Hello, my name is Alex Goeller-Ness. I'm 25 years young. Reading is an addiction for me.  My house is filled with shelves of read and unread books.  Fiction or non both excite me.  Although I read fiction most of the time.  I like authors like Palahniuk, Welsh, Charlie Huston, David Wong, Christopher Moore, Ketchum, as well as so many others.  Biographies and memoirs are also on my shelves.  Business and strategy related non fiction are fun to read as well as informational. Really, I'm just all around excited about books.  Of course you can't forget the countless graphic novels that i consume.  I can't wait to learn everyone's reading tastes and being able to help everyone.  


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Stretchy McHandsome Cover Image
By Judy Schachner, Judy Schachner (Illustrator)
ISBN: 9780803741218
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Dial Books - October 8th, 2019

Judy Shachner has done it again.  It seems to me every time she comes up with a new book it's even better than the last. Judy is probably most well known for her Skippyjon Jones books; I really like these new cats though.  Obviously, Stretchy does a lot of ...stretching.  Stretchy lives in a cardboard box with his siblings and always ends up at the bottom of the sleeping pile since he is so ...stretchy.  One day he decides to take a little vacation has some adventures and meets a little girl named Beanie who also loves to ...stretch.  Stretchy ends up having so much fun that he loses track of time, and his siblings come looking for him because they're worried. I won't give away the end, just know that all ends well.
I really like Stretchy as a children's book because of the way the pictures and text interact synergistically, bringing the story vividly to life.  Fairly young readers will be able to identify with the picture where Stretchy wraps his arms around a tree, or when he is itching his fleas.  It's nice to pause and have the child point out the action for what Stretchy, or one of the other characters, is doing. Stretchy scratches my itch for a new Judy Sachner book!

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Kitty and the Moonlight Rescue Cover Image
By Paula Harrison, Jenny Lovlie (Illustrator)
ISBN: 9780062934710
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Greenwillow Books - September 10th, 2019

Kitty and the Moonlight Rescue is a super-fantastic early chapter book for ages 8-12 years old.  Kitty’s mother has left for the night.  She's on the prowl, being a superhero, and helping the people of the city with her "catty" superpowers.  Kitty hears a knock at the window and meets a young cat in need of a superhero.  Kitty must decide if she can be brave and go help somebody in need all by herself - without having powers.  If someone is in trouble, she must at least try. On her adventure, Kitty makes some friends.
I loved this book; there is already a second book out in the series and a third landing in March.  (full info. here) I really liked this book, because Kitty gathers up the courage and belief in herself to help out her new friends.  You get to see her confidence grow throughout the story.  Especially when one of her newfound friends is a little unsure of themselves.  It gets the official #alexapproved.

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Out Cover Image
ISBN: 9781611863123
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Michigan State University Press - February 1st, 2019

Oh boy, oh boy, oh boy!  I loved Out from the first page.  I believe a term like hidden gem, fits as the description of John Smolens’s writing.  It is just wonderful.  John has written one of my favorite kinds of stories, a blizzard story set in Marquette, MI.  We follow a small cast of characters through the duration.  We have Del, who you may be familiar with if you have read one of John’s previous books Cold.  He is a retired widower, recovering from hip surgery, introvertedly passing the time.  Next a pregnant physical therapist turns up to help Del out with some stretching and rehab named Marcia.  We also have two young men, Barr and Connor, who have had some kind of altercation leading to one of them lying face down bleeding in the snow. They also have some kind of connection to our pregnant therapist.   Out happens quickly.  Each turn of the page may flip the situation on its head with a slow burn of suspense.  I would compare this book to one of my other favorites Sweetgirl by Travis Mulhauser, or Steve Hamilton's books.  If you need a new Michigan thriller or suspense, pick this up along with some of his others, many having a Michigan connection.

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Fentanyl, Inc.: How Rogue Chemists Are Creating the Deadliest Wave of the Opioid Epidemic Cover Image
ISBN: 9780802127433
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Atlantic Monthly Press - September 3rd, 2019

I read a lot of books on the opioid epidemic.  Much of the time, I find I already know everything in a new book that comes out.  Not this time.  Fentanyl, INC. sheds light on the underground corners of the internet and history that have been covered in darkness.  This book is much more than the tale of how America has a fentanyl problem.  It is more about the actions that brought us here.  What I found astounding, was that we probably wouldn’t have a heroin or fentanyl problem if we just let the people that want to get high with an approved medication approved by a doctor or a pharmacist get high.  Then, people would know what they were putting in their bodies.   Maybe we would not have as many people selling these drugs if we could get them decent jobs that payed a living wage.  Possibly they might have an unresoved mental issue and if they were to get some treatment they wouldn’t be self-medicating the best way they know how.  Also some people just wanna get high.  We let them do it by drinking or smoking grass, maybe some people want to do it with narcotics.  At any rate, users have a higher chance of dying because their drugs could be contaminated.  Fentanyl has gotten more accesible, because it can be made in a lab.  It is so potent, that a gram could potentially kill 300ish people.  Reading books like this means we can make informed decisions about laws that we vote on.  We can't arrest our way out of this situation.  I mean, people can order this stuff right to their doorstep!  I recommend this book for anyone that works around drugs, uses them, knows someone addicted, or lives in an area with a heroin/fentanyl problem.  If we educate ourselves, we may be able to help those that need it. 

