Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Book Review: Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta

Title: Jellicoe Road
Author: Melina Marchetta
Publisher: HarperTeen
Source: Library, Amy
Young Adult, Contemporary

At age eleven, Taylor Markham was abandoned by her mother. At fourteen, she ran away from boarding school, only to be tracked down and brought back by a mysterious stranger. Now seventeen, Taylor's the reluctant leader of her school's underground community, whose annual territory war with the Townies and visiting Cadets has just begun. This year, though, the Cadets are led by Jonah Griggs, and Taylor can't avoid his intense gaze for long. To make matters worse, Hannah, the one adult Taylor trusts, has disappeared. But if Taylor can piece together the clues Hannah left behind, the truth she uncovers might not just settle her past, but also change her future. (From GoodReads) 

So I have to say that the blurb does the book absolutely no justice, and the thing about Jellicoe Road is that there really isn't a description that could. 
Britney has been recommending this book to me for some time as it is her favorite book in the history of ever, and she got Amy to read it. Then I had the two of them telling me that I had to read it RIGHT NOW. They also gave me the warning I'm going to give to you: The first half of this books makes about zero sense. 

Trust me, the way it all falls together is totally worth the confusion you'll feel at the beginning.

And the middle.

Melina Marchetta's writing is superb. Even when you have no idea what's going on, her writing is poignant and beautiful. Not many authors can make the jumping back and forth in time thing work, but she does it brilliantly. Her characters are real and raw and painful and human. While her writing is in fact lyrical and flowing, every part of the story is relevant, either to what's happening in the present or to what's happened in the past. 

Taylor Markham is easily one of my favorite contemporary female leads. She is not easy to like. She is tough and complex and layered. She is unkind, except when she isn't. Life has dealt her a lot of blows and the way she responds to those blows and the way she reacts to the people in her life is very real. 

There's so much you can't say about this book because it would spoil the whole thing, which is a testament to how tightly written the book is. 

Jonah Griggs is amazing. He is completely flawed and his story is beautiful and heartbreaking. His interactions with Taylor are some of my favorites.  

And there's Santangelo and Raffy and the Five and Ben...gosh this book is beautiful. 

Here, I'll describe it like this. 

Reading this book at the beginning is like having your nose pressed against the painting Reflections of Clouds on the Water by Monet. You see beautiful colors, but it doesn't make any sense because all you can see is the space right in front of you. So you read a little bit more, take a step back, look left and right and see a little bit more. It's still a little fuzzy, but it's still beautiful. You keep reading, take more steps back and you see more and more. By the end, you're able to see the whole picture and it's magnificent and breathtaking. 

I won't lie, I didn't feel this way until over halfway through the book, around page 222, in fact. In talking to other people who have read it, they hit that "Oh. Oh I need to sit down for the rest of this" moment at different points. So just trust me. If you pick up this book and you're reading and reading and still have felt the magic, just wait. It'll happen. 

Melina Marchetta is adapting Jellicoe Road for a film. 

You can read more about how where they are in this process at her blog: 

I'd recommend this book to everyone.

There were three parts where I cried and I can't tell you about any of them because again, spoilers, but I will give you my favorite line. It doesn't seem like much without context, but it will stay with me.

I remember love.

Up next, I'm reading Swim That Rock and On the Wrong Track.


Sunday, May 4, 2014

Book Review: Holmes on the Range by Steven Hockensmith

Title: Holmes on the Range

Author: Steven Hockensmith
Series: Holmes on the Range #1
Publisher: Minotaur Books 
Source: Library; Recycled Books 
Adult, Mystery, Western

1893 is a tough year in Montana, and any job is a good job. When brothers Big Red and Old Red Amlingmeyer sign on as ranch hands at a secretive ranch, they’re not expecting much more than hard work, bad pay, and a few free moments to enjoy their favorite pastime: reading stories about Sherlock Holmes. When another hand turns up dead, Old Red sees the perfect opportunity to employ his Holmes-inspired “deducifyin’” skills and sets out to solve the case. Big Red, like it or not (and mostly he does not), is along for the wild ride in this clever, compelling, and completely one-of-a-kind mystery. (From GoodReads) 

I don't have the faintest idea why it took me so long to read this book. It's a western (which I love) and it's a mystery (which I love even more) and it's got a touch of Holmes (which I love the most) and it features a pair of detecting brothers, which always wins points with me. (I blame the Hardy Boys. And Simon & Simon.)

