Saturday, July 22, 2017

Recent Updates and Currently Reading | July 22

I've decided I'm no longer going to accept review copies or any requests for guest posts or giveaways. This may be a permanent change. I try hard to accept very few review books, and I think the time has come to say no to all of them. The frustrations that come along with blogging have been seeping into my reviews and my enjoyment of posting.

All I want to do here is recommend great books, get great recommendations, and get to know other readers. I'm looking forward to focusing all of my blogging time on that. 💗

Posted Last Week

Quick Reviews | Every Dead Thing and Gwendy's Button Box

Read Last Week

After hearing of George Romero's passing, I decided to spend a couple of days reading my copy of Dawn of the Dead. It had been a while since I'd experienced slow zombies. It was actually jarring to me which was a huge surprise because I have always had a love and a preference for the Romero zombies. I need to spend more time revisiting Romero's world.

I also read Entertaining Demons. I may do a quick review for that one soon. It turned out to be more about the demons and less about the paranormal activity.

Review Copies

This NetGalley request happened before my decision to go on a review copy hiatus. I told a couple of you last weekend I was trying to hold off on getting a copy of Artemis. Yeah, that lasted until Monday morning. 😂

Artemis by Andy Weir - I actually have no idea what this book is about! I'm not going to look either. All I can say about this book to you is that it is written by Andy Weir. That's pretty much all that's necessary if you ask me. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Current Distractions

  • The Exorcist is officially the scariest thing I have ever seen on TV. I'm only a handful of episodes into season 1, and it's terrifying.
  • I have now finished season 2 of Game of Thrones so I'm still making my way through. Everyone I have ever known and loved is dead and burned. OK, not really, but folks are not lying about the death in this show.
  • All of this TV watching does nothing for my reading progress, but it is great for crafting. I made a ton of progress on the blanket I'm crocheting for my mom. If I keep up this pace, I may have it done by her birthday in August even though I was planning it for Christmas.
So what about you? Let me know what you're reading (or watching) this week or leave me some links!

This post is being shared as part of Book Date's It's Monday! What Are You Reading?, Tynga's Reviews' Stacking the Shelves, and Caffeinated Book Reviewer's The Sunday Post.

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Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Quick Reviews | Every Dead Thing and Gwendy's Button Box

Every Dead Thing is the first book in the Charlie Parker series by John Connolly.

Every Dead Thing (Charlie Parker #1) by John Connolly

When former New York City detective Charlie Parker is pulled into the search for a missing woman, he finds insight into the murderer responsible for the slayings of his own wife and daughter -- a monster/artist/serial killer who uses the human body as his canvas and takes faces as his prize.

Aided by a beautiful young psychologist and two career killers, Parker becomes the bait in a trap set in the Louisiana bayous and faces a brutal confrontation with the killer known only as the Traveling Man.
Charlie Parker. Every time I come across the Charlie Parker series, I see nothing but high praise for it.

My first introduction to John Connolly was last year when I read his young adult novel The Gates. I was struck by his sense of humor, and I knew I needed to read more of his books.

Every Dead Thing was a great introduction to the series. I didn't find the dark humor I expected after reading The Gates, but I did find a solid thriller. The introduction of the Charlie Parker character took me by surprise. I wasn't expecting such a rough and heavy introduction. I'm taking it as a good sign that this will not be your average series.

I'm looking forward to continuing on with the next book. There are fifteen Charlie Parker books at this point so I may have a long treat in store.

7/10: Recommended Read

Review copy provided by publisher

Gwendy's Button Box is a horror novella from Stephen King and Richard Chizmar.

The little town of Castle Rock, Maine has witnessed some strange events and unusual visitors over the years, but there is one story that has never been told... until now.

There are three ways up to Castle View from the town of Castle Rock: Route 117, Pleasant Road, and the Suicide Stairs. Every day in the summer of 1974 twelve-year-old Gwendy Peterson has taken the stairs, which are held by strong (if time-rusted) iron bolts and zig-zag up the cliffside.

At the top of the stairs, Gwendy catches her breath and listens to the shouts of the kids on the playground. From a bit farther away comes the chink of an aluminum bat hitting a baseball as the Senior League kids practice for the Labor Day charity game.

One day, a stranger calls to Gwendy: "Hey, girl. Come on over here for a bit. We ought to palaver, you and me."

On a bench in the shade sits a man in black jeans, a black coat like for a suit, and a white shirt unbuttoned at the top. On his head is a small neat black hat. The time will come when Gwendy has nightmares about that hat...

Journey back to Castle Rock again in this chilling new novella by Stephen King, bestselling author of The Bazaar of Bad Dreams, and Richard Chizmar, award-winning author of A Long December. This book will be a Cemetery Dance Publications exclusive with no other editions currently planned anywhere in the world!

I think I've changed as a reader. They say no two people read the same book. I truly believe that. Back before I had kids, I loved books with kids in peril. I remember the night I started reading Mary Higgins Clark's Where Are The Children? I stayed up all night reading it in one sitting. After devouring Greg Iles' 24 Hours, I passed it around to family members. I remember how mad I was at Stephen King after reading The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon. I couldn't wait to read the story of a little girl lost in the woods. It was going to be scary, and King was going to show her no mercy. But it wasn't, and he did, and I became one of the folks who simply wasn't a fan of The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon.

Gwendy's Button Box reminds me a lot of The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon. Old me probably would have hated Gwendy's Button Box, but current me really enjoyed it. I'm not somehow a better reader, but I'm probably a changed reader. I won't even go near a book with kids in peril now that I have kids of my own.

I'm really curious what other readers thought the buttons would do? I did not expect the buttons to do what the buttons turned out to do. This has me thinking - do the buttons do the same thing for each person who becomes the proprietor of the box? The man with the hat said something along the lines of "you already know what they do". If Gwendy believed the buttons made it rain, would it have rained when she pushed the button?

I've read way too many magic treehouse books so you can probably guess what my buttons would do. My buttons would be far less sinister than Gwendy's buttons, but my responsibility as a button proprietor would also pale in comparison to what Gwendy had to face.

So Gwendy's Button Box has left me pondering quite a bit which is a great thing. Stephen King is an amazing writer. This book is worth reading just for the touch King puts on everything he writes. This is possibly my first Richard Chizmar story.

I don't know what else to compare a King story to other than another King story. (Who else compares?) There was an 11/22/63 feel to Gwendy's Button Box, but it's obviously a much, much smaller tale in scope. I feel like Captain Obvious when I recommend a Stephen King book, but fans shouldn't miss out on this one.

8/10: Great Read

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