Month: October 2018

“Happy Face” Podcast

“Happy Face” Podcast

Happy Face is a podcast from HowStuffWorks about the serial killer Keith Hunter Jesperson. Jesperson traveled America’s highways committing brutal murders for years while evading the police. This podcast follows his daughter Melissa Moore, as she investigates her father’s past and tries to uncover what turned him into a killer. In the process, she comes to terms with her own past and the legacy her father has left.

This podcast is weekly, with 7 episodes thus far. I am finding this series fascinating. The story alternates between Jesperson and Ms. Moore’s. I really like that they’ve been able to incorporate actual audio of Jesperson’s interviews with police and Moore’s conversations with people from the past. This series is well-researched and put together in a compelling way. New episodes are released on Friday. If you love true crime, you will love this podcast.

Alinefromabook’s rating: 5-star-rating  5 stars!!

Happy Listening!

Advertisements

October Round-Up

Hello again! I hope you have all been enjoying October. It’s definitely gotten cooler here and my trees are pretty much bare now. I’ve been doing a lot of cleaning out and re-organizing of my TBR so that number sees a big change. I’ve also been incorporating some review of items other than books on the blog. I hope you’ve been enjoying it, or at least not hating it. So let’s see what the numbers look like.

TBR – I eliminated a total of 76 books from the list after revisiting them and deciding that I was no longer interested in reading them. In addition, I read or listened to 6 books this month, very, very sad performance here. Finally, I acquired 7 books during the month. All of that, brings the grand total to 192.

Goodreads Challenge – Not good, but not too bad. I am 4 books behind schedule currently.

NetGalley score – Somehow I have managed to keep this score at 86% despite my dismal reading performance.

John Connolly Challenge – Book 9 finished this month. Again I listened to the audiobook version.

Coming Up – In November, I plan to listen to Book 10 of the Charlie Parker series “The Burning Soul“.The Burning Soul I will also be listening to “The Butterfly Garden” by Dot Hutchinson.The Butterfly Garden This is my first book from this author and sounds like it could be really creepy. I am reading “Crux” by Jean GuerreroCrux right now and after that plan to take up “The Dream Daughter” by Diane Chamberlain.The Dream Daughter I will soon be posting reviews of “Blue Murder” by Colin Watson,Blue MurderThe Sleeper” by Emily Barr,The Sleeper and an outlier “The Crochet Stitch Handbook” by Betty Barnden. The Crochet Stitch Handbook

I think that’s about it for the month guys. I hope every one has a great November, enjoy your Thanksgiving if you celebrate it, and don’t forget to read!

Happy Reading!

“The Whisperers” by John Connolly

“The Whisperers” by John Connolly

Charlie Parker Series Book 9

Narrated by Holter Graham

Charlie has been asked to look into the suicide of a young soldier recently returned from Iraq. The father thinks maybe it wasn’t a suicide but Charlie doesn’t really expect to find much. He agrees to look into though. As he begins to look into the young man’s relationships he uncovers a smuggling operation run by the ex-military men that he served with. Goods are moving between Maine and Canada and Charlie suspects the usual, drugs. But as the men in the group start to die it become apparent that something very dark is going on. This is about much more than drugs and if Charlie can’t stop it soon more lives will be lost.

John Connolly just continues to deliver gripping, thrilling stories with this series. The plotline is unexpected and there is nothing formulaic about this book or any others so far in this series. I continue to marvel at the author’s creativity. Louis and Angel are back in this one, but so is The Collector, a totally creepy guy that somehow seems to hover halfway between being human and inhuman. This story has a lot of PTSD in it since the guys involved were a specialized force in Iraq. I found that aspect a little bit challenging to get through but primarily because while I was listening to this a Vietnam vet in my family died, so it felt very close to home. I wouldn’t let that scare you away though, I think the topic is dealt with in a thoughtful way while at the same time highlighting the impact that participating in war can have once you return to “normal” life.

I only thing I was a little disappointed with was the narration. Not the narrator himself because he has a great voice and a great delivery. I just had a hard time picturing Charlie with his particular voice. I think that previous narrators in this series have fit my image of Charlie Parker better, that’s all. Otherwise, this was a great listen and I highly recommend it.

