I read a lot of good and spooky stuff in October, including a reread of some of my favorite spooky stories. I’m rewriting my horror novel over the holiday season, and it was good to light the fires with Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark once again. That shit always works.
But now it’s November, so it’s time to be grateful (and/or punch colonizers.) So here’s what I’m grateful for.
This long history of Kurt Cobain’s mohair cardigan. I was a Nirvana fan when it was too late; I was twelve when he died. I traveled backwards to meet him through depression and caught up at about sixteen, when I became obsessed with the funereal concert when he wore this sweater. Fashion history has fascinating intersection across other art forms, and this is a great example of how well we can follow the thread.
Similarly, food writing connects sensuality to practicality and I love Kathryn McMahon ‘s “The Things We Do For Self-Preservation”. Read it, and be preserved as you would be in salt, in brine, in honey.
This is a an excellent craft essay by Lincoln Michel. It answers a lot of the questions people often ask me about how to get started in short stories, and it’s a quick and clear read.
Heather Kamins reawakened something in me that I had forgotten about when the fever of puberty broke. Read “The Girl Gangs of Pacific Avenue”, and then remind yourself to follow Guernica. They consistently publish some of the best shit.
Months ago, I got to read Annalee Newitz’s novel, “The Future of Another Timeline,” when it was still in beta. It’s about feminist punks and time-traveling justice warriors and bellydancers and history and the kinds of futures we might see. It has its own music video (I’m in it!) I cannot oversell this book to you. You know that friend you have who can’t talk about Warren without tearing up? Get it for them for your winter holiday of choice.
I followed nostalgia in books for October, and I received the customary punishment for having done so. So far this month, I’ve already read three very good books. Tune in for December’s discussion of “In the Dream House,” “The Witches are Coming,” and “Sadie.”