Review: The Mystery Writers of America Cookbook

The Mystery Writers of America Cookbook: Wickedly Good Meals and Desserts to Die For

Hardcover: 176 pages
Publisher: Quirk Books (March 24, 2015)
ISBN-10: 1594747571
ISBN-13: 978-1594747571

Product description:

Hard-boiled breakfasts, thrilling entrees, cozy desserts, and more–this illustrated cookbook features more than 100 recipes from legendary mystery authors. Whether you’re planning a sinister dinner party or whipping up some comfort food perfect for a day of writing, you’ll find plenty to savor in this cunning collection. Full-color photography is featured throughout, along with mischievous sidebars revealing the links between food and foul play. Contributors include Lee Child, Mary Higgins Clark, Harlan Coben, Nelson DeMille, Gillian Flynn, Sue Grafton, Charlaine Harris, James Patterson, Louise Penny, Scott Turow, and many more.

My thoughts:

This is a very nice collection of easy to prepare, simple recipes.  In fact, many of the recipes in this book are very familiar to my family with just a few minor variations and tweaks.  All in all, the entire family enjoyed thumbing through the book and they enjoyed “The Mystery Writers of America Cookbook” as much as I did — and between you and me that’s saying something.

As a Floridian, I love Key lime. As a fat Floridian, I love Key Lime Pie. I thought that I would share Mary Jane Clark’s Sinfully Delicious Key Lime Pie:

1 8-ounce bar cream cheese
1 14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 cup key lime juice
1 8-inch graham cracker pie crust

  1. With an electric mixer, beat cream cheese until creamy.
  2. Gradually add sweetened condensed milk and beat until smooth. Mix in vanilla extract. Add key lime juice and blend thoroughly.
  3. Pour mixture into a pie shell, cover, and refrigerate for at least 6 hours.

Excellent pictures, excellent recipes, and wonderful info about the Authors, makes “The Mystery Writers of America Cookbook” something really special. I give it 5 stars out of 5 and recommend it for everyone.


Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this ebook free from Quirk Books. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

In my mailbox 03/03/15

 

The Mystery Writers of America Cookbook: Wickedly Good Meals and Desserts to Die For

Hard-boiled breakfasts, thrilling entrees, cozy desserts, and more–this illustrated cookbook features more than 100 recipes from legendary mystery authors. Whether you’re planning a sinister dinner party or whipping up some comfort food perfect for a day of writing, you’ll find plenty to savor in this cunning collection. Full-color photography is featured throughout, along with mischievous sidebars revealing the links between food and foul play. Contributors include Lee Child, Mary Higgins Clark, Harlan Coben, Nelson DeMille, Gillian Flynn, Sue Grafton, Charlaine Harris, James Patterson, Louise Penny, Scott Turow, and many more.

Review: Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children

peculiar childrenMiss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children
by Ransom Riggs

Paperback: 368 pages
Publisher: Quirk Books
ISBN-10: 1594746036
ISBN-13: 978-1594746031

(Barry’s score 5 stars out of 5)

Available at Amazon: Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children

Product description:

A mysterious island.

An abandoned orphanage.

A strange collection of very curious photographs.

It all waits to be discovered in Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, an unforgettable novel that mixes fiction and photography in a thrilling reading experience. As our story opens, a horrific family tragedy sets sixteen-year-old Jacob journeying to a remote island off the coast of Wales, where he discovers the crumbling ruins of Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children. As Jacob explores its abandoned bedrooms and hallways, it becomes clear that the children were more than just peculiar. They may have been dangerous. They may have been quarantined on a deserted island for good reason. And somehow—impossible though it seems—they may still be alive. 

A spine-tingling fantasy illustrated with haunting vintage photography, Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children will delight adults, teens, and anyone who relishes an adventure in the shadows.

My thoughts:

I have to admit that when I first started reading Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children I was expecting a dark YA horror story. While there is that element, I think that the book is more of a YA urban fantasy/mystery. The tale is perfect for Halloween with an awesome Gothic vibe, and the pictures are wonderfully creepy. I would recommend the book for the pictures alone.

Some of the elements of the story reminded me of Daniel Wallace’s Big Fish, while others reminded me of the Xmen. Being a YA novel, it is more creepy than scary. I actually chuckled several times as the tension built.

As I said before, I would recommend the book for the pictures alone. Having said that, this soon to be 55 year-old man enjoyed this “Young Adult” book. I give Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children 5 stars out of 5 and recommend buying a hardbound edition for your home library.


Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Quirk Books. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Giveaway: Quotes Every Man Should Know

quotes
Quotes Every Man Should Know
Hardcover: 144 pages
Publisher: Quirk Books (August 13, 2013)
ISBN-10: 1594746362
ISBN-13: 978-1594746369

Okay folks, we haven’t had a giveaway in some time so courtesy of the good folks at Quirk Books I have three (3) copies of Quotes Every Man Should Know to giveaway. The giveaway will run (starting now) until midnight ET July 27th, 2013.

I will draw three names from the form and copy/paste the names and mailing addresses of the winners to Quirk Books who will mail the prizes. If you have any questions please review the Giveaway policy page (link).

Quotes Every Man Should Know is a small pocket-sized hardbound book of well-known (and occasionally lesser-known) quotes.

The perfect companion to Stuff Every Man Should Know (160,000 net) and Jokes Every Man Should Know (140,000 net), Quotes Every Man Should Know is chock full of aphorisms, bons mots, and universal truths for every occasion. With sections on immortal quotations, inspirational quotations, humorous quotations, famously inaccurate quotations, and even quotations about quotations, this pocket-size reference offers quotable wisdom by everyone from Buddha, Plato, and Voltaire to Dororthy Parker, Jerry Seinfeld, Daniel Tosh, and more. Don’t go back to school without it!

It should make an awesome gift or stocking-stuffer. Have fun and Good Luck!

Contest Over

Winners: Elizabeth, Eric, and Victoria

Review: William Shakespeare’s Star Wars

shakespearesstarwarsWilliam Shakespeare’s Star Wars
by Ian Doescher

Hardcover: 176 pages
Publisher: Quirk Books (July 2, 2013)
ISBN-10: 1594746370
ISBN-13: 978-1594746376

What can I say? I came, I saw, I laughed…

Doescher retells the story of Star Wars (Verily A New Hope) in the spirit of William Shakespeare. The cover art and interior art are brilliant. I was very impressed with the faux leather cover (complete with a scuffed back) under the dust jacket.

This was long thought to be the only portrait ...

I really loved the Afterword and Doescher’s hat-tip to Joseph Campbell’s The Hero With A Thousand Faces. I agree, Campbell’s book had a major impact on my life. As for William Shakespeare’s Star Wars, I have to give it four lightsabers out of five. I blew through it’s 170’ish pages in one afternoon and really enjoyed every Jedi moment of it.

It should be a perfect gift for the Star Wars fan or the English major. William Shakespeare’s Star Wars will be available July 2nd … may the Force be with thee.


Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Quirk Books. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Review: The Resurrectionist

resurrectionistThe Resurrectionist: The Lost Work of Dr. Spencer Black
by E. B. Hudspeth

http://www.ebhudspeth.com/

Hardcover: 192 pages
Publisher: Quirk Books (May 21, 2013)
ISBN-10: 1594746168
ISBN-13: 978-1594746161

(Barry’s score 5 stars out of 5)
Buy through Amazon
The Resurrectionist: The Lost Work of Dr. Spencer Black

Product description:

Philadelphia, the late 1870s. A city of gas lamps, cobblestone streets, and horse-drawn carriages—and home to the controversial surgeon Dr. Spencer Black. The son of a grave robber, young Dr. Black studies at Philadelphia’s esteemed Academy of Medicine, where he develops an unconventional hypothesis: What if the world’s most celebrated mythological beasts—mermaids, minotaurs, and satyrs—were in fact the evolutionary ancestors of humankind?

The Resurrectionist offers two extraordinary books in one. The first is a fictional biography of Dr. Spencer Black, from a childhood spent exhuming corpses through his medical training, his travels with carnivals, and the mysterious disappearance at the end of his life. The second book is Black’s magnum opus: The Codex Extinct Animalia, a Gray’s Anatomy for mythological beasts—dragons, centaurs, Pegasus, Cerberus—all rendered in meticulously detailed anatomical illustrations. You need only look at these images to realize they are the work of a madman. The Resurrectionist tells his story.

My thoughts:

resurrectionist mermaidA Nineteenth Century setting with dark macabre scientific experiments — how could I not love it? While the book is dark and creepy with a strong Frankenstein-esque vibe,  I don’t think that it is too over the top. Much of the story of Dr. Spencer Black, plays out in our imagination.

