Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookishin June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.
Every Tuesday, a new topic is assigned from the schedule below. Then, you take that topic and fly free with it. You can do as little or as much as you want to (I have done as low as two before). If you want, you can link back To That Artsy Reader Girl and show her what you posted.
September 19: Books on My Fall 2023 To-Read List
September 26: Secondary/Minor Characters Who Deserve Their Own Book
October 3: Reading Goals I Still Want to Accomplish Before the End of the Year (We’ve just begun the last quarter of the year! What bookish goals would you still like to accomplish? If you participated in TTT’s Bookish Goals for 2023 topic this past January, update us on which goals you’ve achieved, which you’ve given up on, and which ones you’re still working on!)
October 10: Bookish Jobs I Would Do For Free (Real or Imaginary) (Submitted by Susan @ Bloggin’ bout Books)
October 17: Books with Weather Events in the Title/on the Cover (I’m picturing a list of titles with weather-related words in them like storm, rain, blizzard, flood, lightning, hail, snow, wind, etc. OR covers with lightning/storms in the picture.)
October 24: Atmospheric Books (The Novelry explains this concept as: “A novel feels atmospheric when the setting and the narrative are deeply involved with one another; when characters and plot are physically embedded in their surroundings, and a near-tangible mood lifts from the pages and wraps itself around the reader.” Study.com explains that, “The atmosphere is how a writer constructs their piece to convey feelings, emotions, and mood to the reader. The atmosphere in literature might be tense, fast-paced, mysterious, spooky, whimsical, or joyful and can be found in poetry, stories, novels, and series.”)
October 31: Halloween Freebie
November 7: Book Titles That Would Make Great Newspaper Headlines (Submitted by Cathy @ What Cathy Read Next)
November 14: Mainstream Popular Authors that I Still Have Not Read (Submitted by Rissa)
November 21: Reasons Why I’m Thankful for Books (In honor of Thanksgiving in the USA.)
November 28: Books Set In X (Pick a setting and share books that are all set there. This could be a specific continent or country, a state, in outer space, underwater, on a ship or boat, at the beach, etc.)
December 5: Freebie
December 12: Books On My Winter 2022-2023 To-Read List
December 19: Books.I Hop Santa Brings/Bookish Wishes
December 26: The Ten Most Recent Additions to My Bookshelf (Maybe share your holiday book haul?)
January 2: Favorite Books of 2023
January 9: Most Anticipated Books Releasing in the First Half of 2024 January 16: Bookish Goals for 2024
January 23: Books I Meant to Read in 2023 but Didn’t Get To
January 30: New-to-Me Authors I Discovered in 2023
So here are mine.
All my books are taken from my NetGalley Goodreads shelf.
2023 Sami Parker Reads Title Challenge 2023 (a book that has the name of a month in the title): Every Day in December by Kitty Wilson
Cover Scavenger Hunt 2023 (a tree): My Dead World by Jacqueline Druga
The StoryGraph’s Onboarding Read Challenge 2023 (Read a book published in the last three years that fits your reader profile): How to Train Your Viscount by Courtney McCaskill
The StoryGraph Reads with World 2023 (Norway): Paradise Rot by Jenny Hval
The StoryGraph’s Genre Challenge 2023 (a popular science book): Factfulness by Hans Rosling
Beat the Backlist 2023 (giving an author a second chance): Spirit of Denial by Kate Danley
Scavenger Hunt TBR Book Challenge (What object did you first see on the cover of the last book. Find another book with the same object on the cover): The Bronzed Beasts by Roshani Chokshi
Books I bought*:
*Normally, there won’t be a lot of books on here. But, I am going through my Goodreads shelves and downloading any free books I am coming across from books already shelved. This is an ongoing project, and I should be done by September.
T. Kingfisher meets Cassandra Khaw in a chilling horror novel that illustrates the fine line between humanity and monstrosity.
