Friday, December 30, 2022

The Cure (2023) Reading Challenge

I really love reading challenges because of the way it stretches your reading comfort zone, but I've always sucked at actually completing them.

In 2015, over at Goodreads, we kicked off our most outrageous challenge ever, borrowing The Beatles Reading Challenge from another group I was a part of, which had turned their songs into reading tasks. And in 2016, we whipped up The REM Reading Challenge. (I really sucked at this one. I couldn't even complete one album, but man was it fun trying!). And then to honor David Bowie's passing, in 2017, we pulled together the Bowie Reading Challenge! In 2018 I decided to take a break from our music theme and challenged everyone to read whatever the fuck they wanted in our RWTFYW challenge. The only rule was that there were no rules : ) In 2019 I spread my love of Guster around, 2020 was all about Ani DiFranco, 2021 had us fan girling over PJ Harvey, and 2022 continued the female artist love with our Liz Phair challenge (I sucked at this one too, didn't complete one album but came soooo close for so many!). 

This year I'm going back to my love of the 80's and am thrilled to annouce that we're hosting The Cure Reading Challenge!

I bought their Wish album on cassette in '92 and fell hard and fast for them. It was played on repeat for weeks on end, I remember not being able to get enough of it! 

Whether you know and love The Cure or this is the first time you are hearing of them (I mean it's possible, right? They haven't had a new album drop in almost 15 years!), what I think is most cool about these kinds of reading challenges... is that you don't even have to be a fan of the musicians to participate. You just have to be a fan of READING!!


The Cure (2023) Reading Challenge

So here's how this works:

*The goal is to cross off as many of The Cure's songs as you can throughout the course of 2023.

You can challenge yourself to complete one entire album, focus on completing one decades-worth of albums, or build your own challenge by hitting your favorite song titles... it's totally up to you!

*You cross off the songs by reading a book that meets the criteria listed after each song title.

If the book meets multiple reading tasks, cool! You can apply it to multiple song titles, OR you can make the reading challenge more challenging by limiting yourself to one song title per book.

*There may be built in redundancy with some of the tasks.

They are repetitive on purpose, to give you an opportunity to read more than one type of book and still get credit for completing a task. (Sneaky, I know!)

*Please copy and paste the entire list, or your customized challenge list, into your own thread in this goodreads folder and strike through the song titles as you complete them, OR, you can simply copy and paste each song title and its criteria from the master list here as you complete it. (obviously put your name in the thread title so we know whose challenge it is).

*Do not add your list directly to Rule and List thread.

*YOU MUST LIST THE BOOK TITLE AND AUTHOR that coincides with the song as you complete it for the challenge so we know what you read!


An example of a completed song title task in your Challenge thread would look like this:

““This Bouquet” – Read a book that features flowers on the cover - The Distance from Four Points by Margo Orlando Littell


Aaaaannnnnnnddddddd here's the list:

A total of 13 studio albums and 155 total songs

Three Imaginary Boys (1979)

“10:15 Saturday Night” – Stay in on a Saturday night, read a book, and take credit for it here

“Accuracy” – Read a book that required the author to do a lot of research to get right

“Grinding Halt” – Take credit for a book you DNFd

“Another Day” – Read a book you attempted to read in the past but walked away from

“Object” – Read a book that focuses heavily around an object (bonus points if it’s a haunted object!)

“Subway Song” – Read a book on the subway / that takes place in a city

“Foxy Lady” – Read a book that is a homage to another work of literature

“Meat Hook” – Read a book that features cannibalism or a different spin on eating meat

“So What” – Take credit here if you read a book that everyone else was raving about but left you feeling ‘meh’

“Fire in Cairo” – Read a book that is set in a country other than your own

“It’s Not You” – Read a book that’s told in first person POV

“Three Imaginary Boys” – Read a book with a child protagonist / that involves children

“The Weedy Burton” – Read a book that has a protagonist with a strange name



Seventeen Seconds (1980)

“A Reflection” – If you read a book in which you relate to one of the characters, take credit here

“Play for Today” – Take credit here for a book that you finished in one day

“Secrets” – Read a book that you’d consider a guilty pleasure

“In Your House” – Break up the monotony! Read a book in different rooms of your house and take credit for it here

“Three” – Read the third book by an author (either the third book they’ve published, or the third book in general that you’ve read of theirs)

“The Final Sound” – Read a book that still resonates with you after you’ve finished it

“A Forest” – Read a book that takes place in or features a forest (bonus points if it’s scary!)

