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  1. Answering 911 by Caroline Burau
  2. The Moonstone by Wilkie Collins
  3. The Mountain Midwife by Laurie Alice Eakes
  4. Three Little Words by Ashley Rhodes-Courter
  5. Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden
  6. Written in Bones by Paul Bahn
  7. Hannibal Rising by Thomas Harris
  8. Night Child by Anna Quinn
  9. Blood Will Out by Walter Kirn
  10. Life After Life by Kate Atkinson

Today’s Activity

Good day to you, readers!

I want to update you with what is in the works.  I should finish reading The Tao of Pooh tonight and begin writing my review for you.

This morning I had “coffee and conversation” with two budding authors.  It is my hope that they will allow me to read and review their raw manuscripts.  Exciting!

Remember, I will always take your recommendations for books to add to my list.

The Maven

The Zombie Survival Guide

I purchased my copy of The Zombie Survival Guide: Complete Protection from the Living Dead by Max Brooks at Barnes & Noble, trolling the aisles for funky and interesting titles.  I just can’t pass up quirky books.  You can tell by looking at my bookshelves.  I’ve collected some books that even make me wonder what I was thinking at the time.  Over time I will share some of them with you, reader.

This book by Max Brooks, however, is not one that I regret picking up or ever will.  While the book jacket places The Zombie Survival Guide in the Humor category, it should be in the self-help or how-to section.  This is my second reading of this title.  The Guide is a New York Times Bestseller with over one million copies in print.

Max Brooks is the son of famous filmmaker Mel Brooks and Ann Bancroft.  He also wrote World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War which was turned into a film in 2013.  It is not known to me if this is a complete listing of his written works.

The Zombie Survival Guide can be many different things to a variety of readers.  To a conspiracy theorist, it could resemble a step by step manual on navigating through the coming Zombie Apocalypse and history of the worldwide cover-up by many nations intent on mass destruction.  A city-dwelling retro dressing hipster might view it is a comedic take on the zombie fanboy “Walking Dead” phenomenon.  As for me, a little of both.

As I am an educated and rational socially awkward woman, my personal paranoia feeds into anxiety fueled daydreams of the apocalypse taking out all but the most aggressive and weapon savvy gun show aficionados, leaving me little time for anything but scurrying from one hide-out to another and dodging the “zombies” tottering around in shoes that cost more than my monthly grocery budget, with stylishly coiffed hair and makeup that makes them look like plastic dollies (Oh wait, that’s just a trip to the local shopping center!).  I digress…

I enjoyed this book very much.  It is a thoroughly fleshed out foray into one of our modern fantasies regarding the end of society as we know it. The Zombie Survival Guide gives you the history and science behind the deadliest plague humanity will ever face.

Up next: The Tao of Pooh by Benjamin Hoff

The Pilot’s Wife


I acquired a copy of The Pilot’s Wife by Anita Shreve from the Little Free Library at my local Starbucks here in Salt Lake City, Utah.  According to the fly page, it originally came from the Bumpers Library, Camp Joseph T. Robinson in North Little Rock, Arkansas.  It is also stamped “Property of the U.S. Army.”  This copy has not been dog-eared but the pages are aged and yellow.  I love the smell of an aging tome.

I searched for information on the author, and it appears that Anita Shreve has passed into the ether.  She published nineteen works of fiction and two non-fiction.  This particular title was chosen to be in the 1999 Oprah Winfrey’s Book Club.

This is a Contemporary Fiction novel that could narrowly cross over into Romance due to having a romantic subtext to the plot, though it is a rather small carryover.  The author gives much more time to the well developed plot than to the romance for which this reviewer is glad.  Romance is a genre that is not one that I naturally gravitate toward.  The closest I usually stray is Contemporary Fiction and Young Adult.

This book explores the question, how well do you truly know those with which you share your life and your home?  A knock on the door in the small hours of the morning can change your world forever.

The main character, Kathryn, suffers loss and a continuing spiral of mysterious circumstances that takes her halfway around the world where everything she ever knew unraveled like an old sweater.  The entire book builds up a tantalizing tale, but the ending left me a flat.  The story was woven like a fine silk web and then abruptly it was over and there was an afterthought of what seemed like one year later.

As I stated, I did enjoy the book, I just wish there was more meat at the end.

Coming next: The Zombie Survival Guide by Max Brooks