Stuck on Repeat

Hello, hello! How’s everyone doing this Wednesday? Things here are about the same as usual. It’s time for all of those yearly meetings, so people know we’re still alive and I’m still cripple and poor (the government has to check, I guess). But half of those are still virtual, so that’s good. Anyway, if you read last week’s post, you know I’m doing one of those pick a number things. This week’s pick is courtesy of the beautiful Roxie with number 7! I’ve done 13 (you can find the prompt list there). And 2, 8, 3, 10, 6, 14, 11, and 1 have all been claimed. Feel free to pick one of the remaining numbers. But let’s get back on topic. The prompt is “Tell me which book you’ve re-read the most times.” That’s a hard one…

The thing is, I don’t re-read things very often. I don’t have comfort books that I keep returning to time and again. When I do re-read something, it’s usually for a reason. Like, if it’s a series and a new book is coming out after a couple of years. But even then, I’ll try reading the new book first and seeing what I remember. If I can’t remember certain things, Google is my friend. If I remember little to nothing, then I will read the other books again. Don’t get me wrong. I have a huge list of books I want to re-read, but there are just so many new books and books that are new to me. There’s not enough time.

I’ve read the Harry Potter books three times all the way through and Lord of the Rings twice that I remember. I believe I read The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon three times as well. But I’m a super slow reader (I get through 35 books a year if I push it), so if I do read things repeatedly, it’s usually short stories or poems. I’ve lost count of the times I’ve read “The Yellow Wallpaper” (Gilman) or “A Rose for Emily” (Faulkner). My favorite poetry collections are Cruelty by Ai (which I’ve read at least five times) and The Wild Iris by Louise Gl├╝ck (also read four or five times). And I won’t list the individual poems I go back to all the time.

Now, if you count manga and the like, I’ve re-read way too much stuff. I go back to Kaori Yuki’s stuff more than I should probably say. Angel Sanctuary and Boy’s Next Door are my favorites. They’re disturbing and entirely fucked up, but I love them. BND was the first story I read that told you from the very beginning what the ending was and still managed to make me an emotional wreck by the time we got to the end. No, I don’t recommend it to everyone because of all of the content warnings it should have, but if you’re already a dark, twisted soul… go find it. Same with Angel Sanctuary, but for very different content warnings. I could also list some more normal things like Sailor Moon and Fullmetal Alchemist, but it probably won’t help you think better of me at this point. I like weird stuff. This is why I don’t include manga and manhwa on my GoodReads profile very often.

There you go. The stuff I re-read. It’s usually weird or would freak people out. Sorry, not sorry. What about you? Do you re-read soft and cuddly comfort books? Or do you prefer re-reading things that rip your heart out and wreak havoc on your soul? Or something in between? As always, feel free to leave your comments or questions here or on my social media pages!

7 Stories for the Season

Hello, hello! How is everyone doing this lovely October day? It’s that scary time of year where people normally start decorating with spider webs and carved pumpkins in preparation to hand out candy to appease all of the little ghosts and goblins. Unfortunately, Covid is dampening this year’s Halloween spirit, but there are still plenty of ways to celebrate. You can always watch scary or corny movies. You can still decorate to your heart’s content as well. And now is as good a time as any to read (or reread) some scary stories. So, I thought I’d share some of my favorite short stories with you today.

1. “Strawberry Spring” by Stephen King. Of course King would be on my list, so I might as well start there. This particular story is in the collection Night Shift. What’s not to love about a serial killer story? But really, you can’t go wrong with any of King’s short stories.

2. “The Colour Out of Space” by H.P. Lovecraft. This is one of the few stories that kept me up at night and I have no idea why. It’s just one of those creepy stories that gets inside your head. It can be found in a number of Lovecraft collections or you can read it here. And yes, I acknowledge he was a racist. I don’t have to like a person or agree with them to enjoy their work.

3. “The Yellow Wallpaper” by Charlotte Perkins Gilman. Because who doesn’t love a slow descent into madness? If you’ve taken any college level English courses, you’ve probably read this, but it’s always worth another look. It can be found in a bunch of collections or here on the Project Gutenberg website.

4. “A Rose for Emily” by William Faulkner. This is another you’ve probably read if you did your English homework, but I still love it. The story of a creepy recluse is always intriguing. You can find it in loads of collections and if you Google it, the whole text usually pops up in at least one public lesson plan.

5. “Berenice” by Edgar Allan Poe. Pretty much any Poe story fits the season, but the one that creeps me out the most is this one. Why? Because teeth freak me out. Of all the things to be obsessed with, I just don’t understand why anyone would fixate on teeth. But I digress. If you have a collection of Poe, it’s probably in there. If not, you can read it here.

6. “Click-Clack the Rattlebag” by Neil Gaiman. This is a weird and cute story that’s pretty predictable, but still fun. It was published in the anthology Impossible Monsters (edited by Kasey Lansdale), but you can listen to Gaiman read it here if you have 10 minutes to spare.

7. “The Lottery” by Shirley Jackson. It’s not scary like the usual horror story, but it’s terrifying because it’s not a particularly far-fetched idea. This could happen because people suck. It has happened in the past in various ways. It’s basically ritual sacrifice without the whole appeasing a god angle (at least from what I remember). Stuff like this happens and that’s terrifying. You can find this one in a bunch of anthologies and it’s usually around online if you Google it.

I could keep going, but I think I’ll save some for another time. What are some of your favorite scary or creepy short stories? How about corny Halloween short stories? As always, feel free to share your lists or comments or thoughts here or on my social media pages!