On this week’s Shelf Discovery, Kristin settles in for a cup of coffee and a mystery with author Caroline Fardig’s Death Before Decaf.

Title: Death Before Decaf

Author: Caroline Fardig

Pages: 240

Publisher: Alibi


And read Kristin's full review on

On this week’s Shelf Discovery, Kristin tracks the secrets and lies of a blogger in Amy Sue Nathan’s The Good Neighbor.

Title: The Good Neighbor

Author: Amy Sue Nathan

Pages: 190

Publisher: St. Martin’s Griffin

ISBN: 978-1250048585

And read Kristin's full review on

On this week’s Shelf Discovery, Kristin learns about parenting from The Honest Toddler, as told to author/blogger Bunmi Laditan.

Title: The Honest Toddler

Author: Bunmi Laditan

Runtime: 8 hours, 16 minutes

Publisher: Tantor Audio


And read Kristin's full review on

On this week’s Shelf Discovery, Kristin hunts for a digital thief with a geeky amateur sleuth in Max Wirestone’s The Unfortunate Decisions of Dahlia Moss.

Title: The Unfortunate Decisions of Dahlia Moss

Author: Max Wirestone

Pages: 237

Publisher: Redhook

ISBN: 978-0316385978

And read Kristin's full review on

'The Witches' Shows Salem Is In Our Blood

Oct 27, 2015

Our thoroughly modern world can't let go of Salem. The communal madness that gripped a small Massachusetts Bay Colony village in the late 17th century still bedevils us — so to speak — over three centuries later. Stacey Schiff's excellent history The Witches: Salem, 1692, measures our continued fascination with the most literal, and most deadly, witch-hunt in American history.

On this week’s Shelf Discovery, Kristin joins the Halloween festivities of Donna Andrews’s latest Meg Langslow mystery, Lord of the Wings.

Title: Lord of the Wings

Author: Donna Andrews

Pages: 307

Publisher: Minotaur Books

ISBN: 978-1250049582

And read Kristin's full review on

For the pious Puritans of early America, witchcraft was a crime of the highest order.

Back then, the term "witch hunt" was not just an expression: In 1692, 19 women and men were hanged and one pressed to death with stones after being found guilty of witchcraft.

In her book The Witches, author Stacy Schiff follows the buildup of fear and outrageous tales of consorting with the devil. The witch trials were set in motion by two young Salem girls in the grip of strange and disturbing symptoms.

All Hail The Glow Cloud: 'Night Vale' Welcomes Readers

Oct 22, 2015

In Night Vale, time is out of joint, memories are unreliable, and pink flamingo garden ornaments might do you serious harm. Cecil Palmer, the honey-voiced host of the community radio program, is as likely to begin narrating your every action as he is to inform you about the community calendar or the mind-controlling Glow Cloud (ALL HAIL) who's now a member of the PTA. The dog park is forbidden, the existence of mountains is deeply controversial, and teenagers can be 19 for decades.

On this week’s Shelf Discovery, Kristin gears up for Halloween with Lucy Stone in Leslie Meier’s Candy Corn Murder.

Title: Candy Corn Murder

Author: Leslie Meier

Runtime: 7 hours, 42 minutes

Publisher: Dreamscape Media

ISBN: 978-1681414720

And read Kristin's full review on

Sloths Against Humanity in 'Memetic'

Oct 15, 2015

A wish, frail and plaintive, lies at the heart of James Tynion IV's zombie apocalypse comic. Its presence goes a long way toward explaining why Memetic, which on a flip-through might seem like just another splatter tale, is actually fun to think about after you're done reading it — and not just because it involves a sloth.

On this week’s Shelf Discovery, Kristin goes on the run with a grieving widow in Tom Savage’s Mrs. John Doe.

Title: Mrs. John Doe

Author: Tom Savage

Pages: 283

Publisher: Alibi


And read Kristin's full review on

Updated at 8:09 a.m. ET

Investigative journalist Svetlana Alexievich has been awarded this year's Nobel Prize for Literature, the Swedish Academy announced Thursday. Alexievich is the first writer from Belarus to win the prize.

Alexievich won "for her polyphonic writings, a monument to suffering and courage in our time," according to the citation for the award.

Robot Birds Teach Kids To Program In 'Secret Coders'

Oct 7, 2015

Four-eyed robot birds really shouldn't be necessary to get kids excited about computers. For that matter, Gene Luen Yang and Mike Holmes' whole book (in which four-eyed robot birds are prominently featured) ought to be laughably superfluous to the education of today's youth. With computers mediating everything we do, exchanging information in the very air around us, you'd think kids would be learning binary code with their ABCs.

On this week’s Shelf Discovery, Kristin reunites for a crime-fighter and a criminal for their latest con in The Scam by Janet Evanovich and Lee Goldberg.

Title: The Scam

Author: Janet Evanovich and Lee Goldberg

Pages: 188

Publisher: Bantam

ISBN: 978-0345543165

And read Kristin's full review on

"But I will sustain myself

With nothing more than the perfume of jasmine flowers..."

On this week’s Shelf Discovery, Kristin is haunted by the ghosts of high school with author Nora Carroll’s Academy Girls.

Title: Academy Girls

Author: Nora Carroll

Pages: 391

Publisher: Lake Union Publishing

ISBN: 978-1503947443

And read Kristin's full review on

On this week’s Shelf Discovery, Kristin tries to do it all with the guilt-ridden mom in Elisabeth Egan’s A Window Opens.

Title: A Window Opens

Author: Elisabeth Egan

Pages: 333

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

ISBN: 978-1501105432

And read Kristin's full review on

Advyce For The Sesoun Of Returninge To Scole

Sep 21, 2015

Editor's Note: This piece is part of an occasional series of advice columns from the Internet's own Chaucer Doth Tweet. We've brought him back this fall to advise us on all things school-related. As usual, Middle English is involved.

Gentil folke, yt ys wyse and profitable to seeke advyce and counsel yn all thinges. And whanne the dayes of the scole yeare do return yn fall, then advyce and counsel ys moost necessarye.

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September is about more than kids heading off to school, all bright shining faces and expensive new electronics. This month also kicks off a horrifying gauntlet of fear, tedium and aggravation (mostly aggravation) for a beleaguered species, the college professor.