Posts

Showing posts from November, 2010

Gratitude Giveaway Winners

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Thank you, everyone, who stopped by and commented, followed, and entered my giveaway.  This was my first of this size and wow!  It was crazy!  (But fun!)

I'm thrilled to announce the winners of my giveaway!  Everyone has been contacted and confirmed!





Deadly Fear by Cynthia Eden goes to .......... mary kirkland!
The Drowning City by Amanda Downum goes to .......... blodeuedd!
Extraordinary by Nancy Werlin goes to .......... PinkStuff28!
The Diary of Ellen Rimbauer by Stephen King goes to .......... .Ambur.!
Kiss Me Deadly by Trisha Telep goes to ..........Lisa McGeen!
Sea by Heidi R. Kling goes to .......... Carol (jessy.wicked)!

Thanks again for all your interest -- more giveaways to come after the New Year!

Nautical Fiction Reading Challenge Selections

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As it gets closer to 2011, I'm starting to get my reading challenges in order!  For my Nautical Fiction Reading Challenge, I'm going to aim for Dinghy -- five books -- but my list is a little longer because there are so many I want to read -- I just don't know if I'll get to all of them!  Any thoughts or opinions or suggestions about my list?  Tell me!

Frans Gunnar Bengtsson - The Long Ships (this was discussed on an email list of mine and cited as a favorite by many)Kate Brailler - The Boundless Deep (whaling and reincarnation!  Who can resist?)J.D. Davies - Gentleman Captain (I've had this ARC for forever and a day) Amanda Grange - Captain Wentworth's Diary (can never have enough Wentworth)Cecilia Holland - The Soul Thief (Vikings!)Kirsten McKenzie - Captain's Wife (I don't know how this ended up on my TBR, but there ya go!)China Miéville - Kraken (I have to double check on this one, as I'm not sure it's actually nautical.  Sea monster-y, yes, …

Teaser Tuesday, Nov 30

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Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

- Grab your current read
- Open to a random page
- Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
- BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS!
- Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

This weeks' teaser is from Prelude to a Scandal by Delilah Marvelle.  It's not my usual fare, but the premise really intrigued me and so far, it's not wholly disappointing.  But it's a romance novel first so I'm a little stymied by the characters and their unusual rationalization for things.  Still, the story started off with a bang and I rather like our heroine, Justine. My teaser, long as usual, is from the opening of the book.  We learn on the first page that Justine's father is an African naturalist who wrote extensively on mating behaviors - and was imprisoned for …

Mailbox Monday, Nov 29

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Seen both at The Printed Page and The Story Siren, my Mailbox Monday/In My Mailbox for the end of November...

I'm ridiculously behind on my mailbox bragging, which is why I've so many books -- these are my new acquisitions for the last four weeks.  All titles link to GoodReads should you want to read more about them.  Tell me what you've gotten recently and/or your thoughts on any of the books I've just received!


Contests/Giveaways

From Maiden's Court, a copy of O, Julietby Robin Maxwell. 

From My Jane Austen Book Club, a copy of Bespelling Jane Austen -- signed by all the authors with a note from Janet Mullany.  And a bookmark, pen, and magnets. 


From Read All Over Reviews, a Lydia Dare four-pack!  All four books featuring the Westfield Brothers.  Have I mentioned I've recently become a little hot for werewolves?!  So this is some serious fun. 

For Review

The King's Daughter by Christie Dickason
The Metropolis Case by Matthew Gallaway
Bound Darkly (Volume 2) …

Nautical Fiction Reading Challenge for 2011

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Since JG at The Introverted Reader recommended I read Ahab's Wife; and since I see more Austen/Austen-related fiction in my future; and since I love reading challenges, I thought I'd start one of my own.



The criteria is pretty easy: if the book involves a boat, or sailing, or sailors, or Navy life -- it counts!  Once a month, I'll offer a post so folks can share reviews of their nautical-related reading.

If you'd like to participate, just sign up below!   Books for other challenges can apply to this one, and you don't have to pick your books ahead of time (but feel free to share your suggestions!).

Timeline: Jan 1, 2011 - Dec 31, 2011

Levels
Dinghy: up to 5 books
Sloop: up to 10 books
Schooner: up to 15 books
Frigate: more than 20 books


Giveaways closing today and tomorrow!

Just a reminder that the Gratitude Giveaway ends today at 5pm Eastern US.  My giveaway for Heidegger's Glasses ends tomorrow at 5pm Eastern US.  I should have winners announced on Tuesday so pop by then!

Chronicle Books Haul-idays Giveaway

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Post a list of Chronicle Books valued at up to $500 that you’d like to haul in, and you’ll be automatically entered into a drawing to WIN your list of books! And, one of your readers who comments on the post will win the list too!  Interested in creating your own list?  Do so here.

