I thought it would be fun to share what I’m reading during my own self-quarantine since it now seems like there’s a chance that I was exposed. Luckily for me, a lot of authors that I admire and follow have been posting their books on sale and some of them have even made them free.
I’ve gotten a lot of ebooks and since it seems like this thing is going to be going on for a while it looks like I’ll have a lot of time to work through them.
1) They Thirst by Robert R. McCammon
This is the first book I’ve ever read by Robert R. McCammon and it’s the only paperback book on my quartine reading list. I’m about halfway done with it and so far I absolutely love this book. It’s been a thrill all the way through. And it’s my favorite kind of vampire horror, the kind where there is no question that the vampire is an evil, bloodsucking monster. I have a feeling that by the time I finish this it’s going to become like Salem’s Lot for me, one of those books that I re-read every few years.
2) Tribesmen by Adam Cesare
This is another book I’ve been wanting to read for a while now. Adam Cesare if you don’t already follow him is an interesting guy and his YouTube channel where he discusses and reviews horror books and movies. He’s got great tastes in cult B-horror movies and so I knew that I’d probably like his books. Due to the pandemic that’s sweeping the globe, he put all his books on sale and I was able to purchase a bunch of his digital catalog.
Tribesmen while I haven’t quite finished it, so far it’s really fun. It’s about a sleazy Italian filmmaker who takes a crew out into the jungle to film a cannibal exploitation film. They soon find out that the island is cursed and hijinks ensue. The characters are over the top and so are the killings. It’s a fun read and so far the only problem I’ve had with this book is putting it down.
3) Thirteen Days by Sunset Beach by Ramsey Campell
I got this book when it was on sale a while ago and just started reading it recently. Flame Tree Press has consistently put out really good and interesting horror books so I knew that while I’d never read Ramsey Campell previously that I would be in for a treat. What I think I like most about this book so far is that protagonists in the book are well into their golden years. Maybe I’m a weirdo but I think that the aged protagonist doesn’t get done enough. Take Bubba Hotep, for instance, it wouldn’t have been as interesting if the main characters had been action heroes in their thirties, and it’s the same with this book.
When things start to get scary on their idyllic Greek island vacation there is a sense of powerlessness that’s overwhelming and almost scarier than the supernatural elements. It’s a start reminder that we can’t fight age and that when it finally creeps up on us and robs us of our youthful vigor we might not be able to save the ones we love in their time of need. If you are looking for something different during your quartine then I highly recommend this book.
4) Friday Night Frights: The Dead Next Door by Eric Mosher
A lot of book covers are doing the 80’s video syle now I think probably due to the success of Grady Hendrix’s My Best Friends Exorcism, and I love it. There’s something about the style that’s so iconic to the horror genre that 9 times out of 10 I’ll end up buying the book. Which is what happened with The Dead Next Door.
While I’m not quite done with the book yet, I can say that I plan on reading the rest of the series. It’s a highly entertaining book. The main characters are clueless, horror obsessed teenagers, who wind up in over their heads when real monsters show up and shit hits the fan. Reading it gave me real Monster Squad vibes, which is a good thing since it’s one of my favorite films. I can’t say enough good things about this book, it gives me the same feelings that the Spooksville series does, just with the characters and everything being far more fleshed out.
5) Psychomania: Killer Stories Edited by Stephen Jones
I love anthologies so it shouldn’t be a surprise that one made it on my quarantine reading list. I like to read short stories when I’m waiting for something and don’t want to deep dive into a novel. It’s also recently come to my attention that while I’ve seen a lot of slasher films, I’ve been pretty negligent when it comes to slasher fiction. With the only real slasher fiction, I’ve read is The Killing Kind by Bryan Smith another book I highly recommend.
And if there is one anthology of slasher fiction to read to help one better understand the genre I think this is it. It’s got stories from horror and slasher legends such as Robert Bloch, Lawrence Bloch, R. Chetwynd-Hayes, and Joe R. Lansdale. It’s also got stories by Neil Gaiman, Ramsey Campell, and Harlan Ellison that I look forward to reading.