Hello, strangelings!

Are you a member of the Fantastic Strangelings Book Club? Because if you are today we are opening up the discussion on June’s book, THEY DID BAD THINGS, by Lauren A. Forry:

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I was never in a real book club. No one asked me to be in one and that was for the best bc I’m a bit hermity and I don’t like to leave my house. But I always wanted to be in one and I hoped that at least a few people would join The Fantastic Strangelings Book Club when I started it even though it’s all just online and there are no deadlines on reading the books. There are now a few thousand members, which I can’t even wrap my head around. We’ve had Q&As with authors and did ridiculous and wonderful zoom meetings with @bitchesgottaeat and @thissielomas. This month I picked a book (so dark and distracting…I think you’ll love it) but the publisher wasn’t really prepared to have sold an unexpected few thousand extra books (which is a wonderful problem to have) right out of the gate but they were so excited that they created a special printing just for us…and when you look inside, this is what you see. It’s probably dumb but I cried when I got my copy today. I’m still hermity and I still am too anxious to join a book club that meets in real life but we’ve created our own bizarre community that is lovely, and fun and is making a real difference to authors during a time when it’s harder to be an author. It’s also sustaining @nowherebookshop and our team even when we can’t open our doors. All this to say, I’m feeling pretty fucking lucky all things considered.

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Did you read it? Did you finish it? Wanna talk about it? ME TOO. I’ll open a discussion thread on the Fantastic Strangeling Facebook page in just a second so we can discuss there but you can also leave your thoughts in the comments here if you don’t do Facebook. As always, there are no deadlines and the posts stay open forever in case you don’t get to it for a few months.

Also, today I’m announcing the book for July. (If you’re a paid member you already get my ridiculous emails and this isn’t news for you, you lucky in-the-know weirdo.)

It’s Mexican Gothic by Silvia Moleno-Garcia and I can’t stop thinking about it.

I struggled a little with this choice because we’ve had a few dark books in a row and I like to jump around to different genres but this book was so haunting I just couldn’t skip it. SO GOOD.

An isolated mansion. A chillingly charismatic aristocrat. And a brave socialite drawn to expose their treacherous secrets. . . . 
  
From the author of Gods of Jade and Shadow comes “a terrifying twist on classic gothic horror” (Kirkus Reviews) set in glamorous 1950s Mexico—“fans of classic novels like Jane Eyre and Rebecca are in for a suspenseful treat” (PopSugar).

We won’t ship it for a week or two so don’t worry if you’re still working on this month’s book.

Also, we’re having a zoom book discussion with this month’s book author (Lauren A. Forry) tomorrow night so if you want to join just check your emails from me and it’ll give you all the info. It’s a special free perk for paid members and I think we still have spots left so RSVP if you want to drop in.

And, as always, if you want to join the Fantastic Strangelings Book Club you are so very welcome. This book club is literally sustaining Nowhere Bookshop as we still haven’t opened our doors to customers. We can’t wait to see people in real life at the store, but we are so incredibly lucky to be able to keep our team and our community safe and working and reading. Click here to join!

22 replies. read them below or add one

  1. 1
    Victoria Brase

    This months book was amazing! I couldn’t put it down and I totally didn’t see the ending coming! Loved it!

  2. Okay, here are my thoughts.

    SPOILERS AHEAD:

    I’m not usually a big fan of mysteries but I really loved this one. It reminded me of Agatha Christie and I adore her.

    What I thought was interesting is that when I read it the first time and finished it I thought…wait…but how could Lorna be Jen because what about all of Lorna’s flashbacks to when she was in the house but then I reread it today and I think a product of how well written this was is that I wasn’t able to find anything that “Lorna” was thinking that wouldn’t have been something Jen was thinking.

    The idea that murder begets murder was an interesting one. And how guilt can destroy so many lives.

    Some questions I had though were, why did it take Jen so long to snap? Why would her cousin agree to help her? Also, it’s interesting that Ellie said that people wouldn’t understand her diary entry but never really explained what that meant. I wonder if there’s another story we didn’t hear. Maybe Callum didn’t die from her suffocation and Jen really killed him and couldn’t deal with the guilt. He was obviously having lots of problems with her and she’s an unreliable narrator. It almost felt like it’s left open for a sequel.

  3. 3
    Teresa Stroud

    I still haven’t received THEY DID BAD THINGS but I’m looking forward to it.

