Cathy Baker’s book To Do the Deal: A Novel in Stories is an easy read. Like the title states it is a novel made up of short stories. Each chapter is a different year in the life of Kenneth Bodine. The years range from 1991 to 2000 and usually focus on his employment or lack thereof.
I enjoyed reading To Do the Deal and found it funny at times, especially with how Kenneth lost his jobs. My favorite story had to be the first one, where he met his future wife Jodi. The nickname he gave his girlfriend at the time was hilarious. While reading the rest of the chapters I came to the conclusion that I am glad that I am not married to Kenneth because of his lack of trying to move up and find a better job. His wife Jodi is a saint for putting up with him and allowing him to do this. While Kenneth did get on my nerves, I also completely understood him for not knowing what he wanted to do in his life career wise. I liked that Baker made Kenneth like that because it makes him for real as a character. I also really liked the illustrations at the beginning of each chapter.
I would recommend To Do the Deal to anyone who enjoys reading about everyday life. I had trouble remembering this was a work of fiction while reading it. This book seemed too similar to real life. Baker has done a great job.
I gave this book 4 stars and have posted my review on Goodreads, Reader’s Favorite and Amazon.
*I reviewed this book for Reader’s Favorite.
Ephraim’s Curious Device by Lita Burke is the second book in her Clockpunk Wizard series. It also happens to be the first book of hers that I have read. I enjoyed this book a great deal. The story follows the characters Sir Bright (a half-elf/half-human) and his business partner Wizard Kadmeion. In order to save a friend they are forced to go on a quest to retrieve the fabled Ephraim’s Curious Device.
Burke’s book Ephraim’s Curious Device is as if the books Harry Potter and the Wizard of Oz had a love child. All the characters in this book are very likeable. I absolutely loved Sir Bright, and so do all the magical creatures apparently. I liked that Bright and Kadmeion work so well together. It is obvious they have great chemistry. It is nice to read an adventure book where there in not constant fighting and drama. The thing I liked most about this book is all the different magical creatures that the adventurers encountered. There were harpies, dragons, fairies and a lot more. This is what truly made the book so magical. I now have a new fascination with harpies because of this book.
I really enjoyed Ephraim’s Curious Device and look forward to reading the rest of the books in the series. Burke was able to create a fantasy world that came to life and I wish I could visit. Few authors are able to do this. I recommend this book to anyone who enjoys reading about magical worlds.
I gave this book 5 stars and have put my review on Goodreads, Amazon and Reader’s Favorite.
*I reviewed this book for Reader’s Favorite
The Chronicles of My Paranormal Romance by Adam G. Tarsitano is not your ordinary romance novel. Instead or a way to mushy, Twilight-like love story, Tarsitano writes a unique one. The story is told from the author’s point of view and shows how he struggles to write the ultimate vampire romance novel.
The Chronicles of My Paranormal Romance is the second book I have read by Adam G. Tarsitano. The first one being Broken Birdie Chirpin, which was about a rock star. So far The Chronicles of My Paranormal Romance is my favorite work of his. I really liked that it was not the typical romance novel. I do love vampire romances but too often they are the same story told in slightly different ways. Tarsitano puts a completely new spin on the romance with it being in the background and the focus of the story being the author’s life. Tarsitano not only wrote a romance but also showed what authors go through to actually create a novel in this book. I have yet seen any other author with a story similar to this.
I really enjoyed The Chronicles of My Paranormal Romance and liked seeing how an author thinks and what he goes through to actually write a novel. This book has added to my respect for all authors. It has also made me curious about Adam G. Tarsitano and wonder how similar is he to his character Zevon Drainer. I do look forward to reading more of Tarsitano’s work.
I gave this book 5 stars because it is so unique. I have posted my review on Goodreads, Amazon and theThe Reading Room.
