Category Archives: Uncategorized

Deadlight Jack by Mark Onspaugh

Shamans in swampland. Evil creeples snag children and a duo of shamans save the day.

You won’t get lost in the second of this series by Mark Onspaugh although it would probably be helpful to read them in sequence.

The story of Deadlight Jack takes us into Louisiana swampland and is replete with giant Albino alligators, malingering ghosts, and other gruesome nasties. The writing seems a little scattered. The dialog, especially between Jimmy (Inuit shaman) and George when they are insulting one another, never truly gels.

After saying that the book was still good enough that I kept reading and stayed up past my bedtime to finish.

This book was an ARC via NetGalley.

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Two Awesome Hours by Josh Davis

Two Awesome Hours: Science-Based Strategies to Harness Your Best Time and Get Your Most Important Work DoneTwo Awesome Hours: Science-Based Strategies to Harness Your Best Time and Get Your Most Important Work Done by Josh Davis
My rating: 3 of 5 Tophats

Nothing revolutionary but Josh Davis from the NeuroLeadership Institute has caused me to do something that tons of other self-help books haven’t and that is to make a conscious change.

The first 69 pages made a strong enough impression that I’ve now posted a note so I am always reminded of the principles of decision points:

” *Savor each decision point.
*Plan your decision points in advance.
*Don’t start a new task without consciously deciding it’s the right one.”

Good stuff!

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The Terrible and Wonderful Reason Why I Run Long Distances by Matthew Inman

The Terrible and Wonderful Reasons Why I Run Long DistancesThe Terrible and Wonderful Reasons Why I Run Long Distances by Matthew Inman
My rating: 4 of 5 Top Hats

I’m not sure if this is reverse inspiration or full frontal…either way this is a great book in comic form that perfectly expresses how I’m guessing most of us feel about running.

Favorite quote:

“Running is a way of standing up to all the stupid shit in your life and saying: I don’t know how to fix you so I’ll just bend you into workable shapes….I chose not to combat my monsters, I chose to put them on a leash and take them for a walk instead.”

Definitely a winner!

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Things Half in Shadow by Alan Finn

Things Half in ShadowThings Half in Shadow by Alan Finn
My rating: 4 of 5 tophats

Journalist hired to debunk Philadelphia’s mediums in post Civil War 1869 discovers the best medium to murder mediums.

All is not as it appears to be as you’ll soon discover in this thrilling, chilling, story by Alan Finn.

Philadelphia 1869. Mediums abound after the Civil War has run its course. Most of them are charlatans some of them aren’t. Lenora Pastor is the real thing but someone doesn’t want the dead to tell tales to the living.

This is not a gore fest by any means but I found myself checking over my shoulder a couple of times when reading this…and there might have been a light left on overnight…by accident of course. You’ll enjoy the case of the heebie jeebies you’ll get from this tight tale.

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Eeny Meeny by M.J. Alridge

Eeny Meeny (Helen Grace, #1)Eeny Meeny by M.J. Arlidge

My rating: 4 of 5 Tophats

Clever British set police procedural with a savvy serial killer who specializes in killing two birds with one stone.

Super competent police officer, Helen Grace, has a guilt fetish so strong she meets her master on a regular basis to get beaten till she bleeds…but she’s always in control.

If I had one complaint it would be that Helen tends to blame others before she has the full details which seems a bit screwy since she’s so kick ass in everything else.

Tension is created from the get go and you will come away from this story admiring the solid plot twist. Who will be the last to emerge from this twisted plot and will they ever really recover from having won?

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Emergence by John Birmingham

Emergence (David Hooper, #1)Emergence by John Birmingham

My rating: 3 of 5 tophats

Hungover oil rigger kills deep sea alien and gets aliens super powers. War for planet domination begins.

Dick lit that is good but somehow misses the mark. The main character is a philandering ass who, by his own admission, is not worth much to his family. He is good at getting drunk and hiring top shelf “hookers” and he does care about his staff out on the open water oil rig. Otherwise his depth of character is definitely in the shallows if not in the kiddie pool. By accident Dave kills an interloper from the underworld and all hell breaks loose. If you’re wondering, of course good triumphs in the end…doesn’t it.

Good beach read but I’d suggest a backup.

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House of Echoes by Brendan Duffy

House of EchoesHouse of Echoes by Brendan Duffy
My rating: 4 of 5 Tophats

Depressive former-banker mother, passive-aggressive novelist father, Charlie the odd child who get’s a “tightening” when something bad is about to happen and the baby, Bub, move to upstate New York to refurbish the run down family estate after Charlie is bullied at his former New York school. Fundamentalist religious sect welcomes them, integrates them, and then demands adherence to their religious laws. Hilarity does not ensue.

To me this is somewhat of a mashup between Harvest Home by Thomas Tryon and The Shining by Stephen King. Duffy moves the action along and throws in some intriguing plot twists. This one kept me up past my bedtime reading and then kept me awake long after I went to bed. Super satisfying read.

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