Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Shoe Dog

An inspiring and fascinating memoir from the creator of Nike. Phil Knight spares no details in this in depth look about how he created the Nike empire as a young naive guy in his 20s. It was anything but smooth sailing, equal parts business and personal, this memoir touches on all the struggles the young fledgling company had in its first 2 decades. It pretty much ends in 1980 when the company went public, because that is when the company finally took off. Brilliantly narrated to convey the emotions and excitement of the Nike culture. After listening to this book I have soo much respect for Nike and its creator. I've always seen it around, it's one of the largest companies ever, but I've never appreciated how hard they worked to get to the point they are at now. Insanely inspiring, they've definitely got a new customer.


A fascinating look at the mysterious life of the cult classic scream goddess, Vampira. Although not much is known about her life, author W. Scott Poole did a great job fleshing out what he good and writing about the history of the decade, women's rights, and the culture of the time. Filled with fascinating photos and interesting tid bits, this retrospective is on more than Vampira, it's about the culture of the fifties in which she emerged and how she shattered all the stereotypes and housewife tropes. It reads as if it's a long scholarly essay, but it's worth plowing through to learn some interesting facts about her association with James Dean, Elvis, Marlon Brando, Ed Wood, Orson Welles, and Liberace. Intriguing, but it could have been wrapped up a little more concisely.

Friday, February 24, 2017

The Night Gardener

A pretty solid book for upper elementary/ middle schoolers, and honestly it was soo well written and creepy, that I think this absolutely could be adapted into a creepy as hell adult horror book. Two Irish orphans find themselves in an isolated crumbling down house working for a sick family. They're not technically getting paid but at least they have a place to stay and food to eat. While working at this remote house, Molly and her younger brother, Kip, begin to realize that something is horribly wrong. Someone is breaking in at night, everyone has nightmares, and they're all slowly getting sicker. Plus, the tree next to the house is menacing AF. Slowly they learn about the ominous night gardener and realize that sometimes the scariest stories are the true ones, ones that you keep yourself from believing. Genuinely creepy at parts, this book will attract a variety of readers.

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Melody: Story of a Nude Dancer

I've read a lot of stripper memoirs (I have eclectic reading tastes) and this graphic novel memoir didn't really do it for me. This memoir takes place in Canada during the 1980's, Melody and her dead beat boyfriend are broke and unemployed so he pressures her into being an exotic dancer while he peddles dope. Melody starts off as young and naive and quickly grows jaded and tired of her boyfriend's lying, cheating, and stealing.Not enough to leave him though. There are multiple "chapters" and each tells a small story. One involves the cops, another involves, puppets, yet another an orgy, you get the picture. While interesting, I had a hard time feeling sympathy for Melody. The drawings are a little amateur but fit well with the story.

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Bitch Planet

I loved everything about this comic! Women deemed "troublemakers" or "problems" are sent away from Earth to live on a prison colony dubbed, "Bitch Planet," far away from the straight laced men who expect obedient subservient women. A new batch of prisoners sent to Bitch Planet are given an opportunity to fight for their freedom. The leader of their group is unsure, but what choice do they have? Even if the system is rigged they want to show the men that they are not to be taken lightly. Filled with an amazing cast of characters and an amazing storyline. I definitely can't wait to read more of them!

Monday, February 20, 2017

Heart Shaped Box

An amazing new take on the typical old ghost story. Imagine buying a ghost on the internet, as a fluke. Something fun to add the ol' occult collection in your house. Some fun little trinket to start off a good story with. It's not like you'd receive an actual ghost. Right? This is the conundrum that rock singer Jude Coyne finds himself. Middle aged and living with a hot young goth girl, his best days are behind him. He has his dogs, his personal assistant downstairs handling the odd reunion requests and fan mail, and a hot roadie warming his bed. Life is good. Until the little heart shaped box containing a ghost shows up in the mail. Suddenly it isn't so funny anymore. This ghost is out for blood. Jude's blood. Any anyone dumb enough to try and help him. Genuinely creepy, and engaging. This ghost story kept me hooked until the very end. Jo's father must be proud. He's one hell of a horror writer.


Wonderfully innovative concept for a new comic series. Everyone is obsessed with beauty. So much so, that when an STD that makes the infected shed weight, grow cheek-bones, smooth complexions, and turn all the infected into beautiful supermodels, everyone wants to get it. Within a year 200 million Americans are infected with the beauty. Groups are against it, groups are for it, and a special government group has been created to try and stem the flow of transmission and to keep an overall eye on the infected beauties. Suddenly, without warning, the beauties start internally combusting. The government tries to keep it hush hush, but it's only  matter of time before it gets leaked. What can the beauty squad do to help everyone? And what will happen if they too get infected? Dark, beautifully illustrated, and creative, this was an amazing beginning and I can't wait to keep up with the series.

