I had read this many years ago and have reread it a few times. I’m aware most have labeled this book’s genre as Italian Poetry, but it never really felt like that, personally. Every time I pick this book up I get in this excited mood as if something great is about to happen, and ultimately that continues throughout my reading of Heaven, Hell, and Purgatory. I’m not sure if that’s a natural reaction or a common one, but that’s how I get with stories of this nature.

The illustrations were always so beautiful, but they were only an addition to the beautiful writing and storytelling of Dante. It became a book that made me wonder ‘if this is how it really is where would those I know fall in the three above listed places?’

Synopsis:

The Divine Comedy, translated by Allen Mandelbaum, begins in a shadowed forest on Good Friday in the year 1300. It proceeds on a journey that, in its intense recreation of the depths and the heights of human experience, has become the key with which Western civilization has sought to unlock the mystery of its own identity.

Mandelbaum’s astonishingly Dantean translation, which captures so much of the life of the original, renders whole for us the masterpiece of that genius whom our greatest poets have recognized as a central model for all poets.

This Everyman’s edition–containing in one volume all three cantos, Inferno, Purgatorio, and Paradiso–includes an introduction by Nobel Prize—winning poet Eugenio Montale, a chronology, notes, and a bibliography. Also included are forty-two drawings selected from Botticelli’s marvelous late-fifteenth-century series of illustrations.

Who doesn’t like some backstory to the creation of a project? I decided to do just that, share some of this collection more in-depth. Let’s start with that this project marks a first for me. I’m known for my horror and dark fantasy series The Blasphemer Series and my bestselling and award-winning short story Human Ouija. Both of these works were picked up by the publishing house Burning Willow Press, LLC after their self-publications. I’ve been included in many anthologies still writing horror or darker materials.

So, with all that why go poetry if I’ve established myself as a darker author? The answer to that is so simple, it’s time. Behind-the-scenes for years I’ve worked on things that I either never finished or put on a back burner waiting for the time to come. Poetry filled notebooks and then was forgotten about, some even found places on old accounts on art websites or profiles.

Last year, a very old poem of mine found itself included in Southern Fried Autopsies Anthology. It’s a darker poem, but not as dark as I have gotten in the past or even in the present, but it felt right to include that one in that project. Poetry is very personal to me. I can write fiction all day, but non-fiction is harder for me to be willing to release in the world as I’m a private person.

I never considered myself a poet even though I’ve been called that, I just write, and that’s what I call myself…a writer or author in reference toward published works. Poetry is non-fiction for me, it’s all inspired by raw emotions, events, situations, and people I know. With this project, you will be given the closest thing to a memoir or an autobiography I can give at this point in time.

I have planned a memoir and still working on one. This memoir is very hard for me to write because of the topic it covers and a very dark period in my life, but it’s a story that needs to be shared and will be shared when…you guessed it…it’s time.

Poems in this collection will cover topics that included but are not limited to:

  • Dying
  • Love
  • Loss
  • Mortality
  • Inspiration
  • Suffering
  • Life

But with all art, I believe, though these are the topics that inspired different poems included I hope that whoever reads them take away something for themselves. They’re up for interpretation!

I’m sure like many of you, this book came into your world, like mine, through school requiring you to read it. I was never one to be told what to read throughout my time in school, but something about this one made me do just that. It was interesting, to say the least. I didn’t become aware it was apart of a trilogy until later years and because of that, I have chosen to only recommend the first one instead of all three.

The illustrations were educational, but I wouldn’t have told my teacher that. They taught me how to make many things, like hooks! I felt for the main character and his want to run away from home, it was something I had considered back in the day, but never actually attempted. I would’ve in no way survived the way the main character did. I had tried to read this to my own kiddo and he never seemed interested. He’s much like me in that way, he just likes what he likes.

This is one of my very few copies I kept from my childhood or sought out to gain again from my childhood it was just that powerful to me. I loved it then and still, love it now.

Synopsis:

“Should appeal to all rugged individualists who dream of escape to the forest.”—The New York Times Book Review

Sam Gribley is terribly unhappy living in New York City with his family, so he runs away to the Catskill Mountains to live in the woods—all by himself. With only a penknife, a ball of cord, forty dollars, and some flint and steel, he intends to survive on his own. Sam learns about courage, danger, and independence during his year in the wilderness, a year that changes his life forever.

 “An extraordinary book . . . It will be read year after year.”
—The Horn Book

My article, A World without Horror, for Horror Tree, is up! Go there to read the full article.

“Sit back, inhale with your nose, and exhale through your mouth. Now that you’re in a better more comfortable position I want you to do something for me. Imagine for a moment, if you will, a world without horror.
Now that you’re picturing it in your mind’s eye you’ve probably imagined a world without wars, starving children, or intolerance. You may have pictured an ideal location–a utopia if you will, of bliss and happiness. With skies above the shades of the palest of blues and the most romantic of pinks and purples. Clouds dotting along ignorant of anything other than peace and calm, even ignoring the blazing brilliance of a sun rising or perhaps setting depending on the mood upon which you’re imaging. Now that you have pictured this beautiful moment in time, you’re also picturing a world of unadulterated fantasy.
Horror is born of the darkness that rises after the sun sets.” 

by L. Bachman – A World without horror at Horrortree.com

One of the most complex and beautiful writings I’ve ever read. It’s a classic. I got this particular book because it has the translation included from the original German as well as that version as well. The is the first part of two parts of the story.