“M” – Read a book with a title that starts with M or features an initial in the title

“At Night” – Read a book that’s too scary to read at night

“Seventeen Seconds” – Read a micro fiction or flash fiction collection



Faith (1981)

“The Holy Hour” – Read a book that heavily features religion or has religious references

“Primary” – Read the first book in a series or an author’s debut book

“Other Voices” – Read a book that is told from multiple POVs

“All Cats are Grey” – Read a book that features a cat or has a cat on the cover

“The Funeral Party” – Read a book that focuses on a death, grief, or features a cemetery

“Doubt” – If you read a book that you were doubtful of, but ended up loving, take credit for it here

“The Drowning Man” – Read a book that features water on the cover or that takes place on or near a body of water

“Faith” – Read a book in which the main character loses faith



Pornography (1982)

“One Hundred Years” – If you read a book that felt like it took ages to finish, take credit for it here

“A Short Term Effect” -  Read a book that is less than 100 pages

“The Hanging Garden” – If you read a book that creeped you out, take credit for it here

“Siamese Twins” – Read a book that features a medial anomaly

“The Figurehead” – Read a book that a social media influencer put on your radar

“A Strange Day” – Read a book that was just plain weird

“Cold” – Curl up with a blanket and a good book, and take credit for it here

“Pornography” – Read a book that’s a little (or a LOT) sexy (negative points if it’s Fifty Shades of Gray!)





The Top (1984)

“Shake Dog Shake” – Read a book that features a dog or has a dog on the cover (bonus points if the dog doesn’t die!)

“Bird Mad Girl” – Read a book with a nonsensical title

“Wailing Wall” – Read a book with a title that contains the same first letters

“Give Me It” – Run out and buy a book that you MUST have, read it immediately, and take credit for it here

“Dressing Up” – Read a book that makes you feel fancy

“The Caterpillar” – Read a book that features bugs/insects or has one on the cover

“Piggy in the Mirror” – Read a book that focuses on mental health, or features a character who is struggling mentally

“The Empty World” – Read a post apocalyptic book

“Bananafishbones” – Read a bizarro book

“The Top” – Read the book that is currently sitting at the top of your TBR pile



The Head on the Door (1985)

“In Between Days” – If you’re reading two books at the same time, take credit for them here

“Kyoto Song” – Read a book that was written by a musician or that frequently quotes song lyrics

“The Blood” – Read a splatterpunk book, or a book that features an awful amount of blood

“Six Different Ways” – Read a book in a different format than you normally do (digital instead of print, audiobook, graphic novel instead of traditional)

“Push” – Read a book someone ‘pushed’ onto you

“The Baby Screams” – Read a book that features creepy babies (or baby dolls) or in which the main character is pregnant

“Close to Me” – Read a book by an author you’ve met in RL, or that you attended a reading for

“A Night Like This” – Stay up late reading a book and take credit for it here

“Screw” – Read a book with a one word title

“Sinking” – If you read a book that sucked in right from the start, take credit for it here



Kiss Me, Kiss Me, Kiss Me (1987)

“The Kiss” – Read a book that contains the ‘enemies to lovers’ trope or in which there is a delayed hook up

“Catch” – Buy a book that caught your attention solely based on the cover and take credit for it here when you read it

“Torture” – Take credit here for a book that you didn’t DNF but should have

“If Only Tonight We Could Sleep” – If you read a book that scared you silly, take credit for it here

“Why Can’t I Be You” – Read a book that is written in second person

“How Beautiful You Are” – Read a book that you think is visually gorgeous (cover, illustrations, French flaps, sprayed edges, whatever!)

“The Snakepit” – Read a book that contains vicious behavior or is set in a place of squalor

“Hey You!” – Read a book that you can’t stop telling people about!

“Just Like Heaven” – Read a book that you anticipate will become a year-end favorite

“All I Want” – Read a book that you were DYING to get your hands on but that sat sitting on your TBR until now

“Hot Hot Hot!!!” – Read a book that everyone’s talking about

“One More Time” – Pick up a book you’ve read years ago, and reread it now

“Like Cockatoos” – If you read a book that feels familiar, take credit for it here

“Icing Sugar” – Read a book that you’d classify as “brain candy”

“The Perfect Girl” – Read a book that features a female protagonist

“A Thousand Hours” – Read a book that’s more than 400 pages long

“Shiver and Shake” – Read a horror book

“Fight” – If you read a book that contains a lot of violence, take credit for it here



Disintegration (1989)

“Plainsong” – Read a book that has flown under everyone’s radar

“Pictures of You” – Read a graphic novel or a book that contains illustrations

“Closedown” – Take credit here if you let your true introvert shine, and read a book during a social event

“Lovesong” – Read a book that features love or in which the main character is pining for someone

“Last Dance” – Read the last book an author published, or the last book of a series

“Lullaby” – Read a fairy tale retelling

“Fascination Street” – Read a book on a topic that you find fascinating

“Prayers for Rain” – Take credit here if you stayed inside on a rainy day and read a book

“The Same Deep Water as You” – If you read a book that has left you just as confused as everyone else, take credit here

“Disintegration” - Read a badly beat up used book (bonus points if you show us how bad a condition it was in!)

“Homesick” – Read a book that’s set in your hometown, or written by an author from your hometown

“Untitled” – Free space, take credit for any book here



Wish (1992)

“Open” – Read a book that you’ve been putting off

“High” – If you read a book that’s left you feeling all the feels, take credit here

“Apart” – Read a book in which the cover doesn’t match the content

“From the Edge of the Deep Green Sea” – Read a magical realism or speculative fiction book

“Wendy Time” – Read a book that’s written by someone who identifies as female

“Doing the Unstuck” – Read a science fiction book

“Friday I’m in Love” – Read a book that you think is the author’s equivalent of a ‘sell out’

“Trust” – Read a book a close friend recommended to you

“A Letter to Elise” – Read a book that’s told in an alternate format – texts, letters, emails, etc

“Cut” – If you read a book that you can’t stop highlighting or quoting passages from, take credit for it here

“To Wish Impossible Things” – Give a new genre a try and take credit for it here

“End” – if you read a book that just sort of… ends, leaving you with a WTF did I just read feeling, take credit for it here



Wild Mood Swings (1996)

“Want” – Read a book you’ve been dying to get your hands on

“Club America” – Read a book that’s been translated into English

“This is a Lie” – Read a book that ended up being different than you thought it would be

“The 13th” – Read a ‘feel good’ book and take credit for it here

“Strange Attraction” – Read a book didn’t you expect to like that really surprised you

“Mint Car” – Read a book while on a road trip and take credit for it here

“Jupiter Crash” – Read a space opera / book that takes place in space

“Round & Round & Round” – Play Spin the Bottle with your books and take credit for the one you landed on here

“Gone!” – Read a book in which magic is heavily featured

“Numb”- Read a book for so long, in the same position, that your arms or legs go numb, and take credit for it here

“Return” – Read a book that you borrowed (from the library, from a friend, from a little free library, etc)

“Trap” – Read a book that you literally could not put down

“Treasure” – Read a book in which someone is searching for something  / read a mystery book

“Bare” – Read a book that is exactly what it claims to be

“It Used to Be Me” – Read a book that’s been on your TBR for a super long time, that a much younger you bought, but you realize you aren’t into anymore.


