Books

Books

Fri
15
Jun

Geek Goddesses Inhabit Alvarado's Cosplay Pin-ups Photography

Alvarado's Cosplay Pin-ups

I'd like to think that cosplay started simply enough; that fans saw a character, realized they could make themselves look like that character, then surprise their friends and fellow fans at conventions by showing up in imitation of that character. I'd like to think that this came first, before cosplay became inartfully synonymous with fetish photography and roleplay sexuality, but they probably happened nearly concurrently, as certainly some of the costumes couldn't exist in real life without being conforming, revealing, and fetishistic.

Wed
06
Jun

A Journey of Discovery at Core of Weil's 806

806 by Cynthia Weil

If you did not know who your biological father was, would you break the law to find out?  How far would you go?

Katie, or KT, is a teenager who wants to know her biological father.  Her mother, Kim, finally tells Katie where to find, who Katie believes to be, her biological father.  Truth be told, Katie learns her mother and father used a sperm donor: Donor 806.  Through social media, Katie learns of two boys who are also recipients of Donor 806.

The three of them set out on a journey together to find their biological father.  Their experiences are enjoyable, worrisome, and amusing.  Imagine three extremely different teenagers, from three very different homes, on limited funds, driving together to find a man who does not necessarily want to be found or know “his kids” are seeking him out.  All three teenagers have very strong, but different, reasons for wanting to find their biological father.

Mon
04
Jun

Gerald Welch talks Legacy with Critical Blast

Having grown up in Jersey City and spending most of my working life in Newark, New Jersey, I have always had a great love and respect for Warren Murphy’s The Destroyer series. Warren himself was born in Jersey City, and his most iconic character, Remo Williams, started out as a Newark cop. Don’t tell Chiun I called Remo more iconic than him, he would not appreciate that at all….

I had lost track of the series over the years, but I was definitely curious when I heard that Warren Murphy had developed a spin-off called Legacy with Jerry Welch. I immediately fell in love with Legacy. Freya and Stone are terrific characters, and in just a few short books, Murphy and Welch have managed to expand the world of The Destroyer in some brilliant new ways. Jerry has been wonderful about answering any questions I have had about the series over the last few years, and I was glad to be able to sit down with him and do a full form interview.

Fri
01
Jun

Cirsova, Little Rocket Team Up to Publish WILD STARS III: WARMAGEDDON

Wild Stars III Time Warmageddon

Cirsova Publishing has teamed up with Little Rocket Publications on the eve of the 35th anniversary of Michael Tierney’s Wild Stars® to publish a special edition of WILD STARS III: TIME WARMAGEDDON.

Faster-than-light scouts are arriving at distant suns to discover that they have been “replaced” by white dwarfs and their planets have gone missing… Terraformers find a world that shows signs of previous human colonization: who were those people and where did they go? The saga of the Wild Stars continues as former-President Bully Bravo seeks to solve these mysteries while pursued by an evil pirate queen and a rogue time-traveler trying to create a god.

Tue
22
May

Mystery, Intrigue and Friendships Drive Piontek's Spirit of Cattail County

Spirit of Cattail County

Sparrow Dalton is a 12-year-old girl living in the small town of Beulah. Her mother has just died, and to make matters more difficult, she never knew who her father was.  Sparrow’s aunt (her mother’s sister) has come to live at Dalton House to take care of Sparrow. Auntie Geraldine is strict, does not like Beulah, and Sparrow thinks she hates her. 

Mon
21
May

Wild Wild Weasel a Fun Fun Book

Wild Wild Weasel

Wild Wild Weasel begins with a young boy and his best friend and pet, Weasel.  Sadly, his parents have rules for his pet because they think Weasel is just a wild animal.

When the boy receives a school assignment to write about something he learned in a book, he decides to read a book that would help him train Weasel to be more obedient.  Unfortunately, he cannot find a book at the library, but he is not discouraged.  He knows Weasel is talented, but he has to find a way to show others.

The boy decides to take Weasel to a pet training class.  Others in the class have pets like lizards, snakes, pigs, and butterflies.  The boy and Weasel do not graduate, even though the boy had high expectations they would be #1 in the class.  But Weasel continued to be wild during the class, and the boy left class very sad.

