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  • gilwilson 3:02 PM on April 30, 2021 Permalink | Reply  

    “Swing” By Kwame Alexander, Mary Rand Hess 

    By: Kwame Alexander, Mary Rand Hess
    Narrated by: Kwame Alexander
    Length: 4 hrs and 8 mins
    Release date: 10-02-18

    This coming of age tells the story of two best friends Noah and Walt (a.k.a. Swing) as they make their Junior year in High School THEIR YEAR. All their lifelong dreams are going to be made real. From Walt finally getting to play on the high school baseball team (he may not be good, but he’s got heart) to getting Noah to finally ask out his lifelong crush.

    As their year progresses they find the ups and downs of life are not always easily dealt with and soon learn more about themselves than they would have had they just kept going as normal.

    My favorite part of this book is the use of Jazz music as their metaphor for life, from listening to jazz vinyl at the local thrift store to hiring of Walt’s uncles jazz band to entertain the party at Noah’s house, while his parents are on vacation. Everything is better with Jazz.

    I will warn you this book is a tear-jerker, so just have the tissue ready.

    Read by the author, this audiobook really stands out. Kwame Alexander’s delivery is perfect and will keep you in anticipation for the highs and getting those lumps in the throat for the lows. Great read/listen for all ages.

    Publisher’s Summary

    In this YA novel in verse from best-selling authors Kwame Alexander and Mary Rand Hess (Solo), which Kirkus called “lively, moving, and heartfelt” in a starred review, Noah and Walt just want to leave their geek days behind and find “cool” but in the process discover a lot about first loves, friendship, and embracing life…as well as why Black Lives Matter is so important for all.

    Best friends Noah and Walt are far from popular, but Walt is convinced junior year is their year, and he has a plan that includes wooing the girls of their dreams and becoming amazing athletes. Never mind he and Noah failed to make their baseball team yet again, and Noah’s crush since third grade, Sam, has him firmly in the friend zone. While Walt focuses on his program of jazz, podcasts, batting cages, and a “Hug Life” mentality, Noah feels stuck in status quo…until he stumbles on a stash of old love letters. Each one contains words Noah’s always wanted to say to Sam, and he begins secretly creating artwork using the lines that speak his heart. But when his art becomes public, Noah has a decision to make: continue his life in the dugout and possibly lose the girl forever or take a swing and finally speak out.

    At the same time, American flags are being left around town. While some think it’s a harmless prank and others see it as a form of protest, Noah can’t shake the feeling something bigger is happening to his community. Especially after he witnesses events that hint divides and prejudices run deeper than he realized.

    As the personal and social tensions increase around them, Noah and Walt must decide what is really important when it comes to love, friendship, sacrifice, and fate.


    • Is written and narrated by New York Times best-selling author and Newbery Medal and Coretta Scott King Award winner Kwame Alexander
    • Features a diverse array of characters and perspectives
    • Tackles the biggest social issues of today, including racial prejudice and Black Lives Matter
    • Is perfect for the classroom or community-wide discussions
    • Is a 2020 YALSA Quick Pick for Reluctant Young Adult Readers
    • Contains original music

    If you enjoy Swing, check out Solo by Kwame Alexander and Mary Rand Hess. ©2018 Kwame Alexander, Mary Rand Hess (P)2018 Blink

  • gilwilson 2:58 PM on April 29, 2021 Permalink | Reply  

    “Lady Death: Treacherous Infamy” by Brian Pulido 

    Lady Death: Treacherous Infamy
    Chapter 12 in the Coffin Comics Lady Death Universe.
    Story: Brian Pulido, Mike MacLean
    Interiors & Cover: Diego Bernard, Ceci de la Cruz
    Published by Coffin Comics December 2020

    Lady Death once wanted to destroy all life and leave Earth as a desolate graveyard. Luckily she has changed her evil ways and is a sort of an anti-hero helping mankind by destroying demons. Until now…

    Something has reverted her back to her evil self and she is on her way to destroy the Earth. Unless a group of supernatural super-heroes can stop her, including her children. This is Lady Death at her most evil self.

