
  5. Ladies' Night by Jack Ketchum
  6. Chills by Mary SanGiovanni
  7. Those Who Follow by Michelle Garza and Melissa Lason 
  8. Woman in White by Kristin Dearborn
  9. Saving Grace Devine by Catherine Cavendish
  10. I Wish I Was Like You by S.P. Miskowski
Snacks I plan on eating:

  • Spinach dip with pumpernickel bread
  • Sweet Marie Bars
  • Assorted T-discs
  • Starbucks Doubleshot Coffee Energy Drink
Challenge: What's the oldest children's book you have, or a book you've held onto since your childhood?

I don't have a lot of books from my childhood because I mostly just checked out books from the library and didn't own many, plus the ones I did own I lost in a house fire last year. But I brought this box set of Emily of New Moon books by L.M. Montgomery back with me from my a visit at my childhood home a few years ago with the intention of re-reading them (I haven't yet). I remember buying this box set at Chapters on a shopping trip to the city with my grandma (I grew up in the middle of nowhere). I was about 11-years-old and I was obsessed with the Emily of New Moon TV series on CBC and I wanted to read the books that the show was based on. I remember loving the books even more than the TV show. 

Sunday, October 22, 2017

Dewey's Readathon Closing Survey

I fell asleep around 5:00 am. I was so tired the pages started to become blurry and I was having a hard time reading, so I just went to sleep. I finished reading Creepshow by Stephen King and about half of Halloween II by Jack Martin before I fell asleep.  

Total pages read: 712
Total books read: 4 1/2

Closing Survey

1. Which hour was most daunting for you?

5:00 am because that's when I fell asleep.

2. Tell us all the books you read!

Halloween by Curtis Richards, Halloween Night by R.L. Stine, Halloween Night II by R.L. Stine, Creepshow by Stephen King and half of Halloween II by Jack Martin.

3. Which books would you recommend to other read-a-thoners?

I really liked Halloween by Curtis Richards - if you love the movie like I do, you'll enjoy the book.

4. What's a really rad thing we could do during the next read-a-thon that would make you smile?

I always have so much fun every time, I can't think of a thing to add.

5. How likely are you to participate in the read-a-thon again? 

I will definitely be participating in the April read-a-thon.

Dewey's Readathon Update

I'm struggling to stay awake right now. I've started to doze off a few times and I'm not sure how much longer I can make it. I'm drinking an iced coffee right now so hopefully that will help.

Since my last post, I've finished reading Halloween Night and Halloween Night II by R.L. Stine. I don't know if it's because they're intended for a younger audience, but I found them very predictable - I figured out who the villain was before the end of the first chapter. I've read lots of other YA novels that weren't remotely as predictable and I feel like even a 12-year-old would figure out the identity of the killer immediately. I also hated the self-centred main character, Brenda. In both books, she complains about her cousin stealing her boyfriend, then goes on to say that both her boyfriends dated one of her best friends a few months before she started seeing them. Then she makes her friends listen to her cry about her cousin "stealing" them away from her. And she wonders why someone would want to play pranks on her!

Saturday, October 21, 2017

Mid-Event Survey

1. What are you reading right now?

I just finished Halloween by Curtis Richards. I'm going to read Halloween Night by R.L. Stine next.

2. How many books have you read so far?

Just one.

3. What book are you looking forward to most in the second half of the readathon?

Halloween Night by R.L. Stine 

4. Have you had any interruptions? How did you deal with those?

I had to work for four hours this afternoon, so I only managed to read one book so far. I'm hoping to get a lot of reading done in the second half of the readathon. 

5. What surprises you most about the readathon, so far?

How tired I already am at 8:00 pm. Usually I make it to the end of the readathon, but I don't know about tonight. 

10 Years in 10 Books

In celebration of the 10th anniversary of Dewey's Readathon, for this challenge I'm supposed to pick one book recommendation for each year of the readathon (which started in 2007). These are all five star reads (in my opinion) and I highly recommend all of them. They're all horror, so if you're looking for a spooky read for Halloween, any of these would do nicely.

2007 - Ghoul by Brian Keene

Brian Keene is one of my favourite writers and this is my favourite of his books. It's a coming of age story set in the 80s where three friends discover a ghoul living in the cemetery while building a clubhouse one summer. I love coming of age stories and this is one of the best I've read. Ghoul was also made into a film for the Chiller TV channel.

2008 - Population Zero by Wrath James White

A very gory book about an activist who takes the growing population matter into his own hands. I remember reading this book in one sitting because I couldn't put it down. 

2009 - Audrey's Door by Sarah Langan

Very good haunted house story reminiscent of The Haunting of Hill House and Rosemary's Baby

2010 - Dweller by Jeff Strand

I remember loving and hating this book at the same time because I bawled my eyes out at the end, but I guess if I was so emotionally invested in the characters to cry over them, it must've been a pretty good book. Dweller is about a boy who befriends a bigfoot-like monster in the woods. 

