Showing posts with label humor. Show all posts
Showing posts with label humor. Show all posts

Book Review: Zombies of the World: A Field Guide to the Undead by Ross Payton

Zombies of the World: A Field Guide to the Undead by Ross Payton is a humorous reference book. Zombies have plagued humanity's nightmares for centuries, but fortunately, the scientific community has created this detailed and completely serious guide to the undead which reveals the undead to be a valuable part of our ecosystem and the key to new discoveries in medicine and technology. Zombies of the World uses captivating illustrations to document how evolution has led to a wide variety of species. Few outside the scientific community even realize that creatures like the Egyptian Mummy (Mortifera mumia aegyptus) are actually zombies. Some species are even harmless to humans. The Dancing Zombie (Mortifera immortalis choreographicus) only seeks to thrill humans with elaborate dance routines. Discover how our history has been affected by the undead and what we can learn from “scientific” research. 

Zombies of the World is an interesting take on zombie lore. Written as a non fiction book it is the story of zombie evolution, classification, and explanation. I think the illustrations were very well done, and a perfect pairing to the text. I like that the history and science possibilities are heavily featured. The approach is rather like the mermaid mockumentory from a few years back, that might have some readers wondering if there is truth in the book rather than fiction. I also enjoyed the dry humor that is inherent in this style of writing, but it might fall flat for those looking for a more obvious humor. The descriptions of the zombie varieties were my favorite part of the book, and the section I think are the most universally appealing. I rather liked the approach, but think that it is best suited to serious zombie fans.

Book Review: Honeymoon Alone by Nicole Macaulay

Honeymoon Alone by Nicole Macaulay is a contemporary romance. When irrepressibly romantic Lucy Gray is ditched at said wedding by her date in front of her whole family, the promises of a psychic seem better than her pity-riddled reality. The psychic’s advice seems insightful: stop ignoring fate’s signs – fate will lead you to love. But when “fate” leads Lucy to London, she finds herself tangled in a web of lies. In a story about finding independence and taking chances, Lucy learns that leaving everything up to fate can be dangerous – and jeopardize her chances at happily ever after.

Honeymoon Alone is a story that caught my attention right at the begin. Lucy is sweet, reliable, and tired. Everyone expects her to do what they need and while they care about her they never seem to think about what she wants, only what they think is best for her. I could very much relate to her position and emotional state. She takes a chance, takes an impromptu trip, and comedy, romance, and a dash of danger are the result. I like that all of the conflicts and bumbles felt completely natural, and rather like things that would happen to me. I like how the characters were all well developed an d that the story does not frame Lucy as incomplete without romance, but that it would simple not be unwelcome. In much of the book romance takes a back seat to figuring out just what was going on and enjoying Lucy's discovery of London. For those looking for steam, there is none of that here- nothing more than some kisses- but the journey is very much worth the read.

Honeymoon Alone as much a story about Lucy finding herself and figuring out what she wants. I enjoyed the story and am glad I requested it from NetGalley. 

Early Book Review: Procrastibaking: 100 Recipes for Getting Nothing Done in the Most Delicious Way Possible by Erin Gardner

Procrastibaking: 100 Recipes for Getting Nothing Done in the Most Delicious Way Possible by Erin Gardner is currently scheduled for release on June 1 2020. Sometimes you need to take a mini vacation from the demands of daily life, and the kitchen is the best space for it. How can you return those emails when there’s dough on your hands? It would be counterproductive to handle clean laundry after dipping chocolates all afternoon, right? Whether you’re avoiding work, the news, or just trying to keep your hands busy, baking offers the perfect escape.

The digital galley for Procrastibaking landed in my hands at the perfect time- as my family were stuck working and learning from home and not going much of anywhere. When better to turn math lessons into treats, or delay dealing with a problem that really should not belong to you than by producing edibles in the kitchen? I enjoyed testing and planning to try out some of these 100 recipes. Some call for an hour, some call for a weekend, and all end in something yummy to eat. I still have several of the recipes bookmarked for further testing. I enjoyed the small asides that were between the recipes. Sadly some of the suggestions, like running down to the store for the perfect fruit or gourmet chocolate were not a good idea when I was reading the book I still enjoyed the sentiment- and could spend that time to see if I could order the same things online for delivery. As a whole; the recipes were easy to follow, the tone of the writing was fun and conversational, and I really enjoyed this book.
Procrastibaking is a fun and well written collection of recipes to try, regardless of if you should really be doing something else.

