Showing posts from May, 2015

Armchair BEA 2015: Introduction

I'm delighted to participate in Armchair BEA 2015. For those who are unfamiliar with Armchair BEA, it's the web-based conference for those who can't go to New York City for Book Expo America, which is a massive book exposition and conference. Armchair BEA has developed into a vibrant online event in its own right. (See FAQ for more deets.)

Per today's theme, here's my intro. If you're participating in Armchair BEA, please link your intro in the comments so I may be sure to say hi!

In brief: I'm Audra. I'm in my mid-30s and I live in the Boston area with my wife and now 6 month old baby. I do communications work for a liberal religious organization.

When I'm not reading, I enjoy knitting and tarot (like books, I'm a tarot deck hoarder!). I'm at work on a historical novel set in the 1850s during the Bleeding Kansas conflict.

What is your favorite genre and why?

One of my favorite genres is historical fiction, which is pretty apparent from t…

Interview with Elizabeth Berg

I'm thrilled to share my interview with novelist Elizabeth Berg, whose newest release is a rich historical novel about French novelist George Sand (Aurore Dupin). As I'm the world's slowest reader these days, I'm very behind on my review, but excited to have a chance to "talk" to Berg about this book, her writing, and what she does when she's not reading. To see what others think of The Dream Lover, be sure to check out the blog tour.

The Dream Lover
View it on Goodreads
Hardcover: 368 pages
Random House (April 14, 2015)

A passionate and powerful novel based on the scandalous life of the French novelist George Sand, her famous lovers, nontraditional Parisian lifestyle, and bestselling novels in Paris during the 1830s and 40s. This major departure for bestseller Berg is for readers of Nancy Horan and Elizabeth Gilbert.

George Sand was a 19th century French novelist known not only for her novels but even more for her scandalous behavior. After leaving her estr…

The Abduction of Smith and Smith by Rashad Harrison

Title:The Abduction of Smith and Smith
Author: Rashad Harrison

Genre: Fiction (Historical / 19th Century / California / Civil War / China / Nautical / Sibling Relationships / Colonialism)
Publisher/Publication Date: Atria Books (1/6/2015)
Source:TLC Book Tours

Rating: Mostly liked.
Did I finish?: I did!
One-sentence summary: After the American Civil War, a former slave searches for his missing wife while his half-brother, the son of his owner, seeks him out to exact revenge, and both are caught up in a violent conspiracy abroad.
Reading Challenges:Historical Fiction

Do I like the cover?: I love it!

I'm reminded of...: Sarah McCoy, V.E. Ulett

First line: Moonlight rippled on the black water.

Buy, Borrow, or Avoid?: Borrow or buy!!

Why did I get this book?: Harrison's first novel, Our Man in the Dark, was awesome.

Review: I'm a huuuuuuuge fangirl for Harrison's first novel, Our Man in the Dark and I've been on pins-and-needles for his next release. I inhaled this read -- it'…

Weekend reads and six months old...

Little Reader/Unabridged Baby turned six months earlier this week.

Six months!

I can't believe it.

What can I say about the experience that countless others haven't already said? It's been amazing. And so trying. Daunting. Beautiful.

He monopolizes my every thought, although I'm not sure that's a good thing always -- as I've mentioned a little in previous updates, I think I've got a touch of post-partum depression as I'm tending toward more worrying than normal.

However, I've gotten back into my knitting, which I was just wild about while pregnant. It's an especially satisfying hobby at the moment as it relaxes me and provides something tangible and useful at the end. As we're cloth diapering, I'm mostly making piles of soakers, longies, and other wool coverings (my most recent endeavor: wool shorts!).

I'm still reading, although very slowly as I still can't bring myself to stay up at night to read. So I read on my commute and…

I Regret Everything by Seth Greenland

Title:I Regret Everything: A Love Story
Author: Seth Greenland

Genre: Fiction (Contemporary / Dual Narrators / New York City / Poets / Romance / Mental Illness)
Publisher/Publication Date: Europa Editions (2/3/2015)
Source:TLC Book Tours

Rating: Liked.
Did I finish?: I did.
One-sentence summary: A lawyer who moonlights as a poet struggles with his feelings for his boss' 19-year old daughter, an aspiring poet herself.

Do I like the cover?: Eh. It plays well with the title but doesn't capture the novel for me.

I'm reminded of...: David Gordon

First line: It would be easy to say my troubles began when a mysterious woman walked into the office but that would ignore the time freshman year in college when Aunt Bren called to let me know my mother had removed all of her clothes in the furniture department at Macy's and been taken to Bellevue.

Buy, Borrow, or Avoid?: Borrow or buy.

Why did I get this book?: I like Europa Editions offerings.

Review: I am woefully late with this review. I…

Weekend reads and still suffering the blues...

It's been an emotional and tumultuous few weeks for us. My one-year old niece, who had just been diagnosed with neuroblastoma (a kind of cancer), had a surgery earlier last week to remove a tumor from her neck. It went very well, but even more encouraging, my niece was bouncy and playful hours after the surgery. She was so perky, in fact, the surgeon released her the next day to recover at home.

She's been a whirlwind of energy there, which is such a relief, and we're cautiously optimistic about what's ahead for her. This coming week she'll get a full body MRI to see if all the cancer has been removed, and next steps will be decided. Needless to say, I'm so grateful she's doing so well and is her wild, joyful self once more.

I'm still in the thick of some crazy intense blues, not helped that all of us have been fighting a terrible cold the last week or so. I'm having a hard time motivating myself to do much other than cuddle the baby (who is turning…

The Antigone Poems by Marie Slaight

Title:The Antigone Poems
Author: Marie Slaight; Illustrations by Terrence Tasker

Genre: Poetry
Publisher/Publication Date: Altaire Productions & Publications (6/15/2014)
Source:TLC Book Tours

Rating: Liked.
Did I finish?: I did.
One-sentence summary: A collection of poems inspired by the classic play Antigone that re-imagines the voice of the rebellious heroine.

Do I like the cover?: I do -- very gruesome-y and atmospheric.

I'm reminded of...: Margaret Atwood, Barbara Walker

First line: And sing/My bitter praises/To nails/And flint/And flesh...

Buy, Borrow, or Avoid?: Borrow or buy.

Why did I get this book?: I was so intrigued by the title.

Review: Inspired by the classic story of Antigone, this stark collection of poetry is both an homage to a story of rebellion and an original exploration of a woman's fiery outrage.

Beautifully bound, holding this slender volume -- 104 pages -- is a treat, and the spare layout gives room to the explosive language Slaight uses.Written between 1972 -…