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Bruno, the Standing Cat Cover Image
By Nadine Robert, Jean Jullien (Illustrator)
ISBN: 9780525647140
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Random House Books for Young Readers - April 16th, 2019

Bruno is a wonderful little story about being different, but that doesn’t matter if you're friends. Bruno may not do many of the normal cat things, but the things he does do are totally awesome just the same.  I will only let you in on one of the special ways Bruno is different, because I don’t want to give it all away: Bruno does not catch mice, but he loves to chase them on his skateboard!  What I love about Bruno is that he doesn’t really care what others think of him.  He likes to do his own thing, and his friends love him for it.

Yellow Yellow Cover Image
By Mark Alan Stamaty (Illustrator), Frank Asch
ISBN: 9781770463585
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Enfant - May 21st, 2019

I have been waiting forever for this book to get re-released.  It’s finally here.  First things first, Mark Alan Stamaty has drawn my favorite two children’s books, “Who Needs Donuts?” and “Small in the Saddle.” The later has been out of print for many years.  Hopefully they re-release that one as well. Anyways “Yellow Yellow” is a simple book, but highly versatile. You can read it like a regular picture book and look at the pictures.   You can spend hours pouring over every page, so you see everything each beautifully crafted page has to offer. My favorite is looking at everything and using it as a jumping off point for some of my own art. At “Yellow Yellow’s” heart I would say this is a story about living in a city and just enjoying life.  This city’s characters and texture are amazingly inked by Stamaty.  You might find a Grandmother unicycling, holding her cane, while wearing a hat that seems to be filled with a mailbox and clowns.  Maybe you will come across full grown cowboy pulling a toy duck.  One of my favorite things I saw was a man about a foottall riding a jumping frog in front of a cobbler fixing what appears to be a giant’s shoe.

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Run Away Cover Image
ISBN: 9781538748466
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Grand Central Publishing - March 19th, 2019

I decided recently that I was going to try and read prolific thriller or mystery authors.  I began with Harlan Coben’s newest, Run Away.  My customers have gushed about how great his books are for a long time, and I needed to know what all the fuss was about.  I dove in and was wonderfully rewarded. The pacing was fast, the action was hot, and the twists and turns were effortless.  The story opened with Simon, the father sitting in the park listening to a homeless person butchering a John Lennon song. He reminisces about his young adult daughter, Paige, who has run away from home to live with her older, drug addicted, and (from Simon’s point of view) manipulative boyfriend. As the vagrant flows into another song, it is revealed that the homeless woman is in fact Simon’s missing daughter. The crux of the problem is that Simon’s been trying to lure Paige home, but despite the family's efforts she does not want to be there.  Simon has an unfortunate encounter with Paige’s boyfriend and the next day we find out that Paige’s boyfriend is dead.  Unfortunately for Simon, the man’s death coincides with a window of time when no one can vouch for his whereabouts. Simon decides to investigate - against the advice of the Police who are now suspicious of him.
I really liked this story because it posed many “What If” questions.  Hypothetical thinking is the best.  What would you do if a child decided that they were removing themselves from your life? -especially a drug addicted child?  Would you take it upon yourself to go after them, possibly even if it was illegal?  Would you team up with criminals if necessary?  What if you had to harm another to get the answers you needed?  This is a great book to explore your limits while you read. I would compare Run Away to August Snow by Stephen Mack Jones, John Hart’s Last Child, or Michael Harvey’s Brighton.  My advice: pick up Run Away and after your done, you can pick up any of Coben's books because they are all fantastic standalone mysteries or thrillers. 

Click here for a full list of his titles.

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Tiger vs. Nightmare Cover Image
By Emily Tetri, Emily Tetri (Illustrator)
ISBN: 9781626725355
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: First Second - November 6th, 2018

Emily Tetri has written a lovely story to help us understand our imaginations.  While some thoughts are scary, remember, they’re all in your head.

Everyday, Tiger gets home from school, eats dinner, then brings yummy food to the monster under her bed.  They play some games, and then go to sleep.  Monster showed up when Tiger was little,and thought it was not fair to scare someone so young.  He decided to scare away Tiger’s nightmares instead.  This worked great until there was a nightmare that would not listen to him.  So, Tiger and Monster had a problem: no one was getting any sleep.  They tried a few ways to stop it.  Finally, Tiger decided since nightmares are all in her head, she would tell the nightmare it wasn’t real and it would finally go away.  Which it did!   Now they fight nightmares together, and they can both get some sleep.   Tiger was able to think deeply about the problem, and fix it all by himself.
I loved this book.  I think it’s quite applicable for grown ups as well. Irrational anxieties can be hard to deal with.  So far, the best way I have found is to meditate until I’m inside my head, and then I tell my brain to chill out, the world isn’t ending, and all is going to be ok.  I guess I'm just like Tiger!  A kid who might need a little help calming themselves, might really enjoy the example set by Tiger and Monster. 

