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Hey guys, sorry I was away for so long.  School started back up and I have to tell you that it was kicking my butt.  Not so much school, but work on top of that- and I was just plain exhausted all the time.  I had to take September off from the blogging/reading world, but I told myself that I’d be back in October so here I am. 

So to start back up, — I have to gush about my first real author experience.  I was at the Collingswood Book Festival today and who did I see but Melissa Walker!  I know several of you have read her books- I’ve entered a few contests hoping to win them but never lucked out.  I confess to be really shy but she was so nice!  She signed all of my books- I picked up “Violet on the Runway“, “Violet by Design“, and her newest “Violet in Private“. 

 

I’m sure I’m going to love them!  And for those of you following the series, she says her next book will be out in May.  I have a surprise though- I bought an extra copy of “Violet in Private” to giveaway to one lucky commenter.  And it’s autographed 🙂  All you have to do for a chance to win is comment telling me about your best author experience.  If you haven’t had one, tell me what author you’d love to meet!  (If you don’t have a blog, make sure you leave your email address so I can contact you if you win.)  I’ll choose a winner at the end of October- and this contest is open to everybody, not just US and Canada.

 

Regarding my “First Daughter” giveaway, I’ll be choosing a winner on October 10th, so if you haven’t entered already, you only have a couple more days to do so.

 

Missed my last post?  It was TUESDAY THINGERS

Missed my last review?  It was REVIEW: “SWORD” BY DA CHEN

Tuesday Thingers

***My newest giveaway is of “First Daughter“ ***

Today’s question, courtesy of Marie: Members who have your books. Do you ever look at this feature? Do you use it to make LT friends, or compare notes? There are three tabs- weighted, raw, and recent. “Weighted,” which means “weighted by book obscurity and library size” is probably the least self-explanatory of the three, whereas “raw” and “recent” are more so. Do you get any kind of use out of this feature?

 

I’ve looked at this, but don’t find it particularly useful.  Using raw, the person I share the most books with (321 books) has 4147 books in her library.  We really don’t have that many in common… After that I share 235 with a user that lists 72008 (which is actually a library not a user).  Clearly any library that big is going to have something in common with me.  After that are a bunch of users with large collections- so again I still don’t really feel like it’s very useful.  I also don’t think that the ‘recent’ tab is very interesting or useful… I don’t recognize any of the users.  Maybe if ‘recent’ really meant we were adding them at the same time, I’d get more out of it.

Now the weighted is more interesting.  I have a bunch in common with Devourer of Books and thekoolaidmom.  Probably ARCs are what’s connecting us there.  And there’s also a person who I’ve added as an interesting library because they have a lot of Alexander the Great books- and it’s cool to see what they have and I don’t. 

So the weighted is probably my favorite and the one I check the most!  Which is your favorite?

 

Missed my last review?  It was REVIEW: “SWORD” BY DA CHEN

***My newest giveaway is of “First Daughter“ ***

 

Title: “Sword

Author: Da Chen

Format: Hardcover

Number of Pages: 240

ISBN: 978-0061447587

Publisher: HarperTrophy

Date of Publication: August 26, 2008

2.5 stars: I wanted to like this!

Sword (Forbidden Tales)
 

 

“Many nights I filled my spare time by squeezing into his doorway and claiming a spot on the crowded floor, listening devotedly to his tales of another time and place, after enduring a few slaps on the head from the older folks who didn’t want me there.  He was an optimist, and his words made you see the bright colors of spring and the majestic snow-capped mountains of Xinjiang.  The sunsets in his tales were especially glorious, and the people with whom he had shared his life the most gifted.”

(“Sword” pg 6*)

 

Sword” by Da Chen opens with a prologue describing a young boy listening to a great storyteller, and then chapter one splits off into another tale- one that the storyteller is supposedly telling.  That story is of a fifteen year old girl named Miu Miu who sets off to avenge the death of her father.  The movie “Mulan” comes to mind, as Miu Miu disguises herself in her father’s clothing before leaving her village.  But unlike Mulan, Miu Miu has the permission of her mother and village elders to take up her quest.  Eventually she teams up with the man she was promised to at birth, and they both plot to kill the one responsible for Miu Miu’s father.

The language of this book is beautiful.  It really reads like poetry- the imagery in particular, and the readers can perfectly picture these landscapes in their heads.  Even the fights are poetic, and bring to mind graceful but powerful battles- like those in “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon”. 

One thing bothered me as I was reading (and it sort of is the same thing that bothered me when I read “The White Mary”).  It was the use of foreign words throughout a story being told in English.  For example, on page 74 it reads: “Long quiang–spears– were in their hands, and short daggers were plunged into the side of their boots.”  I just don’t see that ‘quiang’ is necessary.  It is the Chinese word for spear, but the whole story is being told in English- not Chinese.  That said, it didn’t take away from the story- but it did annoy me each time it happened.  I could see how it would be useful to teach us random Chinese words, but why for ‘spear’ and not for (for example) ‘daggers’?

My problem with the Chinese words aside, I did enjoy most of this story. I was about to recommend it highly to those who enjoyed “Mulan”, or to those who enjoy a good adventure….. And then I got to the end!!  I felt like one ending was written- then more was written and tacked on so that the audience didn’t feel so depressed.  Whatever happened, it didn’t work for me.  (And that first ending wouldn’t have really worked either!)  I’m left scratching my head- and I’m afraid I can’t exactly recommend this the way I wanted.  It’s a shame too, because 7/8 of the book is amazingly beautiful…  So maybe just buy it but don’t read the end! 

