One of the things I miss most during this time of quarantine is just aimlessly wandering around stores. Obviously, there are so many other more important things going on, but it’s one of the little things about the old days I look back on fondly, especially when it comes to book stores. I haven’t been in a Barnes & Noble in months and it really bums me out! I’d love to go to a used or independent book store too, but there aren’t any around where I live, much to my chagrin.
To at least partially fill that void, I’ve signed up for a few ebook mailing lists to bring cool new books and some hot new deals into my life (see what I did there?). If you’re interested, you can sign up for one through Amazon, but there’s also a site called BookBub that I’m a big fan of. You just go in, add the genres you like and they’ll hit you up with daily sales on digital books that run between one and three bucks. That’s how I first came upon Craig Davidson’s The Saturday Night Ghost Club!
As anyone who was paying attention to UM in the fall will know, I plunged deeply into the world of horror for most of September and October. By the time I finished up the epic undertaking of It’s All Connected 2020, I took a break from watching a lot of horror movies throughout most of November, but kept on making my way through my daunting To Read boxes. To that end, I pulled out an old paperback I scored from the library’s free table several years ago as well as the next Paperbacks From Hell reprint from my favorite publisher Valancourt!
Lately, I’ve been writing a lot about older horror discovers. There’s all of the Paperbacks From Hell books and my never-ending love of Stephen King‘s work, but there are also a lot of great current horror writers whose work I enjoy. After checking out Riley Sager’s Final Girlsa few years back, I’ve been keeping an eye out for his other works in either digital or analog formats. Somewhere along the way, I found a discounted version of his 2018 book The Last Time I Lied and immediately added it to my Kindle library. When Scare Season came around, it jumped to the top of my To Read list!
I feel like, by this point, my love of all things Paperbacks From Hell and Valancourt Books is well-established. If you follow that first link you’ll see my review for the book that started me down this path as well as the first installment in Valancourt’s PFH series, The Nest. I’ve also written about the imprint’s Stage Fright as well Manhattan Ghost Story, which I first found out about through the original book. Now I’m getting back to the original series with the second installment in Valancourt’s Paperbacks From Hell line, When Darkness Loves Us by Elizabeth Engstrom. Wow, it was good.
As I mentioned when I wrote aboutPaperbacks From Hell and The Nest, my latest obsession is paperback horror from the 70s, 80s and 90s. After reading the former book and getting the reprint of the latter from the fantastic Valancourt Books, I made my way over to ThriftBooks armed with the list of titles I wanted to check out from PFH and ordered about a half dozen novels. Honestly, I couldn’t remember what most of them were about or what about the initial writing made me want to check them out, but I figured I could trust myself. With a stack of books featuring titles like The Glow, Heads and Obelisk, I found myself initially drawn to T.M. Wright’s 1984 book A Manhattan Ghost Story. It was a great choice, I must say!