Goodreads Monday is hosted by Budget Tales Book Blog. “Goodreads Monday allows you to post about what books are on your “to read” lists, the progress you have made on your current books and reading challenge, and any other Goodreads news!”
Books I Finished In the Past 7 Weeks:
Goddamn Electric Nights by William Pauley III
When electricity hangs in the air so thick the moon and stars fizzle and drown in a sea of light, the people living within it, breathing it in, can never be “normal.”
From disfigured mutants accidentally murdering god to a man falling madly in love with a blood-thirsty VCR, we promise you’ve never read anything as bizarre as this!
In these six tales, Pauley explores the lives of those living in the darkest corners of the world, those living electric:
Contains the stories:
1) Slime Night!
2) Killing Teddy (previously published under the names Insection 8 and The Third Floor)
3) The Spiders of Honeyville
5) $5 Electric Suzie
6) Spin Doctors Mixtape
See my review of this book here.
Ripper: The Secret Life of Walter Sickert by Patricia Cornwell
From New York Times bestselling author Patricia Cornwell comes Ripper: The Secret Life of Walter Sickert, a comprehensive and intriguing exposé of one of the world’s most chilling cases of serial murder—and the police force that failed to solve it.
Vain and charismatic Walter Sickert made a name for himself as a painter in Victorian London. But the ghoulish nature of his art—as well as extensive evidence—points to another name, one that’s left its bloody mark on the pages of history: Jack the Ripper. Cornwell has collected never-before-seen archival material—including a rare mortuary photo, personal correspondence and a will with a mysterious autopsy clause—and applied cutting-edge forensic science to open an old crime to new scrutiny.
Incorporating material from Portrait of a Killer: Jack the Ripper—Case Closed, this new edition has been revised and expanded to include eight new chapters, detailed maps and hundreds of images that bring the sinister case to life.
See my reivew of this book here.
The Sandman Vol. 1: Preludes & Nocturnes by Neil Gaiman
New York Times best-selling author Neil Gaiman’s transcendent series THE SANDMAN is often hailed as the definitive Vertigo title and one of the finest achievements in graphic storytelling. Gaiman created an unforgettable tale of the forces that exist beyond life and death by weaving ancient mythology, folklore and fairy tales with his own distinct narrative vision.
In PRELUDES & NOCTURNES, an occultist attempting to capture Death to bargain for eternal life traps her younger brother Dream instead. After his 70 year imprisonment and eventual escape, Dream, also known as Morpheus, goes on a quest for his lost objects of power. On his arduous journey Morpheus encounters Lucifer, John Constantine, and an all-powerful madman.
This book also includes the story “The Sound of Her Wings,” which introduces us to the pragmatic and perky goth girl Death.
See my review of this book here.
The Sandman Vol. 2: The Doll’s House by Neil Gaiman
New York Times best-selling author Neil Gaiman’s transcendent series SANDMAN is often hailed as the definitive Vertigo title and one of the finest achievements in graphic storytelling. Gaiman created an unforgettable tale of the forces that exist beyond life and death by weaving ancient mythology, folklore and fairy tales with his own distinct narrative vision.
During Morpheus’s incarceration, three dreams escaped the Dreaming and are now loose in the waking world. At the same time, a young woman named Rose Walker is searching for her little brother. As their stories converge, a vortex is discovered that could destroy all dreamers, and the world itself.
See my review of this book here.
How to Sell a Haunted House by Grady Hendrix
Grady Hendrix takes on the haunted house in a thrilling new novel that explores the way your past—and your family—can haunt you like nothing else.
When Louise finds out her parents have died, she dreads going home. She doesn’t want to leave her daughter with her ex and fly to Charleston. She doesn’t want to deal with her family home, stuffed to the rafters with the remnants of her father’s academic career and her mother’s lifelong obsession with puppets and dolls. She doesn’t want to learn how to live without the two people who knew and loved her best in the world.
Most of all, she doesn’t want to deal with her brother, Mark, who never left their hometown, gets fired from one job after another, and resents her success. Unfortunately, she’ll need his help to get the house ready for sale because it’ll take more than some new paint on the walls and clearing out a lifetime of memories to get this place on the market.
But some houses don’t want to be sold, and their home has other plans for both of them…
The Idea of You by Robinne Lee
EVERYONE IN THE WORLD KNOWS HIS NAME.
BUT IT’S YOU HE WANTS.
At thirty-nine, Solène Marchand is a devoted mother, a dedicated colleague and a considerate ex-wife.
But it’s a long time since she’s felt like herself.
So when someone comes along who seems to see her – to want her – for who she really is, the attraction is instant. And so begins a jet-setting, earth-shattering secret love affair.
But what if that someone is world-famous sex symbol Hayes Campbell? Captivating frontman of boy band of the moment August Moon – whose face is everywhere. Including Solène’s teenage daughter’s bedroom wall.
Can Solène allow herself to fall for the boy the whole world wants?