    The battles for mankind take place throughout the United States, picking up more powered individuals to defeat her and even some that come to support her cause.

    The artwork in this book is absolutely stunning, the writing will leaving you wanting more (which will be coming since this is an on-going arc in Lady Death’s story).

  • gilwilson 2:32 PM on April 28, 2021 Permalink | Reply  

    “Devolution: A Firsthand Account of the Rainier Sasquatch Massacre” By Max Brooks 

    A Firsthand Account of the Rainier Sasquatch Massacre
    By: Max Brooks
    Narrated by: Judy Greer, Max Brooks, Jeff Daniels, Nathan Fillion, Mira Furlan, Terry Gross, Kimberly Guerrero, Kate Mulgrew, Kai Ryssdal, Steven Weber
    Length: 9 hrs and 50 mins
    Release date: 06-16-20

    Max Brooks is at it again, first he told us how to survive a zombie apocalypse, now he’s telling the harrowing story of a Bigfoot attack on an isolated “modern” colony. The story is told in a fashion much like the found footage horror films, such as “The Blair Witch Project,” “Unlisted Owner,” and “Paranormal Activity.” Instead of found film/video the journals of Greenlop resident Kate Holland are turned into a pretty cool horror/survival story. From the beginning the reader (or listener in the case of the audiobook) knows no one survives because the journals are said to have been found in the burned out ashes of what remains of Greenlop, but as the story progresses, that is forgotten and the reader finds hope.

    Greenlop is an experimental colony where a bunch of rich/progressive folks want to start a community that is 100% off the grid. Their food and supplies are dropped in by drone on a regular basis, their homes are solar powered and very modern. The even have wi-fi. This is all pretty nice until nearby Mt. Ranier decides to become an active volcano and blows. All wildlife flees and the colony is suddenly cut off from civilization. The volcanic explosion destroys all communication access, the drones stop coming and the colony must learn survival skills. Many are rich pretentious folk that couldn’t successfully camp out in a four star hotel, without a staff.

    Kate, is determined, she soon starts the greenhouse and begins growing some of their food. Her bordering-on-depression husband soon finds a purpose, by helping to clear the solar panels of ash from the volcano. Things seem to be going fairly well until the colony discovers wild animals are attracted to their compost. Could be bears or large cats, either way it is a danger to the people. Soon one of the colonists realizes there have been no wild animals in the area for several days.

    The culprit is soon discovered to be a “tribe” of Sasquatch. With all the wildlife gone from the area, due to the volcano, and ash covering everything, the Sasquatch begin a war against the humans for Survival.

    Instincts kick in and the colony prepares for war.

    The audiobook cast bring this book to life, making it seem even more like a found footage horror story.

    Publisher’s Summary

    The number one New York Times best-selling author of World War Z is back with “the Bigfoot thriller you didn’t know you needed in your life, and one of the greatest horror novels I’ve ever read” (Blake Crouch, author of Dark Matter and Recursion). 

    As the ash and chaos from Mount Rainier’s eruption swirled and finally settled, the story of the Greenloop massacre has passed unnoticed, unexamined…until now. The journals of resident Kate Holland, recovered from the town’s bloody wreckage, capture a tale too harrowing – and too earth-shattering in its implications – to be forgotten. In this audiobook, Max Brooks brings Kate’s extraordinary account to light for the first time, faithfully reproducing her words alongside his own extensive investigations into the massacre and the legendary beasts behind it. Kate’s is a tale of unexpected strength and resilience, of humanity’s defiance in the face of a terrible predator’s gaze, and, inevitably, of savagery and death.

    Yet it is also far more than that.

    Because if what Kate Holland saw in those days is real, then we must accept the impossible. We must accept that the creature known as Bigfoot walks among us – and that it is a beast of terrible strength and ferocity.

    Part survival narrative, part bloody horror tale, part scientific journey into the boundaries between truth and fiction, this is a Bigfoot story as only Max Brooks could chronicle it – and like none you’ve ever heard before.

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