Saturday, October 10, 2015

Head Case: My Brain and Other Wonders

A fascinating memoir by a girl, whose brain isn't all there. Thought to have a myriad of disorders (ADD, anxiety, etc), it isn't until Cole is in her twenties that she gets tested and is told she is seriously neurologically impaired and has a hole in her brain the size of a lemon). Because of this Cole can't tell the difference between left and right, can't drive, can't follow directions, tell home much time has paced, and dozens of other things that make living independently very very hard. This memoir talks about the struggle of coming to terms with her diagnosis and trying to find new ways to complete some of the most basic of tasks with dignity and resolve. Inspiring and intriguing. This was a fascinating read.

Thursday, October 8, 2015

It's a Wonderful Death

Wonderfully snarky, this young adult book was a breeze to read and teens will definitely get a kick out of it. All hell breaks loose (almost literally) when a grim reaper accidentally takes the wrong soul. RJ was a young, popular seventeen year old just days away from winning the Homecoming Queen crown, when she was snatched away and taken to the afterlife. Understandably upset, she causes a ruckus until the angels and death himself agree to meet with her and look over her unusual case. RJ is willing to do whatever it takes to get back to Earth even if it means going on trial and undertaking a series of tests that will show (or not show) her true merit. Cute and witty, this is a great book for teens by a wonderful new Hoosier author.

The Daughters of Jim Farrell

I started this story skeptical, but ended as a fan. At first I only liked one of the three sisters (Virginia), but over time I came to understand and appreciate the emotions and actions of all of them. The story follows three sisters and their mother as they deal with the after effects of their father's hanging. Believed by all (but the family) to have killed another man, he was sentenced to death. Angered and wanting vengeance, the eldest sister Kate decides to hire a Pinkerton to investigate the murder and clear her father's name. The more they discover, the deeper they fear the secret lies. Set in the heart of coal country in the late 1800s, this story also sheds light on the plight of poor miners and their families and the absolute authority that the bosses had over their workers. Eye opening and full of historical intrigue, this story is sure to reach a wide variety of audiences. It's historical, full of romance and mystery, and considered to be inspirational or Christian. A surprisingly good read.

I received this book for free from Book Crash in return for my honest, unbiased opinion.

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

The Best of Pop Culture Happy Hour

I'm a big fan of NPR so I was more than thrilled to listen to the best podcasts from pop culture happy hour. It included favorite discussions such as: nudity, profanity, the art of the mix-tape, bloopers, movie trailers, and fiascoes. The discussions are hilarious, thoughtful and always classy. It was a delight getting to listen to this two disc set this week on my way to and from work. I hope they release more sets like this! A great introduction for someone new to NPR and a must have for a fan of it!

Monday, October 5, 2015

Girl Waits with Gun

Cute, inventive, and hard to put down. I thoroughly enjoyed reading the escapades of the three Kopp sisters, even more so when I discovered that this story is loosely based off true events! When an automobile collides with a horse and buggy and the buggy is ruined, the eldest sister, Constance, decides to take matters into her own hands and get the thug who was driving the car to pay. Little does she realize though that this thug is not to be messed with. Soon come the threatening letters, shots fired at the house, bricks thrown into windows. The girls finds themselves in over their heads. They turn to the sheriff for help before things escalate too quickly. My favorite character is the youngest sister Fleurette, who has a wonderful knack for creativity and seeing the positive side in everything. An enjoyably quick read.

Saturday, October 3, 2015

The Girl Who Wrote in Silk

Estes, Kelli. The Girl Who Wrote in Silk. 10 CDs. unabridged. 12.5 hrs. Blackstone Audio. 2015. ISBN 9781504606042. $34.95. 

Estes debut novel will enthrall fans of Asian American History. The story alternates between the turn of the nineteenth century and present day, where Inara finds a beautifully embroidered sleeve hidden in the staircase at her newly inherited island estate. Intrigued, she asks a professor of Asian history to help her find out more and together they discover a centuries worth of secrets, horror, and love stitched onto the delicate sleeve. As they are unraveling the mystery behind the sleeve, alternating chapters reveal the sorrowful life of Mei Lein, a young Chinese girl who left behind her story stitched on silk. Loosely based on historical fact, this eye opening and beautifully written novel will captivate readers and leave them wanting more. Beautifully narrated by Emily Woo Zeller who helps bring the story alive with her delicate, yet masterful prose. - Erin Cataldi, Johnson Co. P.L., Franklin, IN

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Beasts: 16 More Weird Stories

A harrowing collection of odd creepy, and bizarre short stories that is perfect to get you in the spirit for Halloween. Brendan Detzner assembles a great collection of "things that go bump in the night" short tales, ranging from ghost stories, paranormal, horror, science fiction, and more. Readers will delight in the creepily told stories of the skeleton man, chupacabras, artificial intelligence, and haunted figures. Some tales will delight, others chill, but all will entrance you. This collection is hard to put down and readers will find themselves coming back to it again and again. For fans of Neil Gaiman and Ray Bradbury.

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