Episode 11 of “Cooking The Books” Podcast Now Available!

The latest episode of my podcast "Cooking the Books" just dropped! We're taking on one of horror literature's greatest and most classic novels of all time, discussing the nature of hauntings and the concept of home, and sharing this delectable and unusual recipe for chicken with plums, so give it a listen at: http://www.anchor.fm/cookingthebooks/episodes/The-Haunting-of-Hill-House-and-the-Spooky-Joys-of-Chicken-with-Plums-and-Radishes-em1dbo https://anchor.fm/cookingthebooks/episodes/The-Haunting-of-Hill-House-and-the-Spooky-Joy-of-Chicken-with-Plums-and-Radishes-em1dbo

Strange Highways: The Black Pumpkin by Dean Koontz

October is such a great month, isn't it? The brutal heat of summer is over and the crispness of autumn is upon us, we're getting ready for the holiday season, and it all kicks off with the creepy fun of Halloween. Being a former Goth chick, I still have a fondness in my heart for … Continue reading Strange Highways: The Black Pumpkin by Dean Koontz

The Wonder Worker by Susan Howatch

This is one of those books I would want with me if trapped on a desert island. The Wonder Worker has many levels, and is one of those wonderful stories that you return to again and again, always finding something new in the words. On the surface level, it's a story about four everyday people … Continue reading The Wonder Worker by Susan Howatch

The Debt to Pleasure by John Lanchester

One of the most verbose and least credible narrators I've come across in recent literature, the hero of The Debt to Pleasure, one Tarquin Winot, is a total and complete food snob. He opens the book with the line "This is not a conventional cookbook,” and no, it most certainly is not. Just as Tarquin … Continue reading The Debt to Pleasure by John Lanchester

Ninth House by Leigh Bardugo

So this was a totally bizarre, engrossing and freaky ride of a book. I haven't read anything in quite awhile that literally hooked me from the first sentence and didn't let go. I actually checked it out at the library and got three overdue notices because I wanted to read it slowly and savor it, … Continue reading Ninth House by Leigh Bardugo

The Investigative Paranormal Society Cookbook by Charles French

French has a wonderful blog - here's the link - that I follow and enjoy so very much, in addition to his first book Maledicus: The Investigative Paranormal Society, which I blogged about last year. The book is the story of three older gentlemen who form a paranormal group and go ghost-hunting, only to find … Continue reading The Investigative Paranormal Society Cookbook by Charles French

The Talented Mr. Ripley by Patricia Highsmith

You can almost feel the Italian heat baking down, and smell the bougainvillea flowers, as you read this evocative novel, The Talented Mr. Ripley. Tom Ripley is a young man from New York, struggling to make something of himself. He's approached by Mr. Greenleaf who mistakes him for a close college friend of his son, Dickie, … Continue reading The Talented Mr. Ripley by Patricia Highsmith

The Homecoming by Andrew Pyper

I love being scared, although I prefer my frights to come from supernatural elements like ghosts, vampires, demons, witches, and the like. Scares that come from real-life terrors like serial killers, home invasions, break-ins, freak me out so badly that I can't read about them or watch them. It's just too close to home, pardon … Continue reading The Homecoming by Andrew Pyper

The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson

Probably one of the creepiest books I've ever read, and that's saying something, because I love ghost stories. The Haunting of Hill House is effective because it doesn't actually show any ghosts, there are no murderers chasing anyone, no demons possessing souls, no vampires sucking blood, no monsters under the bed. There is just the … Continue reading The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson

The Milagro Beanfield War by John Nichols

At last, we are in New Mexico! My home state is written about beautifully in this classic, The Milagro Beanfield War. Set in the mythical village of Milagro (there is actually a Milagro, NM, but the real town is nothing like the book's version), it's the story of Joe Mondragón and his fight for water … Continue reading The Milagro Beanfield War by John Nichols