Friday, November 10, 2006

It's Recommend-a-book day!

Okay, technically, any day could be recommend-a-book day, and usually is, since I never shut up about books. But I decided to have one again here, and I decided to do it today.

So. I have two recommendations today. First is specially for Bernita, because of her post the other day about sppoky stories set in the woods. I'm just over halfway done with The Farm, by Scott Nicholson, and it's pretty good and definitely rural. There's some ghostly stuff happening, some old-time religion (read: blood sacrifice), man-eating goats, and all sorts of other things. It's a little slow--I've heard it picks up in the second half, and we'll see, of course, since lots of horror novels let me down in the home stretch, but so far I'm enjoying it.

My other recommendation today is Night Woman by Nancy Price. Ms. Price wrote Sleeping with the Enemy, which I never read, but that unfortunately seems to have relegated her to the "chick book" section of the store, with people buying her work because Julia Roberts was in that movie, wasn't she, and gee, she's so sweet, so sure this will be good (the Amazon reviews will give you some indication of what I mean). This totally ignores the beautiful writing, the drama of the story, the clean calm of Price's words.

Honestly, of the two books, I can't say which is more the real horror story--Nicholson's bloodthirsty livestock or Price's woman trapped into hiding her own talents. Her protagonist, Mary Quinn Elliot, is the wife of a famous novelist, Randall Elliot. Randall, a literary genius, "writes in a trance". Unfortunately, what Randall writes in his trance is a bunch of scribbles. Mary writes the novels sold with his name on the covers, but to save her husband's sanity (what little there is left of it) and her children's opinion of their father, she's been lying for years--telling Randall he dictated the books to her.
When Randall dies, Mary tries to come forward, only to be told by her husband's agent that she should stay quiet. She meets a new man, a devoted Randall Elliot fan, and falls in love with him--not just because of who he is, but because he loves the books--her books--so much.
I won't reveal the ending (and ignore the dumb lines in the Amazon description), but suffice it to say that if you are a writer, or dream of being one, this book speaks on a whole different level. I think it's a must-read for writers, I really do.

So go read it.

Now...recommend a book to me! I've recommended two books that are scary in different ways, so recommend a scary book! Tell me what you read when you want a little horror or suspense.


Bernita said...

That's right, blame me for the willies....
If I want horror I tend to read true crime.
Lovecraft pretty well innoculated me, so stuff by Barbara Hambly ( Darwath Trilogy) is about as far as I go.

Robyn said...

Lovecraft was some seriously wacky cootie. My daughter discovered Edgar Allen Poe in her lit class, and went bonkers for him. I've enjoyed rekindling the flame, as it were, reading his classic poems and stories. I lean more toward the detective novels (he basically invented the mystery detective as we know it) but she went into raptures over The Raven.

Jenn on the Island said...

Scary books...Well, for some reason I had nightmares while I was reading Memnoch the Devil. I had to stop reading it for about 2 weeks when I was half way through. When I picked it up again I was fine....

I love Clive Barker. Cabal (movie=Nightbreed) and Hellraiser were excellent. His other, more fantasy stuff is brilliant. Weaveworld. One of the few books I've read more than once.

December Quinn said...

I love true crime, Bernita! I think I'll make that my next recommendation...

You know, I haven't read any Lovecraft, Robyn? I've read a little Poe, but not much. So I will move the Poe book up in my TBR pile.

I've read a few Barker books, Jenn, and did enjoy them. I'll have to check out Weaveworld, thanks!

December Quinn said...

I guess I dn't have a lot of thriller/horror readers, huh?

S. W. Vaughn said...

Oooh! Pick me! :-)

J.A. Jance writes damned good suspense. Can't remember the first one that got me hooked, though.

From the King -- if you haven't read Eyes of the Dragon, you're missing out.

Odd Thomas, Dean Koontz. Think I recommended that before. :-)

John Grisham is hit-or-miss with me, but The Street Lawyer, The Partner, and A Time to Kill were great.

To Bury the Dead, Craig Spector. (Spector co-wrote the screenplay for Nightmare on Elm Street 5).

I'm sure there are more to recommend. :-)

Isabella Snow said...

The Tommyknockers, Stephen King.

(Skip the movie version..)

Michael Patrick Leahy said...

Love the name.

December Quinn.

I write historical fiction...probably need more of a romantic element to it, but it needs to be subtle, not erotic.

At least, that's what I currently think

Michael Patrick Leahy said...

Love the name.

December Quinn.

I write historical fiction...probably need more of a romantic element to it, but it needs to be subtle, not erotic.

At least, that's what I currently think.

As for books to recommend ? Currently reading The Rising Tide by Jeff Shaara.

Anonymous said...

What the heck was that all about?

Anyway. Stephen King, of course.

You should read a book called Superfolks by Robert Mayer. It is hard to find, but worth the search. -JTC