Weekly Mash-Up #114

This past week brought some much-needed sunshine to my corner of the world, so we decided a day trip to the beach sounded like a great idea…

Even though the winter winds coming in from the Pacific Ocean were cold as hell, it was still a beautiful day to escape from the house and enjoy a walk along the crowd-free beaches.

It was also a good week to start my outdoor spring cleaning: trimming plants, clearing out flower pots, and the like.  After so much down time these past few months, I felt a real sense of accomplishment.  Come on spring, I’m ready for you!

Even with a somewhat busy week, I did find time to enjoy these fantastic reads…

The Week in Books

Tender is the Flesh by Agustina Bazterrica — 5 out of 5 stars!

This book is going to haunt my dreams for a long, long time.  Set in a dystopian future where animal meat is infected with a deadly virus so an alternative “special meat” is produced (I’ll give you one guess as to what that “special meat” is).  Marcos works at one of these slaughterhouses while dealing with the loss of his child and separation from his wife.    This story is brutal, haunting, and strangely thought-provoking.  The subject matter is definitely not for everyone, but I highly recommend checking it out!

Moshi Moshi by Banana Yoshimoto — 4 out of 5 stars

This turned out to be a pleasant surprise.  In the aftermath of Yoshie’s father’s death alongside an unknown woman, Yoshie and her mother try to find their way through this new life without him.  While trying to come to terms with his death, they will experience regret, anger, love, and forgiveness.  There were a couple aspects of the story I just didn’t care for, and MC Yoshie seemed a bit stiff at times, but overall a really good read.  I already have more of Yoshimoto’s works on my TBR wish list!

Novellas, Short Stories, and Anthologies

Chronicling the Days:  Dispatches From a Pandemic edited by Linda M. Morra — 4.5/5 out of 5 stars!

This anthology of essays and poetry is the direct result of the pandemic that changed the world.  In April 2020, the Quebec Writers Federation put a call out to members to share their experiences during lock-down, a sort of “typical day in isolation” piece.  The result is this vast assortment of very personal and very heartfelt pieces that I think everyone can relate to on some level.  Some address their fears and frustrations, others find joy in the simple things around them.    Highly recommend (and to educators out there, I think you should look into adding this book to your curriculum and/or school libraries).

Stay safe and Happy Reading!

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