Author Interview: Megan Goldin #blogtour

OMG hiiiiiii! Fancy meeting you here on my blog tour for Megan Goldin’s newest release, The Night Swim. If you’re just stumbling across this Q&A post, be sure to go back to read my mega-blog tour post with an excerpt from the novel. There’s also a review on the book coming soon! Definitely… probably… maybe… like, definitely eventually… What can I say? It’s been a busy week.

If you’re here because I told you to be here, thank you. I like people who follow instructions. My instructions, specifically. You’ll be glad you did because there’s a puppy picture coming up. No one can resist a puppers!

The blog tour for The Night Swim is running until August 18th, so treat these next two-ish weeks like a bar crawl. Visit some other book bloggers’ posts, reviews and opinions. But always remember, I’m the most important.

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Blog Tour: The Night Swim by Megan Goldin

Get in losers, we’re going Blog Touring!!

This is my stop on the blog tour for Megan Goldin’s new novel, The Night Swim. This blog tour stop has everything and it’s coming at you fast and furious like a Vin Diesel and The Rock feud!

I’m giving you a book review (coming soon), an author Q&A, and an excerpt from the novel – the first two chapters! Plus there are screaming babies in Ru Paul wigs, two otters holding hands, puppets in disguise – it’s that thing like when Alf wore a trench coat so he could go out in public; a Russian guy who runs on a treadmill wearing a Trump hat, CVS receipts and Bill Nye the Science Guy teaching you about climate change!

…Okay, most of those things are not real and are not included in this blog post. Sorry to get your Ru Paul baby wig hopes up. But the stuff about the book is definitely real, and that’s just as exciting.

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LGBTQIA+ Mystery/Thriller Authors We Should Be Reading

While I was putting together a 🏳️‍🌈Pride 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 provided Wilde was gay and he was subsequently arrested and jailed for two years (hard labour) for “gross indecency” with men?

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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.

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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 fucking good start.

I think we’ve all become aware over the last few weeks that 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 next week’s 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 buy it, borrow it or download 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, that intrigues our booknerd hearts, that we didn’t realize was out there and that we can seek out with purpose.

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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.

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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. But it can only get worse from here! Bright sides.. Plus, I have to admit, 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 embararssing, like Americans have the world’s most incompetent 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.

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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.

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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…

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All The Books I Hated in 2019!

It’s me! The Book Bitch™ 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 gooooooooooo!

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Booknerd Wednesday: My 2020 Bookish New Years Resolutions

Andddddddddd….I’m back! New decade, new blog post, new goals!

Tell me booknerds, how were your holidays?? Mine was busy and went by way too fast. I don’t feel like I relaxed at all, or was gifted anything to make me feel better about the amount of money I spent. I did, however, get drunk on Christmas Day for the first time in a decade. I stopped drinking-to-excess in college because I just do not like the feeling of being drunk and out of control, but somehow Christmas went off the rails for me. I think it was all of 2019 collapsing in on me.

You know how it goes: you’re making dinner so you pour a glass of wine. Cooking and wine go so well together that you’re not paying attention to how much alcohol you’re actually consuming. You’re getting wine-drunk so slowly that by the time you realize you officially passed the line of what’s acceptable in front of family two glasses ago, it’s too late. So you eat a bunch of crackers and cheese in a vain attempt to break down your blood-alcohol level, but you’ve had a bottle-and-a-half just to yourself! It’s over! You’re drunk! And now your mother-in-law starts saying things like, “I’m still on my first glass!” in this passively judgmental way, and your youngest stepkid is saying: “You’re fun when you’re drunk,” to the entire dinner table and you’re trying not slur when you respond, “I’m not drunk, I’m just a little buzzed. Issssaa not a big deal,”

You’re definitely drunk, and later, you try to vomit very quietly so no one hears how bad it actually was.

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Thrillers for a Creepy Christmas (Or whatever you celebrate!)

Oh, shit, I’m so tired, you guys. This is going to be a chill post with lots of book recs, but just let me fucking complain for a hot minute.

I feel completely wiped out and I’m not sure why. I have no motivation when it comes to books lately. I think it’s because I’m so far behind in my reading. The more I look at the pile, the less I want to read, and the less I read the less I want to. It’s a vicious cycle.

The last quarter of the year has been a total wash for me in a lot of ways. I don’t know where the time went, or what I did or how I got to two weeks before Christmas and I’m not even done shopping yet.

I know a lot of people look at me like I’m crazy when I say that, in a “I haven’t even started yet!” kind of way, but I’m usually done shopping, with everything wrapped, by the first weekend of the month. I make it a point to push myself to get ‘er done because I’d much rather be home in the evenings watching movies, reading and enjoying the general holiday vibe, then stressing out with a sore back in a packed mall.

But honestly, I’m so off my game right now. I’m not sure I’ll even hit my reading goal (which I’ve already lowered once.)

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In a bit of good news, I recently started fostering a rescue dog! We’ve named him Jovi because he’s got 80’s hair band kind of fur. Check out my Instagram page (@thefuckingtwist) to see pictures of him in my highlights and stories.

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