Book Review: What Remains of Me by Alison Gaylin

When Kelly Lund was 17 she committed murder, she became America’s Sociopath with her “Mona Lisa Smile” the day of the conviction. Kelly spend 25 years in prison, quietly accepting her punishment. She never provided a reasons for killing famous director John McFadden.

Upon completion of her 25 year sentence, Kelly left the prison with her husband Shane Marshall. Shane was the younger brother of Kelly’s dearest friend Bellamy, both Shane and Bellamy were Hollywood Royalty. Kelly has acclimated, somewhat, to post-prison life until her father-in-law is killed in the same manner as John McFadden.

What Remains of Me switches back and forth from current day to the time of the original murder. Kelly gives no hint to her innocence or guilt, the reader just comes along for the ride.  

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Book Review: Hidden Bodies by Caroline Kepnes

Once again we follow the journey of the lovable serial killer Joe Goldberg. Joe has moved on from Beck, knowing now that Beck was NOT the girl for him. The girl for him is Amy Adam.

We met Amy briefly in You, she was the gal who came in with a stolen credit card. Joe is completely in love with Amy and Amy is completely fucking over Joe.

Joe’s intense rage regarding the betrayal of Amy Adam takes him across the country to Los Angeles, leaving a trail of bodies in his wake.

You was such an amazing read, even though Hidden Bodies is good, its no You. Worth the read but doesn’t have to be on top of the to-read pile.

Hidden Bodies is available for sale on February 23rd. 

Book Review: Furiously Happy by Jenny Lawson

Those who know me, know that I love Jenny Lawson aka The Bloggess. I find her whimsical and ludicrous and her stories turn me into a giggling pre-teen. Lawson has an amazing gift of sharing both light and dark stories with humor. We commiserate with her, we laugh with her, but we don't pity her.

Let's Pretend This Never Happened, Lawson's first book, had a lighter vibe to it. It was a general look-how-crazy-my-life-is book, and it was delightful. Furiously Happy has a more serious subject matter of depression and anxiety; however, the book does not lose the whimsy that we read in Lawson's first book. I too suffer from these disorders, its incredibly difficult to explain how I feel to people, but now I have a book to point them too. 

Bookish Stuff

BBC has just announced the adaptation of His Dark Materials into a series. 

Not only is this exciting because BBC does TV well and that His Dark Materials is one of my trilogies, but also because of the huge disappointment from the 2006 Golden Compass movie. 

There hasn't been a release date yet, but damn its exciting. 

Book Review: The Beautiful Bureaucrat by Helen Phillips

Josephine and her husband, Joseph, have recently moved into a metropolitan area. Joseph has been working for about a month now, but Josephine hasn’t had much luck.

As we meet her, she’s interviewing for a low level position in a large organization. Her interviewer asks her strange and personal questions about her life. She cannot tell what her interviewer looks like, cannot even tell if they are a man or a woman. All Josephine sees is a large pair of glasses; the smell on the other hand, gives this character the moniker of Person with Bad Breath. Her awkward interview turns into an awkward offer and she rushes home to tell Joseph the good news.

She didn’t have to make it all the way home before she saw Joseph… on the futon… on the sidewalk…along with all of their possessions. Joseph and Josephine spend the rest of the book hopping from sublet to sublet. Josephine starts her new job, shortly after Joseph becomes more distant…

Ok, I’m doing an awful job explaining this book. Yes, the plot is simple, but it’s the writing that’s amazing. Phillip's writing is what would you expect of George Orwell. It was near-impossible to put down this book, I devoured it in two days. The author does such an amazing job of explain the soul-sucking business world that we deal with, that it’s haunting and uncomfortable.

This is a must-read.

Favorite Quote:

“A toast. To bureaucrats with boring office jobs. May we never discuss them at home.”

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Book Review: Fables Vol. 22: Farewell by Bill Willingham

When I first started my love affair with graphic novels, I went for the safe picks, like Sandman by Neil Gaiman and anything by Alan Moore. I already knew that I loved Gaiman, so therefore Sandman, Sandman created an intense passion for graphic novels, I wanted more. Gaiman loves Alan Moore so therefore Watchmen, V for Vendetta, From Hell, etc. Then one day at the library, I came across Fables Vol 1, and decided to give it a shot. As I developed my tastes in comics, there was always Fables. I wasn’t an early follower of the series, I started reading in about 2010 but a six year relationship with this characters is nothing to scoff at. So being given the opportunity to review the final Fables graphic novel is an honor and sadness wrapped up in one.

WAIT… if you haven’t read Fables, go to your library now, pick up the first few trade paperbacks and enjoy.

Ok, I’ll assume at this point that the folks reading are up to date in the story. When we last left the Fables universe, Rose Red and Snow White were preparing for a war against each other. Neither seemed to actually want the war, it was being imposed upon them, by a force revealed in Vol. 22. Bigby is back from being shattered into a million pieces from Snow’s first husband, however, there is a missing piece through which he is being controlled. He’s roaming around the streets of New York as a feral, deadly killer. In addition to being a danger to the mundies physically, his presence is creating holes in the protective spells that allow Fabletown to be invisible. Finally, the mundies are aware of the presence that has lived among them for generations.

