transmission
15Mar/19Off

cursed?

Gentlemen

Bob Gendron

This entry in the 33⅓ series covers The Afghan Whigs estimable 1993 release Gentlemen.
After brief but well constructed introduction to the band members it seemed to me that it became rather by-the-numbers when talking about the recording of the record. The section talking about the individual songs held nothing new and was where the author's personal opinions began to overwhelm the factual content.
As for the part of the book dealing with the book's reception after release and it's lack of sales is chock full of biases about the music industry (Gendron seems to really not get why a difficult to classify album about messed up sexual relationships might not have sold in the early 90s) and is less than even handed when talking about the fallout.
It was worth borrowing from the library. I'd be rather disappointed if I'd paid money for it.

Rating: B

13Jan/19Off

heaven?

Fear of Music

Garry Mulholland

The follow up to This is Uncool is Mulholland's choice of the greatest albums since Disco and Punk (the original was just singles).
This book is very similar in style to This is Uncool. It's tone is much angrier and (to me as someone who was on message boards during the poptimism/rockism thing) it's a more political than personal in some choices this time around.
I've docked it point for the off tangent ranting in some entries and for the rather bleak view takes of even the best music in the final few choices.
It's a cheap and interesting read for any pop music nerd in your life.

Rating: B

4Dec/18Off

mate?

Coming Home to the Comfort Food Cafe

Debbie Johnson

The third Comfort Cafe book tells the story of Zoe. Zoe has taken on the responsibility for her best friend's teenage daughter Martha after the friend dies from cancer.
Escaping to Budbury to distance her charge from the trouble she's getting into at home things take an unexpected turn when the kid's Australian father turns up to help.
Decent story and the extended cast really works.

Rating: B

3Dec/18Off

briar?

Sunshine at the Comfort Food Cafe

Debbie Johnson

The fourth Comfort Cafe book tells the story of Willow. A pink-haired young woman who is entirely devoted to the care of her Mother Lynnie who suffers from Dementia. With a little help from the community she's able to work enough to keep her head above water. Her little cleaning business brings her to an old residential home where she meets the millionaire geek, Tom, who has bought the place.
This is an enjoyable contemporary romance with a great cast of recurring characters

Rating: B

2Dec/18Off

mutant?

Christmas at the Comfort Food Cafe

Debbie Johnson

This is an enjoyable contemporary romance. Part of a series centred on a village cafe in Dorset.
In this one we follow the perspective of Becca. She's a graphic designer from Manchester and she comes to Bunbury to visit her sister for Christmas.
Notoriously immune to the charms of the festive season She finds herself falling for the charms of the villagers and in particular for the handsome Irishman Sam.
I liked that Becca was less than thrilled by Christmas and that she could be spiky and difficult with people. All too many Christmas romances (both novels and films) have protagonists filled with starry-eyed joy at the prospect of all things Christmas.
I particularly liked that the characters actually talked to each other about their feelings (a pet peeve of mine is the dumb misunderstanding) but on the other hand some of the plot points were clunking and obvious.

Rating: B

2Oct/18Off

teal?

To All The Boys I've Loved Before

Jenny Han

I only read this one because I enjoyed the Netflix movie.
Lara Jean Covey is put in a pickle when her unsent love letters are mysteriously posted. It would be embarassing enough but one of them is to her older sister's very recently ex-boyfriend.
Almost accidentally she finds herself fake dating another letter recipient called Peter Kavinsky.
It's a pretty good young adult fake dating story but it doesn't work as well as the movie.

Rating: B

23Jun/18Off

carbs?

Just For Show

Jae

Claire is a successful couples therapist with a book deal on the horizon when her fiancé breaks off their engagement a week before the wedding.
Told by her agent that the deal depends on her being in a happy relationship she hires an actress to play her girlfriend.
This is a pretty enjoyable fake relationship story. The lead characters are well rounded and interesting.
I'm fan of Jae's Gilmore Girls fan fiction and this was worth checking out

Rating: B

25May/18Off

gunshot?

Moonlight Over Manhattan

Sarah Morgan

Sweet sheltered Harriet Knight gets her chance at love in the last of the "Bark Rangers" books.
Her love interest is dedicated Emergency Doctor Ethan. He's convinced after the failure of his first marriage that he's not suited to long-term love. After getting to know Harriet the last thing he wants to do is to hurt her by getting involved.
Another fun, readable romance by Sarah Morgan. She's got this type of tale down pat and never disappoints.

Rating: B

20May/18Off

reality?

New York, Actually

Sarah Morgan

In this, the first of the "Bark Rangers" books, we find cynical divorce lawyer Daniel pursuing psychologist Molly with the aid of an over enthusiastic dog he borrows from his Sister's business.
The couple get close only for their secrets to get in the way of a future together.
Another enjoyable romance from Sarah Morgan. It's amazing how consistently she puts out solid and entertaining books.

Rating: B

19Apr/18Off

cookies?

Holiday In The Hamptons

Sarah Morgan

This book is technically the fifth book in the "Urban Genie" series but is also the second book about the Knight family siblings who own the "Bark Rangers" service.
Felicity Knight is the business brain behind Bark Rangers. Normally a cool and savvy woman she panics when she discovers that her ex-husband Seth Carlyle has turned up in Manhattan.
When her grandmother falls and hurts heself Felicity uses it as an excuse to run away from Manhattan. Of course she discovers pretty much immediately that Seth was only helping out at a Vet clinic in Manhattan and actually lives in the same Hamptons town as her grandmother.
I enjoyed this one quite a lot as I tend to do with Morgan's stuff. I really liked the lead characters and Felicity's Gran is a lot of fun too.

Rating: B