Friday, March 10, 2023

What We've Been Reading | March 10, 2023

Today our team members recommend an excellent short story collection, a selection from a favorite series, and a fun slasher novella. We hope you check them out and share your thoughts!

Folk Songs for Trauma Surgeons stories by Keith Rosson

Winner of the 2021 Shirley Jackson Award - Best Collection

With Folk Songs for Trauma Surgeons, award-winning author Keith Rosson once again delves into notions of family, identity, indebtedness, loss, and hope, with the surefooted merging of literary fiction and magical realism he’s explored in previous novels. In “Dunsmuir,” a newly sober husband buys a hearse to help his wife spread her sister’s ashes, while “The Lesser Horsemen” illustrates what happens when God instructs the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse to go on a team-building cruise as a way of boosting their frayed morale. In “Brad Benske and the Hand of Light,” an estranged husband seeks his wife’s whereabouts through a fortuneteller after she absconds with a cult, and the returning soldier in “Homecoming” navigates the strange and ghostly confines of his hometown, as well as the boundaries of his own grief. With grace, imagination, and a brazen gallows humor, Folk Songs for Trauma Surgeons merges the fantastic and the everyday, and includes new work as well as award-winning favorites.

Amazon Goodreads

Teresa's Teaser Review

"The stories are also dang good. Some are biting and brutal, too real that they will make you squirm. Some are cheeky and will make you laugh out loud in places. All are staggering in their writing. "

Read Teresa's entire review at Goodreads.

Beneath the Sugar Sky by Seanan McGuire

Beneath the Sugar Sky, the third book in McGuire's Wayward Children series, returns to Eleanor West's Home for Wayward Children in a standalone contemporary fantasy for fans of all ages. At this magical boarding school, children who have experienced fantasy adventures are reintroduced to the "real" world.

When Rini lands with a literal splash in the pond behind Eleanor West's Home for Wayward Children, the last thing she expects to find is that her mother, Sumi, died years before Rini was even conceived. But Rini can’t let Reality get in the way of her quest – not when she has an entire world to save! (Much more common than one would suppose.) If she can't find a way to restore her mother, Rini will have more than a world to save: she will never have been born in the first place. And in a world without magic, she doesn’t have long before Reality notices her existence and washes her away. Good thing the student body is well-acquainted with quests...

A tale of friendship, baking, and derring-do. Warning: May contain nuts.

Goodreads | Amazon

Jen's Teaser Review

"This story is about Rini who is in danger of disappearing and ceasing to exist, but I'm struck most by the story of Cora who used to be a mermaid in a world of reason. I feel like most readers can relate and see themselves in the characters of the Wayward Children books, and for me, I feel like I would belong to a world of reason and I would absolutely be at home as a mermaid. I just love Cora and I love the ending to Beneath the Sugar Sky. "

Read Jen's entire review at Bookden.

Camp Neverland by Lisa Quigley

Camp Neverland is special. At least that's what it said on the mysterious brochure. But when Max arrives to discover her tormentor Chuck Snyder is there, too, her hopes for a magical summer are dashed. Still, the bond she develops with her cabin mates feels almost too good to be true. And when kids start dying in gruesome ways, Max hides a frightening secret. She soon learns just how far she'll go to belong.

Camp Neverland is Sleepaway Camp meets Carrie, with black magic, blood, and an eternal death cult of angry teenage girls.

Book 29 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

Laurie's Teaser Review

"This novella is fast paced nasty fun. I loved the friendships that developed quickly but felt genuine. If you like a horror story that gets to the point quickly and doesn’t shy away from the horror teens inflict on each other, you’re going to love Camp Neverland."

Read Laurie's entire review at Goodreads.

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.

We are currently accepting horror fiction and horror adjacent fiction written by diverse authors in print and epub format ONLY. If this is you, please visit our review submission page here.

Our Reviewers

Teresa creates the Shelf Edition posts, creates bookish lists and is a contributing reviewer at Horror Spotlight. You can find Teresa on Goodreads, and on Twitter.

Jen is one of our Horror Spotlight admins. Jen manages the technical side of the Horror Spotlight website. She also keeps a spotlight on new horror releases, middle grade horror, and young adult horror each month.

You can also find Jen on her blog Book Den, Twitter as @bookden, Instagram as @bookdenjen, on Goodreads, and Letterboxd.

Laurie is one of our Horror Spotlight Admins. Laurie creates our review posts.

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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