Monday Mash-Up #052

I hope 2020 has been good to everyone so far!  While this past week has been mainly a mix of cleaning up and putting away all of the holiday decor, this coming week brings yet another milestone to our household:  my son’s 16th birthday on January 10!  I never thought I’d be one of those parents who constantly says “Where did the time go?” but it really doesn’t feel like 16 years have gone by.  And while we are still facing challenges with his Asperger’s, he has definitely overcome others thanks to the help and attention of his teachers (you all rock!!).

The year has also started out on a very positive note with the books I recently finished, check these out——

The Week in Books

In the Kingdom of Ice:  The Grand and Terrible Polar Voyage of the USS Jeannette by Hampton Sides — 5 out of 5 stars!

Arctic explorations in the 1800’s?  Sign me up for the adventure!  I don’t know why these stories intrigue me as much as they do, and I am putting this story up at the top of the list of the ones I’ve read.  Sides does a wonderful job of telling the story of the boat and her crew, and the subsequent disaster and battle for survival.  I’ll admit it seemed a little muddled for the first couple of chapters, mainly due to all of the people being introduced,  but I still highly recommend this amazing tale of exploration and man’s struggles against one of the harshest environments on earth.

We Sold Our Souls by Grady Hendrix — 4.5/5 out of 5 stars!

This was a solid 4 star read for most of the book, but I have to say that the final showdown (so to speak) actually gave me goosebumps so I upped it to 5 stars for Goodreads.  The story of a rock band who sold their souls, Hendrix offers his (un)usual blend of “real” life meets monsters, with a bit of humor thrown into the mix.

Doll Crimes by Karen Runge — 5 out of 5 stars!

Horror doesn’t always mean werewolves and zombies.  Some of the scariest horror involves the depravity of the human race.  This is the story of a girl and her mother, traveling through the fringes of society.  The subject matter is tough and not for everyone.  But Runge creates world-weary characters and a world of desperation with very little graphic descriptions (which, in my opinion, makes it even more haunting).  And while the ending was unexpected, sadly it didn’t really surprise me.  I highly recommend, but with some caution.

Roads to Quoz:  An American Mosey by William Least-Heat Moon — 2 out of 5 stars

I have never been so glad to finish a book in my life….and that’s saying a lot, especially after reading Atlas Shrugged and James Joyce’s Ulysses.  It took me nearly seven months to slog through this.  Why? you may ask.  Because I remember enjoying Least-Heat Moon’s earlier work, Blue Highways, and I’m also a stubborn reader, determined to stick it out to the bitter end.  There were a few hidden gems hidden in the detritus, but by and far this was the author’s ode to the thesaurus, creating 600 pages of nearly unreadable text that made me want to reread Joyce’s Ulysses because even at it’s worst, it made more sense than these moseys through America.


After starting out the year with such great books gives me hope this year will be the first without a 1 star review!!  Fingers crossed!!

Until next time, Happy Reading!

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