How can I resist?  I can't.  And I didn't.  My wife and I love food, crafts and travel -- which Chronicle does brilliantly -- so most of my list is made up of that -- although you'll see a few naughty narratives and some sober story-telling.  Comment with anything you find interesting -- if I win, one commenter wins too!



Some Austen mashups....

Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters by Jane Austen & Ben H. Winters; Pride and Prejudice and Zombies: Dawn of the Dreadfuls by Steve Hockensmith; Pride and Prejudice and Zombies by Jane Austen & Seth Grahame-Smith
and some gorgeous escapist fiction...

Windflower by Nick Bantock and Edoardo Ponti
as well as some sexy escapist fiction...

Smut: Volume 1

Teaser Tuesday, Nov 23

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Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

- Grab your current read
- Open to a random page
- Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
- BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS!
- Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!
As I promised yesterday, today's teaser comes from thus-far fantastic India Black by Carol K. Carr.  Now, of course, comes the hard part: what teaser to post?

As usual, my teaser is longer than two sentences but I can't resist!  In this scene, India Black is heading back home after meeting a sketchy street urchin who's helping her out with a small problem.  No spoilers in this teaser, don't worry!

It's a shame, isn't it, when a mostly law-abiding citizen and woman of property doesn't feel safe to walk the streets of London?  And after all the publicity that little sn…

What are you reading, Nov 22

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It’s Monday! What Are You Reading, is where we gather to share what we have read this past week and what we plan to read this week. It is a great way to network with other bloggers, see some wonderful blogs, and put new titles on your reading list. Hosted by Sheila @ Book Journey.

After the last few unsatisfying reads, I'm pretty happily settled with a few tasty books:

India Black by Carol K. Carr.  From the first page I literally wanted India Black, the narrator and heroine, to be my BFF.  The opening is fantastic (I'll share a teaser tomorrow!) and so far the story is fun and fast and engrossing.  I am completely overtired at work today thanks to this book (staying up too late to keep reading!).




Valley of Dry Bones (Medieval Mystery #7) by Priscilla Royal.  As the parenthetical sub-title explains, it's a medieval mystery.  I didn't realize it was seventh in a series but I'm not feeling lost in the slightest.  It's a fast read -- I'll probably finish later…

Mistress of Abha by William Newton

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Title:Mistress of Abha
Author: William Newton

Genre: Fiction (Historical)

Love/Hate?: Meh.
Rating: 2.5ish/5
Did I finish?: No, although I skipped to the end.
One-sentence summary: British colonialist is swept up in romantic reverie for the Arabia of his father's tales and follows his footsteps.

Why did I get this book?: I'm interested in the history of the Middle East.
Source:LibraryThing

Do I like the cover?: No. I mean, it is very pretty, but the novel takes place in Saudi Arabia. There is no call for a pyramid.

Did... I feel excessively grateful for the classes I took on Islamic history back in college?: YES.  There's a small map and a very brief list of major players at the beginning of the book, but hoo-boy, Newton doesn't bother explaining anything.

Did... I eventually find myself wishing my commute were shorter so I could stop reading?: YES.  When I found myself twice stopping this book with a good deal of my commute left, I decided to call a spade a spade and…

Wandering Wednesday on Thurs, 11/18

I missed Wandering Wednesday (my pseudo-meme where I share bookish links I find interesting!) to post my Gratitude Giveaway, and then today I found an interesting link I just had to share.  So, Wandering Wednesday just wandered onto Thursday.

I recently read and reviewed Gary Shteyngart's Super Sad True Love Story and today my LibraryThing monthly newsletter featured an interview with Mr Shteyngart!  He talks about a few different things, including his love for Russian literature, which then made me think of this great interview I just read, between blogger Boston Bibliophile and professional translator Lisa Hayden Espenschade (who loves Russian literature, too!).  (Which then made me think of Our Tragic Universe, another book I just read and reviewed, which features a main character in love with Russian literature.)

I could probably go on for hours like this but I'm going to stop here.  Enjoy!

Gratitude Giveaways!

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Gratitude Giveaways is a way to say thank you for being a blog follower!  This is an amazing blog hop full of fabulous giveaways -- see the end of this post for a list of participating blogs!

I'm giving away six books to six of my readers!

Deadly Fear by Cynthia Eden
The Drowning City by Amanda Downum
Extraordinary by Nancy Werlin
The Diary of Ellen Rimbauer by Stephen King
Kiss Me Deadly by Trisha Telep
Sea by Heidi R. Kling

I've tried to make this as simple as possible: comment on any post in November!  One comment, one entry.  Just make sure you submit your name and email on the entry form so I can contact you if you win!  For even more entries, follow me via Google Friend Connect, follow me on Twitter, or subscribe to my posts by email.  It's all optional, of course, so no pressure!  Contest is open to international followers! Ends Sunday, November 28th.

