Guest Review! “Russian Winter” by Daphne Kalotay

“It wasn’t that she didn’t believe in love; but she no longer believed in it for herself.” This simple proclamation, uttered by Drew Brooks, a character in Daphne Kalotay’s first novel, reveals an ingrained belief that haunts all three protagonists of Russian Winter. Kalotay, whose short fiction is gathered in Calamity and Other Stories, illustrates how the lives of three seemingly disconnected people become intertwined amidst a jewelry collection that the central protagonist, Nina Revskaya, has put up for auction.

“Cakes from Scratch in Half the Time” by Linda West Eckhardt

A guest review (and recipe!) from Ruth! Title: Cakes from Scratch in Half the Time: Recipes That Will Change the Way You Bake Cakes Forever Author: Linda West Eckhardt ISBN: 9780811842402 Pages: 196 Release date: July 2005 Publisher: Chronicle Books Genre: Cookbook Format: Paperback Source: Ruth’s collection Rating: 3.5 out of 5 Linda West began her journey into baking more than a decade ago. As time went by, she came to the conclusion that there had to be a better way to []

“The Irresistible Henry House” by Lisa Grunwald

Henry House is the practice baby everyone falls in love with. There have been and will be other babies, orphans who stay in the Wilton College Home Economics course for two years each to teach young women how to care for children. The practice house is “a testament to the belief that women could replace the mysteries of child rearing with mastery.”

Top Ten DC Authors

When I first began this site, my reviews were limited to DC books, authors, bookstores, and events. Though I’ve since expanded my reviews to cover all of my interests, you never forget your first love. And so, I give you my top ten list of DC authors!

“Just My Type” by Simon Garfield

“Comic Sans walks into a bar and the bartender says, ‘We don’t serve your type.'”

This joke–printed in, of course, Comic Sans–encapsulates the tone and content of Simon Garfield’s Just My Type. Garfield sprinkles his history of typefaces with humor and pop culture references, creating a fresh and insightful reference book for type novice and design geek alike.

“Hot” by Mark Hertsgaard

Title: Hot: Living Through the Next Fifty Years on Earth Author: Mark Hertsgaard ISBN: 9780618826124 Pages: 352 Release date: January 2011 Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Genre: Nonfiction; environmental science Format: eBook Source: Personal collection & Netgalley Rating: 2.5 out of 5 In Hot, Mark Hertsgaard approaches global warming through the prism of a parent concerned about the world his little girl will inhabit by 2050. A disappointed Melody Wilson hoped to read more solid advice. In 2005, American author and journalist Mark []

“My Year with Eleanor” by Noelle Hancock

Noelle Hancock was on vacation in Aruba when she received the phone call that changed her life. Her coworker at the website where Hancock pulled nearly six figures as an entertainment blogger was on the other line, and bursting with bad news: The website was being shut down and Hancock was laid off.

“Northwest Corner” by John Burnham Schwartz

Short and sweet: Northwest Corner picks up twelve years after Reservation Road ended.
Theme song: “How to Save a Life” by the Fray (See “random pop culture references” below.)
Recommended for: Baseball fans who appreciate the lasting effects of latent violence.

Dwight Arno served his time in prison for not reporting his fatal accident with Josh Learner, and he is now living quietly in California. But in waiting to turn himself in, did he miss his shot at redemption? Will the mistakes he’s made continue to haunt him?

We Have a Winner!

Last month, I hosted a giveaway of Stefan Merrill Block’s Storm at the Door and Ellen Feldman’s Next to Love. They are both excellent books that examine post-World War II relationships in very different ways. And the winner is…. Margaret! Congratulations! Stay tuned for my next giveaway, to be announced on Wednesday!

July 2011 in Review

I started the month of strong in terms of books read, but Sapphire’s The Kid dragged on and George R.R. Martin’s A Dance with Dragons tops 1,000 pages–I’m about halfway done with it.