I Will Find You: Solving Killer Cases from My Life Fighting Crime by Joe Kenda

Book Reviews, True Crime

I should start by mentioning that I’m a total Investigation ID and Joe Kenda fan. I couldn’t get enough of this book! And I don’t get to say that often. There are currently over 600 reviews reflecting a 4.9 out of 5 star rating on Amazon. Working in publishing, I can tell you that you can’t ask for better ratings. You’ll never make everyone happy, but this book comes damn close.

Buy a personal copy of Joe Kenda’s book on Amazon.

If you watch Homicide Hunter, you’ll be familiar with most of the content in it. If you’re looking for fresh cases, stick to the show. If you’re a fan looking for more Kenda, this book will not dissappoint you. The real perk to reading I Will Find You is that you get more intimate details about Joe and his life. You’ll also learn more about his family, what he does on his spare time, and how he ended up on Homicide Hunter, one of Investigation ID’s most successful shows. You’ll get an intimate behind-the-scenes look of what life as a cop is like, too.

Some of his anecdotes are laugh-out-loud funny, which should be of no surprise if you watch Homicide Hunter. (I found the story of the pencil getting stuck in the ceiling at a court hearing so entertaining!)

It’s also deeply heartbreaking, though, especially if you can empathize with the scars working in homicide has left on Kenda. At the end of the book, he touches on PTSD and everlasting nightmares.


Murder victims haunted me…They reached out from the grave for me. I’d built a shield made of railroad steel around my heart, but my memories were like armor-piercing bullets. They were triggered again and again–by a smell, a sound, a face from the past–and then the shield was shattered.” 

-Joe Kenda, I Will Find You (256) 

I’m definitely glad that I found I Will Find You on a random Barnes and Noble run. I wish Hulu would hurry up and put out seasons 7 and 8 already.

-E

Pen & Ink Drawing: A Simple Guide by Alphonso Dunn

Book Reviews, Other Genre

9780997046533_p0_v1_s550x406My personal copy of this book finally came in the mail yesterday!

I found Alphonso Dunn through YouTube while looking for drawing tutorials. After watching a few of his videos, I saw that he was such a brilliant instructor and I put his book, Pen & Ink Drawing: A Simple Guide, on my wish list.

You can check out his YouTube channel here if you’re curious: Alphonso Dunn. Those looking to learn or improve their drawing skills can definitely find guidance through his YouTube channel but, there’s nothing like being able to take drawing materials out and creating art pieces; sometimes it’s good to get away from a screen to find inspiration, too.

Not surprising, his book is just as great as his instructional videos. It might not work for everyone, but I love his straight-forward guidance. There’s no fluff, and he takes the reader step-by-step to make learning easy. Dunn also encourages artists to understand and question their own drawing methods so that artists are able to get the best output from their work.

Below are pictures of pages within this book but, they really don’t represent all of the good stuff in it. There are exercises, practical guidance for being an artist, and tons of visual references. I also really love that you’re encouraged to draw within the book, too, so it seconds as a workbook.

This book is best for beginners and those just starting out. However, I’m sure that there are techniques in this book worth looking over for experienced artists, too. I especially like the section on texturing. You can see the extensive texture types covered in the first image below.

Definitely worth the buy if you’re a budding artist!

-E

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Seeking: Dad 2.0 by Gwendoline Raisson, illustrated by Magali Le Huche

Book Reviews, Graphic Novels & Comics

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I found this book on Netgalley and was drawn by the cover.

The illustrations in this book are beautiful and the story is sweet, but this is definitely not for everyone. If you don’t enjoy feminist reads, this won’t interest you. The subject of this book is more about bringing social realities to the forefront, and less about developing a compelling story.

Dad 2.0 focuses on the journey of a single mother named Caroline who goes on a journey of self-discovery to accept that, though her life doesn’t exemplify the norm, she’s alright just being herself. I think that there were important issues addressed through different characters in this graphic novel: Monica symbolizes the epitome of motherly and womanly perfection; Philippe embodies the idolized “modern” man and Caroline represents the average woman. Caroline is insecure and trying to figure out how she fits into society.

The title that was picked for this graphic novel is puzzling because it definitely comes across as a modern feminist read.  But, for some odd reason, the title redirects attention to Philippe, the man who is “Dad 2.0,” a modern father who embraces the reversal of gender roles.

There’s a definite audience for this book, but it’s niche.

-E

 

 

 

From the bottom of my being by Mihai G. Paulet

Book Reviews, Other Genre
“And I discovered something
incredibly therapeutic [when writing]: I saw that the more I released what was
inside, the more I felt rejuvenated and light like a feather.​”
-Mihai G. Paulet, From the bottom of my being

Let’s start with a disclaimer. Disclaimer: poetry is art in words, so you’ll either “get it” or you won’t. And it’s impossible to say that someone’s poetry is wrong or right; poetry–like art–just is.  Instead, the value in it should be determined by what it imparts to another human being.​

This collection of poems, essays and stories is very Walt Whitman-esque, addressing the mystery of exsitence. A profound parallel of this can be found in a poem titled, “A Thought”:

​Light from light, part of
everything,
I am everywhere yet only in
a single place.
I`ve been around this realm
from the beginning,
I live in a wink and only in a
thought.​

I’d love to see Paulet read his poetry live because rhythm is a big part of what takes a poem from just being a set of words, to something that moves. The best person to read poetry is the poet who wrote it.

