My Top Reads of 2021!

As promised from my previous cranky bitch post, here are my tippy-tappy tippy tip top-rated books from last year. To be clear, these are books that I actually really liked and, in some cases, loved. It’s unlike me, but it does happen.

And actually, let me just say, that it happened ten times in 2021. That’s right, there are ten fucking books on this list. 10! Maybe that’s not a lot to you, but for me and my reading history…

Growth Growing GIF by Insecure on HBO

But then, only one of them earned my elusive 5-star rating, so…

Im Not Crazy Tonight Show GIF by The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon

Who knows, this time next year, maybe I’ll be writing my top reads post and I’ll have fifteen or even twenty books on it. Can you imagine? Me, liking that many books? Or giving more than one book 5-stars?

Roselyn Sanchez Hello GIF by FOX TV

This is my year of transformation after all – my health and my mind and my overall energy on this fucking shit planet. I’m laser focussed on evolving. It’s also my year to read what I already own and I’d like to believe I didn’t spend the disgusting amount of money I have to fill my bookshelves on shitty reads.

So, could a convergence of those two things mean that I have my very own grinch moment where my heart grows three times its normal size and I start giving out good reviews like I’m Oprah giving out cars? Or my cat giving out poop on the carpet? Unlikely. But then, I would have guessed Trump and COVID were unlikely, too. And yet, here we are.

This simulation/multiverse timeline is fucked up.

Despite that, here are the ten books I read last year that made this *gestures broadly at everything* a little more worth it.

Continue reading “My Top Reads of 2021!”

All the Books I Hated in 2021!

And I’m back! Happy New Year!

50 Best 2022 Memes | Daily Funny Memes | Best Damn Photos

2021 has come & gone in the blink of an eye and a pile of books (that keeps getting bigger, please send help.) And let me tell you, some of the books I picked from that pile in 2021 were fucking shit. So, as is my tradition at Here’s The Fucking Twist, the first post of the new year is dedicated to all the books I read last year that were disappointing, rage-inducing or just straight-up garbage.

Before I write a new post for this particular series, I always go back and read the one I wrote the previous year to see what I had to say – what was my mindset going into the new year?

Apparently, I had a lot more optimism at the start of 2021 than I ended with. It was a hard year, a stagnant year, another year of a global pandemic that really revealed to me how stupid people are and how much we all hate each other. So that’s fun and not at all depressing. It’s one of the reasons I’m going into 2022 with trepidation. I’ll keep some optimism, because I have to, but like… from a distance. I’m giving 2022 a wide berth. This year can stay over there and I’ll be over here, in my house. Again. Still. Forever. No one fucking talk to me unless you are definitively not an asshole.

Andy Samberg Beer GIF by The Lonely Island

While 2022 will certainly bring its fair share of shit books because I’m like a goddamn magnet for them, let’s get back to saying goodbye to all the terrible ones I read in 2021. Books that did nothing to distract me from the plague-ridden hellscape we call Earth. I was my hands (for 30 seconds!!) of them!

I did, however, manage to read 75 books in total which is an improvement from what my trauma-response brain was capable of in 2020. Like, I traded Twitter doom-scrolling and mainlining American 24-hour news for Goosebump books and shitty ARCs.

That’s got to count for something. Do we consider it a step up? We’re going to.

So, cheers to all the truly shitty books out of 75! *Barry Manilow voice* Looks like we made ittttt!

I read them so you don’t have to, friends!

Continue reading “All the Books I Hated in 2021!”

“Yes, It’s a Christmas Movie!” Your Essential Holiday Horror Watchlist #Slashmas

If you’re like me, horror movies are a year-round staple, there for you in any situation.

Sad? Silence of the Lambs. In need of a comfort movie? The Conjuring. Feeling that itch once again for Vincent D’Onofrio to visually traumatize you? The Cell. Feeling nostalgic? Texas Chainsaw Massacre. Celebrating your Anniversary? The Exorcist. Just want to have a good time? Scream. Looking to reaffirm your decision to not have children? The Omen.

But there are two seasons that demand an inordinate amount of horror movies. Halloween, obviously. And Christmas/whatever you celebrate this time of year (personally, for me, it’s Yule.)

