A slew of recent reads

I bet you didn’t know slew is a mathematical term. Well, it isn’t, as far as I know.

The Amazing Screw-on Head by Mike Mignola: Goofy fun, if not a little slight at times. I keep wanting to call it ‘screw-top head’ for no other reason than I’m prone to saying wrong words. Like all the time. Especially with people’s names. Not that I have ever met a Screw-top Head. Not sure I’d like to, to be honest.

They Live by Jonathan Lethem: A 30K word long-form essay on the Carpenter film by Lethem. I mean, was this book written for me, or what? Loved it, all of it, all the time. Lethem strikes a nice balance with critique, historical background, prol politicking, pop culturing, and good cheezey fun banging at the gong that is the Carpenter Conundrum (the dude can be brilliant and so howlingly bad, often in the same film).

Handling the Undead by John Lindqvist: The first 3/4ths of this book are as good as horror fiction gets. The dead in Stockholm wake up, but aren’t looking for brains or carnage, necessarily. They want to go home. And later, when rounded up, they sort of reflect what the living are thinking. There are some unfortgettable scenes of loss of grief in this book. Too bad the end gets lost in a new-age afterlife explanation that just plain sucks. Still very much worth reading, and still so much better than your average zombie book (like FEED).

The Orange Eats the Creeps by Grace Krilanovich: Teen hobo vampire junkies in the northwest, and narrated with a fractured, Burroughs-esque kinda beat. Dig it.

Our Tragic Universe by Scarlett Thomas: Meg is a schlock novelist (who is forever working on the “serious” novel) and sometime reviewer confronts big ideas about the end of the universe and the fantastic while searching for her own storyless story. Thomas’s (she wrote POPco which I dug mightily) end-o-universe suppositions are very interesting, but the characters get lost at times in their cooler-than-thou hipsterness posturing, to the detriment of the proceedings.

The Science of Fear by Daniel Gardner: Stats, evolutionary theory, politics, culture, and psychology all get the microscope treatment in this book about fear, or more specifically, our cultural fears, and how the risk element of most are all out of whack and lead to terrible decision making. Can’t recommend this book enough.

 

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One response to “A slew of recent reads

  1. Pingback: Me being a fanboy with Roddy Piper! | The Little Sleep’s Blog

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