Sunday, September 25, 2022

Book Review: Welcome to the Game


Having moved his family from England to Detroit and opened a foreign car dealership, ex-rally driver Spencer Burham’s life was derailed by the death of his beloved wife. Now disconnected from his young daughter and losing control of the cocktail of drugs and alcohol that gets him through the day, he only just keeps Child Protective Services at bay while his business teeters on the edge of bankruptcy.

Then he has a seemingly chance encounter with a charismatic but lethal gangster, Dominic McGrath. Feeling the squeeze from informants, the rise of tech surveillance, and a hotshot detective who’s made busting him a personal crusade, McGrath’s been planning a last heist that would allow a comfortable retirement, provided he can find a very special type of driver—one who’s capable, trustworthy . . . and na├»ve.

Wednesday, September 21, 2022

Book Review: The Jordainaires


The greatest backup group in the history of recorded music undoubtedly was the Jordanaires, a gospel group of mostly Tennessee boys, formed in the 1940s, that set the standard for studio vocal groups in the '50s, '60s, '70s, and beyond. In their sixty-five-year career, from 1948 through 2013, the recordings they sang on have sold an estimated eight billion copies. They sang on more than 200 of Elvis's recordings, including most of his biggest hits. They were in three of his best-known movies, appeared with him on most of his early nation-wide TV shows, and toured with him for many years. Throughout Elvis's early career, they were his most trusted friends and probably his most positive influence. "No telling how many thousands of miles we rode together over those fourteen years," remembered Gordon Stoker, the group's manager and high tenor, "and most of those miles were good miles, with lots of laughs, and lots of talk about life."

Monday, September 19, 2022

Book Review: Reverberation


Music is a universal human experience that’s been with us since the dawn of time. You’ve listened to music all your life . . . but have you ever wondered why?

It turns out music isn’t just about entertainment—it’s a deeply embedded, subtly powerful means of communication. Songs resonate with your brain wave patterns and drive changes in your brain: creating your moods, consolidating your memories, strengthening your habits (the good ones and the bad ones alike) . . . even making you fall in or out of love. Your music is molding you, at a subconscious level, all day long. And now, for the first time ever, you can take charge.

Saturday, September 17, 2022

Book Review: Acid For the Children


In Acid for the Children, Flea takes readers on a deeply personal and revealing tour of his formative years, spanning from Australia to the New York City suburbs to, finally, Los Angeles. Through hilarious anecdotes, poetical meditations, and occasional flights of fantasy, Flea deftly chronicles the experiences that forged him as an artist, a musician, and a young man. His dreamy, jazz-inflected prose makes the Los Angeles of the 1970s and 80s come to gritty, glorious life, including the potential for fun, danger, mayhem, or inspiration that lurked around every corner. It is here that young Flea, looking to escape a turbulent home, found family in a community of musicians, artists, and junkies who also lived on the fringe. He spent most of his time partying and committing petty crimes. But it was in music where he found a higher meaning, a place to channel his frustration, loneliness, and love. This left him open to the life-changing moment when he and his best friends, soul brothers, and partners-in-mischief came up with the idea to start their own band, which became the Red Hot Chili Peppers.

Thursday, September 8, 2022

Book Review: Out of Esau


When a woman questioning her marriage encounters the kind and steadfast pastor of her small town, they are both forced to reconsider their pasts, their faith, and their future

Robert Glory has never quite felt as though he fit in the small town of Esau, Michigan, but he finds solace in his role as the pastor of Esau Baptist and in his spare, orderly routine. When Susan Shearer arrives at his church seeking the strength to stay true to her increasingly volatile husband, neither expect that their immediate connection will upend both of their lives. As their relationship deepens and Susan’s life at home becomes more unstable, Robert and Susan are forced to confront the wounds that have shaped them and discover if they still have the power to change.

Monday, September 5, 2022

Book Review: Sinister Graves


A snowmelt has sent floodwaters down to the fields of the Red River Valley, dragging the body of an unidentified Native woman into the town of Ada. The only evidence the medical examiner recovers is a torn piece of paper inside her bra: a hymnal written in English and Ojibwe.

Cash Blackbear, a 19-year-old Ojibwe woman, sometimes helps Sheriff Wheaton, her guardian, on his investigations. Now she knows her search for justice for this anonymous victim will take her to the White Earth Reservation, a place she once called home. When Cash happens upon two small graves in the yard of a rural, “speak-in-tongues kinda church,” Cash is pulled into the lives of the malevolent pastor and his troubled wife while yet another Native woman dies in a mysterious manner.

Wednesday, August 31, 2022

Book Review: Welcome to Dragon Talk


If it seems like everyone you know is playing Dungeons & Dragons, it’s because they are! After nearly five decades, the iconic roleplaying game is more popular than ever. Famous Hollywood actors and directors, therapists, educators, politicians, kids, parents, and grandparents all count themselves as fans. In Welcome to Dragon Talk, hosts of the official D&D podcast Shelly Mazzanoble and Greg Tito and their surprising guests show how this beloved pastime has amassed a diverse, tight-knit following of players who defy stereotypes.