Blackwood mansion looms, surrounded by nightmare pines, atop the hill over the small town of New Haven. Ben Bookman, bestselling novelist and heir to the Blackwood estate, spent a weekend at the ancestral home to finish writing his latest horror novel, The Scarecrow. Now, on the eve of the book’s release, the terrible story within begins to unfold in real life.
Detective Mills arrives at the scene of a gruesome murder: a family butchered and bundled inside cocoons stitched from corn husks, and hung from the rafters of a barn, eerily mirroring the opening of Bookman’s latest novel. When another family is killed in a similar manner, Mills, along with his daughter, rookie detective Samantha Blue, is determined to find the link to the book—and the killer—before the story reaches its chilling climax.
As the series of “Scarecrow crimes” continues to mirror the book, Ben quickly becomes the prime suspect. He can’t remember much from the night he finished writing the novel, but he knows he wrote it in The Atrium, his grandfather’s forbidden room full of numbered books. Thousands of books. Books without words.
As Ben digs deep into Blackwood’s history he learns he may have triggered a release of something trapped long ago—and it won’t stop with the horrors buried within the pages of his book.
Detective Winchester Mills smelled the Petersons’ barn before he saw it.
The Nightmare Man by J.H. Markert
Horror is one of my favorite genres to read. I love getting scared just from reading a book. Of course, that does backfire on me when I read these books alone and before bed. But that is something I have learned to deal with over the years. So, when I got the invite to review The Nightmare Man, I jumped on it. I am glad that I did because this book was creepy and scary at the same time.
The Nightmare Man had an exciting plotline. Ben Bookman (don’t you love his name!!) is signing books at his local Barnes and Noble when a local farmer approaches him, accuses him of stealing his nightmare, and commits suicide. Meanwhile, Detective Winchester Mills and his estranged daughter, Detective Samantha Blue, are investigating a series of murders identical to the last book Ben has written. This investigation sets into motion a series of events that cause Ben to question his sanity. It also strains an already rocky relationship between Detective Mills and his daughter to the breaking point. But, it also reveals a common source. All murderers had been treated at the Asylum that Ben’s grandfather founded. And there are ties to the disappearance of Ben’s younger brother, Devon, years earlier. How is everything tied together? Why has to crime rate gone up so much in recent years? And why can’t Ben remember the night his grandfather took him into the room with the tree? How does that tie into Devon’s disappearance? And what about the books? What is so special about them? Everything is answered in the jaw-dropping ending.
The Nightmare Man is a fast-paced book in the creepy town of Crooked Tree. I missed where this book should be set (if it was even mentioned). But, if I had to guess, I would assume it was one of the mid-western states.
I loved the characters in this book. Every single one of them, except for Ben’s daughter, was damaged in some way. Also, the main characters (Ben and Detective Mills) are unreliable narrators, with Ben being more unpredictable than the Detective. That added to the general air of confusion going on in the book. I LOVED it!!
Ben—I initially didn’t like him and believed he could have done the murders. His marriage was on the rocks, with him thinking that his wife (who was pregnant) was cheating on him, and to add a cherry on top, he was the prime suspect in the murders of a family in Crooked Tree. Years earlier, he was also a suspect in his brother’s disappearance, but Detective Mills couldn’t make anything stick. When he finished his last book, he was on a coke and booze binge and couldn’t remember what happened at Blackstone that weekend. By the end of the book, my view of him did 180. Things were revealed that made me do a double take.
Detective Mills—Again, this was another character that I initially didn’t like. He was gruff, a functioning alcoholic, and had a history of abuse toward his daughter. But, he was also pitiful. The love of his life died before him, his relationship with his daughter deteriorated after he hurt one of his grandsons, and he kept having nightmares. He was one hundred percent gunning for Ben for the murders in the barn, but he was also savvy enough to know that something wasn’t right. There was a neat twist in his plotline that didn’t make sense at first. But, at the end of the book, it did, and in a way, he did redeem himself.
