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Bark's Book Nonsense

I read the good, the awful & all of the "meh" in the middle. I'll read most any horror, romance & M/M novel that comes my way.  

Currently reading

The Devil's Detective: A Novel
Simon Kurt Unsworth
Progress: 61/304 pages
Happy Herbivore Light & Lean: Over 150 Low-Calorie Recipes with Workout Plans for Looking and Feeling Great
Lindsay S. Nixon
The Silver Chain
Primula Bond

The Girl With All The Gifts by M.R. Carey

The Girl with All the Gifts - M. R. Carey, Finty Williams

Hi friends, here's a tossed off review but if I don't get it out now it will be gone forever.. Sorry I am so behind and can't really think straight.


I listened to this as an unabridged audiobook loaned out via Overdrive and read by Flinty Williams who has the most lovely, lilting English accent. I read this cold and I think it best if you do so too so this is going to be super brief.

It starts off a little weird and I like weird so I was hooked. It seems that children are being overseen by military men who keep them locked in cells, removing them only for their school lessons, but only after they’ve been strapped into wheelchairs. Ummm, what the hey is going on here?

I’m not going to tell you. But when you figure it out it’s rather unsettling to say the least. Sassy cats say it best.

The dulcet tones of Flinty Williams, along with the intriguing beginning, grabbed me but it was the humanization of the characters that kept me going even when some poo hits the fan and things started to get a little too bogged down in survival action for my personal liking.

This was a fantastic story with a beginning I loved and adored though I do wish more time had been spent at the “school” and it has excellent characterization. You’ll probably hate some of ‘em though (but what’s an adventure without a few baddies? BORING, that’s what!). From the beginning, you can’t help but sympathize with Miss Justineau and Melanie and they are two characters who will linger with me for a while.

There’s even some fun bits of sarcastic dialogue amidst all of the fear, anxiety and fighting for their lives. And who can't use a little sarcasm in their lives?


I will leave you with my favorite line.

“Do I have to punch you in the head again?”

Family Emergency

We had an unexpected ER visit the other night and now I am incredibly behind. Please know I am not intentionally ignoring anyone. I am just swamped right now with work and other obligations but don't celebrate too soon. I will be back with more lousy reviews and commentary on yours someday . . . soonish?




Heehee ;)  

Cool to the Touch: A Zombie Love Story by Terry Maggert

Cool to the Touch: A Zombie Love Story - Terry Maggert

Cool to the Touch combines two things that should never, ever go together. Zombies and sex. Yeah, you read that right. Zombie sex. Sex with zombies. Not exactly the stuff of which dreams are made.

“How consuming is love?”

Would you believe me if I told you this is a sensitive and eloquently written tale of love, loss, lust and utter hopelessness? You should because it’s true.

I quite enjoyed it. It’s not all up in your face gross as most of the “monster porn” I’ve read has a tendency to be (not that there's anything wrong with that either!). It’s sexy but not super explicit. It’s .99 cents for 12 pages of terrible beauty and if this author decides to write a full out erotic horror novel I’ll be the first in line to one-click buy it.

Read it if this is your thing. I won’t judge you. Come on. You know you want to. . . Here's a small sample of what's in store. You can blame my GR friend Tressa.

"Things were precarious just then. I could feel the aftershocks of her own pleasure clenching me at the root, as if every drop of me might bring her back from the edge of depravity that she stood upon."

Happy Easter Booklikers!

Trooper #4 by Noah Chinn (audiobook)

Trooper #4 - Noah Chinn, Barbara Benjamin-Creel

A woman awakens with a gun and a name badge and no memory of who the heck she was before this moment. She’s adaptable though, assumes the name Felice, and sets off to see what’s up.

What’s up isn’t anything good. Much of the world seems to have been burned to ashes and there are “screaming meemies” lurking about ready to suck the life out of you. Felice manages to find some food and a young boy who is also apparently suffering from amnesia. She takes it upon herself to protect him and to get to know him. I loved her then. How could you not?

So, you may be thinking this is just another post-apocalypse zombie-ish filled tale. Well, it is and it definitely is NOT. I know this makes no sense whatsoever but if I go into any sort of plot detail I’ll ruin it all for you and I’m not going to do that. I’ll only say that things take a unique turn and then another and though you may be confused here and there (or maybe that was just me) it all comes together in the end.