Early Book Review: Rascal by Jean-Luc Deglin

Rascal by Jean-Luc Deglin is a graphic novel about a mysterious mewling package arriving in the mail. One busy young woman's life changes forever. Rascal lives up to his name, filling every day with wild adventures and long naps: brave expeditions into closets, fierce battles with curtains, and wrestling with slumbering giants... Sometimes she's tempted to throw him out the window. He's lucky he's cute.
Rascal is a cute book about a reluctant cat owner and the mischief that more pet owners can identify with. Rascal is a cute cat, and the illustrations are nice. The black cat is well paired with the tones used on each page. Cats are a blend of sweetness and trouble, killing machines that can endear themselves to even the most reluctant guardians and make us their caretakers, cooks, and maids. I think those of us that already have cats in their lives, and those that wish they did, will enjoy and see something of themselves in the story. 

Early Book Review: Bears Behaving Badly (BeWere my Heart) by MaryJanice Davidson

Bears Behaving Badly is the first book in the BeWere my Heart series by MaryJanice Davidson. It is currently scheduled for release on March 31 2020. 

These social worker bear shifters give the term "mama bear" a whole new meaning! Werebear shifter Annette Garsea is a caseworker for the Interspecies Placement Agency. When a selectively mute and freakishly strong teen werewolf is put in her custody, Annette has to uncover the young girl's secrets if she's to have any hopes of helping her. And not even the growling of a scruffy private investigator can distract her from her mission. Bear shifter David Auberon appreciates Annette's work with at-risk teen shifters, but he's not sure if her latest charge is so much a vulnerable teen as a predator who should be locked up. All that changes when he, Annette, and her motley band of juveniles find themselves dodging multiple murder attempts and uncovering a trafficking cartel that doesn't just threaten the kids, but risks discovery of the shifters by the wider world of homo sapiens.

Bears Behaving Badly has a good deal going on.Annette and David had some great dialogue, and I enjoyed the clueless, thought to be unrequited love, aspect of the story. They were fun and I liked getting to know them. I also really liked the secondary characters- and found some of them more interesting and entertaining than the major players on occasion.  I like that parts of the character backstories are slowly revealed rather than having a massive information dump. I thought that the mystery of what was going on and who the mole was had a good pace and had a good balance of danger and character exploration. Although, I have to say that some of the big picture was a little obvious to me and I wanted to facepalm when Annette and David finally figured it out. The story was fun and enjoyable. However, there several occasions when the transitions were sudden and I had to go back and reread bits to see if I missed something, some clue, as to how they got to be somewhere or which line of dialogue when to which character. Everytime that this happened with a scene transition I was taken out of the story and it took away from my enjoyment a bit. 

Bears Behaving Badly is a fun romantic adventure with a nice balance of humor, mystery, and a touch of heat.

Early Book Review: Don't Check Out This Book! by Kate Klise

Don't Check Out This Book! by Kate Klise is a children's book currently scheduled for release on March 10 2020. Consider the facts: Appleton Elementary School has a new librarian named Rita B. Danjerous. (Say it fast.) Principal Noah Memree barely remembers hiring her. Ten-year-old Reid Durr is staying up way too late reading a book from Ms. Danjerous's controversial "green dot" collection. The new school board president has mandated a student dress code that includes white gloves and bow ties available only at her shop. Sound strange? Fret not. Appleton's fifth-grade sleuths are following the money, embracing the punny, and determined to the get to the funniest, most rotten core of their town's juiciest scandal. 

Don't Check Out This Book! is a read full of punny names, and a healthy dose of humor. I really enjoyed the letter based format, and think that it portrayed the personalities and intent of the characters very well. I liked how well the different tones and voices were done, even with variation in stationary and handwriting to make them each stand out. I like that while some of the personalities seem over the top, I have actually met people like most of these characters. The story seems simple, but covers a lot of ground. THere is the importance of following the rules, but knowing that there is a time to question them and follow your own heart and mind to do the right thing. There is supporting others in doing the right thing, the importance of the perfect book, and how some people crave power and prestige more than the good they could do with it. The balance of humor and important ideas is so well done that it does not feel like preachy or heavy handed, which can ruin a read for some readers (like myself). I hope just as many parents, educators, and school board members read this as children because there were moments that felt all to real. I really enjoyed the read and was reminded how much I have enjoyed Klise's work. 