Also, according to the back of the book, this is recommended for ages 10 and up or grades 5 and up…. I’m not so sure that’s a good idea.  There’s a scene where a man wants to put his hand between her legs to find out if she’s a woman or not, there’s mention of her betrothed watching her suggestively as she changes clothes…. I just don’t think I would recommend it for ten year olds.

Please- if you’ve read this, or have a different opinion, tell me about it!

*These words may change in the final publication of the book

 

Want to see some other reviews?

Online Raibu Journaru

 

Missed my last post?  It was INSIDE THE READER’S STUDIO

Missed my last review?  It was REVIEW: “CONFESSIONS OF A CONTRACTOR” BY RICHARD MURPHY

***My newest giveaway is of “First Daughter“ ***

Inside the Writer’s Studio is a show where host James Lipton interviews all sorts of people and asks them a series of questions.  I confess to not have seen so much of his show, as to have seen Will Ferrell do an impression of him on Saturday Night Live.  In either case, the questions are pretty interesting- and give the audience a closer look at whoever is answering.

I was tagged by both Meghan aka the medieval bookworm- see her answers here, and by Krista aka Inkhorn Platypus- see her answers here.

 

What is your favorite word?

Lol In high school it was krod- aka dork backwards…. but you could say it and nobody would know what you meant, except for a bunch of my classmates.  I’m not sure I have a favorite one now…. I like the words: unique, pure, violet, pudding, sky …. I have no idea why- there’s really no rhyme or reason.  I just like certain words!

What is your least favorite word?

Ugh- I don’t like armpit, vomit, and though this has been mentioned many times- as Meghan puts it “those words designed to degrade and demean the lady bits”……

What turns you on (creatively, spiritually or emotionally)?

Humor, laughter, intelligence, kindness… books!

What turns you off (creatively, spiritually or emotionally)?

Inconsiderateness- this is a huge pet peeve! Lateness, rudeness, grey skies, violence, yelling,…..

What sound or noise do you love?

The piano, purring, laughter, the flipping of pages, choir music, rain (which again I’m stealing from other posts), bells…..

What sound or noise do you hate?

Many, many, many cell phone rings, hearing the entire conversation of somebody with those walky-talky cell phones, nails on a chalkboard, cars honking, dogs barking, crying children in a movie theater….

What’s your favorite curse word?

It’s either bitch or whore.  I know that sounds bad.  For some reason me and my sister call each other these things all the time- totally don’t mean it.  In a way it’s a good thing because if I’m called one of them, it doesn’t really mean anything to me since we say it all the time.  But then again I have to remember that I can’t call other people bitches or whores, because to them it’s not appropriate and they won’t just brush it off.

What profession other than your own would you like to attempt?

I’d love to be an editor.  For some reason I really enjoy proofreading my classmates’ papers.  I just like knowing that I’m making something better.  Or I’d like to be a tutor- maybe for SATs, or for children who have a hard time learning.  I babysit a girl who has down syndrome, and I LOVE when something finally clicks for her.  It makes all the hard work and effort worth it.

What profession would you not like to do?

I worked in a law office for a couple years. Would not like to do that again!  Hmm what else…. I wouldn’t want to be a fisherman or trash collector….

If Heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the Pearly Gates?

You did your best- and it was good enough 🙂 Also your little kitten Zeus is waiting for you.

 

Okay- must tag three people

Debbie over at Suburb Sanity

Caite at A Lovely Shore Breeze

Yvonne at Socrates’ Book Reviews

 

Missed my last post?  It was MAY I DIRECT YOU OVER TO…..

Missed my last review?  It was REVIEW: “CONFESSIONS OF A CONTRACTOR” BY RICHARD MURPHY

***My newest giveaway is of “First Daughter“ ***

Not too long ago, one of my awesome loyal readers decided to start blogging.  And I am so glad she did.  Her posts are great!  Entertaining, amusing, true…. about children, politics, even even the Olympics!  Misty May anyone?  Don’t believe me?  Go check out her blog!

 

Debbie has been posting pretty frequently- and though I don’t always comment like I should- I can’t seem to stay away 🙂 Welcome her to the blogging world, and keep an eye on her!

 

Missed my last review?  It was REVIEW: “CONFESSIONS OF A CONTRACTOR” BY RICHARD MURPHY

***My newest giveaway is of “First Daughter“ ***

 

 

 

Title: “Confessions of a Contractor

Author: Richard Murphy

Format: Hardcover

Number of Pages: 288

ISBN: 978-0399155079

Publisher: Putnam Adult

Date of Publication: August 14, 2008

4 stars: Renovating? Don’t miss this!

Confessions of a Contractor
 

 

 

 

“The first thing a woman needs to know about renovating a house or apartment is simpe: do not, under any circumstance, sleep with your contractor, no tmatter what your husband or boyfriend is doing to you, or not doing to you.” 

 (“Confessions of a Contractor” pg1*)

 

And before we get started, I have to say I would never sleep with my contractor…….. unless he looked like Richard Murphy.  I mean, oh my God, how did that slip out?