I feel like Christmas horror tends to get forgotten in the tidal waves that are traditional Christmas movies and all that Hallmark shit. Hey, if you love that Hallmark shit, no judgement. I’m just saying I would much rather watch someone get dismembered by a psychotic Santa than another single career-woman learn the true meaning of Christmas from some square-jawed local after she returns to her hometown.

And they lived happily ever after… no, I want chaos!

christmas horror GIF by Trent Shy Claymations

For me, there is no better way to get into my seasonal feels than a dark winter night with a decorated tree, cozy pyjamas and a sorority house being terrorized on Christmas Eve by the calls coming from inside the house.

So, if you’re looking for a little blood & guts with your merry & bright, I’ve got all the recs you ho-ho-hoes are going to need this holiday season.

I’ve listed everything in alphabetical order to keep it simple, but look for the ๐Ÿ”ช to know whiches ones I highly recommend.

Continue reading ““Yes, It’s a Christmas Movie!” Your Essential Holiday Horror Watchlist #Slashmas”

All The Books I Hated In 2020!

It’s that time of year again!

For my first post of 2020, I’m going to stick with the tradition I’ve fallen into at Here’s the Fucking Twist over the last three years, and use my inaugural post of the new year to complain about all the books I read last year that were disappointing, rage-inducing or just straight-up garbage.

Speaking of inaugural though, let’s take a moment to collectively unclench our assholes because TRUMP IS OFFICIALLY FUCKING GONE TODAY.

drag race no GIF by Robert E Blackmon

I’m having a moment of existential crisis, because what am I going to do without that spray-tanned dumpster fire to entertain/scare/enrage me every day while I binge watch American news?! I’m hoping whatever mental energy I devoted to (read: had stolen by) Cheeto Mussolini and these last horrific four years, will now be freed up to focus on reading and running this blog. But hey, maybe it’s a smoother transition to just become fully obsessed with not dying in a global pandemic? We’ll see. So many choices for my life!

Honestly, 2020 was a hard reading year for me. I’m sure some of you can relate. So many outside forces were stressing me THE FUCK OUT and I couldn’t concentrate on anything that required significant brain power. March to September basically saw me unable to get out of my pajamas, watching reality TV and doom-scrolling on Twitter. But, after today, I have a good feeling about 2021!

Though the pandemic is seemingly worse then ever, and I am stuck in an endless time-loop of being in my house doing the same thing every fucking day, I do think we’re heading towards better times.

So, while I head into 2021 with optimism and hope, let’s take a look back on all the books I read last year that did nothing to distract me from the hellscape of real life and only added to the negativity.

I read this shit so you don’t have to, friends! Let’s gooooooooo!!

Continue reading “All The Books I Hated In 2020!”

LGBTQIA+ Mystery/Thriller Authors We Should Be Reading

While I was putting together a ๐Ÿณ๏ธโ€๐ŸŒˆPride book stack for a #bookstagram post in June, I realized that I didn’t really have (or know if I had) any queer authors on my shelves. I was disappointed that I couldn’t include queer authors while trying to acknowledge queer people, and was privately called out in my DMs for this as well after the post went up. Trust me, I hear you and I am listening! I weighed the pros and cons of that post extensively before deciding to go ahead with a caption focused on queer issues.

There have always been queer authors since the beginning of literature, but chances are that part of their life was not revealed until much later when societal norms shifted, or it was never revealed at all.

For instance, Oscar Wilde, Virginia Wolfe, James Baldwin, Truman Capote and Walt Whitman are all counted among the LGBTQ+ community. (Whitman is debated by historians as he was notoriously cagey about his personal life, but Wilde is quoted as confirming Whitman was gay and said, “I have the kiss of Walt Whitman still on my lips.”)

Speaking of Wilde, did you know that after a botched libel trial initiated by Wilde himself, evidence was present in court that proved Wilde was gay and he was subsequently arrested and jailed for two years (hard labour) for “gross indecency” with men?

Modern Family Cameron Tucker GIF

Wilde was released from prison in 1897 and published The Ballad of Reading Gaol, a long poem commemorating the harsh rhythms of prison life, one year later. He died in 1900 at the age of 46 due to meningitis.

Today, there is a myriad of authors who are publicly “out” and there are others who just don’t feel a need to comment on such things. And honestly I understand it either way. On one hand it’s important to showcase representation for marginalized and oppressed groups, and on the other hand it’s not like straight authors ever have to make a statement about their straightness.

