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Fear: Trump in the White House, which was just as scary as you’d assume.

Now, I’m finishing out 2018 with Shirley Jackson’s The Haunting of Hill House.

Shirley Jackson's "The Haunting of Hill House."

From terrifying fact to terrifying fiction,



out of my system, and am now a hundred pages into this nightmarish tale.

Oh, fuck.

We’re all doomed,


Dracula a bit ago, then started Gerina Dunwich’s The Pagan Book of Halloween.

"The Pagan Book of Halloween" by Gerina Dunwich.

It’s taken me awhile to read this one. Specifically, about 18 years.

Thanks for the Christmas gift from nearly two decades ago, Beth!

Next up, Bob Woodward’s take on Trump!

Halloween is officially over,


I've come to suck your... oh, it's too easy.

the Creature, on to the vampire.

Not sure what’s next,


It's a monster of a book! Get it?!? Get it?!?

Thurber, and am now on to a book I was supposed to read in high school… but somehow managed to avoid altogether: Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein.

Sorry, Mr. Leibold,


"A Dreadful Fairy Book" by Jon Etter.

James Thurber to read a galley of our good friend Jon Etter’s upcoming middle-grade book A Dreadful Fairy Book.

More on Jon’s amazing book in the very near future, but for now… it’s time to finally wrap up The Thurber Carnival.

Two horror classics coming up next,


"Pass The Sugar" by Joe Hachem.

…from James Thurber to read Pass The Sugar, the autobiography of 2005 World Series of Poker champion Joe Hachem.

Trying to up my game,


a couple of Mamet stage plays, I’m on to James Thurber.

We lived in the same hood.

Biting… and still just as relevant,


a couple more David Mamet plays, now that I’m done with Rakoff.

More Mamet.

They’re quickies,


I'm trying not to.

…which starts with this great excerpt from Oscar Wilde’s The Happy Prince:


Also, in his first essay in the book, titled Love It Or Leave It, Rakoff veers off on a tangent about Barbara Bush. In the wake of Bush’s death last month, I thought it important to share his thoughts with you:

While we’re on the subject of the horrors of war, and humanity’s most poisonous and least charitable attributes, let me not forget to mention Barbara Bush (that would be former First Lady and presidential mother as opposed to W’s liquor-swilling, Girl Gone Wild, human ashtray of a daughter. I’m sorry, that’s not fair. I’ve no idea if she smokes). When the administration censored images of the flag-draped coffins of the young men and women being killed in Iraq – purportedly to respect “the privacy of the families” and not to minimize and cover up the true nature and consequences of the war – the family matriarch expressed her support for what was ultimately her son’s decision by saying on Good Morning America on March 18, 2003, “Why should we hear about body bags and deaths? I mean it’s not relevant. So why should I waste my beautiful mind on something like that?”

Mrs. Bush is not getting any younger. When she eventually ceases to walk among us we will undoubtedly see photographs of her flag-draped coffin. Whatever obituaries that run will admiringly mention those wizened, dynastic loins of hers and praise her staunch refusal to color her hair or glamorize her image. But will they remember this particular statement of hers, this “Let them eat cake” for the twenty-first century? Unlikely, since it received far too little play and definitely insufficient outrage when she said it. So let us promise herewith to never forget her callous disregard for other parents’ children while her own son was sending them to make the ultimate sacrifice, while asking of the rest of us little more than to promise to go shopping. Commit the quote to memory and say it whenever her name comes up. Remind others how she lacked even the bare minimum of human integrity, the most basic requirement of decency that says if you support a war, you should be willing, if not to join those nineteen-year-olds yourself, then at least, at the very least, to acknowledge that said war was actually going on. Stupid fucking cow.”

Rakoff didn’t live to see Barbara Bush shuffle off this mortal coil (he died from cancer in 2012 at the age of 47), but I’m doing my best to enjoy it on his behalf.

Stupid fucking cow indeed,


Old Poop!