I wasn’t sure I was going to like “Confessions of a Contractor“.  From the cover art, to the first line- I was sure that it was going to be a book that had sex all over the place.  Lol, and in a way there was sex all over the place- in the ‘steam shower in the master bath’, on the ‘sandstone floor in the kitchen’, etc… but it was mentioned quickly and didn’t bog down the rest of the story. 

It’s told all in first person, so the audience knows only what the main character, Henry the contractor, knows.  This offers us a unique look at what your contractor is really thinking about you.  And despite the fact that, yes, he slept with some of his clients- I still liked the guy!  Besides liking the main character, I also enjoyed the others.  Perhaps my favorites were Hector and Miguel, because if they didn’t like you- they pretended to only speak Spanish.

I would very much recommend “Confessions of a Contractor” to anyone looking for a fun read.  And I’ll definitely be interested in reading anything else Richard Murphy puts out- right after I find out if there really are blind caterers…. well if you’ve read it- you know what I’m talking about!!  If not, pick you copy up today.  You can buy it here.  And don’t forget to drop by the book’s website.

 

*These lines may change in the final publication of the book

Want to see some other reviews?

LibrarysCat

Jenn’s Bookshelf

Minds Alive on the Shelves

 

Missed my last post?  It was TUESDAY THINGERS

Missed my last review?  It was REVIEW: “ONE MORE YEAR” BY SANA KRASIKOV

Tuesday Thingers

My newest giveaway is of “First Daughter“.  Check it out 🙂

Sorry guys, been busy these last two weeks, but I hope to get back to blogging soon!


Today’s topic– courtesy of Marie: LibraryThing authors. Who are your LibraryThing authors? What books of theirs do you have? Do you ever comment on an author’s LT page? Have you received any comments from an author on your LT account?

 

I have more LT authors then I thought I did!  They’re listed below… I don’t think I’ve ever commented on an author’s LT page- except in response.  Mary E. Pearson thanked me for my review of “Scribbler of Dreams” which was very nice of her 🙂  I think she’s the only one who wrote directly on my profile, although I am friends with Penelope Przekop- author of “Aberrations”.

They are: Dave Boling- I have “Guernica” which just arrived,

Marie Brennan- I have “Midnight Never Come” which I won in one of her contests,

Phyllis Zimbler Miller- I have “Mrs. Lieutenant” which I will be reviewing soon and post along with an author interview,

Doreen Orion- I have “Queen of the Road”,

Mary E. Pearson- I have “Scribbler of Dreams”,

Penelope Przekop- I have “Aberrations” and you can see my review and interview with the author here,

Michelle Rowen- I have “Angel with Attitude”,

J. Scott Savage- I have “Farworld: Water” which I will be reviewing soon and post along with an author interview,

Caroline Comfort Shields- I have “Surviving Ben’s Suicide”- review and author interview here,

and Shanna Swedson- I have “Enchanted, Inc.”

 

 

Missed my last review?  It was REVIEW: “ONE MORE YEAR” BY SANA KRASIKOV

Tuesday Thingers

Don’t forget to check out my newest giveaway!

 

Today’s question, courtesy of Marie : LT and RL (real life)- do you have friends in real life that you met through LibraryThing? Have you attended any LT meet-ups in your area? Would you be open to attending meet-ups or is LT strictly an online thing for you?

 

Well, I don’t have any real life friends I met through LT.  But give me time.  I’ve found a lot of great people through LT that understand my obsession with books and reading.  I haven’t attended any LT meet ups in my area, and for that matter I didn’t even know there were such things.  Would I be open to attending meet-ups… ? I think I would be.  It would be nice to meet some of you guys 🙂  Then again, being online adds a bit of mystery to the whole thing, and dare I say you might be disappointed when you meet me in real life and find out that I’m not nearly as cool as you think I am… Lol j/k- I really am that cool. Okay, kidding again, sorry!

 

Missed my last post?  It was INTERVIEW: ERIC VAN LUSTBADER- AUTHOR OF “FIRST DAUGHTER”

Missed my last review?  It was REVIEW: “ONE MORE YEAR” BY SANA KRASIKOV

I’m doing things a little differently.  If you’ve visited before, you know that I when I host giveaways, I usually include my review and author interview all in one post.  Today I’m separating them a bit.  Below is my interview with Eric Van Lustbader- the author of the thriller “First Daughter“.  Later in the week I’ll be posting my review of “First Daughter” and the giveaway details.  However since the book is coming out now, I wanted to post my interview to generate a little buzz about it.  But I can tell you now that you have a chance of winning a copy of this book by leaving a comment regarding my interview with author Eric Van Lustbader! 

 

First Daughter
 

♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥

So, a big welcome to Eric Van Lustbader!  His new book is called “First Daughter” and I’m thrilled that he was able to answer a few questions for me!  

Q.  I can see that this is far from being your first novel!  With over twenty five books, including three Bourne books, how do you keep coming up with ideas and story lines?

A. If I have a problem it’s that I have too many ideas to write them all! I’d like to finish my Pearl fantasy series, I’d like to write another Nicholas Linnear (“The Ninja“) novel, but I have other commitments now.

Q. There have been a couple of movies released (the most recent starring Katie Holmes) called “First Daughter”.  In addition, chick lit author Mitali Perkins has published books using the same title.  Did any of these influence your decision when it came to picking a title for your book?