Don't Check Out This Book! was a great story that I think kids and adults can enjoy on their own and to spark conversations. 

Book Review: Birds of a Feather: A Book of Idioms and Silly Pictures by Vanita Oelschlager, Robin Hegan

Birds of a Feather: A Book of Idioms and Silly Pictures, written by Vanita Oelschlager and illustrated by Robin Hegan, is an exploration of fun phrases. The book introduces children to the magic of idioms - words that separately have one meaning, but together take on something entirely different with outlandish illustrations of what the words describe literally. The reader then has to guess the "real" meaning of the phrases (which is upside down in the corner of each spread). 

Birds of a Feather: A Book of Idioms and Silly Pictures is a cute book and worthy of a fun grinsa and chuckles. The illustrations and bright and bold, catching and holding the reader's attention. Some of the paths the book took for the literal interpretations were not the way I would have gone, but they made for fun pictures. I like that the meaning of the idiom way on each page, but I would have liked more information on the background of the sayings, perhaps in the endpages. One offering of such information was there, but I think more of this could have been done beyond encouraging readers to think about sayings more. Maybe suggestions for further reading in books or on websites that might go into more detail. 

The book was fine for what it promised, but I was kind of hoping for a little more.

Book Review: Sorry I Barfed on Your Bed Again (and More Heartwarming Letters from Kitty) by Jeremy Greenberg

Sorry I Barfed on Your Bed Again (and More Heartwarming Letters from Kitty) by Jeremy Greenberg is a collection of funny letters and heartwarming photos from cats to their person. Tess wants you to know that she intends to continue throwing up freely as long as the new baby gets to—fair is fair. Ovid would like to inform you that he’s giving up one of his nine lives in order to avoid a visit to the vet—he’ll miss you and knows you understand. And Quinn assures you that she’ll protect you from whatever it is that’s rolled under the table with all the righteous fury in her little body—even if only turns out to be a dropped olive.

Sorry I Barfed on Your Bed Again is an amusing book with short letters from felines to their humans. Cat lovers will relate to the letters, and find some humor there. Every cat owner has had at least one of these situations, if not more, in their homes. The letters are clever, with different tones depending on the cat it was attributed to. The pictures of the cats were enjoyable to look at, with some that were fairly standard pictures and others that had goofy or interesting expressions. As a whole the book was a fun diversion for a few minutes. It is not a book that I would add to my collection, but it might be a good gift for very devoted cat lovers. 

Book Review: Fowl Language: Winging It The Art of Imperfect Parenting by Brian Gordon

Fowl Language: Winging It The Art of Imperfect Parenting by Brian Gordon is here to remind parents that they are not alone. Parenting is hard and often gross. Laughing about it helps. This comic collection offers readers a comprehensive view of the early parenting years in all of their maddening cuteness and sanity-depriving chaos. The book features some favorites as well as dozens of previously unpublished cartoons organized into 12 thematic chapters—including "Babies: Oh Dear God, What Have We Done?"; "Siblings: Best Frenemies Forever"; and "Sleep: Everybody Needs It, Nobody's Gettin' It". Each of these sections begins with an essay by Gordon.
Winging It is exactly what I was expecting, and then some. I have been a fan of Gordon's work for awhile and follow the related social media accounts. This means that I have seen some of the images before- but something about the style, humor, and honesty inherent in the comics never gt old for me. Too often I think parents are trying to act perfect, like they have it all together and know what they are doing. I have always felt like parents, myself included, are all just faking it and trudging ahead trying to do the best we ca for our families. I love seeing someone writing and drawing about feeling the same way. We all love our kids- but no matter how much love there is there will still be moments when selling them on Esty seems like a good idea. I think that being honest about having those moments is just as important for a parent's mental health and survival as facing the moments when they start pulling away and become more independent. There was a great deal that I related to in this collection- the sleep deprivation, picky eating, and sibling arguments most of all.  I think most parents can find something to relate to or laugh at in this book, and will enjoy the ride. 

