Friday, December 29, 2017


One of the most fun novels in verse I have ever read. David Elliot does an amazing job retelling the story of Thesues and the Minotaur in hilarious down to earth prose. The book literally starts out with "Whaddup, bitches?" and just rolls from there. It was soo much fun and it breathed so much life into this classic Greek tale. I wish I would have read this adaptation in high school! The prose is broken into sections; Poseidon breaks the third wall and talks to the reader and the other characters have their own little sections. I can't get over how inventive and fun this us. FUCKING READ IT! I had no expectations based on the cover and the one sentence summary I saw of this book but I am SOOO SOO glad I picked this up. A true gem!

Ms. Marvel volume 8

Another solid installment in the Ms. Marvel series. Kamala comes to the rescue when the mayor's office has been overthrown and the new head honcho wants to round up anyone in New Jersey who has superpowers and make them register as "dangerous" or deport them. Kamala isn't about to let Jersey become Nazi Germany so she tries to put it a stop to the program even though it's clear that there are many people who would be happy to see everyone with superpowers gone.

Uncommon Type

A gem of a collection, short stories varying from war stories to surfing to housewives to bowling, acting and friendships; prove that Tom Hanks is a very talented writer as well as actor. Some stories were very short and some were more moderate in length, but all were amazing and witty. I was very impressed, he's got a lot of tricks up his sleeve! Tom Hanks also narrates the audiobook version which is just the icing on the cake, listening to him do voices and expressions really adds to the stories. I wouldn't say these stories are "literary" per se, but they are plenty good and I look forward to seeing what Tom Hanks is up to next.

The Hidden Memory of Objects

A rich and complex teen novel that seamlessly combines American history, teenage angst, grief over losing loved ones, romance, a teensy bit of mystery, and a touch of the supernatural. After her brother is found dead with drugs in his system, Megan is left with a lot of questions. How could this happen?!?! Her brother didn't even drink. She has to get to the bottom of it, she's not going to let her brother's name get slandered. A curious ability developed after his death is helping her investigate. When she picks up certain objects she can see visions or memories associated with it. Armed with her new ability and two male friends, she sets off to get to the bottom, and in the process finds her wrapped up in a Abraham Lincoln conspiracy. It seems random and jumbled, but trust me, it just works. A fun and unique story.

Thursday, December 28, 2017

Hood Tales

This book was slightly ridiculous in the best way possible. Just like the title promises this book contains some hood tales, more specifically gangsta versions on Cinderella and Robin Hood. It's full of steamy sex scenes, drugs, money, strippers, players, men with gold hearts (and chains). In Maid for You, Ava Dunning goes out for a night on the town, all dressed up, wig on, with sexy red thigh high boots. When shots are fired at the club she is wrenched away from Prince Charming and loses a boot in the process. How will this charming young drug lord ever find her?!?! Robin the Hood is about double crosses, murder, and robbery. High stakes all around. It's 90% erotica, 10% plot, and 100% fun You get lines like, " She was so wet that, mixed with her loud moans, there was a sound similar to a big pot of macaroni and cheese being stirred." Seriously read this. I really hope there are more volumes. These bitches are bad ass!

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Trout Fishing in America

It's been close to a decade since I read this gem and I was not disappointed when I re-visited it. This book freaking holds up. Zany off the wall humor perfect for Vonnegut fans; this collection of short recollections, stories, and essays is sure to leave readers grinning. From the Kool Aid Wino to The Hunchback Trout, these stories stick with you. Most are related to the author's childhood and fishing habits and I'll be damned if they're not funny and reminiscent of a very different world (this was written in the seventies). It's a quick, funny, and charming. Essential American reading.

The Library at the Edge of the World

While the title is tempting to a librarian like me, the book fell short. The premise is amazing but I couldn't get on board with any of the characters, especially the curmudgeon divorced and bitter librarian. Stuck living with her mother after she caught her husband cheating on her, she resorted to being the local public librarian even though she felt it was beneath her. Now that her daughter has moved out and her father has died she is restless and eager to move away from her mother. She got no money out of her ex-husband so she takes up a loan to restore her old aunts derelict cottage on the outskirts of the village. While working on her new project, her job and her small community are threatened. It's up to her to finally give a damn for once and come up with a plan to save the library at the edge of the world. This book has all the right elements,: small Irish town, cute little library, a cottage in need of some TLC, and some zany characters but it's still missing something. A meh, read.

