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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The Plot Is Murder

The first in a new line of Mystery Bookshop mysteries by V.M. Burns, The Plot Is Murder is predictable but good-hearted, a welcome diversion for fans of cozy mysteries. I liked that, while our middle-aged heroine Sam is newly on her own and starting a new business, she wasn’t divorced from a cheating ne’er-do-well (as in so many of these books). She’s been widowed, and she’s opening a mystery bookstore as a way of honoring a dream she shared with […]

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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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The Question of the Absentee Father

The Asperger’s Mystery series by E.J. Copperman and Jeff Cohen continues in fine form with its fourth volume (following The Question of the Felonious Friend). Samuel, a young man on the autism spectrum who runs an investigative business called “Questions Answered”, finds the case in The Question of the Absentee Father more personal than usual. His mother has hired him to find out where his father, long gone from his life, currently lives. The case takes him, and his assistant […]

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Mining for Justice

Mining for Justice is the eighth book in Kathleen Ernst’s Chloe Ellefson mystery series set at a series of Wisconsin historical sites during the 1980s. This time, it’s Pendarvis, a site about the experiences of immigrant lead miners from Cornwall in the 1830s. These skilled miners helped settle the area, since they brought families. (Pendarvis only exists today due to the restoration and preservation efforts of a gay couple in the 1930s, but you won’t hear about that here, although […]

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Lumberjanes: Unicorn Power!

Lumberjanes: Unicorn Power! is a young adult novel spun off from the popular comic series. It’s written by Mariko Tamaki (This One Summer, Supergirl: Being Super) with cover and occasional illustrations by Brooke A. Allen, co-creator of the Lumberjanes. It’s aimed at ages 10-14 years old, and older readers may find the writing a little strained, as early on, the book attempts to work in as much background and trivia about the characters and concept as possible. I thought it […]

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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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