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Strong Women Taking Charge in TOMB RAIDER & COLLATERAL

March 15, 2018 – 12:52 am | One Comment

Coincidentally, without even thinking about how March is women’s history month, I’ve been mostly reading books and watching movies and TV shows written or directed by women and featuring strong female protagonists.
I’ll write about the …

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Nerdy Special List March 2018

March 12, 2018 – 8:45 pm | 2 Comments

With Daylight Savings Time, I have no idea what day or time it is and have been eating dinner at 3:00 p.m. But I do know it’s March and time to post this month’s list of book recommendations. Pick them up before the next storm comes so you’ll be well stocked in reading materials!

From Jen at Brown Dog Solutions:

Tomorrow Will Be Different: Love, Loss and the Fight for Trans Equality by Sarah McBride (Crown Archetype, March 6)

In her highly moving memoir, Sarah McBride, the national press secretary for the Human Rights Campaign, invites the world into her struggle to not only become her true self but also fight for the rights of others like her.

McBride always knew she was female, but the world considered her male. In college, just before she earned a White House internship, she came out. McBride’s story is extraordinary, and she points out the privileges she enjoys that many others like her don’t.

Heartbreakingly honest, authentic, and inspiring, Tomorrow Will Be Different has the power to ignite change.

Buy it on Amazon

Mary Had a Little Lab by Sue Fliess, illustrated by Petros Bouloubasis (Albert Whitman & Company, March 1)

This delightful picture book reads to the rhythm of the Mary Had a Little Lamb nursery rhyme in order to celebrate smart girls.

Mary, a science nerd, doesn’t have many friends so she invents a machine to make herself a pet—a sheep. When her classmates see how cool her sheep is, they all want one, too. Wonderful mayhem ensues.

The story’s charm has the added bonus of zany illustrations that include outstanding details. Perfect for little readers who like the wacky, sing-song nature of a Dr. Seuss tale, and for every little girl who needs to be reminded that smart is cool. (Read Jen’s full review at Shelf Awareness.)

Buy it on Amazon

From Lauren at Malcolm Avenue Review:

Bachelor Nation: Inside the World of America’s Favorite Guilty Pleasure by Amy Kaufman (Dutton, March 6)

Los Angeles Times staff writer Amy Kaufman uses her insider knowledge and snarky love of the reality-television franchise to fill a whole book with details about The Bachelor, from tryouts through post-season fallout. Lest you think this is all fluff, Kaufman addresses the history of dating shows and delves into more complex issues of feminism and dating culture.

A great read for any fan, closeted or loud and proud.

Buy it on Amazon

From Rory at Fourth Street Review:

Barbed Wire Heart by Tess Sharpe (Grand Central, March 6)

Harley McKenna has shot a man, buried a mother, and plotted revenge, but her most defining characteristic is being the only child of Duke McKenna—widower, gun runner, and meth dealer extraordinaire. Harley plans to take over the family business, but not before she transforms it by whatever means necessary.

Barbed Wire Heart is a sharp, feminist novel about the length we’ll go to protect those in need, and how hard we hold on to the ties that bind, even when they’re strangling us. Sharpe has created an arresting family dynamic in the McKennas, and though I can’t speak to the constant Breaking Bad comparisons the novel has drawn, I will say it’s a compelling story.

Buy it on Amazon

PCN recommends:

The Sandman by Lars Kepler (Knopf, March 6)

Detective Inspector Joona Linna put serial killer Jurek Walter, aka the Sandman, behind bars years ago, so why are people who had tangential connections to Jurek still dying? Joona will have to confront his most terrifying nemesis again if he wants the living nightmares to end and to save one of Jurek’s victims.

From the first sentence, I was pinned to the page like I was hypnotized. Kepler, a pseudonym for husband and wife Alexander and Alexandra Ahndoril, writes in a suspenseful, cinematic style that never allows readers to relax. Jurek is reminiscent of Hannibal Lecter in that he can inflict terror even in captivity. Grab The Sandman and then read the other books in this excellent series, too, starting with The Hypnotist.

Buy it on Amazon

Which books have you read this month?

Book Review: RED CLOCKS by Leni Zumas

February 28, 2018 – 1:20 am | One Comment
red clocks

This review is by contributor Thuy Dinh, coeditor of the literary online magazine Da Mau.
In Leni Zumas’s lyrical yet unsparing novel, red clocks symbolize the identity crises, haunting wombs, ticking time bombs of five female …

Mini Movie Reviews: Holiday Season 2017

November 26, 2017 – 9:41 pm | 2 Comments
Screen Shot 2017-11-26 at 7.13.34 PM

Hope you had a wonderful weekend! My Thanksgiving was nice and relaxing and the only drama occurred onscreen, with my trying to catch up on movies being touted as award contenders. If you’re wondering what …


November 16, 2017 – 3:44 pm | 3 Comments

I’ve been attending lots of award-season screenings and am behind in reviews, so I’ll do some in this format. Below are my quick thoughts on Justice League.
What you want to know up front: I liked …

Nerdy Special List November 2017

November 7, 2017 – 8:50 pm | 4 Comments
woman in camphor trunk

It blows my mind Thanksgiving is in a couple of weeks and Christmas is next month—I’m still wearing shorts!—but this is my favorite time of year so I say bring on the holidays. With time off, …

Book Review: THE CHILD FINDER by Rene Denfeld

October 18, 2017 – 8:47 pm | One Comment
child finder

As the titular character in Rene Denfeld’s The Child Finder, Naomi does exactly what her job description says: find missing children. Madison disappeared three years earlier, at the age of five, and her parents have …

Nerdy Special List October 2017

October 6, 2017 – 12:52 am | 2 Comments
we're going to need more wine

October is one of my favorite months. The leaves change colors—well, not in L.A. but back east in pictures from family. The weather is cooler so I don’t have to sweat my back off every …

Text, Don’t Call: An Illustrated Guide to the Introverted Life

September 27, 2017 – 1:11 am | One Comment
text don't call

Being an INFJ (the rarest personality type), I was happy to come across this book. The following review appeared originally in Shelf Awareness for Readers and is reprinted here with permission.
Twenty years ago, as illustrator and …

Nerdy Special List September 2017

September 20, 2017 – 12:08 am | 4 Comments
dead woman walking

I’m late getting the list up this month because I ran away. It’s been an exhausting year and I needed a respite from everything, so I went to stay with relatives where there’s no cell service …

Nerdy Special List August 2017

August 7, 2017 – 1:37 am | 7 Comments
the blinds

Summer is almost over and I’m relieved because I’m melting. But I’ve had more excellent reads this summer than I did in the past few years, and many of the standout books are August releases.
Here are our recommendations this …


July 19, 2017 – 11:53 pm | 7 Comments

I was in a bad reading slump recently. Picked up six novels and put them all back down after reading only the opening paragraphs. Nothing pulled me into its world, or introduced me to characters I …

Nerdy Special List July 2017

July 6, 2017 – 11:41 pm | 2 Comments
beautiful, terrible thing

Oh, man, it’s been so hot here, I’m tempted to run down the street naked and dive into random sprinklers. Mr. PCN said the neighbors would just think it’s a regular Friday.
The other day, I was reading …

Book Review: THE LIGHT WE LOST by Jill Santopolo

June 13, 2017 – 8:43 pm | One Comment
light we lost

Lucy and Gabe met as Columbia University students on 9/11, when emotions were running high and “our shields were down.” After spending a very intense day together, however, Gabe reunites with an ex, and Lucy …

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