OR WILL SHE HAVE TO MAKE A DEVASTATING CHOICE..?
Secluded Cabin Sleeps Six by Lisa Unger
Three couples rent a luxury cabin in the woods for a weekend getaway to die for in this chilling locked-room thriller by New York Times bestselling author Lisa Unger.
What could be more restful, more restorative, than a weekend getaway with family and friends? An isolated luxury cabin in the woods, complete with spectacular views, a hot tub and a personal chef. Hannah’s loving and generous tech-mogul brother found the listing online. The reviews are stellar. It’s his birthday gift to Hannah and includes their spouses and another couple. The six friends need this trip with good food, good company and lots of R & R, far from the chatter and pressures of modern life.
But the dreamy weekend is about to turn into a nightmare. A deadly storm is brewing. The rental host seems just a little too present. The personal chef reveals that their beautiful house has a spine-tingling history. And the friends have their own complicated past, with secrets that run blood deep. How well does Hannah know her brother, her own husband? Can she trust her best friend? And who is the new boyfriend, crashing their party? Meanwhile, someone is determined to ruin the weekend, looking to exact a payback for deeds long buried. Who is the stranger among them?
The Sandman Vol. 3: Dream Country by Neil Gaiman
The third book of the Sandman collection is a series of four short comic book stories. In each of these otherwise unrelated stories, Morpheus serves only as a minor character. Here we meet the mother of Morpheus’s son, find out what cats dream about, and discover the true origin behind Shakespeare’s A Midsummer’s Night Dream. The latter won a World Fantasy Award for best short story, the first time a comic book was given that honor.
Collects THE SANDMAN #17-20.
Mad Honey by Jodi Picoult and Jennifer Finney Boylan
A soul-stirring novel about what we choose to keep from our past, and what we choose to leave behind.
Olivia McAfee knows what it feels like to start over. Her picture-perfect life—living in Boston, married to a brilliant cardiothoracic surgeon, raising a beautiful son, Asher—was upended when her husband revealed a darker side. She never imagined she would end up back in her sleepy New Hampshire hometown, living in the house she grew up in, and taking over her father’s beekeeping business.
Lily Campanello is familiar with do-overs, too. When she and her mom relocate to Adams, New Hampshire, for her final year of high school, they both hope it will be a fresh start.
And for just a short while, these new beginnings are exactly what Olivia and Lily need. Their paths cross when Asher falls for the new girl in school, and Lily can’t help but fall for him, too. With Ash, she feels happy for the first time. Yet at times, she wonders if she can she trust him completely . . .
Then one day, Olivia receives a phone call: Lily is dead, and Asher is being questioned by the police. Olivia is adamant that her son is innocent. But she would be lying if she didn’t acknowledge the flashes of his father’s temper in him, and as the case against him unfolds, she realizes he’s hidden more than he’s shared with her.
Mad Honey is a riveting novel of suspense, an unforgettable love story, and a moving and powerful exploration of the secrets we keep and the risks we take in order to become ourselves.
See my review of this book here.
The Sandman Vol. 4: Season of Mists by Neil Gaiman
Ten thousand years ago, Morpheus condemned a woman who loved him to Hell. Now the other members of his immortal family, The Endless, have convinced the Dream King that this was an injustice. To make it right, Morpheus must return to Hell to rescue his banished love — and Hell’s ruler, the fallen angel Lucifer, has already sworn to destroy him.
Collects THE SANDMAN #21-28.
Hounds of the Underworld by Dan Rabarts and Lee Murray
On the verge of losing her laboratory, her savings, and all respect for herself, Pandora (Penny) Yee lands her first contract as scientific consult to the police department. And with seventeen murder cases on the go, the surly inspector is happy to leave her to it. Only she’s going to need to get around, and that means her slightly unhinged adopted brother, Matiu, will be doing the driving. But something about the case spooks Matiu, something other than the lack of a body in the congealing pool of blood in the locked room or that odd little bowl.
Matiu doesn’t like anything about this case, from the voices that screamed at him when he touched that bowl, to the way his hateful imaginary friend Makere has come back to torment him, to the fact that the victim seems to be tied up with a man from Matiu’s past, a man who takes pleasure in watching dogs tear each other to pieces for profit and entertainment.
Hounds of the Underworld blends mystery, near-future noir and horror. Set in New Zealand it’s the product of a collaboration by two Kiwi authors, one with Chinese heritage and the other Māori. This debut book in The Path of Ra series offers compelling new voices and an exotic perspective on the detective drama.
