Monday Mash-Up #046 Happy Thanksgiving!

In just a few short days, we will be celebrating Thanksgiving……

Our household usually goes pretty low-key for this holiday, just the three of us and a giant feast that could feed 10!    😀

Personally, I’m looking forward to bringing out the Christmas decorations on the 29th!!

And so, the holiday season begins……….


The Week in Books

The Siren and the Specter by Jonathan Janz — 4 out of 5 stars

A haunted house story with a sadistic twist.  Another strong showing from Janz, but my problem centered around the Siren.  It just felt awkward, and didn’t seem to fit in with the rest of the story.  Still a great, creepy read.

Last Ones Left Alive by Susan Davis-Goff — 3 out of 5 stars

Yet another take on the zombie apocalypse scenario, only here they’re called skrakes.  The story had potential, but I felt it was extremely slow moving, and when the action did pick up it felt jumbled and hurried.  There were also no clear explanations about some of the storyline, especially in regards to the “banshees.”  Really not a bad story though, just a little quieter than I expected from a zombie tale.

The Candy Cane Caper by Josi Kilpack — 3 out of 5 stars

If you’re looking for a holiday cozy mystery, this one definitely fits the bill.  It centers around the theft of some treasured antique ornaments, and like many cozies it offers some delicious sounding recipes.  A nice light read, perfect for the holiday season.

At Play in the Fields of the Lord by Peter Matthiessen  — 3 out of 5 stars

The first half of this book just didn’t work for me.  It felt like I was in some surreal dream, where the details are blurry and if you turn your head the scene changes to something totally different.  However, about half way through, the story really started to click with me, but I still never really felt any connection with the characters.

I am always thankful for my family, great friends, health, and happiness.  Wishing all of you who will be celebrating on the 28th a safe and happy Thanksgiving………and until next time, Happy Reading!

Monday Mash-Up #045 Already a Year?!!

Hard to believe, but a year ago today I started my journey into the blogosphere…….

It’s been a year of trial and error, and one of finding my reviewing voice.  I’m looking forward to expanding my reviews and trying out some new ideas in the future!

The Week in Books—-

The Nightmare Girl by Jonathan Janz — 4.5 out of 5 stars!

Another strong showing from Janz, this time centering on a fire-loving cult who may or may not dabble in vampirism.  Truly creepy, and will definitely have you thinking twice before jumping into other people’s business.

Greenhorns:  50 Dispatches From the New Farmers’ Movement, edited by Zoe Ida Bradbury — 4 out of 5 stars!

Essays written by farmers highlighting the ups and downs of small-scale farming throughout the United States.  Some were entertaining, others were thought-provoking.  Very interesting and approachable.

Neverhome by Laird Hunt — 2 out of 5 stars

This one sounded like a win:  a woman disguises herself as a man in order to fight during the Civil War.  Sadly, the cover blurb offered more excitement than the actual story.  The narrator, main character “Ash,” was unemotional and flat.  The story really never showcased the Civil War, nor did it ever explain why Ash felt compelled to leave her husband and join the army.  And don’t get me started on the contrived ending!!  There was enough story to keep me entertained on a rainy afternoon, the only reason I upped the rating to two stars.

A huge thank you for joining me over the past twelve months, and I look forward to talking books for another year…or two…or ten!!  😀

Until next time, Happy Reading!

Monday Mash-Up #043 and #044

Once again, the days flew by and I fell behind…..not that there was any major life events around here, but still…..

I am excited to say that I am looking at my first blog-aversary coming up on the 19th!!  And even better, my first year as a member of Mr Pink Ink’s Pink Blots!!  Then, with the month of December comes my “Milestone Birthday!!!!”  and some new ideas for 2020!!!   I love this time of year!!  😀

The Week in Books—–

The Devil’s Dreamland:  Poetry Inspired by H. H. Holmes by Sara Tantlinger — 5 out of 5 stars!