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time

A wonderful and eye opening read through the mind of a fifteen year old autistic child who is determined to discover who killed his neighbors dog. Told with candor, wonderful explanations, drawings, and logic, Christopher's view of the world is fresh and different. Hating to be touched, severely lacking in empathy or humor, he approaches life with a clinical different way of thinking. Christopher learns a lot about himself, his limitations, and what he's truly able to overcome if he doesn't overthink it. Definitely worth a read.

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Buffy, the High School Years: Freaks and Geeks

I saw this cover art and was immediately drawn to it. Plus, who diesn't love Buffy?!?! Upon reading this series debut though, I wasn't very impressed. The graphics are more anime, I wanted more along the lines of the cover. Plus... I think I'm a little too old to be reading about this level of high school drama. Granted it was cool to see Giles and Buffy and Willow and the whole gang in a new storyline, but I don't know if I liked it enough to follow it up with the next in the series. We'll see.


Amusing, wonderfully drawn, and full of wit. Sexcastle will amuse readers. Simply, yet skillfully drawn, the characters leap to life from tha page and are memorable enough in themselves. The comic opens with Sexcastle getting released from prison. Having served time for murdering the president, he has vowed to turn away from his life of killing and wants to do nothing but live a quiet life. He travels a long way until he finds a sleepy little town and a position as a flower shop salesnmen. Before he can get too cozy though, he realizes that there is a big player in town and it will be harder then he thought to remain non-violent. Funny, and campy, the book is immensly better than my description.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Enter by the Narrow Gate

A wonderful mystery debut that promises to be a fantastic series. In the same vein as Tony Hillerman and other southwestern mysteries, with a touch of Brother Cadfael; this suspenseful whodunnit set in New Mexico will garner lots of fans.

Father Fortis is on sabbatical at St. Mary's and arrives just after a young nun is found brutally murdered. Soon after his good friend Detroit Detective, Lieutenant Worthy, is sent out to investigate a missing girl. Father Fortis decides that it is no mere coincidence that the two of them find themselves in the Southwest at the same time immediately after an unsolved murder. Lt. Worthy is determined to stay focused on his missing persons case but is soon drawn in by the mysteriousness of the nun's death. Could the missing girl and the dead nun be linked? If so by what? Full of intrigue, religious oddities, and good ol' fashioned sleuthing, this novel reads fast and is impossible to put down. I can't wait for the next installment!

Monday, February 13, 2017

White Knight

Another solid Dresden Files novel. Not my absolute favorite, but I loved seeing more of Ramirez and Thomas.A bunch of witches have gone missing or have mysteriously killed themselves and Dresden and Murphey decide to investigate and put an end to whatever is terrorizing part of the magic community. Of course, it ends up going way deeper and darker than they imagined and lots of old players are re-introduced. It's fun and violent, and full of laughs. I particularily dug the end of it. Now on to the next one! Slowly, but surely I'll knock this series out!

Saturday, February 11, 2017

Just Kids

Gorgeously written, the prose is lyrical and evocative in it's own right. Patti Smith's memoir about her early relationship with photographer and artist, Robert Mapplethorpe, during the late sixties and secenties in New York is a treat for anyone. Before reading this book, I didn't know much about Patti Smith and I knew nothing about Mapplethorpe, but afterwards I felt as if I knew them intimately. Patti does a wonderful job plotting the trajectory of their friendship, their time as lovers, and their work as artists. The drugs, the art, the music, the style, the culture, the emotions; all are encased in this tiny little memoir. It's like looking into a time capsule, everything is captured so well. The creative process behind their art, the accompanying photographs, the depth of meaning behind the unsaid and said. A wonderful read, well deserving of the national book award.

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Our Hearts Will Burn Us Down

Heartbreaking and painful, but beautifully rendered, this novel of a school shooting and it's aftermath through the eyes of four students will have readers hooked. Alternatively told through the omniscient "we" and through individual lenses of four yearbook club staffers, the whole story is slowly pieced together, where each of them were in the building, how they were affected, how they grieved, and how they came together to try and chronicle an indescribable event. As if the aftermath of the shooting that claimed over 20 students wasn't enough, a string of house fires ignite throughout the community, only affecting the parents and families of those that lost teenagers in the school shooting. These four, courageous, broken, questioning teens try to piece together their own and their community's sorrows. A wonderful read, not for the faint of heart.