Bloodflowers (2000)

“Out of This World” – Read a book that features aliens or things that are not of this world

“Watching Me Fall” - Read a new to you author that you’ve instantly fallen in love with

“Where the Birds Always Sing” – Read a book that features birds or has birds on the cover

“Maybe Someday” – Read a book that you keep meaning to pick up and take credit for it here

“Coming Up” – Read a book by a debut author

“The Last Day of Summer”  - Read a book that is set in the summer time

“There Is No If…” – Read a book you that strongly loved or strongly hated and take credit for it here

“The Loudest Sound” – Listen to an audiobook and take credit for it here

“39” – Read a book with a number in the title

“Bloodflowers” – Read a book that you know will haunt you for some time to come

“Split Milk” – Read a book that was mildly unpleasant



The Cure (2004)

“Lost” – Read a book that made absolutely no sense to you

“Labyrinth” – Read a book that was published in the 80’s

“Before Three” – Read one of the first three books of an author’s bibliography

“Truth, Goodness, and Beauty” – Read a book that blew you away

“The End of the World” – Read a dystopian book or a book in which the world has severely changed

“Anniversary” – Read a book in which something cyclical happens

“Us or Them” – Read a book that is written in first person plural, or forth person POV

“Fake” – Read a book you are too embarrassed to admit you did / didn’t like

“alt.end” – Take credit for a book that you caught yourself skimming through, either because you wanted to get through a slow part or you couldn’t wait to discover what was happening

“(I Don’t Know What’s Going) On” – Read a book that has amazing twists and turns that you couldn’t predict

“Taking Off” – If you read a book that started off slow but then got really good, take credit for it here

“Never” – Read a book in a genre that you thought you’d never read

“The Promise” – Read a book that you kept promising someone you would get to, but kept putting off

“Going Nowhere” – Read a book that seemed to go nowhere

“This Morning” – Read a book in bed


4:13 Dream (2008)

“Underneath the Stars” – Read a book outside at night

“The Only One” – Read a book by your favorite author

“The Reasons Why” – Read a book and immediately review it everywhere you can

“Freakshow” – Read a book you’d be embarrassed to have people see you read

“Sirensong” – Read a book by an author whose books just keep calling to you / your auto-buy author

“The Real Snow White” – Read a book that puts a spin on a fairy tale

“The Hungry Ghost” – Read a book that features ghosts

“Switch” – Read a book that switches up the narrators / tells the story from multiple POVs

“The Perfect Boy” – Read a book that was absolutely perfect, a 5 star read

“This. Here and Now. With You” – Carry a book around with you and read it wherever you go, whenever you can, then take credit for it here

“Sleep When I’m Dead” – Read a book cover to cover in one sitting

“The Scream” – Read a book that pissed you off so badly you wanted to throw it across the room

“It’s Over” – Read a book that convinces you to never read another book by that author again



Saturday, December 3, 2022

Books I read in November

Wow, this year flew by in the blink of an eye. A few more weeks and it'll be Christmas, then we're ringing in 2023. I don't now about you but I'm just not ready...

I don't know how I did this, but I managed to read a total of 10 books in November. 10! I hadn't realized I completed so many and am quite pleasantly surprised. Looking back I realize that  I read quite a few of them in nearly one sitting.... 

So let's take a peek at which ones they were: 

Motherthing by Ainslie Hogarth

I got a huge kick out of this book, and can only wonder if I would have liked it more if a particular part of the plot was not spoiled for me in advance. Do yourself a favor and stay away from the reviews until you've read it!

Abby is about to lose her shit. And honestly, it shouldn't really matter since her husband Ralph is totally losing his, except that someone's got to get up and go to work to keep the lights on and the food on the table.

