Showing posts from October, 2012

Mailbox Monday, Oct 29

I hope those of you on the East Coast are surviving snor'eastercane Sandy. It's just gray and rainy here so far. Perfect day, however, to snuggle up with my new reads! This week's Mailbox Monday below -- what did you get?

For Review



I'm wicked late on announcing giveaway winners -- we had a big tamale-making party yesterday and spent the day cooking. My house still smells divine!

The winner of The Headmaster's Wager is ... Laurie C @ Bay State Reader's Advisory!

The winner of Jane is ... Kayla B.!

Congrats to the winners! I've emailed the winners who have a few days to respond before I redraw. If you didn't win, be sure to check out my other giveaways.

Friday Reads and ...

I was kind of hoping I could include yet another cute cat-and-book picture but my cats are being totally skittish and petrified of me, my cell phone, and books. Divas.

I had planned a 1940s themed dinner with friends whom I strong-armed into reading Mr. Churchill's Secretary with me, but then one thing after another derailed our plans. I'm still hopeful -- and my wife is now chomping at the bit to make a vintage, ration-quantity meat pie in which the meat is extended, so to speak, with oats. Yum! (?) It's on my mind again since I'm reading Susan Elia MacNeal's Princess Elizabeth's Spy this weekend. I'm totally girl-crushing on that Maggie Hope.  In typical fashion, I can't limit myself to one book, so I'm also working on Water Scott's The Bride of Lammermoor (NaNoWriMo research!) and The Prescribed Burn, a collection of short stories that immediately won me when the author described them as "stories for anyone who couldn’t relate to Hold…

How the French Invented Love by Marilyn Yalom

Title:How the French Invented Love: Nine Hundred Years of Passion and Romance
Author: Marilyn Yalom

Genre: Non-Fiction (Literary Criticism / Sociology / Romance / Sex / Love / France / French Cultural)
Publisher/Publication Date: Harper Perennial (10/23/2012)
Source:TLC Book Tours

Rating: Liked.
Did I finish?: I did.
One-sentence summary: A breezy, accessible look at French attitudes toward love through 900 years of French literature.
Reading Challenges:Dewey Decimal Challenge

Do I like the cover?: I do -- it is quite French, and quite passionate. Appropriately enough, it has French flaps.

I'm reminded of...: Diane Ackerman, Molly Peacock

First line: How the French love love!

Buy, Borrow, or Avoid?: Borrow or buy -- gift for the bookish Francophile in your life!

Why did I get this book?: I saw the word 'French' and said, 'oui!'.

Review: I'm a Francophile and I love reading; I love romance and I love -- for the most part -- the dramatic tensions that come with romantic st…

The Art Forger by B.A. Shapiro

Title:The Art Forger
Author: B.A. Shapiro

Genre: Fiction (Contemporary / Boston / Art World / Art Forger / Art Dealer / Literary Thriller / Historical Figure Fictionalized / Degas)
Publisher/Publication Date: Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill (10/23/2012)
Source: The publisher.

Rating: Liked.
Did I finish?: I did -- I stayed up all night to finish because I had to know.
One-sentence summary: Boston artist Claire Roth, shadowed by scandal, makes her living selling reproductions of famous paintings when she's asked to forge a famous stolen painting and discovers it might actually be a forgery.

Do I like the cover?: By itself, I do -- before finishing the book, I liked it -- but upon finishing, I feel like it doesn't capture the heroine's flat at all (which I presume it is meant to evoke).

First line: I step back and scrutinize the paintings.

Buy, Borrow, or Avoid?: Borrow or buy -- this is a zippy fast, fascinating kind of thriller of art, deceit, and forgeries!

Why did I get this bo…

Captain Blackwell’s Prize by V.E. Ulett

Title: Captain Blackwell’s Prize
Author: V.E. Ulett

Genre: Fiction (Historical / 18th Century / Nautical / British Navy / Romance / Austen / North Africa / Mediterranean)
Publisher/Publication Date: Fireship Press (6/20/2012)
Source: The author

Rating: Liked.
Did I finish?: I did.
One-sentence summary: The violent, action-filled, and deliciously sexy adventures of a British naval captain and a young American.
Reading Challenges:Historical Fiction

Do I like the cover?: I do -- for a book that has a very heavy romantic element, I like that the cover doesn't feature bosoms, corseted women in fainting-like poses, or other romance novel-y elements.

I'm reminded of...: Susan Kaye

First line: The battle started the moment the English captain settled his hat back on his head after raising it in salute to Captain de Leon y Castillo, who stood on the quarterdeck of His Most Catholic Majesty King Carlos IV's 42 gun frigate La Trinidad.