Alinefromabook’s rating:  5-star-rating 5 stars!!

Happy Reading!

Links:   Amazon US   |   Goodreads   |   Author’s website

The Universe’s Star Highlighter – INMO Cosmetics

The Universe’s Star Highlighter – INMO Cosmetics

I received this highlighter recently in a subscription box and was excited to give it a try even though I was not acquainted with the brand INMO. The color I received is Twilight. The website says it’s a cream to powder formula.

twilight_1177xWhen I swatched it on my hand it looked peachy with a golden shift. It looked like a good match for my skin color and I’ve been really enjoying peach lately. So I tried it on my cheeks one day but didn’t feel like I got much color and it was hardly noticeable after a day at work. I decided to give it another try, thinking I had been in a particular hurry the previous day and maybe hadn’t done a very good job applying it. The second time I tried it I had a lot of difficulty getting any product on my brush but I did manage to get some color on my cheeks and I thought it looked pretty good. Until about halfway through the day when it started to look obvious on my skin, like it was just sitting on top of the skin. The third time I went to try it the surface had turned hard and I was unable to pick up any powder even after digging with the brush. So overall, I loved the color but I won’t be purchasing it.

INMO Cosmetics website

“Lullaby” by Jonathan Maberry – A short story

“Lullaby” by Jonathan Maberry – A short story

Narrated by Scott Brick

Let me introduce you to this scary little ghost story. A young couple has just bought the “perfect” house, but it needs some fixing up. First up is the nursery since the baby will arrive soon. But then the wife starts seeing things, and hearing noises, and the baby laughs when no one is in the room. Will this young family discover the source before it’s too late?

Delightful is the word that comes to mind when I think about this story. It’s seems like the wrong choice for a scary story but that’s what I’ve got. I listened to the audiobook version and thoroughly enjoyed it. So if you need a little something to listen to for Halloween, I encourage you to check this one out on Audible.

Alinefromabook’s rating:  4-star-rating 4 stars!!

Happy Reading!

Links:   Audible   |   Goodreads   |   Author’s website

“Baby Teeth” by Zoje Stage

“Baby Teeth” by Zoje Stage

Creepy, creepy, creepy!!! This is a perfect read for the month of October. Suzette Jensen is happily married to Alex and they have a beautiful 7-year old daughter Hanna. The family looks idyllic from the outside but the secrets lying under the surface may put them in mortal danger. Hanna, for reasons doctors have been unable to diagnose, is mute. She communicates through gestures and facial expressions only. She adores her father but is cool and distant with her mother. She acts out, sometimes violently, when forced to go to school. Suzette strives to be the kind of mother that she herself didn’t have but Hanna’s behavior is beginning to wear her out. In addition, she is still recovering from the most recent of several surgeries she’s had to have for her medical condition. Suzette is feeling trapped and even threatened by her own daughter but will her quest to find help make things better or far, far worse?

This book will scare you and send chills down your spine but it will also challenge your view of the mother/daughter relationship and make you wonder what really goes on in the minds of children. I really liked Suzette from the beginning. Her medical condition makes her very vulnerable but she never gives up fighting and trying to improve as a person. She agonizes over the situation with her daughter and works hard to keep it from intruding into her relationship with Alex. I also really liked Alex, he is wonderful as a father and a husband, even if it takes him a little while to really acknowledge the issues his daughter has. Hanna may be beautiful but she is not a likable child. It seems to be her mission in life to torment her mother. As a mom myself, I found this child frightening and she kept me on the edge of my seat wondering what was going to happen next. I found this book to be a perfect fit for the time of year, scarier than I had anticipated and impossible to put down.

Alinefromabook’s rating: 5-star-rating  5 stars!!!

Happy Reading!

Links:   Amazon US   |   Goodreads   |   Author’s website

“The Tin Rose” by Anne Renwick

“The Tin Rose” by Anne Renwick

An Elemental Web Tale Book 1

This is what I call a short and oh so sweet story. I just adore the world that Anne Renwick has created in this series and this story is no exception. In this one Lady Emily and Luca and racing to find a cure for a deadly poison. Readers were first introduced to these characters in “The Golden Spider” and they continue to delight. This story has romance and action, good and evil all in about 50 pages. Oh, and don’t forget all the cool steampunk contraptions. Short story perfection with this one!

