Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Halloween with a Flare

Happy Halloween! I know, I'm a bit early, but I've gotta get this out now, because this weekend I'm going to be busy gearing up for nanowrimo(Hooray!). Oh, and I'd also like to say Happy Birthday to Mr. Jim Butcher, who gave me a great surprise today: the early release of Side Jobs! I was dying to get my hands on this anthology of short stories from the Dresden Files. It was set to come out on November 11th, but by chance I checked his web page and found out that it was coming out today. I raced down to Barnes and Noble and literally got the first copy as it was coming off the truck. If you are a fan of the series, and have read Changes, you may be interested to know that there is a hefty little novella called aftermath in there, one that takes place one to two hours after the end of Changes and is from Murphy's POV. Guess what I'll be staying up reading tonight?
Anyway, it's Halloween time, and, among other things, that means carving jack o' lanterns. For me, not just any old scary face will do. I like to try to push myself and carve really cool pumpkins. It's fun for the family, and my wife, ever the good sport, is good enough to help out. Here are the four jack o' lanterns we did this year. The first two were done by my wife, the last two by me:

Pretty cool, huh? Anyway, like I was saying, I went to Barnes and Noble today. I noticed that right near the front they have a table dedicated to their picks for Halloween reading. I wandered over, seeing what was what.
I was appalled.
There were no less than two dozen crappy vampire romances and at least that many dumb zombie books. There were only a couple that I would even consider reading, and yet this was the best they had to offer? Well, in hopes of setting this travesty to rights, I have prepared my picks for Halloween. I hope you enjoy:
  • Salem's Lot by Stephen King. This was just excellent fiction, and though it is somewhat dated, I think that it adds to the feel of the book all the more. The book is basically a re-imagining of Dracula, if he were to come to the U.S. in the 1970's. It is a creepy book, and there are two or three parts in there that make me jump no matter how many times I read it. Five stars for this book. Loved it. Beware, King loves his profanity.
  • I Am Legend by Richard Matheson. Not the movie. No, please, not the movie. The book was so good. Robinson Crusoe in a world of vampires. The last man on earth is not alone. This book was so eerie, and the ending was a kick in the gut that you don't see coming. (It also makes way more sense than the stupid movie ending) Read this book. Five stars, again, loved it, beware of some profanity, drinking, dreary feelings etc....
  • Pride and Prejudice and Zombies by Seth Graham Smith and Jane Austen. A unique re-working of the original classic that actually allowed me to finish it. It was smartly done and funny, and worth reading if you are a fan of the book. Still, it was a little slow for me, but I attribute that to it having too much Pride and Prejudice and not enough Zombies. Three stars, a fun, quick read. I don't think there's anything too questionable that you have to be aware of.
  • Feed by Mira Grant. The mainstream media was caught off-guard when the zombie apocalypse ravaged the world. But the bloggers knew. Oh yes, they knew, and they were prepared to step up when it fell to them to save the world. This was a fun book, though it is not terribly action oriented. It is 1/3 zombies, 2/3 political thriller, written from the POV of three bloggers who have stepped up into major roles in the new media of the survivors of a post-apocalyptic zombie-ravaged society. Three stars. Profanity and some questionable content.
Those should keep you busy this week if you're looking for something to read. And don't forget, nanowrimo is coming up, and it's a perfect chance to motivate yourself to get some extra work done. I did a whole novel last year; a YA novel called Ragnarok. It needed some cleaning up, but it's nice to get a whole work out in such a short period of time. Try it. Go ahead, take me up on it. I dare you.
Thanks for reading!


  1. Those are some killer pumpkins, Trep! Well done!

    I'm SO with you about romantic vamp stories being unsuitable for Halloween Fare. Really. What's so scary about that? Excepting the fact that the youth of America are enamored of those books?

  2. I'm neck-deep in "Ex-Heroes" by Peter Clines...lemme tell you what, that there's a good Halloween book. Wish I'd have gotten to it sooner.