I implore you to pick up this fun, quick read.  Don’t wait. Scare away your nightmares with Tiger and Monster.  Best for ages 7-10. 

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The Vine That Ate the South Cover Image
ISBN: 9781937512552
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Two Dollar Radio - March 14th, 2017

This book tastes like eating cornbread, chicken, and watermelon at a picnic in an ancient southern cemetery, and then enjoying a couple of cold beers just as dusk engulfs you.  This is a fictitious story about a fictitious story. It's full of southern charm and wit.  We get to see the best of people, the worst of people, and the weirdness of humanity.  

The Vine that Ate the South tells the story of southern life through a hodgepodge of schizophrenic ramblings just coherent enough for us to be able to understand without some kind of debilitation or superpower; this is the reason I intensely relished this book.  

J.D. Wilkes and his hillbilly sidekick Carver Canute are going on a epic journey of mythical proportions; at least in their own minds.  They are going to experience "The Kudzu House of Horrors," a local legend.  The map in the beginning of the book will give you an idea of what's in store for the two heroes.  Everything seems to be exaggerated, or at least on the edge of believably in this book.  There are stories of insane men of the cloth, tales of mad bands holed up in abandoned grain silos, empty Freemason lodges, broken down con men, remote control gun turrets, and an epic tale revolving around a dust devil whipping up more than a storm.  All of these stories relating to the journey paint the picture of what our heroes have gone through to get to this point in their lives, and without them I don't think that these boys would have the strength to make it to the conclusion. Please pick this book up if you want a breath of a fresh story.  The process of unpacking parts of this novel will inevitably leave your eyes opened a little wider to the world, and perhaps a bit more understanding of your fellow man, even if some of them are a little hard to believe.  If I could, I would jump on a mountain bike with J.D. and Carver and not stop peddling 'til the dream is fulfilled.

In the Shadows of Fate Cover Image
ISBN: 9780692938843
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Richard Paul Jurewicz - September 11th, 2017

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Blackfish City: A Novel Cover Image
ISBN: 9780062684820
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Ecco - April 17th, 2018

A woman shows up in the waters surrounding Quaanaaq being towed on an old boat by an orca like a stagecoach driver would be towed by a team of horses.  Beside her rests a polar bear with it's forepaws in cages, as well as a cage around it's head.  What does she want?  The floating city of Quaanaaq.  It's the last refuge for many holding onto what's left of their lives in a world dictated by swirling clouds of computer programs, bots, viruses, and designer worms.  Ankit's, life as an assistant to what we might call a politician, is about to change.  She sees a young child with an HIV type disease called "the breaks," and asks with all this advanced computer technology, "Why is this the only disease they can not find the answer to?" And why can't she go see her mother who is incarcerated in The Cabinate?  There is Fill, the unfathomably rich heir to one of the wealthiest citizens of Quaanaaq who has recently contracted "the Breaks" through his wild nights of debauchery.  We meet Soq, a gender fluid delivery person orphaned young, and striving to become part of the criminal underworld.  Last of all, we meet Kiev, who might be the one person that will connect everyone we have just met with secrets he himself has ceased to remember after years of being a jouryman beam fighter in this ruthless city, plagued by nightmarish psychological problems.   
Blackfish City displays how technology, politics, power, religion, and poverty swirl together in what our could be like.  People keep surviving, but at what cost?  Does sleeping in a 3 X 3 foot cube to keep the elements off of you offer you more humanity than eating a bowl of noodles that night?  Is it in humanity's best interest for landlords to keep rents artificially inflated by keeping uninhabited apartments off the market?  Do we hold back the antidote for a sexually transmitted disease to thin the population?  These questions remind me of Philip K. Dick's Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? (Blade Runner), William Gibson's Neuromancer, or one of my favorites last year, Robert Kroese's Big Sheep.  I would definitely put this in the Cyberpunk branch of Science Fiction, with a little taste of social justice.  It is a great story of the little guy prevailing. 

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The Feather Thief: Beauty, Obsession, and the Natural History Heist of the Century Cover Image
ISBN: 9781101981610
Availability: Hard to Find
Published: Viking - April 24th, 2018

Stranger than fiction can be the only way to describe this true crime legend that was in the making for over 150 years.  The criminal part of this adventure was hatched by a young man by the name of Edwin Rist.  The crime of was the burgling of hundreds of thousands of dollars' worth of rare and extinct birds feathers that could only be found in the collection of the British Museum of Natural History.  The motive was that Edwin wanted to tie some of the rarest fly-fishing flies known to man.  Because of laws created when Victorian fly tying began, birds and feathers have been protected in regard to them changing hands.
This story is just so bizarre.  Edwin was a world class flute player who was training at London's Royal Academy of Music.  He had originally been home-schooled, and was able to focus on his fascination with fly-tying and playing the flute.  One might even call him a prodigy.  Edwin didn't even fish; he just tied flies for fun and competition!  So how did he break in to a museum under cover of darkness and steal the 150-year-old feathers of Russel Wallace?  Our author, Kirk Wallace Johnson heard this story from a fly fishing acquaintance.  It consumed him and this book was the result.  It's a journey through time and history, as well as being a history on a small exclusive group of individuals with the eccentric hobby of Victorian fly tying.  This is not something I ever thought I would find interesting, but this book consumed me.  It's like I was right there with Edwin, overcome with excitement at seeing the feathers from birds long extinct, wanting to turn them into the perfect Victorian salmon fly.  This book is for anyone interested in wildlife, as well as anyone looking for a great historical tale.  It is a fascinating look at what drives the human mind as well.  I would compare this to Larson's Devil in the White City or Grann's Killers of the Flower Moon.

