Monday Mash-Up #042

Lost in a maze of corn, listening to the wind rattling the dry husks, trying not to think of Children of the Corn…….

…..and we reach a fork in the path.  Which to choose, left or right?   Will we find an exit or wander aimlessly?

Well, thankfully we found the way!  Time to search for some pumpkins!

Saturday we went to a local place appropriately called The Pumpkin Patch, a little tradition we’ve been doing since my son was 3 or 4.  It’s a small, family-owned farm offering hay rides, a corn maze, and a ton of huge pumpkins to choose from.  We went a little late in the season this year so the pickings were not as large as usual, but we still found some great ones!

Now to figure out what we want to carve!

It was also a great week for finishing up some Halloween and October-themed books, check these out……..

The Week In Books—

The Line That Held Us by David Joy — 5 out of 5 stars!

To say I love David Joy’s writing would be an understatement.  His stories are bleak, depressing, sometimes disturbing, but are well worth reading.  Joy blurs the lines between good and evil; in this story, several times I found myself wanting to give Dwayne, the “bad guy,” a big hug and have him cry on my shoulder, then within a few paragraphs I would be rooting for justice to be served against him. The “eye for an eye” mentality is strong in this book, and it will make you question if it is really the solution.  Highly recommend.

The Passage by Justin Cronin — 4.5 out 5 stars!

Vampires and the apocalypse?  Sign me up please!  It took me a while before I finally sat down to read this, and I was not disappointed.  I’ll admit I watched the television series first, which really stoked my interest in the book.  An interesting twist on the apocalypse, with my only complaint being some slower parts in the middle.  Make sure to read it with the lights on!!

Tales From the Shadow Side by Jonathan Janz — 4 out of 5 stars!

After reading the first short story in this collection, Old Order, I was seriously questioning being able to continue.   It was sick and twisted, even by my standards.  But I kept on and I’m glad I did!   Janz’s work is definitely not for everyone;  I consider myself a pretty hardcore horror fan but I found myself feeling a bit squeamish with some of the imagery.  But this collection is a definite must-read for horror fans, plus it gives a great introduction into the mind of the author.  Read if you dare!!

Blood Sugar by Daniel Kraus — 4 out of 5 stars!

This is not your typical horror story, but in a way it’s scarier than any ghost tale or gorefest pulp fiction.  The story is narrated by a young boy named Jody, who, along with his younger foster sister and a girl he secretly loves, befriend a local outcast named Robbie.  All of these characters are damaged, if not completely broken, living in horrific circumstances, yet all yearning for their own sense of family and belonging.  Then comes the plan to poison trick-or-treaters on Halloween and, well, things go even more downhill.  Fair warning:  the narrative is in Jody’s voice, which includes a lot of slang and run-on sentences.  But I think once you get used to his speech, you will find this little book as heartbreakingly horrifying as I did.

Sparrow Hill Road by Seanan McGuire — 4 out of 5 stars!

I was having a lot of mixed feelings about rating this one.  Seanan McGuire knows how to write a ghost story (I’m a big fan of Dusk or Dark or Dawn or Day).  I was hooked at the beginning, intrigued with this twilight of ghosts.  But around the half-way mark it started to feel slower and repetitive.  After putting it aside for a few days, I was able to jump back into the story of the ever-wandering Rose and devoured the last 130+ pages.  A bit of a spoiler though:  it is setting up for book 2, something I wasn’t aware of until after I started reading and saw there was a sequel.  It doesn’t diminish McGuire’s writing, just fair warning that not all questions will be answered.

Cutting Edge:  New Stories of Mystery and Crime By Women Writers — 3.5 out of 5 stars

Review to come.  I received this ARC from Akashic Books and LibraryThing’s Early Reviewers Giveaways.

I just noticed on my Goodreads list I’ve completed 29 Halloweenish books…..hmmm, will I make it to 31 by the 31st??  Stay tuned……..and Happy Reading!


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