Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Time Flies

Time flies... and those flies keep chasing me. Meanwhile my list of books to review keeps running ahead of me and I'm trying to catch up. So here's my next crop of reviews with coffee recommendations because coffee is good (and flies aren't).

First is Suzanne McNear's Knock Knock A Life. A wonderful fictional memoir of a woman growing up in the midWest, moving to New York and LA, and struggling to find herself underneath the expectations of a changing world. Fragile, bending, almost broken during the upheavals of the 60s and 70s, March Rivers eventually finds her way and a way to tell it all in this moving novel. Highly recommended; enjoy with a 4-star elegant complex cup of coffee.

Forever and other Stories, by Christopher Geoffrey McPherson, includes short stories of similar sharp honesty, together with a children's tale and some adult depictions of not fitting in, with intriguing touches of mystery and mythology. A curiously eclectic collection, you might want different coffee types for each of the different tales.

Next comes Equinox,  a fantasy novel by Desiree Finkbeiner. Continuing the story begun in Morning Star, this one opens with the protagonists reunited and heading on a journey to save the worlds of elves and men. A fast-paced start with well-drawn characters and plot moves to slower ground when the world's history and myth are tied to conspiracy theories and the American constitution. But the story's uplifted by some beautiful scenes and the promise and power of love. Enjoy with a bold intense coffee for some great action sequences.

There are elves in Tony Bartauski's Claus as well, but perhaps not the ones you're expecting at the North Pole. A fascinating re-imagining of Santa Claus, set in the 1800s but firmly rooted in the present day, this one's humorous, thought-provoking, scary and fun, and every newly imagined character is sheer delight. Enjoy with some well-balanced 3-star coffee.

And, thinking of Christmas and kindles underneath the Christmas tree, Grabarchuk have just released new kindle puzzle books with a nicely smooth interface, easy access to puzzles of all levels, and challenges for every part of the brain. Enjoy before Christmas dinner and keep puzzling all through the afternoon and night with 100 and 104 puzzle quizzes and some lively 2-star easy-drinking coffee.

You can complete your Christmas with Bible verses from Rachelle Ayala's Your Daily Bible Verse, with nicely chosen verses from Old and New Testament, and some wise and helpful instruction on memorization--make it your New Year's Resolution and enjoy a new verse with 1-star mild crisp coffee every morning of 2013.

And finally, still with a Christian theme, there's Staci Stallings' romantic adventure, White Knight. The faith is integral to character and plot but never preachy, always pleasingly lowkey. And the characters are so real you'll hear their dialog in your head. Drink some 3-star well-balanced full-flavored coffee while reading, and enjoy.

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