By Mark Shimmoeller
Synandra Press, $14.95, 322 pages
What happens when a boy raised in a log cabin, a boy more comfortable with solar cookers, compost toilets, and homegrown food than television, decides to take to the open roads on his unicycle, journeying from North Carolina to Arizona? What does he make of modern America? What does modern America make of him?
This is the central arc – but by no means the only arc – of Slowspoke, Mark Schimmoeller’s musings on life from a slightly higher and wobblier position. He chronicles not only his two-part trip across America, but his life story, that of …
By John Henry Fleming
Burrow Press, $15.99, 176 pages
The Cloud Reader finds answers in the clouds. But, when a thick blanket of fog rolls into town, will he be able to answer a father’s questions about the fate of his young daughter? If you can just keep driving, could you escape the pain of a tragic event in your past? Maybe, but if you see a young girl floating on the side of the road, without touching the ground, you might want to stop. When a boy’s voice is so beautiful it can make everyone stop what they’re doing to listen, does it …
By Lauren Oliver
HarperCollins, $17.99, 416 pages
Lauren Oliver has written quite a bit since bursting on the young adult scene in 2010 with Before I Fall a book with a small twist of fantasy that was interesting and well written enough that it made me eager to read her dystopian trilogy Delirium. I thoroughly enjoyed that series. After two middle-grade books, she has delivered Panic, a stand-alone that is grounded entirely in current-day reality.
In the rundown town of Carp, freshly-graduated high school students play a secretive “game” every summer in which they are challenged to scary stunts to see who can outlast the others …
By Elisabeth de Waal, Edmund de Waal, Foreword
Picador, $26.00, 336 pages
Within the foreword by Edmund de Waal, author of The Hare With Amber Eyes and grandson of the author, is a brief recapitulation of the de Waal family history and their forced exodus from Vienna due to the Nazi takeover leading to WWII. This unpublished novel was found among his grandmother’s papers in 2005. The story itself evokes the mood and aura of post-war Vienna, both city and residents trying to recover from the past devastation. Having survived as a refugee, Elizabeth de Waal’s has keen insight into the mentality of the people …
By Vanessa Blakeslee
Burrow Press, $15.99, 150 pages
A young boy has been violent since his father’s imprisonment, so when his mother sees him playing with a rabbit, she hopes it’s a good sign. But, she discovers he has other plans for the rabbit, and her. The Princess of Pop is lonely and unsatisfied with her fame. She finds comfort in listening to Janis Joplin’s music while at the same hotel where Janis died. Is it a coincidence, or does she have other intentions? A woman spends her time rescuing dogs. When someone steals her favorite, she takes a serious look at her life …
By Amanda Briggs-Goode, Editor, Deborah Dean, Editor
Black Dog Publishing, $19.95, 96 pages
Lace: Here: Now focuses on the history of lace, particularly Nottingham lace. But you won’t find any mention of Robin Hood here; no, this history of lace begins in the 1700s, when machine-made lace had just been invented. Lace-making is a topic that most people probably have not given much thought, but it is a complex and time-consuming process that will give everyone a new appreciation for the people, designs and machinery involved. In addition, the latter half of the book discusses the designers behind contemporary lace patterns and how these designers …
By Gyles Brandreth
Oxford University Press, USA, $35.00, 512 pages
Fishing. Idleness. The countryside. Royalty. Romance. Whether you’re an author or a speechwriter, a student writing an essay or a constructor searching for a quote to embed in your puzzle, great quotations can be hard to find, even with the Internet at your fingertips. There’s always that one quote that sums it up perfectly, and you always need to track it down in a hurry.
Thankfully, the fifth edition of the Oxford Dictionary of Humorous Quotations is here to handle all of your pithy quotation needs. Organized by subject, but indexed by both speaker and keywords …
By Lynsay Sands
Avon, $7.99, 384 pages
Sands’ latest novel follows Basha Argeneau, a rogue vampire who travels with various carnivals as a fortune teller. She’s on the run from Lucian Argeneau, who wants to hold her accountable for her son’s actions. Basha meets Marcus, and they discover they’re life mates. Basha is torn between wanting to stay on the run and wanting to be with Marcus.
While the ending is somewhat happy, don’t expect to be satisfied. The story just kind of dropped off, without any real conclusion. Although Sands’ new book managed to keep me entertained, some of the dialogue comes off as …
By Laura Kaye
Avon, $5.99, 384 pages
Hard As You Can, the second book in the “Hard Ink” series, picks up right where the first book leaves off. The team is in search of answers of the mystery surrounding Merritt’s involvement in the ambush in Afghanistan, and why career criminals are now pursuing his children, Becca and Charlie. In this volume, we learn more about Shane as he attempts to get closer to Crystal, a waitress at the strip club Confessions. Not only does he want to get closer in order to get information she might have about the Church organization, but he believes …
By Paul Martin
Prometheus Books, $18.95, 295 pages
How often have we been scared witless by some movie villain—Hannibal Lector, Freddy Krueger, and the like? The old saying goes “truth is stranger than fiction.” But that doesn’t go far enough. Truth is more evil than any screenwriter can dream up, at least not without the help and inspiration of real villains. This fascinating little book is filled with well-researched and very well-written accounts of twenty-eight exceptionally nasty people.
“This nightmare figure, this beast, was 45-year-old Ed Gein, a local handyman and loner whose twisted thoughts and horrid desires churned in his mind like a pot …