Complicated

(Note: This was a phone conversation. I collect books, Mr. J collects guns. We’d listened to the audiobook last year and this year finished the audiobook of Wise Man’s Fear. It took me forever to convince Mr. J that he would like it.)

Mr. J: I bought another copy of The Name of the Wind.

Me: Did you get the 10th anniversary edition or the illustrated edition?

Mr. J: I don’t know. It’s a book.

Me: Does it say “illustrated” on the cover?

Mr. J: I don’t know, it has pictures on it.

Me: That doesn’t help me. Does it say “illustrated?”

Mr. J: It has words on it.

Me: What words?

Mr. J: I don’t remember I didn’t look at the cover.

Me: How could you not look at the cover?

Mr. J: Books are complicated. Guns are easier.

Me: (laughs) I’m putting that on a t-shirt for you.

Books Read June 2019

Finished:

The Long Walk: Stephen King as Richard Bachman

The Wise Man’s Fear: Patrick Rothfuss (re-read)

Still Working:

City Infernal: Edward Lee (re-read)

Railsea: China Mieville

Kingbird Highway: Kenn Kaufman

Heavy Time: CJ Cherryh (re-read)

Lunatic Cafe: Laurell K Hamilton (re-read)

Double Dead: Chuck Wendig

Arthurian Book of Days: Caitlin and John Matthews

King Arthur: Christopher Hibbert

Started:

None

I had zero reading time this month. I only finished The Wise Man’s Fear because it was an audio book and Mr. J and I went on a long road trip to Florida this month.

And I have way too many that I’m still working on.

I decided to shelve Desperation by Stephen King, Necroscope by Brian Lumley, and The Charm School by Nelson DeMille because I don’t see myself finishing them any time soon and when I do pick them back up again I’ll start them over anyway because I’ve already forgotten everything I’ve read. With Necroscope I don’t feel too bad about doing that because I’ve read it before but I really liked DeMille’s book, I just don’t have the time to read it right now. I probably won’t finish Desperation. I liked the first few chapters but as it sometimes happens with Stephen King books, I lose interest as the plot progresses. The Long Road is one of the few books of his that completely captivated me. I only finished that one because I literally could not put it down. I read it in two days before we left Arkansas.

I’ve gotten some really good reading recommendations from a few friends of mine so my reading goal for next month is to cull the Still Working list so that I can start reading new books.

Books/Short Stories Read May 2019

Finished:

Lists I Left for My Sister: Rosamund Hodge

A Reminiscence of Dr. Samuel Johnson: H.P. Lovecraft

Ghost Sniper: David Healey

Polaris: H.P. Lovecraft

Hot Head: Damon Suede

Mission: Protect the Ex: Alina Popescu

Penal Units in the Red Army: Alex Statiev: Europe-Asia Studies, Vol. 62, No. 5 (July 2010)

Started:

City Infernal: Edward Lee (Re-Read)

The Wise Man’s Fear: Patrick Rothfuss (Re-Read)

Railsea: China Mieville

The Charm School: Nelson DeMille

Kingbird Highway: Kenn Kaufman

Necroscope: Brian Lumley (Re-Read)

The Long Walk: Stephen King as Richard Bachman

Still Working:

Heavy Time: C.J. Cherryh (Re-Read)

Desperation: Stephen King

Lunatic Cafe: Laurell K. Hamilton (Re-Read)

Double Dead: Chuck Wendig

Arthurian Book of Days: Caitlin and John Matthews

King Arthur: Christopher Hibbert

Books Read April 2019

(I’m including short stories in here because I am incapable of finishing a short story collection in a month.)

Finished:

Love in the Time of Global Warming: Francesca Lia Block

The Collector: Titanborn Universe Book Zero: Rhett Bruno

Parable of the Sower: Octavia Butler

The Laughing Corpse: Laurell K. Hamilton

A friend’s amazing zombie book

The Beast in the Cave: HP Lovecraft

The Alchemist: HP Lovecraft

The Tomb: HP Lovecraft

Dagon: HP Lovecraft

The Big Flash: Norman Spinrad

Circus of the Damned: Laurell K. Hamilton (re-read)

Goblin Slayer vol. 3: Kumo Kagyu

Currently Reading:

King Arthur: Christopher Hibbert

Desperation: Stephen King

Arthurian Book of Days: Caitlin and John Matthews

Started:

Heavy Time: CJ Cherryh (re-read)

