They Call Me Baba Booey

by Gary Dell’Abate with Chad Millman

They Call Me Baba Booey by Gary Dell'Abate with Chad Millman

I don’t listen to Howard Stern. Ever. So I had no idea who this guy was, but as with every free book, I gave this one a chance. I am glad I did. I feared that I would dislike it as much as the other biographies that came as a result of the library fairy, but to my pleasant surprise, this was oddly uplifting.

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The Lost City of Z: A Tale of Deadly Obsession in the Amazon

by David Grann

The Lost City of Z by David Grann

I don’t think I am ever going to get tired of books about Percy Fawcett. An explorer who got lost in the Amazon in search of a lost city? A mystery? Theories upon theories? And David Grann believes he has solved the mystery. Read More »

N Is for Noose

by Sue Grafton

N is for Noose by Sue Grafton

Full Disclosure: I’ve never read any other Kinsey Millhone mysteries. My husband’s Grandma was trimming her library and apparently decided to get rid of N on down to V, and since I never turn down a free book… I’ll be reviewing more from this series in the future. Full Disclosure Part Two: I think Tana French’s writing has ruined me for all mystery novels. So my review will be jaded by that high standard. Read More »

Louisa May Alcott: An Intimate Anthology

by Louisa May Alcott

Louisa May Alcott: An Intimate Anthology by Lousia May Alcott

Any little girl who ever loved to read and write (guilty!) imagined that they were Jo March. I remember the first time I read Little Women in third grade. I really felt that Louisa May Alcott was the greatest writer on earth. I still re-read the Little Men/Little Women/Jo’s Boys books every couple of years. Read More »

La’s Orchestra Saves the World

by Alexander McCall Smith

La's Orchestra Saves the World by Alexander McCall Smith

I adore Alenxander McCall Smith. Really. Adore him. When I lived in Scotland I shelled out a pretty penny, or pence, to hear him speak. He was charming. His books can be described as charming. La’s Orchestra… a mix of charming and melancholy, which is a mix I can get behind. Read More »

Isaac’s Storm: A Man, a Time, and the Deadliest Hurricane in History

by Erik Larson

Isaac's Storm: A Man, a Time, and the Deadliest Hurricane in History by Erik Larson

It is no secret that I am a fan of Erik Larsen. I’ve wanted to read this one for a while. Larsen is a master, no the master, at blending history with the lives of those living it to create something vivid that even the non history buff can appreciate. It reads like the most delicious fiction, but it is fact, and that is why I finished this book in one wonderful day. Read More »

I Am Half-Sick of Shadows

by Alan Bradley

I Am Half-Sick of Shadows by Alan Bradley

Flavia de Luce is back in action. I’ve actually owned this book for a year (exactly) but I saved it to read during the Christmas season. Read More »

Captured: A True Story of Abduction by Indians on the Texas Frontier

by Scott Zesch

Captured: A True Story of Abduction by Indians on the Texas Frontier by Scott Zesch

As a western girl (which means I live in the west, not that I like country music) I will admit a fascination to anything that harks back to the lawlessness of the Wild West. A time when you could go around stealing horses, children, and shooting people? Read More »

Broken Harbor

by Tana French

Broken Harbor by Tana French

Tana French has done it again. Or rather, she’s done it as well as she did the first time around with In The Woods.
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Justice For All: Earl Warren and the Nation He Made

by Jim Newton

Justice For All: Earl Warren and the Nation He Made by Jim Newton

As I’ve mentioned before, sometimes I have a difficult time enjoying a biography if I don’t necessarily like the person the book is written about. To separate the book from the person is a challenge, so full disclosure, I think Earl Warren was kind of a jerk. And a bit of a hypocrite. Read More »

The Sense of an Ending

by Julian Barnes

The Sense of an Ending by Julian Barnes

I approach winners of the Man Booker Prize with caution, having been lead astray down that path ONE two many times. Read More »

