Back again with my list of newly discovered books added to my Goodreads to-be-read shelf during the month of July! Luckily this month was much less busy than June.
As always, the aim of these posts is to hopefully help others find something they think sounds interesting, so do let me know if you add any of these to your TBR!
(Small disclaimer: as mentioned before, I will only be sharing the books that are NEW to me rather than all the ones I forgot to add to my Goodreads beforehand)
Twelve Nights at Rotter House by J. W. Ocker
Horror • Fiction • Paranormal
Synopsis: Felix Allsey is a travel writer with a keen eye for the paranormal, and he’s carved out a unique, if only slightly lucrative, niche for himself in nonfiction; he writes travelogues of the country’s most haunted places, after haunting them himself.
When he convinces the owner of the infamous Rotterdam Mansion to let him stay on the premises for 13 nights, he believes he’s finally found the location that will bring him a bestseller. As with his other gigs, he sets rules for himself: no leaving the house for any reason, refrain from outside contact, and sleep during the day.
When Thomas Ruth, Felix’s oldest friend and fellow horror film obsessive, joins him on the project, the two dance around a recent and unspeakably painful rough-patch in their friendship, but eventually fall into their old rhythms of dark humor and movie trivia. That’s when things start going wrong: screams from upstairs, figures in the thresholds, and more than what should be in any basement. Felix realizes the book he’s writing, and his very state of mind, is tilting from nonfiction into all out horror, and the shocking climax answers a question that’s been staring these men in the face all along: In Rotter House, who’s haunting who?
I asked for some haunted house story recommendations on my Instagram not long ago and this one was recommended by @sheepyreads! I haven’t even read the synopsis in full, I trust Rachel that this will be good.
There’s No Such Thing as an Easy Job by Kikuko Tsumura, Polly Barton (Translator)
Fiction • Japan • Contemporary
Synopsis: A young woman walks into an employment agency and requests a job that has the following traits: it is close to her home, and it requires no reading, no writing – and ideally, very little thinking.
She is sent to a nondescript office building where she is tasked with watching the hidden-camera feed of an author suspected of storing contraband goods. But observing someone for hours on end can be so inconvenient and tiresome. How will she stay awake? When can she take delivery of her favourite brand of tea? And, perhaps more importantly – how did she find herself in this situation in the first place?
As she moves from job to job, writing bus adverts for shops that mysteriously disappear, and composing advice for rice cracker wrappers that generate thousands of devoted followers, it becomes increasingly apparent that she’s not searching for the easiest job at all, but something altogether more meaningful…
It’s impossible to resist a translated book with pink on the cover, okay?
There Once Lived a Woman Who Tried to Kill Her Neighbor’s Baby: Scary Fairy Tales by Ludmilla Petrushevskaya, Keith Gessen (Translator), Anna Summers (Translator)
Short Stories • Fiction • Horror
Synopsis: Vanishings and apparitions, nightmares and twists of fate, mysterious ailments and supernatural interventions haunt these stories by the Russian master Ludmilla Petrushevskaya, heir to the spellbinding tradition of Gogol and Poe. Blending the miraculous with the macabre, and leavened by a mischievous gallows humor, these bewitching tales are like nothing being written in Russia-or anywhere else in the world-today.
@alinaa.anna mentioned this one on her stories and it sounded really interesting. What a title!
The Little Devil and Other Stories by Aleksey Remizov, Antonina W. Bouis (Translator)
Short Stories • Russian Literature • Folklore
Synopsis: In a dilapidated and isolated old house, something peculiar seems to happen whenever the town’s bestial exterminator visits. On a seemingly bucolic country estate, the head of the household is a living corpse obsessed with other corpses. An adolescent boy who passes his days in private dream worlds experiences a sexual awakening spurred by his family’s scandalous tenant. In these and other stories, the modernist writer Alexei Remizov offers a panorama of Russian mythology, the supernatural, rural grotesques, and profound religious faith in fiery revolutionary settings.
Can you tell I was on a bit of a translated fic binge? I love reading translated books so recently have been adding a ton to my shelves. I love any kind of book that incorporates folklore so this sounds fab!
Human Acts by Han Kang, Deborah Smith (Translator)
Fiction • Historical Fiction • Literary Fiction
Synopsis: Gwangju, South Korea, 1980. In the wake of a viciously suppressed student uprising, a boy searches for his friend’s corpse, a consciousness searches for its abandoned body, and a brutalised country searches for a voice. In a sequence of interconnected chapters the victims and the bereaved encounter censorship, denial, forgiveness and the echoing agony of the original trauma.
