Hello, and welcome to one of two Fantastic Strangelings Book Club discussions for this month!
“What is the Fantastic Strangelings Book Club and how can I join?” Just click here, sweet baby angel face.
This discussion though is about a bonus book we announced a few weeks ago so if you don’t have it, no worries. And if you’re a member we’re sending out Samantha Irby’s book, Wow, No Thank You this week and we’re including a special present in your package too because you deserve a nice surprise. And if you just want to buy Sam’s book and not be a member you can just go here and your orders will help us another other indie bookshops. And as always, you don’t have to be a paid member to join the discussion. Everyone is welcome.
So today we’re opening up discussions for The Southern Book Club’s Guide to Slaying Vampires:
Most of the discussion happens on our Facebook page (just search for Fantastic Strangelings Book Club and you’ll find it) but I always leave a blog post open in case you hate Facebook but still want to talk. And as always, feel free to leave suggestions for book club reads because we’re all a little stir-crazy so having optional bonus books for awhile might be a good thing for everyone.
What’s a book we should all read right now?
Discussion open in comments. Here there be spoilers….
57 thoughts on “Strangelings bonus post!”
Read comments below or add one.
Currently reading My Dark Vanessa. Whoo boy!
Definitely not in the “tickle-your-funny-bone” category, but I recently finished “Antisocial: Online Extremists, Techno-Utopians, and the Hijacking of the American Conversation”. It’s incredibly well researched and even-handed without being complacent. (I also may have a small addiction to books with incredibly long subtitles.)
The Mermaid Chair is a great book.
I’m so excited to do this once I get a bit of peace and quiet back in my life. My children have gone slightly feral at the moment.
Okay, I LOVED this vampire book. It was the perfect distraction to let me exercise my anxiety on a fear that probably won’t come true although at this point even vampires don’t seem out of the question.
I thought it was funny and scary and smart and not perfect but exactly the sort of guilty pleasure that I needed, with some really salient points blended in.
My absolute favorite part though? This line from the end: “Carter,” she said. “I want a divorce.” I legit cheered.
My only question at the end was…what happened to Slick after she died? Did I miss that? I mean, I know she died and I know she was “infected” but she said that she felt she was waiting to die so the thing in her throat could come alive. So did the girls cut her head off after she died so that it wouldn’t come to life? Or was it left open-ended so that she could return from the grave and come back to life in the next book? I actually read the advanced copy of the book and sometimes they change things in the final copy so maybe I just missed it?
Concurrently reading Etiquette and Espionage (old favorite) by Gail Carriger and Beneath the Sugar Sky (new favorite) by Seanan McGuire. My anxiety makes it hard to read new things, so I’ve started reading the new thing until I can’t anymore, then switching to an old favorite to ramp down again. The strategy seems to be working.
I recently finished Little Fires Everywhere and loved it so much I bought Celeste Ng’s other book, Everything I Never Told You. Both are excellent reads!
I recently finished Little Fires Everywhere and loved it so much I bought Celeste Ng’s other book, Everything I Never Told You. Both are excellent reads!
Book suggestion: In An Instant by Suzanne Redfearn. Totally realistic situation, absolutely nothing supernatural, but the book gave me nightmares.
I take it back – there is a supernatural element to In An Instant just as there is in The Lovely Bones. But what the other people are experiencing is due to an entirely conceivable situation.
Jenny, Slick changed her will so she would be cremated and I assume that took care of the problem? I am wondering about James in the crypt not really being dead, and somehow getting out– Book 2?
Reading The Troop by Nick Cutter. Its gross and creepy and scary….and will make you really think about the next time your belly growls when hungry. Mwahahahaha!