Fri
18
May

Bellin's ECOSYSTEM Beautifully Served, Bitter to Swallow

Ecosystem

​Imagine a sentient, hostile world focused on the destruction of all human life. In Joshua David Bellin's ECOSYSTEM, Mother Earth has rejected her evil human inhabitants, driving them near extinction. Only small pockets of humanity remain, having evolved to combat their inevitable destruction by becoming "in tune" to the language of nature--a language that requires using previously untapped human abilities, a sixth sense requiring extreme mental energy, emotional control, and physical exertion. This "Force of Nature" is the only gift that allows humanity to exist on the planet. These highly gifted individuals serve important roles in the community, taking back from nature what it previously provided, such as food, wood, shelter, and other natural elements used for the benefit of mankind.

Tue
08
May

What If You Really Got Into a Good Book? Anna Day's THE FANDOM

The Fandom

In Anna Day's THE FANDOM, the characters are obsessed with a novel by Sally King titled The Gallows Dance, which has a huge following. The novel has been developed into a movie, and the characters are included in Comic-Con.

Violet and her best friends, Alice and Katie, have their costumes and are extremely excited about attending Comic-Con.  Violet’s younger brother, Nate, is also a big fan and goes along with them. Alice is a fan-fic writer who likes changing the plot of The Gallows Dance, because no sequel has been written: Sally King has killed herself.

Mon
30
Apr

Reinventing Pink Floyd Packed with Enough Info to Leave You Comfortably Numb

Reinventing Pink Floyd

REINVENTING PINK FLOYD, published by Roman & Littlefield, is written by Bill Kopp, who, as the book denotes, is a lifelong music enthusiast, musician, collector and, since the 90s, a music journalist. The book covers the Pink Floyd's history from the time founding member Syd Barrett left the band in 1968 through the release of the album DARK SIDE OF THE MOON in 1973, detailing how the band members interacted, grew, and evolved along the way.

For those only familiar with Pink Floyd from DSotM, it may be hard to grasp why someone would write a book concerning such a narrow, though important, time frame, when everything they did since kind of went along the same path. But as you dig into early Floyd and listen to the music from that time period, you realize the music was indeed very different pre-DSotM, as with THE PIPER AT THE GATES OF DAWN, A SAUCERFUL OF SECRETS, ATOM HEART MOTHER, and others, highlighting the eccentricities of the group's leader, Syd Barrett.

Wed
11
Apr

Dixon, Smith Lampoon Clintons in Graphic Adaptation of Peter Schwiezer Takedown Book

Clinton Cash GN

The modern political landscape is a labyrinthe so torturous and dizzying that those who live outside it are often happy they do not understand it. Ignorance, after all, is bliss, and those who do completely understand the inner workings of the machine never seem all that happy about having the knowledge.

For all the misery that comes with political knowledge, there sure are a lot of books on the subjects -- and an awful lot of people buying them, depending on the season. Case in point: Peter Schwiezer's point-by-point takedown of the Clinton Foundation during the 2016 campaign, which was greatly anticipated, hotly debated, and, now, nearly antiquated (such is the speed of the news cycle).

While much was made of the anecdotes relating to UraniumOne, Rosatom, and Ericsson, the overall gist of the book was to demonstrate a pattern of enrichment, following the players and the flow of money across a blurred-line overlap of political favors and charitable donations. 

Mon
09
Apr

The Hall Monitors are Fired, Leaving Eerie Elementary Students at Risk!

Eerie Elementary #8

Orson Eerie found a way to live forever -- by embuing his soul into the building and grounds of Eerie Elementary School. Unfortunately, he needs to feed his power by (gulp) eating students! Only the hall monitors have historically stood in his way, and the current batch of hall monitors -- Sam, Lucy and Antonio -- have thus far been able to thwart every evil plan the school has concocted.

Now, with the annual kickball competition on the horizon, Orson Eerie finds a way to eliminate his opposition, by doing little things to teachers when the hall monitors are around to make it look like the hall monitors are misbehaving or acting disrespectful. Events conspire to make them late for class, or doors slam in the faces of teachers. It's enough to get the hall monitors fired!

Wed
04
Apr

A Night Divided by Jennifer A. Nielsen

A Night Divided by Jennifer Nielsen

The Berlin Wall is built overnight splitting Berlin in half.  Gerta remains in communist East Berlin with her mother and older brother, Fritz, where the government and rules are very strict.  Gerta’s father and her other brother, Dominic, are caught on the democratic western side while visiting.  To Gerta, the western side of Berlin represents freedom and independent thinking.

Will Gerta’s family ever be reunited?

