What We've Been Reading
Book Reviews,  Reading Recommendations

What We’ve Been Reading #113

Today several of our team members are sharing their recent and recommended reads. We hope you find something you’ll love!

Don’t forget to click either tag above to find more books worth your time ♥


The Gold Persimmon by Linsday Merbaum

Clytemnestra is a check-in girl at The Gold Persimmon, a temple-like New York City hotel with gilded furnishings and carefully guarded secrets. Cloistered in her own reality, Cly lives by a strict set of rules until a connection with a troubled hotel guest threatens the world she’s so carefully constructed.

In a parallel reality, an inexplicable fog envelops the city, trapping a young, nonbinary writer named Jaime in a sex hotel with six other people. As the survivors begin to turn on one another, Jaime must navigate a deadly game of cat and mouse.

Haunted by specters of grief and familial shame, Jaime and Cly find themselves trapped in dual narratives in this gripping experimental novel that explores sexuality, surveillance, and the very nature of storytelling. 

Goodreads | Amazon | Bookshop

Alex’s Teaser Review

THE GOLD PERSIMMON by Lindsay Merbaum is full of suspense supported by tight writing, quick pacing, and interesting characters.

Read Alex’s entire review at Goodreads.


Let’s Play White by Chesya Burke

White brings with it dreams of respect, of wealth, of simply being treated as a human being. It’s the one thing Walter will never be. But what if he could play white, the way so many others seem to do? Would it bring him privilege or simply deny the pain? The title story in this collection asks those questions, and then moves on to challenge notions of race, privilege, personal choice, and even life and death with equal vigor. From the spectrum spanning despair and hope in “What She Saw When They Flew Away” to the stark weave of personal struggles in “Chocolate Park,” Let’s Play White speaks with the voices of the overlooked and unheard. “I Make People Do Bad Things” shines a metaphysical light on Harlem’s most notorious historical madame, and then, with a deft twist into melancholic humor, “Cue: Change” brings a zombie-esque apocalypse, possibly for the betterment of all mankind. 

Goodreads | Amazon | Bookshop

Audra’s Teaser Review

The stories offer urban realism as characters grapple with decisions and make choices that are often forced upon them. The stories are often claustrophobic, but it’s a good uncomfortable, the type that makes you see through someone else’s eyes, analyzing your own perspective and assumptions about race, class, gender, and the human condition.

Read Audra’s complete review at Goodreads.


The Worm and His Kings by Hailey Piperby Hailey Piper

The Worm and His Kings by Hailey Piper

New York City, 1990: When you slip through the cracks, no one is there to catch you. Monique learns that the hard way after her girlfriend Donna vanishes without a trace.

Only after the disappearances of several other impoverished women does Monique hear the rumors. A taloned monster stalks the city’s underground and snatches victims into the dark.

Donna isn’t missing. She was taken.

To save the woman she loves, Monique must descend deeper than the known underground, into a subterranean world of enigmatic cultists and shadowy creatures. But what she finds looms beyond her wildest fears—a darkness that stretches from the dawn of time and across the stars.

Goodreads | Amazon | Bookshop

Laurie’s Teaser Review

The writing is dense and smart and bloody and sensual and grimy with little surprise smatterings of levity.

Read Laurie’s entire review at Goodreads.


Thank you for joining us today! We hope you found something to add to your tbr list. Please share your recent reads with us in the comments below.

If you are a LOHF writer and have a book you’d like us to consider for a review please visit our review submission page here.


Laurie is one of our LOHF Admins. Laurie creates our review posts, coordinates review requests, oversees the Ladies of Horror Fiction directory, and manages our LOHF Goodreads group.

You can find Laurie on her blog Bark’s Book Nonsense, on Twitter as @barksbooks, on Instagram as @barksbooks, and on Goodreads.

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