Weekly Mash-Up #80

It took a while, but it finally feels like summer!  And with the warmer, dryer conditions, my favorite part of summer is here…


Fresh berries (and cherries), yummm!!!   I was so happy my other half, Dave, brought home fresh raspberries.  They are my all-time favorite food and I wasn’t able to get any last year.  I’m happy to report I made some raspberry freezer jam, as well as put a couple of bags of the fruit in the freezer for winter consumption!  Oh, and I ate a big ol’ bowl, fresh and delicious!

We have a wonderful friend who has a strawberry farm, so I’m always excited to get these amazing gems from him every summer.  Added bonus:  he grows the everbearing strawberries so from now until mid-September I’ll be able to get fresh-picked berries, not something that I take for granted and something  I truly appreciate!  I will be stocking our freezers with jam and sliced berries to be used on cereal, ice cream, and what not during the long, dark winter months.  Sure, it’s a bit of work now, but being able to taste a bit of summer on our toast or in a sandwich in the middle of winter makes it all worthwhile.


The Week In Books

True Crime by Samantha Kolesnik — 4 out of 5 stars!

After years of abuse and torture, two siblings kill their mother and go on a crime spree road trip.  But what happens after the spree ends is just as disturbing.  I was impressed by this debut novel;  the horror is truly real, without extreme graphic details but just enough info to make the reader know the untold story and to feel disgusted/haunted/angry/shocked/slightly nauseous…you get my drift.  I can’t wait to see more from this author!

Then She Was Gone by Lisa Jewell — 4 out of 5 stars!

I tend to be a bit over-critical, often quite cynical, when it comes to these “chick-lit thrillers” as I’ve come to dub them.  In the wake of successes like Gone Girl and The Girl on the Train it seemed like everyone wanted to be the next Gillian Flynn, offering up the same obvious twists, the same unstable characters.  But I have to say, I was surprised at how much I enjoyed Then She Was Gone.  Sure, you can see the plot twists a mile away, but Jewell’s writing kept me going, wanting to find out the whys and hows.  Plus it moves quickly, making it a great choice for a summertime afternoon beach read.

Eden by Tim Lebbon — 3.5/4 out of 5 stars

Earth in the not-so-distant future sports some attempts at saving the environment.  Named The Virgin Zones, these places are off-limits to humans, heavily guarded, and totally reverted back to their natural states.  Add some “extreme adventure racers” who are determined to infiltrate the oldest of all of these zones (Eden) just to say they did it, a missing family member from an earlier breach, and some really pissed off plants and animals, well, that’s the best way I can sum up this book!  This book was strange in that it was truly slow-moving, yet I could not leave it for any length of time. I would read a couple of chapters, feel the need to put it down, but an hour or so later I had to pick it up again.  I don’t know who I would recommend it to, but I do recommend giving it a shot…..and I will never take my orchids for granted again!!

North Country by Howard Frank Mosher — 3 out of 5 stars

Mosher takes us on his journey along the Canadian/United States border, sharing tales from the various small towns he visited along the way.  Overall, this wasn’t bad, there were some good observations as well as some insights from supposedly random people he fortuitously met along the way.  I was a bit miffed that my home state of Washington was pretty much an afterthought, even though the end of his journey was at a very important and interesting area on the west coast.  But hey, we got to learn all about his fishing adventures so there’s that. Don’t get me wrong, this was a pretty good read, but at times it just felt a little bit too convenient.

Hollow City by Ransom Riggs — 3.5 out of 5 stars

It’s been a few years since I read Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children so perhaps that’s the reason why I just couldn’t get into book two.  Or maybe it’s because the first half was pretty boring!  Well, maybe not exactly boring, but I just didn’t feel the same magic I felt in the first book.  The second half did pick up and by the end I was once again looking forward to the next installment.  Of course, if and when I actually get around to that is another story!

So enough of my snarky self!

Stay safe, stay sane, and Happy Reading!

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