I love character focused books and Trooper #4 features a tough, smart and tenacious lead in Felice. She’s thrown into a confusing as hell situation and brings you right along with her as she tries to unravel everything that’s going on around her. She doesn’t sit around waiting for someone to save her or boo hoo about her situation. She digs in and figures things out on her own. She also has a snarky side which made me love her even more.

When someone gets overly complicated to show off how smart they may be she:

“Tuned out the techno babble. Really, who needed it?”

And, this description? Tell me you’ve never thought something similar about someone? (If not, you’re a nicer person than I’ll ever be!)

“The smirk on her face. The kind you wanted to smack off with sandpaper.”

Again, how could I not love her?

I listened to this book as unabridged audio and highly recommend it if you like a strong lead, twists, suspense and can deal with some plot confusion that gets cleared up. There’s nothing worse than a book that wraps up and leaves you confused, right? This isn’t that book. The story was expertly narrated by Barbara Benjamin-Creel . She has an almost musical voice that pulled me into the story from the very first scene. She does a beautiful job with Felice and the various other characters. I always knew who was who and she brought the scenes to life, something many a narrator fails to do, adding a depth to the story.

I can easily recommend listening to Trooper #4 if you’re looking for something different.

Hold me closer, brundlebunny.
Hold me closer, brundlebunny.

Inspired by Derrolyn. Happy Halloween everyone ;)

SYNC Has Announced 2015's Audio Lineup

Any must reads?

I just got the most AWESOME review request

How could i resist this one? I get some weird requests that I share every now and again (did I ever tell you about the "boobie" shot glasses?) but this one makes up for all of it and I cannot wait to hold it in my hands!! And if it doesn't show up, for whatever reason, I am going to buy it.


Who is jealous?

Old drama...

Reblogged from Book Cupidity

Asylum by Patrick McGrath

Asylum - Patrick McGrath

**I just unearthed this 5 year old review which didn't make the GR transition properly.


This has been sitting on the bottom of a huge pile of books in my bedroom that topples over every time one of my dogs flops down for a nap. I'm getting sick of picking them up and will read them from the bottom up. It's like a Survivor Challenge as I wiggle out the bottom book without causing the whole lot to topple upon my head. I bought it five years ago at a library sale according to the withdrawn library stamp. Shameful.

Psychiatrist Peter Cleave tells a supposedly sordid tale of a former patient, love affairs gone terribly wrong, sexual obsession and madness but alas he’s such a boring fellow the story has no emotional appeal, no sense of drama, and no interesting tidbits to savor and drool over. He skims over the good stuff and me, being the fool I am, continued to read waiting for my interest to become engaged and hoping to feel something for these screwed up people. Alas, I remain a fool.

Doc Peter works in an asylum for the criminally insane which happens to be within walking distance of the home of their newly hired superintendent, his beautiful but bored housewife Stella and their young son Charlie. When an inmate named Edgar is hired on to do some work on their grounds Stella gets all hot and bothered by his sweltering looks and big brawny chest and begins to romanticize his criminal history. She starts to believe he only murdered his ex love because he loved her so very deeply. Awwww, isn't that the sweetest? So I assumed bad things were going to happen and was looking forward to an emotionally disturbing read about a dumb housewife and a hunky headcase but I was so bored I could barely get through it.

This could have been an interesting gothic-y tale but the problem for me was Peter’s first person narration. It makes the book feel a bit stuffy and distances me from the people he’s prattling on and on about. Because the book is told entirely from Peter’s point of view or from snippets he gleaned from interviews with Edgar and Stella, who withheld all interesting tidbits it seems, we are only told the unexciting parts of the story. Peter has no imagination and doesn’t fill in the blanks very well either. Damn it all. I’m not a perv, really I’m not, but when a book jacket touts “passion” and “strange love” I expect something slightly exciting and not a whole bunch of boring accounts of day to day strolls through the garden, tedious conversations and a painfully slow and uninteresting descent into madness.

