The Infection by Craig DiLouie

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Book Description

Publication Date: August 30, 2011
Five ordinary people must pay the price of survival at the end of the world.
A mysterious virus suddenly strikes down millions. Three days later, its victims awake with a single purpose: spread the Infection. As the world lurches toward the apocalypse, some of the Infected continue to change, transforming into horrific monsters.
In one American city, a small group struggles to survive. Sarge, a tank commander hardened by years of fighting in Afghanistan. Wendy, a cop still fighting for law and order in a lawless land. Ethan, a teacher searching for his lost family. Todd, a high school student who sees second chances in the end of the world. Paul, a minister who wonders why God has forsaken his children. And Anne, their mysterious leader, who holds an almost fanatical hatred for the Infected.
Together, they fight their way to a massive refugee camp where thousands have made a stand. There, what’s left of the government will ask them to accept a mission that will determine the survival of them all–a dangerous journey back onto the open road and into the very heart of Infection.
Review –
It starts with screaming and some people falling down and days later coming back as Zombies.  This author really knows how to grab you and hot let go. I purchased this book because it was offered free for my Kindle and  though sometimes I found it a bit bogged down the end justified all the rest.  I have heard this book described as TWENTY-EIGHT DAYS LATER meets THE MIST and that about sums it up. The Zombies and Monsters are superbly described and  the never-ending “fight for your life” mentality is  shown in all the characters. I thought this book was a stand alone until I came to the end and discovered that there is a sequel. I will definitely read it in the New Year but maybe read a couple of “happy ending” books first.

Death Benefit by Robin Cook

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Book Description

Release Date: 2011
Pia Grazdani is an exceptional yet aloof medical student working closely with Columbia University Medical Center’s premier scientist on cutting edge research that could revolutionize health care by creating replacement organs for critically ill patients. But when tragedy strikes in the lab, Pia, with the help of classmate George Wilson, launches an investigation into the unforeseen calamity in the hospital’s supposedly secure biosafety lab.
Meanwhile, two ex-Wall Street whiz-kids think they’ve found another loadstone in the nation’s multi-trillion dollar life insurance industry, and race to find ways to control actuarial data and securitize the policies of the aged and infirm to make another killing.
As Pia and George dig deeper into the events at the lab, one question remains unanswered: is someone attempting to manipulate private insurance information to allow investors to benefit from the deaths of others?
Review –
I recently purchased the audio version of the newest book by Robin Cook entitled NANO and discovered that the main character in it was one I hadn’t encountered before but found out she was introduced in this book so I HAD to read it first. Like many of  his other works, this one is VERY medical and  I found myself looking up some of the words so I would have a better understanding of the complex but necessary storyline.  It was fast paced and hard to put down but now I’m ready to tackle the new book with gusto and knowledge of the Pia Grazdani character.

The Colorado Kid by Stephen King

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Book Description

Publication Date: October 4, 2005
On an island off the coast of Maine, a man is found dead. There’s no identification on the body. Only the dogged work of a pair of local newspapermen and a graduate student in forensics turns up any clues.But that’s just the beginning of the mystery. Because the more they learn about the man and the baffling circumstances of his death, the less they understand. Was it an impossible crime? Or something stranger still…?

No one but Stephen King could tell this story about the darkness at the heart of the unknown and our compulsion to investigate the unexplained. With echoes of Dashiell Hammett’s The Maltese Falcon and the work of Graham Greene, one of the world’s great storytellers presents a surprising tale that explores the nature of mystery itself…

–This text refers to the Kindle Edition edition.

Review –

This was the third  time I’ve listened to this audiobook and I enjoyed it more this time.  I decided to re-listen to it because of a new television series that began a month or so ago on SyFy called Haven. It’s said to be based on this particular book and I’m sorry I just don’t see it.  Yes, there are two old weathered looking newspaper men and there is an old unsolved mystery but that’s where it ends.  I like the book more but I do watch the tv series every Friday night because I love a good spooky mystery.

If you like Stephen King and haven’t read The Colorado Kid give it a try.  You won’t be sorry.

 

Low Pressure by Sandra Brown

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Publication Date:September 18, 2012
Bellamy Lyston was only 12 years old when her older sister Susan was killed on a stormy Memorial Day. Bellamy’s fear of storms is a legacy of the tornado that destroyed the crime scene along with her memory of what really happened during the day’s most devastating moments.
Now, 18 years later, Bellamy has written a sensational, bestselling novel based on Susan’s murder. Because the book was inspired by the tragic event that still pains her family, she published it under a pseudonym to protect them from unwanted publicity. But when an opportunistic reporter for a tabloid newspaper discovers that the book is based on fact, Bellamy’s identity is exposed along with the family scandal.
Moreover, Bellamy becomes the target of an unnamed assailant who either wants the truth about Susan’s murder to remain unknown or, even more threatening, is determined to get vengeance for a man wrongfully accused and punished.
In order to identify her stalker, Bellamy must confront the ghosts of her past, including Dent Carter, Susan’s wayward and reckless boyfriend — and an original suspect in the murder case. Dent, with this and other stains on his past, is intent on clearing his name, and he needs Bellamy’s sealed memory to do it. But her safeguarded recollections -once unlocked-pose dangers that neither could foresee and puts both their lives in peril.
As Bellamy delves deeper into the mystery surrounding Susan’s slaying, she discovers disturbing elements of the crime which call into question the people she holds most dear. Haunted by partial memories, conflicted over her feelings for Dent, but determined to learn the truth, she won’t stop until she reveals Susan’s killer.
That is, unless Susan’s killer strikes her first…
Review –
This book  is a fast read full of suspense, twist and turns and it was very hard to put down. Sandra Brown has done it again and will have another best seller on her hands. If you enjoy murder mysteries, add this to your list to read in the New Year