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Sex Money Murder: A Story of Crack, Blood, and Betrayal Cover Image
ISBN: 9780393244489
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: W. W. Norton & Company - May 15th, 2018

From the late 1980s through the 1990s, crack was king of the streets and the project hallways of the Bronx.  Crack was outselling heroin and in turn bringing a new kind of junkie to the street, as well as a new kind of dealer.  There have always been gangs, but this new market gave way to a rise in violence never seen in this community.  The dealers got younger, more violent, and ruthless in holding and gaining new territories.  One minute someone was your brother and the next, they’re shooting you and taking the money out of your pocket.

“SMM” tells the true story of young men, their friends, and families who slogged through their lives hoping not to be murdered, to overdose, be robbed, or hear that another friend or family member needs to be buried.  It also begs the question of why people have to worry about these things every day.  How did we let government housing become what it is?  Why are there so many guns in the urban centers, and why do minors have them?  If people need help, why isn’t there somewhere they can go to get it?  This book reminds us that we must stay humble and at the same time raise up our American brothers and sisters when they need help.  The 1990s in the Bronx was a difficult time, and I believe it pays to remember our recent history and learn from it.

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Sh*tshow!: The Country's Collapsing . . . and the Ratings Are Great Cover Image
ISBN: 9780525522027
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Penguin Press - May 22nd, 2018

Charlie LeDuff has been at it again.  Back in 2013 he pitched Fox News a show that he believed the country need at this moment in time.   This began his research  and a journey across America to the oil fields of North Dakota where "work-your-butt-off-so-you-can-bring-just-enough-money-home-to-your-family-so-you-can-do-it-all-over-again," is the new American Dream.  We meet the Bundy family who are fighting for rights to land that they believe is theirs while the U.S. government charges them with illegally grazing their cattle on land that was not "legally grazable."  While the Bundy family may have at least had some kind of claim to their land, the Dann Clan wasn't so organized.  The U.S. government stopped the them from grazing their animals on land in Nevada based on an old treaty signed with the family.  Their rights were slowly revoked over two decades.

Charlie visits just about every walk of life you can find in middle to lower class America.  He stops in Ferguson, Missouri to talk to folks about what’s happening in their city and their police department.  He heads to his home state of Michigan to see first hand what the people of Flint are up against as they fill their cars with bottled water to hopefully keep their children from drinking contaminated tap water.  We can’t forget about our southern boarder either.  Charlie and crew try to understand why all the manufacturing jobs are going to Mexico, but we still have neighbors to the south that risk their lives to come to the United States of America.  Charlie might not have the answers, but he has the nerve to ask the questions that most journalists won’t, can’t, or have never even thought of.  He is a true American hero in every sense of the title.  He is a champion of all people from all races, classes, political parties, and socioeconomic backgrounds...well except maybe not the fat cats with too much money. After reading Sh*tshow, I walked away with a better understanding of my fellow Americans, especially the ones we don’t see on tv or in the news.

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Santa Bruce (A Mother Bruce book) (Mother Bruce Series #4) Cover Image
By Ryan T. Higgins, Ryan T. Higgins (Illustrator)
ISBN: 9781484782903
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Disney-Hyperion - September 4th, 2018

Christmastime has come.  Unfortunately for Bruce the bear, he will not be sleeping through this year’s holiday season, because he is a mother to a family of goslings.   While out shoveling snow, Bruce is mistaken for Santa Claus.  He tries to hide inside, but soon everyone in the forest wants Bruce to listen to what they want for Christmas and hand out presents.  Will Bruce keep his cool and not become a Scrooge?  I suggest you come in quick and pick up a copy of Santa Bruce to find out. 

If you have never read a Bruce book, I highly recommend all of them.  I don’t know if I could say I like one more than any of the others, but whenever a new one comes out, I can’t wait to see what the world has instore for Bruce and his family.  Bruce has starred in several of his own books.   And, if you didn’t know, the mice from Hotel Bruce also appear in a picture book called Be Quiet after they discover they are not the best at hotel management. 

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Fox 8: A Story Cover Image
By George Saunders, Chelsea Cardinal (Illustrator)
ISBN: 9781984818027
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Random House - November 13th, 2018

Christmastime has come.  Unfortunately for Bruce the bear, he will not be sleeping through this year’s holiday season, because he is a mother to a family of goslings.   While out shoveling snow, Bruce is mistaken for Santa Claus.  He tries to hide inside, but soon everyone in the forest wants Bruce to listen to what they want for Christmas and hand out presents.  Will Bruce keep his cool and not become a Scrooge?  I suggest you come in quick and pick up a copy of Santa Bruce to find out. 

