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Library Matters

Library Matters is a podcast by Montgomery County Public Libraries exploring the world of books, libraries, technology, and learning.
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Library Matters is a podcast of Montgomery County Public Libraries (MCPL) in Montgomery County, MD. Each episode we explore the world of books, libraries, technology, and learning. Library Matters is hosted by Julie Dina, Outreach Associate, Lauren Martino, Children's Librarian at our Silver Spring branch, and David Payne, Branch Manager of our Davis branch. 

Oct 25, 2017

Lauren Martino:  Welcome to Library Matters, I am your host Lauren Martino.

 

Julie Dina:  And I am Julie Dina.

 

Lauren Martino:  Turn on the lights, make sure your cell phone has reception, lock the door to the basement and whatever you do, don’t say, "I'll be right back". We have the librarians Heather Wright from Olney Library and Tom Palmer from Silver Spring Library with us today and we are about to explore the world of horror fiction and horror movies, what they are, what they do to us and why we keep coming back for more, Tom and Heather, welcome to the show.

 

Heather Wright:  Thank you.

 

Tom Palmer:  Thank you for having me.

 

Julie Dina:  So let's begin the show, with getting a clear understanding or the definition of a horror book or film.

 

Heather Wright:  It's literature that reminds us that the world is not safe and that we need to have a healthy caution at all times.

 

Tom Palmer:  I like that.

 

Heather Wright:  Such as now.

 

Lauren Martino:  It sounds like — yes, is that from Neil Gaiman?

 

Heather Wright:  Possibly.

 

Lauren Martino:  Yeah it sounds like something he'd say. So we called you in here today, I know Tom — I was sitting next to Tom on the desk and asked him if he would do this with us and he said yes, but said he was going through a horror kick recently and had also taken a class in horror fiction in college.

 

Heather Wright:  Cool.

 

Lauren Martino:  What draws you to — why now, what's fueling this horror kick of yours?

 

Tom Palmer:  So I recently started reading Stephen King and I am huge fantasy nerd and I read his dark tower series which is kind of like a mash up of horror and fantasy.

 

Lauren Martino:  Everything he does is a mash up or horror, like whatever else he is writing about, yes.

 

Tom Palmer:  I would say that is about right, and so then I went on, I am reading "It" right now by Stephen King, I have read the classics, Shelley and Dracula, but I think what I like about it is it explores themes that are sort of universal to people but are maybe taboo in other genres, whether it's something like revenge, repressed memories or just fear in general. It might be part of a book in another genre, but in horror it's really sort of the focus and you can sort of dig deep into those and sort of — it almost makes you feel introspective about things you don’t normally think about, who wants to think about when they are afraid? But it can be fun in the same way people like being scared in movies and what not.

 

Heather Wright:  I agree, I think one of the things I like the most about horror and I don’t read a lot of horror but —

 

Tom Palmer:  I don’t either.

 

Heather Wright:  But I started reading Stephen King when he first came out with Carrie and was hooked ever since but what I like about a good horror novel is not that it scares me, that sort of is the secondary thing but that if it makes me think and ponder about something, that is a little bit deeper, and they often do, like what is the meaning of life or what's out there, that could be out there that we don’t think about and is there something evil and inhuman in nature that sometimes comes out under certain circumstances, that's the kind of thing I like.

 

Lauren Martino:  Or even what is precious that we might be losing if an evil clown gets set loose on the world.

 

Julie Dina:  So with that being said, what would you then say makes a good horror story?

 

Heather Wright:  Well, a couple of things, first of all it needs to have that "What if?" And I will put that in quotation marks, "What if" scenario. What if an evil clown reached out of the sewer and grabbed children, what if a vampire came to your town, what if something that ordinarily wouldn’t happen combined with two other things. I think you need the feeling of suspense as you are reading it, what is going to happen next, it's got to be a real page turner and an element of surprise, there has to be something that makes you think, whoa that just happened, I didn't see that coming, those three things I believe are necessary.

