Michael Cavacini

An award-winning arts and culture blog.

Archive for the category “Books”

Book Review: Don’t Stop Believin’ by Jonathan Cain

Don’t Stop Believin’: The Man, the Band, and the Song that Inspired Generations, the long-awaited autobiography by Journey’s piano man, Jonathan Cain, is tied with Paul Stanley’s Face The Music: A Life Exposed as my favorite music autobiography. And if you have to choose one way to read this book, listen to the audiobook because it’s narrated by the man himself, making for a more intimate reading experience. Jon’s narration of his autobiography is so raw and authentic that at some points he becomes overcome with emotion, which only makes the stories he tells that much more impactful. And the generous amount of beautiful music weaved throughout the audiobook makes for an engaging and enjoyable audiobook that I’d gladly listen to again. It’s also worth noting that the audiobook features bonus chapters not found in the print version of the book.

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WWE RAW: The First 25 Years

WWE RAW: The First 25 Years, coming out May 15, is a new hardcover book by DK Publishing. As the title suggests, it celebrates 25 years of the longest running weekly-episodic television program: WWE Raw. Is this new tome worth the price of admission? Watch my video review below to find out.

After Anna by Lisa Scottoline

After Anna is one of Lisa Scottoline’s best books, and it’s my favorite of hers since 2015’s Corrupted. Similar to CorruptedAfter Anna jumps back and forth through time. However, in this new thriller Lisa applies a unique approach. There are two main storylines: one moves forward in time, while the other moves backward. As I read this intricately-woven tale, I was amazed that Lisa was able to keep everything straight. Most authors would slip up at some point. I can only imagine how harrowing the revision process must have been for this novel. Aside from the technical virtuosity on display, this book sings from an emotional standpoint. The characters are intriguing, fully-realized, and unpredictably believable. And the plot’s biggest twist is one I didn’t predict, even though I was able to foretell some of the smaller subsequent details. After Anna is a five-star classic that all thriller and mystery enthusiasts should read. You won’t be disappointed.

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Book Review: The Crash Bandicoot Files

Crash Bandicoot is one of my favorite video game characters of all time. The original trilogy of Crash Bandicoot games, which I played for hours on end on my Playstation back when they were originally released, is coming to Nintendo Switch this summer in the N. Sane Trilogy – a remastered compilation I can’t wait to dive into. If you need even more Bandicoot goodness to satiate your marsupial mania, you may want to pick up The Crash Bandicoot Files, a new publication from Dark Horse Books.

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Book Review: KISS Klassified

KISS Klassified: War Stories From A KISS Army General is an excellent book. A million books have been written about KISS in the 1970s. If you’re looking for one that does an excellent job of covering KISS from 1980 through present day, this book is the best around. Unlike other KISS books, this one isn’t a detailed history of the band during a particular period of time. Rather, it’s the author’s account of his experiences with the band during these years. Peppered throughout are 750 fantastic photos, as well as interviews with and commentary by members of KISS. My only complaint is there are some language usage issues, but that’s understandable because the author is from Sweden. That minor complaint aside, KISS Klassified is a top-notch book that was lovingly put together. The graphical layout of the book is phenomenal, the stories are entertaining, and the passion is palpable. KISS fans should absolutely check it out, as it’s one of the best books about the band I’ve ever read.

WWE Ultimate Superstar Guide, 2nd Edition

On March 6 DK releases its second edition of WWE Ultimate Superstar Guide. This hardback book retails for $16.99 and is 208 pages in length. Check out my video review below for my thoughts on this new release.

Review: Waterproof Amazon Kindle Oasis

Amazon recently released the all-new Kindle Oasis, which is the first-ever waterproof Kindle. Is it worth buying? Watch my video review below to find out.

Book Review: On Power by Gene Simmons

Gene Simmons is a busy man. When he’s not skulking across the stage at a KISS show, he’s performing with his solo band, appearing at comic conventions, talking about his forthcoming career-spanning box set, The Vault, or promoting his new book: On Power.

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Interview: James Patterson MasterClass Winner Kecia Bal

Kecia Bal won the first James Patterson MasterClass Co-Author Competition. Her proposed topic and outline for a book she hoped to write with the world’s best-selling author was chosen by the man himself. In June 2016 she received a fateful call from James Patterson telling her that out of the thousands of submissions, hers was the best and she’d have the opportunity to bring that idea to life working side-by-side with the foremost writer in the thriller genre. Together they wrote and published The Dolls, an imaginative and compelling entry in James Patterson’s BookShots series of bite-sized thrillers that clock in around 150 pages. Below is my interview with Bal, who was kind enough to share her thoughts on this once-in-a-lifetime experience.

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Super Mario Odyssey: Prima Collector’s Edition Guide

Super Mario Odyssey has taken the world by storm. Not only has it received countless perfect scores from myriad video game critics, it’s the fastest-selling Super Mario game of all time. In less than one week, this Nintendo Switch game has been bought by millions of gamers and their verdict is unanimous: Super Mario Odyssey is a masterpiece. If you’re looking to fully enjoy this epic adventure and uncover all of the secrets that lie within it, you may want to considering picking up the Super Mario Odyssey: Prima Collector’s Edition Guide. Below is my video review of this new book from Prima Games.

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