The Entomological Tales of Augustus T. Percival: Petronella Saves Nearly Everyone

by Dene Low

The Entomological Tales of Augustus T. Percival: Petronella Saves Nearly Everyone by Dene Low

You can ask anyone who knows me. I am easy to buy gifts for. Books and/or chocolate and you will get no complaints from me. My youngest brother got me this little gem for my last birthday. Apparently, he met the author somewhere and she chatted him up, and bam… off to Amazon.com he went. Read More »

Fablehaven: Secrets of the Dragon Sanctuary

by Brandon Mull

Fablehaven: Secrets of the Dragon Sanctuary by Brandon Mull

This is my favorite book in the Fablehaven series thus far. In my experience the books tend to start out slow, and pick up speed towards the end of the first third, then they gain speed, and by the end is rolling so rapidly that it seems like Mull is rushing to get everything in that he had planned. The fourth book actually kept a nice pace throughout and it ended in a bit of a cliff hanger which makes you want to read the fifth book as soon as possible. Read More »

Fablehaven: Grip of the Shadow

by Brandon Mull

Fablehaven: Grip of the Shadow by Brandon Mull

I approached the third Fablehaven novel as a fully invested (less skeptical) reader, and as a result I enjoyed this installment. The third book begins right where the second book ended, I am not sure that I enjoy that irregular timing, but is serves to move the story along swiftly and there is nothing technically wrong with choosing to start a book then, it was just unexpected. Read More »

Fablehaven: Rise of the Evening Star

by Brandon Mull

Fablehaven: Rise of the Evening Star by Brandon Mull

I will admit after the first Fablehaven, I was a bit disappointed. I found a promising magical world, but characters that were slightly annoying. I was unsure if it was because Mull had a plan for the young characters to mature, develop, and grow on you. I decided to continue with the series on the hope (and hey, my brother lent me all the books so I had nothing to lose) and was glad that I did. The second Fablehaven book is much better than the first. Read More »

Wicked Bugs: The Louse That Conquered Napoleon’s Army & Other Diabolical Insects

by Amy Stewart

Wicked Bugs by Amy Stewart

I recently moved to a house with a basement. And in the basement spiders lurk, everywhere! I was also reading this book while pregnant, which makes me a bit more sensitive to things. Needless to say, my skin crawled the entire time I read this one. The premise is something I can get behind, a non fiction book about the havoc that harmless little bugs can reap, but the book as a whole was not wonderful. Read More »

The Lampshade: A Holocaust Detective Story from Buchenwald to New Orleans

by Mark Jacobson

The Lampshade by Mark Jacobson

You know I am a sucker for a real life detective story… and a real life detective story with Nazis… sign me up. There were so many things I enjoyed about this book, but a fair amount that I didn’t enjoy. Read More »

Who Do You Think You Are?: A Memoir

by Alyse Myers

Who do you think you are: a memoir by Alyse Myers


Every now and again I like to read a biography about someone I have never heard of. In this case it was an auto-biography, or memoir if you want to get fancy about it, written by Alyse Myers. I knew nothing about who she was, or why her life was important, but discount books are my weakness. Read More »

Catching Fire

by Suzanne Collins

Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins


I was pleasantly survived with The Hunger Games and eagerly read the second installment. This might have tainted my opinion of the book. If I review several books in a series, I try to review right after I read them, or not read them one after another. I find it hard to look at each novel as its own separate entity without comparing it to the others. Catching Fire, just might be a casualty of how much I enjoyed the first book. Read More »

In the Garden of Beasts: Love, Terror, and an American Family in Hitler’s Berlin

by Erik Larson

In the Garden of Beasts by Erik Larson


When I got this book, I was so excited. I love Erik Larsen’s books. I enjoy how he blends history and murder. I think his style is easy to get lost in. That is why In the Garden of Beasts was a huge disappointment to me. Read More »