I waded through countless pages waiting for something interesting to happen and honestly, for me, it never freaking did. Even when tragedy occurs I felt so distanced from the characters that there was no emotional reaction from me as a reader. And when the last revelation made by Peter is revealed I found it so ridiculously unbelievable that I wanted to scream. Finally, an emotional reaction but for all of the wrong reasons! I regret wasting several hours struggling through this book and can’t recommend it unless you’re into really boring melodramas.

Spun by Catherine McKenzie

Spun - Catherine McKenzie, Lea Gulino

Spun is a novella, 2 hrs 47 mins (or 140 pgs), and is a spin-off of a previous book called “Spin”. I haven’t read Spin yet (but plan to now) and had no problem following this story. I wish all attached stories could manage to do this.

Amber is a former child star struggling to get her life together. She is the classic tale of child star turned wastrel. She fell in love with a bad boy, has been in and out of rehab for drug and alcohol addiction, has a strained relationship with her parents, ruined all but the lamest of career opportunities with her on-set bad behavior and instability and is now hounded by the paparazzi who want nothing more than to see her continued downfall.

Amber has made a complete mess of her life and she knows it. She doesn’t deny it, she doesn’t get all “poor me” and she doesn’t lay the blame on anyone but herself. She’s trying to do what’s right even though it’s probably the most difficult thing she’s ever faced. This is why I liked Amber right away. She has managed to stay sober for two years and has avoided the former love of her life for over six months because he is her kryptonite. But then she’s dealt a devastating blow to the heart, forced to face betrayal after betrayal and has a family who doesn’t have any faith that she is actually “sober”. This story is about the roughest patch of Amber’s young life.

Amber is never unlikable, she’s just a mess. At this point in her life, she’s vulnerable and facing so many betrayals that you hope she’s able to come out of it with her sobriety and her sanity intact. I really felt for her, even teared up once or twice, if you can believe that. Told from Amber’s POV you see the entire devastating mess from Amber’s POV and you really feel her pain. She even managed to maintain a self-deprecating sense of humor about herself and her life that always kept the book from being completely dreary as Amber struggles to deal with becoming a stable adult.

I enjoyed this story and the breezy (but not immature) writing style. If you’re into audiobooks and this sort of dramatic story, this is a great choice. The narrator drew me in and kept me. Her voice sounds world weary but still young enough and I never felt jolted or lost when other characters spoke.

Disabled and Stranded.

Stop scrolling. Don't just like this post and roll on by. I need your attention, please. This is not a promotional message about one of books, and this isn't a review of any kind. Someone needs your help. His name is Steven Beltzer, his son Nick is disabled. The family car, the only vehicle they have, was recently totaled in a hit and run accident. There's more info on the Facebook page I'm going to link you to. I would like to ask all of you that follow me to share this post. Even if you cannot donate to the fund, share this post. Someone is bound to have some money to share or a vehicle to donate or something, anything, to help these folks out. Steven's good people. He's only ever been friendly to me. 


Let's make a difference.


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Donate by clicking HERE

Reblogged from E.

Film Review:  Home Movie 2008


A family moves into a large house, with lots of nooks and crannies (all the better to hide yourselves later), way out in the woods with nothing to see for miles but trees. I was excited and my hopes were high this wouldn’t be a dud.


Dad records every living moment of their lives on a too often shaky held hand-cam. He is a Pastor who apparently has nothing better to do with his time. But I sure as hell have better things to do than watch his boring little vignettes where he’s usually the star,awkwardly hamming it up for the camera, acting the fool, as the kids look completely uninterested and DO NOT UTTER A WORD (because that’s not weird at all). This worked for a little while, he is Adrian Pasdar of Near Dark fame (Heroes doesn't count), after all, and damn that man has aged well, but even I need more than a pretty face to keep watching.  Eventually you come to the realization that there is something off about these kids when the son beans dad hard in the head with a rock while playing a friendly game of catch in the backyard. That’s not normal. Let’s just “punish” him by doing absolutely nothing. Before long they are doing much more ominous things than a little attempted braining of goofy dad. These things usually involve animals (wish I’d know that little detail beforehand) . These “things” that they’re doing would have any sane, caring parent seeking outside help for their children.


Not these two fools. They parent by sweeping all of these bad things under the rug and going on with their day.


And, get this, the wife is a child psychiatrist of all things!



Well, she decides to diagnose them, study them and even medicate them.


