Tuesday, February 27, 2018


This book was almost more horror than sci-fi! The sense of unease and dread I felt  were palpable at parts! Area X has been cut off from the rest of the world for decades and attempts to go in and explore this un-explainable habitat filled with beautiful vegetation have proved to be fatal. Eleven expeditions have gone to try and map, study, and explore the area and have all been met with death. The twelfth expedition is composed of five women and this novel is told through the perspective of the biologist who was motivated to come after her husband died on the previous expedition. As the biologist tries to understand this hauntingly beautiful landscape and explore an unmarked tunnel into the earth, things start to veer of course. You can't trust everything you see. I'll definitely be continuing with this trilogy. I have to know what in the hell is going on!

The Music Shop

Joyce, Rachel. The Music Shop. 7 CDs. unabridged. Books on Tape. 2017. ISBN 9780525626220.

International best selling author Rachel Joyce (The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry), takes a small run down street filled with broken dreams, graffiti, and old timers and shines a spotlight in on the magic occurring in a small music shop. The owner, Frank, has the uncanny ability to know exactly what his customers need to hear when they walk in the door; whether it be Aretha Franklin, The Sex Pistols, or jazz. One day a women walks into his shop and Frank is stunned, not only by her beauty and charming accent, but by her stillness. He can't read her or figure out what music she needs. For someone so musically inclined he keeps trying to tune out his feelings about this mystery woman. Together these two charming odd ducks navigate friendship, demons in their past, and music in the late 1980's. Steven Hartley's rich resonant voice is instantly captivating and elevates the story to a new level with his wonderful narration. Deeply funny, moving, and inspiring; this story illustrates the power of music and community. Filled with unforgettable characters and amazing music recommendations, this superbly narrated audio book is a great addition to any collection! - Erin Cataldi, Johnson Co. Public Library, Franklin, IN

Saturday, February 24, 2018

The Black Panther

This is a pretty pimp comic, it feels cool and fresh. King T'challa and his entourage are pretty badass. I just wish we saw more of them. This would have been 5 stars had there not been a "narrator" and it was told in a more linear fashion. It almost felt as if the narrator was more important than the Black Panther, hell they had about the same amount of page time! Anyways the Black Panther comes over from Wakanda to look into the death of a girl that was just featured in his charity (it's a set up!). His American handler, a funny white dude, is also the narrator. He's the one that relays the story to the reader, he's recounting what happened to his co-worker (and friend with benefits) but he keeps jumping around all over the place. IT's funny, it's frustrating, I want more Black Panther!

State of Emergency

A teen zombie novel that focuses on the outbreak, rather than the aftermath. If you mixed Mike Mullin's teen survival book, "Ashfall," with "Night of the Living Dead," you would get this book. Five teens practically witness the birth of the outbreak, when a pop-star starts eating her crew. An overturned semi leaks toxins into the water and the outbreak starts slow, but seems to follow the teenagers where-ever they go. Every-time they think they're safe, a hoard catches up with them. At first only Dallas and Sam truly grasp what's going on, but soon their companions agree that this is more than a passing sickness, this is a full blown zombie attack. They decide to go to Dallas' Uncles cabin retreat which is surrounded by fences and operates on solar power. They could definitely survive the apocalypse there they think. The only problem is trying to get there in one piece! A quick, readable teen book full of hilarity, adventure, and death.

The Coldest Winter Ever

Gripping from the get go, The Coldest Winter Ever, tells the story of a spoiled, materialistic young women who cares more about fashion, money, and good dick, then she does anything else. Her father is a big time drug dealer and everyone in her Brooklyn neighborhood respects her family and Winter can't wait to grow up to be a bad bitch like her momma. She rolls tight with her crew of fellow delinquents (school? who gives a crap about that?) and they love shopping and sucking their teeth at all the hot young men around. Things start to shift though when her father moves the family out to Long Island to get away from the scene for a while. Things slowly start to spiral out of her control. Just how far will Winter go to prove that she's the baddest bitch around? The answer is... pretty damn far! She has no qualms about shoplifting, carrying a boxcutter for protection, and sucking dick to get what she wants. She's got hustle and she wants you to know it. Winter is the most unlikable heroine who you still end up rooting for. A stunning book that makes you sit back and think when you get to the end.