Holmes on the Range is told from Big Red's point of view. Also known as Otto, he's the younger, more educated brother of Old Red (Gustav) who is really not that old at all. They're the only family each other has left, so while they don't always see eye to eye, they stick with each other. So when Old Red lines up to take a job at the Bar VR ranch, Big Red begrudgingly gets in line with him. As they come to find out, this is precisely the moment things start to go terribly wrong.

This was a really fun read. It's got all the things you might expect from a western including cowboys, cattle (did you know such a thing as a cattalo existed?), a stampede, an outhouse, and interesting words like "deducifying". It's got everything you might expect from a mystery including a murder, make that more than one murder, sneaking about in the dark, mysterious gunshots, and plenty of red herrings. And a cannibal. Hockensmith infuses this romp with a healthy dose of humor. Some of the characters are a little bit canned, such as the maid and the pompous old Englishman, but you've also got some very clever plot twists and unexpected moments. There's also the Swedish chef, which had better be a Muppet reference, I'm just sayin'.

I adore both Gustav and Otto. I will admit that as a reader I had a little bit of a hard time connecting with Otto as the narrator. He spends most of his time observing Gustav observing the rest of the world, and he reminds the reader frequently that Gustav is the only family he has left. I guess I wanted more of him as a character. I also wanted more of Gustav, though, so what can you do?

Read the rest of the series, I suppose.

Holmes on the Range certainly passes the "will I read the next book in the series" test and I've already checked out On the Wrong Track from my local library.

According to Hockensmith's website, there are no plans for a movie or TV adaptation of Holmes on the Range, which is a total shame. I know westerns aren't the hot thing right now, but this would make a seriously entertaining film or mini-series. Also, I vote for Christopher Gorham as Gustav.

I thought long and hard about who I'd want to play Otto and I just couldn't come up with a good idea for his actor. If you've read it, who would you choose? 

I'd recommend Holmes on the Range for anyone who enjoys a good mystery, isn't opposed to westerns, and can handle a little bit of cheesy-ness. 

Up next I'm reading Jellicoe Road, because Britney will kill me if I don't. 

Adios, pardners!


Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Book Review: Board Stiff by Kendel Lynn

Title: Board Stiff
Author: Kendel Lynn
Series: Elliott Lisbon #1
Publisher: Henrey Press
Source: ARC courtesy of Frisco Public Library
(And then I bought the eBook edition through Barnes and Noble)
Adult, Mystery

Elliott Lisbon takes care of a multitude of problems for the board members of the Ballyntine Foundation, of which she is the director. From catering to courting potential donors, she's the go-to gal. She also handles small "discreet inquiries" like finding misplaced Pomeranians and smoothing ruffled feathers when restaurant checks don't get paid. Her life gets a lot more complicated and her inquiries a lot less discreet when member Leo is murdered and the board chair (and her boss' favorite) Jane is pinned with the crime.

But her complications don't end there. Her sexy ex moves into town for a new the police lieutenant. He also moves in to the house next door. He also starts dating a potential donor so Elli's got to play nice. (Mostly.) There's also Matty, who she might be dating. Thankfully she's a spunky, determined woman with a great best friend and a sporty Mini-Cooper to get her from suspect to suspect.

But proving Jane innocent is difficult with so much stacking up against her, and Elliott's inquiries aren't unnoticed. She'll have to pull out all the stops to get the criminal, the guy, and her next paycheck.

