Saturday, October 29, 2016

The Walking Dead Book Thirteen

After the brutal conclusion to book twelve I was wondering where this series was headed. Alexandria wants revenge on the whisperers for taking out twelve of their people but Rick wants to formulate a plan which makes everyone hate him and call him a coward. Meanwhile, Neegan escapes, Eugene starts talking to some mysterious person through the radio, and Carl is getting down with Lydia. The conclusion was seriously badass and I didn't see it coming. I love this series and I already can't wait until book fourteen is released!!

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Big Fish

I grew up loving the Tim Burton movie so I was fairly certain that I was going to enjoy the original novel edition as well and I was disappointed. It had been years since I have seen the movie, but reading this definitely helped a lot of it come back (although a re-watch is definitely happening!). The story follows a son as he tries to piece together his father's life. Having grown up on nothing but tall fantastical tales about his father, Edward Bloom's life, he is unsure what to make of him. Who is his father really? Now that his father is on his death bed he wants to know the truth. The story is told in short little stories, each more fantastical than the next. From a swamp witch, to battling a feral dog, to tricking a giant; each story shows the  essence and character of a man. A wonderful, innovative, and fast read with a wonderful movie companion.

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Survivor: The Escape

A memoir about overcoming the curve-balls life sends you, no matter how many come at you and no matter how hard they hit. Ditto writes of her experiences being abused as a child, teenager, adult, wife, and mother. Every step of the way she has had to face men and women bullying, beating, and lying to her but she has learned how to stand up to them. While she may not be a perfect Christian, having four kids out of wedlock, Ditto tries to tell her story as an imperfect Christian, calling on readers to accept God's plan, love, and forgiveness. This autobiography is written not as a journal but as a flashback with many added retrospective comments and concerns as she looks back upon the mistakes of her youth. Although the book is in dire need of an editor or proof-reader, the reader is able to look past the myriad of typos, odd phrases, and spelling choices to understand the message of this short biography. The author lives somewhere in Europe or Africa, it's never quite made clear, so a lot of the domestic abuse scenarios seem even worse than we are used to hearing about in America because the authorities treat it vastly different where the author is from. An inspiring ramble through the author's traumatizing youth and early adulthood.

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

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

I Am the Ocean

Where is there left to go when you've spent your life running away? Faced with no job prospects and no plans looming on the horizon, Samita Sarkar decides to spend her savings investing on herself; namely, on travel experiences. Having spent her whole life doing what was expected of her, Samita decided to fill her empty journal pages with unique life changing moments of her own choosing. Leaving behind the familiarity of Canada she decides to go down the east coast and see the American sights. Living on a shoe string budget she chronicles her experiences meeting strangers, couch surfing, and seeing the sights. Armed with only a handful of clothes, her blank journal, and a worn out copy of "The Bhagavad Gita," Samita discovers the joys of writing one's own path. This memoir reads as a giant journal entry with lots of retrospective comments added in for good measure. There are also lots of great quotations from "The Bhagavad Gita" that correlate to her experiences on the road. Samita's journey is an aspiring look at what you can do if you let go and write your own story; even on the most meager budget it can be a fruitful life changing experience.

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

Monday, October 24, 2016

How to Talk to Your Cat About Gun Safety

This hilarious gem is the perfect gift for your cat loving friends. This humorous little book contains chapters and talking points on the following issues plaguing cats all over America: gun safety, evolution, abstinence, online safety, drugs, puberty, post-apocalyptic survival, and satanism. To get a little sample of the hilarity contained in these pages read this excerpt to get an idea of what's in store:

"To some extent marijuana, heroin, cocaine, ecstasy, meth, and LSD all get abused by cats, but the consumption of these pales in comparison to the scourge currently devastates the lives of so many of our feline friends: catnip. According to current research, only a small number of cats have or will experiment with the first six drugs on our list, However, virtually every cat in America has, does, or will use catnip during their lifetime."

Contains cute photos and "solid advice" for cat owners to follow. A perfect Christmas gift not just for your friend bu for the well being of their precious fur babies. Clocking in at only a little over 100 pages, this quick read is perfect for the holidays.

