The Little Lady Agency
Book Review / May 24, 2016

Title: The Little Lady Agency Series: The Little Lady Agency, #1 Author: Hester Browne Genre: Chick Lit Publisher: Gallery Books Release Date: September 5th, 2006 Format: eBook Pages: 406 Source: Library Melissa Romney-Jones can bake a perfect sponge cake, type her little heart out, and plan a party blindfolded. But none of that has helped her get far in life or in love. When she gets fired — again — she decides to market her impeccable social skills to single men. To avoid embarrassing her father, a Member of Parliament, Melissa dons a blond wig and becomes Honey, a no-nonsense bombshell who helps clueless bachelors shop, entertain, and navigate social minefields. She even attends parties if a client needs a “date.” But when a dashing American starts to request Honey’s services on a regular basis, it’s only a matter of time before Honey’s and Melissa’s worlds collide…. Amazon I am not one to typically read Chick-Lit. I just can’t relate to much of it; I didn’t grow up with a lot of female friends, so I don’t understand a lot of the clichés personally. But, that doesn’t mean it can’t be fun, pop lit. Particularly when you are spending a…

The Murder of Roger Ackroyd
Book Review / April 25, 2016

Title: The Murder of Roger Ackroyd Series: Hercule Poirot, #4 Author: Agatha Christie Genre: Mystery Publisher: Black Dog & Leventhal Publishers Release Date: September 1st, 2006 Format: Hardback Pages: 288 Source: Library First Published: June 1926 In the village of King’s Abbot, a widow’s sudden suicide sparks rumors that she murdered her first husband, was being blackmailed, and was carrying on a secret affair with the wealthy Roger Ackroyd. The following evening, Ackroyd is murdered in his locked study–but not before receiving a letter identifying the widow’s blackmailer. King’s Abbot is crawling with suspects, including a nervous butler, Ackroyd’s wayward stepson, and his sister-in-law, Mrs. Cecil Ackroyd, who has taken up residence in the victim’s home. It’s now up to the famous detective Hercule Poirot, who has retired to King’s Abbot to garden, to solve the case of who killed Roger Ackroyd–a task in which he is aided by the village doctor and narrator, James Sheppard, and by Sheppard’s ingenious sister, Caroline. The Murder of Roger Ackroyd is the book that made Agatha Christie a household name and launched her career as a perennial bestseller. Originally published in 1926, it is a landmark in the mystery genre. It was in the…

Delilah Dirk and the Turkish Lieutenant
Book Review / April 23, 2016

Title: Delilah Dirk and the Turkish Lieutenant Series: Delilah Dirk, #1 Author: Tony Cliff Genre: Historical Fiction Publisher: First Second Release Date: August 27th, 2013 Format: Paperback Pages: 169 Source: Library Illustrator: Tony Cliff Lovable ne’er-do-well Delilah Dirk has travelled to Japan, Indonesia, France, and even the New World. Using the skills she’s picked up on the way, Delilah’s adventures continue as she plots to rob a rich and corrupt Sultan in Constantinople. With the aid of her flying boat and her newfound friend, Selim, she evades the Sultan’s guards, leaves angry pirates in the dust, and fights her way through the countryside. For Delilah, one adventure leads to the next in this thrilling and funny installment in her exciting life. A little bit Tintin, a little bit Indiana Jones, Delilah Dirk is a great pick for any reader looking for a smart and foolhardy heroine…and globetrotting adventures. (via Goodreads) Amazon   Thanks to a friend’s recommendation that I read Nursery Rhyme Comics: 50 Timeless Rhymes, a collection of comic book art interpretations of common nursery rhymes, I was introduced to the publishing company First Second. As this collection featured some beautiful art, I knew I had to learn more about this…