But, in honour of that sassy bitch Wilde, and all others who came before and after him, I present to you my round-up of LGBTQ+ mystery/thriller authors who are indeed out and proud. This is by no means a comprehensive list, but simply a place to start in order to help us diversify our bookshelves with dark and twisty stories that haven’t been written by the typically published cis, straight author.

gay pride GIF
Continue reading “LGBTQIA+ Mystery/Thriller Authors We Should Be Reading”

Black Mystery/Thriller Authors We Should Be Reading!

Alright, Nerds, this is going to be your one stop shop for all the books that will help you better diversify the mystery/thriller section of your bookshelves! I’m not going to lie, I fucking need this too! By no means is this comprehensive, but it’s a start.

I think we’ve all become aware that in the world of books, black authors get lower advances, lower marketing and less readership because of it. And I’ve seen the push in the book community to really make a change.

When I was putting together a book stack for Pride Month I realized I have a very white, very straight physical bookshelf. (I’ll get to queer authors in a different post.)

The truth is, I was never the kind of reader who gave a second-thought to who was writing the book. If the cover caught my eye and the synopsis sounded like it was up my alley, I’d TBR it, buy it or borrow it.

While I don’t necessarily think there’s anything wrong with being that kind of reader, it’s also important to realize how book publishing works and why – nine times out of ten – you’re likely to pick up books by white authors.

The only way to create a more equitable bookshelf in this moment in time is to actively seek out author diversity.

And let’s be honest, if you’re mostly into mystery, thriller and horror genres, book store shelves are not exactly overflowing with anything except white people… and James Patterson (*shakes fist at my arch nemesis*)

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I put together this list in the hopes that you and I will both find something that speaks to us, and intrigues our book nerd hearts, that we didn’t realize was out there and can now we can seek out with purpose.

Continue reading “Black Mystery/Thriller Authors We Should Be Reading!”

My Totally Inappropriate Quarantine Reading List!

These are crazy times we’re living in, booknerds! Forget 2019, 2018 and 2017. If you thought those years were bad, 2020 busted in like “hold my beer!” I swear to Thor, when Donald Trump was elected, we crossed over into some fucked up multi-verse timeline and it has been tripping me out for nearly four years. I’m so tired.

Just in the first three months of 2020, World War 3 was nearly upon us, half of Australia burnt to the ground, Kobe Bryant died and now we’re in the middle of a pandemic, the likes of which I can’t remember ever happening before in my lifetime. And I am old enough to remember the SARS outbreak, but honestly, that sticks out in my memory mostly because of Peter Sarsgaard’s SARS Guards.

Image result for sarsgaard sars guard

As of yesterday morning, Ontario is officially in a state of emergency. I still have to work, because you know mortgage payments and shit. But I’ve spent most of today running around updating systems to allow people to work from home. Shout-out to my company for being super flexible during this time!

Not to tempt the universe, but seriously, what the fuck is next? An Avengers-like alien invasion? Part of me thinks just let it happen because this episode of Black Mirror fucking sucks. Let’s just end it. Start over. Maybe next time we won’t screw everything up so badly.

That said, does Coronavirus have you sufficiently terrified? Are you self-isolating, quarantining or social-distancing? Have you used so much hand sanitizer that you can now see all the bones in your hands since your skin peeled away? (Seriously, I am running out of moisturizer.) Are you hoarding toilet paper like a fucking idiot? I certainly hope you’re not sick or otherwise closely affected by this illness, like my dear, sweet, beautiful Idris Elba.

WHY GOD WHY! WHY HIM!? TAKE ME INSTEAD!

*clears throat* I digress…

Quarantine-Coronavirus-Jokes

I have to admit, I wasn’t social distancing as much as I should have been. I was still going to the gym regularly until its doors closed indefinitely on Monday. I mean I get it, but what? Now I have to work out at home, like by myself?? Without equipment??? It’s almost as if this virus just does not care that I’m trying to maintain a healthy lifestyle and that I prefer convenience.

Oh wait, that’s exactly what it does not care about.

I’m not sick. I don’t know anyone who is and the confirmed cases are in the single digits for my area, so I guess we’re doing something half-way right (I’m going to look back at this point in weeks, months or years and laugh at my naรฏvetรฉ, I just know it.) It can only get worse from here! Bright side, it’s a great time to be an introvert.

