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9.19.2014

Orsk is the creepiest home furnishing store ever.

Horrorstor by Grady Hendrix
Quirk Books // September 23, 2014
paperback, 256 pgs
ISBN 9781594745263
source: advance review copy from publisher

Something strange is happening at the Orsk furniture superstore in Columbus, Ohio. Every morning, employees arrive to find broken Kjerring wardrobes, shattered Brooka glassware, and vandalized Liripip sofa beds—clearly, someone or something is up to no good. To unravel the mystery, five young employees volunteer for a long dusk-till-dawn shift—and they encounter horrors that defy imagination. Along the way, author Grady Hendrix infuses sly social commentary on the nature of work in the new twenty-first century economy.
A traditional haunted house story in a contemporary setting (and full of current fears), Horrorstör comes conveniently packaged in the form of a retail catalog, complete with illustrations of ready-to-assemble furniture and other, more sinister accessories.


My thoughts:
What a super cool concept for a book! When Horrorstor arrived on my doorstep, I immediately thought I was looking at a catalog. Its glossy cover with catchy furniture names, bright colors, and price tags is such a neat addition. The images of the man on the wall add the dash of horror to an otherwise pretty "catalog". As you open the book, you notice that it is also set up like a catalog. Check out the pictures and see for yourself how cool this plays out!






The concept is cool and the layout of the book is awesome. The story is pretty darn good too. It does take a while to get moving, but once you get into the real freaky stuff, it just keeps getting weirder and weirder. I must admit that I cringed and shuddered at a few of the scenes. The catalog also transforms, much like Orsk. No longer are we looking at chapters beginning with descriptions of functional furniture for your home... now we are looking at devices of torture! Here's a little peek:




Overall, the book is neat. It is really an interesting concept and I enjoyed reading it. It is a bit slow to start, but it definitely picks up and is super engaging once it does. It is quite the creepy read. I squirmed more than once! I'd recommend this for your Fall reading list.


About the author:

GRADY HENDRIX is a writer and journalist and one of the founders of the New York Asian Film Festival. A former film critic for the New York Sun, Grady has written for Slate, the Village Voice, Time Out New York, Playboy, and Variety.








write to be understood, speak to be heard, read to grow


Cover image from Amazon.com
Synopsis, author information, and book information from Quirk Books
All other images my own

9.15.2014

Boredom & a blogiversary

Bored. That is the only word for it. So bored, that I didn't notice my blogiversary app was broken and that my blogging anniversary came and went this summer. I started blogging in the summer of 2009. I reviewed books and posted some tidbits of life and my photography. Since then, I've wrote less about my life and have stalled out with writing pretty much only reviews. It is boring. My hits have gone down and my engagement is almost nil. In turn, I stopped visiting other blogs and engaging with this community. I've slowly been going down this road for quite some time. I can't pinpoint when it happened, but it seems now like this has always been the norm... and I hate it. After 5 years of Little Bird Reads, I just feel done. I don't want to be... but I can't keep up the way I have been. Not engaging and only posting reviews is terribly boring and takes the entire fun and community out of blogging. I haven't written about this topic because I honestly felt alone and ashamed that I was in this place. I started blogging because it was fun and it has now become a boring chore. Recently, I read Andi and Heather's blog posts about this general topic, and it made me realize I am not alone and that I should be talking about this. Heather also shared some links to even more bloggers feeling the same way and this is definitely feeling more and more like the theme of book blogging right now. How do we stay unique and keep it interesting? Reviews are getting boring. I'm sick of reading them and I'm sick of writing them.
The only way to get out of a slump is to actively engage in working towards that goal. So, I'm starting by admitting (thanks to the brave ladies who did so ahead of me and inspired me to do so myself) that I am bored. Now it is up to me to change that.

The only question is, how?



write to be understood, speak to be heard, read to grow

9.12.2014

Is it a full moon?!


I decided to ease into RIPIX this year with a short story. I picked up a vintage copy of Cycle of the Werewolf over the summer at a second hand bookshop. I had no yet read this particular Stephen King short story, and I really liked the format and the illustrations.