Storm Cycle by Iris Johansen and Roy Johansen

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Book Description

Publication Date: August 1, 2009 |
Rachel Kirby is a computer genius whose personal life is hell. While she continues to climb the corporate ranks, her beloved twin sister is plagued by a chronic illness that will eventually kill her, leaving Rachel all alone. Serendipity in the form of a mysterious email lands in Rachel s lap one day, but not without a price. Thousands of miles away, archeologist John Tanek sits trapped inside a collapsed Egyptian tomb with a functioning laptop. He knows that Rachel is the only person who can help him, but time is quickly running out. It turns out the collapse was no accident. John has discovered something very valuable in that tomb, something that humankind has been searching for throughout history, something that Rachel could use as it may hold the key to her sister s cure. While Rachel orchestrates his rescue, she soon finds herself trapped in a dangerous web of deceit and murder. Can she put her trust in John Tanek? She d do anything to save her sister. Will they both live long enough to unravel the ancient mystery they ve found inside the tomb? 

With Johansen and Johansen s fast-paced action, charismatic characters, and impeccable research, Storm Cycle will carry you away. 

 

Review –

Although, I have read books written by this author in the past, I found this one hard to get through.  I don’t know if writing it with her son had anything to do with it but I won’t read another joint collaboration. I was glad when this one ended.

Fallen by Karin Slaughter

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Book Description

Release Date: October 16, 2012
There’s no police training stronger than a cop’s instinct. Faith Mitchell’s
mother isn’t answering her phone. Her front door is open. There’s a bloodstain
above the knob. Everything Faith learned in the academy goes out the window when
she charges into her mother’s house, gun drawn. She sees a man dead in the
laundry room, a hostage situation in the bedroom. What she doesn’t see is her
mother. When the hostage situation turns deadly, Faith is left with too many
questions. She’ll need the help of her partner, Will Trent, and trauma doctor
Sara Linton to get some answers. But Faith isn’t just a cop anymore, she’s a
witness—and a suspect. To find her mother, Faith will have to cross the thin
blue line and bring the truth to light—or bury it forever
Review –
Another excellent book by Karin Slaughter that grabs you by the throat in the first 16 pages and doesn’t let go.  If you’ve never read a book by this author, start here and get ready for the ride of your life.  I believe this to be her best so far.

Baked by Matt Lewis and Renato Poliafito

Book Description

Publication Date: October 1, 2010

Matt Lewis and Renato Poliafito’s 2008 Baked was published to national critical acclaim and raved about across the blogosphere. Since then, their profile has gotten even bigger, with continued praise from Oprah and Martha Stewart; product availability in every Whole Foods across the U.S.; and a new bakery in Charleston, South Carolina, with even more traffic than their original Brooklyn location.

Now, in Baked Explorations, the authors give their signature “Baked” twists to famous desserts from across the country. Here is their take on our most treasured desserts: Banana Cream Pie, Black & White Cookies, Mississippi Mud Pie, and more—from the overworked to the underappreciated. Readers will love this collection of 75 recipes from breakfast treats to late-night confections and everything in between.

Book Description

Publication Date: October 1, 2008
As featured on The Martha Stewart Show and The Today Show and in People Magazine!

Hip. Cool. Fashion-forward. These aren’t adjectives you’d ordinarily think of applying to baked goods.

Think again. Not every baker wants to re-create Grandma’s pound cake or cherry pie. Matt Lewis and Renato Poliafito certainly didn’t, when they left their advertising careers behind, pooled their life savings, and opened their dream bakery, Baked, in Brooklyn, New York, a few years back. The visions that danced in their heads were of other, brand-new kinds of confections . . .

Things like a Malt Ball Cake with Milk Chocolate Frosting, which captures the flavor of their favorite Whoppers candies (and ups the ante with a malted milk ball garnish). Things like spicy Chipotle Cheddar Biscuits that really wake up your taste buds at breakfast time. Things like a Sweet and Salty Cake created expressly for adults who are as salt-craving ?as they are sweet-toothed.

Which is not to say that Lewis and Poliafito sidestep tradition absolutely. Their Chocolate Pie (whose filling uses Ovaltine) pays loving homage to the classic roadside-diner dessert. Their Baked Brownies will wow even the most discriminating brownie connoisseur. And their Chocolate Chip Cookies? Words cannot describe. Whether trendsetting or tried-and-true, every idea in this book is freshly Baked.


