It’s the most wonderful time of the year, and the one year anniversary for The Nocturnal Reader’s Box! This is also their first month without a theme and I’ve been waiting on tenterhooks to see what’s going to be included! Also, look at that box! It’s huge, it’s enormous, it’s . . . really, really big! This month’s box is definitely bigger than in past months, and it’s chock-full of goodies for wicked boys and girls!
First and foremost is always the books, so without further ado . . .
Three books in this box! First up is The Valancourt Book of Horror Stories Volume Two, a collection of short scary stories (which genre I’m really beginning to appreciate). From the Goodreads description:
Valancourt Books has earned a reputation as one of the foremost publishers of lost and rediscovered classics, reissuing more than 400 unjustly neglected works from the late 18th century all the way to the early 21st. In this second volume of rare horror stories, the editors of Valancourt Books have selected fourteen tales – all by Valancourt authors – for this new collection spanning two centuries of horror. This volume features a previously unpublished ghost story by Nevil Shute, a brand-new tale by award-winning author Stephen Gregory, and twelve other tales that have never or seldom been reprinted.
In this volume, you will encounter tales of ghosts, haunted houses, witchcraft, possession, demonic pacts, and ancient, nameless horrors. Stories of the weird and macabre, of a man tormented by an age-old evil, a corpse returned from the dead, a brutal killer with a shocking secret, a contraption with the power to trap its victims eternally inside a nightmare. With stories ranging from frightening to horrific to weird to darkly humorous, by a lineup of authors that includes both masters of horror fiction and award-winning literary greats, this is a horror anthology like no other.
Features stories by: Mary Elizabeth Braddon • John Buchan • R. Chetwynd-Hayes • Isabel Colegate • Basil Copper • Thomas De Quincey • Stephen Gregory • Michael McDowell • John Metcalfe • Beverley Nichols • Nevil Shute • Bernard Taylor • Russell Thorndike • Robert Westall
Next up is Valancourt’s reprint of Michael McDowell’s Cold Moon Over Babylon. I’ve just started getting into McDowell’s writing (thanks to Paperbacks From Hell by Grady Hendrix) and I couldn’t be more thrilled to find one of his books in this box! From the Goodreads description:
Terror grows in Babylon, a typical sleepy Southern town with its throbbing sun and fog-shrouded swamps.
Margaret Larkin has been robbed of her innocence — and her life. Her killer is rich and powerful, beyond the grasp of earthly law.
Now, in the murky depths of the local river, a shifting, almost human shape slowly takes form. Night after night it will pursue the murderer. It will watch him from the trees. And in the chill waters of the river, it will claim him in the ultimate embrace.
The cold moon rises, the awful squishing sounds begin…
And finally, What the Hell did I Just Read by David Wong, the third book in his John Dies at the End series. My copy was signed (YAY!). From the Goodreads description:
NYT bestselling author Wong takes readers to a whole new level with his latest dark comic sci-fi thriller, set in the world of John Dies at the End and This Book is Full of Spiders
John Dies at the End’s “smart take on fear manages to tap into readers’ existential dread on one page, then have them laughing the next” (Publishers Weekly) and This Book is Full of Spiders was “unlike any other book of the genre” (Washington Post). Now, Wong is back with the third installment of this black-humored thriller series.
Dave, John and Amy recount what seems like a fairly straightforward tale of a shape-shifting creature from another dimension that is stealing children and brainwashing their parents, but it eventually becomes clear that someone is lying, and that someone is the narrators.
The novel you’re reading is a cover-up, and the “true” story reveals itself in the cracks of their hilariously convoluted, and sometimes contradictory, narrative.
Equal parts terrifying and darkly comedic in his writing, David Wong “will be remembered as one of today’s great satirists” (Nerdist).
Now that I own all three, I feel a binge read coming on.
As always, the extra goodies in the box were utterly fantastic!
Also included were an I [heart] Horror bookmark, a Nocturnal Readers sticker, an Edgar Allan Poe pin, and a patch with everyone’s favorite creepy ghost girl from Ringu
There was a lovely bit of artwork (now on my wall)
A candle in “Carnival Calliope” scent (raspberry, sugar, and vanilla) inspired by Something Wicked This Way Comes
An Ibis and Jacquel’s Funeral Parlor pint glass from American Gods
And a tote bag for The Long Walk (there was the option for a tee-shirt but I went with the tote).
In all, it’s quite a fantastic haul, and the things they’ve been teasing for November sound just as wonderful. I’d say that their first month without a theme did not disappoint!
If you haven’t already, go to The Nocturnal Reader’s Box website, and see if you can reserve a slot for the next box!