If anyone had ever told me I would be singing praises for a book of poetry, I probably would have laughed and given a witty comeback like “No way.”  But The Devil’s Dreamland is not just a book of poems.  Tantlinger took inspiration from the stories surrounding H. H. Holmes, America’s first serial killer.  This collection does read much like a story, starting in Holmes’ childhood and continuing through his grisly crimes and conviction.  There is great build-up through the collection; I could almost feel Holmes’ descent into madness.  If you want to give some poetry a try, I’d recommend this fantastic collection.

Grind Your Bones to Dust by Nicholas Day — 5 out of 5 stars!

My Goodreads review—

Brutal and horrific, with the added bonus of beautifully written prose. I loved this book, even when I was feeling the need to scrub my soul clean. I will definitely be looking for more of Day’s work in the future.

And I will never look at a donkey the same way again.

Anthony Bourdain Remembered by CNN (Cable News Network) — 5 out of 5 stars!

This is a must-have for Bourdain fans.  A compilation of remembrances and tributes from friends and family, as well as some wonderful photography.

Short Nights of the Shadow Catcher by Timothy Egan — 5 out of 5 stars!

I am currently writing a full review and will be sharing it here and with my friends over at Mr Pink Ink.  By far one of the best biographies I’ve read.

Those Who Save Us by Jenna Blum — 3 out of 5 stars

Set during World War II and the late 1990’s, this is really two stories:  first about surviving Nazi Germany and the second about mother-daughter relationships.  First off, this could have easily been shaved down by 100 or so pages, as by the mid-point I was feeling things starting to become repetitive.  I also think there should have been more about the daughter, Trudie, and her own struggles trying to understand her mother.  Overall, not bad, and this would probably make a good selection for a book club as there are definitely some interesting topics to discuss.

Those Across the River by Christopher Buehlman — 3 out of 5 stars

I was expecting a bit more from this one after reading and enjoying The Suicide Motor Club, but by the time the story started to really get going I just wasn’t caring anymore.  And was it really necessary to the story line to constantly read about Frank and Eudora’s never-ending sex life??  When it was good, it was really good though, so a full three stars.

Dearly Devoted Dexter by Jeff Lindsay — 3 out of 5 stars

I read the first Dexter book some time ago, and I remember it being a bit more entertaining than this sequel.  Dexter, that lovable serial killer who only kills serial killers, is back and itching to release his inner darkness.  I felt the story was lacking something, and the writing was choppy (no pun intended).  Overall, if you’re a Dexter fan, give it a go, but I probably wouldn’t recommend this one for a first-time reader to the series.

Chopping Spree by Diane Mott Davidson — 3 out of 5 stars

After non-stop horror reading over the past couple of months I needed to cleanse my palate, and this little cozy mystery did the trick.  The 11th book in the Goldy Schulz series features the usual murder and mayhem as well as some great sounding recipes.  If you need a quick entertaining read, this series always delivers.

Before She Was Found by Heather Gudenkauf — 3 out of 5 stars

This started out as a solid 4 star story.  I was sucked in from the beginning and really couldn’t put it down.  But adult characters that seemed more like caricatures and a very unsatisfying ending dropped it down to a low 3 stars.

I’m truly getting excited for a new year here at All Dragons Read!  Thanks for following me and as always, Happy Reading!!

@Night_Worms #04 “Feasting on Horror”

Saturday’s mail brought the latest Night Worms package…….and I was beyond excited to find the following!!!

Oh…My…Gawd!!!  Grind Your Bones to Dust by Nicholas Day has been at the top of my horror to-read list, and Nicole Cushing’s A Sick Gray Laugh is one of those I saw on Goodreads and was beyond intrigued and added it to  my ever-expanding “must read” list.  And don’t get me started on The Devil’s Dreamland:  Poetry Inspired by H.H. Holmes…….I devoured this offering from Sara Tantlinger in a Saturday afternoon reading frenzy and enjoyed every bit of it!!!

Of course, there are the added bonuses of signed book plates and some awesome artwork (I love the Halloween magnet!!).

Another huge shout-out to Night Worms and their commitment to sharing some of the best horror out there.  I’m already looking forward to December’s package, it will mark Night Worm’s one year anniversary with FOUR books (plus added bonus of it being my milestone birthday month!!!  😀 ).

Happy Reading!!