Whoops, February has been over for a solid weekend now, and I still have yet to post the conclusion to my readathon! Here are the previous weekly updates I’ve posted for February’s Women in Horror Month readathon hosted by @ladiesofhorrorfiction on Instagram:
I love horror but I’ll be honest, I usually sprinkle my horror reading with other kinds of books. This entire month I’ve been a bit on edge and I think that my mood has been largely impacted by the material I’ve been reading. The positive aspect of my month’s readathon has been that I got the chance to read some amazing novels and collections that I would not have even found otherwise. I highly recommend doing a themed readathon yourself, if only to freshly discover underrated talents.
Finished This Week
Her Body and Other Parties by Carmen Maria Machado
Sub-genre: short story collection, predominantly psychological (madness, paranoia)
Page count: 241 pgs.
Release date: October 3rd, 2017 by Graywolf Press
This collection is perfection in my eyes. From the very first story that reimagines a classic urban legend to the very last involving the remnant impact of a home invasion, Carmen Machado writes beautiful female-centric and queer stories that had me raging throughout. My favourites amoung the eight amazing tales would have to be:
The Husband Stitch – A wife and mother tries to keep some secrets to herself, like why she wears a green ribbon around her neck. As she attempts to dissuade her husband, an otherwise kind and average man, from taking control of the one aspect of her life she keeps separate, things start to fall apart at the seams.
Especially Heinous – Told through a Law & Order: SVU episode guide, two detectives battle crime, doppelgangers, and the paranormal in this hilarious short story. I love horror comedy and this one is insightful and poignant as well! Read if you like Welcome to Nightvale.
overall rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Asylum by Madeleine Roux
Sub-genre: YA, Paranormal (ghosts & possession), serial killer
Page count: 317 pgs.
Release date: August 20th, 2013 by HarperTeen
Okay, so I initially ragged pretty hard on this teen read, but I have to say, it was super creepy and really entertaining. Daniel is a lonely, studious teen who decides to spend his summer doing extra credit work at a university that has been fashioned from the remnants of an old mental institute. Once there, he and his friends start to experience spooky ghost-like phenomena. Creepiest of all, Dan starts to receive mysterious letters he believes belong to “The Sculptor”, an old homicidal patient of the institution.
Corvus Hall by Bibiana Krall
Sub-genre: paranormal (prophecy), psychological (paranoia)
Page count: 112 pgs.
Release date: December 6th, 2018 by Black Calyx Books
A lot of other readers loved this, which is really surprising to me. The writing is really terse and tries to build tension over a mere one hundred pages. The story begins with a natural calamity that plagued the main character, and for me, it’s never really clear why this portion is included to begin with. The episode takes up about twenty pages and I don’t think it benefits the story at all. The rest of the plot is very traditional in terms of establishing a haunted Irish castle complete with ominous prophecy.
I also felt discombobulated and found myself trying to situate the story in terms of place and time. When I read a section about the main character using Netflix and modern tech, I was really surprised because up until that point, I had just assumed the story was taking place in the 1920’s. Overall, I was just really disappointed because I felt that there was a lot of potential here but the narrative was not fully fleshed out.
rating: ⭐⭐ and a half
Unfortunately, I really think I took on too many books this month given my obligations and last week I could tell, at 4 books on the go, some of them would fall by the wayside.
Ghost Summer: Stories by Tananarive Due
Sub-genre: short story collection
Overall progress: (31/335) 9%
Release date: September 8th, 2015 by Prime Books
I probably should have started with Tananarive Due but the library wasn’t able to answer my recall request until about week two of the challenge, in which case I was already halfway through four other books. This is definitely a collection I want to finish, as the first story about figurative and literal monsters really had me hooked.
The Graveyard Apartment by Mariko Koike
Sub-genre: Paranormal (haunting)
Overall progress: (88/325) 27%
Release date: October 11th, 2016 by Thomas Dunne Books
Everything was going swimmingly until I hit a block of some kind. I sort of put this book down two weeks ago and haven’t picked it up since I’d eventually like to finish it, but I don’t think it will be anytime soon, just because I’m not in the right headspace to do it.
Books I Didn’t Get To
The Little Stranger by Sarah Waters
page count: 466 pgs.
release date: May 5th, 2009 by McLelland & Stewart (this edition)
ugh, I’m gutted that I didn’t manage to squeeze this one in but there’s no sense keeping the library book on hold and deny the good people of Vaughan a chance to read it when I can’t. I’ll have to get myself a copy at some point.
Here is my month dedicated to women in horror. Is there anything I should have read that I didn’t? Have you read the Little Strangers and have thoughts to share? Link or comment below 🙂