If you have never read a Bruce book, I highly recommend all of them.  I don’t know if I could say I like one more than any of the others, but whenever a new one comes out, I can’t wait to see what the world has instore for Bruce and his family.  Bruce has starred in several of his own books.   And, if you didn’t know, the mice from Hotel Bruce also appear in a picture book called Be Quiet after they discover they are not the best at hotel management. 

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We Sold Our Souls: A Novel Cover Image
ISBN: 9781683690122
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Quirk Books - September 18th, 2018

Hendrix has returned with another outlandish and fantastic novel of epic proportions.  Kris, the former guitarist for a heavy metal band named Durt Wurk is down and out with limited options left in life.  Her former bandmate and arch rival Terry Hunt announces that the demonic farewell tour of his new band, Koffin, will be taking place in the Nevada desert.  This enrages Kris, it’s like her life has been slowly sucked away from her since she left the band and never got the money that Terry owed her.  Kris heads to Scottie Rocket’s house to try and come to terms with the sadness she feels.  They go from reminiscing with each other to full on crazypants in a matter of minutes.  There is no turning back, and it looks like Terry was up to more than just making music.  She embarks on a cross-country road trip all over America to try and find her former band members and make Terry pay. Almost as soon as she gets on the road there are demons breathing down her neck as the bodies start to pile up where ever she goes. Is there a satanic rehab center in her future?  Perhaps one of her former bandmates may try and sell her out.  No matter what, she won’t give up 'til she gets the answers she is looking for.
We Sold Our Souls is one of the best road trip stories.  From beginning to end, journeying alongside Kris and her compadres is a full-speed-ahead, fantastic voyage full of dark metal songs, average crazies, and nefarious evil entities.  If you like campy action adventure stories with clever plot twists and unbelievable left turns along the way, jump in the car with Kris and friends and try and save Durt Wurk -and maybe the world.

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French Exit: A Novel Cover Image
ISBN: 9780062846921
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Ecco - August 28th, 2018

French Exit, is one of the most quirky and fun books I’ve read in a long time. Patrick has penned a wonderfully nihilistic book about what it means to have too much money. Francis Price has just learned that her seemingly endless supply of wealth has finally given out on her. She wouldn’t care about not having any money except that she needs it ...because she has never worked a day in her life. She quietly liquidates the contents of her house in New York as a stop gap measure. On top of that, she has to take care of her adult son, Malcom, who spends his days in a deep lethargic state only rising to consume alcohol, pester his girlfriend who he seems disinterested in, or float in the pool for an hour or so. Francis also has in her care a cat named Small Frank that showed up and never left. She believes her dead husband’s soul is inside of Small Frank. We follow the Price family on their journey across the Atlantic as they flee to Paris to escape "the bank." Patrick’s deadpan delivery of the character’s actions is hilarious. I can just see Francis finding her husband’s body and then deciding to leave it until she got back from her ski trip. It’s not like he’s dying to get to the morgue. Malcom’s disinterest in anything to do with life is only made more ridiculous by his girlfriend’s disinterest in anything he does himself. It’s like these people have never been told no, never wondered where their money comes from, and have never had to be responsible for anything in their entire lives, except for finding ways squander their wealth. As dysfunctional families go, they get along ok as long as there is a deadline around the corner. Please pick this up. It reminds me of Downton Abby if the whole family had to escape in the middle of the night because they hadn’t payed their help.

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There There: A novel Cover Image
ISBN: 9780525520375
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Knopf - June 5th, 2018

Tommy Orange’s story of urban first nations people (I had to google this term.  Could I say “native americans living in urban areas” in parenthesis to explain – or is that inappropriate?) is a gut-wrenching tale of what it is to be marginalized, forgotten, and pushed aside.  Despite all these things urban Indians have found a way to continue on with the land, (can I say continue to connect with the land?) because “the land is everywhere and nowhere.”  The paths our narrators follow on their way to one unstoppable event may all be different, but there is something binds them all together, whether that be culture, addiction, violence, or just the need to trust.

There are too many characters to give you all the low down on every single one, so I will pick some of my favorites to give you a taste of what Tommy has instore for you all: Tony Loneman has fetal alcohol syndrome, “the Drome,” but he doesn’t let that stop him.  He’s torn between two worlds.  The first is where he came from, where Maxine has taught him about his culture and tried to raise him.  The second is the street, where Tony sells weed to help Maxine afford her meds, food, and rent since she broke her hip.  Soon both of those worlds will become dangerously enmeshed. Edwin Black is a young man who seems to have lost his way.  He has been worrying about a bought with constipation, his addiction to digital technology, and his excessive weight gain.  Most of all, Tony (Tony or Edwin?)has been thinking about how he has dubiously set up a date to meet his Dad for the first time, without his mother’s knowledge.  Jacquie Red Feather is a mother who has lost her child, found and lost sobriety multiple times, and has always been trying to do the next right thing.  All to no avail.   The children that her daughter left behind are strangers to her.  She just wants to breathe.    Tommy has created a character-driven story laid down for us in There There.  Sometimes things are beautiful, sometimes things turn ghastly, but throughout this story they show us what it’s like to have shared experiences with each other.  That’s what I loved about this book the most; the experience.  Not the ending, not some climax, but what moving through and experiencing time with others really means.  Read it please, and see for yourself, through their eyes, the beauty and pain of our fellow man.