The book gods smiled upon me and I was super fortunate to receive an ARC of Board Stiff from Henery Press through the library I work for. I did a short, spoiler free gif review for it which you can see on Tumblr here if the fancy strikes you.

Board Stiff is smart and funny creates a fabulous southern atmosphere. Elliott is a heroine you can immediately get behind and root for, because you've probably been her at some point even if you've never investigated a thing in your life. She's smart, determined, and quirky (you won't find her without her hand sanitizer) and she's hilarious. Here are two of my favorite lines:

"I peek through my peep hole. I may be cranky, but I'm not crazy. I can't just open the door for some whacko killer and then yell him to death." 
"I showered quickly. As quick as I could, anyway. I do things a certain way and it makes my skin itch if I change in any way. All very reasonable and not in the least obsessive." 
If you know me well, or have traveled with me, you'll know that I'm pretty picky about showering so I emotionally bonded to Elli as a character. :p

Elli's a businesswoman with some serious people skills and smarts. What I love most about her as a character, though, is her ability to stand up for herself. Whether she's dealing with potential investors, little old  ladies, tough as nails chefs, rude women, attractive men, or jackasses, Elli doesn't take anybody's lip.

One of my absolute favorite moments is when Elli pushes somebody into a pool. I won't say who or why (spoilers!) but it's one of many moments you'll find yourself cheering for her.

If you like fast paced, humorous mysteries with a kick-butt woman who can get her man and close her case, hop in the Mini-Cooper with Elliott Lisbon and hang onto your hat.

Henery Press is having a sale on their eBooks from now until June 30th, so hit up Barnes and Noble, Amazon, or your usual eBook store to snatch up Board Stiff and all the other Hen House titles for .99 cents. It's a fabulous deal for some fabulous summer reads.

Rumor from the Hen House is that Elliott and company will be back soon with her second adventure, and I can't wait!


Friday, May 3, 2013

Liebster Award

So I was recently reminded that I owe Jake of CausticSnark a cake, and also that he was gracious enough to give me a blog award thing of awesome!

Which is, in fact, quite awesome.

In order to accept this super awesome award, there are Things That Must Be Done.

1. Thank the person that nominated you. Merci, Jake! 
2. Display the Liebster Heart on your blog. 
3. Nominate 3 to 5 more different bloggers 
4. Post 11 things about yourself.
5. Create 11 questions for your nominees to answer.
6. Answer the 11 questions you've been asked in your nomination.

Okay, so here are Jake's 11 questions for his nominees: 

1. Do you have any semi-useless superpowers (e.g., "I always know exactly what time it is," or "I can pay attention to two TV shows at once")? If so, what are they?
Yes, yes I do. I have the power to summon invisible chickens. And the power of self-rescission, which usually kicks in about .5 seconds too late. I'm also impervious to a particular person's power of retcon. 

2. What is the worst book you have ever read? What was so terrible about it?

As a grown-up, Fifty Shades of Grey. It was terrible because it misrepresents women, men, young adults, billionaires, people in the BDSM community, and intelligent human beings in general. 

As a kid, I really hated both Ella Enchanted and Harriet the Spy. I can't really remember why exactly, except the feelings I still carry about both are that people are mean and they made me sad. 

3. If you use some kind of analytics tool, what's the weirdest search that's led someone to your blog?
I do, and the weirdest phrase so far is "a bloo bloo bloo sherlock". ...I don't know. 

4. Which Hogwarts house would the Sorting Hat place you in?

According to Pottermore, Ravenclaw. I took great exception to this for a long time until it was pointed out to me that I would probably be sharing a House with both The Doctor and Sherlock. Then I was okay with it. 

5. How many roads must a man walk down?

As many as it takes until he finds the one on which he is at peace. 

