Wednesday, December 26, 2018

CatStronauts: Mission Moon

Quirky, cute, and easy to follow; this graphic novel for young readers is sure to steal many hearts. The world is faced with an energy crisis and the president calls up the smartest cat scientist to do something about it. The scientist assembles a team of four cats to go to the moon and assemble a solar panel farm to send energy back to earth before the world is out of power forever. Hilarity and mishaps ensue, but ultimately the team makes it to the moon and work together to help save Earth from the dark ages. Any story can be improved with cats as this graphic novel series knows. It's cute and fun!

Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe

Told in alternating narratives;by an elderly woman in a nursing home named Mrs. Threadgoode and Evelyn, a middle aged woman scared and resentful of everything. The two become accidental friends while Evelyn waits for her husband to finish up visiting his mother every Sunday. Mrs. Threadgoode is desperate to talk to anyone and Evelyn is a captive audience so it works out alright. She spins a wonderful tale about growing up in Whistle Stop, Alabama and paints it so vividly, that Evelyn begins to look forward to their weekly visits. She bceomes invested in Mrs. Threadgoodes past and more interested in her own future. Mrs. Threadgoode's stories are so outrageous that it's impossible to not get sucked into it, especially when she starts talking Ruth and Idgie, two lesbians (although they are never called that) in the deep south that are the heart and soul of the town. For a town in Alabama they were surprisingly open-minded (about some things). The deeper into the story you get, the more surprises unfold and both narratives will be forever changed.

The Secret of the Old Mill

Wildly predictable, but still lots of fun due to the great narration, over the top sound effects, and good wholesome adventure. The Hardy boys and their good friend Chet get caught up in a counterfeiting case after getting a phony twenty dollar bill. Their sleuthing (as always) puts them in some tight scrapes and they get into some nasty boat trouble (the teen aged detectives have motorcycles and a boat of their own... color me jealous), but as is the case, they make it out just find and discover that their is more than counterfeiting going on. Cheesy, yet fun.

Thursday, December 20, 2018


This book keeps getting better like a fine wine. This is probably the sixth time I've re-read it and damn... it's just soo badass. I love everything about it, the dialogue, the characters, the plot, the stories within a story. It is and always will be my favorite graphic novel. The characters are all so complex and wonderful, even though they're flawed as shit, you have to root for them. Watchmen is an anti-superhero novel about men in masks and what it takes to save  a world that may not always be worth saving. It's dark, complex, and gritty. I was even blown away by the movie adaptation; even though they changed the ending, the casting is perfect and some of the  scenes are frame by frame from the graphic novel. I can't recommend this book enough. Just read it already!

The Crossover

A quick, unforgettable read written in hip hope verse. On the surface The Crossover is about sports, but it's about so much more than that. Josh and his twin Jordan are real ballers. They are the stars of their middle school basketball team and if they weren't twins they would probably hate each other. Their relationship starts to sour when Jordan starts spending more of his time with a new girl then with Josh or basketball. To top it off he's worried about his dad and he wants the basketball championship trophy more than anything. Wonderfully written, appealing to boys and girls of all ages as well athletes, poets, and pretty much everyone. Definitely worthy of the Newbery medal.

Wednesday, December 19, 2018

The Playbook

Although targeted for young athletic teens, this playbook is for anyone and everyone. It's inspirational to nth degree and kids, teens, and adults will enjoy the wonderful selection of quotes, poetry, and uplifting sports stories. Even though this is obviously geared towards sports, you could easily read this and apply any of the rules or advice and apply it towards any aspect of your life. This slim volume is motivational and perfect if you're in a slump and you need a boost. What a wonderful motivator!


Engrossing, albeit a little overwhelming at times. The quarterback is hands down one of the most important positions in football. Quarterbacks are generally the highest paid, the ones who lead and inspire the rest of the team, are the face of their franchise, and will always get all the praise... and the blame. John Feinstein follows 5 quarterbacks, their ups and downs, and what sets them apart as some of the smartest quarterbacks in the league. The five that he highlights are: Andrew Luck, Alex Smith, Ryan Fitzpatrick, Joe Flacco, and Doug Williams. Quarterback mainly follows the 2017 season while reminiscing about years past. It's an enlightening read and a wonderful play by play of games and player's careers. Feinstein makes sure to throw in commentary on kneeling for the anthem, Donald Trump, black quarterbacks, CTE scans, and many other touchy issues, which I enjoyed. A must read for football fans.