The two of them recently moved into her mother-in-law Laura's house to help pull her out of a severe depressive episode. Only she ends up offing herself in the basement and now she won't leave them alone. For Ralph, she's physically full-body manifesting downstairs. For Abby, it's more a feeling than anything, but she's determined to help shake Ralph out of his dark obsession before it completely consumes him by doing only what a Good Wife can do....

This book is dripping with sarcasm and splattered with maladjusted adults who've survived traumatic relationships. Abby is a deliciously refreshing, foul mouth and minded protag. And Laura is most definitely the MIL from HELL, in every sense of the word.

But beware! Motherthing should not be confused as a horror novel, though I see it's shelved with that genre. This is definitely not a scare-you-till-you-scream story. Have you ever watched the Michael J Fox movie The Frighteners? It's kinda like that... a dark comic fiction that just happens to contain a vengeful, spiteful ghost.

A big thumbs up from me!

Jackal by Erin E Adams (audiobook)

I think listening to this book on audio was the right choice. The narration and pacing were perfectly paired for my car ride back and forth to work.

In Jackal, we meet Liz. A thirty something year old black woman who's reluctantly returning to her hometown to celebrate her best (and maybe only) friend Mel's wedding. The service is taking place in Mel's brother's backyard, which butts up against the woods, a place Liz has no interest being near. During the reception, Mel's young daughter Caroline goes missing and the book quickly takes a turn towards darkness.

We learn that Caroline is one of many black girls who have disappeared into the woods - Keisha, a girl Liz befriended in school, was lost there during a bonfire party and found days later cut from neck to pelvis, with her heart removed. As she begins her search for Caroline, Liz doesn't have much time to decide who she can trust and begins to wonder how much truth lies in the strange rhymes their parents taught them when they were growing up about the woods and the shadows they hide...

Many reviewers are quick to point out how this book defies genre, but I think it's more fitting to call it genre BENDING. It's got the feel of a thriller, mixed with the intrigue of local lure and legend, and an increasingly unreliable narrator. How can you not love this?

Monster by A Lee Martinez

Good lord. insert a hundred eye roll emojis here.

The 2009 me who bought this from Borders in hardcover really liked A. Lee Martinez. I clearly remember reading Gil's All Fright Diner back in the day and looooving it, it was a quick favorite of mine back then.

But 2022 me... eh. Not so much.

I can appreciate what he's doing here - hitting the campy 'strange and magical beings are among us but most of us are too low brained to see it' urban fantasy fiction really hard, taking Men in Black down a notch and turning the sunglasses and suits into cryptobiological animal control guys and replacing those red light pens with automatic memory loss - but honestly, I think I'm over it. It just didn't hit the same this time.

If you're into fiction that likes to have fun, but isn't LOL funny, the stuff that I'd classify as "brain candy", you may really enjoy it. Maybe my days of digging fiction by writers like A Lee Martinez, Christopher Moore, and Charlaine Harris are behind me, and I think I'm ok with it...

Echoland by Per Petterson

I devoured this novella in a matter of hours. I love Per Petterson's writing. I fell hard for him when I first read I Curse the River to Time years ago, and have enjoyed everything I've read from him since.

Echoland is Per's debut novel (and second book, following his story collection Ashes in my Mouth, Sand in My Shoes) but is newly translated into english and when I saw it at the bookstore, I knew I had to have it.

It follows Arvid as a 12 year old boy, vacationing with his family at his grandparents' house. He's curious and a bit rebellous and spends the time bicycling around the town with his friend Mogens, avoiding the odd tension between his mother and grandmother, and his mother and father. He fishes, swims, and smokes as he works through a range of new and confusing emotions.

Per handles language so poetically - we experience every moment, breathing the salty air, feeling the roughness of the sand on our skin, the pelting of the rain on our face, the vibrations of the bike's wheels against the road...

It's familiar and frustrating and fraught with tension and it's just so gosh darn gorgeous.

The Crane Husband by Kelly Barnhill

I hadn't realized this was the same author who wrote When Women Were Dragons, which I attempted to listen to on audio and ended up DNFing earlier this year. If I had known, I think I would have been a bit hesitant to pick this one up, and that would have been a shame because I loved it. This just hit different!

