June 12, 2015

BlueInk Review announces great summer reads!

By Ali Correll

Looking for a new contemporary romance, memoir, mystery — or other unique read — to fill up those long, lazy summer hours? Why not support an indie author at the same time?  At BlueInk Review, we’ve culled our favorite titles of the year from the hundreds of books we’ve reviewed and put together a list sure to satisfy every literary need!

 

FICTION

ROMANCE

hookedHooked, by Allen Wolf: Not your typical contemporary romance, Hooked offers readers the humorous, memorable story of a 24-year-old, highly functioning autistic named Shawn, a man in search of his soulmate.  Hindered by his social awkwardness, which is often mistaken for rudeness, Shawn longs to find the perfect woman to bring home to his doting grandmother.  The story takes flight as he makes a connection with  a prostitute that he mistakes for an actress, and the two  face their share of prejudices and difficulties before the romance can soar.  A sweet and entertaining romantic comedy,  Hooked will appeal to any reader who enjoys a blend of quirky characters, humor and drama.  Read Review

jadedJaded, by Lissy O’Laughlin: Fans of  50 Shades of Grey will love this short, single-sitting erotic romance with a bit of kink.  After leaving her stale, sexless relationship with her husband, Jade finds herself working as a bar manager at an exclusive club owned by the handsome Mac.  Sparks soon fly between the two and O’Laughlin’s narrative delivers sensual heat, some BDSM elements, and  a certain elegance at the same time.  For readers looking for a kinky summer romance,  Jaded is sure to satisfy.  Read Review

THRILLER/MYSTERY:

sleeping to deathSleeping to Death, by G. D. Baum: The second novel in the Lock Tourmaline Mystery series, Sleeping to Death centers on ex-New Jersey cop and martial arts master Lock Tourmaline as he is assigned by a Korean drug ring kingpin to discover who murdered her brother in prison.  Tourmaline gradually begins to feel duped by his employer, and the story twists  from one development to the next.  Baum’s writing is precise and clean and delivers rapid-fire, real-life dialogue.  In all, it’s such fun that if you haven’t read Point and Shoot, the first in the series, you’ll want to seek it out to get onboard at the beginning of this exhilarating ride.  Read Review

GENERAL:

walking homeWalking Home: Via the Appalachian Trail, by Michael Herrick: Herrick’s compelling novel traces two journeys on the Appalachian Trail: one made decades ago, the other in the present; one by a young man facing his future, the other by a disheartened middle-aged man unsure how his life got so far off track. Both hikers seek answers to universal questions about life. A great-escape read,  this story  examines what it means to be human while looking at the differences and broken pieces in all of us.  Read Review

 

inflagranteInflagrante and Delicta: The Common Period, by Andrew Holt McMinn: Toss Armistead Maupin’s Tales of the City into a blender with a pinch of Ken Kesey and a dash of Dr. Seuss — and don’t forget to liberally garnish with magic realism — and you’ll have something very much like Andrew Holt McMinn’s Inflagrante and Delicta.  The story revolves around No. 69 SW 12 London, a borough home to seven adults and two talkative dogs.  Told through the eyes of the hound,  the story bears witness to the seven quirky and colorful characters as they go about their daily routines.  Bizarre, humorous, and surreal, Inflagrante and Delicta won’t  disappoint.  Read Review

 

NONFICTION

SHORT STORIES:

goat lipsGoat Lips, by Matthew Taylor: A well-written, autobiographical collection of stories, these pieces take readers from Taylor’s rambunctious childhood in England to his spur-of-the-moment decision to move to Colorado.  The story that inspired the title sums up the author’s amusement at life’s absurdities: At an audition for a national Miller Light commercial, Taylor tries out for the part of the lips of a goat against some 70 others.  The author revels in the preposterousness of it all. Balancing amusing tales with touching moments in life, Taylor  successfully moves readers in unexpected ways.  Read Review

MEMOIR:

brewing_beneath_the_perkBrewing Beneath the Perk: My Journey through a Coffee Shop Business… to Me, by Teri Meehan: This compelling read offers a critical look at what it takes to succeed in the neighborhood coffee shop business, starting from the ground up.   Meehan, the owner and founder of the popular Denver coffee shop Wash Perk, recounts the small details that have made the shop so successful while reflecting on personal tragedy and a traumatic childhood.  Meehan writes with lively humor about the difficulties of managing millennial baristas, yet offers real instructive value about compassionate leadership.  Well-written, honest, and moving, Beneath the Perk combines health, friendship, and love while taking ownership of one’s life.  Read Review

after the windAfter the Wind: 1996 Everest Tragedy, One Survivor’s Story, by Lou Kasischke: Kasischke was one of the few survivors of the 1996 Everest tragedy made famous in Jon Krakauer’s blockbuster book, Into Thin Air. Four of his close friends froze to death that night, while Kasischke, heeding his wife’s words to “live a story you can tell,” narrowly avoided the same fate by turning around at a critical moment of the climb. The work delivers an edge-of-your-seat description of navigating and mountaineering Everest and is punctuated with beautiful illustrations nestled in each chapter.   Part memoir, part love story, After the Wind remains a well-written ode to Kasischke’s wife and his passion for the ascent. Read Review

HISTORY:

behind the linesBehind the Lines: WWI’s Little-Known Story of German Occupation, Belgian Resistance, and the Band of Yanks Who Helped Save Millions from Starvation, by Jeffrey B. Miller: In his admirable history, Miller recounts  the story of  an American effort during WWI to save the citizens of Belgium, who faced starvation after Germany cut off the country’s food supply.   The Commission for Relief in Belgium was started and funded, among others, by Herbert Hoover, 15 years before he took the presidency.  Miller shows a master’s touch for synecdoche.  In addition to his metaphoric distillations, he also provides a shrewd analysis of the leaders connected with the CRB.   By closely examining this heroic war effort, the author deftly illuminates the war as a whole.  Read Review

boston glass ceilingBoston Glass Ceiling: The Letters of Agnes Edwards Partin, 1922-1925, by Grace E. Moremen, Editor:  An utterly compelling compilation of letters written by Agnes Edwards Partin from 1922 through 1925, the missives tell the fascinating story of Partin’s life as a sectary cum journalist cum editor at the Atlantic Monthly Press. Written to her mother, the letters depict daily life in a publishing house, the upbeat nature of Boston in the 1920s, and the struggle of Partin to advance in what is essentially a man’s world. They also cover Partin’s subsequent travels in Europe, where she interviewed several literary luminaries, including A. A. Milne. Packed with the ambiance of a bygone world, Partin’s entertaining companionship should satisfy history buffs and casual readers alike.  Read Review

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