Winging It is an enjoyable and relatable read for parents and caregivers. The combination of love and frustration that is parenting is captured with honesty and humor. 

Early Book Review: Animals Reviewed: Starred Ratings of Our Feathered, Finned, and Furry Friends by Association of Zoos and Aquariums

Animals Reviewed: Starred Ratings of Our Feathered, Finned, and Furry Friends by Association of Zoos and Aquariums is currently scheduled for release on October 29 2019. Launched by the Oregon Zoo and quickly picked up by zoos, aquariums, scientists, and the funny people of Twitter, #rateaspecies is a global, viral hit, and a chance for people to honestly—and hilariously—review the animal kingdom. This book has crowd-sourced 150 of the best entries, the majority of which are new to the book, from their 233-member zoos and aquariums. Packed with adorable photos of every animal and laced with wit and humor, Animals Reviewed is the perfect gift or self-purchase for animal lovers of all ages.
Animals Reviewed is a fun book that collects the rated reviews of various zoo animals. I liked that the jokes often included information about the animal, such as remarks about its limited availability or the place where it is made disappearing. These reminders about pending extinction and habitat destruction are funny, but reminding people so that they can join the efforts to stop such tragedy is important. I also learned about some animals I never heard of or saw in a zoo or even documentary before. I like that there was such a balance of giggles and information throughout the book, and that there was such a wide variety of creatures. I think animal lovers of all ages will enjoy this- and I think those that work with animals would particularly enjoy this as a gift.

Early Book Review: Texts from Mittens: The Friends and Family Edition by Angie Bailey

Texts from Mittens: The Friends and Family Edition by Angie Bailey is currently scheduled for release on September 3 2019. This book follow along with Mittens as he enjoys hilarious, snark-filled text volleys with his cast of quirky friends and family: Earl (the “filthy hound”), Stumpy (the best friend), Drunky Patty (the usually tipsy next-door neighbor), Grandma (giver of treats), and Fiona (Mitty’s girlfriend). It is based on Angie Bailey’s virally popular blog.

Texts from Mittens is a cute collection of texts that imagine what a cat might text to his friends and family. I have never seen Bailey's blog, so this whole thing was new to me, although I have seen various twitter and facebook accounts that post from the imagned mindset of the pet. I found the texts to be entertaining and, as a cat servent myself, sometimes relatable. I never really laughed out loud or did more than smile as to the antics of Mittens and crew. However, I did find it amusing and a entertaining distraction in the midst of a heat wave.

Texts from Mittens is a good book to flip through and entertain yourself with for awhile.  

Early Book Review: The Escape Manual for Introverts by Katie Vaz

The Escape Manual for Introverts by Katie Vaz is currently scheduled for release on August 6 2019. Trapped in an airplane seated next to a chatterbox? Are you hosting a dinner party with people who just won't leave? Katie Vaz has the key to your escape. The Escape Manual for Introverts guides readers through different scenarios with themed chapters ("Friends," "Relatives," "Strangers," etc.). Each chapter covers a range of situations, from an invitation to karaoke night to group lunchtime. And she offers a number of escapes for each scenario: bringing odoriferous foods to lunch for a while, having a pet (real or imagined) that "requires" frequent check-ins, and even investing in a jet pack. This book features Vaz's full-page illustrated spreads, hand-lettering, and spot illustrations. From the silly to the sincere, Vaz's clever, hilarious escape plans and bizarre excuses speak to the introvert in all of us. 

The Escape Manual for Introverts is a funny look at how to avoid social interaction when you really feel the need to be alone and recharge. As an introvert that works with the public, I often seek alone time for my off duty hours. Thankfully those closest to me are well aware, and understand my enjoyment of a cup of tea and a good book rather than getting dressed up and going out on the town. This book offers a variety of situations an introvert might feel the desire to escape from and offers some suggests that will help mitigate the small talk and awkward moments. I like that the situations and responses are organized by who you might be interacting with. Some of the suggestions are standard behavior for some of us already, such as bonding with the pets or "helping" in the kitchen to stay busy and out of the fray. Others are great, and slightly more involved- such as finding a cause to volunteer with to help avoid attending situations all together. I both love and dislike this solution. I love it- because getting out and doing good is fabulous, however it could just get you in more situations you might need to avoid- so choose wisely. I do not want to give away any more of the suggestions- because I might need them. The art style is fun, and matches the voice of the book well. 