6. What's your favorite alcoholic drink? (If it's somewhat obscure, what's in it?)

Jack and Coke. Although, if I can get Red Stag Cherry Whiskey and Coke, I'll take it. 

7. What is the air-speed velocity of an unladen swallow? Please specify African or European.

8. What's the coolest thing you've ever gotten paid to do?

I had a job working a register at a comic shop on the weekends for a bit while I was in college. The guy who owned the place had just bought an English bull dog puppy that he kept at the store, so I got to watch puppy while he ran the table top gaming tournaments on Saturday. It was fun because, well, it was a comic shop, but also because the men who came in never ceased to be amazed and a little weirded out by this college girl holding a bull dog puppy that could talk comics and show them the latest issue of Batman. 

I also got paid to dress up in a full on Disney World quality Winnie the Pooh costume and roam around a city hall building for an afternoon. A fireman jumped on me. But not like that. 

9. What's in your Zombie Apocalypse survival kit?

Knives, lighters...oh, we're not talking about my purse, are we? Still, knives, lighters, guns, lots and lots of ammo, water, beef jerky, zebra cakes, solar recharge kit for my iPod, iPod, pens/pencil/paper, a really well stocked first aid kit, a written copy of the pact that I will not hesitate to shoot if any of my fellow survivors are bitten in any capacity, and a decent pair of boots. 

No, I will not be packing light for the Apocalypse, either. 

10. What would you do for a Klondike Bar?

I would sing a Kanye West song. 

11. Cake or death?

Death. Ooh, I meant cake!  

Eleven Things About Me
1) I write fanfiction in several fandoms. 
2) I only eat one color of Skittles at a time. Same for M&Ms. I don't eat either in a movie theater because I can't see the colors. 
3)One day, I will play roller derby. Because of reasons, I have a bad lower back and must acquire some more core strength before putting myself on skates again (spasms, ouch), but one day I will be Doll X. 
4) Beer makes me die.  
5) There's literally a list of over ten movies from the 1980's I haven't seen, including Back to the Future. 
6) One day I'd like to write full time, or write part time and have a family. I also plan on being an official librarian and secretly I'd still love to act. 
7) I love Jesus. 
8) It's hard for me to be emotionally open about myself, even with people I care about and I think that because of this I don't tell people that I care about that I love them enough. But I do love them. 
9) My cat's name is Mycroft. 
10) If you could have relationships with cities, Chicago would be my long term relationship and New York my fling.  
11)Eleven is my Doctor.

And here are the 11 questions for my nominees! 

1) If you could choose any book universe to live in, what would it be? 
2) If you could guest star in any TV show, which one would you choose? 
3) What do you keep in the trunk of your car? 
4) What is your favorite quote?
5) Would you ever hug a complete stranger? 
6) If you could visit a different decade or era, when would you go? Why then? Would you stay?
7) What's your favorite OTP and from which fandom?
8) If you were stranded on a desert island, what three books and what three people would you want with you?
9) How would you like to be remembered?
10) What's the best and/or worst pick up line you've ever heard? (Did it work?)
11) What would your last words be before departing this world? 

And now for my people!

1) Heather, one of my bestest friends is a kickass teacher and is all around amazing. She does awesome book reviews.  
2) Writer, armchair historian, and passionate about politics and dead revolutionaries, my friend Jen provides her perspective over at In the Shadow of the Greats
3) Romancing the Laser Pistol is run by my friend Amy, her husband Chris, and their friend Fry. From romance to science fiction, there's a little something for everyone! 
4) Amy! Who does not have a blog of her own, but generates awesome-sauce guest posts for I Eat Words and Romancing the Laser Pistol. If I ever get off my duff and update more, maybe she'll do one for me. :) 
5) My friend and co-worker Tony runs Everyday Plate, which will make you hungry and point you in the direction of the best restaurants and food trucks around. 

All right! I'm out. 
Coming soon, a book review for Board Stiff by Kendel Lynn! 

Auf wiedersehen, liebchens!

