Here are some short admittedly incomplete reviews of books i've read in the last few years. I'm only including books I liked. I keep the books I didn't enjoy to myself, because I'm sure they are better than I am capable of understanding. If you don't like the books I recommend, I apologize in advance.





Another Bullshit Night In Suck CIty by Nick Flynn

On top of having the coolest title of any book in recent memory, this is an intense read, about an aspiring writer, who pays the bills working at a homeless shelter. His dad, a con man, who left the family when the author was young, ends up in the homeless shelter as a resident. They made a bad movie out of it. The book rocks though.





Red Moon by Benjamin Percy

Werewolves and the end of the world. Moves fast. There's even a love story in here. Who knew werewolves were so romantic? I guess the lesson is never underestimate a lycanthrope.





Tortilla Curtain by TC Boyle

Story about the very rich and the very poor and how they intersect in a town outside Los Angeles. I've read a couple books by Boyle that I really loved, this one the most. Great writing, great characters. Heartbreaking, but kind of sort of hopeful. Plus he is an interesting looking dude.





Already Dead by Charlie Huston

The first in a cool series of books about a vampire detective in New York City. Yeah, you heard me right. A vampire detective whose name is Joe Pitt. Funny, fast and violent...and bloody...and a little melancholy, like all good hard boiled stuff. A+.





Something Happened by Joseph Heller

A book by the genius comic writer of Catch 22 about a man with a job and a family who goes numb inside. Dark material about the suburbs. I grew up in the suburbs. I feel like i know this man.





Blister by Jeff Strand

Kind of an updated Beauty and the Beast in reverse. Except Blister is more violent and a lot more fun. An an author that deserves a bigger readership. Loved his book Dweller too. Monsters and loneliness. What? Is this guy reading my diary or something?





Doctor Sleep by Stephen King

The sequel to the shining. Full disclosure: Stephen King can do no wrong in my eyes. First rate King with great bad guys and unlikely heroes. Danny (the young boy in The Shining) went down the same path as his dad. See what happens.





The Devil by Ken Bruen

I like private eye books, none more than Bruen's Jack Taylor series. Jack's a violent almost always broke alcoholic living in Galway. He's a horrible mess of a man, but a good detective. This time he's been hired to find the killer of a local student who's body was found mutilated. Soon more bodies turn up. Jack continues to booze and piss people off as he searches for the killer. And in his drunken crazy mind Jack begins to think the devil himself is behind all this. Typical Bruen - creepy, violent, darkly funny, and very Irish.





Lit by Mary Karr

Memoir of the writer/poet Mary Karr. This focuses mainly on her college years and after, her drinking, marriage, the birth of her son, her descent into madness, her divorce and her recovery from it all. Really compelling and a fast read. This book is hopeful in the best way, hard-earned and real.





Ghosts by Ed McBain

It doesn't matter which one of the fifty odd 87th precinct novels you read. They are all good. They are totally different from most crime novels in that the cops are normal men and woman, not drunks, not private eyes, not some sort of genius. They figure it out through regular detective work. Love the banter between cops. A lot of fun. They get better as you go along. Jim Wilbur the guitarist for Superchunk said in a music magazine twenty years ago that he loved these novels. Well I love Superchunk. So I tried one. Now I love Ed McBain's 87th precinct novels. Ghosts is one of my favs.





Breakfast of Champions by Kurt Vonnegut

Vonnegut writes sad funny novels that make fun of the way we live. He was a comic. He just put all his jokes in books. The opening "monologue" to this book, is classic Vonnegut, doomsday truth. Plus he drew a bunch of odd pictures that are in here too. If my opnion isn't enough the great comic Gary Gulman loves him too, as does John Irving and about eight billion other people. Enjoy.





In One Person by John Irving

I have less than ten heroes but John Irving is surely one of them. He's written at least three of my all time favorite books. This is not one of them. But I liked it. It's about a bisexual kid who falls in love with a transgender woman.Irving often writes about sexual misfits and family and loneliness. And this has all that. Plus it has all of irving's wisdom and humor. Solid.





Pet Sematary by Stephen King

I just reread this for the fifth time, maybe more. Stephen King has brought me more joy than almost anyone. Larry David is a close second. This book is fast and scary and gruesome. And it is pure fucking entertainment, like a really great milk shake or a Ramones Song. It's about a young family that moves into a new home just off the highway. They have a boy and a girl and a cat and there is a pet sematary close by. So, to put it succinctly, things don't work out.







    © Nick Griffin 2015