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

Valley of the Kings

A sweeping historical drama set in 14th century Egypt, this tale of kings, political plotting, romance, betrayal, and war is sure to find a wide variety of readers. Nerfetiti, Tutankhamen, and Ty are just a few of the major players in this fictional rendering of one of the greatest periods in history. Inspired by real life letters from the Hittites and Amarnas, award winning author, Terrance Coffey lends credence and authenticity to his fascinating look at royal lineage. When Prince Amenhotep succeeds the throne as a small child after his father and older brother's untimely deaths he is determined not to be undermined and to stay in control. To do so he outlaws worship of all other gods save one, Aten the sun god, and builds a new, hopefully less corrupt, capital city. Leaving Thebes behind doesn't solve any problems though; he is just an ostrich with its head in the sand and his controversial banning of gods has angered many. Told through multiple perspectives this story spans a few decades and will keep readers intrigued with tales of passion, lies, secrets, and intrigue. Filled with fascinating detail on cultures, clothes, custom, and religion, this is a great book for anyone looking to learn more about ancient Egypt. A wonderful book, honestly the great historical fiction I've ever read on ancient Egypt!

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

Monday, October 17, 2016

The Wonder

Donoghue, Emma. The Wonder. 10 CDs. unabridged. 13 hrs. Hachette Audio. ISBN 9781478911753. $30. 

Donoghue (bestselling author of Room), weaves a magnificent and haunting tale of a young Irish Catholic girl fasting herself to death and a nurse determined to save her. Eleven year old Anna O'Donnell is purported to have eaten nothing for months; Lib Wright an English nurse, is sent over to a small Irish village to see if the rumors are true and the girl is truly subsisting on nothing. Refusing to believe, Lib is determined to end the hoax within days but she finds herself inexplicably drawn to the "living wonder." Putting her skepticism aside Lib is determined to help the girl, regardless if she is a fraud or not. There is something ominous about a young girl determined to waste away and Lib is convinced that something is amiss. This thriller starts off with a slow burn but quickly picks up speed as the relationship between Lib and Anna deepens and it becomes apparent that not everything is as it seems. The story comes alive with an impeccable narration by Kate Lock, who expertly narrates both English and Irish accents to such an extent that it's easy to get lost in the story. Another great read from a seasoned author, an absolute must listen!  - Erin Cataldi, Johnson Co. Public Library, Franklin, IN

The Girls

A fascinating read that transports the reader back to 1969. Very reminiscent of the Manson murders this book shows how one young girl's naivety and thirst for adventure leads to her becoming involved in a cult. Russell is an enigmatic man and the women and children in his midst look up to him with something like hero worship. Showing a disdain for worldly goods and money the group travels around in a black school bus and dumpster dives for food and supplies. Fourteen year old Evie happens upon the group by chance and becomes smitten with the girls carefree and easy lifestyle. The ranch where Russell and his groupies stay isn't far from her house so she stays there most of the summer and gets caught up in free love, drugs, and communal living. Quickly emboldened by this new radical lifestyle, Evie has a hard time discerning right and wrong, how far is she willing to go down the road to violence? Looking back on her experience as a hardened adult she is able to see how the summer when she was fourteen shaped her into the women she became. A fascinating read.

Thursday, October 13, 2016


An enlightening look at the sex lives of Iranian women told in a graphic novel format. Marjane Satrapi, author of the bestselling graphic novel Persepolis, writes and illustrates her first graphic novel for adults and it is as intriguing as promised. Embroideries is told through Marjane's grandmother, neighbors, aunts, mother, and friends as they drink tea and set their sights on gossiping as soon as the men leave the room. Stories of heartbreak, laughter, injustice, and hopes are shared in this quick read. Secrets are discussed, lurid tales laughed at, and marriages analyzed. A quick wonderful read from a fantastic author.

