Isn’t it always nice to receive an old friend? Today, I am happy to have Mike Russell, formerly of myStrungballs review, backon Joyful Antidotes.
The latest offering from weird-fiction author Mike is Strange Medicine, a collection of weird and wonderful short stories.
What can I say only that Mike is as wacky as ever! In the most charming way possible, of course. This collection of stories brought some light into my life while reading them and I was utterly enthralled by what goes on inside this author’s head. The stories made me smile but, most importantly, they made me think. As was the case with Strungballs, I can’t admit having known what was going on all the time but that is ok. I really worked my brain analysing possible underlying themes and often came to my own conclusion’s, meaning I got what I wanted from the…
I was given this book in exchange for an honest review
Once again I swan dive into the depths of the strange and alluring world of Mike Russell. I chat with satisfaction, have a little dance with paranoia and dine with diversity over a roof top view of the universe. Prepare to have you mind blown, literally. You will find pieces of your brain scattered beautifully upon the page. It’s quite liberating, to expand the mind and turn those cogs manually for once. To see behind the facade of everyday life, ask those questions and open Pandora’s box.
Thank you to the amazing people at Strangebooks for this opportunity to review Nothing is Strange by Mike Russell. As always it is a pleasure to work with such a bunch of talented people. Hats off to you. Seriously, if you haven’t checked them out you should. Discover a strange…
Strange Secrets by Mike Russell is a collection of seven short stories which invites you to discover the magical and the marvelous. Startlingly inventive and constantly entertaining, these unique, vital and vividly realized stories will take you to places you have never been before.
Like his previous work, I loved reading these short stories. The stories have crazy plotlines, for example, what if one day the puppet becomes the puppeteer or whatif you come across a pool which pulls out your reflection in flesh and bones?
You will feel like the cat in this image but in a good way. During the course of reading every story, your mind is in a state of constant wonder as to what to expect next. These stories are completely unpredictable and keep you on the edge of your seat. The stories make no sense per se but dependent on what the reader is able…
This is my first year of being self-employed, being my own boss, and it’s resulted in more reading time! Here are my favourite reads of 2018 so far…
by Irvine Welsh
I read a few Irvine Welsh books years ago and loved them all. In December, I finally got round to watching Trainspotting 2, having been putting it off for ages expecting it to be rubbish. It turned out to be bloody brilliant, so I put Skagboys on my Xmas list and my Mum delivered. I highly enjoyed spending so many pages of tiny type with the boys and girls of Leith.
Art Forms in Nature
by Ernst Haeckel
I’ve had this book for ages and I often leaf through it, wondering which drawings would be best as tattoos, which ones would make great wallpaper, etc… This year, I read the introduction and other writings included in the copy. Some of it is a bit dry, but I really love going through all the beautiful images.
This was a quick and easy way to learn about a subject I was interested in but knew almost nothing about! The book is short enough to try, without the commitment of a more traditional historical text. In60Learning also has short books on numerous other figures and events. Hatshepsut (1478-1458 BC) was an important figure who helped to reunite a broken Egypt.
Have a go if Cleopatra is the only female figure of Ancient Egypt that you’re familiar with! It’s worth it for an interesting and very easy read. Take a look at my original review here.
This was actually a re-read. I find I can go back and read Thich Nhat Hanh’s words again and again, and this is probably my favourite of his books.
A Christmas Carol
by Charles Dickens
This was another re-read, as I was teaching the text to a student this year. I must admit to not really being a fan of Dickens, but I find A Christmas Carol very heart-warming and enjoyable. Of course, The Muppet’s Christmas Carol and Blackadder’s Christmas Carol are both far superior to the book!
by William McIlvanney
I hadn’t heard of William McIlvanney, but following another emotional adventure with Renton and co, I needed more tartan noir. This was an excellent book and I found it both funny and moving. It’s set in a small pit village in Scotland at the time of the First World War and revolves around one family.
The Big Man
by William McIlvanney
I decided to read this after reading McIlvanney’s Docherty. I preferred Docherty, probably because it’s a bit of a coming-of-age story and I like that, but this was still a great book. I’m looking forward to trying his other novels.
by Daniel F. Galouye
My Mum gave my other half a big stack of old Science Fiction Book Club books a few years ago, which she was lucky enough to pick up at a local auction. This is the first one I’ve got round to reading and it was great fun.
I only realised afterwards that I’ve seen a film based on the novel called The Thirteenth Floor. I can’t say I’d recommend the film, but the book was way ahead of its time. It was published in the 1960s and it really reads like it comes from that era.
The Man in the High Castle
by Philip K. Dick
This instantly became one of my favourite books of all time. At least in the top three! I haven’t seen the TV series, but I have a feeling that all that I love from the book would be missing, so I don’t think I’m going to try.
A Scanner Darkly
by Philip K. Dick
After reading The Man in the High Castle, I needed more Dick! This wasn’t quite as good but it really was still fantastic. Surreal fiction at its best. I saw the film when it came out at the cinema and I disliked it. Quite a lot. If you felt the same, don’t let it stop you from reading this great book!
It’s so easy to get behind the main character and follow him on his devastating journey. I’ve read reviews which say this book is hard to get in to, but I really was hooked from the start. It’s also an excellent portrayal of drug use, or how people get into the world of addiction and can’t escape. Who’s who in this world?
The only other novel I’ve read by Philip K. Dick is Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?, so I’m really looking forward to trying more.
by Mike Russell
It was great to have another dose of Mike Russell’s entertaining, yet unsettling surreal fiction this year! Highly recommended for fans of The Twilight Zone, Philip K. Dick and strange things in general.
Each story is easy to read, yet a puzzle to digest. It includes mysterious wardrobes, a little boy with a troubling map, and a couple who can’t agree on the species of tree in a forest. Who’s really the puppeteer? Can the truth survive? You can read one of Mike’s stories here. Strange means strange.
by Neil Gaiman, Garth Nix, Mary Rosenblum and others
This was also a re-read and you can view my original review here. It’s a perfect collection for cold nights or rainy days.
Next up: I’m currently having a great time reading One Fine Day in the Middle of the Night by Christopher Brookmyre. He’s new to me – another discovery on my quest for tartan noir. I’m also planning to delve into Dick’s The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch.