Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Love in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction

This debut novel from author, Judd Trichter, is stunning. It's unique take on future robotics and the fascinating world building that seamlessly occurs had me hooked from page one. Eliot Lazar has fallen in love with a bot, a punishable crime, all he can think of is kicking his drug habit and stealing her away to a cult like island community that doesn't frown on bot/heartbeat relationships. The only problem is, his bot lover, Iris, has gone missing. The police have no interest in the case because she isn't his property and she is just a bot, but Eliot won't take no for an answer. He fortifies himself with the drip, a powerful drip, and discovers that Iris has been dismantled and it's up to him to track down all of her parts and hope to God that when he reassembles her, she'll be the same bot that he loves. Epic debut and great read!

Monday, June 29, 2015

So Many Roads

When it comes to the Grateful Dead, I am a novice and a half. I know maybe four songs, their artwork, Ben and Jerry's Cherry Garcia, and stories of their rampant drug abuse. That was about the sum total of Dead knowledge I had before listening to this audiobook. I am happy to say that this book was a crash course in understanding the Dead lore, history, music, and legend. I will never be the world's biggest fan, but I most definitely appreciate the Grateful Dead more than ever before. This book pieces together the band's 50 year history and sheds light on all the members, the music, and the drama. Confusing at times (it's not always told in the most linear fashion), but worthwhile, this book is a must read for any Deadhead and a great introduction for newbies like me. It was comprehensive, but not overwhelming, and has definitely converted me to the dark side :)

I received this book for free from Library Thing in return for my honest, unbiased opinion.

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Gotham Academy

Gothic Academy home to the wealthiest and most elite students in Gotham City and apparently a ghost that is scaring all the students. Olive Silverlock is hoping that her second year at the academy will kick off to a good start but it does anything but. She gets stuck looking out for her ex boyfriends annoyingly cute little sister, and then all the weird ghost drama and mysterious goings on, have her on the look out. She ends up teaming up with some other students to investigate and see what is going on, on campus but none are prepared for the truth.  Slow at times, but still charming. The DC tie ins (Bruce Wayne, Cobblepot, Gotham, etc.) are also pretty cool.

Friday, June 26, 2015

Sapient

One of a kind and totally unique, this story hooked me from the get go. Autism researcher Jane Dixon, has been testing a virus on rats and is amazed to discover that one of them, aptly named Einstein, has started developing amazing intelligence, he can count to 1,000, understand words, and can type out his thoughts. She decides to test it out on a dog and is amazed when he develops intelligence too. When she finally discovers that it only works when the test subjects are approaching the end of their adolescence she freaks out; her autistic son is rapidly approaching puberty. Against all ethics and morality and injects her son. What comes next is a full blown scandal, the CDC gets involved, it becomes transmittable and worse of all it has unforeseen side effects. Can she save her son? Vegetarians, Vegans, and animal lovers should especially enjoy this book as the animals continue to become more and more intelligent. An enjoyable read.

I received this book for free from the author in return for my honest, unbiased opinion.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Calves in the Mud Room

An enchanting novella that sucks you in on the very first page. Wade has big things planned, the girl of his dreams has asked him to go to the dance with her. He can hardly believe his luck! That is until he realizes the calves are coming, and they're coming if he's ready or not. Growing up on a cattle farm you think he would be used to it, but with his grandpa not long in the grave, his mom useless, and his stepfather a mean alcoholic, he's on his own. The calves couldn't pick a worse night to be born, all his wants to do is woo his beautiful date. To make matters even worse he realizes that his mom has taken him the car and left him with the ancient pick up truck, he's going to be late but at least he has something to look forward to. Or does he? A poignant coming of age novella that will resonate with readers of all ages. It's easy to sympathize with Wade and his horrible home life, so the reader keeps rooting for him, and the damn inconvenient calves. A fast, absorbing read.

I received this book for free from the author in return for my honest, unbiased opinion.

The River Cottage Booze Handbook

I'll admit, I'm not even a novice when it comes to making booze, I'm a nothing. I can't even properly mix a drink and I tend to bastardize drinks by choosing the cheapest of ingredients (I'm a tightwad, I'll admit it). This guide has definitely made me inspired though to at least try infusing. I've always been jealous of all the home brewers out there and I'm super impressed with all the craft breweries, wineries, and meaderies that have cropped up in Indiana. I love craft beer and homemade wine and this book has inspired me to at least consider trying it. The book is broken into four sections: infusions, wines, ciders, and beers. Each section is meticulously broken down and filled with pictures and illustrations on how to attempt the process. It doesn't look as daunting as I imagined it, but it still looks a little out of my league. All of the recipes include are catered to the UK and the wild fruits, plants, and edible foliage out there, but most of it can be replicated here in the states as well. I plan on starting small and trying some of the heavenly sounding infusions: blackberry whiskey, raspberry vodka, pomegranate rum, and rhubarb vodka. I need to start making them now so they'll be readiny in a few weeks. I'm already thirsty!

I received this book for free from Blogging for Books in return for my honest, unbiased opinion.

Monday, June 22, 2015

Growing Pains

A lovely coming of age book perfect for middle schoolers coming to grips with the complexities of their future and their families. Kendra doesn't have an easy life, her parents are always fighting about money, she is stressing about making the cheer-leading team, and she is having to make a decision about which high school she'll go to the following year. All of her troubles seem insurmountable and she has no idea how to handle the stress. Thankfully her best friend, her younger sister, and a cute basketball boy try their best to ease the stress. Teens will relate to the dysfunctional family dynamics, the school drama, and the hints of first romance. Set in New Orleans during the mid-eighties, there is a nice void of cellphones and social media which rids Kendra of twenty-first century struggles. Maddening at times, readers will appreciate how Kendra chooses to overcome her struggles and still try and stay positive when everything seems to be falling apart around her. A great middle grade-read!

I received this book for free from the author in return for my honest, unbiased opinion.