Friday, December 22, 2017

Ronit and Jamil

The premise of this book was amazing! A modern day re-telling of Romeo and Juliet with a Palestinian Boy and an Israeli girl falling for each other in Israel. It's written in verse and intended for teens, but honestly this whole book just fell short for me. The poetry was clunky rather than fluid, they were using cell phones to communicate, and honestly it was more about their differences than their love. I feel like this book was aimed to get teenagers to learn about the conflicts in Israel, but it didn't do anything for the heart of the story, the romance, the Romeo and Juliet vibe. Great concept, just sad it fell short of the mark. If you really want to check it out though it is a SUPER quick read and can be gotten through in an hour. 

City of Saints and Thieves

For a teen novel this was very mature, fast paced, and dark. I loved it. There are gangs, rapes, violent militias, thieving, and murder mysteries wrapped up in this quick moving plot. Tiny has lived on the streets of Kenya since her mother was murdered several years prior. She placed her younger sister in a convent school and quickly learned how to survive in the underbelly of their corrupt city. She's a master pick pocketer, great at daring escapes, and impossible entries, she's one of the few girls in the gang who isn't forced to "work the street." Everything comes crashing to a halt though when the biggest breaking and entering job of her career goes wrong. While trying to get information of a hard drive she is caught by the owner's son and loose threads from her childhood and her mother's murder are brought to light. She must work with him if she wants to find the truth. The corruption and questions take them into the remote Congo and they've never been in more danger then they are now. It definitely keeps you on the edge of your seat and gives a good background for many troubles facing Africa. A great read!

Wednesday, December 20, 2017


I tried really hard to love this book, but the slow build up and unreliable narrator finally did me in, I enjoyed this book, but probably won't read it again. This is a chick lit suspense novel (think Girl on the Train or Gone Girl) without as many jaw dropping surprises. Abby Williams left her small Indiana hometown without a backward glance, fleeing to Chicago to become a lawyer. When a potential water crisis brings her back to the place she grew up she has more questions then ever. Whatever happened to the Queen Bee, Kaycee? Why is Optimal so involved with this small town, are they trying to buy people's love so that they can get away with slowly poisoning the water? Is the game they played in high school still continuing? Abby keeps digging but everything keeps bringing her back in time. The answers may cost her everything and be darker than she ever imagined but she can't walk away. For a debut author and celebrity actor, this book is really well crafted and written, it just wasn't my style.

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Going Over Home

Fans of genealogy, time travel, and romance will eat up this quick read. Maddox never thought her life was strange until she started comparing herself to their neighbors; their families had grandparents, didn't toil all day in the garden and kitchen, and had electronics in the house. At first she didn't pay it any mind but when she was digging around in the crawlspace she found an old family Bible and her birth date wasn't listed as 1990, instead it was 1820. At first she thinks it is a mistake, but the more she thinks about it, it all adds up. When she goes to college she discovers that her roommate Olive is actually a descendant of hers. That means that she has to figure out a way to go back in time and marry a man name Henry or she'll end up killing off all her descendants! With a lot of sleuthing she finally is able to find the portal that can take her back in time to where her grandmother and future husband live, but will she be able to make the sacrifice? No more cars, TV, fast food or air conditioning, and what about her parents and sisters?!?! She has to make her mind up quick, but it is anything but an easy decision. Perfect for teens and adult, and chock full of great Indiana history.

The Book of Joe

What an enjoyable, fun, and enlightening read! I loved this book! I loved it almost as much as Leslie Knope loves Joe Biden. Jeff Wilser did a wonderful job breaking down the wit and wisdom from Vice President Biden's life, starting as a child going all the way past his bromance with President Obama. It's not always sugarcoated but it is honest, moving and inspiring. From his personal life to his political career, Joe Biden is a man who lives by his words and actions. It made me re-think everything I thought I knew about Biden and appreciate his contribution to American politics and society even more. A must read!!

Saturday, December 16, 2017


This book went from crazy to bizarre in no time flat. It was well written but it seemed that it was written for adults instead of it's younger intended audience. A seven foot giantess is having a hard time fitting into her school. Literally and physically. They even had to have a second bathroom built for her after she broke two normal sized toilets. One day she starts to have visions of calamities that will befall her small town. One by one they start to come true but they come with a cost, she is suspended from school, feared by most, and disdained by her mother. There are a few side stories that don't mesh well with the plot or seemingly have anything to do with it. There is her favorite author, an older ex-convict she befriends, and the random disappearance of her brother. This story has charm but it's all over the map for me. The end was also a little startling.

