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Alphabetical Index of Other Book Reviews

Groovy: When Flower Power Bloomed in Pop Culture

The book Groovy: When Flower Power Bloomed in Pop Culture is quite the time capsule. Not just in its content, which is all about material from the 1960s and 70s, but that it exists at all. When I was a kid, I loved these kind of popular grab-bag histories, with weird little stories about things that happened in the relatively modern era but before I was born. This one rambles through music, notable TV shows (The Monkees and Laugh-In), movies […]

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Killer Fashion: Poisonous Petticoats, Strangulating Scarves, and Other Deadly Garments Throughout History

The main thing that surprised me about the various ways clothes can kill you that are shown in Killer Fashion: Poisonous Petticoats, Strangulating Scarves, and Other Deadly Garments Throughout History was the sheer number of them that involved catching on fire. Wigs, artificial fabric, and shirt cuffs were all surprisingly flammable. While (as a fan of weird cultural history) I had heard of many of these before, though, I hadn’t seen them expressed in such a charmingly grotesque manner. Each […]

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Cinegeek

I don’t really know how to describe Cinegeek by Pluttark. It’s an entertaining grab bag, particularly if you love genre movies and weird observations. The subtitle gives a good idea of its aim: “fun trivia tidbits celebrating the cinematic world”. Each page is another random topic, most often inspired by science fiction/ fantasy/ horror movies, illustrated by spot drawings or caricatures. The colors are just this side of garish, frequently bright pinks and yellows and turquoise blue. It’s a ridiculous […]

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In a Daze Work: A Pick-Your-Path Journey Through the Daily Grind

As a member of the Choose-Your-Own-Adventure book generation, I have a soft spot for the modern-day, adult-oriented versions. Siobhán Gallagher‘s In a Daze Work: A Pick-Your-Path Journey Through the Daily Grind puts a twist on the genre by illustrating every option. Here’s an example page, from when you’re reflecting on your day. The result means fewer decisions and paths than you’d expect in a 160-page book, but I like the charming simplicity of her artwork and that she makes a […]

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The Gumazing Gum Girl: Gum Luck

I’m not sure how Gabby Gonzalez got the ability to turn into a bubblegum-powered stretchy superhero, not having read the first book, Chews Your Destiny (ha ha). I didn’t need to know, though, since The Gumazing Gum Girl: Gum Luck was plenty of fun on its own. Plus, the cover smells like bubblegum. (Which caused some confusion when I forgot it was in a stack — why do I smell gum?) This chapter book is copiously illustrated with cartoony, thick-line […]

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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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