Headline »

JLeague

Movie Review: JUSTICE LEAGUE

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 …

Read the full story »
Books & writing

Book reviews and more

Movies

Advance movie reviews and behind-the-scenes discussions with filmmakers

Q & A

Nerd chats with writers and actors

Random Nerdy Stuff

Ramblings that defy categorization

TV

Recaps and reactions to some of your favorite TV shows

Books & writing »

Nerdy Special List November 2017

November 7, 2017 – 8:50 pm | 2 Comments

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, maybe we can catch up on eating reading.

To that end, here are the November books we recommend.

From Jen at Brown Dog Solutions:

Beasts of Extraordinary Circumstance by Ruth Emmie Lang (St. Martin’s Press, November 7)

Ruth Emmie Lang’s fictional realism debut is heartwarming and inspiring at a time when we could all use a little hope. Weylyn Grey is an orphan raised with wolves before re-integrating into the human realm.

Beasts of Extraordinary Circumstances tells his life story through the voices of those who were a part of his unusual life: a foster sister, a teacher, employers, a young boy and the love of his life. Lang has crafted a rich story with sparkling language, robust characters, and a fascinating plot. It’s a story that will ignite a spark of magic inside each of its readers.

Garden of the Lost and Abandoned by Jessica Yu (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, November 7)

Academy Award-winning documentary filmmaker Jessica Yu makes her book debut with a true story about an amazing woman making a difference in the lives of Ugandan children.

Gladys Kalibbala is a journalist who writes a weekly “Lost and Abandoned” column in Uganda’s largest newspaper, trying to reunite homeless, orphaned children with their families. Gladys goes to extremes—most of the time at her own expense—to find relatives, provide medical assistance, education, and basic needs like food and clothes, and to let these children know someone cares. Gladys’s compassion and selflessness make her a role model for us all, and Garden of the Lost and Abandoned is a fitting tribute to this beautiful human being.

From Rory at Fourth Street Review:

Future Home of the Living God by Louise Erdrich (Harper, November 14)

Cedar Hawk Songmaker is pregnant, living in a near post-apocalyptic world. Evolution is seemingly running backward, with the flora and fauna looking downright prehistoric, and the government is ruled by religion. Pregnant women are being captured and monitored. Cedar knows she has to protect her unborn baby, but how? What, where, and who is safe?

Erdrich has written a timely, disturbing, and bleak novel about the degradation of women and the environment. Its relevance is what makes it both difficult and wonderful to read. I’d highly recommend Future Home of the Living God for fans of Margaret Atwood (the comparisons are unavoidable) and P. D. James.

From Lauren at Malcolm Avenue Review:

The Savage by Frank Bill (FSG Originals, November 14)

A follow-up to the bare-knuckled badassery of Donnybrook, Frank Bill’s The Savage is set only several years on but light years away. The US dollar and power grid are worthless, and power-and-land-hungry hordes are savaging what and who remains.

Against this backdrop, Bill explores the competing interests of (mostly) men living in the madness, and how they survive in light of their histories and the type of men their fathers taught them to be.

The Savage is soaked in vengeance and unapologetic violence. Bill writes in a unique voice that takes the reader to the heart of the brawl, but from the safety of the other side of the page, you’ll look forward to every hit.

PCN recommends:

The Woman in the Camphor Trunk by Jennifer Kincheloe (Seventh Street Books, November 14)

Check out this killer opening line: “Anna Blanc was the most beautiful woman ever to barrel down Long Beach Strand with the severed head of a Chinese man.” This captures the tone of the book—whimsical but deadly.

It’s 1908 Los Angeles, and assistant police matron Anna’s investigation of a murder leads her to Chinatown. Kincheloe strikes just the right balance between dark and light, commenting on serious social issues while keeping Anna madcap but never, ever dumb. Woman is as smart as it’s entertaining.

What are you reading this month?

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 …

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 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 …

Book Review: ELEANOR OLIPHANT IS COMPLETELY FINE

July 19, 2017 – 11:53 pm | 7 Comments
eleanor

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 …

Nerdy Special List June 2017

June 8, 2017 – 9:13 pm | 2 Comments
the child

School’s out and summer has started, which means lazy days—or in my case, lazier days. I blame it on the heat. And laziness.
But there’s one activity I’ll always do a lot of and that’s reading. The NSL contributors and …

Nerdy Special List May 2017–Take 2

May 8, 2017 – 12:44 pm | 4 Comments
where dead men meet

OK, let’s try this again. Earlier this post was unfinished but published without my knowledge or permission. While writing it, I experienced technical issues so I saved what I had and asked tech support to look into …

Nerdy Special List April 2017

April 10, 2017 – 6:34 pm | 4 Comments
cruel is the night

I’ll be having a birthday soon, which means I’ll have to confront something on my list of fears. This year’s challenge: spring cleaning. [Insert horror scream here.] I think I’ll read a book instead and hope the …

Movie Review: BEAUTY AND THE BEAST

March 15, 2017 – 11:08 pm | One Comment
beautyandthebeast

Does anyone need a refresher on the plot of this “tale as old as time”? The one about a girl whose kindness saves a selfish prince and his household from a curse? No? OK, great. I can jump straight into …

Book Review: DISTRESS SIGNALS by Catherine Ryan Howard

March 9, 2017 – 1:55 am | One Comment
distress signals

Catherine Ryan Howard’s Distress Signals—shortlisted for the Irish Book Awards’ Crime Novel of the Year after its UK release—opens with a man plunging off a cruise ship into dark waters, but readers will have to …

Nerdy Special List March 2017

March 7, 2017 – 1:18 am | 2 Comments
follow me down

March brings spring, and whoo boy, I could use some spring right now. Heavy rains (causing a tree to fall on a friend’s car—while she was in it) were rough, turning me into more of …

Theme Tweaker by Unreal