Note: If you comment on either my review of Heidegger's Glasses or my interview with Thaisa Frank, that counts as an …

Super Sad True Love Story by Gary Shteyngart

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Title:Super Sad True Love Story
Author:  Gary Shteyngart

Genre: Fiction (Literary / Speculative)

Love/Hate?: I liked it.  There was some hate at first, but the book grew on me.
Rating: 4/5
Did I finish?: I did -- stayed up late to do so!

Why did I get this book?: It was available as a get-it-now e-book on a day when I couldn't find anything to read.
Source: Public library
Challenges:Support Your Local Library

Do you like the cover?: Eh -- its nothing special.  Adds to hipster feel of the book, though.

First line from book:Dearest Diary, Today I've made a major decision: I am never going to die.

Review: This book is more hip than I am so I'm probably not as swoon-y about it as I should be. Don't get me wrong; the book is good, but there were some aspects of it that didn't resonate for me.  I'll admit up front that the sexual misadventures of a 40-year old white guy aren't really going to move me much so I was feeling rather hostile toward the start of the novel.…

Interview with Thaisa Frank

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I'm thrilled to offer an interview with Thaisa Frank, author of Heidegger's Glasses.  (I'm absolutely swoon-y over it!)

You've probably been asked this a million times, but where did the idea of Heidegger’s Glasses come from? Who was the first character to come alive for you?

I guess the first person who talked to me was Elie. Over twenty years ago, when I’d written just one collection of short stories, I heard a woman’s voice from deep below the earth. She lived in Germany during World War II and was helping people answer letters to the dead. I knew her name was Elie Schacten. I knew she looked a little like my father’s mother who had died when he was six and left two children and a husband who was a Presbyterian theologian and too sophisticated to believe in heaven. (Her name was Grace and I thank her at the end of my book.)

I could feel her claustrophobia. I also heard some of the letters. I wrote sixteen pages and stopped because I knew this woman lived in a worl…

Heidegger's Glasses by Thaisa Frank

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Title:Heidegger's Glasses
Author: Thaisa Frank

Genre: Fiction (Historical)

Love/Hate?: Loved.  Totally one of my top 10 of 2010.
Rating: 5/5
Did I finish?:  YES.
One-sentence summary: Translators living in an underground compound write letters for the dead during the end of World War II.

Why did I get this book?: I was actually intrigued by the Heidegger connection but found the book was way more than just a look at the philosopher.
Source:TLC Book Tours

Do I like the cover?: Yes. 

Did...I find I could understand this novel despite being totally ignorant about philosophy?: YES.  There's a philosopher as a character and some lovely passages that have a sort of philosophical bent to them, but the writing and the plot grab you immediately.

Was...I reminded a little of Michael Ondaatje and Jeanette Winterson?: YES.  The book is delicate without being precious or overwrought; the essence of the story is there without being too thin or leaving the reader at arm's length.

Did...this book…

Teaser Tuesday, Nov 9

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Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

- Grab your current read
- Open to a random page
- Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
- BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS!
- Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!


I've got two teasers for this week!  My first teaser: a giveaway!  This Thursday I'll be reviewing Heidegger's Glasses; on Monday, I'll be posting an interview with the author, Thaisa Frank.  Comments on both will count as entries toward a giveaway for a copy of Heidegger's Glasses.  I hope you'll stop by!  (I did a previous Teaser Tuesday from it -- such a great book!)

This week's teaser is from Super Sad True Love Story by Gary Shteyngart.  It's a super hip book at the moment, and it might be too hip for me.  I'm enjoying it -- it's very satirical -- bu…

Our Tragic Universe by Scarlett Thomas

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Title:Our Tragic Universe
Author: Scarlett Thomas

Genre: Fiction (Chick Lit/Literary)

Love/Hate?: I really can't say. Both?
Rating: 4/5
Did I finish?: Yes -- I was consumed by it!

Why did I get this book?: The cover, and the font, and it was an author I'd never heard of.
Source:NetGalley

Do you like the cover?: Yes.  Quite striking, and very appropriate to the novel.

First line from book:I was reading about how to survive the end of the universe when I got a text message from my friend Libby.

Review: This is a challenging book to review: the entire time I was reading it, I was convinced I hated it; only I'd stop reading it and find myself chewing over the themes of the story or the narrator or the promise of where the novel was going.  In the end, I have to say this is a very good and well-written novel that is maddening and thought-provoking and a little bit pretty.

The story is fairly simple: our narrator, Meg, struggles with her life.  She's living with someone she thi…