Kevin's Points of Interest
“The Dead Zone” | “Station Eleven”
“The Dead Zone” by Stephen King I’m actually not sure where to file this book. It’s not scary, it’s a bit sci-fi, mildly disturbing in parts...mostly just a well-written and creatively thoughtful examination of an unnatural phenomenon and its resultant effect on society. I really enjoyed the build up and a lot of the first third of the book. But I...
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Salem’s Lot by Stephen King
A vampire book from back before vampires were even cool! Written in 1975 (so the novel is exactly as old as me ), this is Mr. King’s second published novel and it is brilliant. Scary, detailed, creative, unusual, and immersive--all at once. This is the fantastic story-telling and magnificent writing we are lucky to get from this amazing author. Salem’s ...
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The Stand by Stephen King
In only a few short, shocking months; a superflu wipes out nearly all of the world’s population. America is now a wasteland of stalled automobiles...mostly smashed together in mysterious massive car wrecks. “Civilization” has just evaporated leaving only desolate towns...empty cities...and dead bodies. There are survivors though. All of whom are havin...
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The Lighthouse by Michael D. O’Brien
This is a beautifully written, eloquent tale about the life of a Lighthouse Keeper. Solitary at most times, yet still connected in various ways to his nearby community, Ethan the Keeper lives a simple life next to the vast and ever unpredictable sea. The Lighthouse brings us into Ethan’s world over the course of several decades to see how things can be ea...
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A People’s History of the Vampire Uprising by Raymond A. Villareal
Not another vampire book! Well, you’re in luck..because this is not another vampire book. It’s a study of how vampires could (or would?) integrate into our society. We are not talking about an evil presence and a hero who hunts them down along with everything else we’re used to seeing from Hollywood. In this fantastic book, vampires are a new classifi...
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The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay by Michael Chabon
This is a spectacular book and a truly magnificent accomplishment by the writer, Mr. Chabon. Much respect to him for the structure, detail, and execution of this fine novel. To really enjoy this one, it helps to have a fondness for comic books as much of the action, drama, and intrigue center around the creation, impact, and uniqueness of the comic book ind...
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The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness
This is tough because this book was on my radar for a long time and I was very excited to finally get around to buying it...and to reading it. But I didn’t love it. I kind of liked it...but didn’t like it. The issue I have is the voice just never registered with me. “Voice” from a writer’s perspective is literally how they tell the story, what wor...
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The Iron King by Maurice Druon
The most intriguing quote about this book is right on the front in bold red writing: “This is the original Game of Thrones.” - George R.R. Martin Yes, The Iron King is an epic, multi-book saga full of kings, queens, dark sorcery, backstabbing, twisted plots, battles for power, revenge, curses, and family tragedy. The big difference between this and the...
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The Dark Tower (The Dark Tower Book VII) by Stephen King
I finished it! The longest series of books I’ve ever read in my life. And it was 100% worth it. I absolutely, without a doubt, highly recommend reading these books. It’s an intense journey and it will take commitment, but so worth it. You will want to read them steadily and consistently or you will completely lose the threads of the intertwining stories....
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Wolves of the Calla (The Dark Tower 5) by Stephen King
I made it another 1000 pages closer to the culmination of this amazing, mesmerizing, immersive, astonishing quest! Now, I certainly feel a part of the ka-tet in this book series: Roland the Gunslinger, Eddie, Susanna, Jake, and Oy. You'll understand that when you read these books. And I do recommend them, 100%. It's a time commitment for sure--7 HUGE books t...
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Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand
This is one of those reviews where the book I finally got around to reading is one of the most popular of the last 10 years, so it doesn’t take much writing to say how I felt about it. Unbroken is a must-read, obviously (thanks to my brother Chris for encouraging me to get this one in my hands). I now look forward to seeing the movie, which I’m certain i...
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True Grit by Charles Portis
Great characters, a consistently unique writing style, and a thoroughly enjoyable reading experience...these are difficult things to accomplish when writing a novel. To pull off all three, at once, in the same book, and also make the story exciting, surprising, and thought-provoking as well--that’s absolutely remarkable! Which is what we have with True Gri...
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Called to Create by Jordan Raynor
Whether you are a Christian or not, Called to Create is an excellent book in which you will find positive, enriching motivation for your work and your life’s calling. If you are a Christian and do feel a spiritual connection with God and faith--this book has the potential to drastically improve your outlook on work and what you’re meant to do in life. Th...
