Top Ten Tuesday: Backlist Horror Books on My TBR

Top Ten Tuesday is an original blog meme created by The Broke and the Bookish and is currently being hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. This week’s topic is “Halloween Freebie. I am really enjoying this Halloween season. I am watching scary movies and reading horror books, which is all around great. This week for our Halloween Freebie topic I am sharing ten backlist horror books on my TBR. I am riding a horror high and will probably pick up several of these before the end of the year. Covers linked to Goodreads.

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1. The Good House by Tananarive Due

“Working to rebuild her law practice after her son commits suicide, Angela Toussaint journeys to the family home where the suicide took place, hoping for answers, and discovers an invisible, evil force that is driving locals to acts of violence.”

2. Hurricane Season by Fernanda Melchor

The Witch is dead. And the discovery of her corpse—by a group of children playing near the irrigation canals—propels the whole village into an investigation of how and why this murder occurred. Rumors and suspicions spread. As the novel unfolds in a dazzling linguistic torrent, with each unreliable narrator lingering on new details, new acts of depravity or brutality, Melchor extracts some tiny shred of humanity from these characters that most would write off as utterly irredeemable, forming a lasting portrait of a damned Mexican village.

Like Roberto Bolano’s 2666 or Faulkner’s greatest novels, Hurricane Season takes place in a world filled with mythology and violence—real violence, the kind that seeps into the soil, poisoning everything around: it’s a world that becomes more terrifying and more terrifyingly real the deeper you explore it.”

3. Catherine House by Elisabeth Thomas

“Catherine House is a school of higher learning like no other. Hidden deep in the woods of rural Pennsylvania, this crucible of reformist liberal arts study with its experimental curriculum, wildly selective admissions policy, and formidable endowment, has produced some of the world’s best minds: prize-winning authors, artists, inventors, Supreme Court justices, presidents. For those lucky few selected, tuition, room, and board are free. But acceptance comes with a price. Students are required to give the House three years—summers included—completely removed from the outside world. Family, friends, television, music, even their clothing must be left behind. In return, the school promises a future of sublime power and prestige, and that its graduates can become anything or anyone they desire.

Among this year’s incoming class is Ines Murillo, who expects to trade blurry nights of parties, cruel friends, and dangerous men for rigorous intellectual discipline—only to discover an environment of sanctioned revelry. Even the school’s enigmatic director, Viktória, encourages the students to explore, to expand their minds, to find themselves within the formidable iron gates of Catherine. For Ines, it is the closest thing to a home she’s ever had. But the House’s strange protocols soon make this refuge, with its worn velvet and weathered leather, feel increasingly like a gilded prison. And when tragedy strikes, Ines begins to suspect that the school—in all its shabby splendor, hallowed history, advanced theories, and controlled decadence—might be hiding a dangerous agenda within the secretive, tightly knit group of students selected to study its most promising and mysterious curriculum.

Combining the haunting sophistication and dusky, atmospheric style of Sarah Waters with the unsettling isolation of Kazuo Ishiguro’s Never Let Me Go, Catherine House is a devious, deliciously steamy, and suspenseful page-turner with shocking twists and sharp edges that is sure to leave readers breathless.”

4. Mapping the Interior by Stephen Graham Jones

“Walking through his own house at night, a twelve-year-old thinks he sees another person stepping through a doorway. Instead of the people who could be there, his mother or his brother, the figure reminds him of his long-gone father, who died mysteriously before his family left the reservation. When he follows it he discovers his house is bigger and deeper than he knew.

The house is the kind of wrong place where you can lose yourself and find things you’d rather not have. Over the course of a few nights, the boy tries to map out his house in an effort that puts his little brother in the worst danger, and puts him in the position to save them . . . at terrible cost.”

5. Wonderland by Jennifer Hillier

Welcome to Wonderland. By day, it’s a magical place boasting a certain retro charm. Excited children, hands sticky with cotton candy, run frenetically from the Giant Octopus ride to the Spinning Sombrero, while the tinkling carnival music of the giant Wonder Wheel—the oldest Ferris wheel in the Pacific Northwest—fills the air. But before daybreak, an eerie feeling descends. Maybe it’s the Clown Museum, home to creepy wax replicas of movie stars and a massive collection of antique porcelain dolls. Or maybe it’s the terrifyingly real House of Horrors. Or…maybe it’s the dead, decaying body left in the midway for all the Wonder Workers to see.