2011- Samson and Denial by Robert Ford

A very unique horror story - part crime thriller involving the Russian mafia and part supernatural horror story involving a mummified head. 

2012 - Die, You Bastard! Die! by Jan Kozlowski 

A fast-paced read that's a bit like a book version of I Spit on Your Grave. In this book, a woman gets revenge on her father, who molested her. 

2013 - Doctor Sleep by Stephen King

I loved this book just as much (maybe even more) than The Shining. This sequel follows Danny Torrance as he meets a little girl who also has the shining and tries to save her from a group of psychic vampires. 

2014 - Linden Manor by Catherine Cavendish

This book was part of Samhain Publishing's gothic horror anthology, which consisted of four novellas. A very creepy gothic horror story where the main character visits an old mansion to find out the origin of a nursery rhyme. 

2015 - A Head Full of Ghosts by Paul Tremblay

An original twist on an exorcism story. The rave reviews are right, this book is amazing. 

2016 - Children of the Dark by Jonathan Janz

Another coming of age tale, this one about an escaped serial killer and bloodthirsty creatures in the woods. I loved this book so much, I hope there's a sequel!

2017 - Paperbacks From Hell by Grady Hendrix and Will Errickson

I know this list is supposed to be 10 books, but even though 2017 isn't over yet, I already know this is my favourite book of the year. I just finished reading it and I already want to re-read it. I have added so many books to my wishlist thanks to this book. The only thing I don't like about it is that now everyone is looking for those books too and now they're going to be harder to find (a book that has been on my wishlist for years went from $5 to $200!). 

Dewey's Readathon

Today is Dewey's Readathon! This afternoon I have to work for four hours, so I won't be able to read for the full 24 hours, but I'm going to try to read as much as I can in those 20 hours.

Books I plan on reading:

I mostly chose books that take place on Halloween because I've had the Halloween II and Halloween III novelizations for a long time, but I've been waiting until I had this first one (which I finally found this past summer) to read them. 

1. Halloween by Curtis Richards
2. Halloween II by Jack Martin
3. Halloween III by Jack Martin
4. Halloween Night by R.L. Stine
5. Halloween Night II by R.L. Stine
6. Creepshow by Stephen King

On my Kindle:

7. The Haunted Forest Tour by James A. Moore and Jeff Strand
8. 1922 by Stephen King
9. The Halloween Children by Brian James Freeman and Norman Prentiss

On my iPad: 

10. Chilling Adventures of Sabrina #7 by Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa
11. Chilling Adventures of Sabrina #8 by Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa

Snacks I will be consuming:

- Spinach dip with pumpernickel bread
- Sweet Marie bars
- Monster cookie cheese ball
- Big Foot gummies
- So Fresh cold brew coffee
- One Drop banana split iced coffee

Opening Survey

1. What fine part of the world are you reading from today?

Oakville, Ontario, Canada

2. Which book in your stack are you most looking forward to?

Halloween Night and Halloween Night II by R.L. Stine because I'm excited to listen to the Teen Creeps podcast (a really awesome podcast about 80s and 90s YA horror) about those books on Halloween. 

3. Which snack are you most looking forward to?

The monster cookie cheese ball I made because I've never tried this recipe before and I love sweet cheese balls and monster cookies. 

4. Tell us a little something about yourself!

I celebrated my 30th birthday on Thursday. 

5. If you participated in the last readathon, what's the one thing you'll do differently today?

I want to read more than I did last time. 

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

BOOK REVIEW: The Breeze Horror by Candace Caponegro

Bloodshot Books 2017 edition
When a space shuttle carrying toxic waste collides with a meteor, contaminated rain pours down, infecting everyone it touches, causing their bodies to decompose, but leaving their minds intact. The frightened residents of Sea Breeze Island quarantine the infected on the beach. The "beachers" come to resent the "norms" and plan their revenge, becoming more sadistic as their bodies become more decayed.

A different kind of zombie book, these zombies—or beachers—aren't interested in eating brains. They prefer inflicting pain and torturing the norms. The beachers aren't brain-dead monsters. Their anger and hatred of friends and family is because of how they were treated after they became infected.

It's refreshing to read a book that lets you get inside the head of a zombie. They had motivations and personalities, just like the rest of the characters. It's always more interesting when a villain isn't just inherently evil. I even felt sorry for a few of them. Are the monsters the unlucky ones caught in the rain, or the ones who refused to help the infected?

Onyx 1988 edition
But I don't think what the beachers do to the norms by the end of the book is justified by any means. It gets pretty gory and definitely isn't for the faint of heart.

Although I could empathize with the beachers, the norms were even more compelling characters. I was rooting for the main character, Sandy, and her young son, to get off the island and escape the beachers.

The Breeze Horror was originally published in 1988 and recently republished by Bloodshot Books. Contrary to the original cover (pictured on the right), no killer curtains make an appearance. Highly recommended for zombie fans looking for something different.

Rating: 4/5