Thursday, December 13, 2018

The Elephant in the Room by Tommy Tomlinson

In the tradition of Roxane Gay’s Hunger, a searing, honest, and candid exploration of what it’s like to live as a fat man, from acclaimed journalist Tommy Tomlinson, who decided he had to change his life as he neared the age of fifty weighing in at 460 pounds.

When he was almost fifty years old, Tommy Tomlinson weighed an astonishing—and dangerous—460 pounds, at risk for heart disease, diabetes, and stroke, unable to climb a flight of stairs without having to catch his breath, or travel on an airplane without buying two seats. Raised in a family that loved food, he had been aware of the problem for years, seeing doctors and trying diets from the time he was a preteen. But nothing worked, and every time he tried to make a change, it didn’t go the way he planned—in fact, he wasn’t sure that he really wanted to change.

He was only one of millions of Americans struggling with weight, body image, and a relationship with food that puts them at major risk. Intimate and insightful, The Elephant in the Room is Tomlinson’s chronicle of meeting those people, taking the first steps towards health, and trying to understand how, as a nation, we got to this point. From buying a FitBit and setting an exercise goal to contemplating the Heart Attack Grill, America’s “capital of food porn,” and modifying his own diet, Tomlinson brings us along on an unforgettable journey of self-discovery that is a candid and sometimes brutal look at the everyday experience of being constantly aware of your size. Over the course of the book, he confronts these issues head on and chronicles the practical steps he has to take—big and small—to lose weight by the end.

Tommy Tomlinson comes to terms with being both a good person, and a liar. He's been lying to his friends, his family, his wife, and most of all himself, about his food addiction, and his weight. For the first time, in this book, he admits to the actual number on the scale, how he reached it and why he thinks he landed there. This is not a woe is me it's everyone else's fault kind of story. Nor is it a follow me and I'll teach you to drop 50 pounds a month manual. It's an honest and heart felt memoir of growing up big, in a family where food was used to celebrate triumphs as much as it was to console and soothe loss. Anyone who has ever struggled with their weight or is still struggling now can relate to this, and anyone who has ever looked at  larger people and wondered how they let themselves get so big could benefit from this read.

I received an advance copy for review.

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Friday, December 7, 2018

RESURRECTION (ARIZE #1) by Scott Nicholson


It begins with a long-dormant virus released from an archaeological dig in Northern Alaska.

A researcher studying the virus suffers a fever and launches into a bloody killing spree that ends with two police officers dead. A second researcher, Dr. Meg Perriman, has just flown home for the Easter holiday with her family in North Carolina, unknowingly carrying the virus. Within days, the infection spreads across the planet, sparking martial law, chaos, and widespread slaughter as many of the infected turn into flesh-eating zombies.

Meg and a few others appear to be immune, however, and the survivors gather in a megachurch called Promiseland that the U.S. government has established as an emergency shelter. The Rev. Cameron Ingram, a charismatic televangelist the president has appointed as the “zombie czar,” believes the catastrophe is a sign of the Biblical apocalypse. When a rash of natural disasters accompany the outbreak and civilization breaks down, people turn to Ingram for salvation in the face of fear and despair.
But Meg and her group of friends soon discover Ingram is not what he appears, and they are caught between the devil and the living dead.

When I started this book I was not aware that it was going to be a series, until I got to Goodreads and noticed it was listed as Book 1. Had I known beforehand, I may have been deterred from starting it. Not that I have anything against series, it's just that my "to be read" list is so long, there is no guarantee I can find time to go back for a part 2. So I guess it's lucky for me that I didn't know in advance, because by the time I found out I was hooked on this book and it would have been a shame to miss out.  While there is lots of blood and gore as you would expect in a zombie novel, it felt more like a heart pounding action thriller than the usual horror, especially never knowing which (if any) character would survive, as Meg and her husband venture out into the fray in a desperate attempt to get medical help for their child.

I received a complimentary copy for review.

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About the Author
Scott Nicholson is the international bestselling author of more than 30 thrillers, including The Home, McFall, Liquid Fear, Speed Dating with the Dead, and the AFTER and NEXT post-apocalyptic series. His books have appeared in the Kindle Top 100 more than a dozen times in five different countries. Look for Arize #2: REVELATION.

