A Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole

 A Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole is funny, wise, and as close to a perfect novel as you’re likely to find. Protagonist Ignatius C. Reilly is a bloated buffoon, a man-baby who lives with his mother, has a troubled digestive valve that causes him to burp and fart with great frequency, and possesses […]

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J.K. Rowling

The magic of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J.K. Rowling lies in its combination of simplicity and familiarity. Like a three-chord pop song, Harry Potter sticks in your head, causing pleasant sensations as it bounces around your brain. We know this story; an unlikely hero with a regal destiny is sent on an […]

Sixty-Five Stirrup Iron Road by Edward Lee, Jack Ketchum, Brian Keene, Bryan Smith, J. F. Gonzalez, Wrath James White, Nate Southard, Ryan Harding, and Shane McKenzie

 This is a good book written for a great cause; to help fund the medical bills of writer Tom Piccirilli. Pic’s colleagues in hardcore horror decided to pitch-in on a round robin novel to help support their friend. For that reason alone the book is worth buying. Sixty-Five Stirrup Iron Road is written by, and […]

Header and Creekers by Edward Lee

There is something beautiful and poetic about  the splatterpunk redneck fiction on display in Edward Lee‘s novella Header (1995) and the long-form novel Creekers (1994). Lee’s redneck horror pays homage to Richard Laymon‘s novels of backwoods terror as well as James Dickey‘s classic, Deliverance. Lee’s work is violent and nasty, but his pacing and dialogue are […]

One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez

 One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez is a slow literary slog. This 1967 novel, considered a landmark work of Latin American magical realist fiction, is a major drudge. It felt like it took me 100 years to read. I couldn’t find my way around the Buendia family tree and all its weird, gnarled branches. […]

Our Great Abbess by C.L. Holmes

In the interest of full disclosure, I was fortunate to read an early draft of C.L. Holmes’s Our Great Abbess, and I enjoyed it so much, I asked if I could publish it. Read more about Abbess below, or go get it here. Our Great Abbess blends historical fiction and religious horror to tell a […]

A Widow’s Story: A Memoir by Joyce Carol Oates

“Give sorrow words,” William Shakespeare says. “The grief that does not speak whispers the o’er-fraught heart and bids it break.” Joyce Carol Oates gives her sorrow words in A Widow’s Story: A Memoir, which chronicles the death of her longtime husband, Ontario Review editor, Ray Smith, and the first year of Oates’ widowhood. “Widowhood is […]