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2018 Reading Challenge

2018 Reading Challenge
Jill Elizabeth has read 25 books toward her goal of 175 books.
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Book Review: The Island of the Mad by Laurie R. King

This is one of my all-time favorite Holmes spin-off series. In Laurie R. King’s oh-so-capable hands, the Great Detective is handled brilliantly – and his wife and co-conspirator, Mary Russell, is one of my favorite heroines in fiction. She is sassy, brilliant, and holds her own more than admirably as she matches – and shares – wits with her husband, Sherlock Holmes. It is extra impressive that King has managed to run this series well into double-digit books with so few missteps (the Pirate book aside) and with so many original and unique mysteries that cross so many borders (thematically, sociologically, geopolitically) and are consistently so entertaining. Continue reading Book Review: The Island of the Mad by Laurie R. King

Book Review: Full Moons, Dunes and Macaroons by Erin Johnson

This is such a cute series – I’ve reviewed all the books so far (you can search for them under Erin’s name in my Google bar above). I really like the baking angle and the Four Kingdoms world-within-the-world, and the characters are a fun blend of personalities and quirks that work well together. All that said, this book felt more political drama (albeit supernaturally so) than cozy mystery, and as such, wasn’t my favorite of the series…

The drama is heating up in the Water Kingdom, and with Prince Harry’s pending nuptials throwing Imogen into a tizzy, I expected a little more romantic hijinks and a little less oppressed-population-fighting-for-freedoms… Continue reading Book Review: Full Moons, Dunes and Macaroons by Erin Johnson

Book Review: Sharp by Michelle Dean

I am fascinated by the “early” woman thinkers – those women who developed a reputation for intellectual rigor and originality in a time (the early 1900s) when such domains were considered the exclusive property of men. I was familiar with nearly all of the phenomenally talented women in this collection – some more than others – but had no idea of the details of most of their lives, and was fascinated to see how the developed intellectually, creatively, and in their perspectives toward art, politics, and their place in the world. Continue reading Book Review: Sharp by Michelle Dean

Guest Book Review: The River by Starlight by Ellen Notbohm

Today I’m pleased to bring you Sharon’s review of “The River by Starlight” by Ellen Notbohm. I introduced you to Ellen’s thoughts and work recently with a guest post about writing. Now you can hear Sharon’s thoughts on Ellen’s writing – and then check out the book for yourself and let us know what you think! Enjoy…

The River by Starlight was is a lovely story of a woman’s fight to bear the still little-understood “post-partum blues.” With a delicate hand, Ellen delves into a disorder that the public – and, frankly, the women suffering through it – still largely fail to understand. The moods and mood swings, the disgrace and judgment, and the difficulties both internal and external that surround this disorder are explored and – to the extent possible – explained, in a manner that is touching and honest. Continue reading Guest Book Review: The River by Starlight by Ellen Notbohm

Q&A with Francis Levy, Author of Tombstone: Not a Western

Today I’m pleased to introduce you to author Francis Levy, whose new novel Tombstone: Not a Western is a comedic book about death, success, marriage, and the spirituality and funerary businesses. Sound intriguing? Wait until you read more about Levy – you’ll be doubly intrigued!

A Q&A with Francis Levy about Tombstone: Not a Western
Have you written about death before?
Yes, I did my own New Yorker obituary which appeared on the Op Ed page of the old New York Newsday laid out in New Yorker style type. Years ago, I also wrote a humor piece for The Village Voice called “Letters to the Obit Editor,” which were a series of irate letters, about decedents lives.

I also wrote a parody of Sherwin Nuland’s famous book on death and dying How We Die, for The Journal of Irreproducible Results. It was called “How We Die: My Worst Case,” about a patient who passed away with a total lack of dignity and acceptance, simply bawling about what
a raw deal he’d gotten. Continue reading Q&A with Francis Levy, Author of Tombstone: Not a Western

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