November 16th, 2018 by diane92345

Stream-of-consciousness on the topic of Insomnia.

Most people, like me, occasionally have trouble sleeping. When lying awake in bed, strange and varied thoughts run willy-nilly through your brain. If those thoughts were put on paper, it would be this book. It contains science, art, philosophy and even mythology related to the sleeping process. Plus it’s meta fun to read about insomnia while suffering from it. However, there is no true conclusion. It’s as if the author finally fell asleep herself. 3 stars!

Thanks to the publisher, Catapult, and Edelweiss+ for an advanced copy.

Posted in Non-fiction Tagged with: ,

Guide to Magazine Article Writing
July 20th, 2018 by diane92345

Hit by writer’s block on your novel?  To push that block off your shoulder, try writing magazine articles while also working on your masterwork.

With newspapers closing, “91% of US adults [still] read print magazines.”

This guide is filled with practical advice to write targeted articles that will make some cash and build your brand. From finding ideas, researching markets, staying organized and writing queries, there is much to be done before the article is even written.

I love this Guide to Magazine Article Writing! So useful! So straightforward! 5 stars!

Thanks to Writer’s Digest and NetGalley for an advanced copy.

Posted in Non-fiction Tagged with: , ,

Exit Strategy
July 6th, 2018 by diane92345

After calling a clandestine number, Jordan uses the Exit Strategy to begin again. Soon Jordan regrets his “death” but is told if he contacts his wife, they will kill her. After undergoing facial reconstruction, Jordan is reborn. When he accidentally contacts his wife, he must fight to save his family and himself from the covert organization’s grip.

Exit Strategy is very cinematic and would make a great Tom Cruise movie. Unfortunately, like many movie blockbusters, there is nothing very original here. It is definitely form over substance. 3 stars.

Thanks to Hanover Square Press and NetGalley for a copy.

Posted in Mystery & Thrillers Tagged with: ,

Meditation on Murder
June 22nd, 2018 by diane92345

Who doesn’t love a locked room mystery?

Only six people were in the locked meditation room:

  • Aslan, owner of The Plantation Spa and murder victim
  • Julia, part-time secretary and confessed killer
  • Saskia, vacationing secretary
  • Paul, vacationing pharmacist
  • Ann, Paul’s wife
  • Ben, rich vacationer

Detective Inspector Poole investigates but doubts Julia’s confession. He insists that a single drawing pin found at the scene is significant as is the crime’s location.

Meditation on Murder is highly recommended to armchair detectives still mourning Agatha Christie and John Dickson Carr’s deaths. 5 stars!

Thanks to the publisher, Canelo, and NetGalley for an advanced copy.

Posted in Mystery & Thrillers Tagged with: , ,

Bone and Sinew of the Land
June 15th, 2018 by diane92345

Tells the true story of free African-American farmers’ struggles in early to mid-1800s.

The Northwest Territories of Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Michigan and Wisconsin were initially free states where slavery was outlawed. As the area’s population grew, slavery was replaced by a lifetime of indentured servitude for many. Told through the eyes of one such free family, the book describes their struggles with the virgin farmland, neighbors, changing politics and harsh weather.

This well-researched tale is highly recommended for those interested in both African-American and midwestern history. 4 stars!

Thanks to Public Affairs and NetGalley for an advanced copy.

Posted in Non-fiction Tagged with: , , ,

The Fallen
May 18th, 2018 by diane92345

Another great police procedural, #4 in the Memory Man series.

Amos and his partner, Alex, are on vacation when Amos sees something in a nearby house and investigates. Two bodies are found and Amos and Alex join the local police in searching for the murderer. Soon the opioid crisis, an Amazon-like fulfillment center and rust belt deterioration are central to the investigation.

The characters in this series grow and change as time goes on so it is important to read the books in order. A compelling read with great plotting! 4 stars!

Thanks to my local library for a copy. #FrugalFriday short review!

Posted in Mystery & Thrillers Tagged with: , ,

SHOCK Anthology
April 27th, 2018 by diane92345

SHOCK Anthology is a collection of 21 completely different stories from Aftershock Comics.

Fluctuating genres and art keep any one person from liking all the stories. However, there is something for everyone within:  horror, sci-fi, memoir, adventure and some with apparently no plot at all. The new Neil Gaiman is great but too short!

SHOCK Anthology is recommended as a broad overview of the various genres, writing styles and art techniques.  It will allow fans of a particular story to pursue additional longer-form work by the writer and/or artist.  3 stars.

Thanks to Aftershock Comics and NetGalley for a copy.

Posted in Graphic Novel Tagged with: , ,

Charity Ends at Home
April 20th, 2018 by diane92345

Fifth in the Flaxborough Mystery series, Charity Ends at Home is another late Golden Age small English village cozy.

The village coroner, constable and editor of the local paper each receive an identical unsigned note stating that the writer is fearful of being murdered. The note references a photo of the writer but the photo is not included in any of the notes.

The plot and characters within Charity Ends at Home are unique. The mystery is great and unusual. This 20th century police procedural is worth 4 stars.

Thanks to Farrago and NetGalley for a copy. #FrugalFriday Short Review

Posted in Mystery & Thrillers Tagged with: , , , ,

Meditation for Fidgety Skeptics
March 23rd, 2018 by diane92345

Meditation produces calm, focus and mindfulness in just 5-10 minutes per day.

Unfortunately, only about a third of the book teaches how to meditate. The rest is autobiography and an explanation of why the reader should meditate even though everyone will think you’re weird.

All the guided meditations in the book can be found in the author’s 10% Happier App for free. To access anything else costs $14.99 per month.

The best of the book can be seen by just downloading the app. Therefore, this book receives only 1 star.

Thanks to Random House and NetGalley for a copy.

Posted in Non-fiction Tagged with: , ,

Midnight Line
March 16th, 2018 by diane92345

Skip Midnight Line and save $15 and a wasted six hours. Instead paint a room in your home and then literally watch the paint dry. It would be a better use of your resources and equally entertaining.

The plot of this 22nd book in the Jack Reacher series moves slower than a snail.  If the over 200 pages of irrelevant travel information (route numbers, bus lines, how to hitchhike) were cut out, this would have been a three star novella.  As it is, it rates only 1 star.


  1. Don’t Let Go
  2. Look for Me
  3. Night Moves


Posted in Mystery & Thrillers Tagged with: , , ,

People vs Alex Cross
March 9th, 2018 by diane92345

#FrugalFridays short review for March 9, 2018.

Alex is accused of shooting unarmed people and blondes are being abducted for a dark web snuff film.

Interesting technology, dramatic courtroom scenes and great sound effects in the audiobook enliven the 25th entry in the series. The only Patterson series I still read is a quick and entertaining listen or read. 3 stars for the book alone but 4 stars for the audiobook due to the great narration.

Posted in Mystery & Thrillers Tagged with: ,

March 8th, 2018 by diane92345

Beginning March 9th, Diane Reviews Books will publish a short (<=100 word) book review each Friday. Most of the books will be popular, slightly older books with plenty of other reviews on Amazon and Goodreads. This will not decrease the usual two to three full reviews weekly.

First up on March 9 will be The People vs Alex Cross by James Patterson. On deck are The Woman in the Window by A. J. Finn, The Midnight Line (Jack Reacher) by Lee Child and Fire and Fury by Michael Wolff.

If you like the idea of shorter reviews, please like the tweet or post where you saw this info. Thank you.

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