Category Archives: Books

Book discussions. What’s good? What’s overrated? Mediawood bloggers discuss books of all kinds.

Motherless Brooklyn: Book Review


I read Motherless Brooklyn by Jonathan Lethem years ago.  I think it was published in 2000.  I came across it again recently and was reminded of how much I enjoyed it.  I can’t compare it to anything else because I’ve never read anything quite like it before or since.

This gripping detective novel is clever, humorous, beautiful and sad.  A group of orphans from the St. Vincent Home for Boys are employed by a Brooklyn small time mobster.  He tutors them and grooms them to perform various odd jobs, not always within the confines of the law.

The ragtag group is devastated and rudderless when their mentor is murdered.  The main character, Lionel Essog, suffers from tourette’s syndrome.  He is determined to find out who killed their boss.  His compulsion to bark, count or swear at the most inopportune moments presents interesting and somewhat comical challenges to his quest.

frogkisser review

Originally published on Bubblews


Murder in the South of France: Book Review


I just finished the 5th book in a series of murder mysteries by Susan Kiernan-Lewis.  I had never read any of her books before but I burned through all five her series, which are set in Provence.

The first book, Murder in the South of France, is not the best one and is kind of quirky, but it is necessary to set the stage for the rest.  However, it is fast paced and funny.  Each book is independent but it is more fun to read them in order.

Maggie is an impulsive young woman in her thirties who writes ad copy in Atlanta.  She ends up investigating the disappearance of her estranged sister in the South of France.  She meets and falls in love with a mysterious, steady, and handsome Frenchman who turns out to be a con man.

Her Frenchman, Laurent,  is also a gourmet cook, so while stumbling over bodies and uncovering clues, Maggie has to stop to sample his haute cuisine.

In most series when the heroin and the hero get together, it’s the end.  But for these two interesting characters the murder, mayhem and mirth are just beginning.

The books in the series are Murder in the South of France, Murder a la Carte, Murder in Provence, Murder in Paris and Murder in Aix.  This clever author manages to keep the sparks flying between this couple through all five of these books.

frogkisser review

Originally published on Bubblews

Dove Season: Book Review


Dove Season (A Jimmy Veeder Fiasco) by Johnny Shaw

Book Review

At first this looked like a guys book..blood and guts..drinking tequila and bar fights…not something I’d enjoy.   I gave it a try because it was a gift, but once I started I couldn’t put it down.

This contemporary novel takes place in the Imperial Valley of Southern California .  It is portrayed with the love and brutal honesty by an author who grew up there.  He provides a great deal of interesting insight and history about the region.

Thirty year old Jimmy has been drifting for 12 years.   He returns to the dreary alfalfa farm where he grew up because his father is dying.  Jimmy and his father have an unusual relationship.  Some fathers and sons bond through sports, these two bond through dark humor.  Their witty banter, added to Jimmy’s other complex relationships add comic relief to the gritty tale.

Jimmy’s father sends him on a quest to find a hooker, a very specific hooker.  This takes Jimmy and his unusual pals on a perilous trek through rough towns on both sides of the border where they get into all kinds of trouble.  The twists and turns in this book will keep you turning the pages.


Originally published on Bubblews

frogkisser book review


Carpe Demon


Book Review

Carpe Demon by Julie Kenner

Kate Conner is a California stay at home mom who had to  juggle the needs of a teenage daughter, a toddler and her attorney husband with local political aspirations.  She was also a retired demon hunter, but now she has been forced out of retirement by a demon infestation in her town.  She maintains her secret occupation with the help of her neighbor and best friend.

The story is fast paced exciting and very witty.  She manages to kill a demon in the kitchen, hide the carcass in the pantry and still get dinner on the table.  And that’s just the beginning.

It is the first in a series but stands alone as a novel.

It is probably available through many booksellers but I  got it through: