Graham Joyce is a speculative fiction author I’ve read many times. He is  well worth a look.   Image from: Wikipedia Some Kind of Fairy Tale For twenty years, Tara Martin has been missing. Her family had given up all hope of ever seeing her again. Then on one Christmas day she reappears looking not a day older then the day she vanished.   Dark Sister Maggie, mother and housewife discovers an herbalist’s journal while cleaning. ...

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Image from: Flickr Science Fiction and Fantasy seems to always get a bum rap, always seems to be the child in the corner, when in actuality, without Science Fiction, many of our technological advancements would not have been achieved.  Think about it for a moment: –Moon landings. –Submarines –Space Travel –Cell Phones   Where would we be today if the writers of the fantastic did not believe these things were possib...

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Ash is a retelling of Cinderella and in the right hands, retellings can be amazing, just as Ash was. I LOVED the twist that the author made to give this enduring fairy tale a modern take. As I’ve constantly maintained while writing Scranton Page Turner, one of the huge advantages of working in a public library is the constant flow of books coming in and out. I get to see so much reading material, much more than I would if I didn’t ...

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I’ve written about Jonathan Carroll before at Scranton Page Turner.  Clicking on his name will bring you to my previous entry.  Carroll does it again. He has written another magical piece of literature. Teaching the Dog to Read touches on all that is quintessential Carroll: Death Love Philosophy Talking Dogs   It’s all here.  At less than one hundred pages, Teaching the Dog… is no less a masterpiece then many of Carroll’...

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Time Traveler’s Wife Audrey Niffenegger In 2009, this book caught my attention, as I’m a huge fan of time travel stories.  I cracked the cover and was immediately enthralled.  Claire and Henry are time crossed lovers.  What I found completely fascinating about Time Traveler’s Wife is the mechanics behind time travel in this story.  It is NOT what you’d believe it to be.  I will leave it at that. Emotional, thrilling and surprising this book ca...

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Robert McCammon is a writer I read during a fantasy phase I went through several years ago.  Boys Life and Gone South are two of my favorites although I’ve read others by McCammon.   Boy’s Life Image from: Wikipedia This is likely Robert McCammon’s quintessential book, the novel that put him on the map.  Boy’s life is a fantastic tale of family and loss.  The novel takes place in Zephyr, Alabama.  The protagonist, a young boy named Cory is wor...

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Moon Dance SP Somtow     Moon Dance is a story of a werewolf clan raised in Eastern Europe who escape their homeland for fear of persecution. Does that sound familiar?  This is why I love dark fantasy when done right.  The stories are all merely allegorical.  For those who shun this genre I implore you yet again to read one of my recommends here at Scranton Page Turner and look for the deeper meaning behind the fantastical story the write...

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What Dreams May Come Richard Matheson   Image from: Wikipedia I read Matheson’s What Dreams May Come originally in the early 1990s and the book had such an impact on me that it changed my entire perspective on Life and Death.  There have not been too many books that have had such life altering experiences for me.  What Dreams May Come is on a very short list of such books.  This book should be on EVERYONE’S shortlist of books to read in their ...

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A new Jonathan Carroll book always warms my literary heart.  Mr Carroll is one of the few authors whose books I will buy sight unseen.  A few weeks ago, on October 21st when I returned from dinner I received an email from Jonathan Carroll’s website telling me his new book Bathing the Lion was out in stores.  On my way back to work at the Scranton Library in Madison I made a detour across the street to RJ Julia Booksellers so I could hope beyon...

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September was a wash.  Didn’t get around to writing my columns for September.  It’s the first time I missed the schedule and I apologize for that.  I’m going to a bi-weekly schedule.  These columns will be publishing now the second and fourth Tuesdays of every month to the best of my ability.   Today let’s talk about an old favorite of mine.   Dean Koontz is an author I’ve read consistently in the past.  Haven’t read much of his recent fiction...

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The 37th Parallel
Adventure , Esoteric , Non Fiction , Science / November 9, 2016

We are NOT alone! In the vastness of the Universe how can anyone believe that humanity is the only living thing to have taken hold?  For a number of people, that is the only thought that is relevant, that we ARE alone.   In my opinion it is particularly egotistical belief to own. Ben Mezrich, author of many books, Bringing Down the House probably the one that out him on the map, has written an engaging new book called The 37th Parall...

