Weekly Mash-Up #176

I’m writing this on the eve of general elections here in the states, and trying not to be too morbid, but knowing that the fate of our democracy is at stake (not rhetorically but realistically) has had me on edge for a while now.  Books have been my escape my entire life, but the past few days even more so as I try to distance myself from toxic doomscrolling and focus on what’s important.  Our national Thanksgiving holiday just a couple weeks away, and that has also helped me remember what is important in life.  No matter what happens in the next few days/weeks, please remember that I write and offer this blog as a safe space for everyone.  Feel free to share book recs and have  conversations with me…unless you are a neo-nazi facist-loving maga supporter, in which case…get the fuck off my page.

The Week in Books

Heart of Glass by Craig Wallwork — 3.5/4 out of 5 stars

I can’t remember how I stumbled across this title (perhaps a promo of sorts on the bird app), but I am so glad I did.  My introduction to Wallwork’s writing was a great blend of dark and twisted, with a side of severe family dysfunction and unexpected twists.  If you like twisted love stories (I kept thinking of Natural Born Killers, even though this would have been the kindergarten version of that movie), then be sure to check this one out.  I will definitely be looking for more of Wallwork’s stories in the future.

Novellas, Short Stories, and Anthologies

They Were Here Before Us by Eric LaRocca — 4.5/5 out of 5 stars

Any author who can craft stories that horrify me on one page then brings tears to my eyes on the next deserves all the stars.  This “novella in pieces” combines brutality and beauty, showing the pain we are willing to endure for love, no matter the form.  Fair warning:  these stories are not for everyone.  If after reading the “Word of Warning” at the beginning of the book you are still willing to turn the page, prepare yourself for a reading experience that will haunt you for some time to come.   A truly unique piece of work from a truly gifted author.  Highly recommend.

An Event in Autumn by Henning Mankell — 3 out of 5 stars

The final story of the Kurt Wallander series, originally written to be given away at a local event, and the final writing before Henning Mankell’s death in 2015.  While not my favorite in the series, there is something a bit heartbreaking when you know you’re reading the good byes of both character and author.  The mystery itself is pretty straight-forward, it just felt almost forced at times and like something was missing (and after reading the afterward from the author, I understand why).  Overall decent mystery, I think meant for superfans of the series.

Man Made Monsters by Andrea Rogers — 3 out of 5 stars

A collection of short stories that connects a family from the 1800’s into the not-so-distant future (however, I have to admit, I would never had seen the connection if it hadn’t been pointed out to me).  As with most collections, some tales were stronger than others.  Overall, I would recommend, but for me it just wasn’t what I expected after reading the blurb.

Stay safe and Happy Reading!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *