9th of October 2019

Evening, folks. I am super knackered tonight. It’s been a long but decent day where I wrote 1472 words on the fan fiction piece.

I was planning on getting back to CS1 but I just needed to write today. Going to the Write-In tonight was good. It was low-key tonight but still good. I got a good few words written then and during my lunch break. I also did some minor NaNo planning this evening as well. I’ve got a couple of ideas that have really tickled my fancy so far, but until I start writing them it’s hard to know which ones will take off.

Audiobook wise I listened to Armand Rosamilia’s Darlene Bobich Zombie Killer today. This is a rare occasion where I’d forgotten that I’d read this one already. Within ten minutes or so I’d realised that I knew the story, but it was still damn good listening to it. I recall liking the way it was put together. I hadn’t come across anything like it before and it serves as a real nice little taster for what Armand Rosamilia has in store for this series (it’s one of his Dying Days books). I am looking forward to checking out more of these in the coming months.

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Although I’ve listened to a lot of audiobooks recently I really need to get my head into a book again soon. I’ve got Appetite by Anita Cassidy that I started recently that I’m going to dive into. This isn’t my normal genre but I’m looking forward to it. I’ve been to numerous Write-in’s with Anita and she is a fantastic human being who has been good to me over the years and I’m so pleased to see her doing well.

Right folks, time to call it a night. I’m going to read a little of Appetite and then get to bed. Have an awesome one, everybody!

Top Ten Of The Year 2018

Here is my Top Ten Books Of 2018. These aren’t books that were released in 2018, they’re the ones that I read. Some of them I have reviewed and will link in those reviews with the respective books.

Going off my Goodreads challenge I read forty-nine books in 2018. I had a few moments during the year where I was finding it hard to read so hopefully this year I’ll hit and pass the fifty books I’ve set in my challenge for 2019.

Lets get stuck in to the list:

Number Ten: Off Season By Jack Ketchum

I brought this one on audio after Jack Ketchum sadly passed away. I’d heard about him and an interview with him on The Horror Show With Brian Keene podcast. It was a choice between Off Season and The Girl Next Door. I kinda tossed a coin and went with Off Season which I’m really happy with, although The Girl Next Door will be checked out this year. Off Season is a fantastic tale that isn’t scared to give gut punches and as a reader you take it because Ketchum writes the story beautifully and you just keep turning the pages, or listening in my case.

Number Nine: The Malignant Dead by CL Raven

The Malignant Dead brought tears to my eyes but it also made me laugh. That’s something CL Raven do, they flip that coin really well and The Malignant Dead does that very well. They also transport you into the city of Edinburgh beautifully, you feel you are there and can easily picture these characters in these locations. It is a heartbreaking story but thats because CL Raven bring these characters to life so thoroughly.

Number Eight: Forest Underground by Lydian Faust

This was one I went into without no real knowledge of it. I’d seen people speaking nothing but good things about it and I saw that Pippa Bailey was the narrator of the audio book. I’d met Pippa at the launch of the Sparks anthology that we both have stories in and I wanted to support her as well. The story itself is two that are woven together very well and gives a great outcome at the end of the book, but it still left me wanting more. The characters keep you guessing and there were a few moments where I wasn’t sure what one characters reality was.

Number Seven: White by Tim Lebbon

White was a fun and fast story to read. Tim Lebbon gives a very tight and well told story of an apocalypse that has left people stranded and how these people deal with their plight. The bleakness of this one struck me. If something is bleak it doesn’t tend to get my attention but Tim Lebbon puts in just enough hope to keep that bleakness at bay.

Number Six: The Log House by Baylea Hart

I first heard of The Log House while at Bristol Horror Con in 2017. Baylea Hart was on a panel and gave a brief description of her book and it sounded good. I wasn’t disappointed. This is a post-apocalyptic story which has a protagonist who I didn’t like as a person, but I was quickly hooked on the journey she was taking and the world she was part of and what happened in the characters past. Baylea Hart builds a world that is very seductive and easy to fall into.

