Monthly Archives: April 2017

2017 Reading List: First Contact

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8. First Contact, by Kat Green (2016, The Wild Rose Press)

I’ve wanted to read this for a long time! I think this is the first book I’ve read this year that wasn’t A.) research for my own upcoming book or B.) a pick of the Apocalypse Blog Book Club, which does tie-in to point A.  I first became aware of First Contact because Kat Green (an alias of authors Kat De Falla and Rachel Green) were guests at the Milwaukee Paranormal Conference. I found the hook interesting– a paranormal real estate agent. Love it! I finally got a copy at the Madison Author Daze event last weekend, which was expertly organized by the previously mentioned Mrs. De Falla and her husband Lee. Fun event, met some interesting people and sat at my table eating delicious sandwiches, drinking coffee. Really nice day.

Anyway, the book. I loved it, a quick read at 170 pages, full of supernatural spookiness, suspense, creepy characters, and a scene with some steamy hot ethereal sex. That’s what I like to read about! There is a strong paranormal tie-in as main character Sloane Osborne uses paranormal investigation equipment to try to capture evidence, but don’t worry, if you don’t know what a K2 meter is, they explain it pretty well.

The book takes place in good old Waukesha, which is a good setting for a horror story these days. The book made me very thirsty (you’ll understand if you read it) and Sloane kicks ass!

The book has a website here: www.hauntsforsale.com

Recommended? Yes, and I can’t wait to read the next adventure starring Sloane Osborne.

2017 Reading List:The Handmaid’s Tale

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7. The Handmaid’s Tale, by Margaret Atwood (c.1986, Anchor Books edition, 1998)

This was the March selection for the Apocalypse Blog Book Club. It was my first time reading something by Margaret Atwood and I found her prose to be quite gripping.

As the book unfolded for us over March, The Handmaid’s Tale made the news several times during the lead-in to a development of the book into a Hulu series, which premieres on the 26th of this month. Our book club notifications lit up as members posted some of these related stories. I’m pleased to say we are now doing monthly book reports for a site called Pop Mythology and club member and author Ryder Collins wrote our first one on The Handmaid’s Tale, and linked to several related stories. You can read it here: www.popmythology.com/apocalypse-blog-book-club-march-handmaids-tale

Recommended? YES. MANDATORY.

Apocalypse Blog Book Club, Book 3: The Man in the High Castle, by Philip K. Dick

The Apocalypse Blog Book Club voted to read The Man in the High Castle by Philip K. Dick as our April selection. The book, written in 1962, has had a renewed interest from an Amazon show series based on the book.

More on the book from Wikipedia:

The Man in the High Castle (1962) is an alternative history novel by American writer Philip K. Dick. Set in 1962, fifteen years after an alternative ending to World War II, the novel concerns intrigues between the victorious Axis Powers—primarily, Imperial Japan and Nazi Germany—as they rule over the former United States, as well as daily life under the resulting totalitarian rule. The Man in the High Castle won the Hugo Award for Best Novel in 1963. The book would later receive a 2015 TV adaptation also under the name, The Man in the High Castle.

Reported inspirations include Ward Moore’s alternative Civil War history, Bring the Jubilee (1953), various classic World War II histories, and the I Ching (referred to in the novel). The novel features a “novel within the novel” comprising an alternate history within this alternate history wherein the Allies defeat the Axis (though in a manner distinct from the actual historical outcome).

The Man in the High Castle is widely available online, at bookstores, and in library systems. We will have an in-person meeting to discuss the book the last day of the month, Sunday, April 30, 4pm at the Riverwest Public House. Takeaways from the meetings and online discussion will follow on our Facebook group page: https://www.facebook.com/groups/1482975718409410/

We also have a Goodreads page here: https://www.goodreads.com/group/show/213307-apocalypse-blog-book-club

There is no fee to be part of the Apocalypse Blog Book Club, just a desire to read a dystopian themed book every month and discuss the story and parallels we see to our current world.