The Picky Readers

Reviews of Indie Books posted on Twitter GoodreadsFacebook – Amazon

For book review inquiries please email thepickyreaders@gmail.com

Review #9 – Roasting, Brewing and more by Stella Perry

Roasting, Brewing and More: How to Enjoy Coffee Beyond your Morning Routine by [Perry, Stella]

Roasting, Brewing and more by Stella Perry 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

Amazon US – Amazon UK

Synopsis – 

Many people feel like they know everything there is about coffee because they have a cup on their way to work every day.But did you know there’s a lot more behind every sip than just a pick-me-up for your daily commute?Roasting, Brewing, and More: How to Enjoy Coffee Beyond your Morning Routine offers a thorough exploration into the incredible, amazing, and sometimes controversial world of coffee. This handy book includes the keys to identifying the right grind for every style of coffee, recognizing and discovering favorite roasts, learning new brewing techniques, and much more. This information can even educate and inform you about the way coffee is made, where it comes from, and just what labels like “fair trade” and “organic” mean, too.By reading through this guide, you’ll learn how to save time on your coffee making process, even if you prefer more complicated beverages. You’ll find hints and tips to help you save money by cutting down on the cost of café visits, and you’ll find joy in trying new and exciting methods to create the perfect cup of coffee every time.Elevate your status among your friends and family and take your coffee to the next level, too, with Roasting, Brewing, and More.

Review – 
This book is a little gem of coffee information to help anyone new or old to the tricks of coffee roasting. In the current world of instant coffee and pod machines that basically do all the hard work for you, it’s nice to read up on the art of roasting your own. This book has everything from the birth of coffee beans to picking the right bean to the process of roasting and all the gadgetry you need to make the perfect cup of coffee.

I learned a lot while reading this book; the differences between Arabica and Robusta coffee, the bean roasting process (one pop or two?), how to roast on a budget and how to make latte’s, cappuccinos, mochas and macchiatos. There’s also a link to a free recipe book for ten coffee drinks to make. It also tells you about edible coffee treats and how to make latte art.

It’s an informative, precise, concise book that I can see myself dipping into over and over again. There’s helpful pictures throughout that compliment the info and the text is easy to read. This book has everything a coffee lover needs to know about roasting.

Review #7 – The Old Man At The End Of The World – Bite No.1 by AK Silversmith

the-old-man-at-the-end-of-the-world-bite-1

The Old Man At The End Of The World – Bite No.1 by AK Silversmith – 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

Amazon US – Amazon UK – Twitter – Website

Synopsis –
The end is nigh…. and Gerald Stockwell-Poulter has had quite enough of it already. Pesky business altogether. All this hiding and running about. Makes Brexit look like a doddle.

After 87 largely well-behaved years as a model citizen, less than four hours into the ‘zompocalypse’ and he has already killed a neighbour, rescued a moody millennial drug dealer and forged an unlikely allegiance with a giant ginger Scotsman. And it isn’t even tea time.

Join Gerald as he and his newfound allies navigate the post-apocalyptic English countryside in their hilarious bid to stay off the menu.

Review – 

I do love a good zombie book and what’s better than a good zombie book? A zombie book with humour 😀 Gerald, the reluctant octogenarian of the story, along with Hamilton the giant ginger Scot and the hapless weed-puffing Finnbar find themselves in a bit of a pickle when the folk they once knew down at the allotment seemed to have all turned up undead. This short story is full of laughs, facepalms and bad mistakes (on the characters part) where you don’t know what you feel sorry for more; the undead folk or the squashed veg.

Review #8 – Scavenged by Scott Arbuckle

Scavenged by [Arbuckle, Scott]

Scavenged by Scott Arbuckle 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

Amazon US – Amazon UK – Twitter – Website

Synopsis – 

The year is 2032. In the wake of a catastrophic alien invasion, mankind has been reduced to a race of slaves. When Orion Danes is abducted and cruelly experimented upon by the sinister alien race known as the Greys, he is given powerful but horrifying cybernetic augmentations that transform him into a killing machine. Now finding himself on the outermost fringe of the world of men, Orion is quickly losing himself—and finds a tether to his fading humanity through the companionship of a fellow victim of the Greys’ vile experiments: an insightful psionic named Lyra Vaughn.

