An update on Weekly Mash-up #105

When I started this blog, I vowed to keep politics and political discussions out of my reviews.  My goal was, and still is, to share my thoughts on the many books I read, to promote healthy discussions, and to recommend some great books.

It came to my attention after I posted WMU105 that one of the authors I reviewed is someone I do not wish to be associated with.  Joseph D’Lacey, the author of Weed (which I gave 4 stars by the way) has been tweeting pro revolutionary/insurrection types of posts, as well as anti-mask/pandemic conspiracy theory posts.  Retweeting things like “The revolution of mass civil disobedience starts tomorrow” upsets me to my core, especially after the events of January 6.  He attributes this quote to an Italian uprising against covid restrictions and quarantines but since it was originally posted after January 6 I highly doubt that was the main focus (and why he retweeted this is beyond comprehension).  But no matter the intentions of that particular post, his disregard of the pandemic sweeping the globe and his continued retweeting of conspiracy theories and violence towards democracy  has left me no choice but to remove his book from my  life.

I am shocked, saddened, and sickened by his posts, and I will not support any of his writings now or in the future.


Weekly Mash-Up #105

The highlight of this past week was by far my son’s 17th birthday on Sunday.  Our little celebration (just the three of us with a few presents and a lot of chocolate cake) helped remind me that there is still good in the world, and to take time away from the darkness on the daily news to celebrate the things in life that bring us happiness and hope.

The Week In Books

Gone to See the River Man by Kristopher Triana — 4.5 out of 5 stars

Lori is a woman haunted by her past, in love with an imprisoned serial killer, and willing to do anything to win his love.  That’s the simple synopsis, but this story is so much more than that.  Triana gives us a macabre tale, exposing the depths of human depravity.  I’ll admit that even I had to put this aside for a day after reading about Lori’s past.  But there was an unmistakable pull to continue, and I found myself reading nonstop to the bitter (yet strangely satisfying?) end.  The story is dark and gruesome, the characters unlikeable, but Triana’s writing pulled me in and left me wanting to read more of his work.  Definitely not for everyone, but highly recommend.

Buried by C.J. Carmichael — 2.5/3 out of 5 stars

This was one of those books I wish I had read some of the reviews before wasting my time with it.  I thought it was a stand-alone mystery, but no, it’s a cliff-hanger, part of a trilogy that I will not be continuing.  The initial mystery is good (a best-selling author gets anonymous emails regarding cold case murders of librarians in his home state of Oregon), but the whole schlocky soap opera vibe just didn’t do it for me.

Stay safe and Happy Reading!

Weekly Mash-Up #104

What a quiet beginning to the new year…

… and yes, this is me getting into my hibernation mode for the next two months or so!

After the holidays are over, the decorations put away, and the house is back to somewhat normal again, I always feel like burrowing between some warm blankets, brewing endless pots of tea, binge-watching favorite shows, and reading some great books.  Granted, that pretty much sums up most of last year, minus the warm blankets during the summer!

I’m currently reading some longer books that I felt I needed a little break from (not that I don’t like them, I just have to be in the right mood to read them…we all know that dilemma!).  So I decided to read a couple of longer novellas in my collection, one being a 20+1 choice, the other from a new-to-me author who I’ve heard many great things about.  Totally different genres, but both are great reads to start out the new year!

The Week In Books

Golden Fortune, Dragon Jade by Alan Baxter — 4 out of 5 stars

This is a total departure from Baxter’s usual horror/sci-fi stories, and I loved it!  It incorporates Asian mythology and religion, Australian history, and lots of martial arts fight scenes!  It’s a fun, quick read that I recommend for everyone, and I really hope Alan Baxter plans on a follow-up (hint hint!)!!

I’m From Nowhere by Lindsay Lerman — 4 out of 5 stars

So, for the other end of the spectrum!  This story centers around Claire, recently widowed and trying to figure out who she is without a husband, child, or job.  This sounds pretty straight-forward but it’s not.  Lerman examines grief in it’s different forms, with a main character I personally didn’t care for but I  couldn’t stop reading about.   Check this one out, you might be surprised by the feelings you have after reading it.

Until next time, Happy Reading!

January — A Fresh Start

I love starting a new series.  I love reading fantasy novels in the middle of winter.  So what better way to start out the new year than with a new (to me!) fantasy series?!

