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Showing posts from February, 2013

Between Two Thorns by Emma Newman

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Title: Between Two Thorns
Author: Emma Newman

Genre: Fiction (Contemporary / Fantasy / Parallel Worlds / UK / Bath / Fey / Sorcery / Conspiracy)
Publisher/Publication Date: Angry Robot (3/1/2013)
Source: NetGalley

Rating: Okay to liked, depending on my mood.
Did I finish?: I did.
One-sentence summary: The world is split into three realms, populated with humans, 'chosen' ones, and the fey, and the treaties and rules dividing and managing those realms are dangerously challenged.
Reading Challenges:E-book

Do I like the cover?: I adore it -- love the colors, the font, the layout, design -- it is dark and mischievous and imaginative. (The story within isn't totally a let down.)

I'm reminded of...: Tina Connolly

First line: That night in Bath was the third time Sam's beer bladder had gotten him into trouble.

Buy, Borrow, or Avoid?: Borrow if you like novels focusing on the fairy realm.

Why did I get this book?: The dual worlds of Bath / Aquae Sulis.

Review: Halfway through this boo…

The House Girl by Tara Conklin

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Title:The House Girl
Author: Tara Conklin

Genre: Fiction (Historical / Dual Narrative / New York City / 1850s / Virginia / Slavery / Artists / Reparations / Lawyer / Underground Railroad)
Publisher/Publication Date: William Morrow (2/12/2013)
Source:TLC Book Tours

Rating: Loved -- got double teary at the end!
Did I finish?: Yes!
One-sentence summary: A Virginia slave in the 1850s and a New York lawyer in 2004 are tied together by art, a lawsuit on slavery, and one man.
Reading Challenges:Historical Fiction

Do I like the cover?: I do, actually -- very pretty, striking, kind of fits the mood of the story.

I'm reminded of...: Tracy Chevalier, Barbara Kingsolver

First line: Mister hit Josephine with the palm of his hand across her left cheek and it was then she knew she would run.

Buy, Borrow, or Avoid?: Borrow or buy if you like meaty historical fiction that tackles heavy themes without being heavy handed!

Why did I get this book?: I was super curious about the slavery, art, and reparations co…

The Silence of Bonaventure Arrow by Rita Leganski

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Title:The Silence of Bonaventure Arrow
Author: Rita Leganski

Genre: Fiction (Historical / 1950s / New Orleans / Widow / Catholic / Murder Mystery / Supernatural / Magical Realism / Faith / Skeletons in the Closet)
Publisher/Publication Date: Harper Paperbacks (2/26/2013)
Source:TLC Book Tours

Rating: Liked a very good deal.
Did I finish?: Yes!
One-sentence summary: A boy, born mute in 1950s New Orleans, becomes the vessel through which is fractured loved ones find peace and happiness.

Do I like the cover?: I do, very much, but I do confuse the sparkles with snow, which doesn't work as this novel is set in New Orleans!

I'm reminded of...: Sarah Addison Allen

First line: Bonaventure Arrow didn't make a peep when he was born, and the doctor nearly took him for dead.

Buy, Borrow, or Avoid?: Borrow if you want an atmospheric Southern novel in the vein of Sarah Addison Allen.

Why did I get this book?: The title, the cover, the premise of 1950s New Orleans...

Review: Set in New Orleans and s…

Mailbox Monday, Feb 25

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My last week hosting Mailbox Monday!! Mailbox Monday is a weekly meme where bloggers share their book arrivals -- and the rest of us grow our TBRs!

March's host is Caitlin @ chaotic compendiums so be sure to stop by her blog next week!

If you have a blog, share your Mailbox Monday link below; but if you don't, feel free to get your brag on in the comments!




My Mailbox Monday, Feb 25

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So our snowstorm turned into a rainstorm, which I have mixed feelings about: I suppose I'm glad we don't have another foot of snow but all this rain is making everything a slushy, icy mess!  Oh, New England...

Here are my arrivals for the week.  To learn more about a book, click on the title -- it'll open in a new tab/window.

What did you get this week?

For Review















Winners!

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Sorry for the wait -- had a chance to spend the day with friends I hadn't seen in a while, and we did some marathon lazing: mimosas, Cards Against Humanity, ice cream, and lots of catching up.  It was wonderful and just what I needed.  And now, winners!

