Bookworks Presents Today's Shelf Awareness for Readers
From the Shelf: Autumn Chills
Horror is not my favorite genre, but sometimes a really good horror novel falls into my hands, likeThose Across the River by Christopher Buehlman. When I first read it, I accidentally skipped the preface, so thought it was a "straight" novel with moody and lush prose--honey-thick air, the whirrof locusts, sweat- and sex-damp sheets, a milky moon--but he slowly built in chilling curves that threw me into one of the best books of 2011. Buehlman followed this with Between Two Fires; our reviewer said it starts out as a medieval variation on True Grit, but shifts into horror with welcome echoes of early Stephen King. October brings The Necromancer's House, with a sexy but murderous rusalka (a Slavic water nymph), a handsome warlock perhaps in over his head, and an unstoppable evil in a blend of horror and urban fantasy.
My preferred genre is mystery/thriller; one of my favorite authors is John Connelly and his Charlie Parker series. Parker is a former police officer who, in the first of the series, Every Dead Thing, is haunted by the unsolved slayings of his wife and daughter. Connolly combines hard-boiled plots and characters with a dash--sometimes more--of the supernatural, in 11 books. He's also written three "Samuel Johnson Tales" for readers "who like their dark fantasy light on fright and big on laughs." The Creeps is the latest.
Penguin Classics has released six titles in its new Penguin Horror series, edited and introduced by filmmaker Guillermo del Toro, who certainly knows horror. These hardbacks, designed by Paul Buckley, feature striking covers in neon and ink, with bleeding black-stained page edges: The Haunting of Hill Houseby Shirley Jackson; The Thing on the Doorstep and Other Weird Stories by H.P. Lovecraft; The Raven: Tales and Poems by Edgar Allan Poe;Haunted Castles: The Complete Gothic Storiesby Ray Russell, American Supernatural Tales, edited by S.T. Joshi; and, of course,Frankenstein by Mary Shelley. --Marilyn Dahl, editor, Shelf Awareness for Readers