Friday, April 9, 2021

What We've Been Reading #91

We’re a few days late but we can’t let a week go by without reading recommendations! Today we have another eclectic mix of books and we hope you find your new favorite. Don’t forget to click either tag above to find more good books ♥  

Where The Wild Ladies Are by Aoko Matsuda

In this witty and exuberant collection of feminist retellings of traditional Japanese folktales, humans live side by side with spirits who provide a variety of useful services—from truth-telling to babysitting, from protecting castles to fighting crime.

A busybody aunt who disapproves of hair removal; a pair of door-to-door saleswomen hawking portable lanterns; a cheerful lover who visits every night to take a luxurious bath; a silent house-caller who babysits and cleans while a single mother is out working. Where the Wild Ladies Are is populated by these and many other spirited women—who also happen to be ghosts. This is a realm in which jealousy, stubbornness, and other excessive “feminine” passions are not to be feared or suppressed, but rather cultivated; and, chances are, a man named Mr. Tei will notice your talents and recruit you, dead or alive (preferably dead), to join his mysterious company.

In this witty and exuberant collection of linked stories, Aoko Matsuda takes the rich, millenia-old tradition of Japanese folktales—shapeshifting wives and foxes, magical trees and wells—and wholly reinvents them, presenting a world in which humans are consoled, guided, challenged, and transformed by the only sometimes visible forces that surround them. 

Goodreads | Amazon | Bookshop

Audra’s Teaser Review

I have long been intrigued by retellings of classic stories. Favorite authors of mine from Angela Carter to Helen Oyeyemi to Carmen Maria Machado have taken up the mantle of dismantling fairytales and reimagining them with a focus on the female characters instead of just the male perspective. So I was over the moon to find out about Matsuda’s collection, which does exactly that for classic Japanese folktales.

Read Audra’s entire review at Goodreads.

Dead Eyes by EV Knight

On June 4, 1966, “Dead-Eye” Dave Darrow murdered and mutilated a group of teenagers at his family’s home. His sister’s disappearance, his subsequent escape from the asylum, and a slew of deaths and missing persons surrounding the home have given birth to some wild local theories.

Twenty years later, Lisa Thompson needs to finish her exposé on the infamous Darrow story to ensure her full ride scholarship to U.C. Berkley’s School of Journalism. But the problem is, she doesn’t have a killer ending.

The girl moving in to the Darrow’s old place could be Lisa’s lucky break. But new blood in thehouse and Lisa’s research awaken something or someone evil and murders begin anew in spectacular fashion.

Will Lisa uncover the truth within the Darrow house, or will she and her friends die trying?

Book 18 in the Rewind-or-Die series: imagine your local movie rental store back in the ’70s, ’80s, and ’90s, remember all those fantastic covers. Remember taking those movies home and watching in awe as the stories unfolded in nasty rainbows of gore, remember the atmosphere and textures. Remember the blood. 

Goodreads | Amazon | Bookshop

Emily’s Teaser Review

I had a blast reading Dead Eyes & figuring out what was going on! This was a really fun slasher, and there’s a lot to love here for horror fans. This is definitely one of my favorite recent horror releases.

Read Emily’s review at Goodreads.

Audra’s Teaser Review

Dead Eyes fully encapsulated everything that I like about B-horror schlock. It’s got a good sense of humor, a few likable characters and a few characters you love to hate, an excellent setting, the surprise twist you definitely see coming, and gory scenes of overly complicated and impractical murders.

Read Audra’s entire review at Goodreads.

Come Closer by Sara Gran

If everything in Amanda’s life is so perfect, then why the mood swings, the obscene thoughts, the urge to harm the people she loves? What are those tapping sounds in the walls? And who’s that woman following her? The mystery behind what’s happening to Amanda in Come Closer is so frightening that it “ought to carry a warning to…readers.”

Goodreads | Amazon | Bookshop

Cassie’s Teaser Review

I love subtle, quiet horror – it can be difficult for a story to nail, often edging into “too subtle” territory where not enough happens, and we’re left wanting more. The slow build up of dread and the creeping sense of wrongness aren’t the easiest things to convey on the page, and it takes a writer with skill to bring those feelings of unease to the the forefront of a reader’s mind. With Come Closer, Gran absolutely hits the mark – spooky and unsettling, the anxiety builds up continuously, and I found myself flipping through the pages with urgency to find out what would happen.

Read Cassie’s entire review at Let’s Get Galactic.

Thank you for joining us today! We hope you found something to add to your tbr list. Please share your recent reads with us in the comments below.

If you are a LOHF writer and have a book you’d like us to consider for a review please visit our review submission page here.

Laurie is one of our LOHF Admins. Laurie creates our review posts, coordinates review requests, oversees the Ladies of Horror Fiction directory, and manages our LOHF Goodreads group.

You can find Laurie on her blog Bark’s Book Nonsense, on Twitter as @barksbooks, on Instagram as @barksbooks, and on Goodreads.

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