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Frank's Book Log

Literature is a relative term.

  1. 09 Oct 2023
    2017 | Novella


    by Philip Fracassi

    B: 4 stars (out of 5)

    To celebrate Jim’s older brother Jack’s release following a six-year prison stint, the brothers, their father Henry, and Jack’s hulking best friend Chris, charter a fishing boat in the Pacific. The choppy seas don’t bode well for an outing, but the group presses ahead, and their grizzled captain takes them a few miles offshore to a deep spot good for fishing. But the men soon realize they’re under threat by an unknown, overwhelming assailant—and how alone they are at sea. Continue reading...

  2. 29 Jan 2023
    1991 | Novel

    The Cipher

    by Kathe Koja

    B: 4 stars (out of 5)

    How to describe The Cipher? The plot concerns Nicholas, an aimless twenty-something drifting through life, who discovers a mysterious hole inside a disused storage room in his derelict apartment building. Weird things ensue. Continue reading...

  3. 21 Jan 2023
    1974 | Short Story

    Roadside Pickup

    by Richard Laymon

    C-: 3 stars (out of 5)

    Early morning darkness. Colleen sits stranded in her car. Three hours have produced three cars. None have stopped. But the fourth does. A young man with fashionable clothes and booze on his breath. Won’t she let him give her a ride?

    Laymon’s second published story proffers a predictable twist, but at under two thousand words, it doesn’t drag.

  4. 21 Jan 2023

    During a late-night make-out session with his girlfriend, high-schooler Charlie Brewster spies two men carrying a coffin into the basement of the house next-door. Charlie soon discovers his suave new neighbor, Jerry Dandrige, has fangs. When the police don’t believe him, Charlie appeals to the local creature-feature host, washed up horror icon Peter Vincent, for help. Continue reading...

  5. 14 Jan 2023
    2013 | Novel

    Doctor Sleep

    by Stephen King

    C+: 3 stars (out of 5)

    Stephen King’s sequel to The Shining finds Dan Torrance a middle-aged recovering alcoholic living in New Hampshire and working as a hospice orderly. He uses his unique gifts to comfort residents as they transition to the other side. Continue reading...

  6. 29 Oct 2022

    A practical guide to critical thinking in the information age. Novella and his colleagues illuminate cognitive biases and logical fallacies with understandable examples. They then apply them to assorted topics, including ghosts, extrasensory perception, assorted conspiracy theories, and global warming. Continue reading...

  7. 29 Oct 2022
    1977 | Novel

    The Shining

    by Stephen King

    B: 4 stars (out of 5)

    Alcoholic writer Jack Torrance uproots his wife Wendy and five-year-old son Danny from New England to Colorado, where they’ll serve as winter caretakers for the Overlook Hotel. The hotel, a premier destination with a shady past, houses a malevolent presence bent on claiming Danny for its own ends. Continue reading...

  8. 16 Oct 2022
    1955 | Novel


    by Ian Fleming

    B: 4 stars (out of 5)

    James Bond investigates a popular self-made millionaire with surgically enhanced looks, an interest in rockets, and a relentless, larger-than-life personality. Continue reading...

  9. 14 Oct 2022
    1975 | Novel

    'Salem's Lot

    by Stephen King

    B: 4 stars (out of 5)

    Stephen King’s sophomore novel transplants the Dracula story to a remote New England town named Jerusalem’s Lot—`Salem’s Lot to the locals. Continue reading...

  10. 13 Oct 2022
    2018 | Nonfiction

    Can't Hurt Me

    by David Goggins

    B: 4 stars (out of 5)

    David Goggins escapes an abusive home and overcomes a dead-end career to become a Navy Seal and world-class endurance athlete. Continue reading...


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