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Book Review: Anew by Chelsea Fine

Title: Anew
Author: Chelsea Fine
Publisher: Firefall Publishing
Series: Archers of Avalon #1
Source: Barnes and Noble
Young Adult; Fantasy/Romance

So I hadn't used my Nook in well over a year, and I finally decided to charge it and update it so I could see what the new OverDrive app looked like. Much to my surprise, I had three or four YA titles I'd purchased on sale some time ago and I figured I should read them since I'd apparently thought they were interesting at some point. The first of these that I read was Anew by Chelsea Fine.

Anew is the first in the Archers of Avalon trilogy that follows the story of seventeen year old Scarlet Jacobs and twin brothers Gabriel and Tristan Archer. We meet Scarlet when she wakes up in the woods outside of Avalon, Georgia. She's fifteen and she knows her name, but nothing else. Not how she got there or where she came from. Skip ahead two years and Scarlet's been taken in by her guardian, Laura and goes to high school with her best friend Heather like any other teen girl. She meets the smart, handsome, funny, endearing, mysterious etc Gabriel at Avalon's annual Kissing Festival (!) and the two strike up a relationship. Gabriel has secrets, though, including a twin brother that might hold the key to Scarlet's missing memories and her life before Avalon. However, the closer she gets to Gabriel and Tristan and the closer she gets to unlocking her memories, she finds herself in more and more danger with less and less time.

There are aspects of this book that I genuinely enjoyed and other aspects left me looking for a bridge from which to suspend my disbelief.

That sound you hear is the bridge creaking.

I know that the whole amnesia thing is not exactly breaking new ground, but the mythos that Fine constructs is really interesting. Without giving too much away, Scarlet is the victim of a curse gone wrong, a curse that affects not only her but both of the Archer brothers. Her fate has been bound to the twins for a long, long time. What one brother needs destroys the other; what the other brother wants destroys them all. As far as angsty, dramatic set ups go, it's a doozy.

Fine also has some really snappy dialogue, especially from green-eyed brother Tristan. For example:
Gabriel glanced down. “Seriously, Tristan? You drive around with a trunk full of weapons?”
“Of course.”
“Because I’m the family bad guy.”
And also very poignant lines like this:
“Knowing death is nearby gives you a chance to live...deliberately." 
On the flip side of that, there's a lot of ridiculousness from Scarlet's best friend Heather who literally speaks in text lingo. Now, I'm guilty of occasionally dropping a "jsyk" or "brb" into a conversation, but this character's sentences are full of "O-M-G" and "Scarlet, W-T-H?" which made me want to strangle her juuust about every page. Scarlet picks this up at some point during the book, making statements like "Worst. Date. Ever."
L-O-L one more time.

Heather's character is a little over the top in the crazy fashion obsessed sense but she's fun and oddly perceptive and I feel like the text lingo is a disservice to her character. While she is over the top, she's also smart, honest, and willing to defend her friend no matter what. I liked her, but my willingness to get behind her as a character was thwarted by her charming quirk.

Oddly enough, I also liked the love triangle aspect of this story. I know, I know. Hold your tomatoes. Because of the intricacies of the curse, it puts a different spin on it. It had the potential to be really heart rending. Yup, I said had potential. One of the more frustrating aspects of the story was also the love triangle. It's fairly obvious early on which brother she's "supposed" to be with, and because of that the other brother doesn't get as fully developed of a personality.

A moment to address how Scarlet first meets Gabriel. At a town-wide Kissing Festival, a two day event in which everyone (parents and kids) in the town of Avalon randomly kisses their neighbors, the postman, the dentist... There are also events like the Kissing Sock Hop and Kissing Booths...I just...can't... A Valentine Festival with a kissing booth is one thing. An entire multi day event where one might be accosted and kissed by anyone in your community is weird. Maybe that's just me. 