After I Do by Taylor Jenkins Reid
From the New York Times bestselling author of The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo, comes a breath taking novel about modern marriage, the depth of family ties, and the year that one remarkable heroine spends exploring both. When Lauren and Ryan’s marriage reaches the breaking point, they come up with an unconventional plan. They decide to take a year off in the hopes of finding a way to fall in love again. One year apart, and only one they cannot contact each other. Aside from that, anything goes. Lauren embarks on a journey of self-discovery, quickly finding that her friends and family have their own ideas about the meaning of marriage. These influences, as well as her own healing process and the challenges of living apart from Ryan, begin to change Lauren’s ideas about monogamy and marriage. She starts to When you can have romance without loyalty and commitment without marriage, when love and lust are no longer tied together, what do you value? What are you willing to fight for? This is a love story about what happens when the love fades. It’s about staying in love, seizing love, forsaking love, and committing to love with everything you’ve got. And above all, After I Do is the story of a couple caught up in an old game-and searching for a new road to happily ever after. Don’t miss the new novel from Taylor Jenkins Reid, Carrie Soto is Back, out now
Books I am Currently Reading:
Your First Novel Revised and Expanded Edition: A Top Agent and a Published Author Show You How to Write Your Book and Get It Published by Anne Rittenberg and Laura Whitcomb
In this revised and expanded edition of Your First Novel, novelist Laura Whitcomb, seasoned literary agent Ann Rittenberg, and her knowledgeable assistant, Camille Goldin, team up to provide you with the essential skills needed to craft the best novel you can–and the savvy business know-how to get it published. Complete with updated references, analysis of new best-selling novels, and the same detailed instruction, Whitcomb will show you how to:
– Practice the craft of writing, using both your right- and left-brain
– Develop a flexible card system for organizing and outlining plot
– Create dynamic characters that readers love–and love to hate
– Study classic novels and story structure to adapt with your ideas
Featuring two new chapters on choosing your path as an author and understanding the world of self-publishing, Rittenberg and Goldin dive into the business side of publishing, including:
– What agents can–and should–do for your future
– Who you should target as an agent for your burgeoning career
– How the mysterious auction for novels actually goes down
– Why you should learn to work with your agent through thick and thin
Guiding your first novel from early words to a spot on the bookshelf can be an exciting and terrifying journey, but you’re not alone. Alongside the advice of industry veterans, Your First Novel Revised and Expanded also includes plenty of firsthand accounts from published authors on their journeys, including Dennis Lehane, C.J. Box, Kathleen McCleary, David Kazzie, and more.
Progress: Kindle book 72% (March 6th: 44%, March 13th 57%)
The Last Thing He Told Me by Laura Dave
Before Owen Michaels disappears, he manages to smuggle a note to his beloved wife of one year: Protect her. Despite her confusion and fear, Hannah Hall knows exactly to whom the note refers: Owen’s sixteen-year-old daughter, Bailey. Bailey, who lost her mother tragically as a child. Bailey, who wants absolutely nothing to do with her new stepmother.
As Hannah’s increasingly desperate calls to Owen go unanswered; as the FBI arrests Owen’s boss; as a US Marshal and FBI agents arrive at her Sausalito home unannounced, Hannah quickly realizes her husband isn’t who he said he was. And that Bailey just may hold the key to figuring out Owen’s true identity—and why he really disappeared.
Hannah and Bailey set out to discover the truth, together. But as they start putting together the pieces of Owen’s past, they soon realize they are also building a new future. One neither Hannah nor Bailey could have anticipated.
Progress: Audiobook 52%
The Fungus by Harry Adam Knight
When a brilliant scientist seeking to solve the problem of world hunger tries to create giant mushrooms through genetic manipulation, what could possibly go wrong?
The mutated spores escape the lab and spread across all of England. Toadstools grow to twenty feet tall, and a case of athlete’s foot can mean a grisly and horrible death.
But those who die quickly are the lucky ones. Those who survive infection by the fungus will be transformed into something unthinkably monstrous …
With a perfect mix of nightmarish horror and black humor, Harry Adam Knight’s cult classic The Fungus (1985) will grow on you. This edition features a foreword by the author.
Progress: Page 72 of 191
Title: Cleopatra and Frankenstein
Author: Coco Mellors
Book Length: 384 pages
Goodreads Summary: New York is slipping from Cleo’s grasp. Sure, she’s at a different party every other night, but she barely knows anyone. Her student visa is running out, and she doesn’t even have money for cigarettes. But then she meets Frank. Twenty years older, Frank’s life is full of all the success and excess that Cleo’s lacks. He offers her the chance to be happy, the freedom to paint, and the opportunity to apply for a green card. She offers him a life imbued with beauty and art―and, hopefully, a reason to cut back on his drinking. He is everything she needs right now.
Cleo and Frank run head-first into a romance that neither of them can quite keep up with. It reshapes their lives and the lives of those around them, whether that’s Cleo’s best friend struggling to embrace his gender identity in the wake of her marriage, or Frank’s financially dependent sister arranging sugar daddy dates after being cut off. Ultimately, this chance meeting between two strangers outside of a New Year’s Eve party changes everything, for better or worse.
Cleopatra and Frankenstein is an astounding and painfully relatable debut novel about the spontaneous decisions that shape our entire lives and those imperfect relationships born of unexpectedly perfect evenings.