I Don’t Quite Know What To Make of This…

Random Musings

Other than Girl looks GOOD. It’s like a weird post-modern take on the insatiable lust for sex and the down-home good feeling of Country music.

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Tart Apple: Some Thoughts on “Written On The Apple Tree”

Book Reviews

The short story “Written On The Apple Tree” is short but resonant. Capping out at a mere 4000 words, the author, Ann Girdharry, feels ethereal and magical. I wouldn’t necessarily call it a light read as that label implies that there isn’t much substance, but it won’t weigh you down either with tumult or angst.

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There’s a little bit of time travel action, a little bit of love story. There’s clever, wispy dialogue, and a pace that is comforting and pleasant. Girdharry manages to depict a relationship that is unique at the very core, presenting facts and situations to the reader where the reader becomes invested in the well being of these two major characters.

It’s all very good. There are bigger, deeper questions that shimmer on each page, ranging from the impact of long-ago decisions to the power of suggestion. Either way you look at it, Girdharry is a bright writer, and I’m eager to read what’s next of her sleeve.

 

A Fortunate Read: David Heath’s “Fortune 69”

Book Reviews

Mental health and depression issues are still considered taboo and controversial. My mind cannot wrap itself around the notion that what makes us different STILL makes us strange. Acceptance and acknowledgement are two of the strongest human actions that exist, and they’re still the two that people are still trying to get right. Check out #oscarsowhite. It’s awful.

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This is precisely why David Heath’s effervescent “Fortune 69” was such a welcome and eye-opening read. It holds a flawed, depressed main character at its core, using Trigger as the catalyst to present a world that literally always has it’s finger on a trigger, ready to shoot.

The aforementioned Trigger is depressed and lonely. Either one is not a truly ideal state to be in, but together, nothing good can really come of it. Embarking on a suicide attempt, Trigger decides that life is not worth living, and decides to end his life for all of social media to see and behold. It’s a powerful commentary on voyeurism and our propensity to watch someone suffer.

Fortunately, the author decides to use this sad event to bring a character into the reader’s lives that is at once endearing and damaged. Trigger is navigating the tough terrains of life, unsure of a lot of things, and excitable about others. His posted suicide note on Fortune-69.com, his second home online, and has found himself with devout followers who have christened him their new leader. Leader of what remains to be seen.

Peppered in are a few colorful characters that bring a spectrum of originality and tonality to the novel. The author is clearly an intelligent person, as evidenced through his witty anecdotes and witty, sly stabs at modern culture. It’s an entertaining, provocative read that allows the reader to become active in their observation, even though in today’s age, it’s passivity that governs most of our lives.

 

Positive State of “Auguste and The Condition” By M.L. Sanford

Book Reviews
Set in exotic locales that only add to the urgency of the author’s writing style, “Auguste and The Condition” is a must-read for fans of thrillers and intrigue.
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It’s quite difficult to effectively summarize the books tendency to subvert genre formulas and norms. The lead character, Auguste Kensley, has such a sordid history full of disappointment, poverty, and sadness that his eventual survival is a testament to his willingness to endure as a person.
There are many varied plot developments that are intrinsic to understanding Auguste’s motivations. His relationship  with his childhood Raj is joyous and realistic – a presentation of a true co-existence with his best friend. There are curveballs thrown into Auguste’s path towards the navigation through life, some in the form of beautiful women and the previously mentioned beautiful locales, but the author’s tendency to return to the larger, overriding thematic constructs of redemption and forgiveness is what really catapults “Auguste and The Condition” onto another literary level.

Reading “Montmartre Stairs: A Paris Love Story” By Douglas Warren

Book Reviews

It’s a love story. It’s a ghost story. It’s a life story. It’s a happy story. But they’re all really one in the same, aren’t they?

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Douglas Warren’s romantic “Montmartre Stairs: A Paris Love Story” is a genuinely written piece about love and all of the insane dynamics behind it. The story finds the instantly likeable and realistic Michelle, who encounters a stumble down a flight of stairs only to be rescued by the enchanting John. OK – this might not be groundbreaking plot development, but it’s purpose as catalyst to the following love story is effective and purely functional.

Smitten, the two embark on a journey of the realization of love and, to a certain extent, fate. Several obstacles are thrown their way, from John having to return to London for work, and Michelle an upcoming theatre star in Paris. While John has some things he needs to straighten out back in his London life which includes some truly vile parents, Michelle immerses herself completely into her newfound theatre life.

What unfolds is surprising. John’s epic battle with his parents allows him to embrace the more creative, innovative part of himself as presented through his new friendships with Michelle’s zany theatre friends. It’s not only his relationship with the love of his life that is presented in the book, but also his journey towards understanding who he really is. Yeah sure, there’s romance and love, but there’s also some truths about how the concept of love is really just a step on the ladder towards self-enlightenment.

 

 

Warming Up to L.D. Beyers’ “In Sheep’s Clothing”

Book Reviews

Full of authentic thrills and clever word play, L.D. Beyers’ “In Sheep’s Clothing” is master storytelling. It takes a thriller and upends it, reverses it, and then lets it settle while the reader is trying to wrap their minds around what exactly is happening.

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Moving at lightning speed, the plot of the novel has one very strong-willed President who will do anything to save the country. New to the White House, President Kendall quickly learns that what goes on in the oval office does not necessarily stay in the oval office. He also soon learns that the walls have ears and nothing is as it appears to be.

Thrown into these stark revelations, the author introduces the downtrodden but resourceful Secret Agent Matthew Richter. With his own set of baggage, including a very extensive knowledge of White House operations, he partners up with the President to literally try and save the day.

Crisp and clear, Beyers’ prose is elegant and forthcoming. Details are pertinent and storylines are all relevant by the book’s end. I appreciated the lack of red herrings because I feel if you have a strong plot, then you don’t need to throw off the whiff of the reader. “In Sheep’s Clothing” is an exercise in talent and patience.

Catching Up With “The November Keys” By Brian and Michael Turner

Book Reviews

“The November Keys” does not fit into a certain type of genre. Instead, it borrows on key elements of the supernatural, comedic, and downright fantastical.

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Uniquely told by real life father and son authors, “The November Keys” is an equally unique read. Eschewing any treading on formulas of books past, it instead focuses on telling a fun and thrilling tale. Football plays a large role in the novel, but it’s not a book only sports lovers will enjoy. Rather, the authors take the passions and dedication of the sport and uses it to inject fervour into the narrative.

There are many interesting characters, ranging from local gangsters to purveyors of special beer, making the story charismatic and enjoyable. It is evident that the authors had an enjoyable time writing a book where life is absolutely not what you think it is, right when you think you have it all figured out.

There are mythical creatures and local witches, and stories of the quest for redemption and for the preservation of culture.  Timeless and creative, “The November Keys” is a must-read.