The winner of Driving Alone is ... Rhonda!

The winner of The Sign of the Weeping Virgin is ... Melinda!

Congrats to the winners!  Folks have until Wed to respond or I'll draw again.  If you didn't win, check out my open giveaways -- more coming!

Weekend reads and yet more snow...

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Apparently we've got snow coming this Sunday and the following week, making this three (or is it four?) solid weekends of snow.  I mean, I get this is winter and all, but I've grown accustomed to Boston's milder winters.

My weekend read is The Silence of Bonaventure Arrow by Rita Leganski.  (I'm still waking up so my little tableau features my breakfast: yogurt-pineapple-banana-spinach smoothie. Odd color, good taste.)  I'll be (reluctantly) finishing Carol K. Carr'sIndia Black and the Shadows of Anarchy today -- another great read with characters I want to linger with!

What are you reading this weekend?

A Future Arrived by Phillip Rock

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Title:A Future Arrived
Author: Phillip Rock

Genre: Fiction (Historical / UK / 1930s / Jazz Age / Country Estate / Social Class / Family Saga / Journalism / Marriage / Military)
Publisher/Publication Date: William Morrow Paperbacks (2/5/2013)
Source:TLC Book Tours

Rating: Loooooooooooooved.
Did I finish?: Oh yes, and cried at the end!!
One-sentence summary: The final novel in the Greville family saga, as parents from one war watch their children experience their own war.
Reading Challenges:Historical Fiction

Do I like the cover?: I do -- less so than the previous two, but it matches the set.

I'm reminded of...: Anya Seton

First line: Spring came at last after a winter of snow and icy winds that had sent trees crashing into the tangled depths of Leith Wood and had blocked the narrow country roads with drifts.

Buy, Borrow, or Avoid?: Borrow or buy -- this one, and the other two.

Why did I get this book?: Like I was going to pass up reading this final volume!

Review: I am seriously not ready for th…

Circles of Time by Phillip Rock

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Title:Circles of Time
Author: Phillip Rock

Genre: Fiction (Historical / UK / 192s / post-WWI / Country Estate / Social Class / Family Saga / PTSD / Journalism / Marriage)
Publisher/Publication Date: William Morrow Paperbacks (1/2/2013)
Source:TLC Book Tours

Rating: Loooooooooooooooooooooooooooved.
Did I finish?: Yep.
One-sentence summary: Following World War I, the residents of Abingdon Pryory, their employees, and their friends come to terms with the changing world of post-War Britian.
Reading Challenges:Historical Fiction

Do I like the cover?: Yes -- stunning. While I know they're just ambiance shots, I did mentally decide what couple it represented, and was satisfied.

I'm reminded of...: Anya Seton

First line: He drove up to Flanders in the early summer of 1921 knowing that it would be for the last time.

Buy, Borrow, or Avoid?: Borrow or buy, but start with Book One and have Book Three on hand to immediately begin!

Why did I get this book?: The cover, the setting, the era (and of cour…

The Shadow Wars by Rod Rees

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Title:The Shadow Wars
Author: Rod Rees

Genre: Fiction (Futuristic / Computer Simulation / Historical Figures Fictionalized / Nazis / Historical Anachronisms / War Games / Conspiracy)
Publisher/Publication Date: William Morrow Paperbacks (2/19/2013)
Source:TLC Book Tours

Rating: Okay to liked.
Did I finish?: I did.
One-sentence summary: The further adventures of jazz singer Ella and her coterie of Resistance fighters in the cyber world of the Demi-Monde.

Do I like the cover?: Nope -- definitely hate the way they're designing them!

I'm reminded of...: Philip Pullman, Astro Teller

First line: I present to the Grand Council of The Most Secret Order of Grigori this report on the progress made in achieving the Final Solution.

Buy, Borrow, or Avoid?: Borrow or buy -- these are bricks! -- if you like cyber-y alterna-historical thrillers.

Why did I get this book?: I'd read the first one!

