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Weekly Reads: Week 48

Happy Holidays!

This week we’ve been busy with the usual holiday traditions, spending time with family, decorating the house for Christmas, and gift shopping – there’s been a lot going on! I love this time of year, but with all the extra errands it can get a little hectic. Thank goodness for lunch time reading!

For the rest of the week, I was planning on finishing Heartless by Marissa Meyer and starting in on Scythe by Neal Shusterman, but suddenly my library shelf exploded! I fully went to the library expecting to pick up 8 books, and the next thing I know, I have an entire shelf to myself at the library! I actually needed a second bag! But, to be fair, a good fourth of them are cookbooks. 🙂

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I’ve already started in on White is for Witching by Helen Oyeyemi – I couldn’t help myself! Her writing is absolutely gripping, pulling you into the story from the very first sentence. I can’t wait to read more! Also underway is The Artists’ and Writers’ Cookbook, a unique and personal look into the lives of our favorite writers and artists as they share their favorite recipes with the story behind it. It would make a great Christmas gift!

The Reads:

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Stranded by Bracken Macleod

Against his better judgement, Noah Cabot is on yet another ship heading to an offshore drilling rig. He’s been a deckhand his entire life, what’s one more trip? But when an apocalyptic storm overrides the Arctic Promise, the ship is left disoriented and stranded in a mysterious fog, and even worse, navigation and communications are down. Beset in the ice, there’s little hope of freeing the ship as the crew fall prey to an unexplainable illness, but in the clearing of the fog a distant shape is spotted jutting out from the ice. Could it be the offshore rig? Another ship? With only way to find out, Noah and the last of the able bodied crew make their way across the ice, braving exposure to deadly temperatures, to find themselves in a fight against destiny.

“This ain’t some karmic bar tab comin’ due. We’re all alive here.”

Stranded is an extraordinary tale of bravery in the face of great adversities. Not only caught in the midst of the life threatening conditions of the Arctic, the crew find themselves in the middle of an epic battle against destiny, fighting not only the other crew members, but themselves. All the while, Noah is struggling to maintain a working relationship with the captain of the ship, who is also his father in law, but in the wake of his wife’s death, he’s found the relationship irreparable as the captain falls deeper into a pit of anger and resentment against him. Scattered across the novel are short glimpses into his wife’s final days, making the dynamic between them all the more heartbreaking, and then truly terrifying as the captain is overcome by rage. As the crew travel across the ice, they discover another ship rather than the offshore rig, but even more perplexing, they discover the ship is the same as the one they just left – the Arctic Promise. Of course the mystery doesn’t end there – if there are two of each crew member, which one will get back alive? And how? Between the non-stop action and overwhelming fight for survival, Stranded will leave you absolutely breathless til the very last page – leaving the end up to your own interpretation. Myself, I tend to hope for a happy ending for all.

Rating: 4 Stars      Goodreads

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The Hike by Drew Magary

Checking into a little Pennsylvania inn for a business meeting, Ben takes advantage of his free time by going for a hike in the surrounding area, full of trees and clear mountain air, but as he strays from the well-worn path, he stumbles upon the murder of a young girl. Chased away by the mysterious killer whose identity is hidden by the stolen face of Rottweiler, Ben loses track of the trail with only minutes of battery life on his phone and little reception to boot. From there, Ben encounters a mysterious trail of curious characters – a talking crab, man-eating giants, time-traveling Spaniards … each warning not to stray from the path or death will find him. Desperate to reach his family, Ben begrudgingly continues on, but as the years run long and magic beans run short, patience will be his ultimate test.

“This future you live in… would I like it?” … “Honestly, it’s probably not that different from the world you know. Some people are happy. Some people are angry. There are wars. I don’t know if time makes much of a difference. The world changes, but people act the way people always do.”

From giant bugs to supernatural clouds of smoke, nothing is predictable about The Hike. From the very start, readers are thrown into a magical journey with deadly stakes, the only answer being, “Stay on the path.” For readers of the strange or fantastic, you will no doubt love Ben’s journey, but fair warning, his story is quite possibly the weirdest, most unique tale I’ve ever had the pleasure of reading. Do yourself a favor and take this journey, let it lead you where it will, and at the end, after all his suffering and heartbreaking punishments, discover an ending more satisfying than words could ever describe.

Rating: 5 Stars      Goodreads

What have you read lately?

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