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Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan
By description, look, and tone, this novel sets up like a fantasy story. And from the certainly expects a wizard or two to show up. Or some type of imaginative creature. Towards the middle, a bit of magic does enter the book--however it’s actually more of the scientific, technological magic type of stuff. More precisely, it’s Google. The...
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The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead
The “Winner of the Pulitzer Prize” stamp right on the front of this one, plus the fact it’s a National Book Award winner, plus all the reviews and accolades it’s received basically tell you all you need to know. This is a must-read book. You must read this book. Must. Read. My wife Abby and I both loved it. The Underground Railroad is magnificent. ...
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Wizard and Glass (The Dark Tower book 4) by Stephen King
Roland’s unending, life-defining, completely immersive, and totally mesmerizing quest for the Dark Tower continues. And as a bonus - Topeka, KS makes an appearance in King’s apocalyptic future vision! Shout out to Kansas!! This series continues to amaze me and rattle my senses. Four books into the Dark Tower journey and I’m one million percent certain...
The Wastelands (The Dark Tower book 3) Review
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The Inquisitor’s Tale by Adam Gidwitz
The Inquisitor’s Tale is a cleverly structured, well-written, surprising, thoughtful, intriguing book. It is also challenging and profound, so I’d recommend it to be best for older, more mature eager readers. There is plenty of excitement, danger, drama, and yes...a dragon(!)...all factors that work well to keep our attention. The main characters are ‘...
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The Wastelands - The Dark Tower Book III
The road to the Dark Tower just keeps getting harder for the gunslinger and his band of followers, yet the books keep getting better and better! Mr. King is a master of the written word, as most everyone knows. The books in this series demonstrate his talents to the maximum. His deep, complex characters are creatively immersed in a carefully crafted and thor...
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Neverworld Wake by Marisha Pessl
How’d you like to spend a nightmarish Groundhog Day with a chaotic group of friends, relentlessly investigating the mysterious death/possible murder of your beloved high school boyfriend, all while simply trying to survive and make it back to real life? Sounds awful. But it makes for a good book! The strength of Neverworld Wake is in the setting and the...
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Nocturnals Book 4: The Hidden Kingdom by Tracey Hecht and Sarah Fieber
This is an outstanding book for teachers and classrooms, appropriate for anyone really--from grades one to six and it would be enjoyed equally by boys and girls. The suspenseful, slowly building plot of The Hidden Kingdom centers on an odd but endearing crew of animals who consider themselves caped crusaders...saviors of the forest and of their fellow crea...
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Firefight and Calamity (Books 2 and 3 of The Reckoners Series) by Brandon Sanderson
Basically, you just need to click on the link below for my review of Steelheart. The first book in this epic series about...umm...Epics. Steelheart is the best of the trio so if you read and enjoy that one, you’ll definitely want to finish the series. If you want some more info on the rest of the books first then you're in the right place! Firefight takes...
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Peeves by Mike Van Waes
Peeves is a wonderful book...well-written with action, suspense, exciting plot twists, and relatable, well developed characters. Strangely though, it’s not so much of a “fun” book. But it is still entertaining, endearing, and educational. Allow me to explain. Basically, Slim Pickens--the main character--is infected by an experimental drug that causes ...
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Caraval by Stephanie Garber
Remember the movie “The Game” starring Michael Douglas? If not, rent it ASAP, it's fantastic. Caraval captures a small feeling of the “what's real and what's part of the game” magic of that film. However this story is set in a fantasy-like version of Venice and features a tough, determined, yet vulnerable heroine named Scarlett Dragna. Scarlett’s ...
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The Drawing of the Three by Stephen King
This is the second book in the epic Dark Tower series. It's fabulous. You know that Mr. King is a phenomenal writer, I don't need to write words to tell you that. So I just wanted to try out a video and share about the book itself. My copy, which I found in a used bookstore in Breckenridge, has these cool illustrations. You may have to hunt around to find t...
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The Girl Who Drank the Moon by Kelly Barnhill
For me, The Girl Who Drank the Moon was a fascinating book for many reasons. I’ll do my best to keep this short. Quick plot summary--In a town known as The Protectorate, sadness is the norm and hope for a happy life is minimal. A fog hovers over the townspeople at all times. Particularly on a certain day each year when someone is forced to leave their bab...
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