Unaccustomed Earth by Jhumpa Lahiri

This is my first Lahiri story, and it’s making me wonder where her writing has been all my life. Her style of writing is incredibly accessible and open. And, although she’s dealing with a culture and people that I’ve had next to no experience with, the themes and issues are still prevalent in my life. Issues of growing and changing, seeing parents as their own grown entities.

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Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain

This is my first ever Mark Twain, and it certainly makes me glad that I have more of his books on my shelves. There was something fun and easy about his writing. Which I don’t often find in classics. For something which was published many, many, many years ago, this was kind of amazing. The meandering storyline was something that I would have loved as a child – living on a river free of every kind of responsibility, living on the land… that’s the kind of childhood that I would have loved.

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Have Mercy by Lori Foster

I don’t normally like stories that use pregnancies as a reason to commit to one another, get married and have your happily ever after. Normally. But I actually really enjoyed this novella. It did use pregnancy as the point of conflict, but it was also about establishing and altering the relationship between the two primaries, rather than just two people who happened to be forced together.

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Stealing Snow by Danielle Paige

I read the two prequel novellas to this story months and months ago. They were on my kobo and I figured why not. And then I had to wait to read this novel. And boy was it worth the wait. Not quite what I was expecting, and definitely able to twist me into knots far more than I expected, but this was nonetheless amazing. The kind of book that I would have quite happily read in one sitting… if I didn’t have a job and a PhD to take up the majority of my time…

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Life in Outer Space by Melissa Keil

I have been hanging out for this book to arrive in the post. And then it did. When I had about 1,000 things to do… so it took me an extra week to open it and sink my teeth into it. But then I did. And I was deliriously grateful for the awesomeness that I am beginning to associate with Melissa Keil. It kind of helped that I was down sick when I finally got to read this, so the feel good, sweet storyline made me feel a heck of a lot better. And actually made me smile… which I hadn’t really been doing on account of you know… sick.

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An Apple for the Creature edited by Charlaine Harris & Toni L. P. Kelner

This book has been on my wishlist for ages. But, it’s one that’s out of print, so I had to get a second-hand copy, and I always seem to be a bit slower at getting these. Now I’m not sure why I waited so damn long! I loved every single one of these short stories. They managed to reflect not only your worst nightmares relived in high school, but it was also filled with stories of training and cops, the paranormal and the supernatural.

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Stupid Perfect World by Scott Westerfeld

The first part of this story really didn’t grab me. Which is why I didn’t just read through it in one sitting. It was late at night, and I quite frankly decided that going to sleep was probably going to be more beneficial to my tomorrow’s health than reading this short story. But then I picked it up the next day. And once you get past those first few pages, this short story is actually really, really good. It is fun and interesting. And kind of makes a mockery of the idea of creating a perfect world.

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Black Rock Blues by Will Shetterly

This story was quite clever. At the beginning, it felt like any tale with a trickster-like character. One in which their smarts, wit and penchant for trouble had gotten them into a spot of bother, and you knew that they would get out of it in the end. Which is kind of what happened… but the character actually was the trickster, and he was in trouble with death.

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Trust Me by Stacia Kane

While I’ve been reading The Mammoth Book of Vampire Romance 2, I’ve also been reading The Mammoth Book of Jack the Ripper Stories. And I never expected any kind of overlap between the two. At all. After all, they’re two entirely different genres with no overlap whatsoever in authors. Which meant that it was incredibly surprising, although a little fun to read a story which is a vampire paranormal romance, featuring Jack the Ripper and the times in Whitechapel surrounding these killings.

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Pirate Dave and the Captain’s Ghost by Toni L. P. Kelner

This story was nothing like what I expected from the title. I was expecting a pirate ghost story and had absolutely no idea how a schooling would tie into this. After all, it is the concluding story for a collection of urban fantasies which feature teachers and school. I was not expecting a story about a werewolf and vampire in a relationship. Who own a pirate-themed water park and who were getting haunted…

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