“Serpent’s Wake: A Tale for the Bitten” by L.E. Daniels. This is an amazing book that I think is categorized as YA but is too good not to read. It’s a unique story about a girl that gets swallowed by a snake and trapped in it’s throat, ultimately escaping 12 years later. The story follows her journey rediscovering the world and the wake left from her absence and her return. The only thing slightly weird was that the characters don’t have names. They’re referred throughout the book as “the girl”, “the doctor”, “the poet”, etc. The story is original and unlike anything else out there. I read a review online that basically said it’s a hero’s journey with a strong girl as the hero. That’s an accurate summation. I couldn’t put it down when reading it the first time, and couldn’t stop thinking about it afterwards. Highly recommend!
“Merged” by Jim & Stephanie Kroepfl. Super Sci Fi. About some brilliant weird kids who don’t fit in but get a strange chance to change the world. I wish!
I’d have to check but I think Slick was cremated at her request, which should take care of any ‘coming back.’ (could be wrong; now I’m curious & will re-read ending)
This book was kind of outside my wheelhouse, but I liked it. I haven’t read much horror since my (distant) youth when I couldn’t get enough of Stephen King. I would put the scary bits in this one up there with a King novel. I had to do a bit of skimming in some parts (like looking through my fingers at the scary parts in movies).
The husbands were so dang unlikeable! I think this was intentional; the influence of James Harris magnified their greed and sexist behavior, but still. At one point in the book I thought Carter was a worse monster than the vampire!!
The Ghosts of Harvard by Francesca Serritella and Get Out of Your Own Way by Dave Hollis. Two great reads.
Book Suggestions(s), all biographies
In the Sanctuary of Outcasts: A Memoir by Neil White
New White is charged with a white collar crime and is sentenced to prison – to a leper colony that is being turned into a prison. Although the criminals and the patients aren’t supposed to interact, White is allowed thorough work release to handle food / janitorial services for the leper colony and he meets some pretty interesting people, some who have lived there their whole lives and wonder what’s going to happen to them when they are forced to leave so that it can be just a prison.
Until I Say Good-Bye: My Year Of Living With Joy by Susan Spencer-Wendel
A former journalist, the author tells about her ALS diagnosis and the year she spent making special memories with each of her children and good friends, examples being seeing the Norther Lights and taking a trip to New York with her 14 year daughter to find the perfect wedding gown, that Susan will never see. Towards the end she has deteriorated to the point that she is writing the book with one finger on a smartphone.
My Gentle Barn: Creating a Sanctuary Where Animals Heal and Children Learn to Hope by Ellie Laks.
This documents how Ellie turned adopting stray and sick animals in her backyard to becoming a nonprofit that helps at-risk teens to rehabilitate abandoned and/or abused animals.
And for fun – Both Every Day Is A Holiday and Life’s a Beach by George Mahood.
After some success as an author he has the “perfect” domestic life but it seems that something is missing….so he commits celebrate every holiday including “Bubble Wrap Appreciation Day”, “National Curmudgeon Day”, “Answering Machine Message Day”. This tells how he “celebrates” as many days possible with his children and the patience of his poor wife during this “experiment”.
A Dirty Job and Secondhand Souls by Christopher Moore – Awesome and Hilarious!
Currently reading The Golem and the Djinni, by Helene Wecker – absolutely fantastic! “It combines the genre of historical fiction with elements of fantasy, telling the story of two displaced magical creatures in 19th century New York City.”
The Rook by Daniel O’Malley. Just finished it. It’s like a James Bond story but with a female agent and the organization is to handle supernatural happenings in the UK. It was a fun read.
I’m not part of the Strangelings but this book sounded quite interesting. I can’t wait to jump into it.
A Bad Day for Sunshine. Oh God, I laughed or screamed thorughout.
The Bear and the Nightingale is wonderful. So is Night Circus. And so is the Last of the Moon Girls.
I really wanted to read The Southern Book Club’s Guide to Slaying Vampires: A Novel but couldn’t work out how to ship it to Canada when I clicked on the link. So, I’m looking for it here in Canada. It sounds like a fun read!
