2020 Book Review: A Stir of Echoes by Richard Matheson

Richard Matheson has written one a book that became one of my favorite movies of all time, What Dreams May Come. I have yet to read that book; the film captured me so much, but it is one I’ll read down the road if I ever come across it. He wrote another one, the one for this review, A Stir of Echoes. Again, this is another book I was introduced to as a film first. The movie and the films always differ, I understand there’s technical reason, budget reasons sometimes, and I don’t know what the case was in this situation, but the book isn’t as good as the movie, in my opinion.

This is a classic ghost story. It’s dark, eerie, and creepy. I appreciate Matheson’s work. I’m not sure if it’s because I enjoyed the film so much, but the book is good–different, but good. I don’t enjoy writing about things I don’t like. I don’t want to bring attention to those things and rarely express a distaste publically, but in this review, I have to say if I had to compare, though the book is good I prefer the movie version better. I enjoy the story, the slow rolling out as if its fog coming into town, but the movie spoiled me. It didn’t ruin things enough for me I won’t read it again. I most likely will, but if you’re going to go into this expecting it to be exactly like the novel, don’t.

The book is best summed up as its own entity. I wish I could have enjoyed it more. I had trouble not comparing it to the movie throughout my reading and I believe I ruined my experience; this is the main reason I’ll return to it later. Perhaps in a few years. The writer is excellent. A great talent. He’s done a lot of movies and television work and I’ve wondered if working in books was harder for him or working in film as many writers, including myself, have described scenes we’re writing as a scene in our head we’re trying to describe into words. Sometimes we fail in the translation and sometimes we’re able to succeed in our attempts.


This review is a part of my 2020 yearlong self-challenge to read and review. I have reread some books for the purpose of reviewing them on my website whereas I have read others for the first time. Check out Book Reviews and Recommendations to find other book reviews, book recommendations, and more information about the books I’m reading, have read, or are sharing.

Have you read this book? What were your thoughts? Do you agree with me? Do you disagree? Let’s have a conversation about it.

2020 Book Review: 1984 by George Orwell

There are some books I’ve come across in my youth that my perspective changed in my aging. Sometimes I find a gem I see completely different later. As is life, perception changes and life goes on, but this is just one of those books that can transform over time after you’ve experienced more that life has to give.

This book, when I first read it was confusing. I thought it was different in a ‘weird’ way and could appreciate its well-written tale. It must’ve stuck me enough for me to read it again later in life. I suppose the reason it was so different for me when I first read it was the world, I lived in then wasn’t what it is now. Now we live in a high-tech age where knowledge is at our fingertips, heck I’m writing this review on something connected to the internet and if I need to look up a word, I can search it up instantly instead of scrambling for my dictionary to make sure I’m using something properly. I’ve witnessed a lot in my time and because of this I knew I wanted to read it again.

I read the posts on social media of people calling out their sirens we’re living in 1984. Their warnings were living in the heartbreaking dystopian novel. I had to reread it. I wanted to see if I was as I was remembering it. It was horrific. It became a reflection of how bad things in the real-world could get, I could place some things in the ‘now’ for me, and that alone was eerie. This book was a warning the second read around. This is the kind of book everyone should read twice in their life. Once when younger and once when older; I won’t say that often about a book, but I will about this one.


This review is a part of my 2020 yearlong self-challenge to read and review. I have reread some books for the purpose of reviewing them on my website whereas I have read others for the first time. Check out Book Reviews and Recommendations to find other book reviews, book recommendations, and more information about the books I’m reading, have read, or are sharing.

Have you read this book? What were your thoughts? Do you agree with me? Do you disagree? Let’s have a conversation about it.

2020 Book Review: Roald Dahl’s Book of Ghost Stories

This is not a book written by Dahl. Instead, this is a collection of authors he wanted for a collection with the theme ghost stories. The introduction told helped me fix my initial mistake. I’m glad I usually flip through a few pages and read before picking up and purchasing, read the summary, and really break a book down now that I’m older. It really becomes a matter of ‘is this worth my money’ when I approach a book to enjoy and not because of the industry I work.

E. F. Benson’s story In the Tube stood out the most to me. I really enjoyed it. The other stories included, are very well curated, but I enjoyed this one the most. I found each story to be well written and just the right amount of fear. It seems I come across too many stories that rely on gore to scare in their tales, not enough anticipation with delivery. This collection is the type I enjoy. A dribble here and a dot there of ‘what’s going on’ cleaned up with the reveal and the exhale of making it to the end. A thrill-ride.

In the introduction, the tale of the book’s conception is shared. The struggles of finding a good or even a great story when wanting to create an anthology. I’ve been down this road myself and it can be a frustration, but it also tells of the gems that can be found. A reflection of today, for me. Now and then you come across a book you can really sink your teeth into. This collection is worthy of a chomp again from me.


This review is a part of my 2020 yearlong self-challenge to read and review. I have reread some books for the purpose of reviewing them on my website whereas I have read others for the first time. Check out Book Reviews and Recommendations to find other book reviews, book recommendations, and more information about the books I’m reading, have read, or are sharing.

Have you read this book? What were your thoughts? Do you agree with me? Do you disagree? Let’s have a conversation about it.

