Category Archives: Book Reviews

2023 Bookish Resolutions

Before I make any reading resolutions for the new year, let’s see how I did in 2022:

  1. Continue/complete series: I created a master list for this goal and only read 1 book series from the list. I did continue/complete 4 series that were not on the master list. I would consider this a semi-successful goal. Some progress is better than no progress.
  2. No spending limit on books: Despite giving myself free reign to spend as much as I want on books, I spent $19.67.
  3. Mood read for the entire year. I can check this one off with 100% confidence!

2023 Resolutions:

  1. Continue/complete series. I’m going to copy the master list into the new year and give it another run. It’s nice having a focus point, even if I don’t necessarily stick to it very well.
  2. No spending limit again! It’s interesting when I give myself no limits and then I’m still frugal as hell.
  3. Read more comic books. I really neglected comics in 2022 (I read none) and want to change that in 2023.

Do have any bookish resolutions for the new year??

Rogue Protocol (Murderbot Diaries #3) – Book Review

Published Date: August 7, 2018

Publishing Co.: Tor.com

Pages: 150

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

I’m just zipping through this little robot space opera, and I am doing so happily.

Another planet, more dumb humans almost getting themselves killed and a robot still questing for answers.

Murderbot is onto its next clue in bringing down GrayCris. The organization that tried to kill their first group of humans in order to hide their illegal activity, harvesting ancient alien remains. Murderbot wants to find as much evidence as possible to send back to the first human that recognized and respected their free will (I don’t remember their name) so that they can win their legal case and be safe from a dangerous organization.

It’s never as easy as Murderbot hopes.

Artificial Condition (Murderbot Diaries #2) – Book Review

Published Date: May 8, 2018

Publishing Co.: Tor.com

Pages: 149

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Murderbot begins an adventure of self-discovery.

Did they really go crazy and kill a bunch of humans and then have their memory of the event erased by the corporation that made them?

To find the answer, they must hack security systems and bribe other robots to get to another planet. Once they arrive at said planet, security forces anyone to have a reason why they want access to the surface. Murderbot takes a contract as a security consultant to get there.

It wouldn’t be a good story is the humans didn’t cause trouble for Murderbot’s mission. Will Murderbot’s secret be exposed in an effort to keep the humans from being killed?

Tune in for this week’s episode of Days of Our Robot Lives to find out.

Recap November 2022

My goals for Science Fiction Month:

  1. Read a science fiction novel
  2. Continue watching Battlestar Galactica
  3. Watch Escape From New York

The results? I did not watch a single episode of Battlestar. I watched 3/4 of Escape From New York when Tubi decided it didn’t need to play anymore and it wasn’t going to reload it for me, so I gave up. I read TWO science fiction novels. Semi-success. 😀

Book Reviews:

Night of the Living Trekkies

All Systems Red (The Murderbot Diaries #1)

Currently Reading:

The other notable thing that happened during November would be that Mr. C&M and I got memorial tattoos for our beloved dog Ozzy. (He would have been 14 years old today.)

It was a bittersweet tattoo and my most emotional one yet. But I am so happy to have it.

All Systems Red (The Murderbot Diaries #1) – Book Review

Published Date: May 2, 2017

Publishing Co.: Tor.com

Pages: 144

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

What if robots designed to be security and kill when commanded, became sentient? Sounds absolutely horrifying, right?

Turns out, they rather just be left alone to watch their programs like an old woman.

However, they must keep up the ruse that they obey human commands, or they will get reprogrammed and go right back to be being just a murderous robot.

Murderbot, as they call themself, actually likes the humans they are currently contracted to protect and they’re going to have to break protocol when the excavation site is under attack if they want to get those kind humans out alive.

There was a lot of hype surrounding this novella when it came out. I’m happy to say that it held up to the recommendations. I downloaded the second book immediately.

Night of the Living Trekkies – Book Review

Published Date: September 15, 2010

Publishing Co.: Quirk Books

Pages: 253

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

As you might surmise from the title, this entails zombies and Trekkies. Without ruining anything, the zombies are not your average zombies, and it makes this story a little more science fiction-y and fun.

A Houston hotel is hosting a Star Trek convention and manager Jim, ex-military, is attempting to make sure that everything is running smoothly. However, the staff keeps disappearing. The guests are acting strangely (non-Trek related) and shit very quickly, hits the fan.

What follows is a tale of zombie apocalypse survival. Jim is doing his best to keep his sister, her friends and a Star Wars guest who keeps quoting the movies, from becoming zombie chow. (Some Trekkies might have used her as bait for distraction but what’s more fun than that age old rivalry among science fiction fans?)

I had a very good time reading this book. I enjoy zombie novels in general but adding Star Trek and Star Wars on top was the spice of the novel. I am a Star Wars fan, but I grew up watching Star Trek: Next Generation with my dad as well so I appreciate both worlds although I would not consider myself a Trekkie.

