Hello friends, it's nearly time to stop terrorizing other friends with gourds. Just a few more days and then we can scoop out the guts of all those gourds and start making pies. Hooray!
Rather, Rawk! And here is JR Moores's Electric Wizards: A Tapestry of Heavy Music, 1968 to the Present. Nowhere else will you find phrases like "lysergic blunt trauma" or "aural fright mares" or "tectonic crush," especially in relationship to talking about music. Moores has a couple hundred suggestions about what you can stream to your porch speakers this Halloween. We don't have to do kitschy auto-tuned version of "Monster Mash," we can make some bowels tremble with the Swans or shred some synapses with Boris!
And speaking of deconstructing the sonics, Shea Serrano is back with another marvelous book in his (And Other Things) series. This time around, he's tackling Hip-Hop. We loved what Serrano did with film and basketball, and we fully expect that Hip-Hop will be both informative and entertaining.
And before we claw back an hour or so of daylight the weekend after Ghouls & Goblins Night, here are a trio of mood-settings that are best read by candlelight.
First up, there's Witchcraft, the next volume in Taschen's Library of Estoerica. It's Taschen. It's about spooky stuff at the fringes of the world. It's very pretty (look at that Waterhouse cover!) and very well produced.
And here is Peter Hohenhaus's Atlas of Dark Destinations, a visually arresting collection of extremely haunted and very off-limits places in the world. Well, the insides. That cover is so black metal.
Rounding out this trio of dark titles is John Connolly's The Nameless Ones. Connolly's series follows haunted PI Charlie Parker as he fights back against the really dark shadows, and in The Nameless Ones, he's mostly a support player. This book belongs to Louis and Angel, whom Parker calls upon for assistance when there is some "less savory" work to be done. An old friend of Louis's has been murdered in Europe, which, of course, means that Louis and Angel are going to even that score. Mayhem ensues.
On a lighter note, here is Cherie Priest's Grave Reservations. Priest has been writing some really stellar modern gothic horror novels these past few years, and we're enticed by the high level pitch of this one. It's a paranormal cozy mystery about a beleaguered travel agent who has a bit of the Touch about her. Naturally, hijinks ensue. We're pretty stoked about this new series from Priest. Kooky, creepy, and charming!
Completely unrelated to anything other than the fact that True Crime continues to sell well, here is Jennifer Wright's She Kills Me: The True Stories of History's Deadliest Women. Because we've talked about the dudes enough, don't you think?
And speaking of murder, here are all the books released this week with that word in their title.
In Diane Kelly's Getaway with Murder, we have an old hotel, a crafty handyman, and a dead yoga instructor. Naturally, our clever and independent heroine has to solve the mystery before more spandex-clad guests end up dead.
In Maria Dirico's It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Murder, we've got a catering hall packed full for a Nativity-themed first birthday party and a Sweet Sixteen extravaganza for a teen drama queen. When a dead body shows up in the Santa's Workshop display, our plucky heroine has to find the killer before everyone's holidays are ruined . . .
Meanwhile, Joanne Fluke mixes holiday baking with bloodshed for Christmas Dessert Murder. Can she "prevent another Yuletide disaster by solving a mystery as dense as a Christmas fruitcake"?
In Ireland, death crushes a cantankerous musical conductor under a ninety-pound harp in Carlene O'Connor's Murder at an Irish Christmas. Undoubtedly an amateur sleuth and their comedic sidekick will solve the mystery before the holidays are—oh, wait, we already used that hook. Anyway, you get the idea . . .
And let's not forget James Patterson. Surprising absolutely no one, he's got a "murder" book out this week as well. However, Murder of Innocence is actually two books in one! And both of these tales are based on true crime stories! It's like a reader bingo card trifecta.
And speaking of trifectas, Minalima Design's edition of Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets dropped this week. Color illustrations! Papercraft elements! Keepsake edition! You bought the first one, and you have to get this one too or you won't have the whole set! You know: the standard disclaimers.
Also, the truly clever Pottermania item this week is the Harry Potter World of Stickers. That's right. Nearly three hundred pages of Harry Potter-themed stickers. Really nice stickers. We expect this one will be impossible to get your hands on the last week before Christmas, so don't wait!
And speaking of timely matters, James Patterson is, once again, offering a Holiday Bonus to booksellers. You can nominate worthy candidates for this award at this link. "Vote early; vote often" as the old saying goes. The form will ask for contact info about the bookseller. Use this data:
Bookseller phone number: 253/891-9692
Bookseller email: email@example.com
Bookstore: A Good Book
Bookstore city and state: Sumner, WA
And here are your local booksellers:
Richard Choate. Richard likes laughing with small children, graphic novels, and the Power Rangers. He's been here for five years now, and he's our designated children's bookseller.
Heather Gadd. Heather's been with us for almost a year, and she's a fan of contemporary fiction with a bite, clever displays, and sardonic humor. You can find her on instagram @literarygadd. Her favorite book recently has been S. A. Crosby's Razorblade Tears.
Beckey Locken. Beckey's been with us a bit longer than Heather, and she likes moody stuff and books that give you the "feels." Probably because she owns a dog. She's also on instagram @rebecca_loves_books. If you stand in the same spot for longer than thirty seconds, she'll handsell you a copy of Steven Rowley's Lily and the Octopus.
Mark Teppo. Mark keeps showing up at the store and he's usually pretty good at alphabetizing, so we put up with him. Occasionally, he'll write something that isn't this newsletter, and we're pretty sure he hasn't read all the books that he talks about. He's on instagram too, but he only posts pictures of books that he's written or published—usually without clever adornment—so it's a bit, you know, prosaic. Lately, he's been raving about Chris Whitaker's We Begin at the End.
Anyway, Mr. Patterson is giving out money. You should inveigle him to share some of that purse with your local booksellers. Here's that link once again:
(Evelyn asked to not be considered, as she was the recipient of this honor in a previous year. You can always say nice things about her on a Google review of the store.)