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review 2017-03-26 15:42
20th Century Ghosts by Joe Hill
20th Century Ghosts - Joe Hill,Christopher Golden

My favorite stories were:

 

Pop Art

20th Century Ghost

Better Than Home

My Father's Mask

Voluntary Committal

 

My thoughts on this collection cannot possibly make a dent in all of reviews already written about this book. Suffice it to say: I loved it and it gets my highest recommendation!

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review 2017-03-10 15:27
Wallflower by Chad Lutzke
Wallflower - Chad Lutzke

Wallflower is a novella rich in character development. Unfortunately, the main character develops in a way that does little to improve his life, and the reader is along for the ride.

 

I'm not going to get into the plot, because this isn't a book report and because I don't want to be a spoiler. I will say that this story rang true to me and I think it would to anyone that has ever known a person with an addiction-be it drugs, alcohol, gambling or anything else.

 

The whole "I'm not addicted", or the "I'm too strong to let any drug take over my life" arguments are what I've heard and even said myself at times. But it wasn't true. I knew it, and everyone around me knew it. My addiction was only to nicotine, (I'm saying only to a drug that kills almost 500,000 people per year in the U.S. alone), but it was a powerful addiction just the same. By the time I admitted that it was an addiction, it was too late, and I was hooked for another 25 years before I finally quit for good.

 

How does a person get to that point? What could be done to prevent it from happening, if anything? These are all valid questions surrounding addiction. Wallflower doesn't answer any of these questions, but it does tell the story of one man and tells it poignantly, with feeling and truth.

 

Highly recommended! You can get your copy here: Wallflower

 

*I was provided a free e-copy of this book by the author, in exchange for my honest feedback. This is it.*

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review 2017-02-13 19:11
Of Foster Homes and Flies by Chad Lutzke
Of Foster Homes and Flies - Chad Lutzke

Of Foster Homes and Flies has been on my reading docket for over 6 months now. I wish I hadn't waited so long. This is a heartbreaking tale about young Denny and the loss of his parents. But it's about so much more than that, really.

 

When a 12 year old boy has lost his father, and then loses his mother shortly thereafter, (to a constant state of drunkenness), there isn't much to look forward to in his young life. His family is poor, he hasn't even ridden in a car in years, (never mind his family owning one), and Ingrid, the family dog, has been exposed to so much cigarette smoke she's no longer white.

 

Over the past year, Denny has been regretting having not entered his school's spelling bee last year. This time around, Denny is going to enter that spelling bee-and come hell or high water, he's going to win it. Will he really win? You'll have to read this novella to find out!

 

I'm not sure why I identified so much with this kid, but I did. Everything about him and his poor family rang true to me. I loved the depictions of his few friends and neighbors-which only goes to show you that in the end, in spite of being surrounded by people, you can still be alone. I just wanted to reach out and hug Denny. I wish he were right now so I could.

 

I've read one of Chad Lutzke's stories before in the anthology "Bumps in the Road", which he edited. I loved that story too, but not quite as much as this one. Highly recommended for fans of coming-of-age tales like Robert McCammon's Boy's Life, James Newman's Midnight Rain, or John Boden's Jedi Summer: with The Magnetic Kid.

 

You should grab a copy and you can right here. Of Foster Homes and Flies

 

If you do, give Denny a hug from me. 

 

*I received a complimentary copy of this novella in exchange for my honest feedback. This is it.*

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review 2017-02-06 17:53
The Little Yarnmouth Abduction by Tim Van Minton

 

Twelve year old Evan Peregrine is plagued by nightmares where he relives the accident at sea where he lost not only his leg but his mother as well. Currently living with his Uncle Cedric on the small island of Little Yarnmouth, his days are filled with his studies at school on the neighboring island of Middle Langton where he is constantly being bullied by B. H. Potts, a rich boy who looks down on him. With a storm brewing, Evan keeps his eye on the sky during his after school detention. But detention is only the beginning of his problems as he is quickly accusing, by B.H. Potts of course, of having murdered the teacher who ordered the detention. Evan makes a run for it. He aims his little boat into the wild storm and sets course for Little Yarnmouth but instead is blown ashore on to a third island, Little Reikel, where he meets Nira. Nira is about his age and is an actress in the making. She persuades Evan to take her with him as her father took their boat over to Middle Langton. Along the way they stop at Little Yarnmouth to find the island completely deserted of its inhabitants. They do find two rather shady characters resting in another boat at the pier.

 

As Evan sets about to prove his innocence and rescue the abducted residents of Little Yarnmouth, he runs into several colorful characters, among them a dog named Corporal Punishment and a rat named Charles who likes to play fetch. Eventually Evan’s name is cleared, his nightmares although not gone now have an newly added aspect, and the rescued islanders look at him in a heroic fashion.

 

Although this book is geared toward young adult readers there is much here for the adult reader as well. Well drawn characters, a setting that is harsh and unforgiving (North Scotland Isles), a plot full of twists and turns, and a mystery unlike any other I’ve read all make for a page-turning story that will hold your interest. Happily, the conclusion lends itself to a possible sequel. A great story to be read by parents with their children.

 

 

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review 2016-12-30 18:15
Empty Mansions: The Mysterious Life of Huguette Clark by Bill Dedman and Paul Clark Newell Jr.
Empty Mansions: The Mysterious Life of Huguette Clark and the Spending of a Great American Fortune - Deutschland Random House Audio,Paul Clark Newell Jr.,Bill Dedman,Kimberly Farr

 

What an interesting biography!

 

Imagine being a millionaire several times over and rather than staying in one of your mansions, or in your huge beachfront property, you choose to stay in a small private room in a hospital for nearly two decades instead.

 

Take a peek at her apartments, mansions and pictures of Huguette here.  

 

Empty Mansions goes into the life of Huguette Clark and her family. Her father created his huge wealth mining copper and other things, (he seemed to have the Midas touch), but later in life he fell into politics and then scandal.

 

Huguette grew up rich with all the benefits of travel and schooling that come with that. She became reclusive after her sister and parents died. However, she was very close to some members of her family as well as certain friends and employees of hers, and they ALL benefited a LOT from their relationships. As it seems to be with most wealthy people, once she passed away, some long lost family members showed up and challenged her will.

 

I'll leave off the biography there, but did want to mention that at the end of this audiobook recorded phone conversations between Huguette and one of her relatives are played. (Some snippets of the conversations were played earlier in the book.) It was eerie to hear her voice after learning so much about her. She seemed to be a very sweet and warm woman, which makes what happened to her and her estate even more sad.

 

Recommended to anyone interested in learning more about this fascinating, reclusive woman and her family.

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