Just finished Tuesday Mooney Talks to Ghosts and it was awesome
Just finished The Murmur of Bees. Soon good! Now reading Redhead by the Side of the Road by Ann Tyler. So far so good.
Does the book need to be fiction to be considered for the book club?
I listened to Southern Book Club on audio and really enjoyed it! I’ve been doing chemo the last few months and couldn’t seem to muster the mental wherewithal to listen to anything new/complicated. I’m done and finally “waking up”, and I listened to The Hotel New Hampshire (an old favorite, but also released on audio this month) and Southern Book Club in just days!
I hated what happened to Slick – like some others commented, after Patricia told her what was probably coming, she asked P to have her lawyer come in so she could change her will (cremation). I really liked Patricia’s character throughout – and was also glad when she kicked Carter to the curb. 🙂
I was just amazed by what they actually did to James — liked that they didn’t just try the “traditional” methods of killing a vampire, but man, when they started taking him apart, I was shocked. Those ladies were hardcore – or at least Mrs Green was!
Thanks for the recommendation!!
I just finished The Murmur of Bees and loved it! Lyrical, interesting characters, intriguing story. Kind of a magical realism story.
Tracy, congrats on being done!
I love this author. I read My Best Friend’s Exorcism and sobbed at the end. It was the kind of book where at the end you feel like you are waking up because you have been sucked so deeply into another world. I was thrilled to see he had a new book coming out and tried to savour it, but raced through it. I loved it! I thought it was scary and funny but my favourite part was how he wrote about marriage and female friendships. There is a line about how Patricia puts everything she is feeling into her eyes and Carter ignores it and when she realizes her mother-in-law came back to save HER. AH! My heart! I loved, loved, LOVED this book. If you enjoyed, please search out My Best Friend’s Exorcism. It’s a delight.
Bummed that because I dumped facebook months ago (best thing I’ve done in a long time!), I cannot participate in this club. 🙁
Loved this book!! Then I read The Sun Down Motel by Simone St James. Also a REALLY good book!
I found the way the men treated the women in their lives in this book very frustrating, and how long everything went on; not surprised that the women saved the day, and kind of grossed out at the details of the solution.
Okay Fine Whatever: The Year I Went from Being Afraid of Everything to Only Being Afraid of Most Things – Courtenay Hameister, Things my son needs to know about the world – Fredrik Backman, Bricking It – Nick Spalding, 3.00am series – Nick Pirog. All excellent.
I thought this would be funny – man I hated it SO MUCH. Very rapey.
Alias Hook by Lisa Jensen is one of the best books I’ve ever read. It’s about Captain Hook and Peter Pan is the villain. It’s beautifully written and it’s about the redemptive power of love. I got my husband to read it and now whenever anyone asks him for a book recommendation the first thing he says is Alias Hook!
First of all thank you very much for this bonus book! I finished reading it and loved it! Thank you also for helping me discover a new author to follow. The book “The Southern Book Club’s Guide to Slaying Vampires” was somewhat identical to the previous book selection in that it took place in the past with a few references to nostalgia 90’s. What was different about this book was that it gave me the blood and gore I wanted. I loved all the references and knowledge of vampires. At first I thought the book to be a kind of dark comedy but it did have some serious themes such as a complicated, dysfunctional family and our interaction and relationship with your best friends. Overall the book was an easy and fun read. Now I want to go and read some of Grady Hendrix’s previous books.
I haven’t joined the bookclub because, work – but I’m really feeling the lack with this book!
Will have to track down a copy.
Thanks for pointing it out, Jenny!
Dreadful Company, by Vivian Shaw, is a great retro monster book with a twist.
Can I post another? Martha Wells’ Murderbot series is just a lot of fun. She’s the crabbiest murderbot ever.
The Cassandra: A Novel
Novel by Sharma Shields
The Cassandra follows a woman who goes to work in a top secret research facility during WWII, only to be tormented by visions of what the mission will mean for humankind.
