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{ Category Archives } Books I Read

The Last Policeman

The Last Policeman by Ben H. Winters Detective Hank Palace just wants to solve this murder.  But there are lots of things getting in the way: his colleagues and the coroner think it’s suicide, the mobile phone service is getting sketchy in his little Massachusetts town, the crime lab is backed up beyond belief, and […]

The Girl with All the Gifts

The Girl with All the Gifts by M.R. Carey It’s hard to be a regular girl in a post-apocalypse world.  But in as much as she can be, Melanie has the same hopes and fears that most children do.  She likes some of her teachers, she dislikes others, she’s interested in Greek Mythology.  It doesn’t […]

The Fat Man

The Fat Man: A Tale of North Pole Noir by Ken Harmon This month my Speculative Fiction book group (which reads about two or three fantasy books each year) selected Ken Harmon’s hard-boiled detective novel, The Fat Man, a story about Gumdrop Coal — the grumpy elf who founded the Coal brigade — trying to […]

The Colorado Kid

The Colorado Kid by Stephen King The Colorado Kid is a crime story and a mystery steeped in place.  Its setting and its storytellers are the crucial ingredient that makes the tale go.  The plot, loosely described, is thus: two veteran journalists in a small town in coastal Maine tell a young journalist about a […]


Annihilation by Jeff Vandermeer Annihilation is the first book in a trilogy about the strange.  The premise is delightfully vague — a zone (in the United States?) has become infested with some sort of invading biology that terraforms the land around it, menaces the people living there, and brings the strange in high doses.  Into […]

Dad is Fat

Dad is Fat by Jim Gaffigan Jim Gaffigan is funny.  If you didn’t know that, get thee to Netflix! Gaffigan’s book, Dad is Fat, explores the weird, wild world of the father of five who lives in a two-bedroom apartment in New York City with his apparently amazing wife.  It’s a funny book full of […]

Sir Apropos of Nothing

Sir Apropos of Nothing by Peter David From its title and slightly goofy premise, I thought perhaps this book would be silly like a Terry Pratchett book — it’s not quite.  But neither is it as serious as a straight-up fantasy novel like A Game of Thrones.  Instead, it occupies this weird spot where it’s […]

The Grand Hotel – a spooky place to stay

The Grand Hotel by Scott Kenemore *Full disclosure: Scott Kenemore and I have been on convention panels together and he has visited my class several times to speak about his work on zombies.* The Grand Hotel is a ghost story anthology with a wraparound tale that contextualizes the eleven stories in the context of a […]

Apocalypse Z: The Beginning of the End – A zombie novel you’ve read before

Apocalypse Z: The Beginning of the End by Manel Loureiro When the zombie disease spreads throughout the world, a lawyer in Spain finds himself trapped in his home, with just a cat and his blog (later, his journal) to keep him company.  As society falls apart, our protagonist learns to deal with the dead, working […]

FEED – zombies and blogs in the future

I’ve had Mira Grant’s Feed on my shelf for a long time, just lurking there, waiting for me to read it.  The novel’s premise is that cancer and the common cold have both been cured, but the disease that cured them also, in strong enough numbers, becomes “live” and turns its host into a zombie.  […]

All You Need is Kill

All You Need Is Kill by Hiroshi Sakurazaka, 桜坂洋, Alexander O. Smith (Translator) Keiji Kiriya is having a bad day.  He’s being sent into battle a green, green, greenhorn rookie driving a dangerous body rig (called a ‘jacket’) against a monstrous horde of alien creatures that look like bloated dead frogs the size of whiskey […]

Comics Roundup: Stray Toasters, Howard Chaykin, Billy the Kid, and a few others

Some comics I’ve read recently: Avengers 1959 – Howard Chaykin’s pre-Avengers avengers tale is a Marvel-centered take on Operation Paperclip (in which the Allies recruited Nazi scientists to help win the cold war).  Nick Fury is enjoyable,and the mix of superheroes works well.  Amusing. Stray Toasters – Absolutely bonkers comic about, well, kidnapping and unrequited […]

Using the little grey cells (Murder on the Orient Express)

Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie I’d read this book before, of course, many years ago.  As a classic of the genre and one of Christie’s three best/most known (the other two being And Then There Were None and The Murder of Roger Ackroyd) I’d also read about the book, and seen more […]

On Voices 7

An update of the audio book narrators I’ve read since the last On Voices post. Scott Brick – Foundation; In Cold Blood; The Book of Fate; The Great Influenza; Mystic River; Sea of Glory; Isolation Ward; A Stir of Echoes; The Crime Writer; Game of Shadows; Moneyball; Superman: The High-Flying History…; *Bill Bryson – Life […]

Flash Boys – in case you thought maybe the market wasn’t rigged

Flash Boys: A Wall Street Revolt by Michael Lewis; narrated by Dylan Baker Flash Boys is two books at once.  First, it’s a fascinating tale about a few different innovators working in the financial markets.  These men spotted an opportunity to create a better wall street, to fix a problem that the market would, hopefully, […]