Wed
21
Mar

Celebrating 65 Years of the White House with Wings, Air Force One

Air Force One 65 Year Anniversary

Technically, "Air Force One" is the designation for any airplane that carries the President of the United States -- although when we hear the phrase, it is generally in reference to one of  two specially modified Boeing 747 jumbo jets. Even when the Presidents began flying, the designation went from Guess Where II and Sacred Cow (both with FDR), Independence (with Truman) and Columbine I and II (for Eisenhower) before it finally settled, sixty-five years ago, on the Air Force One call sign.

Now Robert F. Dorr and Nicholas A. Veronico have compiled not just a photographic historical retrospective of the various plans that have filled the role, but also a unique collection of anecdotes surrounding the evolution of the planes, missions they have flown, and other various methods of air travel for Presidents.

Mon
19
Mar

John Oliver takes aim at Mike Pence in "A Day in the Life of Marlon Bundo"

Note: This review is for the Audible version.

Mon
12
Mar

5 with 806 Author Cynthia Weil

Cynthia Weil

If you're not familiar with the name Cynthia Weil, you're almost certainly familiar with her work, with Grammy-winning songs like "Somewhere Out There" from AN AMERICAN TAIL, or perhaps that classic Righteous Brothers song (or Tom Cruise song, depending on your outlook), "You've Lost That Lovin' Feeling."

Weil is also a novelist of YA books, and her latest, 806, follows three biological siblings on a search for their father, known to them only as "Donor 806."

 

In the hit Broadway show—Beautiful, The Carole King Musical—many of your songs are included and you and your husband/cowriter, Barry Mann, are part of the show with actors portraying your young selves…how has that impacted your career?

Fri
23
Feb

POTUS Thump Takes Best Book Prize by a Hare

POTUS Thump Best Book 2017

The Best Book category was probably one of the closest, most hotly contested races of the entire Best of 2017 awards. And why shouldn't it be? Every nominee was an excellent title, as we let the genres and styles all battle it out for a single trophy. The YA and the SF, the adult books vs. the kids books -- if it had pages and was bound, it was a book and thus eligible for nomination.

When the dust settled, it was hard to tell the winner at first. The top five were clearly included Gerald Welch's SHATTERED PROPHECY (the latest in THE LAST WITNESS saga). However, pinning him down was David J. Pedersen's BURNING WITH ANGST (of Pedersen's ANGST series).

Wed
14
Feb

Are you a fidgeter like I am? This is the book for you!

Fidget: 101 Ways to Boost Your Creativity and Decrease Your Stress by Heather Fishel

Paperback - $14.99 ($10.99 on Amazon)

Tue
13
Feb

When Clod Makes a Friend, Pedersen Makes a Classic

Clod Makes a Friend

At the tender age of 9, young Clod's future is already written for him. It's not just that he's overly large and clumsy, but in a world where everyone has some magic, it is determined that Clod has none. That's the decree of his teacher, the Learned Yugen, who thinks it best that Clod's mother prepare him for a life of menial labor. But the cruel headmaster is wrong: Clod does have magic, it's just magic that Yugen cannot sense, and when Yugen discovers that, things get even worse for Clod, as his label gets upgraded from "worthless" to "evil."

Bullied at school, Clod takes refuge with the clay his mother brings home daily after working. And in a fit of loneliness and longing, Clod makes a friend: literally. Ada is a small girl at first, made from clay but being so much more than that while she is alive. She lasts a while then turns to ash until Clod remakes her, each time a little better and a little bigger, and each time she lasts a little longer.

Mon
12
Feb

Hooray for Baby Monkey, Private Eye!

Some days, we all have a little trouble putting on our pants.

Meet Baby Monkey, Private Eye, the cutest little sleuth in the business and presented in a format that will entertain littles and literati alike. Caldecott medalist Brian Selznick (THE INVENTION OF HUGO CABRET, WONDERSTRUCK) teams with debut children's author David Serlin to launch a wonderful set of stories that are whimsically silly and chock-full of highbrow Easter eggs.

Baby Monkey's office is brimming with a different set of artwork and knick-knick nacks for each new adventure, themed to match the story. Older readers will appreciate this, even as they chuckle at Baby Monkey preparing for each job that is brought to him, said preparation always involving the important tasks of looking for clues, taking notes, eating a snack, and putting on pants.

Fri
09
Feb

Canterbury Classics Provide Shelf Appeal with New Bindings for Timeless Tales

Illustrated Classics

I grew up in books. They were all over the place. There were the slim hardbound Weekly Readers that regularly found their way into my collection. There were the dog-eared paperbacks in the classroom library. There were the well-read Readers' Digest anthologies and unabridged classics and Big Little Books and (yes) more comic books than a reasonable person could count (and I knew exactly how many there were).

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