Double Dead: Chuck Wendig

Favorites:

1. Parable of the Sower: Octavia Butler

2. Heavy Time: CJ Cherryh

Books Read March 2019

Books Finished

Strength to Let Go: Tales of the Werewolf Tribes Book One: Alina Popescu

The Cruel Prince: Holly Black

The Lost Sisters: Holly Black

The Wicked King: Holly Black

Red Queen: Victoria Aveyard

Still Working

Goblin Slayer vol. 3

Parable of the Sower: Octavia Butler

King Arthur: Christopher Hibbert

The Laughing Corpse: Laurell K. Hamilton

Arthurian Book of Days: Caitlin and John Matthews

Books Started

Love in the Time of Global Warming: Francesca Lia Block

Desperation: Stephen King

Hope Nation: Rose Brock

Favorites

Still The Parable of the Sower: Octavia Butler

Love in the Time of Global Warming reminds me of her other book Primavera.

Poetry Audiobook

Public Service Announcement: a few of my favorite poems from Lupercalia are now on audio!

This audiobook is available for FREE download on Bandcamp.

There is an option to pay what you want if you’d like to toss a dollar my way but only if you really, really want to. I want you to have my poems more than I want you to pay me for them.

The tracks themselves are decent but they are not digitally mastered or made with any kind of professional recording equipment. I always try to put out the best possible product but right now I can’t afford a microphone or rent a sound booth so don’t judge too hard.

I tried to keep the cat and traffic noises to a minimum.

After I finished recording my poems we had a French drain dug in our back yard and replaced one of the walls in our den so there was too much construction noise to record anything else but there will be audio versions of a few of my short stories coming soon.

LUPERCALIA TRACK LIST

1. Lupercalia

2. How to Build a Nest

3. Wife of Lot

4. Mermaid Songbook: A Boat Alone

5. Mermaid Songbook: The Witch’s Song

6. Mermaid Songbook: Dead Mermaid Singing

7. Mermaid Songbook: Redemption

8. Little Girls

9. Wormwood

10. After the Flood

11. Orpheus

12. Twisted Myth

13. Mirror Angels

14. Home

15. Things Tourists Love

Wander through the nameless city full of rebellion, desire, and viciousness. Jessica Halsey’s Lupercalia guides readers through the ruins of stories as they smash against reality. 

The city is born, slippery and feral, and then it grows, collects and rejects a multitude of denizens that break and reshape the boundaries of mythology. 

These speculative and fantastical poems represent the search for identity and purpose in a world that challenges the endurance of the human spirit. From the fall of Icarus to the loneliness of abandon, these poems represent how every mythological hero and trial are reflections of our daily lives.

HAPPY LISTENING!

How I got into Stephen King

I don’t like all Stephen King books but I can’t deny he is a master of the horror genre. And the books of his that I do like, I like because they entertain me as a reader, not a writer. I get transported into that world and I don’t want to leave because there’s something there in the terror that feels like home.

So when I was a kid, my mom went to Pennsylvania for a conference or something and first I got scared because I didn’t hear Pennsylvania, I heard Transylvania and I thought Dracula was going to kill her. I was corrected rather quickly about that before I could realize that if Dracula “killed” her she could turn into a vampire and have a pretty cool life after that.

But then after we dropped her off at the airport my dad said something about how her plane might crash, a possibility that had never popped into my head before even though I had my first plane ride when I was 3, and when we got home he put on The Langoliers.

And I fucking loved it.

I loved the creepy abandoned airport, I love how the characters could pick through other people’s stuff and explore things that seemed ordinary but were really out of the ordinary.

I loved the little girl, I wanted to be her. I loved the tough Australian guy, I wanted to marry him and I was sad when he died. I loved the pilot and his bravery flying the plane through the rip in reality knowing that if he fucked it up they would all die. I even liked the guy who ripped up paper, even though he was also kinda creepy. And I felt kinda bad that he was messed up. But I also loved it when the Langoliers ate him.

I could go on and on about those characters. I think it’s one of the few stories where I like every single character, which doesn’t happen often.

I hot-glued cotton balls to a rock and drew teeth on it. I am not artistic. It was an albino langolier. Whatever.

I thought those monsters were fucking adorable. And if you think about it, knowing that a toothy, round monster thing eats the past is kind of comforting because everything embarrassing or humiliating that ever happened to you is, technically, gone now.

And that’s how I got into Stephen King.