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

The Sun and Her Flowers

LOVED LOVED LOVED this! Normally I'm not one for poetry but Rupi Kaur showed me what's up. I didn't think anything could top her last collection (Milk and Honey), but my god, this is heaven. It's profoundly emotional, soul jarring, and introspective. It's word porn of the highest order. The Sun and Her Flowers is split into five sections: wilting, falling, rooting, rising, and blooming. Rooting was especially moving, delving into immigration and making a new life in a new country, her poems about her mother are profoundly touching. The accompanying illustrations really add to her poems, helping elicit even more of an emotional response from the reader. Her poems range from break-ups, self doubt, self-love, trust, immigration, and womanhood. I literally loved this book so much, I went out and bought it because I knew I had to possess such a a beautiful collection. A definite must read, especially for women.

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

The Art of Fully Living

Tal Gur's memoir, "The Art of Fully Living," is one man's inspiring journey across continents to discover happiness and the keys to living a full, meaningful life. It's like "Eat, Pray, Love," except that it spans a decade, has way more than three goals was written by a man. Gur, doesn't break down every single one of his hundred goals but he does break up the decade into ten distinct chapters of his journey. From wiping out debt, to total cultural immersion, to love, and giving back; Gur really focuses on not only being a better person, but looking inward and being the happiest he can be. IUt's a lot of trial and error but when he sets his mind to doing it, whether it's training for the Ironman Competition, learning to socialize with peers (especially women!), becoming fluent in a language, or eliminating all debt; Gur tackles each goal with a tenacity that is inspiring. Throughout the book he also offers useful advice and tidbits to help readers come up with their own goals and solutions, and keep them motivated on moving forward and living life to the fullest. A quick read, this memoir will inspire readers to look inside themselves and discover ways in which to change their lives for the better, one goal at a time. 

The Prince and the Dressmaker

This young adult graphic novel is a wonderful tale of discovering your true self, first love, style, art, family, and identity. Prince Sebastian has a secret, he likes to sneak out late at night and dress up in beautiful ballgowns as Lady Crystallia. Prince Sebastian's young new seamstress keeps his cross dressing secret and makes him the most stylish inventive new clothes and soon "Lady Crystallia" is the talk of the fashion world and the town. He wants to please his family but he's not ready for marriage and he knows they would die from shame if they discovered that he lives wearing women's clothes. Thankfully he can confide in his seamstress as she's also his best friend and only one of two people that know his secret. What could possibly go wrong? It's charming. A wonderful little fairy tale about acceptance and identity.

The Sky is Yours

I was immediately drawn in by the cover. I mean my lord. It's eye catchingly beautiful! This book is set in a futuristic metropolis that is slowly dying out. The dragons have been in the sky for decades but the city truly lost hope when the firefighters mutinied and left their posts. Now fires run unchecked and only a few shell-shocked souls live behind. Duncan Ripple is from old money, the manor he lives in is far up on a cliff overlooking the metropolis and out of reach of the dragons. His wealthy father refuses to move, convinced that the city will eventually rise up for the ashes. His father is also convinced that Duncan needs to marry, so he is betrothed to a socialite hidden deep in the forest that he's never met. Before he makes it to his wedding night though, he encounters a feral young woman trapped out on a trash island and finds himself falling for her... or rather her body. This novel is a blend of science fiction, bodice rippers, and black humor. It's oddly satisfying, profoundly weird, and comes very close to being fulfilling. It fell a little flat for me, but I still enjoyed it. It's just not something I think I'd ever pick up again. 

Monday, February 19, 2018

Lincoln in the Bardo

I wanted to like this one more, I really did. I toughed it out but I didn't love it. The story line is complex and chaotic, the audio book having over 160 narrators, which lends to some confusion. The cast is great and comprises of Nick Offerman, David Sedaris, the author and many other notables but it gets so muddled down at parts. I kept finding my attention wandering. Lincoln in the Bardo takes place on a single night (although to me it felt like weeks) in a graveyard. The Civil War is just kicking off but Abe Lincoln has more on his mind then that. His eleven year old son, Willy has died and is being laid to rest. Willy stuck stuck between life and beyond must contend with ghosts and spirits warring over his soul and trying to influence his father in the land of the living. Along with the dialogue from the spirits is a historical tract that follows the Lincolns in their hour of despair. I really really wish I would have loved this. Such a neat concept and great cast of narrators on the audiobook.

