Fire and Fury in the Window: When a woman who lives alone and drinks too much peaks out her window at her new president, she sees something she shouldn’t. Or did she just imagine it? Her world starts to crumble quickly as she tries to separate fact from fake news.
The Shape of the Stranger in the Woods: In Maine, a young man takes to the woods and becomes a hermit living off the land and stealing from his neighbors’ cabins. Shunned by society but enjoying his solitude, his life is changed when a young mute girl finds him and a bond is formed. But the Russians are coming…after all, when aren’t they.
Educated Player One: Desperate to escape her survivalist family, a young girl discovers clues in a virtual reality game that take her on a wild ride through higher education. It’s not all fun and games though, and before long she may just be required to put her survivalist skills to use.
The Astrophysics of Not Giving a F*ck: A superstar blogger gives pointers for surviving the cosmos. With no sugarcoating, he points out that not everyone is a star, even the dinosaurs couldn’t survive the big bang, and sometimes you just have to figure out what to keep in your orbit and what to toss in a black hole.
The Great Black Unicorn: After a Vietnam POW returns home, he make an impulsive decision…to become a comedian. He heads to Alaska with the hope of making people laugh but quickly spirals into a deeper depression. Can he inspire others through the power of laughter or is the joke on him?
It’s Always Into the Water: Three college roommates share love, hate, and secrets as they grow up and go their own ways. When one dies in spot that has been surrounded by mysterious deaths for centuries, everyone wants to write it off as suicide. Did her husband kill her or was she drawn by some unseen force to take a final swim?
Shattered in Moscow: After a heated election in Russia, the losing candidate is sentenced to house arrest at the Metropol. She looks back at all the moments where her campaign went wrong as the world unfolds just outside her doors. She manages to find the wine cellar and although all the labels have been removed, she can still find a bottle to make her drunk.
Dragon Figures: In 1876, two paleontologists fight over bones in the Wild West. In an attempt to best his rival, one hires three black women to do what neither man can do: think. The three women not only help find bones, but they invent new methods in the field without receiving any notoriety for their work.
Mr. Art of Not Giving a F*ck: Part self-help and part autobiography, this book delves into the life of the infamous Mr. Rochester. Sent away by your father? Who cares? Banished to Jamaica? At least it’s warm. Crazy-ass wife? Get a cute mistress… I mean governess. Life sucks? Just don’t give a f*ck!
Lincoln of the Flower Moon: When a tribe of Indians is targeted for their wealth, the FBI gets called in to handle the case. Still in it’s infancy, the agency does a terrible job and soon the Indian Chief’s young son dies. In purgatory, his son’s spirit soon faces the same turmoil erupting topside. The Chief finds a way to visit his son in the afterlife which gives him answers for his worldly problems and where J. Edgar Hoover can get a good deal on pumps.
It is a rare time in my life when I have only four books that I am reading at the current moment. This could be because I’ve been working hard at making CDs to sell. (Shameless plug here and here.) Or, it could be because I have been hard at work writing my own book(s). Either way, it’s been a while since I have given you a mash-up of any variety so I figured I’d offer up what would happen if all four books were one. Makes for an interesting story.
The Outlanders of Burning Bear and Landing Nightingale
A British Army nurse survives the war to be reunited with her bisexual Russian gymnast lover. The two take to the Scottish countryside for a much needed vacation. After they quarrel about the nurse’s biphobia, the gymnast wanders off discovering an ancient stone circle which sends her into an apocalyptic world with the undead.
Feeling terrible, the nurse sets off to find her lover. She stumbles upon the same stones but gets sent back to 14th century Russia and a village on the edge of wilderness. Wishing she had her lover there to translate, she pieces together that the village is having a string of bad luck and winter will soon be upon them. The priest who has just arrived encourages the village to give up their old ways and embrace his. One girl defies him though and the nurse realizes she too is shunned for being an outsider. With the nurse’s help, the girl embraces power from deep within to save her village and possibly send the nurse home.
Meanwhile, our Russian gymnast finds herself in a world that has been run by the dead for too long. Even more dangerous is the fact that some of the dead, have decided they want to live again. She meets an interesting couple, one living and one split between life and death, who have decided to take on a powerful force looking to usurp what’s left of civilization. The group sets off in the hope to discover who is in charge of this evil entity and if they have the capability to send the gymnast home.
