New Books & Novel Discoveries (November 2019)

Where the heck did November go? I live in Canada, so other than Remembrance Day on the 11th there is nothing going on this month, and I guess that’s why it just blew by like a dead leaf in a storm. This month was very nearly the outlier since I started writing these monthly posts: I almost went the entire month without getting any new books. Almost.

Without further ado, on to the books that very nearly weren’t.

New Books


My first new book of the month, The Wagers by Sean Michaels, I acquired three days ago at a book mixer. It’s a monthly event held at a pub by my local library that I go to when I can. At the end of each night they usually hold a raffle and I was fortunate enough to win. As far as I can tell, it’s a book about magical realism and gambling. Hadn’t heard of the author before now, but I welcome the opportunity to check out something new.

Rey’s Survival Guide by Jason Fry I bought an hour after the above event because I’m a giant, idiot dork. I only feel mildly self-conscious about it, really, plus I found it at a dollar store so it was rather inexpensive. Though a middle grade book, it’s written like a journal put together by the character herself, which is what cinched the purchase for me. It’ll be nice to get simple glimpse into this period of the character’s life, though I expect it to be more canon-adjacent, all things considered.

Novel Discoveries

Dead Astronauts by Jeff Vandermeer is a book I honestly have no idea about. I’ve only read a short novella of his so far, though I do have all of the books in the Southern Reach trilogy. I’m just curious about his work and Goodreads sent me an email saying his new book was having a giveaway, so I just went for it.

I don’t remember where I heard about A Cosmology of Monsters by Shaun Hamill. What I do know is it seems to involve a storied family history, Lovecraftian horror, and the construction of an elaborate haunted house attraction that is more than just artifice. Colour me intrigued.

Jenny Finn by Mike Mignola is a graphic novel I at first thought was new, only to learn that it’s at least over a decade old. I’m a big Mignola fan, so I’m not sure how I hadn’t heard of it before now. Another Lovecraftian story (there’s a few of those this month) about a young girl arriving in Victorian England bringing horrors along with her. It’s Mignola, so I’ll likely pick it up, but maybe digitally since I’ve heard some mixed things.

The Moon by Whale Light by Diane Ackerman was a book recommended to me by another attendee at the book mixer I went to. We were talking about scientific nonfiction and she brought up this author as one who quite effectively blends science with poetic writing. I’m not sure how far it leans into the poetry aspect, but I’ve been wanting to read more poetry and a scientific angle appeals to me.

Three Stories About Ghosts, by far the most written-on-the-tin title I’ve ever seen, is a collection I saw the other day in my local book shop. I like ghost stories, so I added it to my Goodreads to-read list. I know nothing about the stories within or the authors. I just want to read more ghost stories.

The Dream-Quest of Unknown Kadath is a graphic novel by I.N.J. Culbard that adapts the H. P. Lovecraft novella of the same name. I just finished reading the Dream Cycle and this story was a major high point for that collection of stories. I gifted this graphic novel to a friend of mine years ago, knowing of his interest in the story, and now that I’ve read it myself I’d love to see it realized more visually. Technically an old “discovery,” but a fairly nonexistent interest has been invigorated, so I’ll count it.

Closing Thoughts

I’m quite intrigued by how much my interest in the graphic novel of The Dream-Quest of Unknown Kadath has increased since reading the actual story. Normally I’d expect a graphic novel adaptation to be less preferable to the original work, yet knowing where the story goes I’m excited to see it visualized. For what that story is it almost seems more appropriate to me. Does anybody else feel that way about a certain book? That it would be much better with a visual element? Let me know, I would love to hear about it.

Thank you for reading!


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