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Saga of the Swamp Thing

I'm a sucker for Alan Moore so I figured it was high time I got around to reading this. Also, I've never read any Swamp Thing, so I was overdue in checking this out. I very much enjoyed this collection! This volume contains issues 20 through 27 and first debuted in the eighties. Not only is the writing stellar but the illustrations speak for themselves. Swamp Thing is breathtakingly haunting and watching him battle for his humanity sucks the reader right in. When Swamp Thing discovers his origins and realizes he may not be who he thought he was, he essentially gives up and it takes some crazy circumstances to motivate him from his earthly slumber. I'll definitely be reading more after this. I'm hooked!

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Fire and Fury

Trying to sum up my feelings on this trainwreck is hard. I'm glad I read it, it certainly helped me understand how the White House is being run and what actual "roles" all the key players have (or rather had). It's honestly pretty terrifying. I actually hoped that this whole book was false because otherwise.... we have a certifiable quack as our president (which again... I know. I know we do.). After I finished reading this I wanted to know what was "facts" and what was "fake news" so I went to Politfact to get the skinny (http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/article/2018/jan/09/fact-checking-read-fire-and-fury-michael-wolff/). Basically... only minor things are wrong and those are mostly misspellings, a wrong date or two, and other very minor details. The rest seems to hold up. And by God it rings true. So my worst fears are confirmed. Fire and Fury is a terrifying glimpse into our government and it reads stranger than fiction. It was fascinating and I couldn't put it down, but at the core it's really scary. Worth a read and a fact check.

Monday, February 12, 2018

Dear Martin

LOVED THIS! So very timely! Fans of "The Hate U Give" and other Black Lives Matter young adult books will eat this up. Dear Martin examines, race, inequality, privilege, stereotypes, standing up for  yourself, and double standards. I could not stop listening to this audio-book, it was only four discs long and I was riveted. I had to know what happened, I got emotionally invested in this story. Justice attends a fancy private school in Atlanta and is one of the few black kids there. He's on the debate team, well liked, and dating the hottest girl in school but after he is wrongfully arrested while trying to help his girlfriend he can't stop seeing the disparities around him. The racial inequality, the snide remarks, the higher arrest rates, the differences in income, how has he never noticed all this before? Justice struggles to make sense of everything when another tragedy strikes, one that nearly breaks him. A wonderful read that challenges the listener (or reader) to really think about how far we have to go. Required reading.


It's been ages since I've seen the movie and I've never read this particular James Bond book so I thought I would give it a go. I'll admit, I've liked this Bond novel more than I have some others. It's your typical super cool British spy who gets all the ladies and solves all the mysteries while looking bad-ass type novel and I love it. This novel is six decades old and James Bond is STILL a bad-ass. In this particular novel he is sent to oversee the construction of a large warhead, the Moonraker, after some troubling incidents occur. There is gambling, skinny-dipping, car chases, German scientists, and much more. Lots of fun and worth a listen as it's narrated by Bill Nighy.

Wednesday, February 7, 2018


LOVED this! A wacky out of control collection of comics about a witch and her weird anthropomorphic friends. Basically all they do is drink, get stoned, pick on their weird alcoholic owl friend, go to parties, watch TV (they secretly love iCarly), deal with depression, and do weird sex stuff. It's off the wall weird and I love the characters. Werewolf Jones is the life of the party, Owl just wants his friends to like him sober and not get made fun of so much, Megg just wants to smoke and find a way to battle her depression, and Mogg is the most stoned and horny cat you've ever seen. Whimsically drawn and filled in with watercolor, this comic series doesn't take it's self seriously and is bizarrely hilarious.