A. To be honest, I don’t know about any of these. “First Daughter” was the perfect title for this novel.

Q.  Did you start writing “First Daughter” knowing exactly who the villains were, or did it come to you as you continued to write?

A. Actually, the main villain began to write himself as I got further into the book. He was only fully fleshed out in the writing. This often happens with some of my best characters. Funny, that.

Q.  You ended “First Daughter” in a way that leaves it open for a sequel.  Any chance that such a sequel is in the works?

A. Absolutely. From the beginning, I conceived of Jack McClure have many, many adventures. The next one is already in my head, and very interesting it is, too. I’m hoping that as soon as I finish the next Jason Bourne book, due out next summer, I’ll be able to get back to Jack.

Q.  Let’s end with my usual bookish questions! What kind of books do you like to read? What is your favorite book? Who is your favorite author? Lastly, what are you reading now and why?

A. Your readers might take a look at my Web site to see some of my favorite novels, but here are some current favorite authors: Roberto Bolano, Martin Amis, Don DeLillo, Laura Restrepo. “Cryptonomicon” by Neal Stephenson is simply astonishing. Right now, I’m reading “Theft” by an Australian writer named Peter Carey. A friend of mine recommended him. It’s about an artist and his brother. My wife and I have a good friend who’s an artist, so I thought it would be of particular interest. But the writer who has had the most powerful and lasting influence on me is Colin Wilson, especially his seminal work, “The Outsider,” in which I first began to recognize myself.

 

There you have it folks.  Thanks again to Eric Van Lustbader for stopping by!  I’m already excited for the sequel, and I’m sure you will be too, once you’ve read “First Daughter“.  As I mentioned above, my review of this book will be posted later this week along with more chances to win a copy of your own.  For now, leave a comment on this post about my interview with Eric and you’ll be entered to win 🙂  Good luck.

Don’t forget that “First Daughter” comes out today! Stop by and pick up your own copy here 🙂

Edit: I never got around to my review…. it’s coming sometime. But I’ll be picking a winner on October 10, so you all have a few more days to enter.

Missed my last post?  It was GIVEAWAY WINNER: “THE QUESTORY OF ROOT KARBUNKULUS” BY KAMILLA REID

Missed my last review?  It was REVIEW: “ONE MORE YEAR” BY SANA KRASIKOV

Well the moment you’ve all been waiting for…. and actually you’ve waited a few extra days so thank you for your patience!  It’s time to announce the winner of “The Questory of Root Karbunkulus” by Kamilla Reid giveaway!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I’ve tallied up the comments and those with extra entries due to blogging about the contest.  To keep it fair, I asked my sister to randomly pick a winner.  So without any further ado…….. the winner is………… Shanna!  Shanna said: “I’d love to read this book because I keep reading rave reviews and the interviews with Ms. Reid are fascinating. This is one my daughter and I could read together.”  She also blogged about the contest which gave her another entry- the winning one!

A big congratulations to Shana, and thank you to everyone else who stopped by and entered.  Stay tuned for my next giveaway!

 

Missed my last post?  It was FREE EBOOK: “JUMBLE PIE” BY MELANIE LYNNE HAUSER

Missed my last review?  It was REVIEW: “ONE MORE YEAR” BY SANA KRASIKOV

Seen my latest giveaway?  Win a copy of “The Questory of Root Karbunkulus” by Kamilla Reid. (ENDS AUGUST 15th)

Well I know we’re always looking for new books, so I thought I’d pass on some news.  I just received an email telling me that “Jumble Pie” by Melanie Lynne Hauser is available, free in ebook form, to anyone who would like to read it!

Here’s the (very amusing!) lines quoted on Melanie’s website: “IN THE BEGINNING, there was the pie.  The pie was without form and texture (and any manner of identifiable filling), and darkness was upon the face of the Home Ec Teacher…”

Sounds like a fun read!  Melanie’s website is here.  Simply enter your email address at the bottom of the page to recieve your ebook copy.

Missed my last post?  It was BOOK BUZZ

Missed my last review?  It was REVIEW: “ONE MORE YEAR” BY SANA KRASIKOV

Book Buzz

Seen my latest giveaway?  Win a copy of “The Questory of Root Karbunkulus” by Kamilla Reid. (ENDS AUGUST 15th)

The Literate Housewife tagged me for a book meme created for the general market of books.  This is a pretty good one 🙂  It’ll be interesting to follow.  Here’s what’s going on:

I am going to list three categories of books. 3 MUST Read Books, 3 Keep Your Eyes on These, and 3 Look For These Soon. Keeping with the theme, I am going to tag at least 3 bloggers. They should put these same lists on their blog but SUBTRACT one book from each list and ADD one of their own. Then they should tag at least 3 more bloggers. It will be fun to see how the lists change as it goes around the blogosphere. Please come back to this post and leave a comment so I can see how the lists are changing as they go around the blogosphere. Since this is Book Buzz…please keep your lists to titles released in 2007-2009.

