Wednesday, October 27, 2021

What She Knew

A twisty police procedural/thriller about an abducted young boy. Alternating between one of the police higher ups, Jim Clemo, and the boys mother, Rachel - What She Knew is about lies, betrayal, fear, and second guesses. When Rachel lets her little boy run ahead on the trail she thinks she is giving him some independence. She'll regret that moment her the rest of her life. From then on her boy is missing. The case quickly becomes a media sensation and everyone is quick to lay the blame on the mother. But did she do it? A fast paced thriller that does a good job covering all aspects of the story with the alternating points of view. The ending was shocking to a degree, but not mind blowing. 

Tuesday, October 26, 2021

The Ickabog

I have to preface this by saying - no I don't support JK Rowling and her deluded thoughts on transgendered people. I felt icky for even reading this, I had to completely separate the author from her work. That being said, I did enjoy the story and I thought it had a good moral lessons and was an overall good kids story. I also loved that children were the illustrators; it added a little extra whimsy and fun. The Ickabog is about monsters and kings, deceptive advisors, loyalty, friendship, and tall tales. What happens when a King swears he saw a monster? A monster that killed the captain of his guard - what happens if it was all a hoax? How wrapped up can the kingdom get? How can one lie hurt everyone? Scarily relevant and timely. 

Monday, October 25, 2021

The Holiday Swap

Fluffy, cute, and full of holiday sappiness. Like Hallmark Christmas movies everything is wrapped up nicely in the end and all are happy. Two identical twins are in a bit of pickle. Chef Charlie Goodwin gets a concussion on the set of a baking show she co-hosts and she loses her ability to taste and smell. She'll never be able to pull off the rest of the holiday bake off and she needs to do good so that she gets chosen to be the host of a new baking show. Meanwhile her twin is in their hometown of Starlight Peak and has had enough of her long term boyfriend. Things haven't been going right for a while and she's ready to break it off, the only problem is he won't take a hint. The twins decide to switch lives to escape their problems. The only problem is they aren't in high school and the stakes are much higher now. What happens when they each find romance in their switched lives. Are they making more of a mess of things. Cute, predictable and fun. would make a great Hallmark movie. 

Saturday, October 23, 2021


Kody isn't like most boys in his hometown in rural Kentucky. He likes to watch Golden Girls with his grandmother, quilt, and sing along to Dolly Parton. He lives with his Nanny and all things considered he has a pretty good life. His younger brother lives across town with his aunt and his uncle and his mommy lives just down the holler in a broken down little trailer. Their dad is in prison. Their mom has problems. She's an addict and she can hardly take care of herself let alone her two sons. Kody and Nanny do the best they can to keep her alive, but it's a thankless job. Thank goodness he has Dolly Parton to keep him sane. Besides his mommy, the most stressful thing in his life is keeping his grandmother from finding out he's gay and likes to dress up in makeup. But then he gets a Facebook and gets a message that will change his life and his family's forever. Touching and heartfelt. A Very genuine and fun young adult story. 

Wednesday, October 20, 2021

The Women of Troy

Not as strong as her first book in the series, The Silence of the Girls, but still a wonderful imagining of what happens to the women left behind or captured in war. The Women of Troy takes place right after Rome has fallen to the Greeks. Instead of sailing back to their homes as victors, the Greeks are stuck on the beach as the gods punish them with horrible winds. Briseis, once a queen of Troy, then a slave bride of Achilles, is now forced to marry Alcimus. She is largely overlooked because she is a woman, but her life has drastically improved now that she is no longer a slave. Alcimus is a good man that doesn't force himself on her and for that she is grateful. Briseis spends her time trying to improve the lives of the slave women in her camp while also tracking down the former Trojan women who lived in the palace; Hecabe, Helen, Cassandra, and Andromache. With the exception of Cassandra, all are slaves forced into uncertain futures. As the Greek men get more frunk , belligerent, and angry as they are stranded on the shores of Trot - the atmosphere is like a powder keg. Could life get any worse for these women. Great for readers of Greek mythology. 

Tuesday, October 19, 2021

Apples Never Fall

Filled with her trademark banter, crazy plot twists, and dysfunctional characters - I enjoyed Liane Moriarity's latest novel. When the Delaney children discover their mother is missing they don't call the police. After all the father would be the prime suspect and they're sure their mother is alright... wherever she is. The four Delaney children are all adults living their own lives (though not very well) but when they get together it's hard not to act like children competing for their parents love. The family is well known and envied in their corner of Australia, they ran a successful tennis school and all played brilliantly - they even had one of the top tennis players in the world get their start at their little academy. But if everything is so perfect then where is their mother? And why are they trying to hide things from the past. Twisty and interesting. The ending was a little rushed, but it was still another fast paced Moriarity read! 