Presidential
American History / November 2, 2016

Seeing as next week is the U.S. 2016 Presidential Election here is a column containing my “Presidential” books. Image from: Wikimedia Write it When I’m Gone Thomas DeFrank An excellent read for anyone who grew up during the Watergate era as this book brings up some humorous memories of President Ford’s time in office as well as some of the more serious tones of the era.  One of my favorite things about reading history tha...

The Witch House of Persimmon Point
Fiction , Magic Realism / October 19, 2016

The Witch of Little Italy by Suzanne Palmieri is the beginning of a family saga that started with Eleanor Amore returning to The Bronx in New York City pregnant and looking to reconnect with the family she left.  Because I connected so deeply with this book, The Witch of Little Italy is my favorite of the four. Through four books we get to learn about another branch in the Amore family tree.  All the stories culminate in the latest b...

Razor Girl
Crime , Destination Fiction , Humor / September 21, 2016

So, I’m breaking one of my rules here: The one where I avoid new books.   Rules are made to be broken after all, right?  Carl Hiiasen is back with is vintage Only in Florida humor and Razor Girl harkens back to vintage Hiassen style, ala: Sick Puppy Tourist Season Stormy Weather Skin Tight   Razor Girl Razor Girl is Hiaasen at his best.  The humor is back.  I haven’t laughed so much or so hard at a Hiaasen book in years.  T...

Rose Connors
Crime , Destination Fiction , Mystery / September 7, 2016

If there is one thing I enjoy about reading it’s having visited the settings of the books I’ve read.  Rose Connors writes about Sandwich in Cape Cod and she writes the setting so well that it almost becomes another character.  Ms Connors has written four books: Absolute Certainty published 2004 Temporary Sanity  published 2007 Maximum Security published 2010 False Testimony published 2013   If you notice a pattern here, good for...

Graham Joyce

Graham Joyce is a speculative fiction author I’ve read many times. He is  well worth a look.   Image from: Wikipedia Some Kind of Fairy Tale For twenty years, Tara Martin has been missing. Her family had given up all hope of ever seeing her again. Then on one Christmas day she reappears looking not a day older then the day she vanished.   Dark Sister Maggie, mother and housewife discovers an herbalist’s journal while ...

Why Science Fiction
Essay , Science Fiction/Fantasy / August 24, 2016

Image from: Flickr Science Fiction and Fantasy seems to always get a bum rap, always seems to be the child in the corner, when in actuality, without Science Fiction, many of our technological advancements would not have been achieved.  Think about it for a moment: –Moon landings. –Submarines –Space Travel –Cell Phones   Where would we be today if the writers of the fantastic did not believe these things w...

What Do You Do With A Problem
Childrens , Fiction , Spiritual / August 17, 2016

I’m so happy to see that more books are being written with a focus on children solving their “problems” with finding the gift instead of focusing on the “problem.” What Do You Do With A Problem The illustrations in this allegory are perfect for the story as they are drawn as an ominous shadow, a coming storm cloud and as the cover shows, a young boy battling a rainstorm with an inside out umbrella.   As the author suggests, ther...

Ash by Malinda Lo

Ash is a retelling of Cinderella and in the right hands, retellings can be amazing, just as Ash was. I LOVED the twist that the author made to give this enduring fairy tale a modern take. As I’ve constantly maintained while writing Scranton Page Turner, one of the huge advantages of working in a public library is the constant flow of books coming in and out. I get to see so much reading material, much more than I would if I did...

Rivers, Lost Cities and Caves
Adventure , Non Fiction , Politics , Travel / August 3, 2016

The River of Doubt Candice Millard After his U.S. Presidential defeat in 1912, Theodore Roosevelt wasn’t about to sit still.  For his next phase in his life, he opted to travel down a tributary The Amazon River; one that was uncharted.  Facing danger and imminent death at every turn, Roosevelt accomplished a goal that many thought was surely to fail.  This quite a rousing tale, one that was a definite page turner.  Every page left me...