Alinefromabook’s rating:  5-star-rating 5 stars!!

Happy Reading!

Links:   Amazon US   |   Goodreads   |   Author’s website

“Stuff You Missed In History Class” from HowStuffWorks – Podcast

If you’ve been following me for any time you know that I like history, especially what I like call history’s quirky corners. And this podcast is full of them. There is a library of 11 years of episodes to choose from so if you can’t find something here you’d like to know more about than I don’t know where to send you. Each episode runs about 15 mins. and the hosts give you and in depth look at a particular person or event in history. Recently I enjoyed episodes about “How the Hearst Castle Works” and “The Caning of Charles Sumner on the Senate Floor”. The cover every era of history from the Ancient World to Modern Day politics and every corner of the world. I also like that at the end of every episode they will point you to further resources on the topic on the internet so you can keep digging if you’re so inclined. The hosts are very congenial and I find the presentations very well organized. So all you history buffs, if you haven’t come across this podcast yet you need to check it out.

Alinefromabook’s rating: 5-star-rating  5 stars!!

“A Measure of Darkness” by Jonathan Kellerman & Jesse Kellerman

“A Measure of Darkness” by Jonathan Kellerman & Jesse Kellerman

Clay Edison is a deputy coroner whose last case earned him a suspension. But things are going great with his girlfriend and he’s back at work. Then that middle of the night call comes. There’s been a shooting in an East Bay neighborhood and there are multiple victims, including a Jane Doe. Clay decides to take on identifying Jane, which will turn out to be quite a project. While this is going on, his brother is released from prison and shows up for Thanksgiving with a big surprise.

I think this series is a great collaboration from the Kellermans. In the beginning I wasn’t quite sure what to think about Clay but he quickly grew on me. I loved how the story was not limited to the investigation but brought in the challenges of Clay’s personal life as well. My favorite character though, may well be Clay’s girlfriend. She is so supportive but at the same time has a way of keeping him rooted in reality. I like that this story has a real life feel to it. That being said, the story is full of twists and mysteries and action enough to satisfy any mystery lover. The fact that this story is set in California is just a bonus for me. Definitely check this series out.

Alinefromabook’s rating:  4-5-star-rating 4.5 stars!!

Happy Reading!

Links:   Amazon US   |   Goodreads   |   Author’s website

“Down the River Unto the Sea” by Walter Mosley

“Down the River Unto the Sea” by Walter Mosley

Narrated by Dion Graham

Joe King Oliver used to be an NYPD detective, and a good one too, until somebody set him up to take a fall. Then he was a prisoner and what he experienced in Rikers Island would change him and his life forever. Years later, Joe is a private detective with a teenage daughter, an ex-wife, and a wounded soul. Then he gets a letter from the woman who helped set him up and he decides it’s time to find the person who orchestrated his downfall and set things right. Along the way there’s a kidnapped young girl to find, an ex-con comes to his assistance, and his daughter’s life is put in danger. The question is, can Joe connect all the dots before more people get hurt?

This is a gritty story that takes the reader into some really dark places. That being said, I enjoyed it very much. Joe King Oliver is a great character. He’s obviously damaged by his experiences and doesn’t try very hard to hide it. He’s also a very thorough and effective detective. The bright spot in this story is his daughter. She is a typical teenager but she worships her father. I really loved the way the author wrote their relationship. Joe’s devotion to her equals her love of him and it was refreshing to see a teenager who had a good relationship with a parent. The same can’t be said for her relationship with her stepfather though. I found all the players in this drama to be unique and felt true to life. The story is written at a really good pace that keeps the reader engaged throughout. Overall, I think this is a well-crafter first novel.

The narration of this story really shines. Dion Graham has voice like honey and I kept listening as much for the sound of his voice as for the story itself. I will definitely be watching for this narrator on future books.

Alinefromabook’s rating: 4-5-star-rating  4.5 stars!!

Happy Reading!

Links:   Amazon US   |   Goodreads   |   Author’s website