Monday, March 17, 2014

Too many books won't spoil the broth

Some books have puns. Some have twists in the tail (or tale). Some are short, some are long, but too many books will never spoil the broth. And the last book in this week's collection of reviews offers 50 stories like pastries to go with that broth and 50 cups of coffee.

Of course, too many books sometimes leaves me unable to read what I've long been wanting to read, but this week offered several treats. When I host authors on this blog, I often think how much I want to read their books, and I try to schedule them in though, usually many months later than I'd hope. This week I had the pleasure of enjoying two such long-awaited reads. They didn't disappoint, and one of them's going straight to my want-it-in-print list. Because, of course, if a book's good enough to want to read twice, you really ought to get it in print. That way you can spill coffee, or even broth on it without breaking the electronics.

So, grab a coffee. Open your favorite site for book purchases in your browser, and see what you think of these. Don't forget, coffee recommendations are not and never will be ratings.

First is Reality Check, by Eric Garrison, an irresistible quantum entanglement of science fiction, steampunk, and everyday geekdom. Great characters, fascinating plot, fantastic dialog, cool adventure, delightfully unpredictable confusion... what more could you want. Modern science fiction at its best, this is one to enjoy with a perfectly balanced, wonderfully smooth, full-flavored cup of best coffee.

Another fun science fiction read is Descended: Jett, by Dana Pratola. It's another clever meld of genres too, blending Christian romance, paranormal science fiction, mystery, adventure and family drama into a intriguingly enticing tale of a beautiful artist, her unappreciative father, a surprisingly appreciative mystery man who hides behind technology, and the world of wounded women sold by men. Highly recommended for Christian readers in search of something different, enjoy this one with a 4-star elegant complex cup of coffee.

Still in a science fiction world, and still looking at serious present-day issues, Fractured, by Rich Adams, tackles the question of "safe" disposal of nuclear waste, in a recent-history world of natural and unnatural disasters. A perfect storm of events combine to threaten the end of the world, but wise scientists, clever spies, well-trained soldiers, and determined goodhearted laborers might succeed in averting tragedy. Exciting even if occasionally dated, filled with complex, convincing details of relationships, science and backstory, it's occasionally confusing, but definitely well worth the read. Enjoy this bold, dark, intense tale with a 5-star bold, dark, intense cup of coffee.

Sheila Englehart's Warning Signs takes readers back into realms of the paranormal when a maybe-Christian woman, loved by the son of a very Christian family, goes to a seance in search of inspiration to write a novel. Perhaps she should have heeded the warning signs, but what's done is done, and now she's compelled to carry messages and guard a curious gate. Meanwhile a TV producer wants to find out about life after death. It's another novel that blends genres and takes aim at serious real-world pain. Enjoy it with another bold, dark, intense 5-star cup of coffee.

The Woodsprite’s Tale, by Lachelle Redd, is fantasy for younger readers, and another very blended tale. Fast paced in some places and leisurely in others, with epic language giving way to modern teen dialog, and details not always consistent with plot, it's a dark fairytale of youthful triumph over traditional restraint, best enjoyed with a short, bold, dark, intense cup of 5-star coffee.

Today's final book is a thoroughly enjoyable collection of 50 short short stories, perfect for reading over coffee, except for that minor detail that they'll tempt you to read just one more. 50 italian pastries, by Jerry Guarino is fun, easy-reading, intriguing, and full of twists in the tails. Enjoy with 50 mild light crisp cups of 1-star coffee.

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