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BearskinBearskin by James A. McLaughlin

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Rice Moore takes a job at a remote forest preserve in Virginian Appalachia, where he thinks he can hide from the Mexican drug cartels he betrayed back in Arizona. There is a slow boiling tension throughout this book as Rice becomes embroiled with local bear parts smugglers. The writing is sharp with a strong sense of the landscape. Recommended.

Slothilda: Living the Sloth LifeSlothilda: Living the Sloth Life by Dante Fabiero

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

A cute, fun, fast read that embraces the sloth lifestyle as it would be to the modern reader. Based on an Internet comic, there are funny moments here about introversion, food, the joys of naps, the lack of motivation to exercise (it reminds me a bit of Sarah's Scribbles, though a bit more cutesy).

[I received an advanced e-galley from Netgalley.]

The Drum That Beats Within UsThe Drum That Beats Within Us by Mike Bond

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A book of poetry, some free verse, some formal, that evokes the American West, its openness, wildness, and its sense of desolation. Contemplating the universe and man's place in it, along with the continuing destruction of the natural world, I found this an enormously satisfying experience. Recommended.

[I received an advanced e-galley of this book through Netgalley.]

The Scripture of the Golden EternityThe Scripture of the Golden Eternity by Jack Kerouac

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

A book of poetry inspired by a vision he had during an unexplained fainting spell, Kerouac explores his Buddhist inclinations and beliefs. The poems range from paragraph-length poems to koans and haiku. Those familiar with the principles he espouses may find value here as well as those interested in Kerouac, but it is not likely to convert those who will find it to be touchy-feely, feel good sentiment.

Deadly Class, Vol. 1: Reagan YouthDeadly Class, Vol. 1: Reagan Youth by Rick Remender

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

In the 1980's, Marcus Lopez dreams of killing Ronald Reagan. He has been recruited into a school for assassins and his classmates are not only the horrible kids of your high school memories but also trained killers. Any levity is smothered by brooding teenage angst and the deadly seriousness of the school's dark arts. While the story and premise are interesting, it does not quite gel (at least at this point as it is the start of a series).

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