Review: First, see my review of the first book in this series -- I semi-exhaustively (it felt) recapped the …

The Demi-Monde by Rod Rees

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Title:The Demi-Monde
Author: Rod Rees

Genre: Fiction (Futuristic / Computer Simulation / Historical Figures Fictionalized / Nazis / Historical Anachronisms / War Games / Conspiracy)
Publisher/Publication Date: William Morrow (2012)
Source:TLC Book Tours

Rating: Liked, I think...
Did I finish?: I did.
One-sentence summary: A computer-based dystopia becomes a living hell for three women -- two from the real world and one from the game.

Do I like the cover?: No -- suuuper boring although I suppose it better represents the more sci-fi elements -- the hardcover design is partially to blame for my confusion, I say!

I'm reminded of...: Astro Teller

First line: Norma ran.

Am... I completely blown away by the website for the series?: YES. It is insane -- could easily be the product of a fancy, expensive video game -- tons of extras, downloads, accoutrement -- I spent hours browsing.

Buy, Borrow, or Avoid?: Borrow or buy if you like dystopias.

Why did I get this book?: I misunderstood the premise based …

Mailbox Monday, Feb 18

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Happy Mailbox Monday!

For those in the US who have Monday off, hope you're able to get some reading in. I'm spending my morning shoveling snow -- then I plan to read.

Mailbox Monday is a meme where folks share their weekly arrivals -- so what did you get?

If you've got a blog, link up -- and if you don't, feel free to brag in the comments!




My Mailbox Monday, Feb 18

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My week has been bookend-ed by snow, although this weekend's snow is vastly less dramatic than last weekend's. Thankfully, the books weren't impeded, and got some great arrivals for this week's Mailbox Monday (hosted in Feb by me!).

To learn more about any book, click on a title -- it'll open in a new tab/window.

What did you get this week?

For Review













Won



Won thanks to GoodReads



Won thanks to LibraryThing

Purchased/Gifted/Swapped



Free downloads from the Reader store

Whip Smart by Kit Brennan

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Title:Whip Smart: Lola Montez Conquers the Spaniards
Author: Kit Brennan

Genre: Fiction (Historical / 19th Century / Historical Figure Fictionalized / Courtesan / Dancing / London / Spain / Espionage)
Publisher/Publication Date: Astor + Blue Editions (2/2013)
Source: The publisher

Rating: Liked a very good deal.
Did I finish?: I raced through this one!
One-sentence summary: The spicy, sexy, wild year in the life of Lola Montez, dancer and lady of danger.
Reading Challenges:E-book, Historical Fiction

Do I like the cover?: I'm of two minds -- it's certainly eye-catching but I don't think it reflects the 1840s fashion Lola Montez wore.

I'm reminded of...: Kage Baker, Carol K. Carr

First line: "Tell us in your own words."

Buy, Borrow, or Avoid?: Borrow or buy if you love historical figures with chutzpah, zest, and a slightly overinflated sense of self.

Why did I get this book?: I'm a Lola Montez fangirl.

Review: Lola Montez was a 19th-century adventuress who started i…

Winners!

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Three giveaways ended this week!



The winner of Parlor Games is ... Nicole!

The winner of The Burn Palace is ... Jodi!

The winner of There Once Lived a Girl Who Seduced Her Sister's Husband, and He Hanged Himself is ... Kim C.!

Congrats to the winners! Folks have until end of day Tuesday to respond. If you didn't win, don't be sad: I have many great open giveaways and more coming next week.

Interview with Anne Easter Smith

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Last year (oh, wait, in 2011?!), I read and enjoyed Anne Easter Smith's novel Queen By Right, so I was delighted when Ms. Smith agreed to answer some of my questions about the skeleton discovered in York -- now verified to be the notorious King Richard III.

Your newest novel, Royal Mistress, touches on Richard's reign. When you began writing, what was your opinion of Richard? Now that you've finished, has it changed?

Yes and no. I have been fascinated by this king for forty years and become more knowledgeable about him since beginning my research for “A Rose for the Crown.” He has always seemed complicated, and I think that is what I like about him. That first book told aspects of his story from the point of view of a woman who loved him, and necessarily, his positive nature shone through. I don’t think I whitewashed him in that book, but I gave readers a very different portrait of him than that of Shakespeare or most historians through the years. Because I had to look a…