Book Reviews

Ghost Monster

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“Ghost Monster” by Simon Clark
Review by Tracy Satterlee

In the 1700s, a man named Justice Murrain terrorized an English village.  He’d recruited a small army of lunatics from a local insane asylum, and together they raped and pillaged the countryside.  He and his gang were caught and executed, but thanks to some last minute black magic, their ghosts lived on.

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New Dark Voices 2

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"New Dark Voices 2", edited by Brian Keene, with stories by Ronald Damien Malfi, Nick Mamatas, and Brett McBean
Review by Andrea Speed

Horror anthologies can be tricky, beginning with the word "horror" itself. There are different types, from splatterpunk to urban gothic to the literary equivalent of torture porn, and not every style appeals to everyone. Some people may even argue whether a story belongs in the genre at all.

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The Ride of Our Lives

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"The Ride Of Our Lives: Roadside Lessons of an American Family" by Mike Leonard
Review by Alan Nelson

Are we having fun yet?  Most people avoid vacations that involve both their grown children and their elderly parents.  Perhaps NBC journalist Mike Leonard doesn’t have that common sense. He went on a cross-country trip with two RVs with his folks and most of his kids and tried to recapture that particular family misery.

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Character Matters

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"Character Matters: How to Help Our Children Develop Good Judgment, Integrity, and Other Essential Virtues" by Thomas Lickona
Review by Carol L. Bracken

Thomas Lickona, a developmental psychologist and Professor of Education at the State University of

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The Pleasure of My Company

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"The Pleasure of My Company" by Steve Martin
Review by Nikki Tranter

This is the appealing tale of Daniel Pecan Cambridge, a 31-year-old Texan whose obsessive-compulsive fixations have rendered him near paralyzed when it comes to partaking in society.

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H-E-R-O: Powers and Abilities

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"H-E-R-O: Powers and Abilities" by Will Pfeifer, art by Kano
Review by John R. Platt

What if you found a device, a magical device, which could transform you and your life with the twist of a dial? What if you could leave yourproblems behind and become a costumed, powered superhero?  Think you could handle having super powers? Are you sure?

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Pakistan: In the Shadow of Jihad and Afghanistan

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"Pakistan: In the Shadow of Jihad and Afghanistan" by Mary Anne Weaver
Review by Mark Bellis

Did you know that Arabs hunt the bustard with falcons in the belief that eating the foul-tasting bird will help them pitch a tent in their dishdashas? (The poor bustards must be thanking God for Viagra.)

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The Black Train

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“The Black Train” by Edward Lee
Review by Tracy Satterlee


On the heels of a messy divorce, Justin Collier, the Food Network’s “King of Beer,” travels to a small Tennessee town in search of a local lager to finish off his latest book.

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Secret Father

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"Secret Father" by James Carroll
Reviewed by Steve Chaput

There's an old-fashioned feel to this novel, which isn't necessarily a bad thing. For folks of a certain generation it could be summed up as "The Adventures of Spin & Marty in Berlin." An oversimplification, for sure, but in the early parts of the novel it captures the sense of innocents abroad.

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