Friday, October 15, 2021


Jesus. This book. Not horror all the way through, not like I anticipated from a Stephen King novel, but disturbing nonetheless. I had never seen the movie so I only knew there was a bad dog and trapped people in a car. I wasn't prepared though for this. It's that of course, and so much more. It's upsetting and disturbing and although it's not fast paced, the slow and steady build of the story make it terrifying. When Donna and her son Tad drive out to a local mechanics place to get their car fixed they have no idea what horror awaits for them. Donna's husband is in Boston for business for a few weeks and the mechanics family has left for a week. No one knows where Donna is and soon they are trapped by a rabid dog with no hope in sight. No one is going to come to save them. It's the hottest week in the year - how will they survive? This is a hard read for animal lovers. A heartbreaking read. The ending was..... awful. Cujo is about more than just a rabid dog - it's about rabid people - people who are at their worst, people who make bad decisions, and those decisions have consequences. Disturbing, but well written. I don't know if I can stomach watching the movie though. 

Wednesday, October 13, 2021

The Book of Magic

I adore all the books in this series and this final installment (I think it's the last? it felt very final) was "chef's kiss!" From start to finish I could not put it down and I definitely teared up at the end. As readers of the first three books know, the Owens family women have been cursed in love for over three hundred years. Anyone they love is doomed to die before their time. All Owens girl's know not to fall in love, all except Sally's two daughters, Antonia and Kylie. Sally's heart has been broken twice by the curse and she is very anti-magic. She has refused to tell her daughters anything about their witchy ancestry so they have no idea to not fall in love. When Kylie's love of her life, Gideon is struck by a car and put in a coma - all because of a curse she didn't know about - she decides to take matters into her own hands. What follows is a dangerous journey back to where it all started with their ancestor, Hannah Owens, in England. Fantastic, compelling, and magical. I gobbled this book up and it gave me all the feels!

Tuesday, October 12, 2021


Oh my, I am soo glad I picked up this bad boy! It was even better than I anticipated!! You will want all your friends to read it so that you can talk about it and try to be as cool as the lumberjanes. Seriously, I want to be on their level. While at a summer camp for "Hardcore Lady-Types" five campers discover something mysterious going on in the wilderness surrounding their cabins. Three eyed foxes, yetis, a river monster, and rumors of a "Holy Kitten" keep the lumberjanes busy and drives their camp counselor up a wall. Hilarious and over the top, this comic amused me to no end. I was sold after the Holy Kitten, but it continued to get better after that, with sayings like, "What in the Joan Jett!?" minor hinting towards gay crushes, mythical creatures, and random rantings, this book has a little something for everyone. This is definitely one that I will buy and will continue to keep up with the series. Soo damn good!

Monday, October 11, 2021

The Ex Hex

Halloweentown meets an adult Sabrina the Teenage Witch in this cute romcom. Vivienne Jones drunkenly cursed her ex-boyfriend when she was a teenager. But she and her cousin were just fooling around, it's not like anything happened. Except when that ex-boyfriend comes back to town nine years later - all sorts of things start happening to him; a statue almost falls on him, he almost gets hit by a car. Did the curse really work? Rhys Penhallow is sent back to his family's hometown to recharge the ley lines on Halloween - and he hasn't been back since Viv broke up with him. The sexual tension is thrumming in the air and it's not the magic. Viv and Rhy have to work together to find a way to reverse the curse and save the town before something really bad happens. Cute, fluffy, and fun. A perfect Halloween read. 

A Spindle Splintered


Harrow, Alix E. A Spindle Splintered. digital. 2021. Macmillan Audio. $18.99. ISBN 9781250824486. 

Bestselling author, Alix E. Harrow (The Once and Future Witches), gives a feminist twist on the classic Sleeping Beauty tale in this inventive and empowering novella. A Spindle Splintered is the first in a new series of fairy retellings, Fractured Fables. Zinnia Gray's twenty-first birthday is bittersweet; she lives with a rare condition that no one has ever lived past the age of twenty-two. The clock is ticking and she is torn between wanting to live her own life and comforting her parents. When her best friend throws her a surprise birthday party in an old prison tower complete with warm beer, roses, and an old spindle, Zinnia is touched. She may be too old for her favorite fairy tale, but what's the harm in a little make believe? When she jokingly pricks her finger on the spindle, she finds herself transported to another time and place where a young girl's clock is running out just like hers. The two girls decide to take their destiny's in their own hands and race against the clock and their curses to make better futures for themselves. Amy Landon brilliantly narrates this inspired retelling while making it exciting and magical. Although a quick listen at less than four hours, this is a great start to a new series that fans of fairy tales and feminist literature will enjoy. - Erin Cataldi, Johnson Co. Public Library, Franklin, IN

Friday, October 8, 2021

Leadership: In Turbulent Times

This is a book that made me slow down and savor what I was reading, which is a change of pace from the fluff that I've read most of this year. Leadership in Turbulent times is a historical fiction/leadership book that recounts how four different presidents handled adversity and hardship. Abraham Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt, Franklin D. Roosevelt, and Lyndon B. Johnson became presidents at trying times. The Great Depression, The Civil War, Civil Rights, and the industrial revolution. Doris Kearns Goodwin does a remarkable job relating the character and leadership styles of each president from childhood through early politics and all the way through the White House. None of these men were saints and most suffered many setbacks and failures, but learning how they overcame those as well as their successes is what makes this book great. Utterly fascinating and compelling. Leadership has many styles and reading the profiles on these four leaders is a feast for the heart and mind.  