The author who I read the most in 2018 was Brian Keene: City of the Dead, The Complex, Ghoul and Dark Hollow.

Number Five: Billy and the Cloneasaurus by Stephen Kozeniewski

Where do I start with Billy and the Cloneasaurus? In my review I said it was 1984 meets The Lego Movie, and I still stand by that. It’s got this optimism to it that masks the real problems. This book had me hooked from the first sentence. It’s got a great energy to it, and has left a lasting impression on me. Even if the ending was a kick in the gut!

Number Four: Dark Hollow by Brian Keene

There are so many reasons why Dark Hollow spoke to me. From how the story is structured and paced to the multiple conflicts of the protagonist. Brian Keene really does build this character beautifully and its also very raw in many places. I’d recommend reading this one and then listening to an episode of The Horror Show with Brian Keene were he talks about this story. The big bad of this story is something I’d not come across before and found it fascinating. This is another story where the ending was a blow to the gut. So far it’s my favourite Brian Keene story.

Number Three: What Good Girls Do by Jonathan Butcher

Okay, where do I start with What Good Girls Do? Like Forest Underground I went into this one blind. Part of it was I saw it was getting a lot of praise, another part is again I’ve had the pleasure of meeting the narrator, Tara Court, and wanted to show some support to her. Another part was it’s a The Sinister Horror Company book, like Forest Underground and I was impressed with that one. So I went in blind. This is the most brutal book, movie, tv show, that I’ve even consumed. It doesn’t hold back and deals with a topic that most people blatantly ignore. Those who do know about it don’t want to talk about it. Jonathan Butcher doesn’t baulk with this story, and in lesser hands I think it would have been a disaster. But Butcher handles such a delicate topic with a skill that I think few have. This is a fantastic book, but not one I’d say I enjoyed but. It is one I’m pleased I listened to because it is so beautifully written and deals with something I think we as a society need to be more aware of.

Number Two: The Human Santapede by Adam Millard

A big change of pace from What Good Girls Do, we have The Human Santapede by Adam Millard. This is a book I find myself reluctant to talk too much about because I don’t want to spoil it for anyone. All I’ll say is Santa has a problem and sends an elf off to figure out the mystery. Adam Millard goes full speed with this one. It’s like he wanted to write the most out there Christmas book ever and had fun while doing it. I think I laughed at something on every page! This was definitely the funniest book I read in 2018, probably ever. If you want a giggle, buy this book!

Number One: The Silence By Tim Lebbon

Here we are, number one in my top ten of 2018. I brought The Silence on audiobook when I learnt there was going to be a movie of it and I wanted to check the book out first. This book rattled me. There was three distinct moments where I had to hit pause and stop listening to it for that day. I think part of the reason it struck me so hard was because it is set in the UK and peoples reaction to the threat in the story felt very real. It is strikingly well written with very real characters whose pain you feel as they make their journey. It’s written with a skill that I admire. Lebbon tears the lives of these characters apart with such a deft hand that it’s still brutal but the build up to the hardness of the story is as smooth as silk and this brings you into these moments without missing a beat. Its become an instant favourite of mine, I even brought a paperback which I’ve gotten signed.

There it is, my top ten books of 2018. 2018 was the first year I really started reading horror and it was quite a year. Lets see how 2019 compares.

Just to wrap up the post I wanted to give a few honourable mentions. If this had been the best fifteen books of 2018 these would have made the list.

In no particular order:

Bleeding Empire- CL Raven

Aliens:Bug Hunt- Edited by Jonathan Maberry

Fur- Matthew Cash

IT- Stephen King

Never Forget- Lisa Cutts

 

 

 

 

May 3rd 2018

Not much to report today. I’ve written 426 words tonight on a short story but haven’t done much else. I had errands to run during my lunch break so got nothing done then.

I did start listening to Never Forget by Lisa Cutts. I’m really loving this book so far. I’m a good 60% of the way through and it’s pretty much hooked me and I’ll be getting the rest of Cutts’ books over the next few months.

