RA for All...The Road Show!

I can come to your library, book club meeting, or conference to talk about how to help your readers find their next good read. Click here for more information.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

YA Horror Novels of 2017 via Stacked

Click here for Kelly Jensen’s run down of 2017 YA horror.

Kelly runs one of the best and most comprehensive YA books sites on the web- Stacked- and she loves horror.

Remember that YA horror is often perfect for adults who don’t want too much blood and gore but still want to feel the fear.

Personally, I am not a huge YA fan. I get annoyed by the whiny teen protagonists, but then again I am living in a home with 2 teens so....

But not with YA horror. I really enjoy it. I feel like sometimes, it is better than adult horror because the authors can’t just fall back on blood and guts, they have to work to create the anxiety, fear, and terror.

I have said it a million times, Rot and Ruin by Jonathan Maberry is one of the best zombie novels ever written.  I also like Amy Lukavics whose newest book is on Kelly's list.

Since Kelly likes YA horror so much, she has a lot of posts about it. And since she is a “reformed” librarian [her words], she has it all well cataloged. Just click here and you can pull up every horror post from Stacked.

Monday, July 17, 2017

2016 Shirley Jackson Award Winners

Over the weekend, my favorite awards were announced-- the Shirley Jackson Award winners.

For those new to the game here is all the info on this amazing cross-genre award:

Boston, MA (July 2017) — In recognition of the legacy of Shirley Jackson’s writing, and with permission of the author’s estate, The Shirley Jackson Awards, Inc. has been established for outstanding achievement in the literature of psychological suspense, horror, and the dark fantastic. 
The Shirley Jackson Awards are voted upon by a jury of professional writers, editors, critics, and academics, with input from a Board of Advisors. The awards are given for the best work published in the preceding calendar year in the following categories: Novel, Novella, Novelette, Short Story, Single-Author Collection, and Edited Anthology. 
The 2016 Shirley Jackson Awards were presented on Sunday, July 16th at Readercon 28, Conference on Imaginative Literature, in Quincy, Massachusetts. Naomi Novik hosted the ceremony.
The winners for the 
2016 Shirley Jackson Awards are: 
Winner: The Girls, Emma Cline (Random House) 
Foxlowe, Eleanor Wasserberg (Fourth Estate-UK/Penguin Books-US)
I’m Thinking of Ending Things, Iain Reid (Gallery/Scout)
Lily, Michael Thomas Ford (Lethe)
Mongrels, Stephen Graham Jones (William Morrow)
The Wonder, Emma Donoghue (Little, Brown) 
Winner: The Ballad of Black Tom, Victor LaValle (Tor.com) 
The Dream-Quest of Vellitt Boe, Kij Johnson (Tor.com)
“Maggots,” Nina Allan (Five Stories High)
Muscadines, S.P. Miskowski (Dunhams Manor)
The Sadist’s Bible, Nicole Cushing (01 Publishing)
The Warren, Brian Evenson (Tor.com) 
Winner: “Waxy,” Camilla Grudova (Granta)) 
“Andy Kaufman Creeping Through the Trees,” Laird Barron (Autumn Cthulhu)
“Angel, Monster, Man,” Sam J. Miller (Nightmare Magazine)
“Breaking Water,” Indrapramit Das (Tor.com)
“The Night Cyclist,” Stephen Graham Jones (Tor.com)
“Presence,” Helen Oyeyemi (What Is Not Yours Is Not Yours) 
Winner: “Postcards from Natalie,” Carrie Laben (The Dark) 
“Animal Parts,” Irenosen Okojie (Speak, Gigantular)
“The Apartments,” Karen Heuler (Other Places)
“Postcards from Natalie,” Carrie Laben (The Dark)
“Red,” Katie Knoll (Masters Review)
“Things With Beards,” Sam J. Miller (Clarkesworld) 
Winner: A Natural History of Hell, Jeffrey Ford (Small Beer Press) 
Almost Insentient, Almost Divine, D.P. Watt (Undertow)
Furnace, Livia Llewellyn (Word Horde)
Greener Pastures, Michael Wehunt (Shock Totem)
We Show What We Have Learned, Clare Beams (Lookout) 
Winner: The Starlit Wood, edited by Dominik Parisien and Navah Wolfe (Saga Press) 
Autumn Cthulhu, edited by Mike Davis (Lovecraft eZine Press)
The Madness of Dr. Caligari, edited by Joseph S. Pulver, Sr. (Fedogan and Bremer )
Those Who Make Us: Canadian Creature, Myth, and Monster Stories, edited by Kelsi Morris and Kaitlin Tremblay (Exile Editions)
An Unreliable Guide to London, edited by Kit Caless and Gary Budden (Influx Press)
BOARD OF DIRECTORS AWARD to Ruth Franklin in recognition of the biography, Shirley Jackson: A Rather Haunted Life.
Shirley Jackson (1916-1965) wrote such classic novels as The Haunting of Hill House and We Have Always Lived in the Castle, as well as one of the most famous short stories in the English language, “The Lottery.” Her work continues to be a major influence on writers of every kind of fiction, from the most traditional genre offerings to the most innovative literary work.Congratulations to all the winners.
Please make sure you take a look at the long list here [and above] as all of the nominated titles are fantastic and many would not be noticed anywhere else because they do not easily fit into a single genre.

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

IT Re-Read With Daniel Kraus on Booklist Reader- Updates Every Monday

Click here to join in on the evil fun
Want to brush up on horror before October comes along?