Lone Wolf and Cub, Vol. 5: Black Wind
Book Review / April 21, 2016

Title: Lone Wolf and Cub, Vol. 5: Black Wind Series: Lone Wolf and Cub, #5 Author: Kazuo Koike Genre: Graphic Novel Publisher: Dark Horse Manga Release Date: February 13th, 2001 Format: Paperback Pages: 228 Source: Library Illustrator: Goeski Kojima First Published: January 30th, 1997 This volume contains five powerful, classic tales of the assassin Itto Ogami, the Lone Wolf, as he continues his journey to hell. The Yagyu clan, fearful of the growing legend surrounding Lone Wolf, has decided to protect itself by sending its own assassin after him, and later pit the greatest swordsman of a rival clan against him. Also, Lone Wolf must face the leader of a bounty-hunting gang who seeks revenge against Ogami for slaying his young lord years ago, and a master gunsmith who values the art of warfare above all else and will change his life forever. Don’t miss a single volume of the acclaimed epic series that belongs on every bookshelf: Lone Wolf and Cub. (via Goodreads) Amazon Volume 5: In which we begin to really see that Ogami Itto is a flesh and blood man. I’m not trying to be sarcastic or condescending here. I’m serious. For 4 volumes we have watched Itto…

Sarah, Plain and Tall
Book Review / April 7, 2016

Title: Sarah, Plain and Tall Series: Sarah, Plain and Tall, #1 Author: Patricia MacLachlan Genre: Historical Fiction Publisher: Harper & Row Release Date: April 1st, 1985 Format: Paperback Pages: 64 Source: Library “I will come by train. I will wear a yellow bonnet. I am plain and tall.” A heartwarming story about two children, Anna and Caleb, whose lives are changed forever when their widowed papa advertises for a mail-order bride. Sarah Elisabeth Wheaton from Maine answers the ad and agrees to come for a month. Sarah brings gifts from the sea, a cat named Seal, and singing and laughter to the quiet house. But will she like it enough to stay? Anna and Caleb wait and wonder — and hope. (via Goodreads) Amazon     As part of a quest to read all the Newbery Medal and Honor winners, I knew I’d have to re-read some books I read as a child. Darn. That sounds terrible. Just kidding. In conjunction with a re-read challenge, my first Newbery for this year is Sarah, Plain and Tall. The first time I read it, I remember being mesmerized by the “exotic” lifestyle of living in Wyoming on a farm. I grew up…

Blood Bound
Book Review / March 29, 2016

Title: Blood Bound Series: Mercy Thompson, #2 Author: Patricia Briggs Genre: Urban Fantasy Publisher: Ace Release Date: January 20th, 2007 Format: eBook Pages: 306 Source: Owned Under the rule of science, there are no witch burnings allowed, no water trials or public lynchings. In return, the average law-abiding, solid citizen has little to worry about from the things that go bump in the night. Sometimes I wish I was an average citizen… Mechanic Mercy Thompson has friends in low places-and in dark ones. And now she owes one of them a favor. Since she can shapeshift at will, she agrees to act as some extra muscle when her vampire friend Stefan goes to deliver a message to another of his kind. But this new vampire is hardly ordinary-and neither is the demon inside of him. (via Goodreads) Amazon   Like Moon Called, the second Mercy Thompson novel, Blood Bound is establishing the series as a strong urban fantasy meets mystery series. I find these books very similar to the Sookie Stackhouse books I’ve read before (and probably a dozen other series I haven’t read yet, in all honesty…). If you are looking for a kick-ass strong female protagonist who deals…

Moon Called
Book Review / March 19, 2016

Title: Moon Called Series: Mercy Thompson, #1 Author: Patricia Briggs Genre: Urban Fantasy Publisher: Ace Release Date: January 31st, 2006 Format: eBook Pages: 288 Source: Borrowed – Rebecca Mercedes “Mercy” Thompson is a talented Volkswagen mechanic living in the Tri-Cities area of Washington. She also happens to be a walker, a magical being with the power to shift into a coyote at will. Mercy’s next-door neighbor is a werewolf. Her former boss is a gremlin. And she’s fixing a bus for a vampire. This is the world of Mercy Thompson, one that looks a lot like ours but is populated by those things that go bump in the night. And Mercy’s connection to those things is about to get her into some serious hot water… (via Goodreads) Amazon Confession: I tend to shy away from paranormal books. Not because I am afraid of the content in them (monsters and such; because I am a BIG BABY. Everything scares me), but because I’m afraid I will love them. Not love like I LOVE Illuminae. No, love in the sense of gobble down an entire series of urban fantasy in a weekend and wonder where my time went. Well, my time went…