What I’ve Learned: An Encyclopedia of Perpetual Bullshit by Christopher T. Heist is a long book. A VERY long book. The book is filled with Heist’s own opinions and experiences in life starting from when he was in grammar school. His constant swearing throughout the book was a little annoying, because of this I read his words with Chris Rock’s voice in my head. No matter how annoying the swearing was, I could not help but agree with some of the things he said.
What I’ve Learned is a book filled with Heist’s experiences and opinions ranging from art to voting. All cleverly arranged in alphabetical order. A few of Heist’s thoughts that I agree with in What I’ve Learned are his thoughts on prostitution. I too believe if you are old enough to fight for your country, then you are old enough to be able to decide whether you want to pay for sex. Another of Heist’s thoughts I agree with is that “you’re actually safer roaming the Afghan countryside as a solider, than you are walking the streets of Camden, N.J. as a civilian.” I can relate to this having of lived in Chicago or what others like to call “Chi-raq”. I found the “your mom” jokes at the end kind of funny. I have not heard some of them before.
What I’ve Learned: An Encyclopedia of Perpetual Bullshit is definitely not a book for everyone. If you are easily offended than this is not the book for you. I recommend it if you have a sense of humor and do not mind swearing. Overall I did find parts of the books funny and surprisingly agreed with Heist on many subjects.
I gave this book 4 stars and have posted my review on Reader’s Favorite, Goodreads ans Amazon.
*I reviewed this book for Reader’s Favorite
Ledbetter Street by Susan P. Baker is a story about friendships and family. The book is based around three characters: Marian, Eva and Jane. Marian is the main character who is fighting to get her adult autistic son back after giving him up for adoption as a baby. Eva is battling her own problems and trying to keep her life and business on track. Jane is a homeless woman just trying to survive on the streets. All three women are extremely likeable and their stories intertwine throughout the book. There is never a dull moment in the book.
I really liked that Baker touched on the subjects of autism and homelessness in Ledbetter Street. Not many books focus and raise awareness on multiple issues like that. Baker’s character Eva, gained my respect with how big her heart was and what she did for Jane in the story. I also liked how Baker explained how Jane came to be homeless. Every homeless person has a backstory, and by Baker telling Jane’s it makes me more curious about the homeless in my own neighborhood. I also liked that all of Baker’s lead characters are older women. Not the twenty-somethings that are usually the stars in the books nowadays.
Overall I liked Ledbetter Street and would recommend it to anyone who loves to read works of fiction. I think Susan P. Baker is a good author who keeps her readers entertained. I look forward to reading more of Baker’s works in the future. I gave this book 5 stars and have posted my review on Reader’s favorite, Goodreads and Amazon.
* I reviewed this book for Reader’s Favorite
Beyond Silent Cadence: As the Baffling Beat Goes On by Leisley M. Lantram is a story about an abused wife who is looking for a way to escape. The book allows you to see a truth that is too often hidden. A victim that is in denial and is struggling to find her voice.
Lantram’s main character Christa Fonteneau in Beyond Silent Cadence is a fashion savvy housewife. At first I felt sorry for her, but it grew to annoyance. I wanted to help her and for her to help herself. Christa was looking for a reason to escape her abusive marriage to Damon. The reason finally came to her but it came many years later. Damon’s backstory was told in the beginning of the book, and it explained why he is the way he is. The story made Christa feel sorry for him but it did not work on me. I do wish the story would have gone a different route, but it is eerily similar to actual life.
A few of the things I liked about Beyond Silent Cadence was the handmade drawings scattered throughout the book. They made me pay extra attention to the events that were occurring in them. I also liked that Christa was finally able to get a backbone and escape.
Beyond Silent Cadence reminds readers that domestic abuse happens and is often hidden. Not all women are as lucky as Christa and able to escape an abusive marriage. I hope that this book can show someone that they can get out.
I have given this book 4 stars and put my review on Amazon, Reader’s Favorite and Goodreads.
*I reviewed this book for Reader’s Favorite
I thought “A Fearful Lie” by Jean Fournier Johnson was going to be a predictable book with an ending that is all too common. Instead this book was hard to put down and nothing like I thought it would be. When Gloria accidently kills a little boy while driving, she tells no one. Instead she sets out to help the family of the little boy. The book follows how Gloria lives her life with the secret of her crime hovering over her. That lie changed her life and everyone around her.
I liked that Johnson wrote such a unique perspective on a crime. Usually when you hear about such a crime on the news, you automatically think negative thoughts. No one stops and thinks about what the criminal is actually thinking or going through in their life. “A Fearful Lie” makes me wonder how often this type of crime happens. At first I hated Gloria. I did not understand how she could have kept the secret. Reading on I grew to understand her and even like her. She made me want to better my life when I saw her changing hers.
“A Fearful Lie” is a powerful book that makes you think. If you accidentally committed a crime, how would you react? How would you live your life? Johnson has a gift for writing. Not many authors can tell such a powerful story that makes the readers think and root for the bad guy. I recommend this book to anyone that loves a good book.
I gave this book 5 stars because it was just WOW! My review is posted on Goodreads and Reader’s Favorite.
* I reviewed this book for Reader’s Favorite
The Forgotten Girls by Sara Blaedel is a captivating crime novel from the very beginning. This is the seventh book in the Louise Rick series and the first one I have read. When a woman’s body is found in the woods Detective Louise Rick thought it would be easy to identify her from the large scar on her face. Only later to discover that the woman was issued a death certificate thirty years ago. When similar crimes begin occurring, Louise knows she has to solve this case fast.
Blaedel being considered “The Queen of Crime” in Denmark made me want to read The Forgotten Girls, just to see if she truly deserves a title like that. Long story short, I was not disappointed! This book had me wondering who the killer was and just when I thought I knew who it was, I find out I was wrong. Mixing in Louise’s past experiences in the book with the other characters has made me very curious about Blaedel’s other novels in the series. Blaedel does an excellent job of not giving away too much of what has happened in her other novels, which makes me want to read them all. The ending of the book left me with more questions that I still need answers to. Mostly questions about Louise and what would happen with her. I guess I have to wait for the next book in the series to find out.
Overall I think that Sara Blaedel has earned her title “Queen of Crime”. I look forward to reading more of her work. I recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a good crime novel.
I gave this book 5 stars and have posted my review on Goodreads, The Reading Room and Amazon.
•I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Brookwood Road: Memories of a Home by Scott Douglas Vaughan is a collection of thirty-nine short stories inspired by Vaughan’s memories of growing up. Each story takes place on or around Brookwood Home, which is located in Georgia. As Vaughan states in the beginning of the book “Some stories are true. Some of these stories are based on truth. Some of these stories should have been true.” Each story is told through Frank’s eyes, and is unique and obviously told with a love and fondness for the area and people in it.
I chose Brookwood Road because I love to read about memoirs that occur in the South. Vaughan does not disappoint. Some of his stories are humorous and tell of easier times. Other stories just make you wish that you could have lived in those times and experience the same things that Frank did. The very first story in “Brookwood Road” was hilarious. When R.C. Wilcox, the grandfather, forced the hired help to sing upon his newborn grandson’s, named Frank, arrival home. My personal favorite story was “Tallywackers” which also happens to be my new favorite word. The story was hilarious and occurred when it was still innocent to go skinny-dipping. The story “The Pink Store” had a good message in it that I wish more people would listen to. The story also loved Papa Paul’s advice, “Anytime you are stumped for an answer or find yourself worried about something, I recommend a Hershey chocolate bar.”
I am glad the promise was kept to Vaughan’s father and this book was named “Memories of a Home”. I recommend this book to anyone who likes memoirs or stories from the South. Reading these stories made me long for my own small town that used to be and the days when a Coca-Cola used to be ten cents.
I gave this book 5 stars and have posted my review on Goodreads, Reader’s Favorite and Amazon.
* I reviewed this book for Reader’s Favorite.