Alphabetical Index of Other Book Reviews

Reel Culture, The End, Scandalous!: Three More List Books

I enjoyed How to Fight, Lie, and Cry Your Way to Popularity (And a Prom Date) from Zest Books, so I sampled three more of their list books. Reel Culture: 50 Classic Movies You Should Know About (So You Can Impress Your Friends) by Mimi O’Connor Preview pages The films covered in this volume are classics selected based on a general idea of cultural awareness — which movies you should know to recognize references and quotes and significant points of […]

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How to Fight, Lie, and Cry Your Way to Popularity (And a Prom Date)

It’s a listicle in a book! So why buy it? Because you can’t take the internet into the bathtub, which is the kind of environment perfect for this type of pick-up-and-put-down flip-through reading, which I found great light entertainment. The subtitle of How to Fight, Lie, and Cry Your Way to Popularity (And a Prom Date), “Lousy Life Lessons From 50 Teen Movies”, is accurate. Each of the 50 movies included gets two pages with a snarky plot summary, a […]

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Love Waltzes In

Just in time for the finals of Dancing With the Stars, airing this week, I read Love Waltzes In, a romance novel featuring the reunion of a professional ballroom dancer and a Marine. Selena and Bret were teen partners and dance champions, but their relationship broke up when he joined the military. Now, he’s returned to compete against her on Dancing Under the Stars to raise money to benefit the family of a deceased colleague. Will their first love be […]

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The Snacking Dead

When I think zombies, I think the opposite of “yummy snacks”, but I suppose “eating brains” does suggest the munchies in some ways. The Snacking Dead by D.B. Walker is both a cookbook, focused on finger food and sandwiches (the kind of stuff I think of as “football food”), and a parody story of the zombie apocalypse. The recipes alternate with incidents in the life of Pam, a divorced woman trying to feed her two kids as the world collapses […]

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The Naturals

If you’re looking for CSI meets X-Men: First Class, the young adult thriller mystery The Naturals by Jennifer Lynn Barnes is right up your alley. Cassie has an innate ability to read people, one honed by her time on the road with her faux-psychic mother. But mom’s been dead for five years, murdered by someone unknown and the body missing. When an FBI agent comes calling, Cassie joins his special project, a group of teens with similar abilities to hers […]

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The Doctor Who Franchise: American Influence, Fan Culture and the Spinoffs

Written in preparation for Doctor Who‘s 50th anniversary this year, Lynnette Porter’s book The Doctor Who Franchise: American Influence, Fan Culture and the Spinoffs explores the question of how, if any, the show has become “Americanized” in its current incarnation, with specific focus on the Torchwood: Miracle Day Starz co-production (now airing on BBC America) and its lead, the “American” Captain Jack. Where the Doctor is part of the cultural fabric in the UK, here in the US, he’s a […]

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Confessions of a Hater

Caprice Crane has written several light novels for women (a genre often dismissively called “chick lit”), including Forget About It and Family Affair. I tried a couple of her previous books, and although the premises were intriguing, I didn’t care enough about the characters or what happened to finish any of them. Confessions of a Hater was different. It’s a Young Adult book, to start, with the classic plot of “geek girl finds way to be popular at a new […]

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They’ll Never Put That on the Air

I’ve always found stories of media censorship and attempted restraint interesting, because what offends people can be so arbitrary (and sometimes silly). This “oral history of taboo-breaking TV comedy” (as the subtitle has it) by Allan Neuwirth presents a collection of concerns over some of the best TV shows of all time, as told by the creators and executives involved. The opening chapter of They’ll Never Put That on the Air serves as a brief history of the sitcom, including […]

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