Through a web of shifting alliances, Orion and Lyra encounter others who, like them, have resolved to strike a blow against the Greys and restore peace to their lives. But when a life is so badly damaged, can it ever be truly repaired?

Scott Arbuckle, creative developer for the new science-fiction game Xenoplicity, uses his inside knowledge of the game’s exciting universe to craft this compelling and emotional tale of a young man trying desperately to salvage his humanity in a ruined world.

Review – 

This is a cleverly written, high-octane, fast-paced sci-fi dystopia book that has subtle hints of Robocop with characters that jump off the page. It’s a nice little pageturner with something going on in every paragraph to keep the readers entertained throughout. I’ve never read anything in this genre before and I was pleasantly surprised that I enjoyed it so much. Orion Danes is the perfect protagonist battling his way through alien invaded wasteland on a mission to overthrow the Greys and save humanity. I recommend it to everyone 🙂

Review #5 Second Life – Jaclyn Reiswig

Second Life by [Reiswig, Jaclyn]

Second Life – Jaclyn Reiswig – 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

Amazon US – Amazon UK – Twitter

Synopsis – 

British actor Wes Hastings was just another of Jillian’s make-believe boyfriends. She never expected she’d actually meet him—on the Tube, of all places.

She never expected their train to explode moments later.

Her dream trip to London morphs into a nightmare. He’s not Wes Hastings the actor anymore. He’s the brave man showing her how to hold it together. She has basic first aid training. He has a dark sense of humor. They have each other—but his time is running out. For Wes to have a chance at survival, she’ll have to make a terrible choice.

Moving on may prove an even more difficult challenge. They’ll be separated by an ocean, by his fame—by her integrity.

And he never even got her name.

Review – 

This is a cute little book kind of breaks the romcom mould. I’ve read a few chick lit novels that have all seemingly been written using the same blueprint; change a name, change a location and they’re basically the same book. This one, however, is a refreshing change. The author, an American, gets the British dialogue just right when her character hops onto a plane to London for work and leisure and somehow finds herself in the middle of a terrorist attack with only herself and her celebrity crush as survivors. There’s plenty of heart-stopping will-they-or-won’t-they? moments throughout the book to keep you on your toes for the duration of the ride. 

Review #6 – Boris Badger: Boris learns a lesson by Mchael E. McDevitt

Boris Badger: Boris learns a lesson by Michael E. McDevitt – 🌟🌟🌟🌟

Amazon US – Amazon UK – Twitter – Website

Review – 

This is a beautifully illustrated children’s book about a delightful story of a Badger that learns a lesson in asking. There’s also an Aesopesque story within a story as the author tells us the tale of why the Raven is black. There is more than one lesson to be learned inside this book that children of all ages will enjoy. There seem to be a few words written in Russian (I think) which isn’t explained but it doesn’t stop the reading flow of this charming book.

Review #4 – The Boston Ranter: Slanted Vignettes from a Native New Englander – Layden Robinson

The Boston Ranter: Slanted Vignettes from a Native New Englander

The Boston Ranter: Slanted Vignettes from a Native New Englander – Layden Robinson – 🌟🌟🌟🌟

Amazon US – Amazon UK – Twitter – Website
Synopsis – 
This autobiographical novella was inspired by my life growing up outside of Boston. Comedic, dramatic and quite revealing; this latest title will truly show why I am the raving lunatic I am today.

Review – 

Although I don’t know what the hell is going on half the time with this book I still kind of like it. I like the dialogue and the humour which I get despite me coming from Hull, Yorkshire and not Hull, Massachusets (A place named after my own city, :)). This book is a short chaptered compendium of seemingly short stories about ‘Jawhnie Pahks’ friends, family members and his or their random escapades. The story doesn’t really flow into a perfect constructive narrative but then I don’t really think it’s supposed to. I think folk who are used to their standardised way of reading will see this challenging but, eh, I like different. 