Vanessa Castro’s first day as deputy police chief of Seaside, Washington, is off to a bang. The unidentifiable homeless man rotting inside the tiny town’s main tourist attraction is strange enough, but now a teenage employee—whose defiant picture at the top of the Wonder Wheel went viral that same morning—is missing. As the clues in those seemingly disparate crimes lead her down a mysterious shared path of missing persons that goes back decades, she suspects the seedy rumors surrounding the amusement park’s dark history might just be true. She moved to Seaside to escape her own scandalous past, but has she brought her family to the center of an insidious killer’s twisted game? Acclaimed author Jennifer Hillier’s bone-chilling thriller is masterful and fast-paced, hurtling toward a shocking, bloody conclusion.”

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6. The Children by Carolina Sanín

“A haunting fable of fantasy, mystery and bureaucracy from one of Colombia’s most talented young writers.

One day, as she enters her local supermarket, Laura Romero has a startling encounter with a beggar, who seems to offer her a child. A short while later, in the middle of the night, she discovers a mysterious young boy on the pavement outside her apartment building: Fidel, who is six years old, a child with seemingly no origins or meaning. With few clues to guide her as she tries to discover his real identity, Laura finds herself swept into a bureaucratic maelstrom of fantastical proportions. From the National Institute for the Welfare of Families to the Hearth & Home Centre, from imagined worlds to lost loves, The Children explores the limits of isolation and intimacy, motherhood, neglect and compassion, filtered through the lives of two lonely people, whose coming together is less for company and more to share their loneliness.”

7. Deer Woman: An Anthology edited by Elizabeth LaPensée and Weshoyot Alvitre

“Produced by Native Realities (Tribal Force, Tales of the Might Code Talkers, The Wool of Jonesy, DemiCon) and co-edited by Elizabeth LaPensée (Honour Water, Sequential Survivance, Indigenous Love) & Weshoyot Alvitre (Umbrella Academy, Little Nemo: Dream Another Dream, Native American Graphic Classics), DEER WOMAN: AN ANTHOLOGY brings together more than a dozen Native and Indigenous women artists and illustrators to present stories of resistance, survival, empowerment and hope.

Drawing from the inspiration of traditional Deer Woman stories, DEER WOMAN: AN ANTHOLOGY will be a powerful collection of stories by Native women to bring determination and healing to those in need and those willing to listen with their hearts.”

8. Coyote Songs by Gabino Iglesias

“In Gabino Iglesias’ second novel, ghosts and old gods guide the hands of those caught up in a violent struggle to save the soul of the American southwest. A man tasked with shuttling children over the border believes the Virgin Mary is guiding him towards final justice. A woman offers colonizer blood to the Mother of Chaos. A boy joins corpse destroyers to seek vengeance for the death of his father.

These stories intertwine with those of a vengeful spirit and a hungry creature to paint a timely, compelling, pulpy portrait of revenge, family, and hope.”

9. The Southern Book Club’s Guide to Slaying Vampires by Grady Hendrix

Fried Green Tomatoes and Steel Magnolias meet Dracula in this Southern-flavored supernatural thriller set in the ’90s about a women’s book club that must protect its suburban community from a mysterious and handsome stranger who turns out to be a blood-sucking fiend.

Patricia Campbell had always planned for a big life, but after giving up her career as a nurse to marry an ambitious doctor and become a mother, Patricia’s life has never felt smaller. The days are long, her kids are ungrateful, her husband is distant, and her to-do list is never really done. The one thing she has to look forward to is her book club, a group of Charleston mothers united only by their love for true-crime and suspenseful fiction. In these meetings, they’re more likely to discuss the FBI’s recent siege of Waco as much as the ups and downs of marriage and motherhood.

But when an artistic and sensitive stranger moves into the neighborhood, the book club’s meetings turn into speculation about the newcomer. Patricia is initially attracted to him, but when some local children go missing, she starts to suspect the newcomer is involved. She begins her own investigation, assuming that he’s a Jeffrey Dahmer or Ted Bundy. What she uncovers is far more terrifying, and soon she–and her book club–are the only people standing between the monster they’ve invited into their homes and their unsuspecting community.”

10. Latinx Screams edited by V. Castro and Cynthia Pelayo

“An anthology of Latinx horror stories from some of the most stellar voices writing today.”

