Once again, three things!
I also limited myself to books by people I don’t know, which was VERRA difficult because people I know wrote some great things this year. Interestingly, it also ended up being dude authors. Most years I honestly read more lady-written books by about 90% but last year I was into horror and these are the books that often popped up.
Anyway, here are some books.
1. Josh Malerman’s Bird Box
Technically I read this December 31 2014 but it ruined me for all other books for weeks afterward.
It is creepy as fuck. Hey, remember me, who can count on one hand all the movies/games/books that have scared her? This creeped me out. It’s very well crafted and atmospheric, and it has what I think a lot of modern horror is missing: the protagonist and therefore reader doesn’t see the monsters. Having that missing piece is likely to drive some people nuts but the reader’s imagination is much more terrifying than any description could be. I’ve devoured a lot horror books the past year, some really good ones, but Bird Box stuck with me for days and days.
To summarize….there are these creatures and if you look at them, you go insane. The story follows Malorie both in the past as the world descends into chaos and survival at all cost and the present a few years later when she takes her boy and girl away from the safety of their house in the hopes of finding other survivors. WHILE BLINDFOLDED. It’s chilling and dark and suspenseful, and part of me wants to read it again while part of me is like NO NO NO DO NOT DO THAT.
(Also, warning: some dogs die. It’s basically “off screen” since the protagonist has to be blindfolded all the time but if you’re sensitive to that, as I am, be forewarned.)
2. M.R. Carey’s The Girl with All the Gifts
Zombies! Apocalypse! Plucky survivors! Except…
Yeah, it’s one of those books that sounds like it’s going to go one way, and yet it doesn’t.
At the center of it all is Melanie, the titular girl with all the gifts, who is…special. Eat-your-brains special. But even among the eat-your-brains special, there’s something not quite right about her and the book spends the time figuring out why and what that means for humanity.
Why this book stuck with me was the ending and obviously I can’t spoil that. But it was a thoughtful message about humanity and hope and the world that felt very in line with one of my favourite movies, Cabin in the Woods, oddly.
3. Christopher Fowler’s Plastic
Picture Bridget Jones.
Now stick her in the middle of a crime novel.
That would give you an idea of this black comedy. June is a suburban housewife and shopaholic whose husband is cheating on her. When he decides to leave her and sell the house, June–with nowhere to go–ends up apartment-sitting.
It pretty much spirals downhill from there.
This is bound to be one of those divisive books–you either jive with the black humour and the character’s tangents or you don’t (and it’s okay if you don’t). For me, I can’t remember the last time I laughed so hard, and if you make me laugh, you’ve got me as a reader.
How the hell did I ever get here?
All I can think is that I must have fallen into a deep sleep the day I got married, like some character from a fairy tale, except Sleeping Beauty was out cold before she met her prince, and he fought a dragon and slashed his way through a forest of poisonous thorns to get to her, whereas Gordon just said ‘I suppose I should marry you if you’re not going to have a termination’, and instead of the Kiss of True Love bringing me to my senses it was his unrepentant affair with the bitch next door.
PREACH IT, SISTER.
So there are my books, here were my movies/TV shows, and on Friday I’ll have games!
What books did you read in 2015 that stuck with you?