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"Dance of Death," Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child.

My sister and I are fans of Preston and Child's series around FBI Special Agent Pendergast, so I was really waiting for this one to come out. In a similar fashion to the previous book, "Brimstone," this one ends with a cliff-hanger in the epilogue. This one had less of a "supernatural" feel to it, but it was a solid thriller nonetheless. I did not feel this one was nearly as good a read as any other in the series, though, so I can't recommend it as a starting point to get you interested in the series, but if you are already a fan you will not be disappointed.

Monthly Music Recommendations

Canyon Girl, Fruit Bats - Spelled in Bones I love the lyrics to this one. (( Preview )) Arvella's Work Song, Blind Arvella Gray - The Singing Drifter I heard this on NPR actually, and fell in love with it. (( Preview )) Mighty Rearranger, Robert Plant And The Strange - Mighty Rearranger Old Zepplin sound with an odd mix of Middle Eastern textures. Veruca Salt, Danny Elfman - Charlie And The Chocolate Factory Elfman's a genius. I love the new Oompa Loompa songs!

"The New Lovecraft Circle" by Robert M. Price (editor).

Some great stories for Lovecraft fans, and some I could do without. Price's editorial is spectacular, and I enjoyed all but a few of his selections.Alan Dean Foster, for example, is a fantastic writer of the Mythos, but I simply cannot be sufficiently frightened by such a story set on the beaches of California (though the irony is not lost on me). Bottom line: not one of the better collections I have read, to be sure, but still enjoyable.

Monthly Music Recommendations

School, Supertramp - Crime of the Century An old favorite of mine and my father's. (( Preview )) Whoever You Are, Geggy Tah - Zero Accidents On The Job: Luaka Bop's 10th Anniversary (Disc 1): Steamy Hits Tell me you haven't experienced this situation. Maximum Sunshine, The Lynnfield Pioneers - Everything Is Nice: The Matador Records 10th Anniversary Anthology (Disc 1) The "Everything Is Nice" compilation is full of great songs, and this is one of my favourites. This one really gets the blood flowing. Bongo Bong, Manli Chao (France) - World Playground - A Musical Adventure For Kids The Putumayo label puts out a huge volume of fun music like this, and freeform feeds like Gogaga were all over it.

"Electric Universe" by David Bodanis

I swear, if I have to read how Turing invented the digital computer one more time my head will explode. Not to discount Turing's brilliance, and the tragic story of his life, but that's always been a stretch to me. And how can you have a book on the Electric Universe no mention of Tesla - not a word. Skip this one. Sorry, David - you're a great writer, but your interpretation of History did not fit mine.

"A Short History of Nearly Everything," Bill Bryson

One of the best books I have ever found the time to read - do NOT pass this one up. I would classify this one as "edutainment" because of the amazing way Bryson finds to add a constant stream of witty observations and humor to the most amazing story ever - the story of everything. For example, he explains how cosmic radiation forms part of the noise and static on a TV, and says that next time your kids are bored, "just turn to a channel you don't get and listen to a piece of the formation of the universe."

Monthly Music Recommendations

I Wouldn't Want To Be Like You, Alan Parsons Project - I Robot How does this guy produce so many different styles of music so successfully? (( Preview )) Lake Shore Drive, Aliotta, Haynes, Jeremiah - Lake Shore Drive Non-Chicagoans will have no idea of the power of the feeling described in this song. (( Preview )) Hallowed Be Thy Name, Emerson, Lake, and Palmer - Works Volume I - Disc 1 Truly clever and deep lyrics. When the Levee Breaks, Led Zeppelin - Led Zeppelin [Disc 3] Zeppelin-style Chicago blues at their best. Late in the Evening, Paul Simon - Negotiations and Love Songs A Classic. (( Preview ))