It’s almost time…
What titles will be chosen for my annual 31 Books of Halloween two-month-long reading marathon? Stay tuned…
The Week in Books
Silas Marner by George Eliot — 4 out of 5 stars
Classic stories can be a bit of hit or miss for me. Sometimes I fully embrace them, other times I loathe them from the first paragraph and find it almost torturous to finish. Silas Marner turned out to be a pleasant surprise, and as Silas’ story unfolded, it made my cold bitter heart melt a bit. If you are like me and find novels written in the 1800’s a bit daunting at times, give this one a try. This story of the redemptive power of love is one not to be missed.
LaRose by Louise Erdrich — 3 out of 5 stars
I’ve been a fan of Erdrich’s work for many years, but this 2016 novel (and one of my 2022 TBR picks) just fell flat for me. The story starts with a horrific accident that leaves one young boy dead and two families grieving. As the story progresses, we learn more about the family histories, friendships and betrayals, the “standards” that Erdrich brings to her stories. However, I just couldn’t embrace any of the characters, and the storyline felt almost forced at times. Don’t get me wrong though, I would still recommend this novel, especially for anyone who has not read any of the author’s other works. For me, it just didn’t seem as strong as the other stories I’ve read.
Six Feet Deep Dish by Mindy Quigley — 3 out of 5 stars
I’m always up for checking out new cozy series, especially those involving food, so this tale featuring Delilah and her dream of opening a gourmet pizzeria in a quaint tourist town seemed like something right up my alley. Overall I thought the mystery was good, and all the usual cozy elements were at play. What I found disappointing was the main character herself. There was something about Delilah’s demeanor that I just found annoying and distracting. However, even though I didn’t fall in love with Delilah, I did like the cast of supporting characters and the writing so I will be looking for the next book in the series when it comes out.
Novellas, Short Stories, and Anthologies
Spinal Remains: A Collection of Stories by Chad Lutzke — 4.5/5 out of 5 stars
One of my favorite authors has done it again, delivering another amazing collection of short stories! Lutzke writes what I like to call “horror with heart,” and these are perfect examples of why he has become one of my favs in the genre. There are stories that will leave you gutted (He Wears the Lake brought tears to my eyes), while others may make you laugh, even if it’s a bit uneasily. If you haven’t read any of Lutzke’s works, this is probably the best place to start. Highly recommend.
If Only a Heart and Other Tales of Terror by Caleb Stephens — 4 out of 5 stars
A new to me author and one I can’t wait to read more from! This collection of thirteen tales offers a great variety, with timelines from the 1300’s to modern day, and stories involving psychological, physical, and paranormal horrors. Many of the stories incorporate the theme of loss at different levels and in often macabre and sinister ways. This is a definite must to put on your Halloween to-read list!
Stay safe and Happy Reading!