Easily the high point of the book has to be the eye-popping illustrations. It’s a book that I plan to keep on my coffee table rather than hide in a bookcase. Sphinxes, sirens, satyrs, and mermaids are all beautifully dissected and artfully displayed for our grisly perusal.

It begs the question, if this is the art of a madman, what does it say about a person like myself who enjoyed it so? Hmmm.

I enjoyed “The Resurrectionist: The Lost Work of Dr. Spencer Black” and give it 5 skeletal dragons out of 5.


Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Quirk Books. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Thumbing through The Resurrectionist

I got this in the mail and I wanted to share it by thumbing through some of the pages.

The Resurrectionist offers two extraordinary books in one. The first is a fictional biography of Dr. Spencer Black, from a childhood spent exhuming corpses through his medical training, his travels with carnivals, and the mysterious disappearance at the end of his life. The second book is Black’s magnum opus: The Codex Extinct Animalia, a Gray’s Anatomy for mythological beasts—dragons, centaurs, Pegasus, Cerberus—all rendered in meticulously detailed anatomical illustrations. You need only look at these images to realize they are the work of a madman. The Resurrectionist tells his story.

I’ll have a review of this book sometime before it hits the bookstores around May 21st.

Review: The Zombie Tarot: An Oracle of the Undead with Deck and Instructions [Cards]

The Zombie Tarot: An Oracle of the Undead with Deck and Instructions

By Paul Kepple and Stacey Graham
Publisher: Quirk Books; Cards edition (June 5, 2012)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1594745692
ISBN-13: 978-1594745690

Product description:

You’ve never seen tarot cards quite like these. Imagine the celebrated “Rider Deck” infused with the horrors of Night of the Living Dead, and the result is The Zombie Tarot—a crazy, campy interpretation of a classic divination system.

In this zombified parallel universe, wands become limbs, pentacles are biohazard symbols, and the Major Arcana is full of shambling corpses. Along with the 78-card deck, readers will receive instructions in a 96-page full-color book; its contents explain how to survive the zombie apocalypse and forecast your future using one of three different card layouts.

The secrets of The Zombie Tarot await you!

Thumbing through the deck:

My thoughts:

Zombies and Tarot cards, what more do you need to know?

I loved the packaging. It looks like a box of ammunition, and as we all know, ammo and divination come in handy during a zombie apocalypse. The card stock is very good. The artwork is drop-dead gorgeous. The cards have a retro look that makes me think of old horror magazines and comics.

I really loved the devil depicted as a cigarette machine on the Devil card. The deck is stacked (pun intended) with humor. You will enjoy going through each and every card. The booklet is brief but it gives you the basics of Tarot in a nutshell. Having said that, I would suggest Learning the Tarot: A Tarot Book for Beginners (link) or Tarot Plain and Simple (link).

Zombie fans should love this deck as should Tarot card collectors. I can’t keep my nephew out of them. I highly recommend this deck of cards. Zombie Tarot is a divination tool that make you use your BRAAAINSSSS


Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this product free from Quirk Books. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Review: The Thorn and the Blossom A Two-Sided Love Story

The Thorn and the Blossom
The Thorn and the Blossom

The Thorn and the Blossom A Two-Sided Love Story
author: Theodora Goss
Hardcover: 82 pages
Publisher: Quirk Books (January 17, 2012)
ISBN-10: 159474551X
ISBN-13: 978-1594745515

Product description:

One enchanting romance. Two lovers keeping secrets. And a uniquely crafted book that binds their stories forever.

When Evelyn Morgan walked into the village bookstore, she didn’t know she would meet the love of her life. When Brendan Thorne handed her a medieval romance, he didn’t know it would change the course of his future. It was almost as if they were the cursed lovers in the old book itself . . .

The Thorn and the Blossom is a remarkable literary artifact: You can open the book in either direction to decide whether you’ll first read Brendan’s, or Evelyn’s account of the mysterious love affair. Choose a side, read it like a regular novel—and when you get to the end, you’ll find yourself at a whole new beginning.

My thoughts:

As you might expect from Quirk Books, “The Thorn and the Blossom” is an unusual and usually beautiful novel. While I am not a big fan of romance novels, I had to take a look at this accordion-paged book. The book comes in a sturdy slipcase to support the spineless book.

You can start by reading either Evelyn’s or Brendan’s story and flip the book for the other perspective. I liked the “Gawain & the Green Knight” connection.

All in all, I recommend it to anyone interested in a quick absorbing read or for those who like to collect unusual books.


Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Quirk Books. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”