Catch-up reading: News June 2020

I should probably be tooting my own horn here, seeing as how a comic essay of mine was recently published at Maudlin House, a small press that specializes in new form and experimental lit. Of course, my story–a piece of flash fiction tilted at some probably-fictional editor–isn’t exactly this blog’s typical subject, so I doubt you’d be interested in it, Tonstant Weader. Instead, I’ll be the bigger man.

Ben Umayam’s flash work “Hairy Monster,” also available to read at Maudlin House, is delightful. It’s either a thriller that’s slyly an immigrant story or an immigrant story that’s slyly a piece of pulp thriller. Either way, it’ll only take you two minutes to read, but its dark punchline will stick with you for the rest of the day–although it make you pause before getting back into a barber shop or salon, no matter how messy your quarantine hair has gotten.

Now that all that reading is out of the way, who’s up for some novels? As this blog alluded to in the past, we’ve been sitting on a big pile of junky thrillers from the library, from murder mysteries to stories of possibly supernatural high jinks. In the months of quarantine downtime, we’ve even read a couple of them, and we’ll be reviewing them this June.

Interestingly, each novel is set in an enclosed space–including an exclusive high-rise apartment, a cabin in the woods and a remote mansion–which seems relevant considering how this year started off. But before you ask, they’re all from 2019. I guess some people just know where things are headed.

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