Monday, December 17, 2018


This would have gotten a better review, because it was spledidly written, had it not been for the novel's central character, Mrs de Winter. God, what a young, naive, stupid, girl. I wanted to shake her, slap her, make her come alive! Rebecca is the tale of a young girl marrying an older wealthy widow and then returning with him to his great manor, Manderly. Unfortunately for the new Mrs. de Winter, the presence of Rebecca haunts every hallway, every garden, every object in that grand house. Even the staff seems to have preferred Rebecca. According to everyone she was beautiful, witty, vivacious, and charming; the best of women. Poor Mrs. de Winter is no substitute, she can't compete with the dead (not that she tries very hard), even her new husband seems to have become bored of her. As she tries to maintain her sanity and prove that she is capable; she starts to realize that there is far more that no one is telling her. A haunting and captivating novel, I just wish our "heroine" was up to the challenge, instead of being a doormat for everyone she meets!

Friday, December 14, 2018

Crazy Rich Asians

I couldn't put this book down! It's only making me more hyped for the movie (which I have held off seeing until I read the book). This novel mixes the snobbery of Downton Abbey and The Devil Wears Prada and mixes it with Jane Austen and The Princess Diaries. It's a light romantic comedy, filled with pitfalls and misunderstandings. Rachel agrees to spend the entire summer with her boyfriend, Nick, visiting his relatives, attending a wedding, and sightseeing in Singapore where he is from. There's only one catch, Nick has never told Rachel about his family. Little does she know that his family is like royalty and they have more money then she can comprehend. Billions of dollars! Every event they attend is more mind boggling than the last. Rachel didn't even know that people could live that way! Nick's mom is aghast that her son would date some commoner and does everything she can to get Rachel out of the picture. Witty, full of drama, couture, and snobbery. I loved this. I'll have to continue with the series.

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Nine Perfect Strangers

This Liane Moriarity book is so over the top and outrageous but you can't put it down. Even though the plot got more and more ridiculous as the story progressed, I LOVED the characters. Nine people decide that they are stressed and need a lifestyle change, so they sign up for a ten day cleanse at Tranquility House. It's a gorgeous estate in the middle of nowhere and participants will be treated to divine meals, massages, nature hikes, star-gazing, and meditation. The nine participants (all strangers) soon discover that there was a lot on the agenda that they most certainly had not signed up for. Silence, daily blood tests, fasting, and more unorthodox methods keep popping up. Soon the strangers kind of bond together as they try to get through their weird cleanse in one piece. There is a romance author who will soon be out of work, an ex football player, a family trying to cope with loss, a mom trying to rediscover herself after her husband took off with a new trophy wife, a young couple in dire need of counseling, and a devilishly handsome gay lawyer. Full of fun, a nice beach read.

Friday, December 7, 2018

Exit Stage Left: The Snagglepuss Chronicles

Unlike the Flintstones and the other Hanna-Barbera imprints at DC, this comic was super bad-ass (wait I forgot about Scooby Apocolypse, that too was cool). The Snagglepuss Chronicles was unlike anything I expected. It's set in the 50s at the heart of McCarthyism and Snagglepuss is a playwright who isn't playing by the government's rules. He'll give them sass but not the list of names they want. He has just as much to lose as everyone else, Snagglepuss is gay and like his friend the esteemed author, Huckleberry Hound, he has to hide that, because to the American public it's almost worst then being a communist. Inventive, wonderful storyline. Nothing at all like cartoon, yet... dare I say.... better?

Thursday, December 6, 2018

The Greatest Love Story Ever Told

I wanted to give this more stars, but I wasn't the hugest fan of the book. It was very conversational and jumped around a lot. There was a lot of interrupting, boner talk, and reminiscing. It was like a casual conversation. I'm sure the audio is drastically different from the print book in that there is a lot of spontaneous talk that you can tell was not included in print. On the upside we got some music and a bonus chapter, on the downside we missed out on all the cool pictures. It was neat hearing all about Nick and Megan's relationship, this just felt like more of a podcast then a book. Still fun though and it is awesome that it is narrated by the two of them. I will also say that this is far more than just their love story, it's part memoir about childhood, acting, family dynamics and other tidbits. They get their romance out of the way in the first third of the book.