Reading wise I am trying to up my game a bit. I’ve got such a big ‘to-read’ list I’m never gonna get though a fraction of them if I don’t start now.

Speaking of which, I’m off to do some reading. My main book I’m reading is Bleeding Empire by CL Raven, I’m also still reading the Bug Hunt anthology as well as a couple of other books.

 

Flash Post:Reading

Something that I need to improve on is reading. I’ve not read anywhere near as much in the past couple of years as I should have done.

I’m naturally a slow reader and someone who is easily distracted, but that shouldn’t stop me getting me head down and getting stuck in a bit better.

I’ve got some pretty awesome indie and smaller press writers in my Kindle library and I really want to get some more of their work read, but I also want to work through some of the classics and more bigger press writers. I’m tempted to read one indie/smaller press book and then one classic/bigger press book, and see how that works out. One thing I think I will do is have two or three books lined up so that when I’ve finished the one I’m reading I’m not going to spend three days decided what to read next.

I’ve also got an Audible subscription and that’s been great this last year, and will be for this coming year. 

Audible Experience Update

I signed up for Audibles one credit (book) a month for £7.99 (I think thats the price, its about that anyway) a few months ago and I’m incredibly glad I did. So far I have downloaded nine audiobooks, and four of them have been from the one book  a month plan and the rest I’ve brought in addition to the monthly deal. Two of those were books that I’d wanted and saw that they were discounted and the most recent three have been from a special offer Audible were doing.

I am really happy with the service that Audible are giving here, and I wished I’d done it much sooner. I can easily listen to an audiobook a week while at work and come next year once my finances are settled even more then they are now then I may look into upgrading to the two audiobooks a month program.

My biggest problem with this now is which audiobook to listen to next, not a bad problem to have 😉

Audible Experience Update

I’m just about to go into my third month of Audible’s 1 Book Monthly Membership Plan and I wished I’d done this long ago. So far I’ve had two credits and I’ve brought two audiobooks in addition to those two credits.

I’m blessed that my day job means I can have my earphones in and listen to what I want. At the moment I’ve a little over halfway through listening to The Stand by Stephen King. This is a monster at almost 48 hours long. Now, as a slow reader it’ll take me weeks, maybe even months to read a book of this size but in audio I’ve gotten through half of it already. I’ve also managed to still listen to a few of the podcasts that I regularly listen to as well.

I can see me having a long and loving relationship with Audible 🙂

Trying Audible

I’ve been quite a fan of audiobooks for some time now. With me being a slow reader and having a day job where I can have earphones in all day I find audiobooks very convenient but obviously they’re more expensive then the paper and electronic versions so it’s rare I can justify spending that amount of money out on them. I have heard of an offer that Audible do where you pay a fix amount each month and you get a credit which lets you get an audiobook each month for that fixed price (here in the UK its £7.99) and it still gives me the option of buying more if I so wish. I’ve been putting off doing this because when I do listen to audiobooks and podcasts etc. its via my iPod, which died on tuesday. So I had to listen to the podcasts I listen to through my iPhone, and I actually found it easier to listen this way. So downloading the Audible app made sense.

I did all this all friday so I’m looking forward to giving it a test drive tomorrow. The first book I downloaded was Andromeda’s Choice by William C. Dietz. This is the follow up to Andromeda’s Fall which I always enjoyed but on a recent listen I really found that I appreciated it a lot more then I had done on previous listens. So this was a natural choice for my first download.

I’ve made use of the wish list on Audible’s site, I’ve already put about twenty titles on it ranging from Stephen King to a few authors I was unaware off but their books look good. I have also added books by Mark Tufo and Rhiannon Frater. I’ve listened to one book from each of these authors already and I’ve wanted to get more of their fiction consumed so as I started off with their work on audio it seems like a natural choice to continue that way. I will also get round to listening to the Game Of Thrones books on there but those are a little more long-term listening goals.

For now, I’m looking forward to getting stuck into Andromeda’s Choice 🙂