The Art of Darkness

Suggest a Book

February 19th, 2013 by Cobwebs

Last week I mentioned the Blind Date with a Book book-swap idea, and intrepid reader xJane commented:

This. Sounds like fun. It also sounds like the kind of thing that Amazon (or the like) needs to enable for ebooks. I have a bunch of books that I think it would be fun to spring upon you and your unsuspecting readers you and your readers might enjoy, but since they’re not physical, it’s harder to share them.

Well, we may not be able to share them, but we can at least recommend ’em. I’ll go first.

I’d like to suggest Dan Simmons as an author whose oeuvre should be up my readers’ collective alley. Some of his novels (there are several more) include:

Song of Kali – An American journalist travels to Calcutta and encounters a horrific cult which worships Kali.

Carrion Comfort – Multiple timelines weave together a story of “mind vampires” who can use their powers to completely control anyone.

Drood – Fictionalized account of the last few years of Charles Dickens’ life, explaining why his final novel remained unfinished.

Prayers to Broken Stones – A great collection of short stories, covering topics as diverse as the familial implications of returning from the dead, a combat theme park in Vietnam, and a barber’s guild with a dark secret.

Summer of Night – A Stephen King-esque tale of five pre-teen protagonists who discover something terrifying in an old school building. Its sequel, A Winter Haunting, finds one of them as an adult encountering something that was left behind.

The Terror – Fictionalized account of the HMS Erebus and HMS Terror, a lost Arctic expedition.

Now it’s your turn: What books do you think other readers of this site might enjoy? Leave your suggestions in the comments!

Posted in Resources | 8 Comments »

8 Responses

  1. Pixel Pixie Says:

    First Grave on the Right by Darynda Jones: The story of a detective who also happens to be a grim reaper. She solves crimes and helps souls cross over. A little sexy too. Think of the Anita Blake books before they turned into porn.

    To Say Nothing of the Dog by Connie Willis (though really, anything by her is good): Time travel meets Oscar Wilde. A bit of sci-fi, a bit of a mystery, and a comedy of manners meet when two time travellers from to future go to the Victorian Era to search out the Bishop’s bird stump.

  2. Chris Says:

    Swan Song by Robert McCammon: An “end of the world” enthusiast’s dream novel. This story of what happens after the bombs fall intertwines drama, sci-fi, horror, and the supernatural into a story that had me turning the pages well into the night… every night.

    Floating Dragon by Peter Straub: While a small town succumbs to a cloud of deadly toxic gas floating by, an evil presence uses the opportunity to seek ancient vengeance on the townspeople. Very Stephen King-ish in its storytelling with lots of detail.

  3. Kaitlin Michelle Says:

    SQUEEEE!! I love books! Added all of these to my TBR list on goodreads!!

  4. xJane Says:

    I’m going to start small, because I have amazing friends, so, Andrew Penn Romine’s recent works are totally worth your time. How the Goddess Came to Spring Flowering Valley is a sweet story of a temple monkey while the Parting Glass will have you reaching for your favorite imbibement (the dictionary tells me “imbibition” is the appropriate word here, but I think they made that up).

    Anything Galen Dara has illustrated is going to be good (and haunting—her images will be hard to get out of your head). Alternately, if you’re just not creeped out enough by a story, pull up her page to get in the right mood. (Here’s a compilation she worked on.)

    Monsters and Mormons is a fantastic compilation that combines horror and religion—or maybe that’s redudant. It’s actually quite a fun ride and my favorite, John Nakamura Remy’s graphic novel collaboration with Galen Dara, Traitors and Tyrants, is about a bad-ass group of sisterwives who I would not mind sharing a husband—or a fight—with.

    Broken Time Blues is another great compilation. Of course, I remain partial to John Nakamura Remy’s and Andrew Penn Romine’s works.

    Ink is a recent find of mine that is a chilling story of a man and his tattoo. I love my black widow, but I’m glad I didn’t have the same artist.

    Kiss of the Butterfly is, I believe, a recommendation from the Caretaker here, but it is an amazing combination of historical fiction (or is it?), modern day political intrigue, and terrifying vampires. (The way they should be!)

    And, of course, having mentioned political intrigue and vampires, I would be remiss if I did not mention the President’s Vampire (and, although I’ve not read them, its sequels, Blood Oath and Red, White, and Blood), a wonderful story of an ancient American vampire who is sworn to protect the country from supernatural baddies. And his new handler, who literally pisses himself in terror upon first meeting him. I may also have heard of these books from this blog.