Review #3 – Daughter of Man – Jacob Steven Mohr

Daughter of Man by Jacob Steven Mohr – 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

Amazon US – Amazon UK – Twitter

Synopsis – 

Captain Joshua Foley might be a disgrace to the royal army and a drunkard to boot, but he knew Diamanda the Berserker, a complicated woman nearly reduced to myth and rumor by even the most seasoned taletellers of Delthain. She was a warrior, a bloodthirsty killer, a monster in the eyes of men—and perhaps the only thing standing between humankind and the true monsters at our door. He was her friend, her lover, her last companion—and when she could no longer speak for herself, he became her voice in our world. Through a startling interview with an eager young student, Captain Foley relates the full story of his encounters with the Daughter of Man, even as the cosmic secret concealed within his narrative threatens to destroy him…

Review – 

This book was solid in characters, story, and length. Captain Joshua Foley is a gruff old man telling his story of Diamanda the Berserker and the cruel Rollogs to a curious young student. I won’t give any more away of this well-written book except that it reminded me of Lord of the Rings with a bit of The Enigma of Amigara Fault thrown in. The only niggle I found was the inconsistent words that didn’t seem to fit, I couldn’t tell whether it was US English (Oatmeal, ass) or UK English (Arse, ill, bloody). Other than that, brilliant.

Review #2 – 65 Life’s Lessons: The Most Important Lesson from Each Year of My Life (Plus Momisms) by Scott Paulson

65 Life's Lessons: The Most Important Lesson from Each Year of My Life (Plus Momisms) by [Paulson, Scott]

65 Life’s Lessons: The Most Important Lesson from Each Year of My Life (Plus Momisms) by Scott Paulson – 🌟🌟🌟🌟

Amazon US – Amazon UK – Twitter

Synopsis – 
Scott Paulson, a Midwestern American teacher and writer, has had many experiences in life through his many jobs, interests and travels. Throughout his life he has learned many of life’s lessons through his experiences. Interestingly and often humorously, he shares many of his life’s experiences and the lessons he has learned from them in a memoir entitled “65 Life’s Lessons: The Most Important Lesson from Each Year of My Life.” 
Scott Paulson’s “Walk – Don’t Run,” a Christian-based fictional book with historical accuracy about a boy growing up in Joliet, Illinois in 1960, is also available on Amazon.

Review – 

This is one of those books that you like to dip into every now and again to remind you how to basically be a good human being. I couldn’t be more different to Mr. Paulson whether it be gender, age, profession or nationality yet I’ve never read a book that I’ve resonated with so much. I agree with him with pretty much everything he’s written bar a few (I’m not religious and I’m afraid to say that people telling others to smile is a pet hate of mine). I think that this book isn’t just for younger people to learn from, I know a few 60-odd-year-olds that could do with a few lessons in being human (although I think they’re too far gone in their ways to care). I loved reading the little personal experience of each lesson and would’ve quite easily have enjoyed another 34.

Review #1 – Outcasts by J.S. Frankel

Outcasts – J. S. Frankel – 🌟🌟🌟🌟

Amazon US – Amazon UK – Twitter – Facebook

Synopsis – 
Mitch Kessler, teenage high school dropout, jobless and mostly friendless, lives a life of solitude, but not by choice. Endowed with the ability to bring wings out of his body as well as claws, and transform himself into a fierce creature of the night, he’s picked up a nickname from the general public that he hates: gargoyle.

However, that’s the least of his worries. His girlfriend, Callie, can’t keep her genders straight, his best friend is a spinning top, and his other acquaintance is made of rock. It’s obviously a government plot, but Mitch doesn’t know who’s behind it or why. Worse, various and sundry creations have now appeared out of the woodwork and are out to kill him. 
Aided by his friends, the four outcasts attempt to find out who’s running the show. They’re out to stop the forces of evil before they can do more damage. That is, if they survive.

Review – 

This book reminds me a lot like The Fantastic Four but with a few different tweaks. It’s fun, fast paced and easy to read, with no pretentious teen dialogue that you see so often nowadays. It also tackles some sensitive issues such as LGBT and bullying. Mitch Kessler is a solid character with a minor flaw, he tends to get riled up ever so easy at the slightest snarky remark aimed at him (or his girlfriend, Callie). Instead of brushing it off and ignoring it, it ignites the genetically modified beast within which not only makes his face distort and his claws appear, but also makes the name-calling worse. This not only gets poor Mitch into a lot of scraps but also helps darken his name with Councilman and property developer Marlon Roberts and the rest of the city. 
  My favourite character in the story was Neil, the rock munching, granite looking dude who I really would’ve loved to have read more about. We definitely need a Neil spin off 🙂