The Island of the Blue Dolphins
Book Review / March 11, 2016

Title: The Island of the Blue Dolphins Series: The Island of the Blue Dolphins, #1 Author: Scott O'Dell Genre: Historical Fiction Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers Release Date: October 29th, 1990 Format: Hardback Pages: 192 Source: Library Illustrator: Ted Levin First Published: 1960 Far off the coast of California looms a harsh rock known as the island of San Nicholas. Dolphins flash in the blue waters around it, sea otter play in the vast kep beds, and sea elephants loll on the stony beaches. Here, in the early 1800s, according to history, an Indian girl spent eighteen years alone, and this beautifully written novel is her story. It is a romantic adventure filled with drama and heartache, for not only was mere subsistence on so desolate a spot a near miracle, but Karana had to contend with the ferocious pack of wild dogs that had killed her younger brother, constantly guard against the Aleutian sea otter hunters, and maintain a precarious food supply. More than this, it is an adventure of the spirit that will haunt the reader long after the book has been put down. Karana’s quiet courage, her Indian self-reliance and acceptance of fate, transform what to…

The Gunslinger
Book Review / March 9, 2016

Title: The Gunslinger Series: The Dark Tower, #1 Author: Stephen King Genre: Dark Science Fiction Publisher: Penguin Group New American Library Signet Release Date: June 23rd, 2003 Format: Hardback Pages: 299 Source: Library First Published: June 10th, 1982 Beginning with a short story appearing in The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction in 1978, the publication of Stephen King’s epic work of fantasy — what he considers to be a single long novel and his magnum opus — has spanned a quarter of a century. Set in a world of extraordinary circumstances, filled with stunning visual imagery and unforgettable characters, The Dark Tower series is King’s most visionary feat of storytelling, a magical mix of science fiction, fantasy, and horror that may well be his crowning achievement. Book I In The Gunslinger (originally published in 1982), King introduces his most enigmatic hero, Roland Deschain of Gilead, the Last Gunslinger. He is a haunting, solitary figure at first, on a mysterious quest through a desolate world that eerily mirrors our own. Pursuing the man in black, an evil being who can bring the dead back to life, Roland is a good man who seems to leave nothing but death in his wake. This new edition of The Gunslinger has…

Lone Wolf and Cub, Vol. 4: The Bell Warden
Book Review / February 25, 2016

Title: Lone Wolf and Cub, Vol. 4: The Bell Warden Series: Lone Wolf and Cub, #4 Author: Kazuo Koike Genre: Graphic Novel Publisher: Dark Horse Manga Release Date: January 9th, 2001 Format: Paperback Pages: 311 Source: Library Illustrator: Goseki Kojima First Published: 1995 Dark Horse continues its presentation of the entirety of Japan’s Lone Wolf and Cub, one of the unquestioned landmarks of graphic fiction, packaged in the digest format preferred by creator Goseki Kojima. The fourth volume of this ambitious monthly program collects four classic Lone Wolf tales, including one never before seen in America, where little Daigoro searches for his lost father while amazing a well-known samurai with his warrior’s eyes and cool demeanor. Also, the Lone Wolf takes on the sons of the war-bell warden, legions of organized crime bosses, and a mysterious tattooed lady with a dark story and impeccable killing skills. It’s bloody and romantic…and among the best the comics medium has to offer. (via Goodreads) Amazon   The fourth volume of Lone Wolf and Cub really started to catch my attention. Like the previous volumes, this contains 4 stories continuing the tale of ronin Ogami Itto and his son Diagoro as they wander Edo-period…

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