 

3 MUST Read Books:
The Girl Who Stopped Swimming by Joshilyn Jackson
Somebody Else’s Daughter by Elizabeth Brundage
One More Year by Sana Krasikov (my add)

3 Keep Your Eyes on These:
The Memory of Water by Karen White
The Questory of Root Karbunkulus by Kamilla Reid (my add)
The Gargoyle by Andrew Davidson- great book (my review isn’t up yet)

3 Look For These Soon:
The White Mary by Kira Salak  (my add)
Songs for the Missing by Stewart O’Nan
Aberrations by Penelope Przekop

I tag…

Meghan at the Medieval bookworm

Lenore at Presenting Lenore

Christine at She Reads Books

Ruth at Bookish Ruth

Edit: I see Jen beat me to tagging Meghan, so I’ll add another!

 

Missed my last post? It was TUESDAY THINGERS

Missed my last review?  It was REVIEW: “ONE MORE YEAR” BY SANA KRASIKOV

Tuesday Thingers


Today’s question, courtesy of Marie: Favorite bookstores. What’s your favorite bookstore? Is it an online store or a bricks-and-mortar store? How often do you go book shopping? Is your favorite bookstore (or bookstores) listed as a favorite in LT? Do you attend events at local bookstores? Do you use LT to find events?

My favorite bookstore is Amazon.com.  I feel a little odd saying that.  I really do wish that I had a physical store that I loved.  Honestly, there aren’t any good bookstores nearby.  I like Barnes&Noble- I really do (I’ve listed the nearby ones as favs on LT), but their prices just aren’t as good as Amazon’s.  And I really enjoy just sitting in Barnes&Noble when I go- comfy seats and yummy coffee smells.  I usually do end up buying something, but I cringe as I do, because I know that later when I check on Amazon- it will be cheaper there.

I go book shopping all the time.  I have so many wishlists on Amazon.com! They’re sorted by genre and are all several pages long.  My shopping cart has about 25 things in it, and I gradually buy them one or two at a time.  I preorder lots of stuff though, months in advance, so it’s great when something shows up on my doorstep and I forgot I bought it.

I don’t attend events at local bookstores.  There just aren’t any good ones! I keep an eye on the events section on LT though.  I live in hope that one day my fav authors will drop by 🙂

Missed my last post?  It was REVIEW: “ONE MORE YEAR” BY SANA KRASIKOV

Seen my latest giveaway?  Win a copy of “The Questory of Root Karbunkulus” by Kamilla Reid. (ENDS AUGUST 15th)

Title: “One More Year

Author: Sana Krasikov

Format: Paperback ARC

Number of Pages: 240

ISBN: 978-0385524391

Publisher: Spiegel & Grau

Date of Publication: August 12, 2008 (TODAY!)

5 stars: I wish there were more stories!

 

Stories by Sana Krasikov

 

“At one in the morning, Maia awakens to a deep winter chill, sits up, and pulls a scratchy wool blanket over her comforter.  In another two hours, she knows, she’ll wake up again, this time damp in her flannel gown as the radiator blasts hot air.”

(“One More Year” pg 30*)

I’ve never been a fan of short stories.  I’ve tried to read a few, including some that are praised continuously- such as those by Flannery O’Conner.  I could never get into them!  There are only a few short pages for the audience to get to know the characters, and it never seems like enough time for me.  So even before picking up this book, I was already thinking negatively about it, and I was sure I wasn’t going to like it.  This was just another collection of short stories that would leave me wondering why I read it in the first place.  Well, “One More Year” happily proved me wrong. 

Sana Krasikov’s book contains eight stories, many of which involve characters from the former Soviet Union, Russia, and/or Georgia.  It’s oddly fitting that I began to read this book at the same time that Russia invaded Georgia.  I was unable to shake that information as I read, and couldn’t help but feel an even deeper connection to Krasikov’s characters.  Krasikov herself grew up in the former of Soviet Republic of Georgia, and I’m sure she wasn’t expecting these events to unfold right as her book went on sale. 

One of my favorite stories is “Maia in Yonkers” which tells the story of a woman and her son who comes to visit her.  To me it starts slow and doesn’t really evolve until the son actually arrives, but the interaction between mother and son is fantastic.  The ending is perfect, and I wish I could write more about it, but I’ll stop now so I don’t spoil those who haven’t yet read this book.

I would definitely recommend this book.  Once a short story hater, I have now been converted!  Sana Krasikov’s stories draw you in.  You feel for her characters, which to me proves that Krasikov has succeeded where many have failed.  Pick this one up today!  You can purchase it from Amazon here.

 

*these lines may change in the final publication of the book

Missed my last post?  It was TUESDAY THINGERS

Missed my last review?  It was REVIEW: “THE WHITE MARY” BY KIRA SALAK

(This is a test post from Microsoft Word- we’ll see if it works!)

 Seen my latest giveaway?  Win a copy of “The Questory of Root Karbunkulus” by Kamilla Reid.

Today’s question, courtesy of the Boston Bibliophile, is only marginally about LibraryThing but I thought it might be a fun question anyway. It’s more about blogging. Everyone who participates in Tuesday Thingers has a blog- some have a book blog, some have several, some have blogs that are more personal, etc.- and we’ve all chosen to participate in this particular way of networking to build traffic, get to know each other, etc. So my question is: what other weekly memes or round robins do you participate in? Is this the only one? Why Tuesday Thingers and not some other weekly Tuesday meme? Or do you do more than one?