This, of course, is a terrible idea. Turns out she is quite possibly the world’s worst child psychiatrist ever to breathe air.


She and Adrian realize the error of their ways far too late and make so many TSTL moves in the final scenes that they deserved every terrible thing their little kiddies decided to dish out to them. I only wish it had happened sooner because I ran out of fucks to give far before the movie ended.



The reviews on this tell me how creepy and unsettling it is but I just wasn’t feeling it. Most of the acting felt forced and unnatural. But on the positive side Adrian Pasdar still looks good so I'll give it two stars instead of one.

Taking An Informal Poll

Did anyone on GR receive this survey they speak of?  I've been an active member since 2009 and wasn't asked my thoughts. My dog must've eaten my survey. Curse him, the hungry beast.



"Surveys with our members tell us that one of the things people like the most about Goodreads is being able to keep up to date with authors whose books they love. To help support this better, we’ve made a change today to clarify how those relationships work and to make them clearer for all of our members. Instead of “Become a Fan,” you’ll now see “Follow Author” on author pages and elsewhere throughout the site. Following an author will opt you into receiving updates from them, including reviews, shelvings, Ask the Author answers, and blog posts. "


UPDATE from Patrick @ GR:  

Hey folks,
First, thanks for the feedback on this. I know it's a change from how things worked before, but we really feel this will simplify things for everyone in the long run.

To address some of the feedback so far:

* Survey: We surveyed several thousand active users about this, not just authors.



Oh reallly???  Hmmmph, my informal poll says otherwise.


UPDATE #2 Patrick's back

message 227: by Patrick, Director, Author Marketing 34 minutes ago

Ok, we have been reading through your feedback, and we are taking a second look at how friend and following work together as a result of this. We'll update you on Monday about what might change, but I wanted to let you know that our goal is to make this work for everyone who has been posting here. Thanks again for your feedback, and we're very sorry this change caused so much distress.



Ready Player One by Ernest Cline

Ready Player One - Ernest Cline, Wil Wheaton

I think I’m the last person on the planet to read this book. I read the unabridged audio read by Wil Wheaton which was quite funny considering he’s mentioned at least once as part of the 80’s trivia strewn throughout the story. I wonder how weird that must’ve been for him.


The premise is pretty bleak. The future world has gone to shit and folks have retreated into a virtual reality. Yep. I can totally see that happening and it’s scary. I’m not going to bother with any more plot synopsis because I’m lazy and everyone has already read it. When it began I was a little worried it was going to lose me. It seemed more action-oriented and video-game-come-to-life for my liking and there was a lot of setup. I like those things when they’re mixed up with good characterization but this story was about a kid who steps into a virtual reality and is attempting to beat the game and save the world. How on earth was I going to get to know him and/or anyone else (was there anyone else?)! So yeah, in the beginning, I was worried this would be a DNF for me and the reading world would throw their hate at me when I dared to say so.


But somewhere along the way I grew to care just as much about Wade and his small tight knit group of honest gamers as I did Wade’s journey to beat the game and the Big Baddies. I was quite surprised with that turn of events considering they were their avatars for 95% (maybe more) of the story and aren’t even “real” people.  It’s weird but it works.


All of the 80’s nods helped moved things along too. I grew up in the 80’s with a guy who dragged me to all of the never-ending Rush concerts (yes, all of them or at least if felt that way), forced me to watch Indian Jones and the Star Wars trilogy when I would much rather have been enjoying a Hellraiser marathon. Ahhh, the things we do for love. So I was thrilled to see all of the references and learn that my youth wasn’t entirely wasted . . . This book would’ve been perfect had it contained some Madonna and Clive Barker references but you can’t have everything.


I’m glad I hung in there and think it will make an amazing movie.  It has a smart, resourceful and brave hero and it wraps its story up in one book. I wish more dystopian books wouldn’t drag things out over 3 or more books!


I received a birthday card in the mail yesterday. Its sentiment?


(on the outside)   "I am so proud" 


(and on the inside because it's so worth waiting for)


"You have become your own unique self."



From my mother. Posted 3 days after my birthday. 


And she wonders why my dog doesn't like her.


So my husband texts me to ask if I am being "my most unique self" today. I'm pretty certain I deserved that for some past bit of sarcasm but I am failing to find the humor in his text right now :)