Thursday, October 7, 2021

A View Most Glorious

I've enjoyed all three novels in Regina Scott's American Wonders collection. They act as standalones but the thing that ties them all together is that they take place at National Parks before they are even considered National Parks. A View Most Glorious follows Cora Baxter's quest to get to the top of Mount Rainier to raise awareness for the suffragette cause. For propriety's sake she will travel with her stepfather and a guide - but the guide in question happens to be a prickly man that once held the same social standing that Cora does. Nathan Hardee is reluctant to take the spoiled society girl to the top of the mountain as it's treacherous and she has no experience. She eventually wins him over and as they set out on their journey they discover that they have more in common then they thought. Cora falls in love with the exertion and the beauty all around her - and in the process Nathan starts to fall a little for her. There are more dangerous things than than mountain path to watch out for though; Cora's dastardly suitor and her conniving mother have a few tricks up their sleeves. Historical romance at it finest - inspirational fans won't want to miss out.   

Wednesday, October 6, 2021

Season on the Wind

I really enjoyed this inspirational Amish romance because it discussed the dynamics of strict orders versus more lenient and forgiving sects. It also had Englischers (non-Amish) as an integral part of the story as well as birding - two things we don't always see a lot of. Ben Zook fled the Amish way of life years ago and vowed never to return. But when a rare bird stops in Stoney Ridge he can't stay away - it would be perfect in his latest book on rare birds. He convinces his cousin to come with him because she needs a change of scenery as she copes from the mess her life is in. They rent a guest house on the property of Penny and Micah two kind hearted Amish siblings. Micah is an eighteen year old birding prodigy and Penny is a 35 year old woman looking after the homestead and her baby brother. When she sees Ben Zook she is stunned speechless - she hadn't seen him since she was 12. She is convinced that God sent him here for a reason. Unfortunately Ben doesn't seem to recognize her at all. Filled with blossoming romance, birding, and coming back to God. This inspirational romance is heartfelt and fluffy. 

Tuesday, October 5, 2021

Money Shot vol. 2

Not nearly as good as volume one, but still enjoyable to an extant. Everyone's favorite xxx-plorers are doing their thing in space and growing more popular on earth. They're able to finally fund their research. When the jerk who slashed the funds in the first place, the stupid president of the United States, tries to take away Money Shot, their teleportation device, things get heated. The president basically blackmails them until they agree to take him to other galaxies so he too can bone exotic aliens. What happens when he's cocky attitude and stupid mouth gets them all into trouble though!? I'm hopeful that volume three will be even better. 

Monday, October 4, 2021


I adore Mary Roach and her latest microhistory was no exception. I devoured this in one day. Each chapter deals with real life scenarios on human rules that animals break. It's equal parts hilarious and nauseating, but all around fascinating. Mary Roach is America's funniest science writer and her foray into the animal kingdom is amazing. There is a bit of gore or violence against animals in these pages (she pulls stories from all over the world), but the message is positive and empathetic. Rowdy, ridiculous and informative. 

Money Shot

Quick and unique, I loved this irreverent graphic novel about boning aliens in order to raise money for funding their science lab. Christine Ocampo invented a teleportation device and is dying to go to other planets and meet other life forms. She convinces her team that if they all become porn stars and film themselves going to other galaxies and making love with alien life forms they will raise enough funding so they sexcapades will turn into research. Fun, ridiculous, and unique. Give me more! 

Pimp my Airship

I'm excited to read another Indiana Author Award winner and this one was definitely unique. I loved that this book was set in Indianapolis, because even though it was futuristic and very steampunk I still was able to recognize many of the place names. I like how the author created new "history" for some of the places as well. A poet named Sleepy, finds himself caught up in the middle of a protest and suddenly he has a new hanger on named, (120 Degrees of) Knowledge Allah, and is wanted by every COP in the city. What in the heck happened? Across town in the wealthy and elite neighborhoods, Sophine Jefferson's father has just been murdered, she never cared much for politics, but suddenly she is swept in everything trying to avenge her father. Soon their paths will cross and Indianapolis will never be the same again. Unique and fun.