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.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Backlist Not To Miss: Something Wicked This Way Comes

Periodically I like to remind everyone out there of the greatest asset the library has--the backlist.

Today's title that has earned the "Backlist Not To Miss" tag is one of my all-time favorites, Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury.  Here's what I have to say about it in the new book:

When a carnival comes to a small Illinois town a week before Halloween, two adolescent boys are forever changed by its mysteries, secrets, and horrors. This novel begins tamely but ultimately packs a terrifying punch. Bradbury is a master of blending speculative genres into highly enjoyable and thought-provoking works. Here he presents a tense, tightly wound horror novel that will be sure to appeal to a wide range of readers.
This short novel sneaks up on you.  You think you know the whole haunted carnival plot; you think you have a handle on what is just around the corner lying in the shadows; but the kicker is, you really have no idea.

This week, one of my favorite current macabre writers, Seth Grahame-Smith had a radio essay on NPR where he too expressed a love of this Bradbury classic.  Click here to read and/or listen.

Something Wicked This Way Comes is available at most public libraries.

Click here to follow past posts in this series.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Edgar Allan Poe Is Awesome

If you read this blog then I am assuming that all things macabre at least interest you.  So, you should all be interested in the life of Poe coming to the big screen this weekend.

John Cusack is playing the great author.  But I don't necessary want to plug the movie as much as plug the awesomeness of Poe.

In case you have forgotten about Poe and all his creepy glory, check out this post from io9 in which Cusak explains why Edgar Allan Poe "created everything you love."

I just hope the movie does well enough to remind people to read Poe.  Can you tell, by the way, that he is one of my personal favs? Seriously, is there anything creepier than The Raven or Annabelle Lee?  And those are just his poems.

Take advantage of the buzz about the movie and pull those Poe collections off the shelf, dust them off, and put them out on display somehwere in your library.  There is much for the modern horror fan to enjoy in those old books.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Abandoned Hospital

Back in February on RA for All, I posted about my love of author John Green's vlog.  Click here for details about what he is doing.

Yesterday, his vlog entry was very horror appropriate.  He visited an abandoned hospital in the LA area with "not quite horror" author extraordinaire Ransom Riggs, author of Miss Peregrine's Home For Peculiar Children.

Not only is the video creepy, but Green's narration talks about the appeal of horror at length while he is showing the creepy scenes.  It is especially enlightening since Green admits to not being a horror fan.

This is an articulate and fun look into how the average patron, who would not probably call themselves a horror fan, still might like to feel creeped out once in awhile.  Use this link or watch the embedded video below.


Thursday, April 19, 2012

The Appeal of Horror: Someone Else's Opinion

I have spent many, many hours of my life writing and lecturing about why people love horror.  Which reminds me, have you ordered a copy of my new book yet?

If you need the refresher course on my opinion, order the book first, and click here second.  But seriously, even if you don't order the book, you can still click here for the summary on my opinion as to why people love horror.

Although I have done a lot of research into this issue and am technically a paid expert on the subject, it is still gratifying to read personal essays by actual readers as to why they love horror.

As I mentioned earlier this month, Criminal Element (a fabulous crime fiction site) has deemed this Undead April.  As part of their special coverage, author Dana Fredsti has this essay entitled, "My First Undead Love: How I Fell for the Horror Genre."

If you love horror read this.  If you don't love horror but work at a library where you help patrons who do, read this.  If you want to know why anyone would love to be scared, read this.  Oh, just read it. Fredsti takes the arguments I make in a vacuum and provides an illustrative example.

Thanks to Fredsti for making me look better.  Hey, maybe it will sell more books...

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Spotlight on Blogs: Mandy's Morgue of Horror

As part of my feature on fellow members of the Horror Blogger Alliance, I wanted to focus my attention on the list of HBA Gold Members (a list that includes this blog).

I found Mandy's Morgue of Horror on the list and was impressed not only by her well designed site, but by her true passion for horror.

In her own words:
...I'm a writer, horror fanatic, and zombie enthusiast with dreams of making it big in the horror industry. I've always had a passion for writing and it soon developed into a love of writing horror. My goal is to write horror novels but I also want to have a career writing for horror-based magazines such as Rue-Morgue and Fangoria. In the meantime, I've decided to create a horror blog where I can share my view on horror, including reviews, news, interviews and more.
Mandy has the right attitude.  She wants to write so she is trying to improve her skills while also sharing her love and knowledge with the rest of us.

She runs reviews and interviews.  She posts news and info.  And she elicits conversation and discussions among fans.

As a librarian, I like that while she considers all horror formats, her focus is ultimately on writing.  Many of the horror blogs put movies first.  I am always on the look out for bloggers who showcase horror prose.

Mandy's Morgue of Horror is worth a visit.

To access the archive of all of the blogs I have featured, please visit the Features Archive. [What kind of librarian would I be if I did not provide an index?]

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Neil Gaiman Interviews Stephen King

Really, could anything be better for fans of the macabre?  Not for me at least.

The Stephen King fan blog Discordia 19 ran the full interview from the April 8th UK Sunday Times Magazine.

There is not a lot of new information for King fans here, but did I mention it was written by NEIL GAIMAN.  That is enough for me to click through.

Besides, I have said it a thousand times (literally) and you can read it in the new book, modern horror began when King published Carrie. And without King, we have no Joe Hill.  And, oh how I love him.

Chicago Fear Fest April 13-14

Looking for something to do this weekend.  Over by O'Hare Airport in Rosemont, IL Chicago Fear Fest is going on.  This festival highlights the best of independent horror.  There is an entire weekend of activities, interviews, discussions, and of course, screenings going on.

That would be cool in and of itself, but my friend and collegue, Joyce Saricks' daughter Meg is starring in one of the films.

Meg did this interview over on Women In Horror as part of her promotion for the film. I have re-posted it with her permission.  Enjoy.

And, check out the fest. Independent horror could use your support.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

The Book!

Today, I got home from an in-service day of meetings and waiting on my doorstep were 10 copies of The Readers' Advisory Guide to Horror, 2nd Edition, by me.

That was a nice surprise.

Review copies are available if anyone is interested.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Undead April

The blog, Criminal Element, is running a special month long series-- Undead April.  Check it out!

Back from Vacation

Things were quiet here, I know.  I was on vacation for 10 days in sunny Southern California.  But I am back now and have a some great stuff planned for the coming weeks leading up to the release of the new book this month.

But first, some housekeeping:

  • We hit Disneyland on vacation.  I talked at length to my kids about why they loved The Haunted Mansion and Tower of Terror rides.  I will turn this information into a post about the appeal of being scared very soon.
  • Finally, in not quite horror news, I read the ARC of Gillian Flynn's new book (Gone Girl out 6/5/12) and loved it.  It is dark, twisted, and the closest thing I have read to a Hitchcock movie in years!!!  I will have a review the first week of June.  This month, I will also have some news about Flynn visiting the Berwyn Library this summer.  But you will have to wait for details.  All I can tell you is that it is a done deal and we will have at least 60 seats for non-Berwyn residents. Oh, an no charge!  Stay tuned for details.