Friday, June 30, 2017

Best Books of June

Since it's the last Friday of the month, it's time to tell you all about the great books I read this month.

If you like dogs, you'll smile at this month's first book. Kristin O'Donnell Tubb is an amazing Southern writer and one of the kindest, most upbeat people you'll ever meet. Plus, her cover is perfect for the upcoming holiday:

I never thought I'd say this about an author, but Kristin captures the "voice" of a dog's inner thoughts perfectly! With A Dog Like Daisy, I actually feel like I understand my own dog much more after reading. Added to that is a touching relationship between a rescue dog and her owner. This is a story that will make a lasting impression on you, no matter how old you are!

Next up is the perfect beach read if you love a little adventure in your summer. J. Murray is always eager to help out other writers with tips on her blog, so you know she has the craft of writing down.

Twenty-Four Days takes us into the world of military technology, with two countries hurrying to find their missing nuclear submarines. As with To Hunt a Sub, I was amazed at the author's level of knowledge about all things military. I especially loved the way each chapter was part of a countdown to the 24 days referenced in the title. It added urgency to the story that intensified the reading experience. You'll love this one!

I love cozy mysteries. There's something about a female sleuth that takes me back to my childhood Nancy Drew-reading days. The next book by Anna Simpson fits the bill perfectly.

White Light: A Mystery Novel introduces us to Emma, a millennial who has formed a friendship with her quirky but lovable neighbor, Mrs. Perkins. Emma is living in her deceased aunt's house, but her aunt isn't quite gone. Thanks to her aunt's meddling, Emma finds herself in the middle of a murder mystery. You can't help but smile at the interactions between Emma and her neighbor, but the book isn't short on suspense, either. An all around great read!

Next up is a sequel to a book I've already read. That's exciting because it means its author, Kristin Smith, and I have been friends for a while!

Forgotten continues the story of Sienna Preston, a brave teenager who is determined to get to the truth behind a genetic engineering experiment. She has the help of a guy named Zane, who is the right amount "hunky" to make teen girls crush on him. Problem? She still has feelings for Trey. This has everything fans of dystopian YA love: suspense, action, plenty of twists and turns, and a love triangle!

The next book is my Audible read for the month. Unfortunately, it's been a while since I've read one of these psychological thrillers that I actually liked. Apparently, the quote "the next Gone Girl" is now applied to just about every suspense novel with a female protagonist. But this month's book was one I loved.

Every description you see of Behind Closed Doors lets you know this book is intense. They all also emphasize the fact that the book is unsettling. You think you're signing up for a book about domestic abuse, but that doesn't quite fit. You'll see. And you really don't appreciate the author's brilliance until you get to the end and say, "Oh...I see what you've done here!" I highly recommend this one, but if you're sensitive to dog deaths as I am, you'll need to skip over a section toward the beginning. You'll know when you get there!

What's the best book you read in June?

Monday, June 26, 2017

Mystery Monday: Polybius

It's Monday, which means it's time for another...

Anyone who grew up in the 80s knows how exciting it was to go to an arcade and play video games. Even if you had a gaming console in your home, it was nothing like the experience you had here:

But in 1981, a new video game arrived in arcades. Or did it? Some say the story is an urban legend, while others insist it was real. There is supposedly a picture of the game, though, which was called Polybius:

Polybius allegedly made its first appearance in Portland, Oregon. As the legend tells it, soon after arriving, interest in this particular video game soared, with children lining up to play. Men in suits occasionally stopped by to gather gameplay records from the game.

This led to the theory that the video game was a project of the government, designed specifically to brainwash the youth of America. That version of the story even landed the game a brief appearance on the popular TV show The Simpsons:

What happened to Polybius? Soon after being placed, some children supposedly began having seizures while playing. The game was removed soon after.

Three children did get sick after visiting an arcade within the same week in the Portland area, although it wasn't connected to this game. Some believe that is what kicked off the legend.

Interestingly, the legend has led to a series of imitation video games. Today you can play Polybius.

A group tried to earn enough money on Kickstarter to make a film about the legend, but they never reached their goal. Chances are, someday we'll see a documentary on the subject.

Do you think Polybius was a real game?