Because Sometimes YOU ALL Are the Weird Ones

Author(s): Anthology
Publisher: Laksa Media Groups Inc.
Published: August 2016
Genre(s): sci-fi, fantasy, i.e.speculative fiction
Recommended for: people who don't quite fit in and would like to hear about others on the "outside"
Synopsis (via www.goodreads.com):  

There's a delicate balance between mental health and mental illness…


We are your fathers and mothers, brothers and sisters, sons and daughters, friends and lovers. We staff your stores, cross your streets, and study in your schools, invisible among you. We are your outcasts and underdogs, and often, your unsung heroes.

Nineteen science fiction and fantasy authors tackle the division between mental health and mental illness; how the interplay between our minds' quirks and the diverse societies and cultures we live in can set us apart, or must be concealed, or become unlikely strengths.

AUTHORS: Kelley Armstrong, Suzanne Church, A.M. Dellamonica, Gemma Files, James Alan Gardner, Bev Geddes, Erika Holt, Tyler Keevil, Rich Larson, Derwin Mak, Mahtab Narsimhan, Sherry Peters, Ursula Pflug, Robert Runté, Lorina Stephens, Amanda Sun, Hayden Trenholm, Edward Willett, A.C. Wise

I have so much to say about this that a wee blurb on goodreads.com isn't going to cut it!

I've recently decided to try my hand at writing, and am quite passionate about breaking the stigma surrounding mental health, and/ or "otherness" (i.e. not fitting in with "normal" society). This anthology offers a wide variety of authors, genres, viewpoints, and experiences that will appeal to anyone that has had any amount of mental health challenges, or perhaps to friends and family of someone who is hard to connect with.


Welcome to historical spy fiction at it's best! (Probably.)

Title: Where Dead Men Meet
Author: Mark Mills
Publisher: Headline Review
Published: November 17, 2016
Genre(s): historical fiction, spy, thriller, mystery
Recommended for: fans of thrills, chills, and Switzerland
Synopsis (via goodreads.com):  

A return to the period adventure thriller in Where Dead Men Meet reestablishes Mark Mills as a master storyteller for fans of William Boyd, Charles Cumming, or Robert Harris

Paris, 1937. Luke Hamilton - a junior air intelligence officer at the British Embassy - finds himself the target of an assassination attempt. A clear case of mistaken identity, or so it first appears. As Luke is hunted across a continent sliding towards war, he comes to learn that the answers lie deep in a past that predates his abandonment as a baby on the steps of an orphanage twenty-five years ago.

From the author of the bestselling The Savage Garden, and set against a terrific backdrop of Europe on the cusp of the Second World War, this is a compelling novel, rich in adventure, espionage, secrets and lies.

Again I'm out of my usual genre(s) but have been loving me some amazing WWII (in this case, pre-WWII) historical fiction this year!!

As I work in a used bookstore, I am familiar with the spy/ war fiction genre, with your Tom Clancy's, your Robert Ludlum's, etc. and I've never given them much of a second glance (unless they were out of alphabetical order! Hollah to my Book Shelvers out there!!) However, Mark Mills may have built a bridge for me, I must say!!*


Fata Morgana: A Refreshing Gin n' Soda with a Twist!

Title: Fata Morgana
Author(s): Steven R. Boyett/ Ken Mitchroney
Publisher: Blackstone Publishing
Expected Publication: June 2017
Genre(s): historical fiction, WWII, sci-fi, fantasy
Recommended for: fans of realistic WWII warfare scenes, and enjoy a little fantasy with their historical fiction
Synopsis (via goodreads.com): 

At the height of the air war in Europe, Captain Joe Farley and the baseball-loving, wisecracking crew of the B-17 Flying Fortress Fata Morgana are in the middle of a harrowing bombing mission over East Germany when everything goes sideways. The bombs are still falling and flak is still exploding all around the 20-ton bomber as it is knocked like a bathtub duck into another world.

Suddenly stranded with the final outcasts of a desolated world, Captain Farley navigates a maze of treachery and wonder—and finds a love seemingly decreed by fate—as his bomber becomes a pawn in a centuries-old conflict between remnants of advanced but decaying civilizations. Caught among these bitter enemies, a vast power that has brought them here for its own purposes, and a terrifying living weapon bent on their destruction, the crew must use every bit of their formidable inventiveness and courage to survive.

Fata Morgana—the epic novel of love and duty at war across the reach of time.

I just spent hours finding the perfect cast for this book, and lost the post. Where's "Wen" when you need him!!!   

I am surprised at how much I enjoyed this book; I've not read much WWII historical fiction, and I don't think anything to do with the U.S. Air Force, but I do loves me some good sci-fi!  Fata Morgana is a classic WWII American Air Force drama juxtaposed with epic science fiction, and it works!!


Disappeared in Translation: Dear Mr. M [Review]

Title: Dear Mr. M
Author: Herman Koch
Publisher: Hogarth
Published: Sept 2016 (orig. May 2014)
Genre(s): mystery, Dutch (translation), thriller, suspense
Synopsis* (via goodreads.com):  

Once a celebrated writer, M's greatest success came with a suspense novel based on a real-life disappearance. The book was called The Reckoning*, and it told the story of Jan Landzaat, a history teacher who went missing one winter after his brief affair with Laura, his stunning pupil. Jan was last seen at the holiday cottage where Laura was staying with her new boyfriend. Upon publication, M.'s novel was a bestseller, one that marked his international breakthrough.

That was years ago, and now M.'s career is almost over as he fades increasingly into obscurity. But not when it comes to his bizarre, seemingly timid neighbour who keeps a close eye on him. Why?

From various perspectives, Herman Koch tells the dark tale of a writer in decline, a teenage couple in love, a missing teacher, and a single book that entwines all of their fates. Thanks to
The Reckoning, supposedly a work of fiction, everyone seems to be linked forever, until something unexpected spins the "story" off its rails.  

With racing tension, sardonic wit, and a world-renowned sharp eye for human failings, Herman Koch once again spares nothing and no one in his gripping new novel, a barbed tour de force suspending readers in the mysterious literary gray space between fact and fiction, promising to keep them awake at night, and justly paranoid in the merciless morning.

Socially Broken Hidden in Plain Sight?

In this review we're going to work backwards without spoilers

The conclusion of this mystery raised my esteem for this book from 3 to 4 stars. 

It's one of those books where you finish reading, you sit and think, and then want to immediately re-read the whole thing to make sense of the final revelation.