Summer Reads, Part 1: June's Best Reads

We at Know Fear podcast have been busy bees this summer, but we've also been catching up on some reading. We try to do book recommendations at the end of each month. You may notice that we've missed a couple of months. That's because we recorded special episodes with recommendations for our Patreon supporters. See the link above if that sounds like something you'd like (and who wouldn't really).

Of course, we want ALL of our listeners to get the good stuff too. And that doesn't always cost money. So here is a quick list of what we are reading right now. 

In The Valley of the Sun (2017)

Andy Davidson

We recorded an interview with Davidson in June. You can download that episode for free, but we highly recommend getting his book. Fans of horror and westerns alike will find a lot to love in this novel. Literary horror at its best. 

The Elementals  (1981)

Michael McDowell

Part Southern Gothic, part horror, part...I don't know what. A family reunites on the Alabama Gulf Coast following a funeral. Something ancient awaits them. Secrets from the past emerge. This book is just fun horror. If you haven't read any McDowell, some of his books are getting reprinted. Go check him out. 

 

Dark Matter (2016)

Blake Crouch

According to NPR, this book is a “whole bag of barbecue chips.” It is (or your particular chip of choice). The science-fiction/thriller plotting makes the book hard to put down. The existential implications about our identities, our decisions, and the questions of whether we truly ever can know ourselves make the book deeply unsettling. Science is astounding, but in human hands, it also has a dark side. 

The Underground Railroad (2016)

Colson Whitehead

Whitehead is no stranger to the horror genre. He wrote the zombie novel Zone One. Now he has won the Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award with his latest literary work. During our haunted house series, we talked about how American history has wounds that refuse to be ignored and often remain open in our supernatural literature and at our haunted historical landmarks. In The Underground Railroad, readers face the horrific history of slavery and the courage, hope, humanity, and dangers of the book title’s escape network to the North. Whitehead represents the railroad with an actual subterranean train that crisscrosses America, lending a speculative element to the historical fiction with its haunted characters.