Our Blog

Holiday Gift Guide 2023: For the Offbeat Fact Finder

We know you have someone in mind for this category. Browse the books below to find the perfect read for the offbeat fact finder in your life!

Posted by Quirk Books Staff

Listen to the BRIDE OF THE TORNADO Playlist by Author James Kennedy

Looking for the perfect soundtrack while you read the mind-bending Midwestern Gothic Bride of the Tornado? Author James Kennedy made this playlist for your reading pleasure.

Read on for a look inside each song choice. Spoilers ahead!

Posted by James Kennedy

Visit Quirk Books at New York Comic Con 2023!

We’re thrilled to be returning to the show! You can find us at booth 3359, which will be transformed from a standard convention booth into our very own “ice cream” truck. You can place your order at the window either with the Quirk staff or one of our special Guest Scoopers, which include Clay McLeod Chapman (What Kind of Mother), Insha Fitzpatrick (Chilling With Ghosts), Marc Hartzman (We Are Not Alone), and James Kennedy (Bride of the Tornado), who will be at the booth to meet fans and sign books.

Readers who follow us on Instagram will also have the chance to get a sneak peek at upcoming titles via our Secret Menu—a new password will be posted on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, and fans who tell us at the booth will get an ARC of either This Wretched Valley by Jenny Kiefer or The Z Word by Lindsay King-Miller.

Our full schedule is below!

Posted by Quirk Books Staff

Happy Chuseok! Enjoy This Recipe from A SPOONFUL OF TIME Author Flora Ahn

Happy Chuseok!


When the air begins to turn a bit crisp and some of the leaves start to change color, it means that Chuseok is just around the corner. In America we look forward to Thanksgiving as a time to return home and reconnect with family, but in Korea Chuseok is the big holiday to celebrate in the fall. Long before Christmas became a regular holiday in Korea, Chuseok was celebrated across towns each year as a harvest festival in the late summer or early fall depending on the lunar calendar. But Chuseok is more than just a gathering of family, it’s also a time to pay respect to one’s ancestors. Growing up in Seoul, my mom and her siblings would be treated to new clothes before they’d head out to clean and tidy up family graves where they’d bow and then picnic together.


As part of the Chuseok celebration, families gather together for feasts filled with a variety of traditional foods. In A Spoonful of Time, Maya and her grandmother made songpyeon, small rice cakes stuffed with different fillings like sesame seeds, honey, or red beans. But there are other traditional foods commonly eaten at Chuseok, like japchae. While japchae actually means “mixed vegetables,” it’s mostly known for its long and slippery glass noodles, which my mom said symbolize long life (which is what she says about a lot of traditional Korean dishes). Every holiday or special occasion, I’d wait for my mom to pull out a giant plastic tub and put on her gloves and soon the kitchen would be filled with the aroma of sesame oil. I’d linger in the kitchen stealing bites of stray vegetables or some noodles that my mom would hold out for me to slurp up. But the best part is when it would all come together at the end into a wonderful mixture of flavors and textures that my mom would pile onto a large platter and place on a table filled with different amazing dishes for my family to share.


There are so many different ways to make japchae and every family has their own take on the recipe. Here is a version I adapted from my mom’s vague oral instructions, but you can tweak it in ways to make it your own.



●      8 oz Korean glass/starch noodles (dangmyeon)

●      4-6 oz beef (sirloin)

●      5 dried shiitake mushrooms

●      1 bundle (½ lb) of spinach

●      3 scallion stalks

●      1 small onion

●      1 medium sized carrot

●      1 small red bell pepper

●      2 tsp salt

●      1 tsp black pepper

●      1 egg, fried and cut into thin strips

●      1 tbsp toasted sesame seeds

●      Vegetable oil for frying



●      4 tbsp soy sauce

●      3 tbsp sesame oil

●      1 tbsp sugar

●      ½ tsp black pepper

●      1 tsp minced garlic



Slice the scallions, onion, carrot, and red bell pepper into thin strips, about 2” long.

Using vegetable oil, individually stir fry the vegetables with salt and pepper for about 1 minute each and then add to a large bowl or pot. This bowl is where all the magic will happen later and will henceforth be referred to as “the big bowl.”

Soak the shiitake mushrooms in hot water until soft. Rinse and squeeze out any excess water. Slice into thin strips.