The Escape Manual for Introverts was a read that I really enjoyed and identified with on several levels. I think introverts, and those that love them, will all enjoy this book.

Book Review: No Other Duke but You (Playful Brides) by Valerie Bowman

No Other Duke but You is the eleventh book in the Playful Brides series by Valerie Bowman. They can each stand well on their own, although returning readers will be happy to see favorite characters making their appearances.

Lady Delilah Montebank has her marital sights set on the Duke of Branville. There’s just one problem: he barely knows she exists. But no matter, she’s got a plan to win him over with her charm, her wit—and perhaps the love potion she has in her possession wouldn’t hurt her cause. Lord Thomas Hobbs, Duke of Huntley, thinks his best friend Delilah’s quest to become a duchess is ridiculous. He’s always said he’d rather give up all the brandy in London than commit to one person for life. Besides, he knows that Delilah’s love potion can’t possibly win over Branville since she accidentally gave it to him instead. But perhaps this is the excuse he needs to show her he’s always loved her. Delilah can’t believe she gave the potion to the wrong duke. Then again, Delilah could do a lot worse than win the hand of her handsome best friend. Could it be that the right duke has been before her eyes all along?
No Other Duke but You is a historical romance that had me giddy and grinning through the majority of the story. I loved Delilah's character, I found her to be earnest and brave even when stuttering over social niceties and dealing with a less than loving mother. Her friendships and big heart had me hooked from the start. Thomas is equally charming and sweet, trying to give Delilah the time and space to make her own choices and looking out for her happiness over his own. I knew from the first chapter that these two were meant for each other, and the journey to get there was full of silliness, twists, and plots gone wrong.  This was an engaging and fun read, and I was very glad I picked it up.

No Other Duke but You is a must read for fans of the author, and for those that love a historical romance with plenty of humor ad heart.

Book Review: Eleventh Grave in Moonlight (Charley Davidson) by Darynda Jones

Eleventh Grave in Moonlight is the next Charley Davidson book by Darynda Jones. You do need to have read the previous books in the series at this point, since the characters and backstory are getting to be very important and complicated. 

A typical day in the life of Charley Davidson involves cheating husbands, missing people, errant wives, philandering business owners, and oh yeah...demons, hell hounds, evil gods, and dead people. Lots and lots of dead people. As a part time Private Investigator and full-time Grim Reaper, Charley has to balance the good, the bad, the undead, and those who want her dead. In this eleventh installment, Charley is learning to make peace with the fact that she is a goddess with all kinds of power and that her own daughter has been born to save the world from total destruction. But the forces of hell are determined to see Charley banished forever to the darkest corners of another dimension. With the son of Satan himself as her husband and world-rocking lover, maybe Charley can find a way to have her happily ever after after all.

Eleventh Grave in Moonlight is  a solid continuation of Charley's story. I feel like the story is starting to get a little out of Charley's control and things are getting increasingly hard for her to stay on top of everything. Her friends and family all have their own issues going on, and no one (including Charley) seems inclined to share their individual worries and issues. Just like in real life, trying to handle everything yourself or shield others from problems tends to lead to bigger issues and complications. Charley tries to keep up the humor and flippant manner that has worked for her so well in the past, but even that seems to be falling out of her control. However, things are coming together, and I can see a conclusion on the horizon.

If you have read this far, you are going to want and need to finish off this series. You are almost there and I think the ride is well worth it.

Book Review: Slothilda: Living the Sloth Life by Dante Fabiero

Slothilda: Living the Sloth Life is a collection of comics by Dante Fabiero. Are you a fan of carbs, the internet, and naps? Slothilda is your spirit animal! From former Simpsons animator Dante Fabiero comes this all-too-real comic series about an adorable little sloth who's driven by her desire for self-improvement. Slothilda explores an inner conflict we can all relate to―the desire to succeed and grow, while paradoxically dealing with the ever present temptation to sloth. With themes related to work, fitness, food, shopping, and pets―this book shows that you're not the only sloth at heart.

