Killers of the Flower Moon

Author: David Grann Type: Non-fiction, single subject Full title: Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI Published: 2017 I read it: November 2018 Grann’s latest smash-hit of narrative non-fiction deftly wraps together miniature histories about three core topics in the early 1920s: the Osage Indians in Oklahoma, the…

The Rise and Fall of the Dinosaurs

Author: Steve Brusatte Type: Non-fiction, single subject Full title: The Rise and Fall of the Dinosaurs: A New History of a Lost World Published: 2018 I read it: November 2018 It was far from certain that dinosaurs were going to emerge triumphant. After all, they were small and meek creatures, nowhere near the top of…

Bird Box

Author: Josh Malerman Type: Fiction, novel Published: 2014 I read it: November 2018 I’m sure I’m only one of many who glance at the plot of this novel—about a possibly-creature-induced-calamity that causes survivors to keep their eyes closed (at least while outside) so as not to succumb to involuntary hyper-violence—and are instantly reminded of the…

Sharp Objects

Author: Gillian Flynn Type: Fiction, novel Published: 2006 I read it: October 2018 I had seen the image released by the recent TV version of this book, with Amy Adams’ exhausted face front and center. I pictured the main character as Adams the entire time, which helped immensely in connecting with the character. The protagonist…

There There

Author: Tommy Orange Type: Fiction, novel Published: 2018 I read it: October 2018 If there’s a snapshot of what it’s like to be Indian (or Native American, or… see below) in a big city today, Tommy Orange’s There There has to be it. The title is a nod to a Radiohead song (“just ’cause you…

The October Country

Author: Ray Bradbury Type: Fiction, short stories Published: 1955 I read it: October 2018 In a small used bookstore in downtown Nashville I combed the shelves in the fantasy and sci-fi section, and was rewarded with this purple treat. All the Bradbury I’ve read is in used paperback, which I feel the author himself would…

Meddling Kids

Author: Edgar Cantero Type: Fiction, novel Published: 2017 I read it: September 2018 The premise of Meddling Kids can be guessed due to the cover art and the pop culture timing: this book is riding the same ’80s kids-vs.-weirdness nostalgia waves as Stranger Things and the new movie version of It. I’m not yet burned…

Night Shift

Author: Stephen King Type: Fiction, short stories Published: 1978 I read it: September 2018 Now that’s the kind of paperback that’s fun to find at Goodwill! Spine-battered and yellow and smelling of age, with creepy cover art to boot (from the story “I Am the Doorway”). In continuing the pendulum swing from trying out King’s…

Thornhill

Author and artist: Pam Smy Type: Fiction, comics Published: 2017 I read it: September 2018 Almost the entire vibe of Thornhill can be experienced by its cover—who is this figure in the window? The derelict historical building occupies an overgrown lot in the present day, and Ella, a curious and solitary girl, has moved into…

Nightbooks

Author: J.A. White Type: Fiction, novel Published: 2018 I read it: September 2018 J.A. White has coined a nifty new term with “nightbooks,” which in his story are the journals that the protagonist, Alex, uses to house his scary stories. Predictably, the boy is made fun of for his interest in horror, which spurs him…