Zakk’s Recommendations For a Rainy Day
While you can’t judge a book by its cover you can totally define (go ahead, judge) a reader by their Top “X” lists, whatever “X” may be. Top 10, seasonal or situational, best-of or best-ever. No matter the subtitle these lists form a profile of you, the constant reader. What does your “X” list say about you? If you met your maker today How will your reading list define you?
Me? Well, I guess I’m about as complex a reader as anyone else, even though my tagline has always been “...from a simple reader.” Spoiler alert, readers are not simple, they’ve never been and they’ll never be. Different as the day is long but never simple.
I prefer dark prose, like uncomfortably dark, with dreamlike words that flow like poetry. I want to squirm when I read, not out of disgust but by being faced with the real-world horrors that shouldn’t have to be faced. No, I won’t really define that because it’s different for everyone, my nightmares may not be your nightmares. And if that darkness can be deceptively hidden and allowed to sneak up on me, all the better.
I want words that move me, upset my view of the world, tilt my axis, or just make me/ allow me to see things in a different manner. Open my eyes, for better or for worse. Make me cry, make my breath hitch. I’m not afraid to cry, but know that you really need to connect with me, get me invested enough to connect at that level. Make me proud that I survived the narrative intact and thankful to be alive. Also, make me laugh, not that bullshit low-brow bro-dude humor. Throw me some satirical, witty humor, make me laugh at something I shouldn’t be laughing at.
My name is Zakk and here are the 7 books I most commonly recommend. Not necessarily my favorite books mind you, but the titles I’ll throw around and suggest most often. And know that I don’t take recommendations lightly. Honestly, I’m usually hesitant to abound that business.
If I were to meet my maker today, this would be the list of books that define the reader I have become and allow everyone a glimpse at who I am.
In no particular order...
•Damned if You Do by Gordon Houghton (now know as The Apprentice). This was given to me when my world was shaken and it helped me through a difficult time.
•Eidolon Avenue by Jonathan Winn. One of my favorite writers on the scene right now.
•Pretty Little Dead Girls by Mercedes M Yardley. Quirky and hella fun!
•Dark Harvest by Norman Partridge. Cool as shit, like “roll up a pack of smokes in the arm of your white t-shirt” level cool.
•Coyote Songs by Gabino Iglesias. Remember when I mentioned the part about wanting my axis shifted?
•Bone White by Ronald Malfi. The epitome of unnerving.
•The Road by Cormac McCarthy. I cried. Multiple times.
And there you have it, my most commonly recommended reads, I hope you check some of these out if you haven’t already. Let me know.
Zakk Madness is a big dumb animal!
Zakk Madness is a 40 something horror nerd and yo-yo enthusiast. Not a critic, but a fan of horror fiction. Former reviewer for The Mouths of Madness Poscastshow, he currently reviews as The Eyes of Madness. When this chaotic life is keeping him from reading he is spending what free time he has with his wife and their three sons.