Happy Halloween! Jarad, Julie, and Morty all have some great horror recommendations to share with you today! Also, one of our more recent contributors, Mekayla Trout, decided to recommend a novel as well!
Cabin in the Woods
What is it? Five College friends rent a cabin in the woods that quickly turns into a horror story. Little do they know they’re just pawns in a cosmic game. Someone needs them to die.
Why watch it? It’s meta horror that brings in everything from Slasher movies to a little bit of Scooby Doo. The stakes are high, the horror is real, but so is the very dark comedy. It’s a little bit closer to Uncle Morty’s understanding of Metaphysics than he’s comfortable with…but it’s a great way to enjoy an evening in your pjs during Halloween week.
A Day in the Life of Marlon Bundo
Written by Marlon Bundo and Jill Twiss
Essay by Jarad Johnson
We’ve recommended this book before in passing. Even though its white-hot popularity has faded somewhat, we’re here to make a more in depth recommendation. Why? Because it’s becoming increasingly clear that the stories we tell each other and our children are very, very important. Often in our society books and stories, particularly fiction are swept aside as hobbies, something to do when you’re not doing something more important. Math and science are celebrated as “real” contributions to society both for the technology they produce and for their money-making potential. But the reality is that stories about other groups of people can affect our views, politics, and actions in society for generations to come. So, let’s take another look at A Day in the Life of Marlon Bundo.
She Needs That Edge
Written by Paul Brookes
Review by Julie Carpenter
Sacred Chickens has, published Paul Brooke’s poetry and reviewed his chapbooks and before, and he’s one of our favorites. His verse is distilled into singular moments that are paradoxically extraordinarily narrative. This chapbook is no exception. It reaches the apex of this juxtaposition, containing whole life stories in the shape of a hand, or a sticky note on the refrigerator. Every poem is a tiny aperture into a widening depth of experience.
We had kind of pictured the Author spotlight as a place to look over the collected works of an author, to discuss themes, which books to read and why. However, Jarad was impressed enough to recommend this author as someone to watch.
As of now, Gyasi has published one book of historical fiction, which was already reviewed on Sacred Chickens, called Homegoing. It detailed the story of two sisters separated at birth on the Gold Coast, modern day Ghana, and the three hundred years of their descendants. The book addresses slavery and its impact on American society as well as in Ghana, post slavery, the crack epidemic of the 1980s, motherhood, the Anglo-Asante Wars, as well as a host of other issues; however, the book does an excellent job of educating the reader on the realities of slavery, both in Ghana and the Americas, and how it continues to impact our society. It's one of those books that should be considered a classic, and is very much worth your time. As for Gyasi, since her debut novel was so brilliant, once can only imagine how her career will progress.
Here are some of the literary related things that Sacred Chickens thinks you should check out this week!
Erik Larson In the Garden of the Beasts
What is it? A book which chronicles Hitler’s first year in power, 1933, through the eyes of the American ambassador, William E. Dodd and Martha, his twenty-four-year-old daughter. The book takes place as Hitler begins to seize power and illuminates how the horrors slowly ramped up without waking much of the German populace or the rest of the world.
Why Read it? For the history certainly, but Uncle Morty thinks it might give you perspective on current events as well. Like a good horror story? You’ll realize you might be living in one. Think how much money you’ll save on books and movies!
Phoenix Rises Again
There’s no logic in the land of emotions where tears drop
without explanation. I am attached to my past, keep pushing
my present into it; sucking my future into my present time.
When I saw him trying to severe himself from his past, I felt the pain
of his effort in his words and at his face. A sure connect, I lived
that pain and then it happened. Emotions swept my feet
clean from under me as I observed them flow silently, fiercely. They came
and I embarrassed myself in public, after a long time.
But men don’t cry!
I knew they’d come, those tears, just a second before they came
There was a chain of reactions that drew drops out and logged them
on the lenses. They’d leave their outline on drying, so I wiped
the lenses clean while the liquid and the emotions that sent
it there were fresh and alive.
From premonition to the actual wiping live emotions.
What stays behind is the guilt of letting the secret out; the
fear that someone would ask about it.
For men don’t cry.
It’s only thrice, or four times in his adult life that a man cries.
How many times can a phoenix die, and rise from the ashes?
Written by Yaa Gyasi
Review by Jarad Johnson
Expansive in scope and plot formation, Homegoing details the stories of two sisters separated at birth on the Gold Coast, which is modern day Ghana. It follows them and their descendants, and tells the story of slavery, the horrors of a plantation, the abolition of slavery and how new forms of slavery took its place, the crack epidemic of the 80s, all the way up to the present day. The story begins when a mother starts a fire to save herself and her daughter. Throughout the novel, we see examples of just how far the mothers in this story, many of whom were slaves but not all, will go to save their children. We see mothers in impossible situations, where speaking out or rebelling means death, still they try to make sure their children are safe. T Various types of mothers – some abusive, some who killed their child, some who sacrifice their own lives for a child’s freedom, mothers who were trying to survive in abominable conditions – are the foundation of this novel. Gyasi illustrates how a mother’s love, and love in general, can overcome the most powerful hatred, the most ardent bigotry, and the vilest racism. Because, you see, even in the most degrading and dehumanizing situations, in the face of true evil, there was love, even dampened by fear and horror. And where there is love, there is hope.
Yesterday was Wilde's birthday, and as a belated celebration we'd like to post some of our favorite quotes by the author!
1. “Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.”
2. “Always forgive your enemies; nothing annoys them so much.”
3.“To live is the rarest thing in the world. Most people exist, that is all.”
4.“We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars.”
5.“If one cannot enjoy reading a book over and over again, there is no use in reading it at all.”