I also wanted better development of the brother's relationship. There's denial and secrecy between siblings, sure, but Tristan and Gabriel seemed almost clueless about each other at points. Their main focus is Scarlet, but they've also been brothers for a long, long time. (No, they are not vampires. Or werewolves.)

The story is good and the characters are for the most part interesting. It seemed inconsistent, because there are a lot of great scenes and dialogue moments but there are enough eye roll moments that it detracted from the experience. I did finish the book wanting to know what happens next for these guys, but I'm not compelled to make the second in the series, Awry, my next read.

No movie news on this one, but you can watch a book trailer on the author's Goodreads page.

If you'd like a quick fantasy read with a bit of a little twist, you might enjoy Anew. Or, this might be a good recommendation for a reluctant young teen reader who enjoys triangles and text lingo.


Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Book Review: Archie Meets Nero Wolfe by Robert Goldsborough

Title: Archie Meets Nero Wolfe
Author: Robert Goldsborough
Publisher: Mysterious Press
Series: Nero Wolfe - prequel
Source: Library
Adult Mystery 

Let me try to explain the depths of my joy when I spotted this on the bookshelf at the library I work at:

No, really. I startled a passing librarian with my shriek and dance of joy. I had a much better reaction from one of our other co-workers, who also was quite excited about this find.

Archie Goodwin is one of my top five favorite men of mystery, if you will. I don't actually remember how I stumbled upon the Nero Wolfe series, just that someone put the second of Rex Stout's novels in my hands (The League of Frightened Men) when I was a teenager and told me to read. So read I did, and I fell in love in with Fritz and Wolfe and Archie. But mostly Archie.

If you're unfamiliar with the Nero Wolfe series, it is set in New York and starts in the early 1930's (although carries through several decades after) and follows the cases of Nero Wolfe, a private investigator. Nero Wolfe has several extreme eccentricites, including the fact that he very, very rarely leaves his brownstone home, follows a regimented schedule every day that cannot be broken, he eats very lavish meals prepared by a live-in chef (that would be Fritz), and grows orchids in a rooftop hothouse. Wolfe does not tolerate the iterruption of his schedule, his authority being questioned, his privacy being invaded, most women, most men, stupidity, business talk over dinner, and a great myriad of other situations.What he does tolerate (with or without grace) is Archie Goodwin.

Archie is Nero Wolfe's presence outside the brownstone. He serves as legs and ears and eyes while interviewing witnesses, trailing suspects, and chasing perpetrators. Archie also serves as a thorn in Wolfe's side -it's offically part of his job- to motivate his boss into taking cases so they can get paid. He's a charmer and a smooth talker; a ladies man and always a gentleman. He's savvy and street smart and he quits as many times as Wolfe fires him, but it's always an idle threat. When Rex Stout's series starts, Archie's been working for Wolfe for several years.

Rex Stout passed away in 1975, and eleven years later Robert Goldsborough had his first Nero Wolfe novel published, Murder in C Minor. With the blessing of the Stout estate, he wrote several more Wolfe and Archie mysteries. Now, he hasn't written a Wolfe book since 1994 (which for you non-instant math people like me is 19 years ago) and what better way to return to the scene than with the fan's dream: an origin story. A prequel. Hallelujah.

Archie Meets Nero Wolfe opens with Archie, fresh from Ohio, working a job as a night watchman on the docks. He's nineteen and looking for his big opportunity in the city - and winds up killing two men in self defense. He's let go from the watchman position, but impresses P.I. Del Bascom and gets taken on in the private detective's office. Archie's big opportunity comes with the Big Case. Tommie Williamson, son of a very wealthy businessman, is kidnapped and his father taps Nero Wolfe to take the case. Wolfe calls in the best detectives he knows, including Bascom who brings Archie to the table. The race is on to find the boy and find the kidnappers and to secure Archie's place in literary history.

