Random Reads: Three Books to Try Out This Month

We do a whole lot of scrolling and clicking these days, and that can screw with everything from our concentration and (if you constantly read politics) our sanity.

Sometimes you just need to sit down with a good, fun book for the sheer joy of reading. You know, that think people would do before smart phones.

Each month, I’m going to devote a post to some quick book recommendations — in no particular order — for a quick dive into another world:

Horrorstör: A Novel by Grady Hendrix

Hendrix is one of the most inventive authors when it comes to the horror genre, finding unique and clever ways to tell familiar stories with bestsellers like My Best Friend’s Exorcism and How to Sell a Haunted House. The premise is simple enough: five employees of an Ikea-style store stay overnight to find out who is messing with the showroom. Everytime you think you know the answer, there’s an eerier twist. This read started out me as “this is kinda interesting” to “okay, that’s pretty creepy” to “Holy Crap! That’s horrifying!” I know you don’t judge a book by the cover, but the design on this one is part of the story, as the cover and chapters are inspired by a good old Ikea catalog.

Zom 100: Bucket List of the Dead by Haro Aso

There are two fun interpretations of this hilarious manga by Alice in Borderland author Haro Aso: an anime series and a live-action film, both on Netflix. Both of these are fun watches, but I really suggest reading the manga series first. The underlying theme of this story is you are never guaranteed a tomorrow, so make the most of your life today. The hero is a miserably overworked young man, Akira Tendo. When a zombie apocalypse hits, he realized he doesn’t have to go to work anymore! Life among the dangerous zombies is better than ever, and he creates bucket list of things he wants to achieve before “becoming a zombie.” There are currently 14 issues out, and they are very quick and exciting little stories. Love your life, take care of those around and watch out for the zombies, less you become one yourself.

The Maltese Falcon by Dashiell Hammett

Here’s your used bookstore assignment of the month! Everybody needs to read a good classic, noir at least once. Hammett’s classic Sam Spade mystery is still a page turner today, whether or not you are familiar with the movie. This is by far the most famous of Hammett’s Sam Spade books, and it keeps you guessing who is telling the truth, who is on whose side and where is this massively valuable “gold statue” of the falcon everybody wants. The Spade in this book may look nothing like Humphrey Bogart, but he’s a cool, sleek, loose cannon of a detective that defines the noir genre.

This should get you started! Get out there and find a good book.

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