Month: June 2017

Check It Out Blog

Fiction: The Hundred Foot Journey by Richard C. Morais

Each time I see The Hundred Foot Journey by Richard C. Morais on a book list or book shelf, I’m reminded of Lao Tzu’s quote, “a journey of a thousand miles begins with one step.” In this case, the distance is one hundred feet, the space between two restaurants, one run by Indian immigrants and one run by locals in the small French city of Lumiere.  It is also the distance between people of two cultures who must make a journey of their own to understand and embrace what is different. This is not, however, only a story about accepting new people and new ways of thinking, it is a story filled with humor, intoxicating food, madcap escapades and wonderfully multidimensional people. The rollicking Haji family is not the antithesis of the serene Chef Mallory but they are compliments, and the way their stories meld is evocative of a perfectly rich French cream sauce combined with a lush Indian curry.

Fiction: No, But I Saw the Movie: The Best Short Stories Ever Made into Film

No But I Saw the Movie book cover

Calling all film buffs! Looking for short stories that fit your interest? Editor David Wheeler has you covered. No, But I Saw the Movie: The Best Short Stories Ever Made into Film collects the gems that inspired the marvelous scripts of classic movies, including two that became Academy Award Best Picture winners (It Happened One Night and All About Eve).

Spotlighting a lush variety of short fiction including westerns (High Noon), musicals (Guys and Dolls), suspense (Rear Window), science fiction (2001: A Space Odyssey), comedy (Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House), and horror (Psycho), this anthology will help you appreciate both the authors of the source material and those who recognized the genius that could be adapted into great entertainment.

Fiction: The Supremes at Earl’s All-You-Can-Eat by Edward Kelsey Moore

To visit Edward Kelsey Moore’s The Supremes at Earl’s All-You-Can-Eat, you’ll need to be prepared for steamy, humid weather, raucous laughter, and occasional visits by the ghosts of a couple wise-but-misbehaving women. This is all par for the course for Odette, Clarice, and Barbara, who aren’t about to slow down after sixty-some years of persevering through racial injustice, unfaithful spouses, and unexpected deaths. In fact, they’re just as determined as ever to live life on their own terms. You’ll shed tears of joy and sorrow and laugh heartily as you join this special group of women at their favorite diner.

Nonfiction: The Disappearing Spoon And Other True Tales of Madness, Love, and the History of the World from the Periodic Table of the Elements by Sam Kean

Disappearing Spoon book cover

Fun fact: a spoon made of gallium, a metal with a low melting point, will come undone in something as mild as a cup of tea. Though that trivia may be the anecdotal inspiration for the title The Disappearing Spoon and Other True Tales of Madness, Love, and the History of the World from the Periodic Table, it’s no spoiler. Author Sam Kean presents witty tidbits from history all inspired from the mapping of elements which make up the periodic table – as well as those yet to be discovered. Written in a light, readable style, but filled with authoritative information probably not included in your science texts, this book (or audiobook) will appeal equally to those with only a passing interest as well as to more dedicated history buffs or to serious science fanatics. Prepare to have your brain tickled with a unique combination of fun and educational.

Audiobook: Morgue Drawer Four by Jutta Profijt

Morgue Drawer Four audiobook cover

As a finalist for one of Germany’s most prestigious crime novel awards, Morgue Drawer Four could have been…stiff. Dear listeners, it isn’t. Instead we have mild-mannered Martin who likes the solitude of his work as a coroner. One day he performs his customarily precise autopsy on car thief Pascha — and then begins hearing the man’s ghost. First smart-alecky and then downright obnoxious, Pascha wants Martin to get to the bottom of the ‘accident’ that claimed his life.

Reader MacLeod Andrews effectively plays up Pascha’s wry, self-absorbed narration as well as the tension of Martin’s out-of-character escapades. Written by Jutta Profijt and translated from German by Eric J. Macki, this odd-couple pairing of reluctant detective and annoyed ghost is a promising pick for those who like action-driven mysteries with a decidedly sarcastic bent.