2016 Year in Review – Part 4: BOOKS!

gromit-readingFor those who might not know (meaning this must be your first time at the site since I’m always going on about it), but I have a lot of reference books on the horror genre and those that have worked in it.  While I try to read as much as I can, with everything else going on, it is so easy to slip by and not get any reading done. So last year I set a goal for myself to get through at least 12 books during the year, figuring a book a month on average would be a good start. At the end of that first year, I think I was one title away from hitting that goal. But this year, I blew by that goal, actually hit a grand total of 14 different titles.

They were: Spanish Horror Film by Antonio Lazaro-Reboll, Ten Cent Plague by David Hajdu, Cult Horror Films by Welch Everman, The Unholy Three by John Hamilton, Father of The Blob by Jack H. Harris, Katzman, Nicholson, Corman: Shaping Hollywood’s Future by Mark Thomas McGee, I Cannot, Yet I Must By Anders Runestad, The Supernatural Cinema of Guillermo del Toro Edited by John W. Morehead, Sex, Sadism, Spain, and Cinema by Nicholas G. Schlegel, Giallo Cinema and Its Folktale Roots by Michael Sevastakis, It Came from the 80s by Francesco Borseti, Little Horrors by T.S. Kord, Growing up with Manos by Jackey Neyman Jones, and When Animals Attack edited by Vanessa Morgan.

Out of all of those titles, I have picked my favorite 3 from those.

But before I get to those, I wanted to challenge everyone out there to setup your own personal reading challenge. I know so many of us watch so a ton of movies over the course of the year, keeping record of how many and other such details. But would it be that hard to stop and put your nose into a book instead a bluray into the player every now and then? The more you read about these movies we love, the more it will open your eyes to different thoughts and opinions of them, not to mention gaining more appreciation for them. I guarantee it.


But honestly, it comes down to just reading more. Fiction, non-fiction, whatever. Just read. But push yourself more in 2017. Give yourself a goal to reach by the end of the year. And make it a challenge and one that you want to do. If you’ve got a little one in the house, then help them on that same path, setting up a challenge for them. Giving the gift of the joy of reading is more than just having them read a book. But it opens whole new worlds to them, not to mention expanding their own mind and creativity. Sure, that might sound like an infomercial, but I do believe it is true.

Okay enough preaching…here’s my favorite 3 books that I’ve read in the last year:

Katzman, Nicholson, Corman: Shaping Hollywood’s Future by Mark Thomas McGee – Anytime I get to read about the exploits of filmmakers like Sam Katzman, Jim Nicholson, or Roger Corman, I would call that a great book. Put all three of them in one edition and that is even better. But then have it written by Mark Thomas McGee, then it makes it simply a must. So many great stories in here, as well as some things you probably didn’t know about these guys. Just loved this book.

I Cannot, Yet I Must By Andres Runestad – The simple fact that Runestad wrote a book close to 800 pags on Robot Monster, a movie that is often considered one of the worst of cinematic history, shows either that he’s a genius or crazy, or both. But as massive as this tome is, I ate it up. Tons of information within these pages, on the movie, the director, and all the people involved. If you even the slightest fan of Robot Monster, then you need to read this book.

Sex, Sadism, Spain, and Cinema by Nicholas G. Schlegel – Being that the Spanish horror genre is a favorite of mine, it is a subject that I’m always ready to jump at the chance to learn more about. And with Schlegel’s book, you can do just that. This isn’t one of these wordy, academic type books where you need a dictionary handy just to figure what they are trying to say. Schlegel gets his information across easily and to the point. Plus, you’ll get to learn about a lot of the Spanish horror history as well!

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