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Awaiting Identification Cover Image
ISBN: 9780989908764
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Fish Out of Water Books - May 10th, 2018

Awaiting Identification is a brilliant mystery/crime story taking place on the streets of Detroit on Devil’s Night or Angel’s Night depending on what side of the law you prefer to dance on.  Immediately we are thrown into "NYC Girl’s" anxiety and worry about coming back to a place she never thought she would have to see again.  With few options left, she is just aiming for survival.  With child, NYC Girl has to be careful in this city that seems to always have the scent of fire on the wind. Should she haunt some of the old corners and clubs she used to frequent or should she try and see if her drug addicted mom will pity instead of spite her?  Will "Leaf Man" the DJ finally make it out of his seedy underworld?  Will the sonic waves of drum and bass be enough for him to finally retire? Or will he end up straying from his path, perhaps helping a young lady he meets on the train?  The young man, "R.I.P.," has made some poor decisions as a defense mechanism to keep him one step ahead in a city that could eat him alive. He must keep coming up with ways help cover the huge cost of his father’s medication that his uninsured family, living in disarray, affords by breaking the law.   Or will the nice samaritan with a suitcase full of vinyl be his savior?  "The Cat Man" seems to be at peace with the world just trying to spread a little joy to the down and out in a town that seems to be rejecting the people trying to survive there. After all, who doesn’t like a homeless man, with a kitten in his pocket that just wants to make friends with his fellow travelers in the world.  Then we have "the Zealot."  He seems to be everywhere.  Always warning people they must change their ways and get rid their sin.  He offends everyone he meets.  Why does he have those scars all over him?

I could not put this book down.  Roaming all over Detroit with these poor souls knowing their fate before the story even gets started is an insane roller coaster ride.  Each time you see an interaction through another character’s fate the story changes just a little more. I loved how you can love them when seen from one perspective, and how the next time you are disgusted with how the interaction turns out.  It reminds me of watching a scary movie and when the music begins to jump I can’t help but yell at the players to not go in the basement.  If you are looking for a great crime story set in the city of Detroit, please pick this one up.  It will have you laughing, crying, and cursing before you close the last page.

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The Dead Run: A Novel (Jess Galvan #1) Cover Image
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ISBN: 9780062199652
Availability: Out of Print
Published: Harper Voyager - September 24th, 2013

Adam Mansbach's past work includes New York Times #1 Bestseller Go the F*** to Sleep (a children's book for adults), Rage is Back (out in paperback on the 24th), Angry Black White Boy, and California book award winner The End of the Jews.
Dead teenage girls have been turning up in the middle of the Mexican-US desert border buried vertically in the sand with their legs in the air.  Sheriffs from both sides of the border are filling with a sad burden.   
Sherry Nichols and her mother have been having a hard time since they escaped from a cult.  Sherry almost makes a friend when she's snatched from the street.
Across the border in a Mexican prison Galvan is trying to stay out of trouble so he can get back to his daughter.  Galvan ends up in a fight, is taken to the bowls of the prison, and is given a task of cataclysmic proportions.  He must carry a package across the desert on foot while being partnered with three of his backstabbing (literally) fellow inmates. Completing this task means freedom for Galvan.
After Sherry goes missing, Ruth, her mother's friend, and a sheriff set out to save her from what has to be the cult's doing.  Sherry's prospective friend, Eric, has also made it his mission to save her.  Will someone recover Sherry? Will the cult be foiled?  What is Galvan carrying across the desert on foot?  Will there be a showdown between dead virgins and an old God named El Cucuy?  Who is El Cucuy?  Who knows?
I do........(neener, neeener, neeeener)!
The best way to some this book up is old God meets cult meets kidnapping meets desert fun.  Dead Run is a voyage into a hot dry fantasy land.  This book has nerve racking action sequences that keep you hovering above your seat.  Mansbach keeps his story lean and mean with no filler, just enough details to keep the complex plot at a blistering cadence. In Dead Run we learn that the human survival instinct can surprise even the oldest of beings.
This will satisfy realistic fantasy fans, overall fiction fans, or people that want enough action to jump start a heart.  If you like Dead Run, you will like Rage is Back also by Mansbach, The Postmortal by Drew Magary, Amped by Daniel H. Wilson or perhaps The Shotgun Rule by Charlie Huston.  Give this book a try.  You'll love the atmosphere and urgency Mansbach provides.  Dead Run races across page and ink so fast your fingers will blister and your eyes will ring red till you rip into the last page thirsty, sunburned, and bleeding.

