Book Buzz Episode 38 – Beasts of a Little Land & Heart, Haunt, Havoc

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Air date: Feb. 25, 2024 

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Beasts of A Little Land

Heart, Haunt, Havoc

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Hi, this is Jessica Russell. I’m the assistant director of collection services at Sno-Isle Libraries. And welcome to Book Buzz. 

Today's two reading recommendations are from the genres of historical fiction and paranormal fiction.

First, we’re going to hear from Jordan C., library associate at the Mariner Library, for a story of love and war set in Asia. Go ahead, Jordan.  


“Beasts of a Little Land” by Juhea Kim is a beautiful story following both Korean and Japanese characters during the Japanese occupation of Korea in the middle of the 20th century. Its overarching themes of fate and the struggle to determine your own path are universal, as well as the burden that is placed upon you by what others see in you. 

Our story starts in 1917 in an almost fable-like setting, the snowy mountains of northern Korea. A chance encounter sets off a string of connected stories that weave the characters into and out of each other’s lives like an elaborate tapestry. Most of the book takes place in Seoul and explores a rapidly changing Korea with Western and Japanese influences colliding against a country desperate to hold onto its own culture. The happy moments are few but shine brightly and make the tragedies feel personally devastating. 

If you enjoyed "Pachinko" by Min Jin Lee, I think you’ll love seeing this time-period explored from the side of the Koreans who stayed in Korea. This book does explore difficult subjects including sexual assault and graphic physical violence so please be aware of this before picking it up. 


Thanks, Jordan! This book is a wonderful example of riveting storylines playing out over the course of history.  

Next, let’s hear about a spooky romance from Jordyn R., librarian at the Lake Stevens Library. Take it away, Jordyn. 


“Heart, Haunt, Havoc” by Freydís Moon is a beautifully written gothic haunted house novella with a tender queer love story at its center.  

Trans exorcist Colin Hart has never met a haunting he couldn’t crack, and he expects this latest house in Gideon, Colorado, to be no different. But this is far from a simple poltergeist. Bishop Martínez’s house seems to attract every demon, ghoul, and ghost for miles, and they all want Colin gone. Not to mention Colin’s growing attraction to Bishop, who seems to be hiding their own dark secrets. This haunting might be too much for even Colin to handle. 

This novella has all the spooky elements you need: a haunted house, demons, ritual sacrifice, a creepy wolf-headed spirit, and even a zombie rat familiar. Mix that excellent formula with some mysticism, explorations of love and grief, gorgeous prose, and a queer love story, and you have “Heart, Haunt, Havoc.”  

Despite its short length, Moon does an excellent job building up the characters, their backstories, and emotional intimacy so they feel as well-crafted and full of depth as a much longer story. This book is as creepy as it is surprisingly sweet and will appeal to fans of gothic romance and haunted house stories alike. 


Thanks, Jordyn! Don’t wait for Halloween to enjoy this haunted tale of romance and magic. You can never have too many strong characters and tender love stories. 

Our recommendations this week are: “Beasts of a Little Land” by Juhea Kim and "Heart, Haunt, Havoc” by Freydís Moon. 

Join us next time, when we’ll explore more great reading recommendations — interesting books you can find at your favorite local bookstore or at your local library.   

Until then, I’m Jessica Russell from Sno-Isle Libraries.  

Thanks for joining us for Book Buzz on KSER. 

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