Hello all! It is May 1st and that means it's time to share my list of April books with everyone. I also have a very special announcement for those of you who make it to the end. (I can't stop you from scrolling to the end, but Atticus WILL judge you if you do.)
Important February Update:
I know you are all on the edge of your seat waiting for this update, so I will open with it.... I finally finished Don Quixote!
It had it's ups and a lot of downs, but I'm glad to have finished it and am now ever so slightly more well-versed in classic literature.
Next I want to highlight the Advanced Reader Copies that I read. April was Indie Book Month, and I mostly read Indie ARCs, so I'm extra happy to be highlighting these.
Attack of the Killer Tomatoes: The Novelization by Jeff Strand : I am absolutely obsessed with this one. It was laugh out loud funny, and everything that I loved about the movie.
Beleth Station by Samantha Kolesnik & Bryan Smith : This was a fascinating concept on co-authoring, and executed perfectly. I was lucky enough to get a physical ARC, but I might go ahead and treat myself to the special edition hardcover as well because I loved it so much.
Hunger as Old as the Land by Zachary Rosenberg : I think this is the first western that has ever made me want to read more westerns. I highly recommend.
Slasher Witch at the Water Park by Penny Moonz : This one had so much promise, but it's a horror comedy that really hinges on your sense of humor lining up with the author's. Mine doesn't, but there were still elements (like the setting) that I had some fun with.
Bitter Apples edited by Eric Raglin : This is such a strong concept for an anthology and I was blown away by the range of stories. Not all of them worked for me personally, BUT, I think they were so bold and stylized that everyone could pick this up and have a different favorite. The ones I loved were absolutely perfect.
Brad Unwound by Jamie Kort : Obviously I loved this one. I'm a big fan of Jamie's work in general, but this short story is a follow-up to my favorite of his works, A Puppet Scorned, and I just can't get enough of this weird world that's he's created.
Captured by Lauren Biel : This one was wild. I liked the writing style so much, but had to adjust to the fact that the storyline was just inherently problematic. It's a very specific type of erotic fantasy that you just have to suspend all disbelief to be able to enjoy. Luckily I was able to do that, but I know that most of this book could be outrageously triggering. It definitely wasn't what I thought it would be when I picked it up.
Letters Between Sex and Violence by Coda Languez : This was another "erotic horror" book that I picked up that was an entirely different vibe than I had anticipated. It had beautiful art though, and I liked the concepts for a lot of the short stories.
Cargo by Ruth Anna Evans : This one came out in between the time I received my ARC and got around to reading it, because I was doing the Readathon last month and not reading my ARCs on time. However! Absolutely this was worth the wait. This is some of Ruth Anna's strongest writing, and I can't wait to bother her into writing more long fiction.
Here are my non-ARCs for last month. Seeing them lined up like this, the list feels incoherent and unhinged, but that's just how my reading preferences are sometimes.
The Trees Grow Because I Bled There by Eric LaRocca : The stories in this one were a little hit or miss for me. The ones that hit though, hit really hard, and I would still recommend it, even if I'm learning I prefer LaRocca's longer works.
The Lady in the Lake by Raymond Chandler : This was first Raymond Chandler! My dad recommended this one, and I thought it was fun. As a reader, I feel like I've exited my detective story phase, but the prose was strong and it was a surprisingly quick read.
Legends and Lattes by Travis Baldree : I loved this book so much. I read a lot of very heavy and depression fiction toward the end of last month and this was exactly what I needed to cheer up before diving into more horror. I never thought I could enjoy fantasy books without high stakes, but here we are. I am now rabid for more cozy fantasy content.
The Backrooms by Matt Wildasin : Obviously I adored this book by The Sinister Scoop's very own Matt Wildasin. He's a fantastic writer, and I am such a sucker for creepypasta books anyway, that this was just a fantastic match.
A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J Maas. : I'm not going to lie, I spent about a full week complaining to anyone who would listen while I was reading this. Usually when I don't like a story I'm able to just let it go, but ACoTaR was the perfect storm of brilliant ideas and terrible execution that just got under my skin, and I can't shut up about it. It lives rent-free in my mind so obviously I now own the entire series and am about a hundred pages into the sequel.
Ghoulish Tales for the Brave by Gitte Tamar : This was just a cute little poetry collection that I think would be perfect for anyone with a morbid little kid. I would have eaten this whole thing up when I was younger.
A Wretched Little Book of Poems by Allen Isom : This is another one that I've already read, but might purchase a copy of, if only for the art. The poems are solid, but the art? Top tier.
Fanged Dandelion by Eric LaRocca : I'm a sucker for freeform poetry, and as someone that has already read a lot of LaRocca I know that the visuals are solid. While I wouldn't consider this a must-read, I do think it was my favorite of the three poetry collections I read this month.
Now that you've made it to the end, I am so happy to give you an important update. Atticus Finch, my beloved supervisor and book model, has received his first ever book mail! (Mal is photobombing in the back.)
A big shout-out to Aquino Loayza, whom you might remember from my February wrap-up. I had already read his debut, DEEP, but he was a big fan of the promotional book photos Atticus helps me with and offered to send us a physical copy. It has arrived and as you can see, it's absolutely stunning.
If you haven't read this one yet, you are missing out. It has strong characters, good queer rep, cosmic horror, and literally one of my favorite antagonists.
Thank you all as always for checking out the books I read over the last month. I am looking forward to bringing you more May books.
Before you go, I want to pester everyone for recommendations.
I have another large pile of ARCs to get through this month (and the Sarah J Maas box set, for better or worse) so it's not like I'm going to be starving for book content. There are however a couple of very specific types of book that I'm looking for:
More cozy fantasy (or any alternatives that could be good palate cleansers to cheer me up in between some of the heavier reads I have coming up.)
More dark fantasy (I was hoping ACoTaR could scratch the ASoIaF itch, but I just can't take it seriously enough.)
More Erotic Horror (This is a genre I've only started reading this month. I'm trying to do research for a project but have no idea where to start.)
If you have any recommendations for me in these genres, or at all really, please comment down below. Also, while I'm not officially accepting any more ARCs until I get through my current stack of them... please let me know if you have an ARC that you would like me to read.