The Nightmare Man fits perfectly into the horror genre. The author did a great job thinking up new spins on old fears turned nightmares. I will never look again at scarecrows or the Tooth Fairy the same way. His spin on those (and others) was enough to cause me not to sleep at night. I will never get the visual image of a woman pulling teeth out of a young kid’s mouth and laughing out of my head.
There were two significant storylines in The Nightmare Man. The one with Ben, his demons, his family, and what happened that weekend at Blackstone. The other one was the investigation of the murders, DetectiveMills’s relationship with Blue, and the past cases in which he made arrests. Everything is tied together at the end. And after they are tied together, the author throws in a couple of twists that made me question everything I had read.
There are trigger warnings in The Nightmare Man. They are mental illness (and how it was portrayed in thebook), drugs, alcohol, torture of children, torture of imprisoned people (in the Asylum), cutting, and implied grooming of a child.
The end of The Nightmare Man was utter chaos. There was so much revealed that it was almost too much to unpack. I had to reread the ending three times to understand what had happened. There were a couple of twists that took me by surprise. There was also a death that I wasn’t expecting. I liked the epilogue, and from the final lines of that, I got the vibe that there may be a sequel. You can’t end a book the way the author did, and there not be a sequel!!
I would recommend The Nightmare Man to anyone over 21. There is explicit violence, explicit language, and moderate sexual situations. See also my trigger warnings.
If you enjoyed reading The Nightmare Man, you will enjoy reading this books:
What are you currently reading? What did you recently finish reading? What do you think you’ll read next?
I hope everyone had a great (and safe) New Year’s Eve!! I didn’t do much. BK made food, and we watched Hoda and Jenna’s New Year’s Eve special on NBC. We didn’t even stay up until midnight; we ended up in bed at 10 pm….lol.
The kids had a good break. I decided to finish the school year by picking up Miss R from school (therewere a couple of incidents with the police in December). But next year, she’s taking the bus home. I need to get to the school at 2:30 to get in line. I think it’s ridiculous that I have to do this, but at the same time, I don’t feel like getting a ticket.
I don’t know if I have mentioned this yet, but I feed a couple of stray cats on my back deck. The black cat (around a year old) was dumped in the storage area behind my house. The grey cat (around six yearsold) was left when his owners were evicted from the house across from me two years ago. Well, I got to pat the grey cat yesterday, twice, and he rubbed on my leg!! This is big because he’s semi-feral and very skittish. So yay me.
I finished going through my want-to-read books earlier this week. I have added a ton of books to both my Kindle Unlimited shelf, and my downloaded to Kindle shelf. While doing that, I found some books I had downloaded from Prime Reading or bought while free and never shelved. I might have an addiction here. Haha.
I didn’t do a ton of reviews doing the break. I plan on catching up this week (or try to, at least). I have two reviews that need to be written by tomorrow and one by Friday. I have one review that I was able to move up a week, one that I am waiting for the publisher to send me an ebook (never got apublicationdate for that one), one where I couldn’t find the book anywhere (was supposed to get a paperback copy andnever got it), and one that I forgot to write (yup, I forgot). But I am not sweating it. The two that need to be done tomorrow are both halfway written. The other reviews, I will get to when I can.
The longest book I read this week:The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue. This book had been on my must-read list since I first saw it blogged about. Then I read it, and I was “meh” about it. So “meh” that it took me three days to read.
The shortest book I read this week:The Family Game by Catherine Steadman. Once I started reading it, I couldn’t put it down. I devoured this book!!
How was your week? Read anything good? Did you do anything exciting?
As always, let me know if you have read or are planning to read any of these books!!
What I Recently Finished Reading:
I usually don’t comment about books under the prompts, but this book DESTROYED me. I was in tears for 90% of the book. I told Miss B that this is a book that middle and high schoolers should read. It is a book about the after-effects of a school shooting and showcases one of the victims’ families and the shooter’s family, mainly the younger sister. It is not an easy read but definitely worth it.
December has flown by for me (I don’t know about you guys). I was stretched thin between my kids’ Christmas events, last-minute shopping, and the actual holiday. I hope January is less hectic and I can breathe again.