Kelsey’s Top 5 Most F*@#’d Up Books

Not so long ago, three Old Firehouse Books employees were talking about books. This obviously wasn’t uncommon for employees of the store, but what was uncommon was the topic of the books they were discussing. All three employees realized that they had a strange taste in books, and that this taste was shared by the other two. While they all enjoyed the occasional happy-ever-after, the three rather preferred books that were a little dark, a little twisted, and a lot f*@#’d up. Believing they were not alone in their preferences, together they formed the F*@#’d Up Book Club, a reading group dedicated to the strange, morose, and just plain weird.

The August selection for the F*@#’d Up Book Club is The Girl Who Slept With God by Val Brelinski. Like all Old Firehouse Book Clubs, selections are 20% off in the store. The club will meet on Monday, August 24th to discuss the pick.

Before joining the club, get to know a little about the warped tastes of the group’s three founders. Here are Kelsey’s Top 5 Most F*@#’d Up Books:

#5 – Geek Love by Katherine Dunn

geek love

“I read this book so long ago that a lot of the details aren’t clear anymore, but at the same time I’ll never forget some of the images left by the Binewskis—a carnival family of human oddities. Because of the Binewski family the freak show is never in short supply, ever since the matriarch has taken to creating them through any means necessary.”

#4 – Bedbugs by Ben Winters


“I was lulled into a false sense of security by the summary on the back of this book. I’m not particularly squeamish about insects, so I assumed a story about ‘the literal bedbug problem from Hell’ would be more silly than scary. I was so wrong. I still panic a little whenever I feel an itch on my legs at night.”

#3 – Escape from Camp 14: One Man’s Remarkable Odyssey from North Korea to Freedom in the West by Blaine Harden

escape from camp 14

“As much fun as it can be putting book lists like this together with horror novels and thrillers, there really is nothing more f*@#’d up than some of the nonfiction out there today. Escape from Camp 14 provides an inside look at North Korea’s elaborate system of prison camps and the atrocities that occur there. I’m not the same for having read it.”

#2 – The Last Policeman by Ben Winters

last policeman

“Another Ben Winters book? Yes. That guy has a pretty warped imagination, but this one is f*@#’d up in an entirely different way from Bedbugs. It’s an apocalyptic detective story, but what’s the point of solving a murder if we’re all going to die soon anyway? Bleak and unflinching, this book will crush your soul in a way that leaves you asking for more.”

#1 – Under the Skin by Michel Faber

under the skin

“This is a book that’s best experienced with as few expectations as possible, so I will try not to ruin any surprises here. But to give you a teaser, the phrase ‘intestinally modified’ will haunt my nightmares for years to come. Michel Faber crafts a story that is just as well written as it is horrifying.”

Check out Allison’s ‘Top 5 Most F*@#’d Up Books’ here! Teresa’s list will be up next month!


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