Alphabetical Index of Other Book Reviews

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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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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