Mildred Groves is an unusual young woman. Gifted and cursed with the ability to see the future,
Jenny, thank you for all you do to help keep the rest of us functional. Not necessarily sane, but at least functional. I don’t know you, but I consider you a close friend.
Another vote for Murderbot series by Martha Wells. First one is “All Systems Red”
I would brave Facebook to discuss that one with ya’all
Water for Elephants is one of my Favorite!
Looks like a great story!
Read ‘Truly Devious’ by Maureen Johnson. Yes, it is a YA novel technically, still enjoyed the suspense. And absolutely loved the end. Can’t wait tie read the second one.
If you like Southern….Vampires, My Best Friend’s Exorcism by the same author is an 80’s horror story you will like as well.
I just finished “Where Bigfoot Walks” by Robert Michael Pyle. It is non-fiction, written by a highly respected naturalist/lepidopterist who investigated a million-acre area in south-central Washington State. He remains skeptical throughout, and is trying to neither prove nor disprove the existence of Sasquatch. He is, instead, exploring the myth, different societies’ and individual’s beliefs, and the terrain where many “sightings” have been made. This is literary non-fiction that includes some of the most fabulous, beautiful nature writing I have ever encountered. His material is presented in an orderly way, and his descriptions of flora and fauna, the scents (you know, one of Bigfoot’s “attributes” is a horrific, unmistakable odor), the light of the forest and sky, the weather and trails made me want to return to my younger days, when hiking and camping were a major part of my life.
I’m normally an almost exclusive reader of fiction, but this caught my eye, and I picked it up. I will never regret it.
Agnes and the hitman by Jennifer Crusie. Hilarious, yes, but Crusie just “gets” women. My favorite part is when a health inspector opens Agnes’ kitchen cabinets to find everything in perfect order, in bins and labeled. He looks surprised and she says “I’m a Virgo, that’s what we do” .
Just the book you need to counteract all the craziness: “Wild Things” by Clay Carmichael. It’s a YA novel with a young protagonist that is fierce, funny, and totally cool by any standards. Coming from a lousy neglected childhood, she’s landed at the home of an unknown uncle after her mother offs herself. Let’s just say she’s very self-reliant, artistic, and an animal-lover, and can take the hard knocks. A bit of a chick lit, but so worth it – it’ll make you forget all this nutsy quarantine stuff. If you only read one YA book this year, make it this one.
I wanted to like this book. The characters are so vivid and it’s creepy and has real suspense and dread in it. But it turns out I bear the scars of going to a Southern women’s college and always being Patricia – never fitting in despite my earnest best efforts, and being dismissed by so many people – so even though Patricia really got support from her friends at the end – and they defeated the baddie (and Slick was cremated as she died so nothing could spawn from her womb) – it left me feeling hollowed out and empty.
Good to know I still have things to work on in therapy.
I did not want this book to end, I tried my hardest to read slowly but I loved this book so much. The way the men spoke to all the women, I wanted to scream and stab them and I couldn’t understand why the women didn’t do that. But I love how true to the southern code of etiquette they were. Ugh, I’m sad I’m done with this book and am so glad that I’m seeing so many similar recommendations in the comments. And James left “alive” but cut up in the crypt, so creepy.
I just started the new Stephen King book If It Bleeds. So far so good – nothing creepy yet, just some character development.
I’m skipping the other comments to prevent spoilers, but I thought I would chime in that I just ordered this book the other day, as well as 4 others, from your shop for my birthday! I love that you are donating to book shops, and I love that I get to support yours, and that your whole store is set up like a curated collection for us strangelings! Much love in this trying time. <3
I suspect that Geek Love would be right up your alley; should you like a novel about circus freaks and a resulting religious cult…
Interesting interview with The Author at npr.org. Not sure if this link will work…..
Eight Perfect Murders Peter Swanson
The premise: A book store owner and author of a blog post about “the cleverest, the most ingenious, the most foolproof . . . murders in crime fiction history,” learns his post now seems to be serving as a checklist for a murder.