It's that time again folks. For anyone who's read this site for a while you may remember my yearly binge at the local library book sale every October. For the past 4 or 5 years this sale has served as an excuse to hunt for some horror literature along with whatever other oddities I can dig up along the way. Really, I can't imagine Halloween without this sale. It's as much a part of the season for me as carving pumpkins and nightly horror flicks. This year easily ranks as the best haul I've ever had, with over 20 items obtained from two separate visits. Given my average reading speed, I'd say I'm covered through Valentines day at the very least. Let's check out the swag shall we?
First up is the horror selection. Last year was somewhat rough on this front but there were no issues this time around. In fact; there was actually enough choices available that I had to leave some things behind. When you can feel confident in shrugging off a killer doll novel, you know it's a good day. So What do I have here?
The very first title I picked up was harvest Home by Thomas Tryon. My sister actually pointed this one out and it took me a moment to recall that Tryon was responsible for old Monstervision favorite “The Other.” Couldn't be more excited to go through another of his folksy horror tales, but another book takes precedence above all others.
Crooked Tree: Honestly; I was already feeling pretty confident in my stack of spooky stories but this baby shot straight up to priority #1 based on two simple factors. One is critical praise by Frank DeFellita, the awesome writer and sometimes director of tales like Audrey Rose, Dark Night of the Scarecrow, and the Entity. About the only praise from an author that could garner this much excitement from me is if I saw a quote from Graham Masterton proclaiming a book to be gory.
The second shining element of this book is there inner cover which reveals the main threat of the story. See that bear in the tree, well check this out!
It's a werebear! A sexy lady werebear at that! God almighty this thing is failure proof! I mean how could a book about a bear woman not be at least marginally entertaining? If this sucker pans out expect an entry about Werebears any day now.
Other than those two highlights, I've got some thrillers and my first attempt at plowing through John Saul, plus some kind of horror comedy (a genre I've never taken on in book form.) Like previous sales I'm sure most of these won't get touched for months (cough) if ever. That's the joy of these sales though. You can just go crazy and try out whatever you feel like getting.
The sci-fi/fantasy area is always a tad trim at these sales yet I managed a few cool pick-ups. The Galactic Arena looks like classic style trash, alien gladiators and all. On Stranger Tides is a fantasy pirate adventure I've been wanting to read for a few years now. Yes it was bought by Disney as the basis for some of the stuff from the Pirates movies, mainly the Blackbeard looking for the fountain of youth bit. Hopefully this will be more consistent. The winner in this category is easily Starrigger; the beginning of a trilogy about space trucking. I always know a title is worth picking up when everyone who reads the description instinctively shakes their head in disbelief.
Nabbed a couple of semi-normal books as well, fist being Pillars of the Earth. Under normal circumstance I would never spend a penny on a book about a bloody church yet a friend of mine breezed through it last year and gave it some major props. At the very least that endorsement has earned it three chapters before deciding if I'm gonna bail for some comic books. Berlin Bed Rooms on the other hand is very much the opposite of classy best-sellers. What we have here is some Cold War red scare pulp about German sex nymphs luring witless dudes to the other side of the wall. Behold the promises of filth on the back cover.
One of these is going to serve as my post Halloween refresher and I'm sure if I'll lean towards historical epic or trash....probably trash.
The biggest spot of fun during the whole sale was searching through tables of old VHS flicks. I started a very tiny collection of tapes last fall and this was the perfect opportunity to build on it. During the first few days, each tape was a measly ten cents but Saturday brought the grab bag deal. Oh boy howdy was that a lifesaver. That picture isn't even everything I bought as a few other items were gifted out to people. It's gonna be tremendous fun to have a VHS night introducing my nephew the pee inducing nightmare that is Fire in the Sky. Not to mention Karloff's Mummy and The Fog which may be in better condition than my vastly overused DVD.
Above everything else is Shattered Silence. I picked this tape off the table on a whim and instantly recognized it under it's alternate title “When Michael Calls.” Years, ago I spent Halloween night with my sister and her friends at one of their homes and this was one of the main flicks for the night. They only vaguely remember that night but I still have some recollection of this movie and I'm just stoked to watch it again. The find only gets better as this is one of those hard to find cult flicks waiting to be rescued by something like Scream Factory.
After the sale we hit up a few thrift stores and wouldn't you know it, I turn my head for a few minutes and my sister works out a deal with another shopper for two garbage bags filled with paperbacks! I ended up with a few titles from this massive haul though I'm a tad gun shy as they stink a good bit of basement and funk. There's The Deep, a 30 Days of Night spin-off, and some book about alien parasites during folks into crazed zombies. Think of a serious version of the Night of the Creeps/Slither situation. Most of the reviews on Amazon are terrible so god only knows what I'm in for with this.
Alright. It's time to finally wrap this up. I've been slowly writing it up for days now and the collection of novelty foods and decorations to cover is starting to pile up, not to mention little adventures to art shows and haunted attractions (one of which I plan to visit this weekend.) We're in the heart of spook season people, get out there and have some fun.