2020 Book Review: Frankenstein by Mary Shelley

I read this book for the first time in the fifth grade as part of a project on the author Mary Shelley. I admit, back then I really didn’t want to do anyone else. I had never read her work but heard of her and her work in classes. I never knew that this author would become one of my favorites as I grew up. To this day, she along with Poe, Lovecraft, and Rice have become beloved writers to me.

This book, specifically, took me into a world of darkness that I could relate. The character of the monster spoke to me. He was an outsider, and I often felt that way. Misunderstood, the monster, and never accepted. These were all things I could relate to as a young girl new to the area and from a different part of the country. It taught me that ‘the monster’ wasn’t a monster, the true monster was how we treat people different from ourselves. It’s a life lesson I’ve always carried with me and seen, sadly, repeated. The true monster is how cruel people can be and how judgmental people can be.

Shelley’s words were dark and romantic and this style, over time, became one style I favored and cherished most in a book. I love words, the romantic way they can flow; perhaps I can consider her one of my earliest influences on molding me into a writer.

Not wanting to be a book snob here, but there has never been a movie or television version that has captured me the same way as this book has. If you only know this book because of a movie I highly recommend reading the book. Sometimes, I admit, a movie or show can give a book justice, but I have not come across one on this title.


This review is a part of my 2020 yearlong self-challenge to read and review. I have reread some books for the purpose of reviewing them on my website whereas I have read others for the first time. Check out Book Reviews and Recommendations to find other book reviews, book recommendations, and more information about the books I’m reading, have read, or are sharing.

Have you read this book? What were your thoughts? Do you agree with me? Do you disagree? Let’s have a conversation about it.

Good-bye Southern Fried Autopsies

Starting 2020, for me, begins with cleaning. I start Spring Cleaning long before it’s ever Spring. I enjoy starting the new year fresh. It’s a reboot of the soul and going into it with a clean slate. This means I clean out a year’s worth of stuff that has cluttered my office, my mind, and my website/social media.

With the closing of the wonderful publishing company Burning Willow Press last year, this left the anthology Southern Fried Autopsies‘ fate in the air. I could’ve moved forward, but I chose not to. I have deleted the Facebook page and the page here on the website. Many copies are out in the world. I was able to collect a copy, and it sits alongside my other work on my shelf.

2020 and 52 Book Reviews

I began planning out some things to do in 2020 in October, a month of Preptober for Nanowrimo started a fire of prepping for the coming year very early. I discovered quickly that I spend a lot of time writing ideas, scribbling thoughts, and questioning everything and nothing all at once (a thank you from my anxiety riddled mind).

I knew I’d never be able to plan an entire year of blogging, but I broke things down month by month. Doing this pre-planning I wanted to revisit ideas I wanted to do, but wasn’t sure if I could manage. In 2019, I did some mini-events for poetry and book recommendations. The poetry one seemed to draw a little to no attention, so it ended early. One thing I never got to was book reviews.

Enter stage left, my personal challenge of book reviewing. I decided in 2020 to post, weekly, a book or story review. I’ve read many books in my time. I slowed down, but then eventually found myself back at it at a slower pace. I carved time out to enjoy reading again over the past year. I wrote 53, the amount of weeks in 2020, titles I wanted to cover. Many are books or stories I’ve read, some are newer reads I’ve devoured.

The one thing about reviews I’ve noticed about myself is if I don’t like something or downright hate something I won’t finish it and won’t leave a review somewhere for it. I won’t want to give attention toward anything negative nor will I move forward doing just that. So, these reviews are things I finished, liked, and wanted to share.

Why I Blog and Will Continue

I wrote the title of this and then spent too much time clutching my hot chocolate and staring. I came across many WordPress blog posts that posed the question: why do I blog? It’s a heavy question as I began to question myself. The original reason and the current have mushed.

Originally, I began blogging more and being more active on my website because I wanted to open myself up to my readership to remove some mystery of who I really am. For many years, I only did interviews and podcasts and never revealed much about myself. That hand in hand with my lack of videos, selfies, and social media created a shroud around myself. I was the mysterious woman writing spooky stories that gave readers nightmares sometimes, as I’ve been told.

This hurt me. At events, people didn’t recognize me. They would know my name or my work, but not me. They considered me less than professional as well because of this. In the public’s opinion, I had a good reputation for working hard, producing beautiful works of art, and a talented writer. Though I am all these things I’m more than them.

This year I’ve pushed past my anxiety to remedy some of these things. I’ve also begun sharing more of myself. I’m still not out in the public as much as others or nowhere near as others, but you can still see me more compared to past years.

All the above was why I began, but I continue for different reasons. I genuinely enjoy engaging in the community. I did this a small bit at the beginning of my public career but eventually stopped. This wasn’t because of my anxiety, but more a lack of interest. I couldn’t see how it was making a difference. I can now see actual engagements.

I have experienced so much in the last several months. I have even been recognized locally, refreshing and a happy-making moment. It gave me a sense of pride that my work isn’t just going into the void online and not making a difference.

I will continue blogging, even if there is a gap, there will always be a ‘next post’. For me it’s been a journey. One of a few I’m on. The past weeks have been full of illness, family, and birthday celebrations. All things that have made me happy, except for the illness. I am still moving forward and that, to me, is all that matters.

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