Category Archives: Marion’s Reading Life Blog

Wisdom From Kammbia Book Review 92: Blacktop Wasteland by S.A. Cosby

Does a son have to repeat his father’s transgressions and life choices?

It seemed like S.A. Cosby was trying to answer that question in his thrilling third novel, Blacktop Wasteland. I have seen this novel posted on my Instagram feed recently and several Goodreads friends posted about the book and I had to read it.

Beauregard “Bug” Montage is an excellent mechanic, devoted husband and father.  He has tried to leave the life of street racing and crime behind.  However, his auto mechanic shop direly needs business and Bug’s resources have hit the breaking point.  He takes part in one more robbery to steal diamonds from a local jewelry store.  In his desperate situation, Bug sees this opportunity as his only way out.  However, easy money never comes easily and Bug learns the painful lesson that a life of crime never solves your problems.

Bug reconnects with a former associate that tells him the robbery of a jewelry store will be quick, easy, and foolproof. Of course, nothing is foolproof, and the heist gets the attention of a local criminal kingpin and Bug may have crossed paths with the wrong person. Bug’s family is pulled into his last excursion of crime and it nearly costs him everything.  He hatches a plan to save his family and gets revenge on everyone that pulled him back into that life.

It has been a long time since I read a book that gave me holy s-word moments. Cosby’s fast-paced “southern noir” thriller kept me turning pages and got me invested in Bug’s journey out of darkness. Also, I appreciated how he brought up Bug’s connection to his father and how dangerous idolatry can become.

Blacktop Wasteland joins my favorite reads list of 2021 and Cosby’s visceral writing had me seeing Ving Rhames or Don Cheadle as Beauregard “Bug” Montage in a movie adapted from the novel. I’m looking forward to reading more of Cosby’s work and highly recommend this powerful, ultraviolent novel.

Can an all-time favorite book be reread?

Can you one of your all-time favorite books be read more than once and is still an all-time favorite? That’s the question I’ve been coming to terms with after reading Parable of the Sower by Octavia Butler for the third time recently. Parable of the Sower is on the shortlist of my all-time favorite books… Continue Reading

Wisdom From Kammbia Book Review 91: Sabrina and Corina by Kali Fajardo-Anstine

I love book cover art.  I was scrolling through my Goodreads page recently and noticed one of my friends add Sabrina & Corina by Kali Fajardo-Anstine to their TBR list.  The beautiful cover got my attention, and I bought book the next day. Sabrina & Corina is the debut book of Kali Fajardo-Anstine and has… Continue Reading

Wisdom From Kammbia Book Review 90: Furia by Yamile Saied Mendez

“Lies have short legs.” That is the opening sentence of Furia by Yamile Saied Mendez.  Camila Hassan says this proverb and opens a window into her double life as an Argentinian high school student by day and a Futbol player known as Furia after school.  Camila has kept her secret of playing Futbol from her… Continue Reading

Wisdom From Kammbia Book Review 89: Gods of Jade and Shadow by Silvia Moreno-Garcia

I’ve had my eye on Silvia Moreno-Garcia’s work over the past several years. I downloaded her first novel, Signal to Noise, on my Kindle a couple of years ago and her fourth novel, Mexican Gothic, I have seen throughout social media recently.  Moreno-Garcia’s work has been popular for some time. Gods of Jade and Shadow… Continue Reading

Icon #12

“Don’t forget, you’re a full-time student and a part-time superhero.” Icon told Rocket the aforementioned sentence at the beginning of Issue 12 while they were saving someone from being robbed.  Rocket has been trying to manage her life of high school student, superhero, and pending motherhood.  One of her good friends, Josie, came to school… Continue Reading

Wisdom From Kammbia Book Review 85: Where Do We Go From Here-Chaos or Community? by Martin Luther King Jr.

“We still have a choice today: nonviolent coexistence or violent co-annihilation. This may well be mankind’s last chance to choose between chaos and community.” Martin Luther King’s last sentence from his last book, Where Do We Go From Here: Chaos or Community sums up his powerful and convincing argument for nonviolent coexistence for humanity. I… Continue Reading

It’s Not Snobbish or Old-Fashioned If You Still Prefer Reading A Book!

I have a confession to make. I still prefer reading a physical book over an eBook or audiobook. Whew…I got it off my chest! It seems these days (in our social media age) that if you only read paperbacks or hardcover books, you are outdated like the 8-Track or Cassette Tapes.  Reading on an eReading… Continue Reading