 

Tom Palmer:  And I completely agree, the what if, the fear of the unknown is a huge aspect of horror movies and books but for me first and foremost any book has to be readable, it has to have a good flow, I have to sort of be drawn in and then I've read books before where the what if, the hook was interesting but I just sort of couldn’t get into the story and I think people like Stephen King do a good job of making it readable and sort of universal and relatable and then of course you’ve got to have a little bit of fear and that introspective feeling that you were talking about. But really it's the basic, is like any other genre, just a good book with horror elements added in I think.

 

Julie Dina:  I've always wondered why do people want to be scared though, why?

 

Heather Wright:  Well not everybody does want to be scared but there are interesting theories about those that do want to be scared, why they want to be scared and I will tell you what research says and then I will tell you my theory my — armchair psychologist theory — to see if Tom you agree with me.

 

Julie Dina:  Listen up.

 

Heather Wright:  Okay so way back in our ancestor days, the days of the cavemen they lived in constant fear that they were going to be eaten by a wild animal and so —

 

Lauren Martino:  A justifiable fear.

 

Heather Wright:  Yes. That was a justifiable fear and so ingrained in each human being was this fighter flight aspect of life, it was the surge of adrenaline that they immediately had to decide do I run away and escape this animal who is going to eat me or do I fight this animal and eat this animal? So that went on for a few millennia and then came civilization and things calmed down a little bit and there were fewer wild animals out there that were going to eat us but we still have that fight or flight instinct physically and we still need that rush of adrenaline. So at that point people started telling each other stories around a camp fire, stories with evil spirits that were going to take them off somewhere and that was sort of the beginning of the horror genre to sort of satisfy that the need for adrenaline, and now I am going to add my armchair psychologist aspect of it. In modern times, there is a ton of stuff out there that could scare the hell out of you that really is happening. We have weather phenomena, we have terrorist threats, we have crazy shooters if you start thinking about this you could really go crazy with fear. So we don’t want to think about this, so what our subconscious does is create fear out things that probably are not going to happen, things like clowns reaching up out of the sewer, things like vampires in our bedrooms and if we can be scared of that for a little while and see that we can vanquish that, then our need for adrenaline rushes is satisfied, I rest my case.

 

Tom Palmer:  Well way to leave nothing for me to say —

 

Heather Wright:  Oh I am sorry.

 

Tom Palmer:  But I completely agree with you, I think the sort of primal reason is people like that shock to the system endorphins feel good, not everyone likes that shock but it's that if you are going through life and things are dull, dreary, it can feel good to sort of be jolted and think and reexamine life. But I would agree it can help to sort of experience fear in a way that you know is probably not going to happen. For instance, like I don’t really like realistic horror, I am not a big fan of serial killer stuff because that happens and it's not something I want to think about but I think we are safe from demonic clowns so that is something I don’t mind reading about… hopefully.

 

Lauren Martino:  Yeah hopefully, what's that under the table?

 

Tom Palmer:  Right, but yeah basically I think it boils down to that fighter flight and that feeling alive I think.

 

Julie Dina:  So some would go bungee jumping and some would just go for a horror book.

 

Heather Wright:  Exactly.

 

Tom Palmer:  I think that is exactly right.

 

Lauren Martino:  Have either of you been unable to finish a book because it was too scary, too gruesome, too troubling?

 

Tom Palmer:  This actually happened to me for the first time recently.

 

Lauren Martino:  First time?

 

Tom Palmer:  If you would have asked me three months ago, I would have said no, I don’t know what that says about modern media and the way I grew up but I'm pretty desensitized to like, just to movies, video games, violence but I actually read American Psycho recently by Bret Easton Ellis and there was a part in the book involving a rat, if you have read it before you will know what I am talking about.

 

Heather Wright:  No.

 

Tom Palmer:  It is just awful and it was sort of — it seemed to me like violence for violence sake and I sort of felt like, why am I reading this, I know this isn’t fun and so I think that is the one and only time that a book has been a little too much for me, I never finished it.

