Weekly Mash-Up #111

With the late winter blahs setting in, this  little pot of tulips definitely brightens things up a bit!

Spring really feels like a long way off right now.  Between all of the snow last week, followed by lots of rain, and now more snow and wind today….well, just more excuses to bring out the hot chocolate and curl up under a warm blanket with a great read!

The Week in Books

Kin: A Memoir by Shawna Kay Rodenberg — 3 out of 5 stars

Rodenberg tells her story of her younger years living in a religious group called The Body,  as well as her troubled teen and early adult years, and shares stories of abuse that has haunted her family for generations.  I have read many memoirs of similar situations over the years, and for some reason Kin just didn’t stick with  me.  The writing at times was dry and emotionless.  There were really no explanations or inner reflections, which left me feeling a bit disconnected to the author’s story.  And while I try not to rate an early release ecopy based on editing errors, I really hope this one receives an extensive editing before publication.  The layout is choppy and at times confusing.  It almost felt like someone was playing with the cut and paste buttons as random thoughts/paragraphs would pop up in the middle of another narrative.    I would be willing to reread this after the final edit to see if I feel any different, but at this time my rating stands at a solid three stars.

Novellas, Short Stories, and Anthologies

Lucid Screams by Red Lagoe — 4 out of 5 stars

This collection of dark tales offers a bit of everything, from the heartbreaking  loss of a child to a tale of haunted paint brushes.  There’s weirdness and dark humor (my notes for one story simply states “don’t piss off your wife!”).  I’m looking forward to reading more of Lagoe’s work in the future, and I highly recommend these tales if you’re looking for something strange and different.

Something Rich and Strange by Ron Rash — 4 out of 5 stars

One of my February TBR.   I’m a big fan of Rash’s writing, with his style reminding me a bit of John Steinbeck.  This extensive collection offers tales ranging from the Civil War through modern times, focusing on simple, hard-working folk trying to get by the best they can with their given circumstances.  While many of the stories are a bit depressing, there are some moments of light humor thrown in (The Night the New Jesus Fell to Earth and Love and Pain in the New South to name a couple).  This is a must-have for Rash fans, and a great place to start if you want to check out his wide range of work.

A new month is coming up quickly, be sure to check back for my March theme and TBR.  Until next time, stay safe and sane, and Happy Reading!

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