Weekly Mash-Up #103

It goes without saying that I love getting books as gifts.  And it’s helpful that my husband never knows what to get me so when I give him a list of titles he just rolls with it!

I’ll have to admit, I was interested in Singing With All My Skin and Bone for the cover alone.  But having read the first story in the collection I have a feeling I’m going to enjoy this one!  The Faster Redder Road is a collection of early works from one of my faves, Stephen Graham Jones.  The other two are titles I’ve seen floating around on Goodreads that piqued my interest.

And then there’s the creature features!

What started out as a joke on Twitter, followed by the wildly successful book, The Roo by Alan Baxter, has continued with more stories about wildlife out of control.  Added bonus:  all proceeds go to the author’s favorite animal charities!

The Week In Books

The Magpie Coffin by Wile. E. Young — 5 out of 5 stars!

I finally got my hands on The Magpie Coffin, the first in a series of Splatter Westerns put out by Death’s Head Press, and wow!!  If it hadn’t been for having to make meals and walking the dog I would have devoured this in one sitting!  Salem Covington is a man on a mission: to seek revenge on those who killed his mentor, Comanche shaman Dead Bear.  Think of a spaghetti western with a lot more bloodshed and some supernatural elements.  Highly recommend!

Baby and Solo by Lisabeth Posthuma — 4 out of 5 stars

Solo is a teenager working at a local video rental store, trying desperately to be normal and hide his past.  Baby is his coworker who is trying to deal with her own painful secret.  The story follows their growing friendship and their hidden pains.  There are a lot of issues and triggers in 400 pages, including homophobia, teen pregnancy, abortion, suicide, and mental illness.  And while I thought at times the author was trying to throw too many things into the plot, I still thought it was a  well-written, touching coming-of-age story with a nostalgic nod to the 1990’s.

The Silence of the Elves by Meg Muldoon — 4 out of 5 stars

This fun cozy mystery was a perfect pick for Christmas!  Misfit elf Holly Hopewell is kicked out of the North Pole by Mrs. Claus and sent to live and work in the small depressing town of Mistletoe.  Of course there’s a murder, a loyal sidekick, and a budding romance,  but it offers the perfect mix of mystery, humor, and sweetness.

The Bookshop on the Corner by Jenny Colgan — 3.5 out of 5 stars

Wait, how did this chick lit/romance show up on my shelf…and why did I actually read it?!!!?!!  And actually wind up kind of liking it??!!??!!  As you know, I am not a fan of this genre, but I really needed a break from darkness (both in fiction and in real life) and I will have to admit that once I settled in and started reading, I was totally hooked.  But why only 3.5 stars?  The predictability makes it a guaranteed 3 star in my world.  The extra half star was for Nina’s passion for books.  But her naivety quickly became annoying and distracting for me, keeping it under the 4 star mark.

Novellas, Short Stories, and Anthologies

Snow by Howard Odentz — 4 out of 5 stars

This little kindle freebie short story is kind of cheesy but still a fun read!  Teenagers discover a drunk in the woods and steal his bag of goodies.  Let’s just say they shouldn’t have done that!

In Tooth and Claw: Tales of Horror and the Supernatural by Dan Soule — 4 out of 5 stars

Another freebie surprise!  Eight stories ranging from a witch’s curse to military-trained werewolves.  I did think that a couple of the stories felt a bit abrupt, but overall a great variety, one that will have me looking for more of the author’s works in the future.


Well, we’re almost to the end of one of the strangest, stressful, and saddest years I’ve ever known (and I know I’m not alone in thinking this).  However, I’m confident that 2021 will bring brighter times for all of us.  It may not miraculously happen on January 1st (I wish!!) but hang in there, it will come.

Stay safe and sane, and Happy Reading!


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