Monday, November 30, 2015

Come Hell or Highball

Chance, Maia. Come Hell or Highball. 8 CDs. unabridged. 9.25 hrs. Recorded Books. ISBN 9781490693965. 

The first in a few series, Discreet Retrieval Agency Mysteries, promises rollicking good fun. Author Maia Chance is no stranger to quirky cozy mysteries, she has also authored the popular Fairy Tale Fatal  series and seems to be a library favorite. This latest endeavor  introduces readers to Lola Woodby, a recently widowed society matron, who suddenly finds herself penniless and embroiled in a mystery. If Lola and her trusty cook, Berta, can solve a crime and find a missing film reel then they can finally have some financial independence. Full of twists and turns, witty dialogue, and saucy characters, this mystery will have readers laughing out loud and craving a highball. Narrator Suzy Jackson, does a charming job as the ever sassy Lola and has quite a convincing Swedish accent for Berta, the bumbling sidekick. For fans of cozy mysteries, historical fiction, and the roaring twenties. - Erin Cataldi, Johnson Co. Public Library, Franklin, IN

Thursday, November 26, 2015

The League of Regrettable Superheroes

A cute read, perfect for stocking stuffers, comic fans, and those who aren't apt to pick up books. This little book contains summaries, pictures and quotes from the comic book industries most "regrettable" superheroes. As the introduction states, "We call these second-tier (or lower) superheroes "regrettable," but it's important to remember that none of thesecharacters are inherently bad. Sometimes, the only factor that kept them from succeeding was bad timing, an unstable marketplace, or merely being lost in the crowd."Author Jon Morris explores some of the truly odd, overlooked, and underappreciated superheroes that are now largely forgotten. That cast includes: Doctor Hormone, Lady Satan, Rainbow Boy, Thunderbunny, and more. A quirky, quick, enjoyable read.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015


Looks can be deceiving. At first glance the novel's cover looks as if it's advertising paranormal romance, but upon reading it I was delighted to learn that it was indeed a WWII historical romance and the woman on the cover is the gypsy, Tsura. Forced into hiding, Tsura seeks refuge with an elderly couple and a young Jewish man who she falls madly in love with. One evening she is caught by two Nazis outside her hiding place and she is sure the end is near for a gypsy like her. Luckily one of the men is her older brother's best friend and he saves the day by claiming that Tsura is his fiance. In order to secure her safety he forges her identity and marries her, but it's a marriage on paper only, he won't touch her; he knows that she is in love with the Jewish boy. Tsura finds it hard to stomach being married to a man who works for the Nazis but she has little choice. Just when they think they are figuring out how to live with their farce of marriage trouble strikes. Will they be able to stand each other? How will they survive? Is evil only in black of white or in shades of gray? A fast paced, riveting read, perfect for fans of historical romance and WWII dramas. I can't wait to dive into the sequel to see how it ends.

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

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Soul Food Love

Love encapsulates every page of this cookbook/family history. The first fourth of the book takes readers through five kitchens, through multiple generations, and many cooking styles. It is a wonderful tribute to their family. While the authors (a mother daughter duo) praise and venerate the previous generations they also realize how unhealthy some traditional soul food has become and spruce up old recipes and create some to fill the void. Kitchens are a place of solace and they don't want to remove the experience and pleasure for anyone so they created and tweaked recipes for the benefit of all. "In our family, and in many Southern families, the abundant kitchen has become an antidote for what pains and afflicts us. Somewhere along the way, abundance became excess. Then excess became illness."

There are literally dozens of recipes I can't wait to try: southern hummus, warm onion and rosemary salad, spicy roasted sweet potatoes with pomegranate, fiery green beans, and more. This book is not vegetarian based, but it is certainly very vegetarian friendly and a welcome addition to my bookshelf. The descriptions are mouthwatering, the pictures sumptuous, and the recipes fairly simple.

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

The Bazaar of Bad Dreams

A huge collection of Stephen King short stories, some are horror filled, some have a hell of a plot twist, some are creepy, and others just make you think. There's a little something for everyone, especially the dedicated King fan. He writes an introduction for each story and talks about when he wrote it and what his inspiration was; it really added to the overall feel for each story. Some stories were better than others but it didn't subtract from the overall awesomeness of the collection; King is a master storyteller and his character building is literally out of this world. I hear the audiobook is amazing and I wouldn't mind checking that out as well. For fans of horror, short stories, and the macabre.

Sunday, November 22, 2015

The Brothers Vonnegut

Strand, Ginger. The Brothers Vonnegut: Science and Fiction in the House of Magic. 9 CDs. unabridged. 10.75 hrs. High Bridge Audio. 2015. ISBN 9781622319169. $34.99.

Strand (Killer on the Road: Violence and the American Interstate) beautifully illustrates the juxtaposition of the Vonnegut brothers, Bernard and Kurt in this compelling narrative of their lives and contributions in their respective fields. During WWII while Kurt was hunkered down beneath a slaughterhouse surviving the firebombing of Dresden (later a basis for his bestselling novel, Slaughterhouse Five), his brother Bernard, a scientist, was flying in the air testing out cloud seeding and producing rain.  The brothers led vastly different lives, but shared the similar experience of both working for GE (General Electric), which back then was lovingly referred to as the "house of magic." While there, Bernard studied the sky and experimented with weather control and Kurt reveled in all the fantastic things he saw and heard, many of which become the basis for his later novels and short stories. What happens when science is no longer used for good, but for evil; are scientists compelled to be moral or just make progress for progress's sake, regardless of the consequences? Strand breaks down Bernard's science and Kurt's stories and it produces a fascinating look at two different, yet very similar, brothers. Compellingly narrated by Sean Runnette, this eye opening read is perfect for both fans of science and Kurt Vonnegut. A must read.  - Erin Cataldi, Johnson Co. Public Library, Franklin, IN

Friday, November 20, 2015

A Thousand Shall Fall

Sassy, independent, Carrie Ann Bell, finds herself in a pickle when she's captured by Union soldiers and arrested for impersonating an officer. It had all started off soo innocently enough, her younger sister had run off and Carrie thought it was her duty to sneak behind enemy lines to go find her. The Yanks have no idea what to do with this smart talking, headstrong woman, but one soldier, Colonel Collier, has his eye on her.

Carrie finds herself caught up in the midst of the war and she doesn't know where to turn or who to trust other than God. All she wants to do is find her sister, but she finds herself compelled to stay and help with the wounded. It doesn't hurt that she also has eyes for the dashing Colonel. Is there time for love in the midst of war? Which side is she loyal to? For fans of inspirational romance and historical fiction.

I received this book for free from Litfuse Publicity in return for my honest, unbiased review.