The Inky Whisk

a blog about books and more

Review: All Our Wrong Todays by Elan Mastai

All Our Wrong Todays by Elan MastaiI don’t read a lot of time travel books. They tend to make my head hurt, or be romance novels. But the synopsis for All Our Wrong Todays was so compelling I had to give it a go and it was well worth it.

Part of the appeal of Mastai’s debut novel is its take on the well-documented (in literature, at least) consequences of monkeying around in the past. Tom Barren screwed up time big time. He lives in the ideal 2016, or, he did. Flying cars, unlimited free energy, prosperity for all. He says, “punk rock never happened in my world. Punk rock wasn’t required.” All because in 1965 genius inventor Lionel Goettreider turned on the engine that would change the world. But in 2016 Tom will make a rash decision that alters his present to the 2016 we know. Goodbye Jetsons, hello … this?

Review: Behind Her Eyes by Sarah Pinborough

Are you tired of being told every book is “the new Gone Girl”? I won’t tell you that about Behind Her Eyes, but I will say it’s a fine domestic thriller with a love triangle, a hint of the supernatural, and a ferociously good twist.

Louise, a divorced single mother, has a drunken grope with a man at a bar one night. A man who turns out to be married and, as she finds out the next morning, her new boss, Dr. David Martin, psychiatrist. They agree to set aside the night as an awkward fluke that won’t happen again. When Louise runs into his wife, Adele, by chance they bond almost instantly. Adele, with her mysterious past and seemingly isolated existence, is thrilled to have a friend. Louise is torn when her loyalty to her new friend is tested by her and David’s mutual attraction.

Review: A Perilous Undertaking by Deanna Raybourn

Fans of light historical mysteries should be delighted at the return of plucky Veronica Speedwell, Victorian lepidopterist and budding amateur sleuth.

“Perilous Undertaking” picks up not long after the conclusion of Speedwell’s introductory book “A Curious Beginning.” Veronica and her taxidermist friend/investigative partner/flirt object Stoker are busy organizing the vast collection of natural specimens accumulated by the family of their friend and patron amateur naturalist Lord Rosemorran. Veronica is chafing at the cancellation of a planned expedition to Fiji after Rosemorran is upended and injured by a giant tortoise that roams his property.

Review: The Dry by Jane Harper

In the drought-ridden farming community of Kiewarra Luke Hadler murders his wife, his young son, and then himself. His stunned father sends a letter to Federal Police Officer Aaron Falk, Luke’s childhood friend: Luke lied, you lied, be at the funeral. So begins this stellar mystery debut from Australian journalist Jane Harper. A slow burn about small town life, old and new gossip, and going home again.

Kiewarra is parched and residents are stressed.  It isn’t the most unlikely thing in the world that someone would snap but Luke’s parents have questions. A local police sergeant isn’t satisfied either, even if others consider the case closed. Curiosity and those loose ends overpower Falk’s initial reluctance to spend more time in a town whose residents are less than pleased at his return, and to involve himself in a police matter outside his jurisdiction and expertise – he investigates financial crimes, not murders.

Review: Get Your Sh*t Together by Sarah Knight

This is the time of year I find myself reading a handful of what I like to call “Resolution Books.” Topics vary – get fit, get organized, get better habits, get calm, get centered, get a gorgeous complexion, get the clutter out, get your wardrobe straightened … I love them. Do I do what they say? Not necessarily, though I always get at least one new idea or life hack from them. It’s more a comforting ritual for the new year.

Any why just for the new year? Yes I know there is no time like the present when it comes to self-improvement but the fact is the first day of the year is like the first page of a new notebook. Second only to January 1 is the first day of any month. Followed by the first day of a week, though you have some wiggle room on whether

Treat Yourself With Books!

Happy New Year’s Eve! This year will certainly be remembered for its many losses and disappointments, but a bright spot for me was the tremendous number of good books I got to read. And isn’t that what a good book should do? Take us out of reality for a bit?


Fall is always a busy time so while I was able to jealously guard my reading time (priorities!) I did not get a chance to sit down and write about some of the titles I enjoyed. Hopefully the new year will bring more free time – or better time management. Or time management books.

I hope the holidays have brought you books, and gift cards you can use for books. Here are eight of my recent favorites in no particular order, and if you don’t have book money I, of course, recommend you look for these titles at your Library!

Fans of Fitzgerald, Cheever, and other chroniclers of the woes of the upper class should enjoy these first two titles. I loved Anton DiSclafani’s debut novel “The Yonahlossee Riding Camp for Girls” (2013) and

Review: The Last Days of Night by Graham Moore

LastDaysThe electrification of the United States wasn’t a simple matter, it was a fight. It was a fight in courtrooms and pressroms and boardrooms between big men with big ideas, egos, and bank accounts (or at least wealthy backers.) Beyond the eureka of discovery was the tedium of patent law, and the debate over whose current – Edison’s direct current or Westinghouse/Tesla’s alternating current – would illuminate the country. Moore’s historical legal thriller imagines the behind-the-scenes struggle for electrical dominance from the perspective of Paul Cravath, the real (and young in only his mid-twenties), inexperienced but ambitious lawyer that George Westinghouse tasked with defending him against a mountain of lawsuits from Thomas Edison.

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