When I started this blog, I promised myself that I would stick to sharing my love of books and stay away from politics and “hot button” topics. However, the national events of the past week, culminating with the massacre of nineteen young children in their classroom on May 24, has left me spent, my emotions fluctuating between utter heartbreak for all the families and total rage that these mass shootings have become a norm in our society.
I’m not going to go on a rant as I know my words won’t change anything. “Thoughts and prayers” are fucking worthless. But today, I wanted to share some pictures I took at a local Japanese garden May 25 as a tribute to those lost.
A bit of beauty in a fucked-up world.
The Week in Books
The Way of the Rabbit by Mark Hawthorne — 5 out of 5 stars
Check back the weekend of May 27-29 for my full review, both here and at MrPinkInk!
Planting Dandelions by Kyran Pittman — 4 out of 5 stars
One of my May reading selections. A collection of essays highlighting the various twists and turns of being a parent (and an adult). Pittman explores many topics, from marriage to children’s parties, to the death of loved ones. Her writing is easy-going and the topics are, for the most part, relatable.
The Savage Instinct by M.M. DeLuca — 4 out of 5 stars
Set in 1873, this is the story of Clara Blackstone, a young woman who returns home after spending time in a mental institution (her problem? A breakdown after the stillbirth of her child). She soon crosses paths with notorious serial killer Mary Ann Cotton (be sure to look up the true story of Cotton, England’s first female serial killer!), leading to a suspenseful build-up and shocking conclusion. This was a book that took me by surprise, one that I didn’t know if I would enjoy or not and wound up surpassing my expectations.
Wisteria Cottage by Robert M. Coates — 3 out of 5 stars
One of my May reading selections. Florence and her two adult daughters befriend bookstore clerk Richard Baurie. He arranges for them to stay at an isolated beachside cottage for the summer…what could possibly go wrong?? There were aspects of this story that I liked, particularly Richard’s unreliable narration and descent into madness. I can see how this would have easily been a 5-star read when it was originally published in 1943, but reading it in 2022, I found it good but slightly underwhelming.
Novellas, Short Stories, and Anthologies
Hao by Ye Chun — 4 out of 5 stars
An amazing collection of stories from Chinese American author Ye Chun explores the strengths of women in difficult situations, the unbreakable bonds of family, and how words/language can be the bridge needed to survive. There is a wide span of topics, from immigration to the death of a child. While the stories are often depressing, there is still an underlying feeling of hope. Highly recommend.
Stay safe, hug your loved ones, and keep on reading…