Tuesday, December 26, 2023

#26: Same Bed Different Dreams by Ed Park

Same Bed Different Dreams is a decades-spanning, multi-layered novel with a manuscript featuring real and imagined Korean history at its core, also called Same Bed Different Dreams, in Ed Park's genre-defying novel.

I originally picked it up because the cover makes it look like a space sci-fi epic, but it is much more of a literary novel suffused with humor.  Its multiple points of view--a 60s science fiction hack, a man who works for a Google-type empire, and an author penning the secret history of the Korean Provisional Government, make this one hard to explain.

It was a unique, fresh novel that read quickly, despite topping out over 400 pages, more than I would usually like to tackle. I would recommend this to anyone wanting atypical storytelling from a unique literary voice.  Probably my favorite book of the year, and a good place to end 2023.

I checked this out from the New Castle-Henry County Public Library in New Castle, Indiana.

Saturday, December 23, 2023

#25: The Black Guy Dies First by Robin R. Means Coleman and Mark H. Harris

The Black Guy Dies First is a caustic, but informative, study of the history of Black characters in horror films from the 1960s to today, from Night of the Living Dead to Get Out.

Robin Means Coleman and Mark H. Harris take a deep dive into characterizations, tropes, and trivia with a large dose of incisive humor.  This is a foundation read for anyone interested in Black culture, film history, or both.

Recommended for movie and history buffs.  

I checked this out from the New Castle-Henry County Public Library in New Castle, Indiana and read it quickly.

Monday, December 18, 2023

#24: A Badge for Brazos by E Jefferson Clay

Benedict and Brazos are a pair of ill-matched gun-hands hunting Confederate gold; but when they decide to make a little cash providing law in a small town they find out it's anything but sleepy there in E. Jefferson Clay's A Badge for Brazos.

Clay is actually Paul Wheelahan, an Australian writer who wrote a series of westerns featuring this Yankee cardsharp and Confederate bruiser, as well as lots of and lots of other pulp paperbacks and comics.  This one leans a little towards comedy with a fair amount of gunplay.

I got this in a stack of Cleveland Westerns I lucked into, hard to find in the wild.  A fun read.

Wednesday, December 13, 2023

#23: The Rimrocker by Ray Hogan

Shawn Starbuck is hunting his missing brother, but instead finds a troubled rancher and his headstrong daughter, in Ray Hogan's The Rimrocker.  Before long Starbuck is mixed up in their affairs, which includes a secret held since the Civil War.

Hogan wrote a whole series about the lantern-jawed, law-abiding cowpoke, as well as plenty of other western fare.  Hogan is just a solid meat-and-potatoes western writer I've picked up wherever I find him.  

This one was on a goodbye rack at the public library in New Castle, Indiana.

Saturday, December 9, 2023

#22: Silver Nitrate by Silvia Moreno-Garcia

In Mexico City, a struggling sound editor and a washed-up soap actor cross paths with a Golden Age movie director with a cursed film in Silvia Moreno-Garcia's Silver Nitrate.

Moreno-Garcia is willing to throw every idea in the blender from escaped Nazis to secret cabals to occult practices.  Bonus points for curmudgeonly, but ultimately likeable, main characters whose longtime friendship enters a new phase.

I have seen Moreno-Garcia's name on a lot of TBR lists and will definitely look for more from this author.

I checked this out from the New Castle-Henry County Public Library in New Castle, Indiana.