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Ghost World

I saw the movie adaptation years ago but I had never made it around to reading the comic. The color and inking are impressive, as are the emotions and dialogue that the male author, Daniel Clowes, gives to Enid and Rebecca, two recently graduated high school girls. This comic doesn't necessarily have an over arching plot but it does show how their friendship, blossoms, hides, and gets complicated during one long summer where they struggle to find out what they each mean to one another. It's funny, insightful, and honest. They pass time checking out new restaurants, speculating about the town weirdos, and planning a future. It's well worth a read.

The Wife Between Us

Definitely for fans of Gone Girl and The Girl on the train. It's suspenseful chick lit with a big twist (actually there are several) that keeps you guessing to the end. It's hard to summarize this book without giving anything away but there are two women and a man. One woman is an ex-wife and the other is about to be a Mrs. to the same gentleman. Only maybe he isn't a gentleman. Or maybe his ex-wife is just as crazy as her mother was. Or maybe there is more to the story then the narrators are letting on. The narrator's are unreliable and will leave you hanging, only by pushing through will you understand the dark implications of the previous marriage. I would have given this a higher rating except that I didn't love either of the women. I just wanted them to get this shit sorted out. Not bad though, I didn't see the end coming (but then again I never do!).

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

We Have Always Lived in the Castle

I have a lot of feelings about this book and I'm not sure what they mean. It was dark and creepy and I mean... WHAT THE HELL!!?!?!?! Constance and her younger sister Merricat live in the Blackwood manor with their elderly Uncle Julian. They live a secluded life since most of their family was murdered six years ago as they sat around the dining room table (sugar... the sweet unsuspecting sugar killed them all!). Merricat walks into town twice a week for provisions, but other than that they live a lonely existence filled with books, food, and each other's company. Thankfully Merricat has a rich imagination and a large yard, she is free and happy (she's eighteen but acts MUCH younger). When their cousin Charles comes for an unexpected visit, things suddenly starts to go sour. The story is told through Merricat's eyes and her decisions and thoughts and revelations continue to get darker and darker as the story continues. There is more, but really just read this damn thing and call me so I can have someone help me through this. NOT a light hearted read!

Tuesday, December 12, 2017


I was soo nervous to read this since I loved The Martian so much. I was unsure that any follow up books by Weir could compare to that masterpiece, but I needn't have worried! This book was the bomb! I wish I could give it 4.5 stars instead of 4. This book is super different from The Martian, but also very similar. The lead character Jazz, is a twenty six year old Saudi Arabian living on the moon. She is a smart ass, sarcastic, genius. I love her. She has lived on the moon since she was six in the city of Artemis. She's not very high ranking in the grand scheme of things, she's at the bottom of the totem pole work-wise. She's stubborn and unwilling to use her skills to obtain a better job since she is still insistent on sticking it to her old man and making it on her own. She's a porter and in her spare time she smuggles illegal Earth items in for wealthy citizens. Her skills as an underground smuggler and her savvy business ethics lead one of the richest men in the city to hire her for a secret mission, from there, everything goes wrong. This book was soo funny and smart and I genuinely loved all the characters. The amount of world building in this is monumental and believable. I LOVED this!

Monday, December 11, 2017

The Power

Poignant, powerful, and wonderfully different for a change. For once, women are the power hungry, the dominant, the top of the food chain. Eerily reminiscent of The Handmaid's Tale and other dystopian literature, The Power chronicles the female ascent to the top. Worldwide young girls are discovering that they have the power to release electrical charges, effectively shocking other people, sometimes to death. They also discover that when they shock older women they have the power to waken the dormant abilities. Soon women all over the world have this power and for once the men know fear. Told through multiple perspectives over a ten year span we see a female mayor aspiring to be governor, a young teenage girl with stronger raw power then anyone has ever seen, Mother Eve a prophet of the power, and a journalist, the lone male voice in this book. Together their panic, amazement, and greed tell the tale of how men became the weaker sex and the movement that changed the course of history forever, Wonderfully fresh and inventive. I loved it!

Friday, December 8, 2017

Boston Jane

In middle school I was so enamored with this book that I read the whole book from start to finish EVERY night for a week. It resonated with me, I loved the characters, the plot, the romance, the adventure. I am soo pleased that even reading this book as an adult holds up. It is soo good! At sixteen Jane leaves her father behind in Boston and sails to the wild frontier of California to meet and marry William, a former apprentice of her father. When she arrives to the bay her betrothed is nowhere to be found. And the settlement is only a trading post and a local Indian tribe. With no other options she puts all her etiquette skills to use, mending clothes for the men, trading with the Indians, and trying to figure out cooking. All the while there is a handsome and rugged sailor who has his eye on her if she'd only notice. Lots of action, hilarity, and character development. I can't recommend this enough!