Now I didn’t love The Vegetarian by this author, but I found this in a charity shop, brand new condition for £1 and I thought it was worth giving a go for such a bargain!
The Gallows Pole by Benjamin Myers
Historical Fiction • Fiction
Synopsis: An England divided. From his remote moorland home, David Hartley assembles a gang of weavers and land-workers to embark upon a criminal enterprise that will capsize the economy and become the biggest fraud in British history.
They are the Cragg Vale Coiners and their business is ‘clipping’ – the forging of coins, a treasonous offence punishable by death.
A charismatic leader, Hartley cares for the poor and uses violence and intimidation against his opponents. He is also prone to self-delusion and strange visions of mythical creatures.
When excise officer William Deighton vows to bring down the Coiners and one of their own becomes turncoat, Hartley’s empire begins to crumble. With the industrial age set to change the face of England forever, the fate of his empire is under threat.
I gravitated towards this one in a charity shop because the spine is pink and then I looked at the cover and was totally sold! I also remember seeing a review for this one on Instagram once but can’t think who posted it.
Tinfoil Butterfly by Rachel Eve Moulton
Horror • Fiction • Thriller
Synopsis: Emma is hitchhiking across the United States, trying to outrun a violent, tragic past, when she meets Lowell, the hot-but-dumb driver she hopes will take her as far as the Badlands. But Lowell is not as harmless as he seems, and a vicious scuffle leaves Emma bloody and stranded in an abandoned town in the Black Hills with an out-of-gas van, a loaded gun, and a snowstorm on the way.
The town is eerily quiet and Emma takes shelter in a diner, where she stumbles across Earl, a strange little boy in a tinfoil mask who steals her gun before begging her to help him get rid of “George.” As she is pulled deeper into Earl’s bizarre, menacing world, the horrors of Emma’s past creep closer, and she realizes she can’t run forever.
I gifted this one to a friend a while back and she enjoyed it, and then I also saw Kayla from BooksandLala say this was good too, so it seemed like a good risk to take on a book with a 3.3 on Goodreads.
A Certain Hunger by Chelsea G. Summers
Horror • Fiction • Contemporary
Synopsis: Food critic Dorothy Daniels loves what she does. Discerning, meticulous, and very, very smart, Dorothy’s clear mastery of the culinary arts make it likely that she could, on any given night, whip up a more inspired dish than any one of the chefs she writes about.
Dorothy loves sex as much as she loves food, and while she has struggled to find a long-term partner that can keep up with her, she makes the best of her single life, frequently traveling from Manhattan to Italy for a taste of both. But there is something within Dorothy that’s different from everyone else, and having suppressed it long enough, she starts to embrace what makes Dorothy uniquely, terrifyingly herself.
Recounting her life from a seemingly idyllic farm-to-table childhood, the heights of her career, to the moment she plunges an ice pick into a man’s neck on Fire Island, Dorothy Daniels show us what happens when a woman finally embraces her superiority.
Another @alinaa.anna inspired pick! I mean the cover is enough for this book to be on my TBR but this is apparently a female American Psycho type read and I loooove that.
Build Your House Around My Body by Violet Kupersmith
Historical Fiction • Fiction • Horror
Synopsis: In 1986, the teenage daughter of a wealthy family gets lost in an abandoned rubber plantation while fleeing her angry father and is forever changed by the experience.
In 2009, pressed into a dangerous scheme by a former lover, a woman captures a rare two-headed cobra.
And in 2011, a young, unhappy American living in Saigon with her sort-of boyfriend disappears without a trace.
Over the course of the novel, the fates of these three women will lock together in an exhilarating series of nested narratives. Along the way, we meet a young boy sent to a boarding school in the mountains for the métis children of French expatriates just before Vietnam declares its independence from colonial rule in 1945; two Frenchmen trying to start a business with the Vietnam War on the horizon; and the employees of the Saigon Spirit Eradication Co., called to investigate strange occurrences in a farmhouse on the edge of a forest. Each new character and timeline brings us one step closer to understanding what binds the three women together.
Another STUNNING cover! I actually had this one on pre-order but had forgotten to add it to my Goodreads. It was worth mentioning on this post though cause look at is!
So there we have it, those are my July Goodreads TBR additions! Let me know if you’ve read any of these or have any on your radar, or even better, if you now have them on your radar!! Also if you have any translated fiction or haunted house books to recommend, I’m allll ears!