Fifty Shades Freed

Sweet baby Jesus it's over. I finished the damned trilogy. Many people assured me that this was their favorite one because it had the most action. Hell, the most action was still the sex scenes! There is a "minor" kidnapping drama that is solved in about ten pages, but other than that it's ALL BONING! Rubbing uglies. Naked dancing. Bam-bam in the ham. Knocking boots. Making whoopee. Riding the Bony Express. Hanky panky. You get the picture. Gobs and gobs of sex. Luckily for Ana married sex is still just as great and they're still finding ways to spice it up. That's right folks, after two books we finally get to ass play!! We learn that Ana has no idea how to clean a butt plug and that Christian expects the cleaning lady to clean his dirty toys.... barf. Ana has also accidentally forgotten to take her monthly birth control shot. Oopsie daisy. Too bad they didn't just stick to butt sex because now she's knocked up. And oh no, Christian is gonna flip, they've only been married for like a minute! Just as she suspects he freaks the fuck out, gets drunk sees his old dominatrix and friendly neighborhood child molester and gives Ana the cold shoulder. Then she gets kidnapped, Christian feels terrible, Ana gets saved, their relationship returns to perfect and they end up happily ever after with a bundle of kids. Psh, yeah right. I can't wait to see how this one plays out in the movies. I'm just glad I finished this trilogy and can finally move on with my life.

Friday, February 2, 2018

The Old Man and the Sea

I will shamefacedly admit that this is the first Ernest Hemingway novel I have ever read. I know. I'm a monster. How dare I call myself a librarian! I'm glad I finally got around to reading this Pulitzer prize winning classic, because I liked it so much more than I anticipated. The title summarizes the book pretty succinctly. It really is about an old man and the sea. A lonely old Cuban fisherman sails out to see and battles against a giant marlin for days. All he has are his wits and perseverance and he's not giving up. Deeper though, this story is so much more. It's about fortitude and determination, about never giving up and being resilient all the way to the end. I never thought I would enjoy a story about fishing, but thankfully it is so much more than that. The old man's struggle is real, it's not easy, he loses many battles, but he never gives up on himself.

Thursday, February 1, 2018

The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao

LOVED this! I definitely recommend the audio (it was narrated by Lin-Manual Miranda!) as I would have had a HARD time reading this. There are lots of Spanish phrases, songs, and conversations that I would have tripped over but having Lin-Manuel read it to me... was beautiful. His cadence and bi-lingual ease pushed the story forward and kept it interesting and engaging. Told through multiple perspectives and generations of one family it all ties together to tell the story of Oscar, a nerdy, overweight Dominican living in New Jersey with his mom and sister Lola. He believes he's destined to die a virgin, but that doesn't stop him from checking out and falling in love with, every pretty lady he sees. There is so much more to this story then that, take my word for it and just dive in. It's complex and beautifully tied together with witty dialogue, family curses and Dominican history. Enlightening, unique, and wonderful. Junot Diaz is a world class author.

50 Shades Darker

"Oh my." That little statement not only summarizes my feelings on this book but was also uttered FIFTY-EIGHT times by Anna throughout this train-wreck of a book! FIFTY-EIGHT! If you think that is a tad excessive, the word "murmur" is used 251 times. But I digress, let me get to the book. If you thought Christian Grey was controlling and domineering in the first book, hold on to your butts because he gets even worse in this one! Ana and Christian get back together within the first like, second, of this book. He vows to change his ways and not be a sadist bully if it means that she'll stay with him. He need someone other than his shrink to tell him he has a good heart. He divulges to Ana that he was beaten as a child and his mom was a crack whore. So now he likes to beat women that look like his mom. NO.BIG DEAL. TOTALLY NORMAL. She is a little scared, but mostly of her love for him. She can look past these things because he's going to change for her.... fat chance bitch! This book is basically one giant sex scene. They're straight up rabbits! She is literally wet ALL THE TIME! Seriously, she's like an over chlorinated pool filled with raging sex hormones. Would she even love Christian if he didn't have a big dick and no how to use it? Doubtful. Their whole relationship is about sex. And him ordering her about. Also included in this book, is an ex-sub who is up to no good (and she has a gun permit, oh my!), a helicopter crash, a boss who gets fired for sexual harassment, a shitty marriage proposal, and more sex... Sigh, on to the final book!