 

Heather Wright:  I have one that I did finish but I kind of didn’t want and this was a recent Stephen King book called Revival, this came out a few years ago and it’s about a preacher who stops being a preacher because his family is killed in a horrible accident and he doesn’t believe in God anymore so he decides not to be a preacher but he develops this ability to cure people, did you read Revival?

 

Tom Palmer:  I haven’t, I've heard, but I have read about it though.

 

Heather Wright:  Okay and he uses a form of electricity, he calls it special electricity that somehow can cure people, but after they are cured, they have seizures where they see visions of a strange landscape that can't be explained. So to make a very long story short, he uses this electricity and hooks it up to someone who is dying, with the theory being that as they die, he can get a vision through this electricity of what they are seeing and what they are going through. So it happens and it's horrible and it's just horrible, it's the closest thing to hell that I can imagine, that immediately you are led away by huge monsters that look like ants and you are beaten and tortured for the rest of your existence and I kind of — I didn’t want to finish but I had to finish and I stayed away from Stephen King for a while after that.

 

Julie Dina:  Where would you say he gets his inspiration from?

 

Heather Wright:  Stephen King has said that he was inspired in his writing by a fellow named Richard Matheson who wrote one of the first zombie stories which is called "I Am Legend" which some of you may have heard of and some other modern horror writers have also said Peter Straub I believe and Dean Koontz have also been influenced by this guy who writes a lot of psychological suspense into his horror.

 

Lauren Martino:  What is the point of zombies if they are not suspenseful? Actually, I grew up in Peachtree City which is not far away from Senoia Georgia, which is where The Walking Dead is filmed now, so my whole town is pretty much like overrun with zombies and zombie actors and like it's kind of strange.

 

Heather Wright:  Yeah that would be a great vacation site, do they market that it's there?

 

Lauren Martino:  Oh they do, oh my goodness, like there is like a little downtown with the cute little shops that have zombie soap and zombie candles and I am not making this up.

 

Heather Wright:  Wow, it could have an amusement park, zombie rides.

 

Julie Dina:  That might be next.

 

Lauren Martino:  I am sure it's coming.

 

Heather Wright:  I'd like to go.

 

Lauren Martino:  It's like I never thought this would happen in my hometown. The book that I read that I could not finish — and I don’t know if this quite counts because it is a true story but there is a graphic novel called My Friend Dahmer by Derf Backderf.

 

Tom Palmer:  Okay that doesn’t sound good already.

 

Lauren Martino:  Yes, no it was written by a friend of Jeffery Dahmer's from high school and exploring like why — what may have gone wrong or you know what happened in high school that may have — and you know I was pregnant at the time so I was already queasy all the time and you know there is something about the drawing of it that it's just — the drawing just looks gross, even if it's not portraying anything gross like Ren and Stimpy or you know like —

 

Tom Palmer:  Oh boy.

 

Lauren Martino:  Or you know, Beavis and Butthead, there is something with —

 

Julie Dina:  Beavis and Butthead

 

Lauren Martino:  You know, you just look at the drawing and it just kind of grosses you out and the whole book is like that even when nothing gross is happening and of course gross stuff does happen, so yeah that — so yeah I just was like I am feeling too queasy, I can't do this.

 

Julie Dina: And now, a brief message about MCPL resources and services

 

Lisa Navidi: Are you afraid…afraid of running out of fascinating, gripping, thought provoking, books? Well MCPL has a solution for you. It’s called Librarian’s Choice! Real librarians write articles about the books they enjoy, just so they can share it with you! Want to find out more? Check out Librarian’s Choice from our homepage. Happy reading!

 

Julie Dina: Now back to our program.

 

Lauren Martino:  We talk about why people are into this, why some people just can't stop being scared and I've known kids that inexplicably like it was like all he wants to read is horror books, should I be giving them all these horror books? What do you think about that? I mean because really young kids sometimes, they've got this craving and how much —

 

Heather Wright:  Well I think if a kid has a craving for any kind of book, being a children's librarian, you give them that kind of book.

 

Lauren Martino:  Yes.

