The Homework Machine by Dan Gutman


Four students use a secret computer program to complete their homework. The jig is up though when their teacher hands out a surprise test. And it reveals who has and has not learned the material.


I like the idea of having a computer do my homework since I find homework tedious and pointless. The vocabulary in the book was too advanced for the age group the title was geared toward. Interesting read. No recommendation either way.

© Cori Endicott Dec 2011

Spin a Wicked Web by Cricket McRae


After her lover dies in a car accident, the town floozy is found strangled at the local crafting co-op. And the jilted wife seems to have an airtight alibi. When Sophie Mae, the protagonist, is asked by her detective boyfriend to use gossip to ferret out some information, she quickly gets in over her head. On top of everything else, the boyfriend’s ex keeping popping up hoping to reconcile.


Because I enjoy fiber crafts, I was hooked just on the title. The story was well written until the final confrontation between the boyfriend, the ex, and Sophie Mae, in my opinion. (Let’s just say, it’s not the way I would have handled the situation.) The murder mystery really kept me guessing from page to page. So many suspects, all with motive and opportunity.

Definitely recommend!!!

© Cori Endicott December 2011

Fatal Voyage by Kathy Reichs


If anyone has been following the TV show Bones, then all I’ll say is Gormagon. Just set in the mountains ofNorth Carolina and there’s a plane crash.


I really enjoyed reading this book. I learned a lot about cannibalism and how the idea is so prevalent in human society. “Hansel and Gretel, the Gingerbread Man, and various versions of Snow White, Cinderella, and Red Riding Hood” (pg 356). The storyline didn’t bore me like the past two had.

© Cori Endicott November 2011

Knit Two by Kate Jacobs


This is the sequel to The Friday Night Knitting Club. The story picks up five years later. Dakota is starting college and is trying to figure out what she wants to do with her life. James, her father, is trying to push her down a path she’s not interested in. Peri’s running the store, feeling frustrated and taken for granted. KC is still a big time lawyer, but now has a new hobby: smoking. Darwin and her husband are expecting twins and all that goes with it. Lucie receives the opportunity of a lifetime to go toItaly for a job. Catherine is still around, trying to find her position in the group. Anita and Marty are planning a wedding and dealing with Anita’s difficult son.

Dakota feels she’s being smothered and everyone expects her to take over the yarn store when she’s old enough. But she doesn’t want it. Everyone just assumes this is what she wants. A tantrum and disaster open everyone’s eyes. What will happen to the yarn shop?


I wasn’t too impressed with the book. From an author note in the back, it was made clear that this was only written because the fans asked. I was more interested in how Dakota’s character developed than any of the other characters. I found most of the book to be fluff and uninteresting.

No recommendation either way.

© Cori Endicott Oct 2011

The Friday Night Knitting Club by Kate Jacobs


Georgia, a single mother, tries to keep her yarn store going while raising an extremely independent teenage daughter inNew York City. When a group of regulars decide they want to make an official club,Georgiahas no idea how much these women will come to mean to her. When her daughter’s father shows up, how much more will she be able to handle?


Critique on the front cover states “Like Steel Magnolias set inManhattan.” This description could not have been more accurate. In the back of the book, it does give a knitting pattern and recipe. Even though I didn’t like how the book ended, I would recommend it.

© Cori Endicott October 2011

Book Notes: Jane Austen by Carol Shields

[AN: all notes are taken verbatim from the book. I claim not rights to them]

Jane Austen by Carol Shields

Whenever 3 or 4 come together in Jane Austen’s name, there is bound to be a trivia quiz

The genuine arc of a human life…can perhaps be presented more authentically in fiction than in the genre of biography

Was it better to be alone and in some sense intact? Or better to be coupled—and compromised, denied freedom, but awarded the respect of society?

A writer, she maintains, does not need stimulation, but the opposite of stimulation. A writer needs regularity, the same book around her, the same walls. A writer needs self-ordered patterns of time, her own desk, and day after profitable day in order to do her best work.

The ability to sustain long works of fiction is at least partially dependent on establishing a delicate balance between solitude and interaction. Too much noise during the writing of a novel distracts from the cleanliness of its over-arching plan. Too little social interruption, on the other hand, distorts a writer’s sense of reality and allows feeling to “prey” of the conscious.

To write is to be self-conscious

What flows onto paper is more daring or more covert than a writer’s own voice, or more exaggerated or effaced.

She specifically asked that the squeaking hinge go unoiled so that she would have notice of interruptions.

The difference between a published and unpublished author is enormous, and every novelist in the world would agree: “It is a truth universally acknowledged” that published authors, even those whose books have not yet appeared before the pubic, are filled with a new and reckless confidence in their own powers.