The kid is officially out of school for three weeks. He was supposed to travel across the border to southern New York for March Break, but that trip was cancelled on Monday. If I don’t have COVID-19 now, I sure as shit would if the people in my house were to step one foot into the U.S. Get your shit together down there already. It’s embarrassing, like Americans have the world’s most incompetent trumpy president… oh, hey! They do!

As of Monday, my family switched gears from paying attention, but not really caring, to full-on isolation mode. That means we bought extra groceries that should keep us from leaving the house for two weeks, if not three. We are set with streaming services, games and books. Though I am kind of bummed that I didn’t check out more books from the library before if closed. Overall, this isolation business is in no way an issue for me because I’m severely introverted. As long as I have Netflix and cheese, I’m good.

Seriously, you should see how much extra cheese I bought last night.

Continue reading “My Totally Inappropriate Quarantine Reading List!”

Women in Horror Month: Goddesses of the Dark & Twisty You Need To Read!

Okay, booknerds, you’ve probably heard already, and if not, I’m here to let you know that February is Women in Horror Month!

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What’s that you ask? Stupid question. I don’t know why you even asked it. I mean, it’s pretty self-explanatory…

WiHM is an international, grassroots initiative aimed at showcasing and bringing awareness to the underrepresented work of women in horror industries. Movies, novels, TV… you name it! Women are getting creepy shit done when it comes to artistic expression in horror. Don’t you want to celebrate that and make it more visible in a largely male dominated genre? Of course you fucking do!

There are even events you can attend, which you can check out here.

Listen, I love horror. I’m a woman. And the truth is that I definitely don’t base my entertainment choices on the gender-identity of the creator. Does that make me a bad feminist? Depends on who you ask. Should I be trying harder? Goddamn right I should be.

Continue reading “Women in Horror Month: Goddesses of the Dark & Twisty You Need To Read!”

My Top Reads of 2019!

As we saw in my post yesterday, 2019 was kind of a giant turd for me in terms of my reading choices. Going through my list, I only rated three books as five-star reads out of the 50 books I read, and one of those was a short-story, so…

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I just wasn’t feeling it last year, but 2020 is already looking up *knock on wood*…except for that fucking book I just read that was published by James Patterson’s imprint, goddamnit! I didn’t realize it had Patterson’s fingers in it (on it?) until it was too late. I’ll be more careful in the future, but as far as I’m concerned, the book was Patterson adjacent and doesn’t break my New Years resolution! Get away from me with that negativity!

Anyway, my review for that – Campfire by Shawn Sarles – will be posted soon…

meh steven universe GIF by Cartoon Network EMEA
Continue reading “My Top Reads of 2019!”

All The Books I Hated in 2019!

It’s me! The Book Bitchโ„ข returning for my annual wrap-up of all the books I read last year that were disappointing, rage-inducing and just straight-up trash.

While I’m welcoming 2020 with open arms and optimism, and a new commitment to DNF-ing books that just aren’t working for me, lest we forget all the 2019 hot garbage that brought out the very worst in me, both mentally and in my reviews.

2019 had everything! Church shootings, mosque bombings, Notre Dame burned to the fucking ground. There were plane crashes, Boris Johnson, Nigerian state sponsored massacres, MORE SCHOOL SHOOTINGS, Nipsey Hustle was murdered and Jussie Smollet made a mockery of hate crimes. There were avalanches, floods, tornadoes and wildfires out the fucking ass. There were more Trump-inspired hate crimes then ever before and Trump officially lost his fucking mind in more ways than I can count. There were impeachments and covers ups and Russian bullshit. Don Cherry outed himself as a racist, Grumpy Cat died AND EPSTEIN DIDN’T KILL HIMSELF.

Then there were the books we read to escape all of that horrendous real-world stuff. Unfortunately for me, I read more crap books than I did good novels which just brought me down even further into the cesspool we call Humanity. I could not escape the negativity.

But in a very selfless, beautiful way, I did it so you didn’t have to. That’s the kind of human being I really am. Yeah, let’s go with that angle spin…

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As is tradition at Here’s The Fucking Twist, my first post of the new year is a look at all the books I hated in 2019! Let’s gooooooooooo!

Continue reading “All The Books I Hated in 2019!”