Living the Sloth Life is a cute, fun read. I had not seen the comics from the blog previously, so it was all new to me. I related to some of the images and thoughts, but not all, which  is usually the case with collections. However, I really like the artwork, I thought Slothilda was very cute. I liked the inherent honest the author has in sharing the desire we all have to eat and rest as often as we want, and the over exaggeration of the lack of motivation made it funny while making the reader feel better about the things they do and their choices. I am feeling much more accomplished with the amount of work, cleaning, and reasonably healthy eating I do after seeing the sloth version of such activities.

Early Book Review: The Wolf in Underpants by Wilfrid Lupano, Mayana Itoïz, Paul Cauuet

The Wolf in Underpants is a children's graphic novel written by Wilfrid Lupano and illustrated by Mayana Itoïz and Paul Cauuet. It is currently scheduled for release on March 5 2019. A community of forest animals trades scary rumors about a nearby wolf. Some critters have even gone into business selling wolf traps and anti-wolf fences. But when the wolf appears in a pair of striped underpants, everyone rethinks their fears. This is a heartwarming story about understanding differences, told with an oddball sense of humor.

The Wolf in Underpants is a young readers graphic novel, that could be read as a picturebook. I loved the story, and the twists. Close readers will see clue through the story that relate to the couple surprises they will run across, and there are lots of small details to find on each page. I think readers could go through the book several times and still find something they had missed before. The forest creatures being in a panic over a wolf, and spending all their time and resources on the fear, and talking about it, parallels the news and adult world far too well. I like how simple and rational the explanation for the wolf's past appearance and current state are, and how one simple act of kindness helped make it happen. I really liked the giggle I got at the end, which might bother some sensitive readers, to the remaining mystery of missing pigs. 

The Wolf in Underpants is an entertaining read, and I think it will work for a large range of reading ages and abilities. I really enjoyed the read and will be looking for more like this from the team.

Book Review: Fourth Grave Beneath My Feet (Charley Davidson) by Darynda Jones

Fourth Grave Beneath My Feet is the fourth book in the Charley Davidson series by Darynda Jones. I highly recommend reading the series in order, it is just much more fun that way. Trust me.
Sometimes being the grim reaper really is, well, grim. And since Charley’s last case went so awry, she has taken a couple of months off to wallow in the wonders of self-pity. But when a woman shows up on her doorstep convinced someone is trying to kill her, Charley has to force herself to rise above...or at least get dressed. It becomes clear something is amiss when everyone the woman knows swears she’s insane. But the more they refute the woman’s story, the more Charley believes it. In the meantime, the sexy, sultry son of Satan, Reyes Farrow, is out of prison and out of Charley’s life, as per her wishes and several perfectly timed death threats. But his absence has put a serious crimp in her sex life. While there are other things to consider, like the fact that the city of Albuquerque has been taken hostage by an arsonist, Charley is having a difficult time staying away. Especially when it looks like Reyes may be involved.
Fourth Grave Beneath My Feet is exactly what I was hoping for as a follow up to book four, but still full of surprises. I like that while the heat and attraction between Reyes and CHarley is off the charts, they have not fallen into the trap of insta love and assumed partnership. Just like real relationship, they have to figure things out and deal with other issues. I found CHarley's investigation and dealing with her personal crises to be very well done, and how even when she is scattered and terrified Charley is still fighting to find the perfect come back or quip. I liked the amount of surprises and sub stories that tangled together. Some authors try to have this many storylines in a single book and it gets tangled and confusing, but Jones pulls it off beautifully. Anyone that has read this far in this series is likely to keep going, like myself, to see what befalls Charley next. 

Fourth Grave Beneath My Feet is another highly entertaining book with enough heat and feels to keep me up well past my bedtime. Now on to book five!

