Weekly Mash-Up #78/#79

Just a quick unofficial poll…is this me or WHAT?!?!?!?!?!!!   😀

With masks being a necessity nowadays ( for those living in places where they are not necessary I truly wish you luck and ask that you stay the fuck away from me, no offense), I’ve been looking for some fun, yet practical, ones.  This one came up on one of my feeds and I wanted to share for a variety of reasons.  The main reason is this:  it’s important to keep yourself healthy, not only in body but in mind.  It’s okay to laugh, it’s okay to indulge in your favorite hobby.  This new “normal” isn’t going away anytime soon, so be sure to find happiness in those little things that may have fallen to the wayside in the past, embrace them, and keep yourself and your loved ones healthy and safe.  Believe me, seeing a Great White concert is not worth your life (be sure to google this if you haven’t already heard about it on twitter).

And on to a more positive note, my latest reviews!!

The Week In Books

Blacktop Wasteland by S.A. Cosby — 5 out of 5 stars!

(Review posted to Netgalley and Goodreads)   If you haven’t put Blacktop Wasteland at the top of your must-read list for 2020 you need to fix that now…..don’t worry, I’ll wait….

I can honestly say I didn’t know what to expect, but this story blew me away.  The heart of the story revolves around Beauregard, aka Bug, who has a shady past but is trying to create a better future for his wife and kids…..but does he want it for himself as well??

This has it all—souped-up muscle cars, gunfights, love, hate, retribution…… It will kickstart your heart one page then break it the next.  I can’t even begin to put into words how much I loved this story!!  S.A. Crosby has created a masterpiece, and I don’t say that lightly.   Highly recommend.

Eon by Alison Goodman — 4 out of 5 stars!

YA fantasy involving  dragons, magic, sword fights, and the struggle of good vs. evil.  It’s the story of Eon, who is actually Eona, a girl disguising herself as a boy so she can train to become a Dragoneye and harness the power of one of twelve energy dragons (similar to the Chinese zodiac in structure).  This was a fast read and one I would recommend for teens and adults alike.  Fair warning:  be sure to have the sequel, Eona, on hand in order to finish the epic adventure!

Playing Possum by Stephanie Rabig — 4 out of 5 stars!

I probably shouldn’t have laughed as much as I did over a story involving killer opossums (that’s right, opossums), but I couldn’t help it.  I love creature feature horror, be it movies or books, and Rabig delivers a gross but fun-in-a weird-and-sick-way tale of nature gone awry.  Added bonus: this novella is part of a creature feature series that started as a lark on twitter and morphed into actual stories being published and all profits going to animal charities of the author’s choice.  Also in the series:  The Roo by Alan Baxter.

Under Rotting Sky: Stories by Matthew Brockmeyer — 3.75/4 out of 5 stars

I love short story collections, especially when it’s from an author I’m not familiar with as it’s a great way to get a sense of their writing styles.  I have to tell ya, Brockmeyer covers the spread with this anthology of 20 horror stories.  Some are simple dark fiction while others bring out the monsters, both human and otherworldly.  There are some pretty graphic scenes (one in particular involving necrophilia almost made me tap out, and that’s saying a lot!) and several of the stories end a bit abruptly, even if they were supposed to be ambiguous endings.  Overall, not bad, and I’ll be looking for more of his stuff in the future…hopefully without the necrophilia.

Thank You, Jeeves by P.G. Wodehouse — 3 out of 5 stars

One of my classic choices for July, I went into this one blind.  It wasn’t bad, but really not what I expected.  I didn’t realize it was 5th or 6th in a series as the description made it sound like the first, so most of the time I felt like I was missing out on something.  The first half or so had some decent humor and was enjoyable, the second half fell flat pretty quickly (plus the extended scenes involving blackface didn’t help).  Three stars because I really like Jeeves!

Norwood by Charles Portis — 3 out of 5 stars

Ah, Norwood.  I couldn’t decide if this guy was slow, cunning, unlucky, or what.  This is a pretty simplistic story, no character development or lengthy backstories.  We go from point A to B to C very quickly and with a touch of drama thrown into the mix.  This was Portis’ first novel and after reading and loving True Grit, I can understand why this one wasn’t overly hyped.  Not terrible though, makes for a good lazy day afternoon read.

The Wild Parrots of Telegraph Hill by Mark Bittner — 3 out of 5 stars

The big plus of this book was the birds.  Bittner describes their habits and personalities, and goes a little bit into the possible history of how the parrots wound up wild in San Francisco.  The downside:  Bittner’s own descriptions of his filthy home and habits, refusals to get a “real job,” and the constant mooching of medical advice and supplies from neighbors became irritating after a while.  Oh, and why no color pictures??  I would have given an extra star if the photos scattered throughout the book had been in color so we could admire the birds’ beauty the author spoke so highly about.  I’ve heard the documentary is much better so I’m going to try to track it down.

Stay safe and sane, and until next time, Happy Reading!

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