I am a firm believer in the concept that what you take in affects what you put out. (Awkward, but often true.) My output is primarily ghosts, monsters, and weird, sick humor. Where do I get my ideas? Here’s where. These are the books I’ve been reading over the last three months or so. (I would keep a list of movies and t.v. shows, but those are so easy to consume. When you READ you have to actively participate in making the text come to life in your head. It’s MORE than just watching the book, it’s building the story from the pieces you are given.) Anyway, here’s my most recent input:
(12 Jan. ’14)
Finished reading Nathaniel Hawthorne’s MOSSES FROM AN OLD MANSE AND OTHER STORIES. Interestingly, there is no story called “Mosses From an Old Manse” in the collection. Regardless of this fact, if one can get past the heavy, Christian moralizing, these tales are brilliant. Almost like Twilight Zone, but a solid hundred years before Rod Serling started his t.v. show.
(23 Jan. ’14)
Finished reading Stephen King’s THE EYES OF THE DRAGON. It was recommended by Shane from the bowling alley, and it was a fun, medieval era (give or take) adventure. Not too heavy, only one real “monster” in the book (I guess there was, technically, a dragon, too, but it spent most of the novel being dead.) Certainly worth reading.
(2 Feb. ’14)
Finished reading Lord Dunsany’s TIME AND THE GODS. Very enjoyable.
(8 Feb. ’14)
Finished rereading Oscar Wilde’s SALOME (for the first time in over 20 years.) Love it. Eerie, creepy, and disturbing, even though it’s quite short. Great stuff.
(10 Feb. ’14)
Finished reading John McNee’s GRUDGE PUNK. Absolutely excellent sci-fi, noir, absurdist, gangster, horror book. Highly recommended.
(12 Feb. ’14)
Finished rereading, for the third or fourth time, Oscar Wilde’s THE IMPORTANCE OF BEING ERNEST. Still some of the best, cleverest dialog I’ve ever read.
(19 Feb. ’14)
Finished rereading John William Polidori’s “THE VAMPYRE; A TALE.” Very short, but well told, especially for 1819.
(22 Feb. ’14)
Finished rereading Simon Reynolds’ RIP IT UP AND START AGAIN – POSTPUNK 1978 – 1984. Really is a great book.
(22 Feb. ’14)
Finished rereading Charles Schulz’s FUN WITH PEANUTS collection, an old paperback. Fun, but mean. I like the old Snoopy, who couldn’t talk, but still had thought bubbles explaining what was on his mind.
(4 Mar. ’14)
Finished reading H. P. Lovecraft’s THE SHADOW OVER INNSMOUTH, a part of THE CTHULU MYTHOS MEGAPACK. Doomy fun.
(5 Mar. ’14)
Finished rereading the Michael Morris and Sharla Sava curated catalogue, RAY JOHNSON: HOW SAD I AM TODAY…, which collects essays about and letters and collages created by Ray Johnson. One of my favorite artifacts. I read it every year or two.
(17 Mar. ’14)
Reread Andre Norton’s short story, “ALL CATS ARE GRAY,” which I got from Amazon as a freebie. Very short tale, but there is a song by The Cure with the same title. Fancy!
(18 Mar. ’14)
Finished reading Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s A STUDY IN SCARLET, the first Sherlock Holmes novel. It’s the only Sherlock story I’ve read, and though the detective didn’t seem quite as brilliant as I’d hoped, the story was entertaining enough. I may read another sometime.
(18 Mar. ’14)
Finished reading “THE INNSMOUTH HERITAGE” by Brian Stableford, a short story that is, again, part of the CTHULHU MYTHOS MEGAPACK.
(2 Apr. ’14)
Finished reading William Hope Hodgson’s CARNACKI, THE GHOST FINDER. Very entertaining supernatural detective stories, even though he does “Scooby Doo” several of the tales. Bummer, but still worth reading!
—Richard F. Yates