Synopsis:

The best translation of Faust available, this volume provides the original German text and its English counterpart on facing pages. Walter Kaufmann’s translation conveys the poetic beauty and rhythm as well as the complex depth of Goethe’s language. Includes Part One and selections from Part Two.

I’m sure I’m not the only one that saw the movie before finding the book. This is the case. I saw the movie, loved it, and wanted to find out more. Upon discovering it was indeed a book I just had to see how the movie matched up to the original work. 

Thought the book and the movie did have differences they weren’t so vast I couldn’t enjoy the movie after reading the book and vice versa. The book, though good, was also incredibly sad. I felt for the main character Ignatius and how horrible it was for him to not only lose his girlfriend, but for the town to think he did it.

Great writing, great book, and great movie!

Synopsis:

The New York Times bestselling author of Heart-Shaped Box returns with a relentless supernatural thriller that runs like Hell on wheels . . .

Merrin Williams is dead, slaughtered under inexplicable circumstances, leaving her beloved boyfriend Ignatius Perrish as the only suspect. On the first anniversary of Merrin’s murder, Ig spends the night drunk and doing awful things. When he wakes the next morning he has a thunderous hangover . . . and horns growing from his temples. Ig possesses a terrible new power to go with his terrible new look a macabre gift he intends to use to find the monster who killed his lover. Being good and praying for the best got him nowhere. Now it’s time for revenge . . .

It’s time the devil had his due. . . .

I did a preview, sneak peek, of a cover I was working on for this upcoming poetry release, I’m doing this year. The original idea didn’t really fit for me, so I’ve changed it. The official ebook cover can be seen here! At a later date, the paperback edition of the cover will be shared. I always release first on ebook then later on in paperback.

Below is the one that was sneak-peeked. Either one is beautiful, but the one above feels right for this specific project more so. I don’t often change a cover after sharing it, but this poetry book is very special to me and I want to do it right.

Something was watching me, I could feel it before I saw it and then there it was. At first, when I saw it I wasn’t sure if it was just my eyes or something else. A black mass stood within the shadows of my bedroom, maybe I’m just tired, but as it began to move it took upon a silhouette, a humanoid outline. No longer blending into the shadows the horror zigzagged down my spine like a lightning bolt had struck me and I tried to move, but the fear overtook me, drowning in the ocean of emotions that had flooded over me.

That is a common experience. Many that have seen a shadow person have seen them while at rest, leading to the theory that they caused sleep paralysis.  Science has proven that sleep paralysis is caused when the mind wakes before the body does. This is something I have personally experienced, it is very scary. My family even believed I had a seizure when I went through an episode. I was diagnosed with sleep paralysis when I got done at the hospital. I didn’t consider it a ‘demonic experience’ just something that was scary that happened. When I began research into what would’ve caused this is when I came across the connection of ‘shadow people’. Do I think I experienced that at that time, no. A simple googling can give you many links to how science explains it. Do I take that as solid proof that is what is happening to everyone? No. I do believe in the paranormal and supernatural things, but for me it just wasn’t.


THIS IS JUST PART OF THE FULL POST. This was one of two posts I had done over at The Buzzkill Magazine, with permission I posted just part of it as this project is there. To read the full article go here.

Sometimes I just need to have a book to fill like I’m truly adding to my collection. This is one of those books for me. Will I ever finish adding to my library? Nope! I had grabbed a book from H.P. Lovecraft on seeing others on social media talking about him. I was aware of who he was, but sadly had never read any of his work. 

That book was purchased for my Kindle ereader, but I’m also a big lover of a book I can hold in my hands, hardback or paperback. If it wasn’t for the purchase of that book I probably never would’ve bought today’s recommendation.

This is a great addition to any horror library or Lovecraft fan. I don’t feel it’s needed to go into it further because the work speaks far better than any words I could muster. 

Synopsis:

Discover the true meaning of fear with these classic horror stories.

The Essential Fiction of H.P. Lovecraft collects one of the author’s most popular novellas, “At the Mountain of Madness,” and six of his most famous short stories, including “The Call of Cthulhu,” “The Shadow Out of Time,” “The Dunwich Horror,” “The Colour of Space,” “The Shadow Over Innsmouth,” and “The Whisperer in the Darkness.” These hair-raising tales have inspired generations of authors and filmmakers, including Stephen King, Alan Moore, Guillermo del Toro, and Neil Gaiman. This edition features a new introduction by Peter Cannon.

The Knickerbocker Classics bring together the essential works of classic authors from around the world in stunning editions to be collected and enjoyed.