Monday Mash-Up #69

The winners of the Pulitzer Prize were announced, and once again I am left wondering how these choices are made.  So in a fit of boredom, I decided to do some research to see if I could find some sort of magic formula in the judges’ decision making.  However, I wound up doing something much more entertaining:  spending a couple of hours scrolling through the past winners of not only the Pulitzer, but the Nobel literature prize, PEN/Faulkner, Booker, Newbery, and Bram Stoker awards.  Yeah, I’m a nerd like that.  I have to say, it was enlightening and enjoyable.  And while I will always question some of the choices made (Rabbit at Rest over The Things They Carried?  The Overstory beating out There, There ?  And too many others to mention here), I came away from that 2 hour session with a list of 75+ more titles to add to my want-to-read list….and a case of eye strain.  *sigh*

Meanwhile, back in my little dragon den, I was able to finish a few more from my hoard over the past week…….

The Week in Books

When the Shit Hits the Van (The Neon Owl #1) by Chad Lutzke — 4 out of 5 stars!

This was a pleasant surprise and nice change from Lutzke’s darker, more horror-driven works.  There’s a definite old-school noir feel mixed with heavy doses of humor.  Lutzke always does a great job with his character building, and Jinx and Roddy are no exceptions.  I’m looking forward to more in this series!

Attack of the 50 Foot Indian by Stephen Graham Jones — 4 out of 5 stars!

A satirical look at stereotypes, politics, and science.  It’s amazing how much impact a little 30 page short story can have, I’m still thinking about this one several days after finishing.

I Want You to Know We’re Still Here by Esther Safran Foer — 3.5 out of 5 stars

I’ll be writing a full review for NetGalley soon.

Billy Bathgate by E.L. Doctorow — 3 out of 5 stars

This has been sitting on my shelf for well over 20 years (yes, you read that right!), so what better time to dive into a classic of sorts than during a pandemic isolation?!  I remember buying this because I enjoyed Doctorow’s Ragtime,  but I’m beginning to question my memory.  The overall story is pretty good (a young teen works for a known mobster, pretty typical 1930’s-era gangster fare), but when the narrative started to lapse into the dreaded stream of consciousness style, I very nearly tossed it out (my hatred of SOC writing is that strong).  But I took a deep breath, put on my big girl panties, and plowed through.  If you’re a fan of Doctorow and early gangster fiction and don’t mind SOC writing, then I’d say give it a try.  The story is there, I just hated part of the delivery.

Stay safe and Happy Reading!

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