Archive for the Books Category

Book of the Week: Goosebumps 25th Anniversary Collection by R. L. Stine

Posted in Books, Media with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 29, 2018 by ranranami

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Goosebumps is close to my heart. Funny how you can read a book that you love so much, even reading another copy with a different cover just doesn’t seem like an option. Don’t get me wrong, the redesigns are cute, and it sort of revives the series in a way for a younger generation. Yet I love the old art here. It’s very 90s, and very much a slice of my childhood.

I’ve always love reading, but when I was 6, learning to actively put a sentence together was hard. I’ll save you the whole story of how it suddenly ‘clicked’ one day, and I could read just about anything. Suffice it to say, the first year I could go to that Scholastics book fair with money in hand and the knowledge that I could read whatever I bought without any help was magical. So I got a VHS of The Haunted Mask (which I still have), and a goosebumps book with a pumpkin book light. I’m not going to lie, the book light was what sold it. I think I bought Welcome to Dead House. It was ’97, and Goosebumps was the series that all the kids were reading. The show had just launched, too, and I remember rushing home every day to watch it. There’s not usually a huge scare in the Goosebumps books. Most of them have ambiguously an happy ending (yes, the day is saved…but you’re a monster, or that sponge is going to wreak havoc when it gets wet again, or your dad might be one of the hundreds of plants in the front yard.) The next dark step up from Goosebumps was Ghosts of Fear Street, and then Fear Street when you were really ready for something ‘darker and more mature’. Something for the teenagers.

My point is that I got this collection as a gift, it’s amazing, and I’m pretty sure it could all be easily read in the course of a day by anyone of any age, and still feel just as magical as it did to me that day at the book fair when I bought my first Goosebumps.

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Book of the Week: Monster, by A. Lee Martinez

Posted in Books, Media with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 22, 2018 by ranranami

I have read so many of this man’s books. For me, his humorous balance in his story is on par with another favorite author of mine, R. Chetwynd-Hayes. I’ve already recommended one book by A. Lee Martinez in the past, Gil’s All Fright Diner, but honestly? I love this one even more. There was a period of time a few years ago where I was pretty much reading at least one of these books a week, and Monster is one of the best.

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The story plays with a concept I rarely see done as well as it should be. There are monsters everywhere, and normal people don’t know about them. This one adds your typical Martinez guts and gore along with a succubus here and maybe a yeti destroying a grocery store there. A gland in people’s brains that lets them see monsters for what they are, and a sort of supernatural police force doing what they can to at least keep things somewhat normal.

What I love about A. Lee Martinez, is that his protagonists are both very normal and very special in so many creative ways. This book was no exception to the rule, and it is very easily a 3-day read if you put your mind to it. Or don’t. Just grab a glass of wine (or coffee) and enjoy.

Book of the Week: Vintage Halloween Collectibles – 3rd ed., by Mark B. Ledenbach

Posted in Books, Halloween Junk, Media with tags , , , , , , , , , on October 14, 2018 by ranranami

I’m not sure if I’ve told you guys this yet, but I’m going to grad school for Library Science right now. Terribly relevant? Not really. Still, had a major assignment over the summer that required an interview and a tour at a local library. Not going to name the location, because I don’t think that’d be fair to them – – but their nonfiction section was lacking. Terribly. Most of it was gardening books, I’m not going to lie. That wasn’t the point of my visit anyway, but I just can’t resist digging for some good horror-related books when I’m at any store or library. That’s how I found this hidden gem near the end of the aisle, sandwiched between a couple of books on furniture shopping. Vintage Halloween Collectibles — 3rd ed., by Mark B. Ledenbach.

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The pictures of old Halloween cards, toys, decorations and the like inside this book are an absolute delight. It’s the cutest little collection of eclectic demons and ghosts from yester-year I would gladly fill my apartment with if I had the money to go wild, and I wouldn’t be surprised if some of the decor Hobby Lobby has been stocking for the last 2-3 years (looking at you black cats in clown costumes), were heavily inspired by this book. So, for those of you looking to do some creative decorating or who just want to look at some cool pictures, this book is a must-read.