The Flintstones vol. 2

I wasn't in love with the first volume, but I figured I'd give this series another go. Still not a fan, but it was interesting to see the social commentary they bring up; from religion, to economics, to family dynamics, war, and materialism. For being light-hearted it could get a little heavy in the stone-age. Very satirical, at times, amusing, and far deeper than the original cartoon ever was. It's ok, but it's just not my jam.


This book was gripping from the get go. From page one, I was thirsty and paranoid. Dry is terrifying in that THIS COULD HAPPEN! We're already slowly killing our environment (some would argue, not that slowly)and Dry shows what would happen if part of the country ran out of water. At first a mild panic sets in, but then you think this won't last, help is coming. It can't be that bad. But as the hours drag on and the death toll starts rising, everyone turns into animals. Water is something we all take for granted, but without it death is imminent. Told through the perspectives of five teenagers trying to navigate their way through this crisis and survive, Dry is downright scary. It's a dystopian novel that could happen tomorrow. In that regard it's very similar to Ashfall by Mike Mullin, in which the eruption of a super volcano turns the US into an apocalyptic nightmare. These things could happen. Read this with a bottle of water. For your own safety.

Wednesday, December 5, 2018

Sommelier of Deformity

Really this book is 4.5 stars because I doubt I'll be able to stop thinking about it anytime soon. Imagine if Confederacy of Dunces had a love child with Pornhub and Tumblr. Thankfully the main character is more redeemable and likable than Ignatius, but there are many similarities between the two. Buddy is twenty-eight years old and still living with his mother and grandfather. Since his Puppa has become too aged and decrepit to take care of himself, Buddy has taken over as the man of the family. He lords over their routines with hilarious ferocity, making sure everything is to his satisfaction. He rarely leaves the house accept to visit his occasional paramours and the library. His lucrative tech job can be done from the safety of his chambers and the only people he really converses with are his family. One of the reasons Buddy rarely leaves the house and has no friends is because of his appearance; he's not just ugly, he's hideous. Everything about him is misshapen and wrong looking, but he makes do with what he can, becoming a sommelier of deformity. Buddy's routine is thrown into a tizzy when his mother becomes smitten with the new home nurse, who happens to be (gasp) black. Buddy is shaken to his very core. This cannot be! Terrence's appearance throws the family dynamic off and it is all Buddy can do to keep functioning. Little does he know just how much he's about to come out of his shell to protect himself from this intruder. Hilarious, insightful, weird, and wonderful. A fantastic read.

Tuesday, December 4, 2018

Sugar Land

Stoner, Tammy Lynne. Sugar Land. 9 CDs. unabridged. Brilliance Audio. 2018. ISBN 9781978649071. $24.99. 

A southern coming of age story about learning to come to terms with life and what makes your heart ring true. Set in the twenties, a young woman named Dara escapes from Midland, Texas only to run straight into a prison. Dara works in the kitchen and tries to put her past and her great romance to bed. She fell hard for her best friend but is too concerned with what the consequences could be if anyone ever discovered her attraction to girls. Safely ensconced in a prison filled with men, Dara soon befriends Leadbelly, a blues singer destined for stardom, and learns that love is what you make it. Sugar Land follows Dara's journey over the decades as she learns to do more than accept the lot life has given her. Brilliantly executed by the talented Donna Postel who throws just the right amount of southern charm into this novel of acceptance and love. Courageous, captivating, and charming, filled with characters that readers won't be able to stop thinking about. For fans of LGBTQ+ romance, historical fiction, and southern charm.  - Erin Cataldi, Johnson Co. Public Library, Franklin, IN

Monday, December 3, 2018

In the Hurricane's Eye

I couldn't put this down! Of all the wars, I know the least about the Revolutionary War, which is a damn sham because my undergraduate degree was in history. Philbrick does a wonderful job taking a generally well known story and fleshes out all the small nooks and crannies you probably weren't aware of. This historical non-fiction book focuses on the importance of the navy during the revolution, even though the United States didn't have one. The presence of the French navy and many of George Washington's shrewd battle decisions were what really turned the tide of the war. For years the British had been clearly winning, but had yet to strike the crippling blow. The arrival of the French fleet and the subsequent victory at Yorktown changed all that. An engrossing and enlightening read. Not just for history buffs!