Books

The Secret Sex Lives of Ghosts by Dustin Reade

Rating:

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Let’s Talk About It: 

There are books that have such a strong effect on your life they cause you to take a minute. Reflect on all your life’s decisions. They have the power to change your world perception. Books that dig deep into your psyche and rewire the way you think, act, and live your life. They have the power to push you down the road less taken and experience new and wonderful things.

This isn’t one of those books, but fuck will you experience new things reading it. And have fun at the same time.

Meet Thomas Johansson, professional ghost hitman. After a near-death experience, Thomas is granted the gift (possibly curse) of seeing ghosts. And they are everywhere! Most of them are also perverts. (Like right now, at this very moment, in the time that it takes you to read this parenthetical sentence, there is a ghost next to you doing ungodly acts with its own non-corporeal body and there isn’t a damn thing you can do about it. Just accept it. And keep a box of tissues next to you.)

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Books

Wayward by Chuck Wendig

Rating:

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

Let’s Talk About It:

Like with its predecessor, I trudged through the pages of Wayward. It’s not that the book is unenjoyable, but I’m older now and these books are heavy! Also, my eyesight isn’t what it used to be (thanks COVID (and, I guess, old age)). I did “hack” my way through the pages, though, by also listening to the audiobook – something I highly recommend as the narrators are AMAZING!

I re-read Wanderers before jumping into this book to refresh my memory of the world Wendig constructed, and I began to wonder if Wayward was even necessary. The first book’s open-ending does give wiggle room for the sequel, but I like the aspect of letting the audience make their own conclusion. However, I did like the idea of that motherfucking rockgod extraordinaire, Pete Corley. 

Wayward does answer some questions left open at the end of Wanderers

  • What happens after an AI goes rogue, causes an apocalyptic pandemic, and grooms its handpicked survivors into worshiping it?
  • Where’s Ed Creel? Is ARM/Creel Coalition still a threat to Ouray?
  • What will happen to Shana’s baby? 
  • Is Matthew Bird’s wife still out there? 
  • But more importantly – where the fuck is Pete Corley?!

Goddamnit, Chuck, tell me! Just don’t make me cry!*

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Books

Wanderers by Chuck Wendig

Rating:

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Let’s Talk About It:

I first read Wanderers in 2019, the year of its release. At the time, I felt that maybe Chuck Wendig might have gone over the top with his description of right-wing militia types. Sure, they’re stoked in paranoia and racism in real life, but would they really try to overthrow the government during a pandemic?* Despite all the things that happened in the years leading up to that summer, 2019-me was still full of naivete.

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Books

Address Unknown by Kathrine Kressmann Taylor

It was sometime in 2020 when I noticed a writer friend of mine had unfriended me on Facebook. It had been a while since he appeared on my timeline, but I thought nothing of it. I rarely got on Facebook anymore, only signing on when work required me to gather up writers of all sorts of readings. In the midst of the pandemic, however, all our in-person activities were canceled. 

I can’t remember what caused me to look. Maybe I saw him comment on a mutual friend and I clicked his profile to see what he was up to. Or maybe it was curiosity that had me search him up. Maybe still, he appeared on my “People You May Know” list. Either way, it was clear that he had removed me as a friend.

We were never on the same side politically, and it was something I long ago accepted. His religion drove his political beliefs just as my anti-religion drove mine. Still we were civil with each other. We may have had disagreements, but nothing to quietly end a friendship over. 

At least, so I thought. 

Now I can’t tell you when our friendship derailed, but I can guess when it started to get off track. And the reason why. 

In 2016, something happened in US history that I can’t begin to explain or fathom despite it happening before my eyes. On November 9, 2016, Donald J. Trump became president-elect, winning the electoral college vote while still losing the popular vote across the nation. While many true-Republicans stood at uncertainty, several more saw this as a success.

They had beaten Hiliary Clinton and that is all that mattered. 

I, like anyone liberal-minded person, knew this meant certain doom to our country, to the freedoms so many disenfranchised and marginalized communities. We would see the overturning of Roe v. Wade. We would see that the LGBTQIA demographic would no longer be allowed to be open in the military, and, worse still, lose their right to marry the people they loved.

Things voters like my former-friend cheered for. 

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Books

FEARFUL: Scary Stories of the Cursed Filter by Christian Nava

Christian Nava takes us back to Quiet Falls in the second book to his Fearful series

When we were last here, we followed Esau and company as they fought the evil app/phone that had taken control of his brother, Jake (aka GoatyJakey). Now a new evil threatens the citizens of not-so-Quiet Falls, once again proving that Nava has a Stephen King-esque aversion toward technology. 

There’s just one tiny problem – Esau isn’t in the story. And while CJ, Jake, and Kara (as  Ex-Machina) make an appearance, they’re downgraded to secondary characters. I do like that they’ve formed their own version of the Scooby Gang, hunting the horrors of Quiet Falls. 

In this story, we meet Lily Andrews, her brother Donnie, and the Sucky Siblings, Blair and Caleb. In an attempt to protect her brother from being terrorized by Blair and Caleb, Lily makes a deal with the mysterious Diana, whose shop just magically appears in the woods one day. She is given an irl filter, which has the power to transform Lily into someone’s wildest daydream to their most horrendous nightmare. 

But nothing in Quiet Falls is cheap, and Lily must pay the price. 

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Books

Someone Who Will Love You in All Your Damaged Glory by Raphael Bob-Waksberg

Several years ago, a friend introduced me to the wonderful world of bizarro literature, and I haven’t been the same person since. These wonderful, grotesque pieces of works were one part science fiction and fantasy, one part horror, and dark comedy added for that special flavor. From Baby Jesus Buttplugs to young men orgasming tilers with their ejaculate, these stories were set in worlds where the fantastical seemed mundane.

Such tales wouldn’t be found mixed in with the “regular” books at Barnes and Noble, so imagine my surprise when I picked read Someone Who Will Love You in All Your Damaged Glory, a short story collection by Raphael Bob-Waksberg creator of BoJack Horseman. It’s hard to not categorize these tales as anything but bizarro-lite. While the crass, almost pornographic references are missing, they are replaced by with lifelong bus rides, nuptial goat sacrifices, presidential clone abominations, and doorways to alternate universes.

Set in their own pocket universes where the fantastical is commonplace, these stories are about love. The love you have for a complete stranger encountered on a train; the love you have for your fiancée as you plan a small wedding while your family forces tradition upon you both; the love you have for a sibling; and the love you have for your wife in an alternate universe. They will carry though with gentle hands as they explore emotions, which may cause some introspection (it did for me, at times).

If you were a fan of BoJack Horseman, I promise you this book is a must read.

Details

  • Title: Someone Who Will Love You in All Your Damaged Glory
  • Author: Raphael Bob-Waksberg
  • Pages: 243
  • Genre: Sci-Fi Short Stories
  • Publisher: Vintage Books, a division of Penguin Random House
  • Available in:
    • Paperback
    • Kindle
    • Audible with full cast narration featuring Nicholas Gonzalez, Colman Domingo, Natalie Morales, Raúl Esparza, Will Brill, Stephanie Beatriz, and Emma Galvin
  • From the back cover: Written with all the scathing dark humor that is a hallmark of BoJack Horseman, Raphael Bob-Waksberg delivers a fabulously offbeat collection of short stories about love—the best and worst thing in the universe.