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You Cover Image
ISBN: 9780316198530
Availability: Hard to Find
Published: Mulholland Books - April 16th, 2013

After going to college and not finding what he wanted in life, Russel ends up applying for a job with people he knows from high school doing something he used to do in high school. He wants to go back to designing video games.  Russel starts working at Black Arts after Simon, the mastermind, passed away from an accident that left the building owners putting security cameras in their elevator shafts.  Don, Lisa, and Darren are still working toward putting out their newest game in the "Realms franchise."  Something goes wrong with the Waffle system, the software that helps create the game. No one but recently deceased Simon knows how Waffle works or how to debug it.
This story follows a group of friends back and forth through real time and video game time to fix the problem in their system.  The side stories in this book add to the characters' depth making the story richer.  Also, this book demonstrates that you should never give up and that sometimes, obsessing is necessary to achieve what you want. The themes in You are appealing to people interested in computer coding, technology growth over time, or the evolution of games/video games.  Fantasy fans will dig Russel playing out each Black Arts game to locate the rouge code.  This is just a fun book to read.  Other books I might compare You with are Ready Player One by Ernest Cline, Fortress of Solitude by Jonathan Lethem, or if you want to go really far back William Gibson's Neuromancer.

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Insane City Cover Image
ISBN: 9780399158681
Availability: Hard to Find
Published: Putnam Adult - January 29th, 2013

Let me preface this with, I have never read a Dave Barry novel.  I plan to remedy this in the near future.  Insane City incorporates many of my favorite things to find in a story like laughter, pimps, memory loss, pirate ships, weddings and so much more.  This book reads at such a fast pace that there is always something building up and happening.  It's like dilemmas keep getting compounded until problems begin exploding.

Seth is marrying his, way too good for him, fiancé in Florida.  They are bringing a groom posse, Seth's parents, Tina's extremely wealthy father (who is part of a select group of very powerful men that get whatever they want), and Tina's pot head sister with them.  Everyone in this book is involved in the plot.  None of the characters are filler.  I haven't even mentioned yet how they meet hookers, pimps, refugees, or large animals yet.  I'll let you meet them for yourselves.  The main plot revolves around Seth losing the wedding ring after alcohol induced memory loss.  He proceeds to try and retrieve the ring, but the universe seems dead set against him.  Seth also meets a woman at the bar where he's looking for the ring, and she raises eyebrows when she tags along in the hours leading up to the wedding. In the middle of all this, Seth stumbles upon some folks that really need his help.  Seth's future father in law is also working against him with his crooked security guards attempting to get rid of these people. So without getting into too much detail, these are some of the events leading up to an explosive end.
I highly recommend this as a good summer read or someone that likes a bumbling idiot kind of adventure.   Other novels and authors comparable to this would be Carl Hiassen, Tim Dorsey's Riptide Ultra-Glide, or Christopher Moore off the top of my head.  This story shows how much one person can endure in a short time period and still be happy.

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Rage Is Back Cover Image
ISBN: 9780670026128
Availability: Hard to Find
Published: Viking Books - January 10th, 2013

RAGE is Back is a great novel all around. I seem to have an interest in graffiti and different cultures. You don't need those interests to find RAGE a fun, fast paced read that will leave you guessing about what is lurking in the next corner.
RAGE is a tale of a boy, his father, graffiti, mood altering crazy rainforest drugs, street culture, and personal ideas of what the right thing to do is. There is also a fantastical element that doesn't get too far out there, it just adds a bit more depth to the story. Dondi is spinning his wheels in life when he runs into his father after going through a time ripple. After deciding he's pretty sure he likes finding his missing father of fifteen years, Dondi begins on a journey with RAGE(his father), WREN(his mother), and a host of graffiti characters to try and save the city and let people know the lies that the new mayoral candidate is capable of. Along the way we learn where Dondi's father has been and hear a couple of side stories from most of the main players that adds a little more definition to make them stand out. Without giving anything away, I will say that the climax of this book is mesmerizing. It's like your move in synch with everyone, feeling the pieces slide together and others catch on jagged edges.

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Gun Machine Cover Image
ISBN: 9780316187404
Availability: Hard to Find
Published: Mulholland Books - January 1st, 2013

Warren Ellis always writes a good story, usually with pictures in the comic genre. This one happens to be his second novel. Being a giant fan of his, I will try to avoid selling you Ellis and concentrate on just talking about this book.

Gun Machine is packed with excitement and mayhem from begining to end.  Detective John Tallow loses his parnter, shoots a man, finds a room full of guns, remains on the case after shooting because "resourses are streatched too thin" to let him have time to recover from the shooting,  and stumbles upon a puzzle with pieces so smooth it's hard to tell if they fit together.  He aquires help from people that would have rather sabatoged his investigation in the beginning.  This is just the begining of the hunt. 

Gun Machine is quite far fetched but could definately, happen, which makes this a little scary, especially when you meet the man that put all the guns in one place.  The book just hits you in the face with the truth. The actions and idiosyncracities of the charecters may be funny or dark, but they are still how people act normally.  The mood of this novel is unsettling until the gaps begin to get filled in. This is a great read for someone wanting something fast, interesting, crime ridden, and darkly comic at times.  You might like this if you like the Sandman Slim series, Tim Dorsey, Charlie, Huston, Beat the Reaper, Motherless Brooklyn, or Boulevard by Stephen Jay Schwartz. 

