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Welcome! The ultimate luxury for me is curling up with a good book and a warm blanket. The next best thing is reviewing books and sharing them with others.

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14 07, 2015

Review: My Razzle Dazzle by Todd Peterson

By | July 14th, 2015|Categories: Humor & Entertainment, Literature & Fiction|Tags: , |3 Comments


my razzle dazzle book coverReviewed by Lauren Cannavino

My Razzle Dazzle is the fictionalized autobiography of Todd Peterson that follows his life through small town Wisconsin, the roller derby rink and the streets of San Francisco. Todd’s life is colorful and never dull. This coming of age story is not only about a boy growing into a man and finding his place within the world, but also about Todd realizing he is gay and finding his place within his family, society and the professional world. The book also focuses on how Todd grows into himself, his confidence and ultimately thrives and comes into his own, all while gaining his own self-acceptance and pride.

Growing up in rural and suburban Wisconsin in a house full of brothers, a stay at home mom and a hard-working, laborer father, Todd was always a little uncertain of his

22 06, 2015

Review: The Phantom of Menace by Ian Doescher

By | June 22nd, 2015|Categories: Humor & Entertainment, Literature & Fiction, Science Fiction & Fantasy|Tags: , , |2 Comments


phantom of menace book coverReviewed by Caleb Shadis

William Shakespeare’s The Phantom of Menace is the fourth book from Ian Doescher and Episode 1 in the Star Wars series. Doescher is really getting the hang of turning movies into Shakespearean plays. Unfortunately, the material he had to transform was weak so while the form and execution of the translation was much better than the New Hope, the story itself still lacked despite the author’s valiant attempt to make it more entertaining.

The greedy trade federation is a tool of the evil Sith Lord, Darth Sidious. They are attempting to blockade and force terms upon the peaceful and quiet planet of Naboo. Heroic Knights are dispatched forthwith to attempt to free the poor Naboo from the villainous clutches of the Trade Federation.

The Jedi are forced to flee and hide among the troops transported down to the surface,

30 04, 2015

Review: The Red Notebook by Antoine Laurain

By | April 30th, 2015|Categories: Cultural Heritage, Humor & Entertainment, Literature & Fiction, Romance|Tags: , , |3 Comments


the red notebook book coverReviewed by Sarah McCubbin

What are the threads that bind us together? How do two worlds collide? Is life purely coincidence or do our choices direct the unknown? In his novel, The Red Notebook, Antoine Laurain spins a tale of two people whose lives collide when one grabs what fate has dealt and pursues an unlikely course of action, despite the high risk of failure. In the heart of Paris lives Laurent, a divorced father who owns a book shop and spends more time reading novels and sorting books than engaging in meaningful relationships. Only a few blocks away lives Laure, a widow, whose career as a guilder results in a completely different circle of friends. Never before have they crossed paths, until one day everything changes.

While returning home from work late one evening, Laure is attacked

8 04, 2015

Review: Girl Before a Mirror by Liza Palmer

By | April 8th, 2015|Categories: Humor & Entertainment, Literature & Fiction, Romance, Women's Fiction|Tags: , , |3 Comments


girl before a mirror book coverReviewed by Amanda Schafer

Anna Wyatt has worked her tail off to prove she belongs in the advertising business with all the men who run it, but she just can’t seem to get where she wants to be. She has a dream of landing a large company and proving it’s not just a man’s world and if she can get the Lumineux account she might just have a chance! When she and Sasha get the go-ahead to head to the RomanceCon in Phoenix, she knows she’s on her way. Anna knows that she’s changed a lot in her own life in order to prove to herself and to others that she is worthy of what she wants. Little does she know that her slogan for Lumineux – Just Be – is exactly what she needs to do in

22 01, 2015

Review: Confessions of a Self-Help Writer by Benjamin DeHaven

By | January 22nd, 2015|Categories: Coming of Age, Genre Fiction, Humor & Entertainment, Literature & Fiction, Satire|Tags: , , , |5 Comments


self help writer book coverReviewed by Andrea Rawson

Confessions of a Self-Help Writer: The Journal of Michael Enzo is the alleged confessional journal of self-help ghost writer, Michael Enzo. Michael Enzo’s claim-to-fame is that he alleges to have written over 108 self-help books, largely on topics of which he has no experience and mostly under the names of celebrities who may or may not be aware of his existence. Written by Benjamin DeHaven, Enzo’s former friend and colleague, this tell-all provides a detailed account of Michael Enzo’s scandals and misadventures.

