My October Reads

FrankensteinIn addition to updating my reading lists on and elsewhere on this site, I’m going to try a monthly post that expands a little on what I’ve read during the previous month.

On Saturday, October 1st I attended the Collingswood Book Festival, “a big literary event with a small-town, friendly ambience.” Six blocks of Collingswood’s main street were filled with local and nationally recognized authors and speakers, with plenty of events for adults and children, writers and readers. There was something there for anyone who has an interest in books and reading.

It was here at the Festival that I was introduced to the Philadelphia Liars Club, a Philadelphia area author’s group. Seven Liar’s Club authors were at the Festival to present a panel abvout the changes currently taking place in the world of publishing, and to promote their new anthology, Liar Liar. I enjoyed the panel and talking to the Liars in attendance, so of course I wound up buying Liar Liar.

Here’s what I read last month:

Liar Liar, The Philadelphia Liar’s Club
The title of this anthology of short stories from the authors of the The Liar’s Club sums up what you’ll find inside: Lies, lies, and more lies. Outright lies, subtle lies, and all other manner of lies in a variety of genres and settings make this anthology a very enjoyable read. While some of the strories weren’t my cup of tea, as a whole they were all well written and did a fine job of contributing to the theme. I gave this book five stars on, and would recommend it to anyone.

Soft Apocalypse, Will McIntosh
I really enjoyed Will McIntosh’s Hugo award wining short story “Bridesicle,” so when his debut novel “Soft Apocalypse” was featured as a Free Friday download at the Barnes & Noble web site, I snapped it up. Set in the near future, Jasper and his friends must deal with 40% unemployment, homelessness, and the like. Then things start getting worse. There were a few things that didn’t work for me later in the book, but they didn’t stop me from finishing it. Overall I gave it three stars, and would recommend it if you enjoy apocalyptic reads.

Frankenstein, Mary Shelley
This was my first time around with the original Frankenstein. Originally written in 1816 by a teenaged Mary Shelly, the story details what occurs when an overly ambitious Victor Frankenstein discovers the secret to life. Nineteenth-century writing made me thankful for an annotated volume, but overall I enjoyed the original story. It’s much different from the Frankenstein of modern culture, but still a good story. Recommended for classic monster fans who can handle reading nineteenth-century literature.

Here’s some of the short fiction I read last month:

If At First…, Peter F. Hamilton
Questions for a Soldier, John Scalzi
Clockwork Fagin, Cory Doctorow

Finally, here’s some of the books I bought last month:

Liar Liar, Philly Liars Club
The Jersey Shore: Atlantic City to Cape May, 2nd Ed., Jen A. Miller
The Ultimate Book of Gangster Movies, George Anastasia & Glenn Macnow
Unicorn Precinct, Keith R. A. DeCandido
Long Eyes, Jeff Carlson
The Habitation of the Blessed, Catherynne M. Valente (Free)

Thanks, and see you next month!