There simply are not enough funny, practical books about menopause. You can get serious books about herbal remedies and how the estrogen is leaching o...moreThere simply are not enough funny, practical books about menopause. You can get serious books about herbal remedies and how the estrogen is leaching out of your bones. You can buy joke books about incontinence and hot flashes. But true to Carol Wyer’s mission to get us to lighten up about aging, Grumpy Old Menopause (the title alone makes me smile) adds humor to the facts. Because what else can you do about the indignities of forgetting your husband’s name in the middle of a sentence or waking up in a puddle of sweat every night but laugh and learn to live with it? Sometimes it’s either that or lose your mind. I like how Ms. Wyer combines practical remedies with jokes, activities to improve your mood, and for each letter in the alphabet (well, almost all the letters), lists potential weapons to keep hidden from a menopausal woman. Anyone living with a woman “of a certain age” might appreciate the reminder to keep the rocket launchers under lock and key. This short companion piece to “How Not to Murder Your Grumpy” is great fun.(less)
DV Berkom’s latest in the Kate Jones thriller series grabbed me in the first couple of paragraphs and had one of the tightest fi...moreCouldn’t Stop Reading…
DV Berkom’s latest in the Kate Jones thriller series grabbed me in the first couple of paragraphs and had one of the tightest first chapters I’ve read in a long time. I could almost hear the drumbeat behind the words. It didn’t stop there. The story lets us catch our breath for only brief moments as Kate—smart, resourceful, but so human—must figure out what to do next to save her life and protect those closest to her, navigating through lush, dangerous jungle settings and the hierarchy of vengeful Yucatan cartels. I also love the dry wit Ms. Berkom brings to her thrillers, and I’m excited to see what comes next. (less)
This romp by KS Brooks and Stephen Hise reminded me of those screwball comedies like Bringing up Baby. It's a fun story with great characters - light...moreThis romp by KS Brooks and Stephen Hise reminded me of those screwball comedies like Bringing up Baby. It's a fun story with great characters - light romantic comedy heavier on the com than on the rom. I liked how each character gets fleshed out first through his or her own eyes and then from the other characters' viewpoints. I liked and rooted for the unlikely partnership of Bianca and Terri, former rivals who must work together to save Bianca's bacon after Lars (Bianca's fiancé, whom I took particular delight in hating) puts her in an untenable position. Then the fur really starts flying. Overall, a fun novel to sink into.(less)
JD Mader shoots and scores with this raw, honest, and hysterically funny book of essays designed to prepare...moreWhat really happens after the stick test...
JD Mader shoots and scores with this raw, honest, and hysterically funny book of essays designed to prepare expectant fathers for not only the nine months of pregnancy but for the humbling occupation of fatherhood. Now, I am not nor have I ever been pregnant, nor have I been a father, but those who reproduce would be well served to take Mader’s experience and advice to heart. Some of those essays even made me tear up a bit.
Warnings: Do not read this book while ingesting liquids. They will end up on the screen of your e-reading-type device. If you wither at language frowned upon in some places, like, say, at tea with the Queen Mum, beware. There’s a lot of it. Some involves banana slugs. I can only assume that no banana slugs were harmed in the writing or editing of this book. (less)
I expected to enjoy Seized, the first book in Lynne Cantwell's Pipe Woman Chronicles, because I am a fan of Ms. Cantwell's direct, journalistic writin...moreI expected to enjoy Seized, the first book in Lynne Cantwell's Pipe Woman Chronicles, because I am a fan of Ms. Cantwell's direct, journalistic writing style and wry wit from her Indies Unlimited blog posts. What I didn't expect was that Seized kept me up late several nights in a row because it was so hard to stop reading. The story started easily in the realm of the familiar, with Naomi, a smart mediator who seems to have it all: the powerful job, the handsome boyfriend, and the best friend who understands her better than she understands herself. But wait...we know that nothing comes easily in fiction without consequence. So things twist up a bit when said best friend urges her to tag along on a New Age adventure. Several rounds in a sweat lodge release more than perspiration, including a visit from White Buffalo Calf Pipe Woman, a mysterious Native American spirit that weaves in and around Naomi's life, tasking her with a near-impossible challenge for a mediator...no, for anyone. Lynne's writing style (and choice of first-person narration) is key here. I became deeply invested in Naomi's future, and the author rides a nice, believable, and relatable line between the protagonist's cynicism with the happenings around her and her faith that it's all for a greater good. The story is smart and thought provoking, the fantasy element sophisticated and well integrated into the storyline. Never did I feel that this was fantasy with a story attached or vice versa. It just worked so well. I'm eager to read the rest of the series.(less)
This delightful travelogue/memoir of a single mother’s plunge into the unknown completely charmed me thanks to Carolyn Steele’s wit and resourceful sp...moreThis delightful travelogue/memoir of a single mother’s plunge into the unknown completely charmed me thanks to Carolyn Steele’s wit and resourceful spirit. It was quite fun to be along for the ride with her and her son as they left their homeland of Britain for Canada, negotiating the culture clashes, bureaucracy, odd food, and quirky denizens. As an American, I enjoyed learning how much we have in common with Canadians (we are often so quick to point out differences), and I might not have seen that in the same light if not for a newcomer’s viewpoint. I’d recommend this book to anyone who wants to do a bit of armchair traveling and slip someone else’s life over his or her shoulders. I’m looking forward to reading the next two books of her adventures.(less)
The first book in the Norothian Cycle, The Sable City introduces well-drawn and empathetic characters, particularly my favorite, Matilda Lanai, a youn...moreThe first book in the Norothian Cycle, The Sable City introduces well-drawn and empathetic characters, particularly my favorite, Matilda Lanai, a young woman warrior fiercely loyal to her Guild. McNally's descriptions are spot-on and the action scenes so realistic I can hear the rattle of the chain mail and almost feel the impact as a character hits the floor. He deftly mixes humor, pathos, and human frailty into the story, such a great treat to find in fantasy, which can often take itself too seriously. I'm excited about continuing the series.(less)