Advent Day 12: Salt

51uwkhh0yzlA true test for any entertainment I consume is whether or not it stays with me. It can be easy to be swept up in the moment and overlook a lot of things, or fail to really evaluate the merits or shortcomings of anything.

So books that stay with me? Those are great books. There was a lot in Salt that I identified with. A sense of loneliness and isolation. The feeling of trying so hard and still being the second choice. The fear of throwing everything away for a hope/dream/goal and perhaps still coming up short, never having had a chance at a normal life.

This is a YA story with monsters. When their parents go missing, Indi and his siblings are determined to find the truth. Teenagers Indi and Beleza are forced to take charge and care for their much younger siblings, keep their boat afloat and keep food on the table, all while slaying the monsters that they have the ability to see.

My original review is here. The book is available via Amazon and in your local bookstores. And there’s still time to get this gripping tale before Christmas.

Advent Day 13: Blackkklansman

Advent Day 14: Dark

Advent Day 15: Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown

Advent Day 16: Terror is our Business: Dana Roberts’ Casebook of Horror

Advent Day 17: Freeze-Frame Revolution

Advent Day 18: Haunting of Hill House

Advent Day 19: Wind River

Advent Day 20: Letterkenny

Advent Day 21: Black Mirror

Advent Day 22: The Oddling Prince

Advent Day 23: The Americans

Advent Day 24: Fight Fascism

Advent Day 25: Bodyguard

Advent Day 26: Baskets

Advent Day 27: Literature

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Advent Day 16: Terror is Our Business: Dana Roberts’ Casebook of Horrors

BookcoverSticking with a horror theme, one of my favorite books from this past year was Terror is Our Business: Dana Roberts’ Casebook of Horrors. This is also a very distinct addition to my book list, because it’s an anthology. All of the stories follow Dana Roberts, who specializes in eliminating evil spirits and investigating alleged paranormal phenomenon.

Written by Joe and Kasey Lansdale, several stories follow Joe’s character, Dana, through different jobs. Then Kasey steps in and introduces a counterpart to Dana who had me laughing out loud. If her writing is any indication, Kasey brings the sass in that family. My original review is here. Absolutely loved this collection. So much so that I’ve never put it away. I let it out of my sight only long enough to lend it to one of the teens.

 

Advent Day 17: Freeze-Frame Revolution

Advent Day 18: Haunting of Hill House

Advent Day 19: Wind River

Advent Day 20: Letterkenny

Advent Day 21: Black Mirror

Advent Day 22: The Oddling Prince

Advent Day 23: The Americans

Advent Day 24: Fight Fascism

Advent Day 25: Bodyguard

Advent Day 26: Baskets

Advent Day 27: Literature

Advent Day 17: Freeze-Frame Revolution

I have to admit I have a strange habit with my reading. It’s either terrible or wonderful, depending on the book and who you ask.

I’ve judged book awards for the last three years (for a site that’s now taking a bow) and been a paid reviewer. I’m starting a new paid reviewing position elsewhere.

As a result, I get a lot of books that I don’t necessarily choose, or pick from a limited list, and I don’t always pay that much attention to genre or theme or anything else. I just dive in.

36510759The Freeze-Frame Revolution wasn’t one of those books, but the practice bleeds over to other review copies I accept. I keep a list of what is due when and try to work through it and don’t refresh my memory on the particulars before I do.

So there was a moment when I set this book down to help with dinner and told Brian, “This is batshit crazy and I don’t know what’s going on but I don’t care! I love it.”

And wow, did I ever. I strapped myself in for this wild and crazy and completely original ride. The author is one of those authors that’s smart enough to know that readers don’t need to be info-dumped with all the answers up front. The revelations keep coming as things progress and this dystopian sci fi story has a thrillerish pace that increases page after page. Even thinking about this book right now reminds me of how intense it was, and how I was on pins and needles waiting to find out what would happen. My original review is here.

 

Advent Day 18: Haunting of Hill House

Advent Day 19: Wind River

Advent Day 20: Letterkenny

Advent Day 21: Black Mirror

Advent Day 22: The Oddling Prince

Advent Day 23: The Americans

Advent Day 24: Fight Fascism

Advent Day 25: Bodyguard

Advent Day 26: Baskets

Advent Day 27: Literature