Tuesday, November 29, 2022

Book Review: unSweetined

How rude!

Jodie Sweetin melted our hearts and made us laugh for eight years as cherub-faced, goody-two-shoes middle child Stephanie Tanner. Her ups and downs seemed not so different from our own, but more than a decade after the popular television show ended, the star publicly revealed her shocking recovery from methamphetamine addiction. Even then, she kept a painful secret—one that could not be solved in thirty minutes with a hug, a stern talking-to, or a bowl of ice cream around the family table. The harrowing battle she swore she had won was really just beginning.

Monday, November 28, 2022

Book Review: The Chinese Groove


Eighteen-year-old Shelley, born into a much-despised branch of the Zheng family in Yunnan Province and living in the shadow of his widowed father’s grief, dreams of bigger things. Buoyed by an exuberant heart and his cousin Deng’s tall tales about the United States, Shelley heads to San Francisco to claim his destiny, confident that any hurdles will be easily overcome by the awesome powers of the “Chinese groove,” a belief in the unspoken bonds between countrymen that transcend time and borders.

Upon arrival, Shelley is dismayed to find that his “rich uncle” is in fact his unemployed second cousin once removed and that the grand guest room he’d envisioned is but a scratchy sofa.

Thursday, November 24, 2022

Book Review: Full Circle


When Kimmy Gibbler burst into the Tanners’ home on Full House in 1987, audiences immediately connected with the confident and quirky pre-teen character, played by ten-year-old actress Andrea Barber. During an eight-season run on one of the most popular series of the ‘80s and ‘90s, Andrea came of age in front of millions. But she was as far removed from her character as a girl can get. The introverted young star was plagued with self-doubt, insecurities, and debilitating anxieties that left her questioning her identity after the show’s cancelation. Andrea wouldn’t return to the public eye until 2016, for Fuller House. So what happened in those intervening decades that Andrea jokingly calls “the lost years”?

Wednesday, November 23, 2022

Book Review: Please Report Your Bug Here


A college grad with the six-figure debt to prove it, Ethan Block views San Francisco as the place to be. Yet his job at hot new dating app DateDate is a far cry from what he envisioned. Instead of making the world a better place, he reviews flagged photo queues, overworked and stressed out. But that's about to change.

Reeling from a breakup, Ethan decides to view his algorithmically matched soulmate on DateDate. He overrides the system and clicks on the profile. Then, he disappears. One minute, he’s in a windowless office, and the next, he’s in a field of endless grass, gasping for air. When Ethan snaps back to DateDate HQ, he’s convinced a coding issue caused the blip.

Sunday, November 20, 2022

Book Review: Moonflower Murders


Retired publisher Susan Ryeland is living the good life, running a small hotel on a Greek island with her long-term boyfriend Andreas. It should be everything she's always wanted. But is it? She's exhausted with the responsibilities, and truth be told she's beginning to miss London. And then the Trehearnes come to stay. The strange and mysterious story they tell, about an unfortunate murder that took place on the same day and in the same hotel in which their daughter was married—a picturesque inn on the Suffolk coast named Farlingaye Hall—fascinates Susan and piques her editor’s instincts.

One of her former writers, the late Alan Conway, author of the fictional Magpie Murders, knew the murder victim—an advertising executive named Frank Parris. Conway based the third book in his detective series, Atticus Pund Takes the Cake, on that very crime. The Trehearne’s, daughter, Cecily, read Conway’s mystery and believed the book proves that the man convicted of Parris’s murder is innocent. When the Trehearnes reveal that Cecily is now missing, Susan knows that she must return to England and find out what really happened.

Tuesday, November 15, 2022

Book Review: The Hunting Party


In a remote hunting lodge, deep in the Scottish wilderness, old friends gather for New Year.

The beautiful one,

the golden couple,

the volatile one,

the new parents,

the quiet one,

the city boy,

the outsider,

...and the victim.

Not an accident – a murder among friends.

Saturday, November 12, 2022

Book Review: 21-Hit Wonder


As one of the most renowned, multi-platinum songwriters and producers in the game, Sam Hollander has written and produced for the likes of Panic! At The Disco, One Direction, Katy Perry, Ringo Starr, Def Leppard, Carole King, Weezer, blink-182, Jewel, Train, Fitz and the Tantrums, Billy Idol, Tom Morello, and many others. But before he was stacking Billboard hits, Hollander was piling up calamitous flops, false starts, and feeling like the world was moving on and up without him while he spun in place. Today he wears that decade of misses like a badge of honor.

Wednesday, November 9, 2022

Book Review: Magpie Murders


When editor Susan Ryeland is given the manuscript of Alan Conway’s latest novel, she has no reason to think it will be much different from any of his others. After working with the bestselling crime writer for years, she’s intimately familiar with his detective, Atticus P√ľnd, who solves mysteries disturbing sleepy English villages. An homage to queens of classic British crime such as Agatha Christie and Dorothy Sayers, Alan’s traditional formula has proved hugely successful. So successful that Susan must continue to put up with his troubling behavior if she wants to keep her job.

Friday, November 4, 2022

Book Review: Stories To Tell


Richard Marx is one of the most accomplished singer-songwriters in the history of popular music. His self-titled 1987 album went triple platinum and made him the first male solo artist to have four singles from their debut crack the top three on the Billboard Hot 100. His follow-up, 1989’s Repeat Offender, was an even bigger smash, going quadruple platinum and landing two singles at number one. He has written fourteen number one songs in total, shared a Song of the Year Grammy with Luther Vandross, and collaborated with a variety of artists including NSYNC, Josh Groban, Natalie Cole, and Keith Urban. Lately, he’s also become a Twitter celebrity thanks to his outspokenness on social issues and his ability to out-troll his trolls.

Wednesday, November 2, 2022

Book Review: Fake Money Blue Smoke


When former platoon sergeant Matt Kubelsky is paroled from Ray Brook Federal Correctional Institute in upstate New York, he’s surprised to find his ex-girlfriend waiting for him out in the parking lot. An ex-girlfriend he’s spent years pining for after she dumped him and stopped answering his letters. An ex-girlfriend who wonders if her apparently criminally-hardened ex-boyfriend can help her out of some extra-legal difficulty of her own.

During the years Matt was in prison, Kelly Haggerty discovered she couldn’t earn a satisfactory living as an artist, so she turned her artistic talents to counterfeiting foreign currency—and ended up embroiled in an international money laundering intrigue. Now she hopes she can get herself out of trouble with a cleverly-plotted theft and one last enormous score.