Thursday, December 7, 2017

The 57 Bus

A pretty solid nonfiction book for teens that explores social justice (and injustice. Two teens are bound together after one horribly thought through mistake and their lives are altered. Sasha is an agendered teen who occasionally wears skirts, Richard is a black teen from the  crime ridden part of town who decides to get his friends to laugh. One afternoon while riding the 57 bus through Oakland, Richard sees a dude in a skirt sleeping at the back of the bus and thinks it might be funny if he got part of the skirt to smolder. His plan backfires horribly when the whole thing catches on fire in a blaze and endangers Sasha and the bus. He is arrested and charged with a hate crime, while Sasha must undergo multiple surgeries to save her legs. The 57 Bus tells both their stories and aims at getting the reader to think about justice and fairness, and even forgiving others.

The Blinds

A bunch of criminals who have had their memories erased live in a small secluded settlement in the middle of a Texas desert with no contact from the outside world. No one knows they're there and they themselves don't remember who they were. They're part of an experiment that wants to see if the mind can truly be erased and if hardened criminals can really change their stripes. For the seventy or so residents of The Blinds life is alright if not a little boring. It's always the same people to talk to, the same magazines and books to read. The only thing current is the news which they can watch to their hearts content. Fran is sick and tired of the same routine every day, she always think she might leave, but she doesn't have the money or the contacts to stay. When she was taken into The Blinds eight years ago she was pregnant and her son, the only true innocent, is the only child in the place. It's a lonely existence. Things gets shaken up when a resident is murdered at the bar. Suddenly everyone is on high alert. Was it the four new residents brought in the day before? Was it an outsider? Who knows who they really are? It's fast paced, unsettling, and raises great moral questions. A fun, inventive read.

Monday, December 4, 2017

American War

I literally read this book in one sitting this morning. I woke up, made coffee and did not move from the sofa until it was finished and I only had 20 minutes to get ready for work. This was an entirely engrossing read about arsonists and the county they terrorized. It's about love, hate, economic decline, and the American dream. A string of over 60 fires breaks out in a small county, the volunteer fire departments worked over time, citizens mobilized, and people feared for their property. For five and a half months people lived on the edge of their seats. Remarkably nobody was killed or injured in any of the blazes. Wonderfully told, this nonfiction novel will suck you in.

Killers of the Flower Moon

DAMN! This book was worth the hype! I loved The Lost City of Z, so I'm not surprised that I loved this as well. It's dark, disturbing, wonderfully researched and written. It's truly a marvel about a dark and bloody part of United States history. This book investigates the murder of dozens (the number is likely in the hundreds) of Osage Indians during the twenties as greedy white Americans tried to wrest oil rights from them. When some of the richest oil fields in the world were found in Osage territory, the tribe suddenly became some of the wealthiest people per capita. Try as they might the government couldn't force them to move or to take their oil away from them so greedy white neighbors hatched a plot to slowly kill them off. Local officials were crooked and it took Hoover sending over some of his investigators to help curb the deaths. It's a dark and sordid take that's worth remembering. I can't give this book enough praise.

The Pearl Thief

The narrator made this book even more exciting for me, I LOVE foreign accents especially when they're Scottish! I'm also a huge fan of Wein's two other young adult novels, so I knew I would enjoy this book. Unlike her previous two novels, this one is not set during World War II, it is set in the Scottish Highlands in 1938. Sixteen year old Julie has come back from boarding school to assist her family in clearing out their ancestral estate. After a lengthy bout with cancer, her grandfather had died and bankrupt his family with medical expenses. The giant manor will be turned into a boarding school and Julie gets one more summer to explore and experience the estate. While there she suffers a perplexing head injury which she has no recollection of, a man is found murdered, and she befriends a group of traveling gypsies. It's wonderfully written and I loved the archaeological aspects of it as well as the character development. All around wonderful!

Friday, December 1, 2017

The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo

I did not expect to fall head over heels with this book. It seemed too gossipy or chick lit or something, but the reality is that it freaking SUCKED ME IN! Evelyn Hugo is an aging actress in New York City and she has decided that it's time for a tell all story. She gets an up and coming journalist to come over under false pretenses and then begins to tell her whole sordid life story, one husband at a time. It's fascinating! Not just for romance and culture, but from a historical perspective it's also exciting to see old Hollywood in all its backstabbing finery. Evelyn Hugo is a complex, selfish, frank, and refreshing person, she's easy to love, hate, and emulate. There are some jaw dropping moments and a hell of a twist at the end. A surprisingly great read, I definitely want to check out more from this author!