 

Heather Wright:  Yeah I mean with some exceptions probably but children have the same feelings that adults have about being afraid, even stronger, I think if a child faces something frightening in a book or a movie that has conquered them, you have to make sure that the good does conquer for children and it often does in a children's book then that makes the child feel a sense of power that good does conquer evil and that I think a child gets a feeling of self-confidence from this so I would not steer a child away if they are interested but I also wouldn’t force a child to read horror.

 

Lauren Martino:  Do you think it makes a difference if it's a movie or a book? Like would you feel the same way about exposing your child to a horror movie versus it in writing?

 

Tom Palmer:  I think a movie is another level these days, some of the horror movies that are made, I mean, now but going back to the 70s are just — no I would not like my child seeing that. I think a book, there is a little more leeway but I tend to — other genres I might let them read a bit of an older book like a science fiction something, drama but horror can have some really disturbing aspects to it and I think it's very much an adult thing. I mean there can be their Coraline horror-ish fiction and —

 

Lauren Martino:  And that is scary enough.

 

Tom Palmer:  And it is scary.

 

Lauren Martino:  Oh my gosh, the audio book, the singing rats, well about the bones —

 

Tom Palmer:  So I think children are interested because anytime you say don’t read this and don’t look at this, of course they are going to say why I want to look at that? But I have vivid memories of seeing movies as a child and thinking I shouldn’t be watching this, I'm going to get scared but you can't help it and you want to see what the big deal is and of course I was frightened later and so maybe I would try to avoid that with my own child, I am sure he will see it, you know but.

 

Heather Wright:  Well part of the problem is that movies don’t necessarily end happy.

 

Tom Palmer:  Oh no, very rarely.

 

Heather Wright:  Definitely not, I will tell you about a movie that my parents took me to, this may have been the first movie that I ever saw in a movie theater, I was five years old and they couldn’t get a babysitter so the first movie I ever saw was, Psycho.

 

Lauren Martino:  Oh my goodness.

 

Heather Wright:  Oh my goodness is right, so I still — I remember this day, I don’t remember much from when I was five but I remember turning around and crying and not facing the screen at the end, not the shower scene, I didn’t care what was going on and a five year old wouldn’t care about that but at the very end when the rocking chair turns around and you see sitting in this rocking chair, this rotting corpse of an old woman, still years afterwards, every window, I would see this face in the window, it was really hard for me to get to sleep and I can still picture it vividly so my parents were good parents except for that day.

 

Julie Dina:  So have you stayed away from windows now?

 

Heather Wright:  That’s hard if you are actually. And plus I have seen Psycho a few more times.

 

Julie Dina:  Oh okay, you’ve conquered.

 

Heather Wright:  I have toughened up.

 

Julie Dina:  Yes, you've conquered your fear.

 

Lauren Martino:  But that didn’t keep you away from showers though I think that would have really taught your parents a lesson.

 

Heather Wright:  That is true, “Well honey Heather is really smelling bad today, it's your fault.”

 

Julie Dina:  It’s funny you brought that up because I was going to ask you, what would you consider the scariest movie, book or film that you have ever seen or story?

 

Heather Wright:  Well I gave this one some thought and I am not going to say Psycho, because — I am going to say it's the book and the movie, both scared me, see if you agree with me, The Exorcist.

 

Julie Dina:  Oh yeah I will never forget that one.

 

Heather Wright:  Wow, well in the movie, the imagery I thought was so realistic at the time, probably now, people would laugh at that but what really scared me about The Exorcist, was then later I did some research being a librarian you know, a future librarian at the time and this kind of thing really happens. The Exorcist was based on a true story in Prince George's County.

 

Tom Palmer:  Yeah absolutely.

 

Lauren Martino:  Where in Prince George's County?

 

Julie Dina:  What?

 

Heather Wright:  I forget but you can look it up and I mean that’s just one example, these things happen all the time, so that is what scares me when I think whoa, this could happen to me anytime, but it hasn’t. How about you Tom?