A Proper Drink

An intriguing look at how a band of bartenders revived the cocktail movement and saved the civilized drinking world in the process. Robert Simonson painstakingly pieces together the top bartenders from around the world and tells how a drink here and a vintage cocktail book there helped bring about a cocktail revival that most of us take for granted. Without the ingenuity and determination of some bartenders to re-make some classic cocktails found in dusty old manuals and the willpower to track down obscure ingredients we wouldn't have the options that we currently enjoy. They brought back the classics, the sidecar, the ramos gin fizz, and in the process created new classics like the cosmopolitan and the appletini. A very comprehensive look at individual bartenders, and influential cocktail bars this book can get a little bogged down at times but is overall enlightening and will make you appreciate your drinks more. Also included are cocktail recipes at the end of every chapter.

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

Monday, October 10, 2016

The Amityville Horror

A ridiculously quick read, this non-fiction horror story outlines the 28 days of hell that the Lutz family endured in their Amityville house. Reconstructed over hours of audio interviews the author creates a compelling timeline of the strange, seemingly demonic events that took place at their house. Creepy, but not altogether nightmare inducing, this book is a good companion for the subsequent movie adaptations. Honestly I prefer the movies better because they embrace their fictitiousness and are, in my opinion, quite a bit spookier. Obviously, I doubt much of the story is true, but who doesn't love a good scary story involving a gruesome murder, a haunted house, and a large red eyed talking pig named Jodie? If nothing else it helped me get more in the mood for Halloween.

Thursday, October 6, 2016


Mix Redwall, Animal Farm, and The Fifth Wave together and you have some sense of what is going on in this action packed science fiction thriller. Giant ants have erupted from the surface of the earth and have started massacring every human in sight, to get the job done more effectively they release a substance that transforms all animals into walking, talking, thinking creatures to help eradicate all the humans. Sebastian was a content house cat but when he woke up with thoughts and plans he shed his old identity and became Mort(e) a former choker (pet) and current military bad-ass renowned for his feats of bravery and fearlessness. All he really wants to do is find Sheba, his neighbor who happened to be a dog, but Mort(e) remains content tracking humans and killing them while looking for his friend on the side. Years pass and the war rages on, the humans are wily creatures all Mort(e) wants to do is curl up with his missing friend but instead he must battle on and be disillusioned with what the Queen ant has in store for everyone. A compelling unique sci-fi that is the beginning of a trilogy.

Sunday, October 2, 2016

A Monster Calls

Oh. My. Gosh. Words cannot describe how thoroughly I enjoyed the book. Even the second time around. It was creepily poetic and the illustrations were amazing. They really helped make the entire story. I started to read a chapter last night, and the next thing I know, BAM covers closed I finished the whole damn thing. It was that good!

The story follows Conor, a 13 year old boy living in England trying to deal with his mom's increasingly worse cancer symptoms and the nightmares it inspires. One night however, he realizes that he really is being visited by a monster. The monster (beautifully illustrated in the book, I might add) doesn't necessarily want to hurt Conor, but does he want to help him either?

Please, please give this book a chance. Definitely, one of the best books I've read this year!!

Sex Criminals: Volume Three

Decidedly my least favorite of the three volumes, this collection focuses on Jon and Suzie essentially declaring war on the sex police. Determined to take down these cops once and for all they decide to track down other people with magical sex powers to persuade them to team up with them. This doesn't quite go to plan though and they find themselves with a couple more enemies, including a really bizarre sex monster with vaginticles. Amusing, although I could have done without the authors inserting themselves randomly into the story (kinda messed with the flow of the story). I'm looking forward to the next installment.

Sex Criminals: Volume Two

A little (okay a lot) depressing compared to the light heartedness of the first volume but still a great read. In this collection, Jon is dealing with shit, literally, he's depressed and not dealing with life really well. He and Suzie are out of their honeymoon stage and he's struggling with his feelings towards sex and his future with Suzie. He starts seeing a shrink to sort through all the shit and Suzie is trying to get the library saved. They don't have the luxury of dealing with their own personal problems though because the sex police are still out there and they're keeping an eye on these two. A satisfying, albeit dark, follow up.