A gorgeous modern day retelling, The Crane Husband is narrated by a fifteen year old girl who's left to care for her six year old brother after their father passes away and their flightly mother prioritizes her art and abusive lovers over them both. After watching all of these men quickly rotate in and out of their lives, she barely bats an eye when her mother brings a crane to her bed. But unlike those before him, the crane appears to have staying power, her mother having fallen under his spell to the detriment of them all. Fearing for their continued survival and her mother's health and safety, our unnamed protagonist begins to take matters into her own hands.

Fans of dark fairy tales and lush prose that ebbs and flows will find a lot to love here.

Tinfoil Butterfly by Rachel Eve Moulton

Eep! Into the pile of my favorite reads this year you go!

I INHALED this book... it was just sooo good. And surprisingly... it didn't go to the places I thought it was going to. Quite a few times, it actually felt like the author was having fun at my expense, setting me up where I could literally feel the anxiety and anticipation building up inside me as I read, only to realize it wasn't taking the turn I had expected and traveled down an entirely different path. And that's not a bad thing. It's creepy, and unsettling, and never lets you get completely comfortable.

It's a story about how much you have to lose of yourself before you realize it's time to find yourself again and the hell you have to go through to get there. The less you know going in, the better... trust me!

The Doloriad by Missouri Williams

Thank god I'm done with this thing! A 240 page book that felt like it was 500 pages long, the Doloriad is an extremely dense read and required all of my mental energy. It sounded like it would be right up my alley, and I had high expectations, which made it a bigger disappointment than it probably should have been.

I mean, wouldn't you want to read something like this:

A family somehow survives an apocalyptic event that kills off, from what they can tell, the entire human race. In order to keep the species from dying off completely, the Matriarch and her brother begin to repopulate, and teach their children to repopulate with each other. They attend "school", they plant and harvest food, and they even watch old VHS tapes to remind them of the old days. When she learns of the potential of another small group of people on the other side of the forest, she rushes to send her crippled daughter Dolores out into the woods to meet them, hoping to break the cycle of incest. But when Dolores comes back the next day, everything the Matriarch built begins to quickly crumble.

That sounds pretty fricken good, doesn't it? Only it really wasn't. Told in paragraphs that stretch multiple pages in length, sometimes shifting perspective without any advance warning, and sometimes told from the perspective of Saint Aquinas, a character in the only TV show they watch as they gather weekly around the Matriarch's television set, The Doloriad is a hot mess of a debut.

If I could go back and DNF when I had thought to, I would. I held out hope, and in the end, it didn't pay off.

Jubilee by Jennifer Givhan (Audiobook)

I recently saw the author post that the audiobook version was on sale on Chirp, so I snagged it because I really liked her newest novel River Woman, River Demon. This one didn't hit the same. I think it just suffers from never-gonna-match-up-to-the-first-book-I-read-by-the-author syndrome. But Bee and her little Jubilee were good company in the car regardless.

So. The story. In it, a bleeding and half conscious Bianca shows up at her brother's house with a baby strapped in the backseat. Only, it's not really a baby. It's a baby doll. And its name is Jubilee. Told in two parts - Before Jubilee and With Jubilee - we learn pretty early on that Bianca has been through something unimaginable but, reader, it will take you a loooong ass while to find out just what that something was. What we do know right up front is that Bee appears to believe that Jubilee is alive, her living breathing daughter.

I sort of expected this to take a dark, creepy turn because... you know... baby dolls can be mighty creepy and River Woman was kinda dark, but ultimately the two books share only one vein in common - shitty relationships / questionable men. I don't mean to spoil anything for you, but I also don't want you to sit on tenterhooks like I did, waiting for shit to get reaaaally weird. There's no strange hocus pocus or demonic goings on here. Just a girl with some shit she needs to work through.