    I doubt that Boneshaker (and its sequels, Dreadnought & the Inexplicables need any more hype, but I will plug them here. Steampunk + Seattle. If you’ve ever been on the underground tour there, the whole thing will send shivers of memory though you. Alternately, after reading it, go take the underground tour.

    Of course, the ur-horror story of Beowulf, of course, deserves mention. The new version is actually readable. Best next to a roaring fire.

    And then there’s American Gods is a book so good I refuse to finish it (because then it will be over).

    If anyone made it this far and wants to borrow a Kindle version of one of the above books, I’m happy to try to figure out how to do that.

  5. Sisifo Says:

    There’s this one, I’m not sure you’ve heard of it. It’s called Twil-
    Ha. Just kidding. {:
    Wait Till Helen Comes by Mary Downing Hahn. It’s YA, but it creeped me out.
    Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers by Mary Roach is AMAZING. I think you’ve mentioned it on here before, but just in case…
    The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova. I really liked this book. It took me a while to read because I would read a few pages and let them soak in. It’s not one you can rush. Vampires before they were sparkly and forever 17.
    Mistress of the Art of Death by Ariana Franklin. CSI back in the 13th century. She’s pretty cool. There’s 4 in the series, but I’ve only read the first two. I really enjoyed them both.
    And thanks everyone for the suggestions! So excited!

  6. cookie Says:

    Rec rec recommend bbbbooks… My hands twitch and my eyes start to roll back into their sockets. “EDIT!”, says the lit major in my brain, “Don’t frighten them away by overwhelming them with vast quantities.” OK Here goes:

    Let’s Kill Uncle! by Rohan O’ Grady Two of the most delightful children try to do exactly that in wonderfully clever ways, homicidally inclined persons might want to take notes. Published in 1963, well worth looking for.

    The Devil in the White City by Erik Larson (non-fiction) A well researched account of the 1892 Chicago World’s Fair tied in with what would become Chicago’s most notorious mass murderer H.H.Holmes and his murder castle. You can hear God laughing in the background as the fates of all the people involved collide in this city at this remarkable time.

    Haunted by Chuck Palahniuk
    Better known for Fight Club this novel contains a chapter that is notorious for making people pass out when read aloud.Just the thing for your Halloween party. ( or, Christmas with the in-laws! ).

    ANYTHING written by Ambrose Bierce. Some of his stories will make you break out into a cold sweat.

    The Short Stories of Robert E. Howard by R.E. Howard Please don’t think that the only thing this guy wrote was Conan adventures. His horror fiction and dark characters are worthy of a place of pride on any bookshelf of horror fiction. “Pidgeons from Hell” was voted as one of the century’s great pieces of Horror Fic..As a sidelight on the author, this man who wrote of strange lands and exotic characters never left his trailer park in Texas and was so upset at the death of his dog he wanted to commit suicide.This alone makes him sit in my heart.

    ***Can we do movies and music too sometime? Please?!!?****

  7. WitchArachne Says:

    Shocking as it is for a fan of this page, I don’t tend to read horror novels. Sure, I love a bit of Lovecraft or Blackwood now and then, but my genre is historical fiction.
    My favourite author is Bernard Cornwell, who wrote the books the Sharpe TV series is based on. My favourite series by him are the Saxon Stories, about a Saxon named Uhtred who is raised by Vikings in Britain but made to work for King Alfred against them. It’s a brilliant series that unfortunately isn’t finished yet.
    He also wrote a pretty good King Arthur series as well, called The Warlord Chronicles.

  8. pensive Says:

    Totally down with the Chuck Palahniuk and Mary Roach suggestions, but really- other than those, y’all do not want to read the stuff I read. Promise. Right now I’m finishing Antifragile by Nassim Nicholas Taleb (whom, admittedly, xjane also has a nerd crush on) and re-reading Survival of the Prettiest by Nancy Etcoff simply because I want so desperately for her to co-author something with Mary Roach. It would be epic.

    I haven’t read much fiction in years. Life is scary enough as is. In fact, I think I just frightened away a boy moments ago. Sigh. And he was sooooooo sexy. His mouth, I tell you. Sigh.

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