Have you read any of these or are you planning to read any of these? Let me know in the comments and be sure to leave me a link to your own TTT post, so I can visit!

Top Ten Tuesday: Essential Online Resources for Bloggers and Readers

Top Ten Tuesday is an original blog meme created by The Broke and the Bookish and is currently being hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. This week’s topic is “Online Resources for Book Lovers. These kinds of posts are always so informative. I always feel like there are so many resources out there that I just haven’t discovered yet and thanks to these posts, I get to see what everyone else is using to make life as a blogger and reader easier. I hope you are able to find some great resources from my list.

  1. Canva – Canva is essential for all us bloggers who aren’t graphic designers. Every graphic you see on my blog was designed in Canva. Everything I design on here makes me feel more professional and less embarrassed by my lack of graphic design skills. I think I blocked out what my blog used to look like before I discovered this website because it wasn’t pretty.
  2. Thesaurus – If you have been reviewing books for a while, you understand that sometimes finding the right word is so hard. I always have a tab open to a thesaurus to help me in those moments when the right word is so elusive.
  3. Evernote – Evernote is where I type out ideas for blog posts, it’s where I type out Instagram captions, and even where I write reviews when I am not at home. I always get my best ideas when I am out walking my dog and because I don’t have the best memory, having this app on my phone is essential.
  4. Snapseed – If you ever wondered what kind of editing app I use for my photos for Instagram, it’s Snapseed. I’ve tried multiple editing apps, but this is the one I always go back to.
  5. Photopea – I haven’t gotten a chance to explore this site a lot, but I heard that it is just like photoshop but free.
  6. Nightlight podcast – A few weeks ago, I was really craving horror, but I had a full TBR and couldn’t pick up any horror books, so I went online to search for some horror podcasts and came across this one which features stories from Black writers.
  7. Diversity in Horror Fiction – I just came across this blog this year and it is a great source if you are looking for diverse horror stories. There is a pretty exhaustive list of horror fiction by BIPOC, LGBTQIA+, and disabled authors.
  8. Hoopla – So I just recently discovered that some libraries allow you to stream movies and music from this app. Amazing.
  9. San Jose Public Library – This year I also discovered that some libraries are issuing digital library cards because of Covid and after searching and searching, the first I came across was San Jose Public Library. If you live in California, you can sign up. This was such a blessing for me because my library does not have a very good selection of audiobooks but this one does! I’ve also had luck with the Anaheim Public Library and though I haven’t signed up yet, I believe Berkeley Public Library is also doing the same. I don’t know if this is something other states are doing, but it’s worth checking out.
  10. Fellow Bloggers – Don’t forget that though we are a small community, we are a great resource when it comes to books and blogging. If there is a certain kind of book you are looking for or you have a question about blogging, odds are that there is someone in the community who can help you out. If you ever have a question for me, do not hesitate to ask ❤

Do you also use some of these resources? What is your go-to app for blog graphics and photo editing? Let me know in the comments and be sure to leave a link to your own TTT posts, so I can visit!

Top Ten Tuesday: You Are NOT a Bad Book Blogger If…

Top Ten Tuesday is an original blog meme created by The Broke and the Bookish and is currently being hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. This week’s topic is “Bookish Pet Peeves. I do have some bookish pet peeves, but I’ve learned over the years that every reader is their own person and my own pet peeves should not hinder other readers, so I usually keep these pet peeves to myself. As a result, I wanted to make this week’s post a little more positive and let you all know that you are not a bad book blogger even if you feel like you fall short sometimes. I’ve been blogging for seven years and consider myself a veteran at it, but I am still in the process of unlearning some of these things. Whether you are a new blogger or have been here for years, I hope you know that no matter where you are in your blogging journey, you are amazing for starting this journey and are deserving of appreciation.