  4. I haven’t read They Did Bad Things yet so I’m glad there is no deadline to meet. Thank you for being so wonderfully weird because it makes my own weirdness seem less weird when there is more than just me being weird. And sometimes I’m more than just a little weird. Just ask The Viking.

    https://www.mrs-completely.com/funnywoman/welcome-to-the-neighbourhood-and-sorry-for-our-cat/

  5. There were few enough characters to keep track of, one would imagine, but I mixed up Ellie and Maeve several times. (Maybe months of isolation made this feel crowded in my head.) It seemed like at times it tipped the scales too far from psychological suspense to more of a ‘slasher movie’. I felt like I had missed some of the deeper, hidden stuff along the way. I’ll watch a movie more than once, but I’m not likely to reread an entire book to ‘get it’. One problem was that there isn’t a hero in the book to care about. Well … Callum (I suppose) … but he’s dead.

  6. Sweet merciful heavens I love that pigeon painting! I so badly want to go and see the Nowhere Whimsy when this damn plague is over (in the meantime I will enjoy my Strangelings’ books here in Massachusetts).

  7. I super dug this book. I had a hard time last month with The Catherine House but this was right up my alley. I loved the twists and turns. I loved that I could predict some of the plot turns but not all. I did not see Jen being Callum’s sister coming. I was also bummed to take out Hollis, and it felt a little like losing Ned Stark. Not quite as noble in the end, but I did agree that teenagers can do stupid shit and if we had had Instagram in the early 90s the world would be a VERY different place. I was pretty sure Ellie had it coming, even if she didn’t do what she said in the diary. (Although I do find your interpretation of her being misunderstood and Jen just being a psychopath intriguing, and worthy of merit and further consideration). Oliver made me sad, and I wanted to feel bad for Maeve but ultimately couldn’t bring myself to do it. I did really, really like this one and have already recommended it to other people.

  8. 8
    Lee Yazdani

    I loved this and roared through it in a day and a half. I, too, felt very sad when Hollis was done in. And I did not see Callum having a twin sister.

  9. 9
    58chilihed13

    Very much Ten Little Indians in tone and I Love Love Love our club’s page right in the front bound in! Squeeeeeee! Ok, perhaps nearly 65 years old women should not squeeeeee thusly, but I love that SO much! Twisty and turny, a fun read. Plus I love Scotland…

  10. I’m sure many would disagree, but I felt that the introduction of Jen at the very end seemed like a rushed attempt to bring a plot twister. I mean it could easily have been one of the characters and it would have been just as satisfying. I was half expecting to see Hollis wake up again like And Then There Were None. Maybe I need to read it again and I really feel bad that I can’t feel the same way Jenny does. But it left me very gloomy after the end and I don’t wanna have to read it again. In fact I started rereading Furiously Happy after it to have something more uplifting, and this is seriously that one time when you can’t afford to be gloomy.. It’s all we’ve got.

  11. […] Are you a member of the Fantastic Strangelings Book Club? Because if you are today we are opening up the discussion on June’s book, THEY DID BAD THINGS, by Lauren A. Forry: Did you read it? Did you … Read More […]

  12. I adore book people. Book people are the best people.

  13. Oh I love your book club and your book shop! It’s a book lover’s dream life, thank you for sharing so we can all enjoy 😊

  14. 14
    “Ms Ro”

    To 58chilihed13. Girl no matter what you’re age you squee as much as you want. I’m older and I will never give up my squeeing. Jenny, looking forward to Mexican Gothic. Hooray for the tribe taking care of the store!

  15. Mexican Gothic sounds intriguing! Have a read you dreamed of.

  16. Oooh, Gods of Jade and Shadow was so good! I’ll definitely have to read this one. Nice choice.

  17. 18
    Jacqueline Loughry

    Love the book! On a different topic, Zazzle is giving me no answers on where the Rory masks I ordered on May 3rd are. I don’t care that they’re late – I just want to know when they’re coming. Any ideas on how to get a straight answer from them?
    Thanks for making awesome creative things that make us all smile!

  18. I enjoyed this one! This was definitely a book that needed re-reading once you got to the end. I was glad to have the actual book instead of an electronic version – I find it much harder to go back and re-read sections with my kindle books. Sure, you can search but you can’t leaf through it.

    Anyway, it was fun to reread it and see that the author did an excellent job of keeping Lorna’s story consistent with both Lorna herself and Jen-as-Lorna.

  19. […] Gothic – A gothic horror novel set in 1950s Mexico. The Bloggess is doing this for her virtual book club this […]

  20. I just saw this in a frontlist book ordering catalog, and thought of you and your store. Taxidermy Gone Wrong https://www.edelweiss.plus/#keywordSearch&q=006306054X&page=1

  21. nice

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