The weight of blood : a novel

From Andrea Kalinowski
Author: Laura McHugh
Title: The weight of blood : a novel
I have frequently heard the saying “Blood is thicker than water” and the novel “The weight of blood” by Laura McHugh encapsulates this saying in the actions of two brothers. “You grow up feeling the weight of blood, of family … Now, it ain’t my place to tell you what to think of your own family, but you’ve got to look past what you’ve always been taught and listen to what you know in your bones to be true,” and this is what Lucy does. Lucy’s father, Carl, and Crete Dane grew up in the Ozarks in a small town named Henbane. Carl grows up under the watchful eye of Crete, his older brother and is the one who grows straight and true while Crete, somehow, becomes avaricious and accepting of coloring outside the lines. Lucy, in searching for details of her missing mother, unearths many family secrets, one of which is her uncle’s involvement in human trafficking. A gripping, haunting story told from varied viewpoints, mainly the mother’s and daughter’s but always woven throughout is the value of family. Lucy, in unraveling her family’s past and present, must choose between “the weight of blood” (aka family loyalty) and her own strong moral compass.

Dying to know : a Gumshoe Ghost mystery

From Andrea Kalinowski
Author: T.J. O’Connor
Title: Dying to know : a Gumshoe Ghost mystery
Do you ever wonder if you will come back if something is left unresolved in your life on Earth? Well, in Dying to Know : a Gumshoe Ghost Mystery by TJ O’Connor, the protagonist, a detective, is murdered. His motto is a play on “Physician, heal thyself” and is actually “Detective, solve thyself.” Detective Oliver Tucker, who hates his name but loves his wife and dog, is on the trail of the person who snuffed him but must first learn to master the rules of being a ghost. He cannot travel the same way anymore but must mentally focus on where he wants to be and transport himself mentally. His energy is collected from electrical sources such as light bulbs and cell phones. Too much energy use and he is incapacitated. His longtime detective partner does not believe in ghosts and so ignores, for the most part, Tuck’s communications and warnings. Tuck’s wife is more accepting of Tuck as a ghost, and so, she aides her ghostly husband in the search for the truth. I enjoyed this title immensely and cannot wait for the sequel(s).

Jiro dreams of sushi

From Andrea  Kalinowski
Author:  David Gelb
Jiro dreams of sushi [videorecording DVD]
Jiro Dreams of Sushi is a DVD which chronicles the story of a Japanese master sushi chef. He owns a small, 10 seat sushi restaurant in a Tokyo subway station. He is teaching  his sons and apprentices the craft of sushi. He explains the relationship between fish and rice vendors and the excellence of his finished product. Due to overfishing and bottom trawling, he and his sons are worried about the future of both sushi and fishing. They have noticed a decline and/or extinction of certain fish. He is 85 and so enamored of his work that he has no plans to retire even though he has been working for 78 years. His pursuit of perfection and his dreams of new forms of sushi has earned him a loyal following and three stars in the Michelin guide.

Zelda, the Queen of Paris : the true story of the luckiest dog in the world

From Andrea  Kalinowski
Author:  Paul Chutkow
Zelda, the Queen of Paris : the true story of the luckiest dog in the world 
If you enjoy the companionship of a four-footed friend, this book will really appeal to you and reinforce the love and camaraderie you feel with your pet. Zelda, the Queen of Paris : the true story of the luckiest dog in the world  is a true animal lover’s tale. Zelda is a dog on the streets of India who knows she doesn’t want to stay on the streets of India. She befriends an Indian maid, who works for a journalist and his wife. With her gentle eyes and endearing nature, she is eventually welcomed wholeheartedly into the household. She becomes a friend to everyone in the journalist’s circle and when he is reassigned to Paris, she is granted a visa too. She adopts the mannerisms of the French regarding food and while the Parisians in her immediate vicinity at first despise her, when she rescues their wine collection, they heap praise upon her furry head. Her final journey is to California and there she predicts an earthquake. She is a proven companion to the journalist’s sons until the end of her life and demonstrates all the best qualities of a companion animal, loyalty and love.

Midwinter

From Rosemarie Jerome
author: Sturges, Matthew
Midwinter
Mauritaine was a war hero and a captain in the Seelie Army until he was accused of treason and sentenced to life in prison.  The Queen offered  him a chance for freedom but he must embark on a secret, suicidal mission.  He, and five other prisoners, become fugitives who can trust no  one when the enemy is everywhere. This action packed adventure is filled with battles both internal and external, magic, intrigue, a touch of  romance and engaging characters.  The second title in the series is The Office of Shadow.