Am... I delighted to discover a publisher of just nautic…

The Round House by Louise Erdrich

Title:The Round House
Author: Louise Erdrich

Genre: Fiction (Historical / 1980s / North Dakota / American Indian / Ojibwe / Literary Thriller / Sexual Assault / Teenage Protagonist but not YA / Coming of Age / Mystery /
Publisher/Publication Date: Harper (10/2/2012)
Source:TLC Book Tours

Rating: When I started this review, it was 'liked a good deal, maybe loved', but upon finishing, I have to say, it is totally loved. Likely top ten of 2012.
Did I finish?: I couldn't stop.
One-sentence summary: Joe, a twelve-year old Ojibwe boy in North Dakota, becomes obsessed with finding his mother's assailant and learns more about his fractured community, family, and tribe.

Do I like the cover?: I do -- I find it hypnotically striking, and the colors are appealing, and the broken pieces suggest the crime breaks up a family as well as the titular Round House.

I'm reminded of...: Ann Patchett

First line: Small trees had attacked my parents' house at the foundation.

Buy, Borrow, or Avo…

Mailbox Monday, Oct 22

Gorgeous autumn weather, lots of new books -- can a girl be any happier? (Well, I suppose if I were paid to read, then I would be the happiest, but let's be real!) This week's Mailbox Monday is full of awesome arrivals -- another wide range of genres and more fabu eye candy!

What did you get this week?

For Review



Just one giveaway ended this weekend!

The winner of Ironskin is ... Sherry R.!

Congrats to the winner!  Be sure to check out my other open giveaways -- just a few now but many more coming this week!

Friday Reads are being guarded

I'm sort of not in a reading-ish mood these days (!!) so I'm kind of dragging my feet about what to pick up this weekend.

This morning, I stacked up a few of my reads next to me (in case I started feeling read-y), and my surly old man cat decided to claim them for himself.  Later, he pushed off all the books save for The Round House so I think I'm going to start on that one first!

What are you reading this weekend?

Mr. Churchill’s Secretary by Susan Elia MacNeal

Title:Mr. Churchill’s Secretary
Author: Susan Elia MacNeal

Genre: Fiction (Historical / WWII / 1940s / Wellesley Grad / Ex-Pat / War Work / Murder Mystery / Political Thriller / Terrorism)
Publisher/Publication Date: Bantam (2012)
Source:TLC Book Tours

Rating: Liked a great deal.
Did I finish?: I did -- raced through this one.
One-sentence summary: British-born Wellesley grad Maggie Hope is hired as a typist for Prime Minister Churchill but finds herself embroiled in more serious, and dangerous, tasks.
Reading Challenges:Historical Fiction

Do I like the cover?: I adore it -- I love the retro/vintage feel of the style -- so striking!

First line: Half an hour before Diana Snyder died, she tidied up her desk in the typists' office of the Cabinet War Rooms.

Do... I love browsing the author's blog?: YES. Not only does she seem like someone who I would love to be friends with, her blog is chock-full of fabulous historical pictures and tidbits as well as cocktail recipes. Be still my heart!


Interview with Tina Connolly

Earlier in the month I read and greatly enjoyedIronskin, a gothic-y fantasy with Jane Eyre elements twisted in a fun and novel way. I'm delighted to share my interview with Tina Connolly, who shares her writing rituals, tidbits about Ironskin, and what she does when she's not writing. Don't forget to enter the giveaway for Ironskin!

What was the plot of your very first piece of fiction?

Well, I wrote a couple (extremely short) plays when I was a kid. The very first one was about a leprechaun and it didn't have any dialogue.

I realized this was problematic when I handed the parts around to my friends to act out. In junior high I wrote a whodunit called "Who Stole the Cookies From the Cookie Jar" that parodied me and my three friends performing it. As I recall, two of the caricatured parts went over well, but the third friend was not so happy, alas. (This was the beginning of realizing I was too tenderhearted to be a comedian.)

Do you have any writing rituals …

Mailbox Monday, Oct 15

My Mailbox Monday for this week is another lovely melange of titles -- more 2013 releases, so I'll be sitting on my hands for a bit. To learn more about any book, click the cover and it should open in a new tab/window.

I'm thrilled to say I'm going to be hosting Mailbox Monday in February 2013!! So excited -- I feel wicked famous/awesome/fancy.

What did you get this week?

For Review


Thanks to Meaghan at A Cineaste's Collection