Will both women conquer evil centuries apart? Will these two star-crossed lovers ever find their way back into each others arms? Only time will tell.
If any of this sounded interesting to you, check out these books:
Outlander by Diana Gabaldon
The Burning World by Isaac Marion
The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden
Stuck Landing by Lauren Gallagher
A Man Called Hamilton: A curmudgeon is hated by his town and country for his radical ideas, but saved by a cat after his neighbors crash into his mail box. Full of duels, politics, and stray cats this story will change the way you view the world.
The Little Paris Sympathizer: A French bookseller finally reads a letter left by his departed true love and he sets off on a trip to find answers. With the help of an Italian chef and a writer suffering from writer’s block, he discovers that his one true love was a undercover communist agent during the fall of the South Vietnamese government. Nobody’s perfect.
Valiant Girls: During the American Revolution, a girl falls into a cult and betrays not only her budding nation, but the commander who loved her best. As she falls deeper into the excitement of the cult, she comes closer to violence as she helps a nation realize the real danger comes from within.
Harry Potter and the End of Watch: After putting a dangerous serial killer in a vegetative state for five years, an aging employee of the Ministry of Magic must come to terms with his past which now puts his son in danger. When that killer awakes, all bets are off for muggles.
Grint: The Curious Science of Perseverance: Researching the science behind fashion, weapons, and tools used in war, a psychologist notes that what really drives people has nothing to do with I.Q. and everything to do with passion and perseverance. She also notes that war should be avoided and camo will never go out of style.
Mrs. Woman: In order to see her children after a messy divorce, a hooker dresses in drag to pose as the family’s manny. She soon quits the position though after one of her clients, a millionaire, sweeps her off her feet and she realizes that her children are brats.
Mr. Congeniality: After an auto engineer gets laid off, he takes the role of stay at home dad while his wife supports the family. Hilarity ensues as he plays poker games with housewives and even enters a beauty pageant…er scholarship program.
The Wizard of Arabia: An English officer unites a scarecrow, a tin man, and a lion against the Turks during World War I. As he leads his offensive to take down the Ottoman Empire, he yells, “Pay no attention to the man behind the keffiyeh!”
Tootsie Roll Bounce: After the local roller rink closes down, an out of work actor starts training for a roller disco contest. He quickly realizes that the team doesn’t want another man so he creates a whole new persona as a woman and steals the show.
The Birds Like it Hot: In order to escape a vicious attack from birds in Chicago, a pair of musicians cross dress to join an all-female band in Florida. They think they have it made as they both pine over the band’s singer until they realize that birds fly south for the winter.
Thunderstruck on Fifth Avenue: A killer and the creator of long-distance radio both lurk within the ranks of high society. One “swan” knows who is who and blabs to her friend, an author who would do anything for a great story. Publishing the story may lead to the capture of an almost perfect killer, but what else is unleashed could be disastrous.
The Road to Other Words: Choosing to return to Great Britain and retrace his steps in order to see what has changed in the last twenty years, a travel writer sets off on foot, rail, and car. Unfortunately, he finds not much has so he decides to write his book in Italian hoping he has something interesting to say in a language he does not speak.
The Joy Luck Dante Club: A group of recent immigrants starts a club to eat dim sum, play mah jong, and forget about their troubles. All is going well until strange murders resembling the works of Dante Alighieri’s Inferno thrust the ladies into a dangerous mystery that could land them in one of the circles of hell.
The Walking Revenant: In 1823, a trapper is left for dead and robbed of his only means of protection. He decides he is going to seek revenge on those who wronged him and defies all odds to do so. After killing those who betrayed him, they too rise from the dead and he soon realizes the only way to achieve revenge is with head shots.
A Darker Shade of Lawyer: Working out of a customized magic jacket, a lawyer travels between different but parallel Londons where he offers his legal expertise to the underdog. All is going well in his career until he decides to represent a cross-dressing pickpocket with a foul mouth and dreams of becoming a pirate.
Hard Witches: An influential presidential candidate shares her perspective of her time as US Secretary of State and infuses it with the rich and terrible history of how witches used personal email servers when communing with the Devil.
Crippled Pacific: A wealthy businessman and contender in the race for president explains how not only is America crippled, but also the waters to her west. Exploring the watery history from the 1950’s forward, he proposes a way to rebuild the nation and the waters by building skyscrapers in the ocean.