This has been on my shelf for some time now and I am totally curious to see what everyone has been talking about.  I’ve heard enough about it that there probably won’t be many surprises but I still can’t wait to be swept away to a different world.

Goodreads Group Reads

My groups selected a couple of books I highly recommend to start out the year.  A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khalid Hosseini is heart-breaking, at times brutal, yet beautiful as well.  A story of family and friendship in war-torn Afghanistan.  Personally, this is my favorite of Hosseini’s works.       If you’re looking for a big classic to kick-start 2021, Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy definitely fits the bill!  A word of advice:  be sure to find a copy of character names and their titles/nicknames to keep with you when you start this.  It seemed like every person went by four or five different names and I found it pretty confusing at first!  Plus, we’re not in school anymore, it’s perfectly okay to have a cheat sheet!!   😀


May 2021 bring lots of great reading experiences your way!  Stay safe and Happy Reading!

My 20 Plus 1 For 2021!

I’ve never been one for making New Year’s resolutions.  I usually fall from my diet by week two, exercise equipment collects dust, travel plans don’t go through.

Reading goals, however, never fail!  I love challenging myself, whether it’s reading a certain number of books or trying out different genres and authors.  I look forward to read-a-thons with my Goodreads groups, and checking out other book blogs and vlogs for inspiration.  This year, on top of my personal reading goals, I have some extra challenges I’m signing myself up for.  Bookworm Bitches offer a variety of challenges both monthly and quarterly that I usually participate in.  This year I’m also taking on their year-long Literary Scavenger Hunt.  There are nearly 50 prompts, like books with a specific number of chapters or pages, cover art (or lack thereof), matching my initials or birth year with a book or author…you get the idea.  I’m already going through my TBR hoard to start matching books with prompts!

And, of course, I made a to-read list for 2021 from my shelves and boxes of books waiting for me to pick them.  It was difficult, to say the least!


I tend to gravitate towards memoirs and biographies, so Born Standing Up and Saving My Assassin were no-brainers.  Five Days at Memorial takes a look at the chaos and tragedy at a hard-hit hospital during Hurricane Katrina.  Brooklyn Zoo is another memoir, focusing on an infamous psych ward at a Brooklyn institution.  As an animal lover, I’ve had When Elephants Weep on my to-read list for over a decade now.  I finally have a copy and can’t wait to read it!


Really a little bit of everything here!  I had to pick a couple of my favorite authors, Cormac McCarthy and Sherman Alexie.  A couple of others have been on my shelf for a while (A Gesture Life, The Doubt Factory).  Plus, I have to read The Twelve before I forget what all happened in Cronin’s first book, The Passage !


I’ve amassed quite a collection of novels and collections on my Kindle over the past year, it almost rivals the number of my unread physical books!  I decided to prioritize five of these ebooks, adding them to my 2021 reading list.

Managed Care by Joe Barrett  Described as  “A laugh-out-loud celebration of bad choices for good causes,” a young man moves into a care facility for the elderly after they refuse to refund his deceased grandfather’s deposit.  I see some potential in this one!

Gone to See the River Man by Kristopher Triana  A woman’s obsession with a serial killer leads her to unspeakable darkness to prove her loyalty to a madman.  Sounds like this is right up my alley!

Golden Fortune, Dragon Jade by Alan Baxter  A novella-length adventure fantasy from my favorite Australian author.

The Rust Maidens by Gwendolyn Kiste  I’ve been hearing great things about this novel, probably best described as a mix of gothic and urban fantasy.  Girls are withering away, their bodies turning to broken glass and corroded metal.  I can’t wait to find out why!!

In the Valley of the Sun by Andy Davidson  Another one I’ve been hearing great things about.  A literary western with some vampires thrown in the mix.  What’s not to love about that??!

Now, you’re probably wondering about the whole Plus One thing.  I love long, epic novels, but lately I’ve been finding it difficult to really get into one.  I have several sitting on my shelf, so I decided to choose one of the 700+ page novels as a must read for 2020….

Plus One

This was another difficult choice.  I was torn between this, The Priory of the Orange Tree, and 1Q84.   In the end, I wound up closing my eyes and picking one, so we’ll see how this goes!

What are your reading goals for 2021?  Let me know, I love hearing about what everyone is reading!

Until next time, stay safe and Happy Reading!!