The book starts out with a narration of Benjamin DeHaven’s account of how he came to know and work with Michael Enzo. Benjamin describes Michael as the embodiment of chaos and Benjamin as just another one of his unwitting victims. Benjamin DeHaven claims that he is barred from discussing anything that has happened since 2006

5 01, 2015

Review: The Global War on Morris by Steve Israel

By | January 5th, 2015|Categories: Genre Fiction, Humor & Entertainment, Literature & Fiction, Political|Tags: , , |4 Comments


global war on morris book coverReviewed by Cal Cleary

Morris Feldstein is a quiet man. A peaceful man. The kind of man who wants nothing more than to enjoy his baseball games, his take-out dinners with his longtime wife, and the slow slide into oblivion. In other words, Morris Feldstein isn’t really ‘international terrorist’ material. And yet, a single bad decision has unexpected ramifications. When the U.S.’s newest anti-terrorism weapon – an interagency computer program capable of putting together disparate pieces of intelligence to suss out credible threats from a hundred different sources – sees this deviation from his pattern it assumes the worst, as it was programmed to do. And all of the sudden, quiet Morris Feldstein becomes Public Enemy #1.

Welcome to The Global War on Morris, a satirical look at post-9/11 America from Congressman Steve Israel. At heart, the

8 10, 2014

Blog Tour: How to Build a Girl by Caitlin Moran

By | October 8th, 2014|Categories: Coming of Age, Genre Fiction, Humor & Entertainment, Literary, Literature & Fiction|Tags: , , |5 Comments


9780062335975_custom-44e991c569c3fb83288f6483cbe55df48c840862-s99-c85Please join Caitlin Moran, author of How to Build a Girl, as she tours the blogosphere with TLC Book Tours.

Reviewed by Cal Cleary

I never really thought about it before, but being a critic is a lot like being a teenager. You’re judged heavily on what you like (and doubly on what you dislike), nobody trusts you, and you have to flail around quite a bit as you invent a personality for yourself (There will be flailing. There’s always flailing.) and put it out there in ways you never did before. Johanna Morrigan, the poor, fat, virginal outcast and protagonist of How to Build a Girl, gets it. As an awkward dork living in poverty in the early 1990s, she doesn’t have a lot of ways to express herself – but she has her words.

31 07, 2014

Review: William Shakespeare’s The Empire Striketh Back by Ian Doescher

By | July 31st, 2014|Categories: Humor & Entertainment, Literature & Fiction, Mashups, Science Fiction & Fantasy|Tags: , , |3 Comments


empire striketh backReviewed by Cal Cleary

A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away…

For some reason, those words captures America’s imagination in a way that few other pieces of entertainment every have (or will). One of the most interesting aspects of the documentary The People Vs. George Lucas was the way that Star Wars, for some reason, ignited the creativity of a generation. There have been countless fan recreations, mash-ups, fan edits, costume mods, and much, much more as fans took something created by Lucas, threw it in a bag with all their other passions, and tried to turn it into something new. One of the most interesting examples of that in the last few years was Ian Doescher’s William Shakespeare’s Star Wars, a book that rewrote Star Wars as a Shakespearean play, borrowing the Bard’s language and structure.

21 06, 2014

Review: The Widow Waltz by Sally Koslow

By | June 21st, 2014|Categories: Humor & Entertainment, Literary, Literature & Fiction, Women's Fiction|Tags: , , , |3 Comments


51voYV8iIwL._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_Reviewed by Meg Massey

Georgia Waltz was living a charmed life in a Manhattan apartment with two beautiful children and her husband, Ben Silver. But when her husband dies suddenly, Georgia is shocked to discover that her once-successful lawyer husband left her and their daughters virtually penniless.

While Georgia must find a way to support herself and her daughters, she learns more devastating truths about him that would leave any woman reeling. But Georgia somehow finds the strength to let herself move on, in life and in love.

Sally Koslow’s The Widow Waltz is an endearing tale about love, loss and life. The author approaches Georgia’s difficult situation with just the right amount of humor, thanks to characters like Georgia’s brother Stephan. Despite Georgia’s once lavish lifestyle, she’s a relatable character you’ll find yourself rooting for as she works to find herself and support her

10 06, 2014

Review: Invisible Ellen by Susan Shari Shattuck

By | June 10th, 2014|Categories: Humor & Entertainment, Literary, Literature & Fiction, Women's Fiction|Tags: , , |2 Comments


invisible-ellen-coverReviewed by Kathie Smith

Ellen’s only wish in life is to be completely unnoticed by everyone. A traumatic childhood taught her that keeping to herself is the safest way to avoid the pain and humiliation others have always poured on her. She has accomplished her goal. People look straight through her at the bus stop, on the sidewalk and on the rare visit to a store. She has her groceries delivered and, aside from her night shift job, rarely leaves her studio apartment. The one hobby Ellen has developed is writing about people she sees and the things they do in her notebook. She writes mostly about random events, but she keeps detailed information about the neighbors she can see from her window.

A spontaneous decision to get off at the same bus stop as a woman who seems to be the complete opposite