Book review: “Tanglewood Tales” by Nathaniel Hawthorne
Book Reviews / February 11, 2013

And yet I would bet you’re hearing about this book for the first time now. Here some writers would say, “So goes the world,” and let it be. But I say it need not be so. Nathaniel Hawthorne is too important a figure in American literature to be allowed to remain only a figure, silhouetted against the dying light of a bygone age. His writing really is enjoyable, and some of it was designed for the enjoyment of kids. And even though kids’ tastes may change, there still remains a good deal of charm and appeal in Hawthorne’s retellings of the world’s most timeless tales.

Book review: “A Discovery of Witches” by Deborah Harkness
Book Reviews / January 29, 2013

The first in a series of adult novels that are filled to the brim with details that place the magical world directly in to modern day Oxford. The story of reluctant witch and keen academic of alchemy, Diana Bishop, begins in the dusty and mysterious setting of the Bodleian library. For those missing Hogwarts, these libraries feel wonderfully familiar. Likewise, fans of Pullman’s Lyra will get a chance to explore more of the city, running and rowing through this antiquated world. And fans of conspiracies in “Wicked” will enjoy the magical plotting.

Book review: “The Rose and the Ring” by W. M. Thackeray
Book Reviews / January 25, 2013

This hilarious fairy-tale spoof was written as a “fireside pantomime,” to amuse a group of English children between Christmas and New Year while staying in an unnamed European city. Moreover, it was published under the pseudonym “Michael Angelo Titmarsh,” if you please.

Book review: “Plugged” by Eoin Colfer
Book Reviews / January 25, 2013

What happens when an author best known for his young adult fantasy novels pens an adult novel about crime, violence, and hair implants? Sheer mayhem! That’s what happens when a former Irish Army sergeant, turned bouncer at a gambling den in the sleepy town of Cloisters, New Jersey, stumbles into the business of an unlicensed plastic surgeon, a small-time gangster named “Irish Mike,” and a dirty lawyer who rips off drug dealers and sells their product at a steep markup. It all goes to show that you can take the peacekeeper out of the Lebanon, but… er… not sure where I was going with this.

Book review: “Hemlock” by Kathleen Peacock
Book Reviews / January 24, 2013

In a literary world where the vast majority of werewolf stories fall into the “been there done that” category, “Hemlock” doesn’t merely shine, it supernovas! Dark, creative, and emotional; “Hemlock” raises the bar on all accounts. Solid world building and multifaceted characters pair with a unique take on werewolves to create not only a highly addicting book, but also a new personal favorite of mine.

Book review: “A Bad Day For Voodoo” by Jeff Strand
Book Reviews / January 24, 2013

Who knew flying body-parts, gushing blood, and cannibals could be so fun? “A Bad Day for Voodoo” was a total LOL-fest. Although there is a darker and edgier tone to the book, Strand sugarcoats it with hilarious and downright pee-your-pants scenes that have you rapidly flipping the pages. From beginning to end I was completely enraptured.