I tidied the yard yesterday, gathered leaves into piles and anchored them with broken limbs off trees. The amazing thing is, they're still, mostly, in their piles, despite the fact that the wind blew all night and all day. But there are more leaves and more tree-limbs out there now, more broken greenery from pines, and more to be cleared. Still, it's going dark, and I've been leafing, or clicking, my way through several books recently too, so perhaps it's time to post some more book reviews.
Pause while I brew some coffee...
First, and full of fun, is S.R. Johannes' On the Bright Side. The author will visit my blog on Monday, so don't forget to come back and meet her. On the Bright Side is a fun teen novel set in an afterlife filled with modern technology. Brights in training might resemble somewhat unqualified guardian angels, and Gabby's exploits as she "protects" her long-standing nemesis are teen-perfect and filled with perfect lessons--like obedience, empathy, putting other's needs first... oh and closing the door. Enjoy this with a well-brewed 2-star lively cup of coffee.
Still thinking of heaven, Conquering your Goliaths, by Kathryn Elizabeth Jones, is a wise and enjoyable parable of a women who's lost her job and needs to find her way. The five stones David carried to fight Goliath provide a neat background as the mysterious owner of a water-bottling company sets Virginia on the path to hope. Enjoy a well-balanced full-flavored 3-star coffee with this smooth tale, and maybe learn some steps towards conquering your own goliaths.
Suren Fant's The Godless loses something in translation as it turns heaven and hell into a mysterious battle of powers fought over the mind and character of one young man. The mythology combines many religions, has a super-hero feel, and covers many countries from Armenia to North America. There's a distinctly un-western feel to the attitudes with women playing only very minor roles. An odd story, best enjoyed with a dark-brewed 5-star coffee.
Majanka Verstraete's The Crossroads is a short horror story packing a powerful punch. Based on an urban legend, it reads slightly awkwardly but ends with a very enjoyable, satisfying twist. Drink a smaller dark 5-star coffee with this one.
Staying in the realms of earth-bound fantasy, Rose Pressey's Rock 'n' Roll is Undead is a nice addition to the world of vampire lore. As in other fiction, these vampires are out of the closet, and now they're playing with witch singer Veronica Mason in a rockabilly band. As band-members die and the vampire FBI close in, Veronica needs to solve the case before she's accused of murder, or worse still, murdered. Drink a 2-star easy-drinking coffee with this fun read.
My final book's a paperback so I really did "leaf" through this and it was definitely fun. 5 Reasons to Leave a Lover by Carolyn Moncel has deliberate echoes of the Paul Simon song, but narrows down the reasons to abuse, ambivalence, deception, cheating and death. It's a bitter-sweet set of stories, one novella and several shorts, with a pleasingly French introspective writing style. The settings, from Europe to America, are convincingly portrayed and emotions are given that intimate detachment so well suited to wounded affection. There's a dog, who I loved, an elderly man who's achingly real, and various betrayed and betraying lovers whose failures and hopes become intensely real. A masterful collection, best enjoyed with a 4-star rich, complex coffee.