If there was a way to give Another Sunset by Jason Zandri more than five stars then I would. This book was an inspirational and at the same time a very emotional read. When David Stephenson, a drifter, arrives in the small town of Westville, Texas he sets about to help the people there. David focuses on making a little girl’s dream come true. While he is there he touches the lives and hearts of Westville’s residents. The people of Westville are not sure where David came from but they know he is hiding something and are set to uncover his secret.
I have never read a book with so many inspirational quotes in it. Another Sunset is filled with them. One of my favorite quotes was “Life happens while you’re busy making other plans. You have to grab onto it when you can and ride it for all it’s worth.” At first I thought David was an angel sent to the town to restore its faith in humanity. Reading on I knew David was running or hiding from something. Zandri does an awesome job of not revealing too much of what David is hiding until the very end. Caroline Romero is a little girl with a big dream. The dream she has was a dream very mature for her age and it made me wonder how many towns are forgotten about like Westville. It is rare for me to like all the characters in a book, but I did with Another Sunset. In fact I got emotionally attached to them. I admit this book actually made me cry at some point in it. I cannot blame it on hormones, but I can blame it on Zandri for forcing me to love his characters that much.
Jason Zandri has written a prequel to Another Sunset named Before Another Sunset. If it is anything like Another Sunset then it is also a must read. I will be recommending Another Sunset to everyone I know.
*I reviewed this book for Reader’s Favorite and have published;ished my review on Reader’s Favorite and Goodreads
The Herd from 93rd by William Scalin is a book filled with captivating memories and humorous moments from Scalin’s own life. Upon turning fifty, Scalin is thrown a surprise birthday party. Attending this party are many of his lifelong friends or otherwise known as “The Herd from 93rd”. Seeing all his friends in one place causes memories of growing up with them to overflow, resulting in a book that makes me wish that I too could belong to the Herd from 93rd.
In The Herd from 93rd Scalin shares his love for his friends, beer and cars. Scalin grew up in a time when friendship and loyalty still meant something. I find it amazing that Scalin has so many good friends. Today it is so hard to find just one loyal friend. This shows me that Scalin is a pretty cool person to know. This book also taught me a couple of things. The first is a new way to look for a job. Reading the obituaries is a pretty genius idea. The second is how to teach my child to appreciate her things more, by getting her to clean them each time she uses them. The story I found the funniest in The Herd from 93rd is when Harold bought the bar. Personally I think Harold knew what he was doing the whole time and was not crazy. Reading this book also made me realize how times have changed. Now days if a member of a school staff puts their hands on you in any way it is a lawsuit. What the vice principal did to Scalin was uncalled for.
I really enjoyed reading about Scalin’s and his friends’ lives in The Herd from 93rd. It reminded me of the stories my dad told me about his life growing up. I do wish I grew up then when things seemed to be easier. I recommend this book to anyone who needs a glimpse of the past.
I gave this book 5 stars and have posted my review on Goodreads,story-e-books.com and Amazon.
I thought Confessions of a Do-Gooder Gone Bad by Ann K. Howley was hilarious. Howley tells tales of her upbringing with her deeply religious parents. Then later explains how all her good deeds seem to go bad.
After reading Confessions of a Do-Gooder Gone I believe that Howley’s motto in life should be “No good deed goes unpunished”. Overall Confessions of a Do-Gooder Gone is a pretty quick read. The chapters in the book are divided into funny events that occurred in Howley’s life. My favorite story was the Frisbee incident. The story actually made me spit out my coffee because I could not help but to laugh. I also think that Howley is a very brave person because a loose snake in the house would cause me to burn the house down. I am curious to know where the snake was eventually found. I found all her stories funny and unique. A few I could even relate to myself such as living with strict parents. I was amazed that her parents let her travel to a different country alone at a young age. Of course the world was a little safer back then.
I think Howley has lead a very interesting life. I admire her for having such a good heart and attempting to do good deeds. Her story about what happened at the bus station surprised me. I would never have done that. I enjoyed reading about her life and recommend this book to anyone who has had a good deed backfire on them.
I reviewed this book for Reader’s Favorite. I have posted my Reader’s Favorite, Goodreads and The Reading Room.
Street Light by R. L. Herron is the third book in the Reichold Street Trilogy. It also happens to be the first book in the series that I have read. Street Light is sort of a follow up book of all the events that have occurred in the first two, yet it also contains its own events.
Having not read the first two books in the Reichold Street Trilogy, I was a little lost at first, but R. L. Herron was quick to fix that by revealing pieces of major events that occurred in the earlier books. The Reichold Street Trilogy follows the lives of a group of friends from their teenage years, through Vietnam, and a deadly stalker. In Street Light the Reichold Street gang thought that they finally escaped the person that was trying to ruin their lives. Little did they know that evil has many faces and they are not safe on their own territory.
I found Street Light hard to put down, especially after R. L. Herron revealed a little of what happened in the other books. I especially liked how R. L. Herron told each character’s perspective by making every chapter told by a different character. My favorite character was Donnie, just because he was loveable and seemed to have lost the most. The friendship that the group had was amazing. I found myself regretting that I have never a lifelong friendship like them.
L. Herron has made me want to read his previous books in the Reichold Street Trilogy, just so I can make sure I read the full story. If they are anything like Street Light then they are great. I recommend anyone to read Street Light but my advice is to start with the first book, Reichold Street.
*I reviewed this book for Reader’s Favorite and have posted my review on Goodreads, Reader’s Favorite and The Reading Room.
Kill the Balloons: Williamsburg in the Singles by Anthony Joseph Morrone is about one day in the life of a group of friends in Brooklyn, New York. The book is written in a way almost as if you are a fly on the wall observing everything. The characters are brutally honest and feel like real people. The book may be long but it is an easy read.
Kill the Balloons follows the lives of a group of friends who have one goal in common. That goal is to have fun and enjoy life. The story follows them as they all get ready to attend an art party. Each character is unique and has their own way of doing things. My favorite character was Pretty because she seemed the most level-headed to me. The main thing I enjoyed about Kill the Balloons is Morrone’s detailed descriptions of places and events that occurred in the book. His words painted me a very clear picture of what was happening in his story. I also enjoyed the photographs of locations and scenery that are at the beginning of each chapter. This gave the book an artsy feel to it which flows with the story nicely.
I admit Kill the Balloons is not for everyone. It does contain a lot of swearing, so if you do not mind that, then give it a try. I did find the story interesting, however I do wish that there was a little more description about the characters. I had trouble picturing what they looked like. If you enjoy the movies like Saturday Night Fever, then I recommend you read this book.
*I reviewed this book for Reader’s Favorite
I gave this book 4 stars and have posted my review on Reader’s Favorite and Goodreads.
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