Weekly Mash-Up #123

This past weekend I participated in another readathon, this one through the  24B4Monday Goodreads group.  Over the span of Friday through Monday, I was able to read a total of 796 pages,  and finished 4 books!  I’ve become a bit of a readathon junkie over the past year or so, and I’m already looking for the next one!  If you have any suggestions for future readathons, be sure to drop me a line!

Oh, and did I  mention this past week’s book mail?!?

I’m pretty sure when I log into Thriftbooks they just automatically pull up my debit card and get the packaging ready to go!!  I ordered another eclectic mix, from These Women (the lives of five women connected by one event/person) to Road Seven ( a strange-sounding tale involving a man running from his past and a random unicorn sighting!).  Indigenous author Carol Rose GoldenEagle’s Bone Black takes a fictional look at the underreported and unsolved crimes against Native women.  The Mercies, based on true events which took place off the coast of Norway in 1617, sounds like a tale of not only survival but also of unexpected love.  And as for The Nightly Disease?  I just couldn’t pass up this bizarro fiction/horror novel written by someone who, like me, has worked in the hospitality business for many years and knows what it’s like to deal with those sometimes strange late night customers.

The Week in Books

New Veronia by M.S. Coe — 4.5 out of 5 stars

 4.5 stars, rounding up for GoodreadsI don’t know how to sum up this book in an awesome review that will make everyone want to pick it up, because I am honestly at a loss for the right words. Giving new meaning to the standard “coming of age” story, this is a mash up of dark, disturbing, and uncomfortably erotic, and I could not put it down. M.S. Coe is a voice to watch and I am already looking forward to all future works!

Matters of Doubt by Warren Easley — 3.5 out of 5 stars

The first in the Cal Claxton series, originally published in 2013 and getting a reboot May 2021 (I’m guessing there is a new one in the wings?).  There was quite a bit I liked about this mystery, which starts out with a young homeless artist trying to find the truth behind his mother’s death, then goes on to include  more murders, an escort service, and a wide array of intriguing supporting characters.  My main problem falls with the protagonist, Cal.  I can’t quite place what it is, but I could not get behind him as any sort of “hero” or as a wanna-be sleuth.  His often random political observations made me believe this was setting up the series to become more political in nature and less mystery and entertaining.  I am willing to read the next book in the series, if nothing else to see if my view of Cal changes in any way.

In the Still of the Night:  The Strange Death of Ronda Reynolds and Her Mother’s Unceasing Quest for the Truth by Ann Rule — 2.5/3 out of 5 stars

I’ve read many of Rule’s true crime books over the years, and this is definitely not one of her best.  This particular book interested me as the events happened not far from my home in Lewis County, Washington.  I was hoping Rule could maybe cut through some of the bullshit that went on with the investigation like she’s been known to do with past cases.  Sadly, for me, this was just a rehash of all the rumors I’d already heard that had been circulating in this area for years.   While I applaud Ronda’s mother, Barb Thompson, for her tenacity and her fight against the “good ol’ boy” system that makes up our local sheriff’s department, this is one book that really shouldn’t have been written without more concrete proof and with less conjecture and rumors (Quick note:  As of June 2021, there is still nothing new in the case, at least nothing that has been shared with the local media.  I’m not sure it’s even still considered active).

The Dinner by Herman Koch — 1 out of 5 stars

One of my May selections.  This started out as a pretty solid 3 star read, but by the halfway point I was beginning to lower my opinion.  By the end, I just wanted to chuck this book against the wall.  I find it entertaining that so many reviewers are labeling this the “Dutch version/answer to Gone Girl.”  Let me tell you….It.  Is.  Not.

Novellas, Short Stories, and Anthologies

Dimentia by Russell Coy — 3.5/4 out of 5 stars

This was one of the weirdest things I’ve read in a while…and you know that says a lot!!  I can’t even begin to describe it, but if you like alternate realities filled with strange creatures and some fast-paced storytelling, then be sure to check this one out!

Stay safe and Happy Reading!

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