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Bethany's Bookshelf.

The Adventures of Bic Calamus

Bic Calamus, author

Tin Wong and Carl Morgan, artwork


1663 Liberty Drive, Suite 200

Bloomington, IN 47403-5161

9781477226704 $25.87

The Adventures of Bic Calamus is a wry black-and-white graphic novel about a would-be writer struggling with creative, financial, and mental health problems. Bic Calamus is the "pen name" of the main character (referring to a type of pen that is notoriously cheap and breaks easily). In the search to find himself and make ends meet, he taught English in Korea for a year, but when he returns home all the same old problems persist. He owes money to his gruff, begrudging father; his work on his prospective book ("Incomplete Memoirs of a Complete Breakdown") stutters along haphazardly; and visits to a trained psychiatrist seem to help little with his horrendously volatile and punishing mood swings, which can send him from elated to raging to tear-stricken in the course of minutes. His best friend is a drunk, and his most stable pastime is watching "Whirled News" on TV. The at times wild and evocative artwork skillfully captures Bic's fragile emotional state, yet off-the-wall humor peppered throughout this slice-of-life story keeps hope afloat amidst a sea of hardship. The result is a resonating and memorable saga about more than simple survival in tough economic times; The Adventures of Bic Calamus is also about finding the will to enjoy even the simplest things in life, when one's own mental state seems to be at constant odds with the world.

The Ups and Downs of Being Dead

M. R. Cornelius


100 Enterprise Way, Suite A200

Scotts Valley, CA 95066

9781477471630, $14.95,

No one wants to face death willingly. "The Ups and Downs of Being Dead" follows aging tycoon Robert Malone who faces death by cancer, and chooses cryonics to take a second chance at life. But it won't be a cold sleep, as Robert struggles with an in-between life in limbo and seeing the world from the outside, unable to interact. "The Ups and Downs of Being Dead" is a psychological and fun read that is hard to put down, recommended.

I Am Lucky Bird

Fleur Philips

New Dawn Publishers Ltd

9781908462046, $10.99,

Cruel circumstances can leave the young under very cruel people. "I Am Lucky Bird" follows young Lucky Bird as she copes with the loss of her mother and left under an abusive grandmother and an even more abusive grandmother's lover. Faced with demons building inside of her, one light may allow her to break the cycle of abuse that others and herself have visited on her. A story of coming out of tragedy and conquering it, "I Am Lucky Bird" is a moving and recommended novel, not to be overlooked.

One More Dance

Evonne Stevenson Schott & Ed Rabinowitz


1663 Liberty Drive, Suite 200

Bloomington, IN 47403-5161

9781468500660, $16.95,

Cancer is terrifying, making every moment all the more precious. "One More Dance: One Family's Courageous Battle Against Time and Glioblastoma Brain Cancer" is a memoir from Evonne Stevenson Schott and Ed Rabinowitz as they tell the story of Evonne's husband Mike, as he endured a one month terminal cancer diagnosis to live a full year, telling the story of that year and how life was fully embraced in the process. "One More Dance" is a riveting read with plenty to consider about life and living, highly recommended.

Perfection Unleashed

Jade Kerrion


100 Enterprise Way, Suite A200

Scotts Valley, CA 95066

9781469980355, $9.99,

Perfection is what we strive for, and genetics may allow us to attain it. "Perfection Unleashed" is a distant future science fiction novel from Jade Kerrion, following Danyael Sabre, an alpha empath trying to piece together his life among the Genetic revolution, which is rapidly changing humanity, and may now be sending them to war. "Perfection Unleashed" asks many questions of human ethical biology and nature, solidly recommended reading.


Alianna J. Maren

Mourning Dove Press

9780982901304, $23.90,

We are the stars of our own lives, and it's time we started acting as such. "Unveiling: The Inner Journey" is an empowering memoir from Alianna J. Maren as she advises readers, in particular, women, to take control of their lives, guide to something worth unveiling to the world and allow ourselves to be pleased with our place in the world. "Unveiling" is a strong addition to general inspiration collections tailored to women, highly recommended.

A Bald Man With No Hair

John M. Keller

Dr. Cicero Books

9780615626420, $15.00,

Why people do things is the great mystery we face and rarely have the answer to. "A Bald Man With No Hair" is a collection of short fiction from John M. Keller as he provides a collection of humorous and fun stories that seek to explore the bizarre nature of humanity and its drive to do things no one else will understand. "A Bald Man With No Hair" is strongly recommended for those seeking offbeat short fiction, highly recommended.

Death to Life

John J. Cobb

iUniverse, Inc.

c/o Author House

1663 Liberty Dr. Suite #300

Bloomington, IN 47403

9781475905359, $26.95,

Faith gives us the power to overcome death. "Death to Life" is a Christian metaphysical read from John J. Cobb, who tackles the issues of faith and explores the ideas of life and death, and what God seeks from us as we live our lives seeking understanding of both and knowing God's word. "Death to Life" is a strong addition to metaphysical and spiritual collections, with much to ponder for the faithful unsure of what they need to seek for God's love and image.

Susan Bethany

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Author:Bethany, Susan
Publication:Reviewer's Bookwatch
Article Type:Book review
Date:Nov 1, 2012
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