Yours Cruelly, Elvira: Memoirs of the Mistress of the Dark – Book Review

Published Date: September 21,2021

Publishing Co.: Hatchett Books

Pages: 304

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

How could one NOT have a good time with the Hostess with the Mostess?

I’m not going to go terribly in depth with this review. Where’s the fun in me telling someone else’s story?

Cassandra Peterson seems like a good time gal. The girl that you would like to party with, and a lot of people did. I enjoyed that she was candid about her experiences with other celebrities. Other autobiographies seem like they’re always trying to hide behind the details or gloss over it completely. This was the perfect combination of being honest about deep things and being shallow the other half of the time. Sometimes people focus on one aspect too much, but not Ms. Peterson. She knows how to tell a tale and tell it well.

I find it funny that some reviewers are upset to find out that she did not create the character Elvira by herself and then it ruins their idea of her. She never hid this and since when is it bad to accept help from your friends? She had an opportunity, and her friends helped her produce something fantastic and memorable. The greatest gift they gave her was helping her be successful for 40 years and she sounds like the kind of friend who returned the favor. When you produce that kind of icon, then you can be mad and judge her. She’s not going to care, but you can do it.

My one complaint would be her talking about how gross Divine’s body was. It is just out of place in this day and age. I can understand if that is what you thought at the time, but you know better now and it does not really have a place in the book.

Overall, this is one of my favorite autobiographies.

Funny Farm: My Unexpected Life with 600 Rescue Animals – Book Review

Published Date: February 22, 2022

Publishing Co.: St. Martin’s

Pages: 256

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

“The more you cry, the less you pee.”

That was the mantra Laurie’s mother instilled in her children. It might not make all the sense, but it was enough to force you to crack a smile and push through whatever it was that was bothering you. It’s a mantra that most of us could afford to take up in our lives. It was the mantra of a family forced into poverty by domestic violence and a neglectful father.

The Zaleski family was the kind of family that made you think of the phrase, “Keeping up with the Joneses.” They had the idyllic life. Except that behind the scenes, the husband was a serial cheater and became a wife beater. When the mother had enough, she packed up her kids and moved into a house on the verge of being condemned. With absolutely nothing but their mother’s ingenuity and determination, they made a shack into a home. One of their mother’s many jobs to make ends meet was that of animal shelter employee. Her heart the size of her attitude, she would bring home the animals that were going to be euthanized and nurse them back to health. Thus began, the original Funny Farm.

When I picked this book up, I thought I would mostly be in for numerous tales of animal rescues. While there is a plenty of those, the story of the Zaleski childhood stood out as the most fascinating part for me. I binged 130 pages the first time I sat down with it.

Anne McNulty was an amazing woman, who raised good children and saved numerous animal lives. The book is a great testament to her character and the continuation of animal lives rescued in her name by that of her daughter at the current Funny Farm.

My Hilarious, Heroic, Human Dog: 101 Tales of Canine Companionship – Book Review

Published Date: September 7, 2021

Pages: 368

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

My aunt purchased this book for me as a birthday present just two short months following the death of my beloved dog, Ozzy. My husband wisely said that I should probably wait a little while before I attempted to read this. So, I waited until around June/July before I took it to work as a lunch book.

It was the perfect lunch book in the fact that, the essays are only a couple of pages long. You could gobble 4-5 essays easily while taking a break.

Some stories are fun and quirky. Others bring a tear to your eye and get you all choked up when you’re supposed to go back out and deal with the public shortly. All of them remind you about why dogs are so awesome.

I would definitely recommend this one to dog lovers.

The Hunting Wind (Alex McKnight #3) – Book Review

Published Date: January 1, 2001

Publishing Co.: St. Martin’s

Pages: 352

Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

I’m pretty sure the two reasons I keep going with this series are as follows; my grandfather recommended it to me before he passed, and it’s set in Michigan. I’m largely familiar with the cities/towns that the stories tend to take place in and that adds a bit of the nostalgia factor I guess I would call it.

If it weren’t for those two things, I would probably drop this like a hot pasty.

The main character, Alex McKnight, isn’t all that likable. I’m not entirely sure how he manages to have any friends and I like cranky old man characters. His conversations with people are bland and sometimes he comes across as rather dumb. But, no worries, by the end of the book he will have solved whatever mystery as he is so smart and brave. Although, in reality, it’s like he stumbles his way across it and manages to not die.

Now, my reading of the series has several year gaps in between, but it also seems like he’s always falling in lust with every woman (even if it’s a client, how professional) he comes across. So, ladies, he’ll investigate your undies too if you so much as look at him a certain way.

I’m sure you’re wondering, even with nostalgia factors, “why do you keep reading this? It sounds lame.” The first part of the books always seem to take awhile to get into the meat of the story, but once the drama starts, I can binge 100 pages without trying. It is 100% a 3-star read, which means overall I tend to enjoy myself even with its imperfections. Don’t be surprised when you see me pick up the next book in a few years.