 

 

 

 

 

My answer: I only do the Tuesday Thingers weekly meme! I admit that I’ve considered some of the others. I know that Booking Through Thursday, and Sunday Salon are very popular (especially the latter). While it would be great to get the extra traffic and hits, right now I only post a couple of times a week- and I try to keep them half reviews, half other stuff. It wouldn’t really be fair to my readers, or to myself that I spend more time doing memes/visiting those who have done them, instead of reading and reviewing.

As for why Tuesday Thingers and not one of the others? Well I found Tuesday Thingers through LT first, so I’ve stuck with it. I missed the first week, one week while I was on vacation, but other than that, I’ve faithfully posted my Tuesday Thingers post every Tuesday.

So maybe in the future I’ll consider the other memes, but for right now- I’ll just stick with LT’s Tuesday Thingers.

 

Missed my last post?  It was GIVEAWAY WINNER

Missed my last review?  It was REVIEW: “THE WHITE MARY” BY KIRA SALAK

Seen my latest giveaway?  Win a copy of “The Questory of Root Karbunkulus” by Kamilla Reid.

 

A Woman's Journey of Self-Discovery

So my giveaway for “Surviving Ben’s Suicide” by C. Comfort Shields ended the other day and I know you’re all curious as to who the winner is.  Now, normally I pick a random entry, or have a family member pick a random entry, to keep it fair.  This time I did it differently.

While I appreciated all of the comments left on the review, and interview, there were a few people who I believed were a better fit for this book.  In the end I couldn’t decide between two, so I decided I would add my personal copy to the giveaway to make two books going to two winners.  It’s my hope that these books are going to people who can really benefit from them. 

So without further ado, the winners are: Ruth and Debbie.  Congrats to both of them.

 

Missed my last post?  It was REVIEW: “THE WHITE MARY” BY KIRA SALAK

Seen my latest giveaway?  Win a copy of “The Questory of Root Karbunkulus” by Kamilla Reid.

 

Title: “The White Mary

Author: Kira Salak

Format: Paperback ARC

Number of Pages: 351

ISBN: 978-0805088472

Publisher: Henry Holt and Co.

Date of Publication: August 5, 2008

4 stars: An Enthralling Jungle Adventure

 

A Novel
 

 

“Beauty intrudes upon her.  Flocks of red and green parrots.  Butterflies of blue and gold dancing over the black waters.  Crowned pigeons with their regal headdresses of gray plumage.  She would like to know this beauty, not just see it.” 

(“The White Mary” pg 3*)

I wasn’t sure if I was going to like this book, considering most of the reviews I’ve seen have either loved it or hated it.  After reading it, I find that I’m somewhere in the middle, but leaning more toward the ‘loved it’ group.  Like many of the books I’ve recently read, this book floats between the past and the present.  Marika, the main character, is a journalist who returns from the Congo and decides to write a biography about the dead journalist who inspired her to take up the profession.  “The White Mary” starts out later- when Marika is in Papua New Guinea- searching for that journalist after hearing he may still be alive.  While I found the Papua New Guinea (PNG from now on) parts to be the better parts of the book, it took me awhile to get into them.   I would have preferred to start the book with chapter 2- which takes place in Boston, and introduces us to Markia instead of jumping right into Marika’s journey through PNG. 

I felt that once everything was explained, for example why Markia was in PNG, what sent her there… etc, the book flowed nicely.  Honestly when I finished I couldn’t believe that there was so much to read about PNG without it seeming repetitive.  But everything seemed fresh and unique, and made me thank God that I was not going through it!  Besides the way the book began, there was only one thing that annoyed me.  Throughout the story, “The White Mary” is told from different points of view.  While Marika tells the majority, part of it is told by her guide Tobo.  Everything he ‘thinks’ is in English, with the exception of a few words scattered here and there which are not in English and are italicized.  I just didn’t see the need to have them. 

After finishing this book, I really did wonder if this had happened to the author, Kira Salak.  After all, she’s a journalist who traveled to PNG and many of her experiences inspired this novel.  I wonder if there was a certain journalist who inspired her to write, and if he or she disappeared.  And maybe, just maybe, she searched in PNG?  Only Salak knows the truth, but in any case her fictional account is one that I would recommend to those looking for an adventure.

 

*these lines may change in the final publication of the book

Missed my last post?  It was TUESDAY THINGERS

Missed my last review?  It was REVIEW, INTERVIEW, AND GIVEAWAY: “THE QUESTORY OF ROOT KARBUNKULUS: ITEM ONE: MIIST”

Seen my giveaway? Enter for a chance to win “Surviving Ben’s Suicide“  by C. Comfort Shields!  Only a few more days to do so!

And my newest giveaway can be found here!

Today’s question, courtesy of The Boston Bibliophile: Cataloging sources. What cataloging sources do you use most? Any particular reason? Any idiosyncratic choices, or foreign sources, or sources you like better than others? Are you able to find most things through LT’s almost 700 sources?

Well first off guys, sorry for missing last week’s topic.  I was at the beach (yay!) but had very little internet access (*sob*).  But I’m back 🙂  On to the question! 

Okay- Lol Amazon is definitely the source I use all the time.  I’ve actually never even used one of the other sources.  I’ve generally been able to find what I’m trying to add every time.  Sometimes I have to try a different way, going from title to author to ISBN… sometimes I have to go through titles listed under on the specific author page, but I’ve always been able to find what I needed.  You go Amazon! (Well despite my recent troubles with them/ebay, I still admit I like Amazon… can’t say the same for ebay though!)