 

Tom Palmer:  Well I will state up front that I'm a pretty big wimp when it comes to movies, I actually don’t love horror movies and my wife is even a bigger wimp so we are not a big horror movie family. I actually think one of the scariest books I have read is Frankenstein and it's just so different from the movie — the book. So you sort of have in the movie this big stupid monster and then in the book, he is very much intelligent and has emotions and struggles with those and I don’t know if it scared me but I remember feeling sort of, my God I can't imagine knowing who created you and then immediately they say you are disgusting and I hate you and go away and then he grapples with those feelings and it's actually a very heartbreaking book but I was amazed at how scary it was for a book that was written a long time ago and the fact that Mary Shelley was 19 years old or something when she wrote that, it's just unbelievable to me.

 

Lauren Martino:  I bet there's 19 year olds out there that —

 

Tom Palmer:  Yeah but I —

 

Lauren Martino:  Given the right training, yes.

 

Tom Palmer:  Yeah so that’s true.

 

Julie Dina:  So would you then say that the horror genre has developed or changed over time?

 

Heather Wright:  Yeah. Well like I think I said before, horror stems back to when people started telling each other stories around camp fires, there has always been an element of horror. I think horror fiction as we know it now probably started to develop during — when Shelley wrote Frankenstein and this was the 19th century and a lot of classic horror books came out then, Dracula and Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde and the stories of Edgar Allan Poe and this used to scare people which is interesting because things were written very differently then, there weren’t things where people jump out behind things and scare people, it was much more atmospheric and using your imagination. A lot wordier as time has gone on, things have changed I think, modern horror. People say really Stephen King was one of the first who created the kind of horror fiction that we have now where besides just supernatural things, he uses things that scare us in modern society, things like call phones that can — it can cause a plague if anyone has read Cell.

 

Tom Palmer:  Viruses yeah.

 

Lauren Martino:  Yes.

 

Heather Wright:  Okay or just evil lurking in the most unlikely places and now actually in modern horror things have changed even more, just in the last couple of year I think there's — since the teen series Twilight by Stephenie Meyer that came out, it was kind of the only thing like it at the time but there's just been a glut of things for teens and then spreading down to children and for adults on vampires and werewolves and zombies and it's just kind of everywhere you look now.

 

Tom Palmer:  Yeah I would agree with everything you are saying, I think horror film has sort of — I think there's still good horror films but a lot of it is, in my opinion just sort of upping the antique with the violence and with the —

 

Lauren Martino:  You have to have somewhere to go.

 

Tom Palmer:  Yes and just sort of I would say shock tactics and that is one of the reasons I am not a huge fan, there is not a lot of subtlety these days but fiction, Heather said it pretty well, it's just sort of tamed by today's standards but I think authors can be more creative now with what they write. I think back then it was maybe ghosts or someone, a killer or something and now it can be anything, Stephen King uses what he calls the Macro verse, that’s creatures from other universes and I think that would have been maybe unpublishable back in the 20s or something like that. So I think —

 

Lauren Martino:  Those imaginations hadn’t quite stretched that far.

 

Tom Palmer:  Exactly but —

 

Heather Wright:  Isn't the clown from It from that universe?

 

Tom Palmer:  He is; he is not from our universe right.

 

Heather Wright:  Well thank goodness for that.

 

Tom Palmer:  Yeah.

 

Julie Dina:  Do you think some of this is expanding into TV shows too these days?

 

Lauren Martino:  You know I have seen more and more of — you know I sat through Stranger Things and it was —

 

Heather Wright:  Loved it.

 

Lauren Martino:  It was hard, oh my gosh but I couldn’t stop, like I just couldn’t stop and I feel like we are seeing more and more of that too where you get the chance to really develop.

 

Heather Wright:  Yeah I've been trying, I love horror TV, I grew up with The Twilight Zone and absolutely loved it and I have been trying to find something that rivets me the way that — I tried stranger things absolutely, I am a fan of that "Bates Motel", see that is a Psycho thing. The Bates Motel series which is the origins or Norman Bates and how he got be the way he is and his relationship with his mother, it's all very creepy. I've been trying to watch American Horror Story, I don’t know if anyone has watched that, the first two seasons were fantastic, it's gotten very strange with the addition of Lady Gaga which is in itself somewhat horrific.