Follow along [if you dare] with Daniel Kraus as he leads a re-read of IT every Monday on Booklist Reader.

Look I know many of you are scared to try to read horror for yourself but you want to understand why you patrons like it. Reading these weekly discussions will help you improve your service to horror readers without giving you nightmares.

Now the more adventurous among you may decide to also read along. But if IT is too much for you, there are plenty of other horror books I could suggest for you to try. Let me know if you need some help finding the best one for you or a patron.

Monday, June 12, 2017

Review Index Update: Ararat and Skitter

I added reviews of two new books to the review archive:
  • Golden, Christopher.  Ararat (2017)
  • Boone, Ezekiel.  Skitter (2017)

Monday, June 5, 2017

"Sometimes Horror is the Only Fiction That Understands You" via Tor.Com

Another day and yet another wonderful essay on Tor.com about the appeal of horror. As I mentioned just a few days ago in this post, Tor.com was already one of my preferred resources for horror info, but even they are outdoing themselves with a flurry of great posts recently.

Today's essay on their site about the appeal of horror is a repost of a 2013 piece by Leah Schnelbach entitled, "Sometimes Horror is the Only Fiction That Understands You," and is about what Stephen King and his work has meant to her over the years.

I say it a lot, but people who belittle the mainstream appeal of horror are just plain dumb. Stephen King is one of the highest selling authors of our times and every single one of his books [no matter the genre] invokes fear, dread, anxiety, and often, terror-- the staples of horror. Millions of people love his books, yet a large portion of those same readers say that they "don't like horror."

Well, they are liars- every single one of them.

But again, I tell you this all of the time. Why not read someone else's argument?

This post has been tagged, Why I Love Horror. Use that link to see other authors and library workers share their personal love of the genre and what it means to them.

Thursday, June 1, 2017

Stephen Graham Jones Explains the Appeal of Horror

You might be sick of me explaining why readers like horror, so why not read one of today’s best horror authors tell you why it is so great in this piece on Tor.com by Stephen Graham Jones.

While you are there, click on the Horror tag to see of of Tor.com’s horror content. It is one of my favorite resources for horror info, upcoming titles, and news.

Monday, May 22, 2017

Author to Know-- Jeremy Robert Johnson-- Including a HARDCOVER GIVEAWAY

Today I want to introduce library workers to an author who Bizarro fiction fans have known about for years, but whose work may not be in your library. Well that’s not 100% true. I would venture that those of you who have some Bizarro story collections will have a story or two by Johnson in your library, but a quick WorldCat search showed me that very few public libraries had his books until this one- Entropy in BloomFrom Goodreads:
For more than a decade, Jeremy Robert Johnson has been bubbling under the surface of both literary and genre fiction. His short stories present a brilliantly dark and audaciously weird realm where cosmic nightmares collide with all-too-human characters and apocalypses of all shapes and sizes loom ominously. In “Persistence Hunting,” a lonely distance runner is seduced into a brutal life of crime with an ever-narrowing path for escape. In “When Susurrus Stirs,” an unlucky pacifist must stop a horrifying parasite from turning his body into a sentient hive. Running through all of Johnson’s work is a hallucinatory vision and deeply-felt empathy, earning the author a reputation as one of today’s most daring and thrilling writers. 
Featuring the best of his previously independently-published short fiction, as well as an exclusive, never-before-published novella “The Sleep of Judges”—where a father’s fight against the denizens of a drug den becomes a mind-bending suburban nightmare—Entropy in Bloom is a perfect compendium for avid fans and an ideal entry point for adventurous readers seeking the humor, heartbreak, and terror of JRJ’s strange new worlds.
With this major publisher backed, hard cover edition of JRJ’s most popular stories PLUS a brand new novella, this is an author whose time has more than come to be added to public library collections. Many have already added this volume, but not enough in my opinion.

Bizarro fiction is really gaining in popularity because these genres are all about mashing up the speculative genres. The genre even has it’s own award, the Wonderland Book Award, which JRJ has won before. Click here to learn more about Bizarro. Or here for a list of top Bizarro authors which includes JRJ.

To hear a review of this collection by 2 fans, listen to this episode of the Booked podcast. The first half is a review and the second half is an interview with JRJ. [Also, keep the podcast bookmarked because I recorded an interview with them at StokerCon.]

This is a great title to add to your collections and allow Bizarro to have a presence in your library. If you don’t have any Bizarro authors in your library, you are already behind the curve a bit. Fix it by adding JRJ.

Need help booking this volume? Readalike authors who your patrons may already be enjoying are the legendary John Skipp, Paul Tremblay, Stephen Graham Jones, and Nick Cutter-- all authors I have talked about here on the blog more than once, all authors you wouldn’t think twice about adding to your collections.

To help get you excited, I have a brand new, hard cover copy of Entropy in Bloom, from the publisher to give away here on the blog to a public library worker in the US or Canada. Email me at zombiegrl75 [at] gmail [dot] com with with subject heading [Entropy in Bloom] and your library’s name to enter. Entries will be accepted until Wednesday, May 24th at 5pm central. I will reply to you that your entry has been received to confirm.

Good luck.

And if you don't win I would highly suggest finding a way to put a copy of Entropy in Bloom in your collection. I had only heard of JRJ before this collection came out in April. I had not read him before. I am happy to say I fixed that. I have read these stories and they are surprisingly, unsettling, well constructed, and highly original. Even this , “been there done that reader,” was entertained throughout.