Book Review: Third Grave Dead Ahead (Charley Davidson) by Darynda Jones

Third Grave Dead Ahead is the third book in the Charley Davidson series by Darynda Jones. I highly recommend reading this series in order. While there are explanatory asides to help newcomers and those that have gone too long between reading books, there is a lot of ground to cover and it is much more fun if you already know the major players when you start reading. 
Paranormal private eye. Grim reaper extraordinaire. Whatever. Charley Davidson is back! And she's drinking copious amounts of caffeine to stay awake because, every time she closes her eyes, she sees him: Reyes Farrow, the part-human, part-supermodel son of Satan. Yes, she did imprison him for all eternity, but come on. How is she supposed to solve a missing persons case, deal with an ego-driven doctor, calm her curmudgeonly dad, and take on a motorcycle gang hellbent on murder when the devil's son just won't give up? 
Third Grave Dead Ahead is a solid continuation of Charley's story. She wants to help Reyes, but they are still fighting with a serious trust issue and no matter what she does she cannot seem to sleep without a visitation from him. Her battles with sleep left me wondering a couple times what was real and what was dream, and Charley had the same concerns. I like Charley's dedication to finding the truth and helping people, even when it would have been easier to ignore the fishy missing person's case and focus on the drama unfolding with Reyes and her family. While not as funny as the previous books, because there was so much danger and so many crises involved, there were still some witty moments and plenty of humorous asides from Charley. Again, the book offers a good wrap up and some unexpected twists, but still left me eager for more.  

Third Grave Dead Ahead is another great installment of this series, which blends humor, danger, and emotion pretty close to perfectly. My binge reading will continue...

Book Review: Second Grave on the Left (Charley Davidson) by Darynda Jones

Second Grave on the Left is the second book in the Charley Davidson series by Darynda Jones. I have read the first and ninth book in this series, and have finally gotten around to downloading the entire series and filling in the gaps, and then continue on. I do recommend reading the series in order (although I clearly did not follow my own advice since I read the ninth book first).

Take it from Charley Davidson, part-time P.I. and full-time Grim Reaper. The deceased find her very sparkly. Demons find her irresistible. And one entity in particular wants to seduce her in every way possible. When Charley and Cookie, her best friend slash receptionist, have to track down a missing woman, the case is not quite as open and shut as they anticipate. Meanwhile, Reyes Alexander Farrow (otherwise known as the Son of Satan. Yes. Literally.) has left his corporeal body because he's being tortured by demons who want to lure Charley closer. But Reyes can't let that happen. Because if the demons get to Charley, they'll have a portal to heaven. And if they have a portal to heaven, well, let's just say it wouldn't be pretty. Can Charley handle hot nights with Reyes and even hotter days tracking down a missing woman? Can she keep those she loves out of harm's way? And is there enough coffee and chocolate in the world to fuel her as she does?
Second Grave on the Left is a wild ride with plenty of humor, danger, and twists that had me wondering what would happen next. I really like Charley's character. She underestimates herself, but uses humor and bravo to talk her way through just about everything. I thought the hunt for Reyes and her active case were very well balanced, and I liked the exchanges she has with friends and enemies alike. One never knew if the danger or immediate threat was related to the case, Reyes, or something else entirely. Charley has the kind of wit I always wanted, and the lack of concern for the opinion of others that can be a blessing and a curse. I thought this return to Charley's world was engaging and had me turning pages well past time I should have been doing something else, several times in fact. I love that while there is a satisfying conclusion, there is enough about Charley and her circle that has me eager for the next installment. 
Second Grave on the Left is just as well written and engaging as the first, and I fully plan on binge reading this series in its entirety- although I will schedule the reviews so that they are not all in a row.

Book Review: Book Love by Debbie Tung

Book Love by Debbie Tung is a collection of comics and such about the everyday life and thoughts of a book lover. There is humor and relatable moments for every reader that has trouble leaving a bookstore or library empty handed, or simply enjoys relaxing with a good book and a cup of tea.

I related to Book Love quite a bit, although I will admit that I spend much less time in bookshops and libraries (as a patron) that I used to. I enjoyed the tone and simplicity of the individual comics. I was kind of sad that I had seen so many of them on social media platforms before having read the book, I wish there were more new work included. However, all of the comics are timeless and struck home on some level, even if I am more likely to be reading and ebook and buying the print books for my kids rather than myself. 

I think Book Love is a sweet and enjoyable book. It would be the perfect gift book for any book lover, although those that refrain from social media and have not seen Tung's work before will likely appreciate it more than those that have seen her work online previously.