 

Missed my last post?  It was REVIEW, INTERVIEW, AND GIVEAWAY: “THE QUESTORY OF ROOT KARBUNKULUS: ITEM ONE: MIIST”

Seen my latest giveaway? Enter for a chance to win “Surviving Ben’s Suicide“  by C. Comfort Shields!  Only a few more days to do so!

Title: “The Questory of Root Karbunkulus: Item One: Miist”

Author: Kamilla Reid

Format: Paperback

Number of Pages: 316

ISBN: 978-1419664045

Publisher: BookSurge Publishing

Date of Publication: May 31, 2007

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 “The race of a lifetime is about to begin!”

“It began in the lower left foot of the Cradle, a curving leaf of opulent design.  As if someone had taken a brush, dipped it in liquid marble and spread its exquisite alabaster brilliance up along each ornate spindle, each detailed sun and moon and star that embossed the long surface of the railing, each luxurious baluster thickly detailed with angelic children.  And when the entire Cradle was a radiant glow of gold and pearlescence, a sheer white veil of light drifted from an unapparent point overhead and draped over it.”

(“The Questory of Root Karbunkulus: Item One: Miist” pg 6) 

 

When you’re searching for a new book to read, authors and publishers have only a few things they can do to influence whether or not you pick up that book.  One is the cover art.  I’ll admit, after picking up “The Questory of Root Karbunkulus” that it is hard not to compare it to Harry Potter.  Think about it: three kids in cloaks- two boys (one with red hair and one with dark brown) and one girl, a giant castle in the background surrounded by a creepy forest and maybe a lake, with a large bird with red and yellow feathers framing the picture….  But I understand what they were going for.  Essentially they’re saying, “hey if you liked Harry Potter, you’ll like this book!”  Guess what?  They’re right!  Anyways, another factor in whether or not you’ll buy a book is the title.  In this case, “the Questory of Root Karbunkulus” really stands out and I think it works well.  (Although can I say it is a pain to type it out each time!!)

 As for the writing, at times I was struck by the detailing.  The excerpt above, for example, is strikingly beautiful.  It reads like poetry.  This is what creative writing teachers strive to bring of their students.  It’s descriptive writing at it’s best.  And there are many places throughout the book exactly like this.  But it’s not just beautiful descriptive writing.  It’s adventure… mystery…. intrigue…. danger…. and magic.  And unlike the last book I read (my review for “Cruel Summer” is here) this is a book that is interesting and exciting for all ages- not just children or young adults.

And as for me comparing it to Harry Potter, yes there are similarities.  But I think that any new book about children and magic will end up being compared to HP.  Reid’s book is certainly different in many ways, and unlike HP where I hated Hermione, in this book I absolutely adore Root.  Shouldn’t that be the goal for authors?  To have people like their characters?  In this case, Reid succeeds, and I have no trouble recommending this book to others.

Still not convinced?  Check out the book’s trailer here.  And stop by the book’s website, there are a bunch of fun things to do 🙂  But don’t forget to come back here!  My interview with the author Kamilla Reid, and details on how to win a copy of the book are below!

 ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥

Kamilla Reid, the author of “The Questory of Karbunkulus: Item One: Miist”thankfully agreed to have a short interview with me.  Welcome Kamilla, and thank you for spending some time with us.

Q. I know that the title of your book is named after your main character. Can you tell us how you came up with that unique (and hard to type!) name? And what came first- the story or your character’s name?

A. Y’know it’s funny, in one day, miraculously I heard the word used in both of its quite opposing definitions ( I know! What are the odds of that?) And I knew right then and there that that was to be her name. Of course I had to ‘K-ify’ it to make it uniquely hers. It still kinda freaks me out, the serendipity of it. And, though I do love the name I agree that it’s horrendous to spell.

Q. In my review above I mention what comes to mind when I see this cover. Did you have any input in what the cover art would be and are you pleased with the final result?

A. Being that I was the writer/director of a theatre company, I had immediate access to some pretty amazing talent. One being Matthew Brett, who was my set designer at the time. He was the perfect choice as illustrator, not just because of his abilities but because he and I already had a comfortable working relationship. So, I gave him the copy of the manuscript and from there we met regularly and honed the image to what you’ll see over at Book Cover Lovers. It was done in watercolor and is actually quite big, coming up to my waist! I remember we had a bit of a struggle with the green ribbon because, in the first one he did, the ribbon was too small to fit the title and, believe it or not he had to do the whole thing over again! But overall it was great fun and a thrill to watch it develop!

Q. I was pleasantly surprised to see illustrations throughout the text. How was it working with your illustrator, Matthew Brett? I imagine that at times it could have been difficult to get your exact vision down on paper.

A. Sometimes I’d give him the evil eye and say “You didn’t read that part, did you?” because it was so different from the description I’d given. But other times it worked to my advantage. For instance, my initial description of the Sea Wraith had a long, metallic type of mandible coming out from the hood. But Matthew drew something that looked like it actually inhabited the sea and I loved it so much better.

Q. I’ve heard that there may be a second book in the works…? Can you tell us anything about that? I for one am looking forward to it!