Tuesday, December 4, 2018

The Wartime Sisters by Lynda Cohen Loigman

Two estranged sisters, raised in Brooklyn and each burdened with her own shocking secret, are reunited at the Springfield Armory in the early days of WWII. While one sister lives in relative ease on the bucolic Armory campus as an officer’s wife, the other arrives as a war widow and takes a position in the Armory factories as a “soldier of production.” Resentment festers between the two, and secrets are shattered when a mysterious figure from the past reemerges in their lives.

Ruth and Millie have been at odds with one another nearly from the moment Millie was born. Big sister Ruth tried to play with Millie, tried to read her stories, tried to interest her in games, but Millie just wasn't engaged in any of those activities. As they grew older they also grew further apart. Ruth began to resent Millie's good looks, while Millie began to feel Ruth looked down on her for her less than perfect school report cards. It didn't help that the boys Ruth wanted to date took more of an interest in Millie, or that their own parents seemed to favor Millie over Ruth as well. As the sisters move into adulthood and follow very different paths, petty resentments and their own insecurities keep them apart, even though deep down they still love each other as only sisters can. The sisters have gone their separate ways until unfortunate circumstances force them back together at the Springfield Armory.
I thoroughly enjoyed this poignant family drama and loved these sisters as if they were my own.
I received an advance copy for review.

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About the author
Lynda Cohen Loigman grew up in Longmeadow, Massachusetts. She received a B.A. in English and American Literature from Harvard College and a law degree from Columbia Law School. Lynda practiced trusts and estates law in New York City for eight years before moving out of the city to raise her two children with her husband. She wrote The Two-Family House while she was a student of the Writing Institute at Sarah Lawrence College. The Two-Family House was chosen by Goodreads as a best book of the month for March, 2016, and was a nominee for the Goodreads 2016 Choice Awards in Historical Fiction. Lynda's second novel, The Wartime Sisters, will be published on January 22, 2019.

Saturday, December 1, 2018

The Window by Glenn Rolfe

What kind of demons await you tonight?

For Richie, life's constant cheap shots are adding up. When he finds something is watching him, he never dreamed that it would show him everything that he ever wanted.

When his son, James, comes to stay for the last month of summer, the changes in his father's behavior come to the forefront. What is his father doing staring into the window in the middle of the night?
Was the fiery spark in the dark real? Or is James' imagination getting the best of him?

Summer's almost over.
And life is about to change.
Will the son be able to save the father? Or is it already too late?

The Window holds the answers...and the key.

The new and terrifying novel from Glenn Rolfe, author of LAND OF BONES and BECOMING

James is having a hell of a summer. Literally. The soon to be 14 year old finds that living with his mom and her new boyfriend, quite frankly, sucks. When his father demands that James be allowed to come and spend the last month of summer vacation with him it seems that things are looking up. James has missed his father terribly and also can't wait to spend some time with his friends. His father Richie hasn't been doing so well without James either. He's lost his business, his wife, and is missing his son. He's been drinking more than usual and feeling depressed. All of this makes his soul ripe for the plucking by lustful demons who prey on misery and despair.

"He didn't notice the reflection he'd left in the kitchen window as it watched him drive away."

The happy father and son reunion is short lived as James begins to notice Richie's strange behavior.
I am a big fan of coming of age/horror where the friendships run deep and the horror threatens not only the soul but the bonds forged between loved ones, so this was a hit for me.

I received a complimentary copy for review.

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About the author
Glenn Rolfe is an author, singer, songwriter from the haunted woods of New England. He studied Creative Writing at Southern New Hampshire University, and continues his education in the world of horror by devouring the novels of Stephen King, Jack Ketchum, Richard Laymon, and many others. He and his wife, Meghan, have three children, Ruby, Ramona, and Axl. He is grateful to be loved despite his weirdness.

He is the author of Becoming, Blood and Rain, The Haunted Halls, Chasing Ghosts, Boom Town, Abram's Bridge, Things We Fear, Land of Bones, The Window, Out of Range, and Slush.

He is hard at work on many more. Stay tuned!