Tag Archives: recommended reading

2015 – What I Read (and Loved)

Okay, so I only read 16 books (fiction/non-fiction) and 64 short stories in 2015. It isn’t a lot, I know, but for what it is worth here is a list of the titles I particularly enjoyed and do not hesitate to recommend. In no particular order:


  • On Writing – Charles Bukowski (2015)*
  • Point Hollow – Rio Youers (2015)

* This is perhaps one for fans, rather than a starting point for readers interested in Bukowski’s work.


  • The Absent Shade – Priya Sharma (Black Static #44)
  • Men Wearing Makeup – Ralph Robert Moore (Black Static #46)
  • All the Day You’ll Have Good Luck – Kate Jonez (Black Static #47)
  • A Case Study in Natural Selection and How It Applies to Love – Eric J. Guignard (Black Static #47)
  • What We Talk about When We Talk about Love – Raymond Carver (collection of the same name)
  • Morality – Stephen King (collection: The Bazaar of Bad Dreams)*
  • I Have Heard the Mermaids Sing – Ray Cluley (collection: Probably Monsters)*

* I am still  currently reading The Bazaar of Bad Dreams and Probably Monsters.


I’m Westlake Soul’d

Westlake Soul

Ever since I finished reading Rio Youers’ “Westlake Soul” on Saturday evening I have been considering posting a review here on my blog/site.  However, there is nothing I want to say about the book other than it is not only one of the most original but one of the best novels I have ever read.

So, if you have any spare cash and want to read something different, something brilliantly written, and something emotionally devastating…well, you know what to do, right?

Reading the Dead

After the recent passing of two prominent figures in horror literature, I thought the best tribute I could make was to sit down and read some of their work.  I have only read a couple of James Herbert’s novels in my lifetime, I am ashamed to admit – The Magic Cottage and The Rats – so I chose as my starting point the follow-up to the latter:  Lair.  After a slow but never dull opening, the action and horror is classic Herbert.  Herbert wasn’t the best writer, but he was an expert in those scenes that matter, the scenes that punch and bite.  If you’re unfamiliar with his work, his ‘Rats’ trilogy is as good a place as any to start.

Before Rick Hautala’s death, I was unfamiliar with his work (actually, I had read and enjoyed his story Goblin Boy in Cemetery Dance #64 but did not connect it to him until after his death).  I took advantage of an offer to download (for free) his Best Of short-story collection, Glimpses.  Although the first story did not connect with me at all, those proceeding it have shown me Rick was indeed a skilful and economic writer of dark and unusual prose.  I haven’t finished reading the stories yet; I am dipping in and out, savouring each one.  But I’m pretty sure this won’t be the end of my Hautala experience…

Unlike many of the tribute blog posts I have read, I cannot claim to have extensive knowledge of either man’s catalogue, but I believe it is never too late to start on a journey.  After all, that’s what legacies are made of.  And besides, what better tribute is there to men of words than to read the words they lived for?

R.I.P. James.

R.I.P. Rick.