For the longest, I couldn’t stand reading Seamus Heaney’s work (while studying for an undergrad in English), but after listening to him read his poetry…suddenly, I got it; suddenly, I was awake. The same phenomenon occurred with Walt Whitman. I never fully appreciated Whitman’s poetry until a professor read it aloud and actually showed me how to read Whitman’s work.

Overall, I liked this collection. Of course there were some pieces that didn’t resonante with me, but there were some that did. There’s something very refreshing in Paulet’s passion for life. I think my favorite poem in it is, “The Wish I Wished.” This poem is essentially about looking at a vast night sky and dreaming–something I hope everyone gets the chance to do in their lifetime.

 

-E

 

 

 

Sheets by Brenna Thummler

Book Reviews, Graphic Novels & Comics
Sheets is scheduled to be published by Lion Forge next week! I was able to get an ARC copy to do this review.
It took me a few pages to get into this one, but I’m happy that I stuck it out. It turned out to be a really sweet story about an unlikely friendship between a girl and a ghost, loss, and redemption.
Sheets is a story about a girl named Marjorie Glatt whose life begins to unravel after her mom dies. Her dad doesn’t take the death easily and has physically and emotionally “checked out,” leaving Marjorie to have to run their laundry business essentially on her own. She takes on this burden all while juggling school.
Screen Shot 2018-08-24 at 6.04.53 PMJust like a typical vulture, a local creep named Mr. Saubertuck senses that the Glatt family business is on the brink of “death.” He’s odd, disrespectful of boundaries, and looms around the Glatt’s business because he wants to buy their property. Mr. Saubertuck really takes advantage of Marjorie who is young, vulnerable, and not being properly supervised by an adult.
A ghost named Wendell, wanders into the laundry business one day and ends up getting involved. The rest of the story is about how Wendell turns out to be the answer to Marjorie’s problems.
It’s a quick read and I felt that the ending was a bit obvious, but at its core, this is a great story. It’s sweet and endearing.
I’m also wondering if this is going to be a series because it leaves a major question: if Wendell can travel between realms, why hasn’t her mother? Marjorie has been having a really hard time after her mother’s death, yet her mother hasn’t made an appearance.

 

-E

 

 

 

Through the Woods by Emily Carroll & a Blip About ShortBox

Book Reviews, Graphic Novels & Comics

New Image Through the Woods was a random recommendation from Barnes and Noble, and the book that inadvertently made me a fan of ShortBox.  (Where’s the connection? I stumbled on the ShortBox website looking for more of Emily Carroll’s work after finishing Through the Woods.)

ShortBox has such a great collection of work. I’m really looking forward to their next quartlery pre-order box coming out. Pre-orders only last for a 12-day period, so move fast! The last pre-order was just this July, so like me, you’re probably wasting away waiting for pre-order #10 to come out.

Each pre-order box comes with 5  brand-new comics, an A4 print, and candy to sweeten the deal. (Yes, that pun just happened.) You can still buy the comics from their online store after though, if you don’t care much for the collection.

I really loved Through the Woods. Cover to cover this thing is a work of art; the 7 20180821_192254_2stories/comics in it are great, with just the right amount of darkness to them, and the typography and artwork is incredible. The cover is beautifully and thoughtfully textured and the pages inside are glossy, too. If you look closly at the cover image with this post, you’ll see the texturing on the trees on the left.

Above, you’ll see a picture I took from my personal copy. This particular page is from my favorite story in Through the Woods–“A Lady’s Hands are Cold.” “A Lady’s Hands are Cold” is about a woman who is visited by her new husband’s dead ex-wife. As you can see, the typography makes it a really interesting read and becomes part of the artwork.

Emily Carroll really showed just how creative and talented she is in this book.

This is a great read for anyone who appreciates good art and a good creepy story.

 

-E

 

 

The Book of Onions by Jake Thompson

Book Reviews, Graphic Novels & Comics

“Ranging from the relatable to the utterly nonsensical and bizarre, the comics within The Book of Onions explore themes of loneliness, desperation, and perverted talking fruit.”

-From, The Book of Onions

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Note: I received a digital ARC to review this book. The Book of Onions won’t actually be available to buy until this October.

I’ll start by saying that I love this book cover!

I didn’t find this collection of comics knee-slapping funny but, the comics are cheeky and you’ll definitely get a chuckle out of a few.

The comics in The Book of Onions are short with excellent graphics (at least the comics were short, mostly 4 images per page, in the digital version I read). Some of them are dark and violent, and the occasional cuss word is tossed in; definitely something to consider before handing this book to someone else to read.

You’ll recognize some of the characters in this book–Darth Vadar, the Evil Queen from Snow White, Ronald McDonald, Scooby etc. The recognizable characters only make the comics even more relatable.

There were a few comics that I really liked and some that I didn’t care for. For example, “We All Have a Dream Person” flew right over me but I particularly  liked, “There are no stupid questions.”  “Rejection,” was actually pretty funny. In “Rejection,” aliens abduct someone but decide not to after finding someone who is better looking.  I don’t know why, but I found “Whelp” to be really funny, too. I think anyone who has had a job they dislike will get the joke.

This one is definitely worth a look at.

-E