As we pick back up, there is a hodge-podge of activity in the book. Bigby returns to Wolf Manner to kill the cubs. Snow White and Rose Red are on the eve of war with each other. Rose Red learns of the family curse that requires only one sister to live. The action of this book clears up in the first half, then we are told various endings of other fables. This allows the reader to have as much closure as possible. I really enjoyed the ending to this series, it wasn’t all happiness or all sadness, it felt true to the saga.

Fables Vol. 22: Farewell is on sale today. 

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Audio Book Review Quickie: The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood

The Handmaid's Tale is by far one of my favorite books. I've read it several times and decided to listen to the audio book. At first, though a fan, I was hesitant to listen to Claire Danes narrate this book. Not only because its so near and dear to my heart, but also because celebrity narrators, often are cast not because they are good narrators, but because they are celebrities. 

Claire Danes was amazing. Absolutely amazing. She drew me in so completely, that I understood aspects of the book that I never had before. 

I'm so glad, that I didn't miss out on this. 

Book Review: Dexter is Dead by Jeff Lindsay

Jeff Lindsay promised us a definitive end to the Dexter chronicles, and he did deliver.

Dexter is currently in prison after being falsely accused of murder. Say that again?? Yes, he’s finally in prison for murder, but murders that he didn’t commit, including the death of the dearly tolerated departed Rita. 

Dexter is alone in prison, awaiting his day in court. His friends at the police force have turned their backs on him, including, Deborah. Now that Dexter is of no use to Deborah, she sees no reason for him to not serve time for the crimes that he committed, though not the crimes that he is charged for. 

However, Brian - my favorite character - comes to the rescue. Is this to show brotherly love? Or, does Dexter serve more of a purpose to him outside of jail? 




I really enjoyed the lead up to the end of this series. I loved that Dexter and Brian finally got to spend some quality time together. The ending was incredibly depressing to me. Not because Dexter died, that was one of two options we were given from the beginning, its the way in which he died. I expected more. I expected him to die in a bigger way. And maybe thats the point, life is fragile … yadda yadda. 

Still a better ending than the Showtime version…. (burn). 

Dexter is Dead is ON SALE NOW! 

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Book Review Quickie: Dexter's Final Cut

The final Dexter book, Dexter is Dead is set to release on July 7, 2015. I recently reviewed book 6 of the Dexter series. Today, to continue the Dexter countdown, I have reviewed book 7, Dexter's Final Cut.

Dexter and Deborah haven’t been given much of a choice. When Captain Matthews gives an order, they must comply. The current order is a curious one… they have to babysit two actors.

A new cop drama is filming in Miami, Jackie Forrest will play a strong, female detective and Robert Chase will play the forensics nerd. Dexter hates Robert Chase, he hates every moment with him. He would much rather be with Jackie Forrest, does our little Dexter have a crush??

Dexter gets his wish and is assigned, by Deborah, as a off-the-books-bodyguard for Jackie Forrest. Turns out Dexter likes the life of a Hollywood star. 

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Blog Tour and eBook Giveaway: If Jack Had by Steven Rappaport

Hi all! The fine folks at Black Rose Writing are offering an eBook giveaway of the new book If Jack Had. First comment wins the book, contest ends on Friday June 26 at 11:59pm. 

 "What's the difference between a serial killer and an assassin? A pay check."

Jack is a Pulitzer Prize-winning New York Times journalist with a secret second job. Since he was a smart-ass grad student slinking around New York’s Upper West Side and Brighton Beach, he’s been working as an assassin for the Russian mob.

Beginning at the end – that is, with an aged, incontinent, and at last truly alone Jack, his mind made up that tomorrow will be the first day he kills someone he loves: himself – If Jack Had [Black Rose Writing, June 4 2015] tells his story in rearview, providing an all-access-pass into the enviable, high-flying life he clear-cut for himself against all odds…and the (literal) trail of dead he left along the way.

The debut novel from sixty-eight-year-old Manhattan author Steve Rappaport, If Jack Had is, much like its protagonist, more than meets the eye. A caper comedy featuring sex and drugs, blasphemy and blood, far-flung exotic locales and all the other stuff that makes for good, not-so-clean fun, If Jack Had also happens to have a big, beating heart. Beneath the surface, it’s a meditation on family, fatherhood, the indignities of aging, the inevitability of loneliness, and the preciousness of life itself.

About the Author:

Steven Rappaport, age 68, has been a stock trader, pot dealer, itinerant hippie peddler, cab driver, retailer, and is currently a successful commercial real estate salesperson in Manhattan. He offers a simple rationale for his first novel: “My eldest son, Jack, died at forty from a progressively debilitating, unknown neurological disorder. This brilliant boy, a Vassar grad, never got to live the life he deserved. I’ve infused him with one.”

If Jack Had [Black Rose Writing] is available as of June 4, 2015.

Find If Jack Had on Goodreads and at http://ifjackhad.com

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