 

Lauren Martino:  That is strange yeah.

 

Heather Wright:  I know but I keep trying and then I used to watch The X-Files and there's so much of it out there now, I think it goes along with the literature, there is just — there seems to be a glut of it now.

 

Tom Palmer:  Have you tried Penny Dreadful?

 

Heather Wright:  No but I have heard about it, is that good?

 

Tom Palmer:  I can't recommend it enough, it's got sort of a lot of the classic characters from horror, it's got Victor Frankenstein, Dracula but sort of a different take on — it's only three seasons but so good, you should definitely try it.

 

Heather Wright:  Oh I will, I will tonight, how about Black Mirror, it's on Netflix, it's sort of… it's horror from a very modern perspective taking into account the way technology is going and then they take the "What if technology turns in this direction, kind of in a twisted way" how would that affect what our lives are like? It's fantastic.

 

Julie Dina:  Since a lot of these scary movies or books or stories have tricks in them — would you say or could you tell us of a book that you know is actually very scary but isn’t marketed as a horror book?

 

Tom Palmer:  It's hard because the book I have in mind, it's not that of a stretch but it's The Road by Cormac McCarthy and it's sort of in a post apocalyptic book so it's not a huge stretch but it's not marketed necessarily as a horror book but it's very intense in the sense of, should some sort of environmental disaster happen and society broke down, you know some of the things that is in the book, you can see humans doing and it's very disturbing, because it's again that idea of this could happen, humans can behave this way and it's very scary so that would be mine.

 

Heather Wright:  And I am going to say a book called Geek Love, G-E-E-K.

 

Julie Dina:  I've seen that book.

 

Heather Wright:  By Katherine Dunn.

 

Lauren Martino:  Is it — please tell me more, why is this a scary book?

 

Heather Wright:  Okay it's not marketed as horror but it's so horrible, oh my God, it's about a couple who run a carnival and they want their carnival to be more popular, so you are not going to believe — so what they do is the woman takes drugs and chemicals into her system in order when she is pregnant to create fetuses that have abnormalities on purpose so that these will be oddities in their carnival and so they've got Siamese twins, they've got a son who has no arms and legs and he's got flippers instead and their whole family is made up of — well I don’t want to say the word but the book says of geeks. So it is about this carnival that they have and the son who doesn’t have arms or legs and has flippers is also very handsome and women fall in love with him when they see him floating around in his tank and so he starts a cult and in order to be a part of the cult and come to the meetings and get to hang out with him you have to cut off a body part so that you are like him and the more body parts that you cut off, the higher in this cult you get to rise. Now we were down to hardly any copies in the Montgomery County library system, maybe this is a good thing, but I just read an email about new books that they are buying and that is one of them.

 

Tom Palmer:  Oh my.

 

Lauren Martino:  Oh Gosh.

 

Heather Wright:  So other people must like this book, well not like — it isn’t the word, but must read this book other than myself.

 

Lauren Martino:  I can't let go of Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro, like I am totally slaughtering his name. He just won the Nobel Prize right, Kazuo Ishiguro which is basically — and spoiler alert, here is your chance to stuff up your ears because as you go further in the book, like they never say it outright but you keep being like oh my gosh, that's what this book is about but they just keep hinting at it until the very end. But yeah we are living in this world where people are cloned pretty much for the purpose of donating their organs and like right around maybe 30 or so, they complete or something to that effect where it's like you know, congratulations, you are done, and they take everything and that is the end of you and it's just — it's the most horrific thing and I mean the whole book is about trying to find humanity and meaning, leaving like this. So I mean it's much more than just the disturbing part of it but it's just like I'm still to this day haunted by some of the images and what happens in this book, I just can't let it go.

 

Julie Dina:  So there you are at the Information Desk and someone approaches and your heart starts racing and your palms grow sweaty because it is somebody from a book or movie you've read recently, it's the last person you wanted to see, who is it and what do they ask for?