As a longtime Archie fan, I loved this book. It was a fun trip through 1920's New York with a young, sharp Archie who relayed details to the reader with great panache and flare. As a long time mystery reader, it left something to be desired. The story moves quickly, from the small introductory mysteries that set up Archie's skills into the bigger mystery of Tommie Williamson's disappearance. There's some legitimate detective legwork, and you do get a sense for Archie unfolding the process of how he'll operate as a detective for the first time. We're also shown Orrie Cather and Saul Panzer (who are very important supporting characters in most of the Rex Stout novels) meeting Archie and how they work both with and independently of Wolfe.

Speaking of Wolfe, he's not a prevalent in the book as I was expecting, but when he was he was utterly and perfectly Wolfe. Short fuse, fabulous vocabulary, and an all seeing eye to rival Sherlock Holmes himself all wonderfully played out. It was just wasn't enough! Part of the joy of the Goodwin/Wolfe read is their exchanges and interactions and I suppose I was expecting more of them having some of those first conflicts and concessions.
Wolfe is not amused by your shenanigans.

For the most part, Goldsborough does a good job with Archie's voice. Archie is a very distinctive first person narrator. Some of the story felt like it was being told by a nineteen year old Archie and some of the story felt like it was being told by the Archie who matured over the course of several decades. However, and this might be more important, Archie is completely charming throughout. And I think that's what it is. If you're approaching this book with the intent of sinking your teeth into a meaty mystery, you may come away wanting. If you're approaching this book as a handshake, as polite introduction to one of the mystery genre's greatest men, you'll be pleasantly delighted.

So, if you like 1920's New York, cozy mysteries, classic private investigators, or already love Archie and Wolfe, you should definitely pick up Archie Meets Nero Wolfe. If you've not been to the world of Stout as of yet, I don't think I would recommend you start here. Start with The League of Frightened Men or Champagne for One and then consider hitting the prequel.

Usually I try to find out if any movie rights are associated with a book, and in this case there are not. However, Archie Goodwin was brought to life by Timothy Hutton in the A&E Nero Wolfe series which ran for two seasons 2000-2001. Timothy Hutton and Maury Chakin are Goodwin and Wolfe, respectively, and neither one of them could be more perfect for the roles. It's a great mystery series with fantastic costuming and dialogue. It's available on DVD.
Perfect Archie Goodwin is perfect.

If you speak Italian, YouTube also has episodes of the newer Italian version of Nero Wolfe. While Timothy Hutton is perfection as Archie, the Archie in those episodes is also quite wonderful.

No, I don't speak Italian.

Italian Archie is also good looking.

Yes, I'm learning Italian.
I recommend the Wolfe/Goodwin series to pretty much everyone, no matter whether you start with the original Stout or pick up Goldsborough's prequel. They're great characters you should definitely get to know.

Hope you all enjoy the upcoming St. Patrick's Day!

Don't drive spifflicated!


Friday, September 28, 2012

Austin Teen Book Festival

I'm super excited to be in Austin, TX this weekend with Brit for the Austin Teen Book Festival! We drove down this afternoon and met up with her friend Lauren (who is super awesome and nice enough to let me crash with them at her place!) and then went to a blogger dinner downtown. We met lots of bloggers, including Jenny and her friend Caron, and Kari. We also got to visit with Rae Carson and Jessica Khoury who are both gracious and gorgeous! 

The Festival should be really amazing. If you are not familiar with the Festival, check it out here: Austin Teen Book Festival 

So, currently I'm reading a ridiculous amount of books. Book monogamy, if I haven't mentioned, is not my strong suit.

Books on the metaphorical nightstand: 

Dash & Lily's Book of Dares by Rachel Cohn & David Levithan 
Wildefire by Karsten Knight 
Blackout by Mira Grant 
Beautiful Mystery by Louise Penny 
Holmes on the Range by Steve Hockensmith 

Yeah...I should commit. 

Reviews to come! 

In the meantime, I leave you with my favorite music discovery of the week. 

Read on!