Make marinade in a small bowl by mixing well 4 tbsp soy sauce, 3 tbsp sesame oil, 1 tbsp sugar, ½ tsp black pepper, and 1 tsp garlic.

Thinly slice beef into strips about 2” long and marinate the beef and mushrooms with ½ of the marinade.

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the spinach and blanch for 30 seconds to 1 minute. Rinse in cold water and gently squeeze out any excess water. Cut a few times into smaller pieces and add to the big bowl.

Stir fry the beef. When the beef is almost done, add the shiitake mushrooms and stir fry for 1-2 minutes longer. Remove from heat, and place the beef and mushrooms into the big bowl.

Cook the noodles in boiling water for about 7 minutes until the noodles are transparent. Stir them occasionally so that they don’t stick together. Drain and rinse in cold water. Cut the noodles with kitchen shears a few times and then add to the big bowl.

Mix everything together and season with remaining marinade according to taste. If you’re my mom you put on gloves and mix it by hand.

You can then plate the japchae and garnish with thin strips of fried egg and toasted sesame seeds.


Leftover japchae should be kept refrigerated. Reheat in a pan or eat cold straight from the fridge if you’re lazy like me. To make japchae vegetarian just omit the beef.

As you cook and eat japchae, I hope that you enjoy it with loved ones as Korean food is great to eat in a shared setting much like how Maya and her grandmother enjoyed the food they cooked together in A Spoonful of Time!

Posted by Flora Ahn

James Kennedy’s Five Midwestern Horror Novel Picks

I grew up in Michigan and I’ve spent most of my life in the Midwest. When I began writing my horror novel Bride of the Tornado, one of the things I had in my mind was an October night in the 1990s, when my wife-to-be Heather and I headed out to rural Indiana to visit a “haunted house.”


It was farther away from town than we thought. When we arrived, we found just a few train cars in a desolate field. No other visitors. A creepy girl played with some dolls in the grass. After a minute, she got up and gravely led us through the train cars. A family sat around a table, greeting us indifferently as we passed. Did they live here? Who knew? These train cars were full of homemade oddities, more quirky than spooky. A bucket of plastic body parts. A cheesy mechanical doll. It was awkward and low-rent, not scary.


Then a maniac jumped out of nowhere with a chainsaw.

Posted by James Kennedy

Visit Quirk Books at San Diego Comic-Con 2023!

We’re so excited to be heading back to San Diego Comic-Con this year! You can find us at booth 1636 with a selection of great titles including recent releases like the queer sci-fi mystery Stars, Hide Your Fires, GoblinCore lifestyle guidebook Goblin Mode, middle grade manual to the supernatural Hanging With Vampires, and much more.

We’ll also be running several giveaways throughout the show that will give you a sneak peek at two of our upcoming horror titles, This Wretched Valley by Jenny Kiefer and the latest from fan-favorite author Clay McLeod Chapman, What Kind of Mother. See the schedule below:

Giveaway Schedule:


11:30–12:30 pm PT
This Wretched Valley ARC drop



2:30–3:30 pm PT
What Kind of Mother ARC drop



11:30–12:30 pm PT
This Wretched Valley ARC drop


2:30–3:30 pm PT
What Kind of Mother ARC drop



11:30–12:30 pm PT
This Wretched Valley ARC drop


2:30–3:30 pm PT
What Kind of Mother ARC drop


Author Panels and Signings:


Samuel C. Spitale, the author of How to Win the War on Truth
  • Panel: A Crash Course in Media Literacy, Thursday, 7/20/23, 3:00–4:00 pm PT
  • Room: Shiley Special Events Suite, San Diego Central Library


Samuel C. Spitale signings in the Autograph Area (books sold there by Mysterious Galaxy) at the following times:

  • Thursday: AA10, 5:00–6:00 pm PT
  • Saturday: AA17, 10:00–12:00 pm PT



Follow @quirkbooks on social media and sign up for our newsletter for more surprises!

We’re also planning some special treats just for our social media followers, so readers who are subscribed to our newsletter or following us on Twitter at @quirkbooks will be able to potentially win even more fun surprises! Sign up for our newsletter below.

Will you be at San Diego Comic-Con this year? We hope you’ll stop by the booth and say hello!


Newsletter Signup

"*" indicates required fields

My age is...
I am a...
I'm interested in...

Posted by Quirk Books Staff