's CBR8 Review No:71

“The only thing crazier than hallucinating a fictional videogame spaceship would be to blame it on a frosted breakfast pastry.”

Armada by Ernest Cline (Buy on amazon.com)


I loved Ready Player One: it was unique and clever and while the constant eighties references got repetitive it made some contextual sense. I was aware that Armada, Cline’s follow up to Ready Player One, was not as well received as his debut but was willing to give it a try. Zack Lightman lives outside of Portland, Oregon in the […]

's CBR8 Review No:104

Double Cannonball with Madeleine L’Engle

Dragons in the Waters by Madeleine L'Engle (Buy on amazon.com)


Woo hoo! Double cannonball for me! I actually cannot remember how many weeks ago I read this book (sad, I know). I’m pretty sure I can make it to a triple Cannonball with a spare bit of change, but a quadruple is looking pretty out-of-reach for me at this point. I’m not complaining. It’s been […]

's CBR8 Review No:103

A sobering book about mass incarceration and racial profiling

The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness by Michelle Alexander (Buy on amazon.com)


I had a student write about pop culture depictions of African Americans in my spring Composition course for online studies, and she used Michelle Alexander’s The New Jim Crow as one of her sources. I was intrigued. I’ve done a bit of reading in African American studies, history and literary, and this was a good […]

's CBR8 Review No:102

A contender for Best Book of 2016

Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi (Buy on amazon.com)


I had heard early acclaim for Yaa Gyasi’s debute novel, Homegoing, but it wasn’t until ElCicco’s rave review that I first thought, “I must read this.” I come and go on long family sagas, but Gyasi has forever changed the game, in my opinion. This is a must-read book, and I cannot quite say enough […]

's CBR8 Review No:101

Is your legacy a blessing or a curse? J.K. Rowling explores the question.

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child by J.K. Rowling, Jack Thorne, and John Tiffany (Buy on amazon.com)


When J.K. Rowling announced that she’d be writing a play about Harry Potter, we all knew she wouldn’t be done with Harry Potter. Several people began plotting ways to get to London to see the play’s premiere. There was controversy that the actress who played adult Hermione was black. The horror, you guys. How DARE […]

's CBR8 Review No:100

A new-to-me L’Engle series

The Arm of the Starfish by Madeleine L'Engle (Buy on amazon.com)


The L’Engle reading saga continues! This time, I am delving into her O’Keefe family saga, which specifically focuses on oldest daughter Polyhymnia, or Poly (later changed to Polly). This series has a much more scientific and mystery-oriented thrust than the Time books, though there is still plenty of philosophy to go around. Up till now, […]

's CBR8 Review No:39

The Book Within the Book

A Game for All the Family by Sophie Hannah (Buy on amazon.com)


Man, this is one strange little book. I picked it up because I was going on vacation, and even when Sophie Hannah’s books aren’t very good, they can always be relied on to be interesting. The basic plot of this one is that the Merrison family has picked up and left London for a more […]

's CBR8 Review No:55

A Multiple Award Winner Which Was Good, Not Great.

The Rest of Us Just Live Here by Patrick Ness (Buy on amazon.com)

The Rest of Us Just Live Here

I have been trying to read some of the runner up choices for book club in addition to the ones we pick. So far, I’ve read Venetia by Georgette Heyer and this book, The Rest of Us Just Live Here by Patrick Ness. This one feels like a bit of a cheat, since I had […]

's CBR8 Review No:34

Pigskin and Broken Limbs

The Throwback Special by Chris Bachelder (Buy on amazon.com)


Aren’t men generally kind of stupid? And the things they like, aren’t those pretty meaningless too? All those silly, pointless traditions: the nicknames, the rituals, the insults, the posturing. Nonsense, right? That’s basically the point and the premise of The Throwback Special, a strawman construction in which Chris Bachelder creates the silliest, most pointless male […]

's CBR8 Review No:33

The Long Con

The Grifters by Jim Thompson (Buy on amazon.com)


This is going to be pretty brief because I read this novel and then went on a two-week vacation, so it’s not exactly fresh in my mind. Jim Thompson is an acknowledged master of noir fiction, and this novel, filmed in 1990 starring John Cusack and Anjelica Huston, is perhaps his best known. The book […]

's CBR8 Review No:39

A Book To Cure Insomnia

Teaching Spanish, My Way by Dee Eldredge (Buy on amazon.com)


It’s not everyday that one happens upon a book on foreign language pedagogy in one’s library.  When I saw Teaching Spanish, My Way it surprised me that it would be something my library would carry.  Most libraries don’t carry books about teaching unless they are connected to a college.  I’m always looking for ideas to […]

's CBR8 Review No:99

And now…my LEAST favorite L’Engle

Many Waters by Madeleine L'engle (Buy on amazon.com)


You guys. Reading this book was a chore, and that’s a crime, because Madeleine L’Engle is such a fantastic writer. I’ve only read this once before, and I remember really disliking it before, but because I’m a completionist, blah blah blah, I had to read the whole sequence. So I read it. And here we […]