You are NOT a bad book blogger if…

  1. …You don’t post a review of an ARC before its publication date – I know this is one of the reasons why publishers send out ARCs, but sometimes life takes precedence and it’s okay if you get to an ARC late.
  2. …You don’t review everything you read – We are not machines and we shouldn’t expect ourselves to review everything we pick up. Sometimes it’s nice to read something and not think about how you’re going to summarize your thoughts.
  3. …You don’t adhere to a strict blogging schedule – Sure it’s great to get a post out exactly when you intend and it’s great to have consistent content on your blog, but you don’t need to participate in memes every week or post a review every week. You determine your own schedule and you should always give yourself some slack.
  4. …You don’t buy every book you read – I know book haul posts get a lot of attention, but over the years, I feel like they also put too much pressure on bloggers to buy buy buy. You don’t have to own every book you read. For some of us, the library is the answer and for others its ARCs.
  5. …You don’t have time to blog hop – One thing I never anticipated before I started book blogging was the social aspect of it. I thought I would read books, post reviews, and that would be it. I had no idea a whole community existed and that I would become a part of it. I want to support my fellow bloggers, but I don’t always have the time to do so and that’s okay.
  6. …You don’t continue every series whose opening novel you liked – I would love to have all the time in the world to finish all the series I’ve started, but sometimes you just lose interest or other series become more important.
  7. ….You aren’t on every social media platform – Book blogs. Book Twitter. Bookstagram. BookTube. BookTok. Bookterest? There are so many platforms out there that demand our full attention. So many places where we could promote ourselves and our content, but doing so would be a full-time job in itself and it isn’t plausible to be present to the same degree everywhere.
  8. …You take hiatuses – This year I took the longest hiatus I’ve ever taken from blogging and you know what? I feel fantastic. Not having to blog reduced the amount of stress in my life and provided me with the space I needed to regroup and come back stronger.
  9. …You sometimes hate blogging – I have had days where I have absolutely dreaded opening my computer to blog or catch up on comments. I promise you that this is normal. Blogging may be a labor of love, but it is labor nonetheless.
  10. …You feel guilty about various aspects of blogging – I struggle with guilt a lot. I always feel like I could be better, that I could do more, that only if I put a little more time or effort into blogging, I’d finally feel satisfied with my blogging career. These are all lies. If you feel guilty it’s probably because you’ve put a lot of pressure on yourself. Pressure can be good. It can push you to be better, but it can also suck all the fun out of what should be an enjoyable hobby. The best advice I can give you is to learn to be gentle with yourself.

FINALLY…

Hey you, I hope you have a good week! Also be sure to leave a link to your TTT post, so I can visit!

Top Ten Tuesday: Sixteen Latinx Releases to Add to Your TBR

Top Ten Tuesday is an original blog meme created by The Broke and the Bookish and is currently being hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. This week’s topic is “Freebie. I am currently celebrating Latinx Heritage Month and I hope you are as well. For this week’s topic, I am highlighting books by Latinx authors that are coming out the last few months of this year. I hope you add some of these to your TBR and support Latinx authors beyond this month. Covers linked to Goodreads.

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1. Miosotis Flores Never Forgets by Hilda Eunice Burgos

Publication Date: October 5, 2021

2. Everything Within and In Between by Nikki Barthelmess

Publication Date: October 5, 2021

3. The Throwback List by Lily Anderson

Publication Date: October 5, 2021

4. Dragonblood Ring by Amparo Ortiz

Publication Date: October 12, 2021

5. Our Way Back to Always by Nina Moreno

Publication Date: October 12, 2021

6. The Last Cuentista by Donna Barba Higuera

Publication Date: October 12, 2021

7. Concealed by Christina Diaz Gonzalez

Publication Date: October 19, 2021

8. We Light Up the Sky Lilliam Rivera

Publication Date: October 26, 2021

9. Dreaming of You by Melissa Lozada-Oliva

Publication Date: October 26, 2021

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10. Wild Tongues Can’t Be Tamed edited by Saraciea J. Fennell

Publication Date: November 2, 2021

11. When We Were Them by Laura Taylor Namey

Publication Date: November 2, 2021

12. You Can Go Your Own Way by Eric Smith

Publication Date: November 2, 2021

13. Spin Me Right Round by David Valdes

Publication Date: November 2, 2021

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14. Manu: A Graphic Novel by Kelly Fernández

Publication Date: November 2, 2021

15. I’m Not Hungry, But I Could Eat by Christopher Gonzalez

Publication Date: December 1, 2021

16. Queen of Urban Prophecy by Aya de León

Publication Date: December 28, 2021

Are you adding any of these to your TBR? Is there a book by a Latinx author that I didn’t mention coming out at the end of this year that I should know about? Let me know in the comments and be sure to leave me a link to your own TTT post, so I can visit!