You are invited to look after the Kendall Reviews Cemetary, and to choose eight books, preferably horror/dark genre, to take with you to cover your shift; here you can discuss why you chose the books.
As well as the books, wardens are allowed one song/album to listen to. Again, an explanation for this choice is required.
You must also discuss one luxury item you can bring, which must be inanimate and not allow communication.
If you’d like to take part in The Graveyard Shift then please submit an application to firstname.lastname@example.org
A new shift is about to begin. The warden for the week’s #GraveyardShift is…
Jonathan Edward Durham
Everyone has wanted their favorite book to be real, if only for a moment. Everyone has wished to meet their favorite characters, if only for a day. But be careful in that wish, for even a history laid in ink can be repaid in flesh and blood, and reality is far deadlier than fiction . . . especially on Addington Isle.
Winterset Hollow follows a group of friends to the place that inspired their favorite book—a timeless tale about a tribe of animals preparing for their yearly end-of-summer festival. But after a series of shocking discoveries, they find that much of what the world believes to be fiction is actually fact, and that the truth behind their beloved story is darker and more dangerous than they ever imagined. It’s Barley Day . . . and you’re invited to the hunt.
Winterset Hollow is as thrilling as it is terrifying and as smart as it is surprising. A uniquely original story filled with properly unexpected twists and turns, Winterset Hollow delivers complex, indelible characters and pulse- pounding action as it storms toward an unforgettable climax that will leave you reeling. How do you celebrate Barley Day? You run, friend. You run.
Zombie by Joyce Carol Oates – Icepick lobotomies and serial killers and an elevated, shockingly introspective stylistic approach to horror? Yes, please! Joyce Carol Oates is a pleasure to read no matter the subject she tackles, but when a multiple Bram Stoker award winner does what she does best—dark and violent and grimy—it’s an almost perfect cocktail for a graveyard read that not only satisfies my ever-raging morbid curiosity, but also my occasional pang for high-end literary faffery.
The Complete Tales and Poems of Edgar Allan Poe – I mean, I’m not sure if graveyard reading gets any more required than this…does it? A beautiful collection of interesting, atmospheric, meticulously presented writings that say what they need to say and then…well, then they stop before you get tired of them, which is an art that too few of us writers care to master, myself included, which is why we’re moving on before this turns into a lecture that I didn’t intend to give and you didn’t intend to listen to.
11/22/63 by Stephen King – Now, this isn’t my favorite Stephen King book, but it’s not my least favorite Stephen King book either…anyway, the reason it’s on this list is strictly pragmatic, and that reason is that it’s very long and I never actually finished it, and I’ve been meaning to for about a year and a half now…so some quiet time beneath the pines and among the headstones might be just the excuse I need to dive back in. That way, I can stop lying about having read it and start lying about having read something better.
It by Stephen King – Okay, so this is my favorite Stephen King book. I think it’s far and away his most meticulously written work, and the world-building is really incredible. Also, I’m a sucker for a coming-of-age story, and King does that very, very well here…several times, actually…and the way they’re woven together and wrapped around the central thrust of the book is incredibly poised and artful and the whole work just feels so complete and necessary that it’s at the top of my King ranking for sure.
The Silence of the Lambs by Thomas Harris – A story that I just love. One of my favorite movies and a book that’s just as good. A novel filled with complex, indelible characters and a dead interesting narrative and enough twists and turns to keep you engaged throughout the whole thing. It’s so, so good, and to be honest, I haven’t read it in probably fifteen years, so it’s probably time for a refresher. Also, I’ll read anything starring Anthony Hopkins.
Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak – To this day, still the most terrifying book that I’ve come across, so this one goes riiiiiiight on the top of the graveyard pile for me. This book scared the pants off me as a child…and so of course I read it hundreds and hundreds of times. I don’t know, something about the lack of control over one’s own imagination coupled with the strife between a parent and their child just made me so uneasy when I was younger, and the residue of that association is still there today…man, even looking at those pictures still makes my knees weak.
The DaVinci Code by Dan Brown – Purely here for palate-cleansing purposes. It’s like the watered-down lemon sorbet of books—completely innocuous and vaguely flavorful, but really not much there if you spend any time at all thinking about it. It’s pure entertainment and it’s completely ridiculous and the connective tissue makes no sense and its grasp on history is tenuous at best, but like I said, it’s vaguely flavorful…and honestly, who doesn’t like a series of logistically improbable chases through a string of historically significant cities featuring a number of ancient secret societies? I’ll wait.
War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy – Never read it. Most likely never will. Strictly here for defensive purposes. I’m assuming that I’ll have to fend off a gang of zombies or a horde of demons of maybe even an evil black goat at some point during the night (also, it’s worth noting here that I have no idea what gravekeepers actually do)…so if the need to beat something to death does present itself at some point during my watch, at least I’ll be prepared. I mean, I suppose I could use the utter tome that is 11/22/63 for that purpose as well…or at the very least I could lie about using it.
Dark Side of the Moon by Pink Floyd – Because. It’s. Bloody. Brilliant. After all, Pink Floyd are the Stephen King of existentially-charged, prog-adjacent, pop-rock operatists…no, wait…Pink Floyd are the Joyce Carol Oates of existentially-charged, prog-adjacent, pop-rock operatists…no, wait…Pink Floyd are the Edgar Allan Poe of existentially-charged, prog-adjacent, pop-rock operatists…no, wait…
A giant bag of Unique brand pretzels – the extra dark kind. You know, in case I get snackish, which I absolutely will. Also, I’m very bad about planning ahead for any important situation that don’t revolve around me getting snackish, so there’s that too. After all, Uniques are the Thomas Harris of commercially available pretzels..or so I’ve been told.
Jonathan Edward Durham has truly crafted a classic story, a fresh offering that connected me to my youth while also speaking to where I am currently as a reader and I can’t thank him enough. This book gets the highest recommendation from myself to you, if you’re reading this and honestly, I hope this book finds a home on your shelf so that you can enjoy this for years and years to come – Steve Stred (Kendall Reviews)
Jonathan Edward Durham
Jonathan Edward Durham was born near Philadelphia in one of many satellite rust-belt communities where he read voraciously throughout his youth. After attending William & Mary, where he received a degree in neuroscience, Jonathan waded into the professional world before deciding he was better suited for more artistic pursuits.
He now lives with his partner in California where he writes to bring a unique voice to the space between the timeless wonder of his favorite childhood stories and the pop sensibilities of his adolescent literary indulgences. His debut novel, Winterset Hollow, an elevated contemporary fantasy with a dark twist, is mined from that same vein and is currently available everywhere.
Find out more about Jonathan via his official website www.jonathanedwarddurham.com
You can follow Jonathan on Twitter @thisone0verhere