A. Oh yes, indeedy! There are five more books to come in the series, one for each successional item and each ending with the elimination of a team. So, in this first book, out of all those hundreds of teams, only six remain to compete for the next item (book 2). And of those, only five will advance to the next item (book 3), then four teams will race for item three (book 4) and so on until only two teams remain to go after the last item. Of course there is another, deeper, darker agenda going on and Root will learn the terrifying truth behind the mysterious items. She will also discover, to her horror that she is not a player in an innocent kid’s race but a pawn in a vicious adult game.

Q. And like my other interviews, let’s finish with my usual final bookish questions! What kind of books do you like to read? What is your favorite book? Who is your favorite author? Finally, what are you reading now and why?

A. It totally runs the gamut. Right now I’m reading my first YA romance, 13 Little Blue Envelopes by Maureen Johnson. Then I’m on to Coraline by Neil Gaiman (finally!), The Mysterious Benedict Society by Trenton Lee Stewart and Making Money by Terry Pratchett. Woohoo! I loved Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert and Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel García Márquez. I don’t think I could pick a favorite. There are way too many! I chose them all for different reasons, sometimes to see what’s out there in the teen world but mostly just to roll around in another’s sandbox for awhile.
Thank you so very much for for granting me this time to share with you and your readers. It was a thrill and an absolute pleasure!

 A big thank you to Kamilla for stopping by!  You can buy her book- “The Questory of Root Karbunkulus: Item One: Miist” here.  If you’re interested in following her while she’s on her book blog tour, watch for her stops here.  Don’t forget to watch the book’s trailer, and stop by the book’s website.

ATTENTION: Kamilla and Blog Stop Tours graciously sent me prizes for one lucky commenter!  That’s right, one winner will receive a copy of “The Questory of Root Karbunkulus: Item One: Miist”, a bookmark, and a dog-tags.  Did I mention that the book is autographed?  To enter, simply comment below and tell my why you want to read this book, AND something about Kamilla’s interview with me.  The contest will end August 15th 12:00am EST.  For an extra entry, blog about this contest and let me know about it.  Good luck! 

 

Thanks to Kamilla Reid, and Dorothy from Authors on Tour.

http://www.pumpupyourbookpromotion.wordpress.com/
 
 
Missed my last post?  It was REVIEW: “CRUEL SUMMER” BY ALYSON NOEL
Seen my latest giveaway? Enter for a chance to win “Surviving Ben’s Suicide“  by C. Comfort Shields!  Only a few more days to do so!
 
 
 

 

Hi guys, I’m not dead!  I was on a much needed vacation last week at the beach and got in a lot of reading 🙂  Not much internet access though, so I wasn’t able to post, or leave comments.  Anyways, here’s a review of my most recent LTER book.

 

 

Title: “Cruel Summer

Author: Alyson Noël

Format: Paperback

Number of Pages: 240

ISBN: 978-0312355111

Publisher: St. Martin’s Griffin

Date of Publication: May 27, 2008

2 stars: There are better teen books out there

 

“Message: This is the last txt msg Ull get from me bcuz IM packed N ready N lvg 4 LAX soon so I wanna say bye N also 2 say last nite was soooo fun but it also makes lvg that much harder I still cant believe my rents R doing this 2 me O well Plz say bye 2 Levi 4 me N plz give him m y email cuz I 4got 2 K, ttfn, Colby” (pg 4 “Cruel Summer“)

I’ve never read anything by Noël before, and after this, I’m not likely to.  It’s not that the book was horrible, but it was definitely not meant for me.  It’s clearly young adult- but not really written in a way that is enjoyable for adults too.  If I had to classify it, I’d call it a bad cross between “Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants” (with the whole girl going to Greece thing) and books by Meg Cabot (which by the way I very much enjoy).

Not many of the characters are likable, especially not the main ones.  Colby is a spoiled girl who gives teenagers a bad reputation.  Granted her (in mid-divorce) parents aren’t great, but Colby is whiny, shallow, and self-centered.  After a few pages I had no desire to read any more about her.  And her ‘text speak’ made me want to throw the book across the room- thankfully the whole book wasn’t like that or I probably would have.  I also felt that everything that happened was predictable.  Without spoiling anyone more than the book cover does, basically a girl is forced to spend a summer in Greece with her aunt- hates it in the beginning, but grows to love it.  Really who didn’t see that coming?  From her acceptance of her aunt, to the identity of ‘anonymous’ on her blog, there were very little surprises.  There was one twist, which I found didn’t fit in with the rest of the book at all- and in fact interrupted what little flow there was.

The one redeeming quality of this story was that it was told through emails, journal entries, and letters- all of which flowed quite nicely and kept the readers informed of what was going on.  Not everyone can pull off this type of writing, but Alyson Noël did.  But overall I would not recommend this book.  Not even for young adults or teens.  It’s easy reading, but believe it or not it took me awhile to get through it- simply because I found it so boring and Colby so annoying!

(Thanks to LTER and St. Martin’s Griffin)

 

Missed my last post?  It was BOOK CLUB CLASSICS- CLASSICS MEME.

Missed my last review?  It was REVIEW, INTERVIEW, AND GIVEAWAY: “SURVIVING BEN’S SUICIDE” BY C. COMFORT SHIELDS.