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This Book Is Full of Spiders: Seriously, Dude, Don't Touch It (John Dies at the End #2) Cover Image
ISBN: 9780312546342
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Thomas Dunne Books - October 2nd, 2012

This Book Is Full Of Spiders is a hilarious sequel of a book that runs you off the wall and through the roof. Dave and John, originally from David Wong’s book John Dies At The End, run through other reality's adventures at breakneck speeds. Dave and John have a knack for uncovering the “truth” of weird happenings in their town from their previous consumption of an otherworldly drug referred to as “soy sauce." The sauce lets them read between the lines of reality and sometimes spilling over into other-alitys. Whatever they end up doing, the duo always seem to land themselves in a pickle as strange as cats giving birth to dogs. This book is full of secret doors, shadow people (from other worlds, realitys, dimensions…), Molly (the impossible dog), and Amy, Dave’s one armed girlfriend. In spite of the craziness, Dave always tries to make it to work at the video store while being the voice of reason. John tries to incite adventure while being between jobs and beverages. If you are the kind of person that suspects you might hear voices or you’re just looking to go where intelligent people have never gone before, this book is for you.   

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Holy Ghost Girl: A Memoir Cover Image
ISBN: 9781592407354
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Avery - October 2nd, 2012

Holy Ghost Girl appeared to me as some sort of realistic fiction. Upon further investigation it was clear that this book is, indeed, a memoir. Donna takes you on a journey through the south underneath a traveling revival tent from the 60's. Donna spent her early life bouncing around with the Terrellaties. Brother Terrell's following went from few to many in a matter of years thanks to his fighting of the KKK, healing of the sick, and prophesying of the end times. Donna and her brother bounce all over with Brother Terrell, her mom, and a host of different people that watch them for The older she gets the more she becomes torn on believing some holly roller doctrine and sinning with the worldly people. Over all Holy Ghost is a quick and exciting look into a different way of growing up for Donna.

For Fans of: the Glass Castle

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Dora: A Headcase Cover Image
By Lidia Yuknavitch, Chuck Palahniuk (Introduction by)
ISBN: 9780983477570
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Hawthorne Books - August 7th, 2012

Dora is a problematic teen. Her troubles happen in family, sexual, and therepeutic departments of her life. Dora's mother is heavily medicated while her father is out womanizing. For Dora to escape these problems she hangs out with “sexualy different” friends ranging from middle aged Marlene, the cross dresser, to her would be lesbian lover, Obsidian. Her psychiatrist, Sigmund Freud, is trying to tell Dora about her sexual problems when she knows everything already. She is continually plotting at these departments to make her life more tolerable.

Yukavitch's first novel will leave you spinning by the time you finish it. Dora has been refered to as a “chick's fight club.” The way this story is told keeps your eyes three lines ahead to see what's next. Her teen frustration and angst is so powerful it drives her to recording everything on tape. Her family, friends, and psychiatrist are all trying to save her from herself at all the wrong times. Dora is a roller coaster of weird.

For fans of Fight Club, Apathy, and Hairstyles of the Damned

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The Homecoming of Samuel Lake: A Novel Cover Image
ISBN: 9780385344098
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Random House Trade Paperbacks - July 10th, 2012

Every year the Moses Clan has a family reunion. Unfortunate events soon unfold that brings the family closer together as well as more of their problems into the open. Willadee Moses and her children end up staying at her parents home until things can be straightened around and her husband Samuel Lake can get them back on their feet. Swan, Willadee's and Samuel's eleven year old acts so inquisitive that she almost falls in to snake holes all the time. Swan's preatcher father is having a hard time finding a congregation to take him in and settles at the Moses house. He developes an idea to have an oldfashioned tent sermon in the feild across from The moses house to help his self esteem and family out. A surprising person, rough edged uncle toy, comes to be a sort of hero for the children. Toy seems to always show up at the right time, and know just what to do. Over all this book touchs on so many subjects i couldn't say what kind of genre it is, other than it's a fantastic read. From begining to end you'll find that something you didn't expect is happening all the time. When you thought you had it figured out, you'll find Swan or Toy doing something to throw you off.

If you like this, you may like a story by Daniel Woodrell or Donald Ray Pollock, both are a little on the grittier side.


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Edge of Dark Water Cover Image
ISBN: 9780316188432
Availability: Hard to Find
Published: Mulholland Books - March 27th, 2012

Sue Ellen's life is just about intolerable before one of her friends turns up dead. She has an addicted mother and a no good father, as well as an even wider host of creeps in her life. Sue Ellen, Jinx, and Terry decide to set off down the river for greener pastures, a chance at going to Hollywood, and hope for something better. On the way they run into all kinds of evil and hospitality.

Edge of Dark water is all around Mark Twain worship, with a little evil thrown in for good measure. This book moves at a fast pace while helping us to appriciate what we have, but not letting us forget that sometimes action is called for. If Mark Twain time traveld to now and became jaded he would probably develope crazy charcters like these. One charecter is named skunk and one is addicted to a laudanum/alchohol cure-all.

If you like this, try: Charlie Huston's The Mystic Arts of Erasing All Signs of Death or also by Charlie, The Shotgun Rule


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