I received this book for free from Librarything Giveaways in return for my honest, unbiased review.

Monday, February 6, 2017


Full of sex and scadal and written slightly better than "50 Shades of Grey" this erotica would have appealed to me more had there not been copious amounts of cheating and ridiculous plot twists at the end. On the surface Zoe has the perfect life: an adoring husband, a great job, a huge house, and wonderful kids. She loves her husband but their sex life is very lacking. From an early age Zoe was fascinated with sex, she couldn't wait to do it. She finally lost her virginity to her childhood sweatheart (now husband) and has always been faithful (yet unfulfilled) until she meets a young artist who sweeps her off her feet and and into the bedroom. She doesn't love him, but for the first time in her life her sexual needs are being met. Soon she gets another lover, and then another. And she realizes that her addiction to sex is spiraling out of control. She loves her husband, but she loves sex too. Zoe decides to finally get help, but from there things only get more complicated. The end is a little much, but I still want to see the movie adaptation of it.

Friday, February 3, 2017

Clean Room: Immaculate Conception

Even though I'm not 100% sure what exactly is going on, I'm intrigued by this dark and beautifully illustrated comic. When Chloe's fiance suddenly kills himself and leaves behind a self-help book by his side, she is determined to find if the two are linked. Little does Chloe know that the head of the self-help Empire, Astrid, has more power, prestige, and hidden secrets then she ever could have imagined. Determined to get to the mysterious clean room housed at Astrid's headquarters, Chloe doesn't take no for an answer and unleashes unimaginable horror. Fun, I want to see where this series goes.


As far as Archie reboots go, I much preferred Afterlife with Archie. This new, updated, modern day Archie just didn't do it for me. They're still the usual tension between Betty and Veronica and Jughead is still around (although extra mopey in this version), but I couldn't get into it. As far as their appearances go, the illustrations are nice and they did a good job updating the old mega cartoony comic, I just hated the story line (although I did love the centipede joke, I'm a sucker for corny jokes). I'll pass on the rest in this series.

Thursday, February 2, 2017

A Spy Called James

Rockwell, Anne. A Spy Called James. 1 CD. unabridged. 14 min. Dreamscape Media. ISBN. 9781520066172. 
The true story of James Lafayette, a revolutionary double agent will captivate and anger young listeners as they learn about the incredible dangers that James, an American slave, took while trying to secure America's freedom from the British as well as earning his own from his slave masters. At great danger to himself James became a spy for both the British and the American armies and played a pivotal role in helping win some major battles and ultimately the war. Realizing too late that freedom was only promised to enslaved soldiers not spies, James had to fight to free himself from the very people he just helped win their own independence. Captivatingly narrated by Rodney Gardiner, the audiobook also includes a page turn track. Perfect for young readers wanting to know more about the Revolutionary War and African American History - Erin Cataldi, Johnson Co. Public Library, Franklin, IN 

How to Catch a Leprechaun

Wallace, Adam. How to Catch a Leprechaun. 1 CD. unabridged. 6 min. Dreamscape Media. ISBN 9781520063416. 

The bestselling creators of the holiday classic, How to Catch an Elf, are back with another adorable book to delight children and families. Perfect for St. Patrick's Day or just general laughs, How to Catch a Leprechaun, will inspire children to get creative and build the best "leprechaun traps" they can invent. A naughty leprechaun taunts the reader on every page that the traps set out by other children aren't clever enough to catch him or his pot of gold. Since the leprechaun can't be caught, he wreaks havoc on the house, dying the toilets green and other mischievous pranks that children will enjoy. Narrated with British joviality by Qarie Marshall, children will delight in his hilarious telling of the naughty leprechaun who can't be caught. - Erin Cataldi, Johnson Co. Public Library, Franklin, IN

A Girl of the Limberlost

I wish I had read this as a child. Back then Little House on the Prairie books were still cool and I dreamed of being an innocent outdoors-woman. Now... not so much. I found Elnora to be a little too perfect, I would have killed for a fault or two. She always obeys her mother, does, what it right, always helps her neighbors, never encourages young men. She's too good! I wanted some excitement. Her tempestuous mother I could at least relate to even though she was a bitch. This book is the second in the Limberlost series although you needn't have read it. This story follows Elnora as she enters high school, enters society, and starts to earn money by collecting moths, butterflies, and other swamp specimen. She grows from a naive little country bumpkin to a refined little lady who is yards smarter and kinder than anyone else. Slow reading, but not bad. It's written well but would do best for younger readers.