Book Description

Publication Date: September 1, 2012
In their third cookbook, Baked Elements: Our 10 Favorite Ingredients, acclaimed authors Matt Lewis and Renato Poliafito present 75 inventive new recipes revolving solely around their 10 most-loved ingredients—from peanut butter and caramel to malt and booze. Lewis and Poliafito celebrate these favorite elements—chocolate, for instance, or bananas—baking each one into a variety of delicious cookies, bars, cakes, milkshakes, and more, sweets perfect for everyday cravings, special occasions, late-night celebrations, and weekend get-togethers. Complete with the signature stories and commentary that fans adore, chapters also include feature-ingredient infographics with quirky facts and charts and helpful Baked notes that make creating these desserts as easy as pie.
Review –
If you like to bake and are looking for a cookbook to add to your collection, you can’t do any better than any one of these three.  In fact, you should pick all three.  They are my favorites of the year and you won’t be disappointed.

Top Pot Hand Forged Doughnuts:Secrets and Recipes for the Home Baker by Mark and Michael Klebeck with Jess Thomson

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Book Description

Publication Date: September 21, 2011
Among enthusiasts, Seattle’s Top Pot Doughnuts reigns supreme. Now, doughnut aficionados everywhere can enjoy these tasty treats at home. Committed bakers, casual home cooks, and sweet-toothed fans will eat up these 50 tried-and-true recipes from classic Old-Fashioneds to the signature Pink Feather Boa and become experts themselves after learning the secrets of doughnut-making tools, terms, and techniques (no, you don’t need a deep fryer). And the selections of toppings and glazes, from chocolate to lavender? That’s just icing on the doughnut.
Review –
I LOVE doughnuts and I love this book except I wish the print were a bit bigger and a lot darker.  The recipes may be hard to read but I vow to make every single doughnut recipes in this book next year.  It will be a daunting job but someone has to do it. (More later)
Here are a few of the recipes from the book:
Apple Fritters
Blueberry Cake Doughnuts
Chocolate Feather Boa  Cake Doughnuts
Double Trouble Cake Doughnuts
French Toast Old Fashioned Doughnuts
Maple Bars
Sour Cream Old Fashioned Doughnuts
Bread Pudding Doughnuts
Raspberry Bullseyes
 
Yum Yum.  A bit of heaven on earth.

Sugar Cube by Kir Jensen with Danielle Centoni

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Book Description

Publication Date: April 25, 2012
This covetable cookbook is a greatest-hits collection from Sugar Cube, a tiny pink food cart in Portland, Oregon, that is thronged daily by hungry hordes craving voluptuous sweets intensified with a spike of booze, a lick of sea salt, or a “whoop” of whipped cream. Sugar Cube founder and baker Kir Jensen left the fine-dining pastry track to sell her handmade treats on the street. Recipes for 50 of Kir’s most enticing cupcakes, cookies, tarts, muffins, sips, and candies are made more irresistible (if possible!) by 32 delicious color photographs. Sassy headnotes and illustrations that resemble vintage tattoos liven up this singular boutique baking book.

About the Author

Kir Jensen is the owner and chef of the Sugar Cube food truck. She lives in Portland, Oregon.
Danielle Centoni is editor of Mix and a food writer whose work has appeared regularly in the Oregonian. She is the co-author of Mother’s Best: Comfort Food that Takes You Home Again. She lives in Portland, Oregon.
Review –
I must admit that I purchased this book only because I heard about it or read about it, not because I really really wanted it.  It’s a pretty book with pretty pictures but the recipes are just not would I like.  Here are a few:
Molasses-Buttermilk Corn Bread with Maple White-Dog Whoop and Candied Bacon
Marionberry “Crack”
Curried Carrot Cupcakes
Black and White Sesame Brittle
If you like unusual recipes or know someone who does, this is the book for you.

Cake Balls by Robin Ankeny and Charlotte Lyon

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Book Description

Publication Date: July 31, 2012

Authors Robin Ankeny and Charlotte Lyon started The Cake Ball Company in 2006, and it has quickly become the leader in the cake ball market. Perfect for both new and experienced bakers and all those who are sick of boring plain cakes and the cupcake trend, cake balls are bite-sized bits of moist cake blended with rich icing and surrounded in a beautiful chocolate shell. Cake balls are super-fun to make and the end product is cute yet elegant—not to mention delicious—making them the ideal dessert for parties, brunches, showers, weddings, and more.

Included within this tasty little cookbook you will find three cake and three icing recipes, for which all of the 51 cake ball recipes in the book are based on, troubleshooting tips, decorating and packaging ideas, and 45+ full-color photos throughout. Some of the tasty recipes include Southern Red Velvet, Triple Chocolate Chip, Gingerbread, Tiramisu, Carrot Cake, Strawberries and Cream, and many more.

Review –

Cake Balls and Cake Pops have become all the rage in the last year or so and this book tells you how to achieve perfect results with clear recipes and instructions and beautiful pictures.   If you enjoy making  Cake Balls/Pops  you will love this book.