 

Tom Palmer:  That's a tough one; I'll give it some thought, possibly Hannibal Lecter asking for a copy of how to cook everything, maybe a wine guide.

 

Lauren Martino:  A wine guide.

 

Tom Palmer:  That is what I came up with.

 

Heather Wright:  Pennywise the Clown from It he is a really very gross clown who kills little children and the more frightened they are the better they taste and he would come up to the service desk and he would say to me where is the children's room? I don’t know, we don’t have one.

 

Lauren Martino:  So do you have anything you'd recommend for somebody looking for some of these items and interested in learning more, where should they go on our website or among our resources to find out more?

 

Tom Palmer:  In terms of resources we always have the Reader's Café online and What Do I Check Out Next which is a great function on our main webpage so that has plenty of good recommendations for horror books.

 

Lauren Martino:  And you are one of the recommenders for that aren’t you Heather?

 

Heather Wright:  Yeah, yes and I have recommended horror books to people, not a lot.

 

Julie Dina:  But some.

 

Heather Wright:  But some, yes. What Do I Check Out Next is a service provided by Montgomery County librarians where you email in a question, what type of books you are interested in and within three to five days, one of our librarians who do this will email you back with a list of three to five books and a little description of each and why we think that book would be interesting to you.

 

Julie Dina:  And finally it's our tradition here on Library Matters to ask our guests, to see what they have enjoyed reading recently would you guys share with us what books you have actually enjoyed reading recently?

 

Heather Wright:  Well the book I am reading now and almost done, I am going to finish it tonight, is called The Motion of Puppets and this is kind of horror, it's by Keith Donohue, who is actually a local writer, I think he lives in Bethesda. This is about a couple who are recently married and she works for a circus and one day on her way home from the circus to her apartment she goes into a toy store, that she has always admired the toys in the toy store especially the puppets in the window. Let's see where this is going and she goes in at night after hours and for some reason the door is open and the proprietor of the toy shop assaults her and turns her into a puppet. Takes out her organs, stuffs her with stuffing and she becomes one of the puppets that live in the toy store. Now for some reason the puppets in the toy store are also alive, they can come alive at night and talk to each other. So the story then alternates between her life as a puppet and her husband who doesn’t know what happened to her and he is trying to find her and one day he sees on TV a parade of puppets that this toy store has done and he sees a puppet that looks just like his wife. So he's got a clue now how to find her and where I am now is he's just found the shop where she is but he hasn’t found her yet so we'll found out what happens when I get home tonight.

 

Lauren Martino:  That sounds a lot like —

 

Tom Palmer:  That sounds very exciting.

 

Lauren Martino:  It sounds like Splendors and Glooms by —

 

Heather Wright:  Yes which I have also read, yes.

 

Lauren Martino:  I love that park, that’s the —

 

Heather Wright:  Yes that's the same theme but with a child — a little girl turned into a puppet yeah which is a very spooky creepy thing really when you think about it.

 

Lauren Martino:  Yeah.

 

Heather Wright:  So don’t think about it.

 

Julie Dina:  Tom?

 

Tom Palmer:  Well my recommendation and the book I just finished was It for the reasons I said before. Before that I read American Gods by Neil Gaiman, not really horror-ish but fantasy. It is about — the concept is the old gods that were worshiped in ancient times Thor and all these different ones trying to stay relevant in today's world where people either don’t believe in God or tend to believe in a God and this is the whole pantheon of old gods trying to find followers because that's where their powers comes from basically. So it is very interesting and it is also a TV show now which is good.

 

Heather Wright:  Everything is turning into a TV show.

 

Julie Dina:  Yes.

 

Lauren Martino:  They've got to come up with their ideas somehow.

 

Julie Dina:  Well thanks Heather and Tom for joining us on this episode of library matters, we appreciate all the wonderful scary information you’ve given us, don’t turn off the light. Let's keep the conversation going by following us on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest. Don’t forget to subscribe to the podcast on new Apple podcast app, Stitcher or wherever you get your podcasts. Also please review and rate us on Apple podcasts, we'd love to know what you think, thank you for listening to our conversation today and see you next time.

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