A Human Stain by Kelly Robson
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
places left elbow on desk. leans forward. places hand on forehead. stares blankly at computer screen.
Where should I even begin?
WTF. That’s the only appropriate description I have for this story. I dislike using that kind of language in a public forum, even when it’s abbreviated, but that is exactly how I felt. In fact I actually said that out loud after reading the last page, because what the heck was that?? Then something happened…
Over a period of three days… and I’d even started another book… my mind slowly started to unravel what happened in this story. I was having eureka moments at completely random intervals. Using my hand mixer in the kitchen; “Oh that’s why there was blood on the bed.” Pulling weeds in the flower bed; “Oh that’s why such-and-such” (that I won’t mention because it’s a spoiler but trust me when I say it’s super cringey and weird) “happened.” Laying in bed almost asleep; “Ohhhh… THAT’S why he shoved his fingers in her mouth.” Those weren’t the only moments I had, but you get the idea. However there are still so many unanswered questions. So, so many. And I still can’t decide whether or not I liked this story, but it has definitely left me very curious about her work, and I have already picked up other pieces she has written.
Now having painted my emotional picture for you, I will say part of my confusion was caused by her writing. It doesn’t flow well in places. I had to read a few scenes two or even three times to figure out exactly what was going on, but there is an awful lot of talent here. The fact that I was unconsciously contemplating this story for several days, says an awful lot about her abilities as a writer and her imagination.
So I’ve change the look of this journal. I like it much better! I’ve also decided to move all my interests (including all my Everquest2 tours) to one journal. This journal. Once I’ve moved everything over, I’ll upgrade to the paid service. The ads aren’t intrusive, but no ads is better! I’m currently working on moving all my other content here and deciding exactly how I should organize it, which will take a bit, so just ignore any mistakes I let slip through while I’m completing this process!
The Fifth Season by N.K. Jemisin
My rating: 1 of 5 stars
I can’t tell you much about this book, because I couldn’t read it. I almost never quit a book, but by the end of the prologue, I’d cultivated a pretty strong dislike for the author and didn’t care about where the story was heading or the character at all. I do not appreciate her style of writing. I quit with the impression the author is completely convinced of her own superior abilities, and instead of telling a story with some kind of emotion that might actually be great, she was using her book as a forum to prove how great she is, which of course might not be the case at all, but that’s certainly how it made me feel.
Killer Cupcakes by Leighann Dobbs
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
This book was cute, but it wasn’t a favorite. The “Death By Chocolate” series by Sally Berneathy is similar but much more entertaining, and I quickly found myself comparing the two. However this book did have a few things I enjoyed. The story unfolds quickly and smoothly, and there is an intangible sort of joy being translated through the pages as I read. I imagine this originates from the author’s love of writing. It didn’t feel like a story being written by someone who was struggling or working hard to get her story out, so even though I wasn’t in love with this book, I was certainly uplifted. That feeling of being uplifted was topped off by the main character’s “Famous Cupcake Tops” recipe which the author included in the back of the book. I absolutely loved that and will certainly be trying out her recipe!
Get Me Off by Penny Wylder
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Though I read a fair amount of romance and erotica, I don’t often enjoy them enough to have anything to say, but this is one of those occasions. This book had me laughing in the first few pages. I have had a few of the character’s snarky thoughts about men and sex myself, and it was refreshing to read about a character who wasn’t so very unrealistic, that you couldn’t relate to them. The sex scenes themselves were peppered with a bit of realism, which made it easy to imagine myself and my guy in place of the characters. That was a new experience for me, and I really enjoyed it! I felt the author blended her own experience and realistic expectations with her crazy fantasies, which made the whole story feel much more personal for me. I’d recommend this book to anyone who enjoys romance or erotica, especially if you are in the mood for something quick and satisfying!
Joe Canzano, musician and author of Sex Hell and Mango Girl is offering his latest not-yet-released novel, Suzy Spitfire Kills Everybody, for free if you sign up for his mailing list! (He only sends out mail when he actually has something to tell you. He’s definitely not the spammy type!) He’d like you to post a review of the book when you are done, but it isn’t required. I would encourage you to do so. Reviews are especially important for independent authors!
Of Cats and Men: Profiles of History’s Great Cat-loving Artists, Writers, Thinkers, and Statesmen by Sam Kalda
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
This is a book I picked up free to review through NetGalley, and I’m very glad I did! As a cat lover, the cover and title appealed to me right away. As I read through the descriptions of famous men and their bond with cats, I had the impression this was the author’s first book, not because of any lack in his skill, but it emotes ‘this-is-new-and-exciting-for-me’. That feeling positively influenced my own emotional state and enhanced my experience while reading.
It is also heavily illustrated and the illustrations are very communicative. You know exactly what emotions, thoughts, and ideas are being expressed immediately. The author is obviously a very experienced artist and is completely comfortable expressing himself through his art. His illustrations are just wonderful, and I would love to have prints of several of them to place amongst my book shelves! One in particular (my favorite) depicts Nikola Tesla standing by his desk, gazing out through his window and petting his cat, who is also looking out, on a moonlit night as lightening strikes near a metal tower. This image captures the essence of those silent moments of contemplation with companionship, which are so common between cat and guardian. So much is communicated through the author’s illustrations, that this book would not be nearly as interesting and charming without them, which I’m sure is the point!
The author conveys a simple and lovely picture of the bond between a human and a cat which left me in a state of reverie that involved a few tears and sniffles. The ‘thing’ that draws me to my cats is not their adorable and funny actions and reactions, or the way they get themselves into all manner of silly predicaments that make me laugh and want to cuddle them up (if they allow it!), but the quiet way they have inspired and influenced me. The subtle and modest way they communicate, which is often missed by the casual feline admirer, has taught me more about communicating in meaningful ways with the people I love, than I might have ever learned on my own. This book is an excellent read, especially for anyone who has ever loved a cat!