How the fuck is March already?
I have no idea. But I do know that March has some fantastic books you should check out and two of them are my book picks for the month.
First up is my pick for Nightmares from Nowhere, Lone Women by Victor LaValle. I was worried it wouldn’t live up to the hype I’d been hearing but I devoured it in a single day because I could not put it down. The perfect mix of fascinating historical fiction and true horror. Like if Little House on the Prairie was haunted. And Laura Ingalls had a dark secret. And was orphaned. And was black. Actually, not like Little House in the Prairie at all, now that I’m thinking about it. You know what? Here’s a better description:
“Blue skies, empty land—and enough room to hide away a horrifying secret. Or is there? Discover a haunting new vision of the American West from the award-winning author of The Changeling.
Adelaide Henry carries an enormous steamer trunk with her wherever she goes. It’s locked at all times. Because when the trunk is opened, people around her start to disappear…”
And my pick for the Fantastic Strangelings Book Club is a fantastically smart, funny and cozy memoir called Once Upon a Tome: The Misadventures of a Rare Bookseller by Oliver Darkshire.
“Some years ago, Oliver Darkshire stepped into the hushed interior of Henry Sotheran Ltd on Sackville Street (est. 1761) to interview for their bookselling apprenticeship, a decision which has bedeviled him ever since.
For while Sotheran’s might be a treasure trove of literary delights, it sings a siren song to eccentrics. There are not only colleagues whose tastes in rare items range from the inspired to the mildly dangerous, but also zealous collectors seeking knowledge, curios, or simply someone with whom to hold a four hour conversation about books bound in human skin.
By turns unhinged and earnestly dog-eared, Once Upon a Tome is the rather colorful story of life in one of the country’s most ancient bookshops and a love letter to the benign, unruly world of antiquarian bookselling, where to be uncommon or strange is the best possible compliment.”
Need more than two books to get you through the month? I HAVE YOU. Some of my favorite new reads for March are:
The Angel Makers: Arsenic, a Midwife, and Modern History’s Most Astonishing Murder Ring by Patti McCracken – the true story of a 1920s midwife who may have been the century’s most prolific killer leading a murder ring of women responsible for the deaths of 160 men. HOW DID I NOT KNOW THIS STORY?
Weyward by Emilia Hart – Three generations of women separated by centuries. Witchcraft. Secrets. Dark suspense. I think this one is going to get a lot of attention.
The Strange by Nathan Ballingrud – A western science fiction tale, like if True Grit and The Martian Chronicles had a baby.
Piñata by Leopoldo Gout – A terrifying possession tale filled with Mexican and Aztec cultural elements.
The Human Origins of Beatrice Porter and Other Essential Ghosts by Soraya Palmer – Folktales and spirits animate this coming-of-age tale of two Jamaican-Trinidadian sisters in Brooklyn grappling with their mother’s illness, their father’s infidelity, and the truth of their family’s past.
Tombs by Junji Ito – If you love horror and you love manga you probably already know the bizarre, confounding and award-winning horror of Junji Ito. This short story collection proves why he’s a master of body horror.
Chlorine by Jade Song – An unsettling novel about immigration, sapphic longing, and fierce, defiant becoming. Also, mermaids.
I’m going to open up discussion about Maame by Jessica George on the Fantastic Strangelings page but in case you don’t do facebook I’ll leave my thoughts in the comments.
And while we’re talking books…a giant thank you to the team at Nowhere and our amazing community (this means you!) for making us readers’ choice best bookshop in San Antonio and best place to Sip and Shop. HIGH FIVES TO EVERYONE.
Happy reading, y’all.
PS. Thank you for all of your sweet thoughts. I’m feeling better today. Trying to push myself without overdoing it.