Book of the Week: The Amityville Horror by Jay Anson

Posted in Books, Media, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , on October 6, 2018 by ranranami

When I was a kid, hands-down Amityville horror was one of those movies that was so dark and creepy, I couldn’t really sit through it until I was probably 10 (which, if you’ve read and heard my ramblings over the last few years, you’ll realize was pretty late for me, considering I had watched Dead Alive probably a dozen times at that point.) This is the book that started it all.

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I’m not going to say it’s based on a true story. I desperately want to, but I think we can all agree that events in this story are highly dramatized. There have been lawsuits. Debates. Fights. I’d like to believe drunken horror nerd brawls, even, about the events in this book based on the horrific ghostly experiences of the Lutz family in 1975. They left the house in just under a month.

For context, in 1974 Ronald DeFreo Jr brutally murdered his family in this house (which, to its credit, looks like a pretty damn creepy house even without the overlay and flames on the modernized book cover above). This book is not about Ronald, but each element of the book sort of comes together very well, and if you haven’t had enough of the fictional story, there’s so much you can explore after you’ve read this (from DeFreo to the Warrens, a pair of paranormal investigators whose cases inspired Jay Anson to write this). True or not, it’s a great book, a modern classic, and well worth your time on a stormy night or a sunny day.

Coffin Box Teaser

Posted in Books, MAgazines, Media, Movies and shows with tags , , on July 26, 2018 by ranranami

Our upcoming episode features Corey’s horror pack and coffin box! Just a teaser before the episode, here’s a few pictures of what he got.

Book of the Week: Look for Me By Moonlight by Mary Downing Hahn

Posted in Books, Media with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on October 25, 2017 by ranranami

I’m sure I’ve gone on tirades before about what makes a real vampire (or a good one), and the fact that they are not in fact romantic heroes. Dracula, especially, was nothing if not a predator and monster. Now that I’ve gotten that out of the way, I’d like to tell you guys about a wonderfully dark little book I first discovered in middle school, and fell in love with. There’s a romantic gloss to the cover, and a sweet title, belying the dark story behind it.

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If you wanted Sarah to pick Jareth in Labyrinth, perhaps this book isn’t for you. Bowie was gorgeous with his typical glam rock beauty, but he was a man pursuing a little girl who wanted to prove to the world she was a woman. There’s a similar vein in this book about a young girl named Cynda vacationing with her family and trying to find her own way, isolated from the father and stepmother she doesn’t know, as well as the little brother she doesn’t really like. Then, Vincent shows up, and suddenly everything is different. It gets darker, and pretty soon the game Cynda thinks she’s playing spirals out of control. It’s a young adult novel, and certainly appropriate for the audience, but the heart of the story is a disturbing one, and that’s what makes this book so fantastic.

Book of the Week: Pet Sematary, by Stephen King

Posted in Books, Media with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 18, 2017 by ranranami

It goes without saying that Pet Sematary (the movie) really did have some of the most chilling moments in 90s horror. This is a recommendation for the book, however, which I think may be one of the few I’ve read that was practically identical to the film in all the right ways. Except for the soldier scene, which I would’ve loved to see in the film, but that’s a whole different kettle of fish I might get into later.

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It’s very short, a simple but fun read, and probably one of the less–how should I put it? Colorful? Vulgar? It’s one of Stephen King’s less foul-mouthed works from the time. I don’t often walk down the King road these days, but Pet Sematary will always hold a place in my heart, with its incredibly dark themes, and the basic idea that there is no true return from death. No matter what. Doctor Frankenstein couldn’t seem to accept that, and neither does Doctor Louis Creed. Both of them learned the hard way. A beautifully grim lesson to anyone who decides to dabble with the forces of life and death.