Why Shoot a Butler

by Georgette Heyer

Why Shoot a Butler by Georgette Heyer


I’ve made no secret that I generally dislike Heyer mysteries. This book is the rare exception. Why Shoot a Butler is another mystery set in a country weekend estate type setting with a lot of wealthy people hanging around each other seemingly shocked about a murder that has happened. I would hazard a guess that all Heyer’s mysteries have this similar setting, and sometimes it works. Read More »

The Mysterious Benedict Society and The Perilous Journey

by Trenton Lee Stewart

The Mysterious Benedict Society and the Perilous Journey by Trenton Lee Stewart


When I think of the Mysterious Benedict Society books the words that come to mind are charming and whimsical. The second installment only increased my enjoyment in the series. This novel begins where the last adventure ended. Read More »

The Hunger Games

by Suzanne Collins

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

I resisted The Hunger Games for a long time. Why, you ask? Well, it seemed like it was the Twilight crowd that was jumping on the band wagon and saying how great the books were. No offense against that crowd, but Twilight isn’t exactly my thing. Read More »

The Rasputin File

by Edvard Radzinsky

The Rasputin File by Edward Radzinsky

Rasputin is one of the great characters in history. He features in countless novels, non fiction books, plays, and even cartoons. Often Rasputin is portrayed as a seducing villain who caused the downfall of the Romanov empire.  Radzinsky sets out to present a real Rasputin, one who propagandists failed to present. Read More »

The Great Upheaval: America and the Birth of the Modern World 1788-1800

by Jay Wink

The Great Upheaval: America and the Birth of the Modern World by Jay Winik

The wonderfully researched history follows the fledgling United States, France, and Russia as they navigate into the modern world. For non history buffs, the period of 1788-1800 includes all sorts of rebellion within the United States (Shay’s Rebellion, Whiskey Rebellion, etc), the French Revolution and murder of the French Monarchy, as well as the twilight of Catherine the Great and Russia as a world power. Read More »

Stalin’s Children: Three Generations of Love, War, and Survival

by Owen Matthews

Stalin's Children: Three Generations of Love, War, and Survival by Owen Matthews

Stalin’s Children met my criteria for a good biography. Most likely because I found myself crying throughout the first third of the book. Read More »

Nightingale Wood

by Stella Gibbons

Nightingale Wood by Stella Gibbons

Ah, refreshing, refreshing Stella Gibbons. I really like her style. When my husband and I were dating, or perhaps I waited until we were engaged, I made him read Cold Comfort Farm aloud with me. The poor man had to endure my constant, “I saw something nasty in the wood shed.” It must not have put him off too much, because here we are. But I digress. I was prepared to like this book, and I did. Read More »

Faithful Place

by Tana French

Faithful Place by Tana French


This novel is the third in French’s Murder Squad series. I raved about the first, and enjoyed the second, and I liked Faithful Place, but I am finding with each book, I am less invested. Read More »

Always Magic in the Air: The Bomb and Brilliance of the Brill Building Era

by Ken Emerson

Always Magic in the Air by Ken Emerson

I have a slight confession. I don’t usually read the preface, introduction, or forward in books. I find that if I’ve never read the book I get too many spoilers. If the preface is written by someone I find interesting, I will go back and read it at the end. Most of the time; however, I am content to read the book and have done. I read Ken Emerson’s introduction, and I am glad I did. Read More »

The Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place: The Mysterious Howling

by Maryrose Wood

The Incorrigilbe Children of Ashton Place: The Mysterious Howling by Maryrose Wood

Can you tell a book by its cover? All I know is when I saw the cover illustration which sports three children and a pale governess, I was sold. My husband commented on how nicely bound the book was, and he IS the authority in this house, as he did take a class on book binding in college. More than a nice cover, The Mysterious Howling is a fun, feel good story about how a little love and understanding can make even the most daunting situation, rewarding. Read More »