Cycle of the Werewolf is about a small Maine town (shocking!) that has a visit from a werewolf. Things get weirder and more gruesome as each month passes. The town is terrorized every month, and on he eve of the full moon, untold dangers lurk around every corner.

This is a very quick read. It is beautifully illustrated and is written at the full moon each month. It wasn't the best Stephen King I've ever read, but it wasn't terrible either. It was just a good quick read with a little twist as we tried to work out who it was that was the werewolf. What made the novel was definitely the illustrations - it really added to the story. 

I'd recommend this to fans of King and those looking for a quickie read. As far as werewolf tales goes, this is a pretty decent and is intense right from the get go. 





write to be understood, speak to be heard, read to grow

Are you scared yet?

Happy Friday, friends! The work week is done and the Fall weather is finally seeping into upstate NY. Today's high is only 61 - my kind of temperature - and my yard looks like the trees shook off their leaves a bit early. The scattering of crisp leaves and cool air always gets me excited. This is by far my favorite time of the year. While I love all seasons, Fall is my favorite. The air and the atmosphere combine to make the most wonderful experience.
As always, Fall puts me in the mood for creepiness. I LOVE Halloween and I LOVE getting scared- although, I must admit that not much scares me these days. Watching The Exorcist as a little kid ruined me. I was that kid that crept downstairs while my parents watched it and thought I was in bed- I was around 9... I remember watching it in the big mirror (so I watched it backwards) until I got caught and sent to bed. Then I watched it on my own on mute. I was scared. Unfortunately, I think it desensitized me pretty early on, because not much else scared me after that. I then became the kid who wasn't afraid of things and when you jumped at me, while I may scream, I didn't run- you were likely to get punched. My reaction was no longer "close the eyes flight"- it was "yell and fight". As an adult, I crave that feeling of pure terror - I seek it out and am often disappointed. I may get a chill or two, or think something is creepy, but I don't ever truly get scared. Haunted houses, books, movies, documentaries, the woods... nothing freaks me out. I've been to places that are "guaranteed to scare" and react with a small jump here or there. I've seen so many horror films I can't even count them all, and I've read my fair share of horror novels. I can appreciate them all for their scare factor or creepy attributes, but rarely am I ever scared myself.


So, as I begin my reviews for RIPIX, I am not going to base things on whether they scared me. That would be plain unfair. I am going to judge the books like I do all books that I review- on content, writing, character development, etc. I will add in my thoughts on whether or not they have a creepy factor and my thoughts on whether or not they might scare (normal) people - even though I'm that weirdo that doesn't frighten easily (really, not at all).

I'm curious, how many of you guys out there participating (or not) in RIPIX get scared? Do books or movies frighten you? If so, what are you reading/watching - I want in! I can't wait to hear from you guys and see what creepy reads you are up to during the next two months. Happy RIPIX and Happy Autumn!



write to be understood, speak to be heard, read to grow

8.31.2014

Fall is near... and so is RIPIX!

It is time to say goodbye to summer, and while that kind of stinks, it also means the coming of Fall and all things Autumn! It is my favorite time of year for many reasons, one of those being 2 months of bookish fun with Readers Imbibing Peril, hosted by Carl over at Stainless Steel Droppings. This is it's 9th year running and I've participated for a few years now. It is always great fun, with lots of ways to participate. RIPIX runs from Sept 1 - Oct 31 and is all about reading (and watching!) anything that gives you chills at night. There are many ways to join - head over to RIPIX sign up post for all the specifics.


First, I will be logging more than 4 books - so I am joining in for Peril of the First.


I have some books picked out already... check out my book stack so far:


I also will read some short stories, as this is my favorite time of year for short spooky reads, for Peril of the Short Story.

I'm also a sucker for horror movies - so of course I'm in for Peril on the Screen.

Last, but certainly not least, I am going to join in with the Estella Society again for the Peril of the Group Read. This time around we're reading The Haunting of Hill House.




I hope you will join us and if you're already participating, hope to see you around the RIPIX site, on twitter, and on IG! (For RIPIX reviews, use this link.)



write to be understood, speak to be heard, read to grow