All in all, a pretty decent read that I should tag with some spoilery trigger warnings - abuse, suicide, mental health, abortions/miscarriages.

Lark Ascending by Silas House

I wasn't as crazy for this one as I thought I would be. It's a fairly good cli-fi read, but just seemed to fall a little flat for me.

Fires burn up a good portion of the United States and a militia group with a strong religious bent called The Fundies take advantage of the chaos to pull themselves into power. You either convert to the new government power or die at their hands. Most people are like 'fuck that' and begin to seek refuge elsewhere and Lark and his family end up on an overcrowded yacht headed to Ireland. The trip is a devastating one in which Lark loses both his mother and father, and those passengers who survived the ocean voyage are gunned down as the boat nears the shore.

Lark somehow miraculously makes it to land unscathed and begins the grueling journey on foot to locate Glendalough, a "thin place" once visited by his mother, rumored to be one of the last camps providing asylum there. Along the way, Lark gains two travel companions - a dog named Seamus (now a rare species that've mostly been killed off in this new dystopian world) and a local woman who's familiar with the lay of the land and the threats that populate the current landscape.

So the burning questions are do they make it to Glendalough and does the dog die (Oh how I HATE books that have dogs in it just so they can kill them off)... but you won't hear a peep out of me on those points. You'll have to read it for yourself if you want to know.

There's a lot of walking, a couple run-ins with some baddies, but for the most part it's stark landscapes, very little conversation, and a lot of scavanging for food and seeking cover in the forests. Not as dark as The Road, but not bright and cheery either, Lark Ascending is tender and touching, but also at times just as slow and stagnant.

Pew by Catherine Lacey

This is a book that had lingered for a long time on my to-buy list and when I finally purchased a copy quite a few weeks back, I continued to let it linger in my tbr stacks until I saw @messy_aussie_reader
review it on instagram.

Set in an small unnamed Southern town, a family attending church one Sunday morning finds a stranger of indeterminate age and gender napping on their preferred pew bench interprets it as a sign and decides to take them in. Although their presence and refusal to speak rattles the townfolk a bit, everyone is eager to meet them. In lieu of a name, the town calls them Pew. The sense of unease that followed them into the community is compounded by Pew's continued silence, and as everyone prepares for the upcoming and eerily foreboding Festival of Forgiveness, some decisions need to be made on what risks Pew may introduce to their way of life and what role, if any, they may play.

While Pew may choose not to speak with the townsfolk, to us, dear reader, they are a verbose narrator whose mind never seems to stop assessing, critiquing, and exploring. They appear to be hyper sensitive to the inner workings of others, bothered by their own body, and upset at the lack of memories they carry. And they remain a world of curiousities and secrets, because even leading up up to the few final pages of the novel, we know nothing more about them than when we first started.

An enjoyably weird novel that, while having fun with itself, also deals quite seriously with the way we react to and tolerate ambiguity and social disengagement.

Sister, Maiden, Monster by Lucy A Snyder

Holy FUCK you guys! I was hoping I was going to like this one but I wasn't prepared for how much I would absolutely LOVE it. I DEVOURED it. I didn't want to put it down, it was just that fricken good. I stayed up reading past my bedtime because I had to know how it ended.

Told in three parts by three different women who become irrevocably connected to one another through a pandy-apocalyptic event, we're introduced to a horrible new virus that tears through the planet like nothing we've ever seen. If you catch it, you're going to end up so fucked up you'll wish it killed you. Because to survive it means you're ushering in the end of the world as we know it and unlike R.EM. claims it will be, shit ain't gonna be fine. You are all soooo fucking far from fine!

Oh the things this book does and the places it goes! The body horror! The cow brains! The Cleaving! And that weird ass crazy ending! If this wasn't on your radar already, it is now. If you aren't sure it's for you, you're wrong, it is! If you don't like it when you're done reading it, do I even know you and how are we even friends?

Have you read any of these? If not, have I convinced you pick any of them up?