NOS4A2 by Joe Hill

Joe Hill is the son of Stephen and Tabitha King. With these published authors as parents, he should be a good writer and he is and getting better, book by book. NOS4A2 is his fourth book and his best one so far. It is the story of a vampire, Charles Talent Manx, told with a twist and a bit of humor. I won’t divulge the plot except to say that is not the typical vampire story. Victoria McQueen, Vic, is the heroine who matches herself against Manx to save her son and others from a living death. I saw these lines in the book and wanted to bring them to you.

“”The difference between childhood and adulthood, Vic had come to believe, was the difference between imagination and resignation. You traded one for the other and lost your way.”


Gruß vom Krampus!

Gruß vom Krampus! (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Krampus, the Yule Lord by Brom. Brom’s full name is Gerald Brom, but he is known by his last name professionally. Brom began as a fantasy illustrator and then began writing and illustrating his own work. Think of Stephen King writing the Dark Tower series and creating the illustrations also.

I have just finished reading Brom’s fourth book, Krampus, the Yule Lord. It tells the story of the war between Krampus and Santa Claus. Krampus was worshipped before Santa Claus appropriated many of the Yule Lord’s seasonal symbols. Caught between the two elder beings is a West Virginia community run by a criminal clan and its allies and a crooked police chief. God intervenes on the side of Santa Claus, but Krampus has the last laugh.

Brom’s first two books, The Plucker and The Devil’s Rose, are slender volumes with many illustrations and less text. His third book is a dark and adult version of Peter Pan entitled The Child Thief. If you have not yet discovered Brom, you are in for a treat. I recommend his books highly.

Signed books

Cover of "The Audacity of Hope: Thoughts ...

Cover via Amazon

I read a great deal and where my budget allows, I purchase signed (autographed) books on eBay as a great way to expand my circle of authors. By searching eBay for signed books, I find authors that I would find in no other way, even by extensive browsing in book stores or libraries. Many of the books in the search results are priced outside my budget, but there are some that fit my budget and are of interest. I use Amazon as a research tool to help decide on purchases. My most profitable purchase to date was The Audacity of Hope by Barack Obama which has appreciated between 2000 and 2500% in 4.5 years. I don’t buy books as an investment, just for the pleasure of reading a book held for a moment by the author him/herself. Can’t do that with a Kindle.

Stephen King is a favorite author and someday I may find one of his signed books at a price that I can afford. His son writes under the name Joe Hill, and he signs each book with his name and a small doodle and is affordably priced. Stephen King wrote a small gem of a book, The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon, about baseball and the terror of a child lost in the woods. I recommend it highly. I saw a signed copy on eBay that I really wanted to purchase although it was priced somewhat more than I could afford. What made the item so attractive was that it included a baseball signed by both Tom Gordon and Stephen King. Tom Gordon pitched for the Boston Red Sox from 1996 to 1999. His career included Houston, the NY Yankees and both Chicago teams.

On writing


Writing (Photo credit: jjpacres)

Sometimes the hardest part of writing is starting. I find that it helps just to write a sentence or two to get started. Once begun, I often find that the words just flow and there is no need to pause. In my younger days before the internet, research took much time. Now with the World Wide Web, it is possible to do research at the same time that I am writing. Stephen King wrote a slender volume, for him, entitled On Writing, A Memoir of the Craft which is one of best books on writing that I have ever read. I recommend it.

The Shining

The Overlook Hotel (Timberline Lodge).

Image via Wikipedia

The Shining was the first Stephen King book that I read, and I read it after I saw the movie version. I was so taken by the movie that I attended a celebrity golf tournament in Montecito, California, so that I could ask Scatman Crothers, who played the cook in the movie, where the movie was filmed. He answered London, England, for the interiors, but I wanted to know about the exterior shots. I didn’t have a chance to repeat my question, but I found the answer today in Phases of Gravity by Dan Simmons. The exteriors were filmed at Timberline Lodge in Mount Hood National Forest near Portland, Oregon.

Please see 11/22/63 | Quality books | Dan Simmons | Trigger