Yes, A More Perfect Union, Please: A neurosurgeon turned politician explains the constitution while complaining how boring it is to write. Imagine how boring it must have been for the founding fathers…
The Essential Life-Changing Magic of Tidying up: A Vision for America: A senator from Vermont discusses his plan for tidying up America if he gets into the Oval Office. It includes a lot of feng shui.
The Mindfulness Immigration Wars Coloring Book: A former governor of Florida shares his ideas on immigration. The book comes complete with pictures to color as a way to de-stress from whatever infuriating statement of his that you have just read.
The Martian of Casterbridge: A drunk man sells his wife and daughter to NASA. The wife and the daughter are then left on Mars to fend for themselves while the drunk man sobers up and takes a mistress. Unfortunately for him, his wife and daughter make it back from Mars to complicate matters.
All the Light in the Garden of Good and Evil: While a man in the deep south stands trial for the murder of a male prostitute, he helps a blind girl hide a stone with magical powers from the Nazis. After being acquitted, he reaches his untimely demise when accidentally entering a minefield.
Practical Stiffs: A family of witches is cursed in love and shunned by the townsfolk so they set out to escape their magic by researching all the different ways dead bodies are used for science. All works out well until they accidentally bring one of the bodies back to life.
Alice’s Adventures in Fight Club: After a young girl follows a white rabbit down a hole, she finds a bottle saying “drink me.” She does so and discovers a secret club, but due to the rules, she can’t talk about it. She does however, decide never to follow a rabbit again.
Warm Help: A young girl falls in love with a zombie who kidnaps her. Really he was trying to save her though. The two return to her home and he tries to prove his worth to the living. He is constantly shunned and treated terribly by the living. With the help of his zombie friends and a few supporters among the living, he fights for his equality and forms unlikely bonds as well as makes pie out of brains to give to the people who mistreat him.
In honor of seeing Avenue Q today, I figured I would do another quick Broadway Mash-Up for you all.
Sweeney Todd’s RENT: A barber seeks revenge for his wrongful imprisonment by killing his customers and making pies out of their flesh. The plan seems to be working until he can no longer afford his rent and an AIDS epidemic sweeps London from serving the meat of those infected with the virus. He learns there is no place like London to live la vie bohème.
Beauty and the Grease: In a tale as old as time, a young girl is kidnapped by the most popular boy in school who will lose his popularity if he doesn’t make her fall in love with him before graduation. After he admits to her that he is a beauty school dropout, she realizes he is the one that she wants.
Kinky Waitress: When a pregnant waitress stuck in a small town and a loveless marriage inherits a failing shoe factory from her father, she decides to turn it into a pie production factory with the help of a drag queen. After a terrible fling with her doctor, she decides she has a history of wrong guys and makes the brave decision to take her baby and go back to London with the drag queen. She opens up her own pie shop there in a recently vacated bakery on Fleet Street.
Friends with a Chance of Meatballs: A young inventor becomes close friends with the local weather girl and they decide to escape all the emotional entanglements that come with a relationship by just having meaningless sex. All goes well until one of his inventions goes wrong and causes food to rain down on New York. In the process of saving the world, the two actually fall in love.
Must Love Aristocats: When a divorced woman is forced into online dating, she thinks she has found the perfect man until she discovers that he is a former butler who abandoned a mother cat and her kittens in order to inherit his late does loves cats.
Taken Up: An elderly couple always planned on taking a vacation to an exotic place. Just when they are ready to finally take the trip, the man’s wife gets kidnapped and sold into human trafficking. With the help of a young boy in search of a merit badge and very particular set of skills, he attaches balloons to his house to go find her. He will find her.
The Other Toy Story: When a boy’s favorite toy gets jealous of his new toy, he sets off to slander, embarrass and destroy the new toy until the two find out the boy has been cheating on both of them with another toy. All three toys team up and take revenge on the boy by giving him laxatives, estrogen, and putting hair removal cream in his shampoo.
Bambi God: When a young deer loses his mother after she is shot by a hunter, he writes a letter to God asking him for the strength to carry on without her. When a con artist who is forced to work in the post office reads the letter, he sends the deer a lucky rabbit’s foot which in turn upsets the deer’s best friend.