Alphabetical Index of Other Book Reviews

The Librarians and the Mother Goose Chase

I stumbled across this spin-off novel based on The Librarians TV series by accident. I enjoy the show well enough, so I gave it a try, although I generally have low expectations of TV adaptations. It’s not that they’re bad, it’s just that no one seems to put much attention into them. I was wrong. The Librarians and the Mother Goose Chase by Greg Cox does a terrific job capturing everything about the show: the voice of the characters, the […]

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Duels & Deception

Like Jane Austen and thrillers? Wondering what a mashup of the two might look like? You need to read Cindy Anstey’s Duels & Deception, a rollicking adventure with a headstrong heroine trying to protect her inheritance of the family estate from a controlling drunk uncle, a man-crazy cousin, the spendthrift noble next door she’s expected to marry, and her own surprising feelings for Robert, the visiting new law clerk. Lydia and Robert sparkle as their relationship develops — and then […]

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Family Game Night and Other Catastrophes

As a child, I read a lot about trivia and oddities, including weird death. (It was before the internet, so this was from real books.) One of the creepiest was what happened to the Collyer brothers, found dead in 1947. Some of the massive amounts of newspapers and junk they stockpiled had collapsed on one, and the other starved to death. They were the first hoarders to become famous due to their obsessions and how they destroyed them. As a […]

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Crosstalk

A new Connie Willis novel is a terrific gift, and Crosstalk does not disappoint. It’s a romantic comedy (similar to her early story “Blued Moon”) with a setting focused on a hot cultural topic (which reminded me of Bellwether) and a whole flock of female Irish family members. Briddey works at a cellphone company eager to develop the next communication breakthrough. She’s dating a promising young executive there, and he’s just proposed to her that they get the new operation […]

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Mastering the Art of Japanese Home Cooking

Food manga fans, if you want to know more about how to make classic-but-achievable Japanese meals, Mastering the Art of Japanese Home Cooking is the guide for you. (I particularly recommend it to readers of What Did You Eat Yesterday?) Iron Chef Masahuru Morimoto (aided by J.J. Goode) shares basic dishes in a way that makes them seem both delicious and possible for an American home cook to prepare. The images are lovely, making me want to try making everything. […]

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Spritz: Italy’s Most Iconic Aperitivo Cocktail, with Recipes

As summer comes to an end, this collection of cocktail recipes will help extend the lightweight, holiday feeling. Spritz: Italy’s Most Iconic Aperitivo Cocktail, with Recipes explains the history and culture of the drink. It’s something of a reclamation, an attempt to recapture the low-alcohol cocktail from the horrors of white wine spritzers. A spritz is a blend of sparkling wine, usually prosecco; a bitter liqueur; and soda water, served pre-dinner or for happy hour. It’s intended to spur the […]

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A Hundred Thousand Worlds

A Hundred Thousand Worlds is a new literary novel aimed at con-goers, or at least those who know of such things. It’s the story of Valerie Torrey, former star of a cult sci-fi TV show; her son Alex, obsessed with words; and Brett Kazan, artist of Lady Stardust, a small press comic series. Brett and Valerie meet at a comic convention in Cleveland. Valerie is traveling across the country with Alex to return him to his father, a more successful […]

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All the Feels: All Is Fair in Love and Fandom

Inspired by @CoulsonLives, Danika Stone has written a young adult romance about a fan who refuses to accept the movie death of her favorite character. In All the Feels, Liv was eager to see the latest film installment of her beloved Starveil, only to be crushed when it ended with the death of Spartan, the spaceship captain. She refuses to accept this and becomes determined, with the help of her best friend Xander (who lives his life cosplaying as a […]

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