Friday, May 18, 2018

You Can't Judge A Book By Its Cover # 211

You can't judge a book by its cover - which is very true. 
 But you can like one cover version better than another.

US cover
UK cover
House swapping. It's done all the time, But what if...."It seems the person they have swapped with is someone she used to know; someone she’s desperate to leave in her past. I like the premise. Now, about the covers... The US cover is on the left and the UK cover is on the right. Both are somewhat muted in tone. A window in one, two doors on the other. Fairly similar font look for the title. Same tagline on both. So, it's hard to escape these days - there is indeed a woman peeking through the curtains on the US cover. I'm going with the UK cover this week. I like the white vs. black doors and the opposite font colour on each door. I like the mystery of what's behind each door, instead of the woman's face. Overall I think it has a more ominous feel and I would be likely to pick it up to have a look inside. What about you? And plans to read The House Swap? Which cover do you prefer this week?
You Can't Judge A Book By Its Cover is a regular feature at A Bookworm's World.

Thursday, May 17, 2018

Giveaway - The Girl in the Ice - Robert Bryndza

Do you like thrillers? Yes? Well then, you're going to want to enter today's giveaway!

The Girl in the Ice is the first book in Robert Bryndza's Detective Ericka Foster series.

From Grand Central Publishing:

"Compelling at every turn! The Girl in the Ice grabs us from the first page and simply won’t let go.” —Jeffery Deaver, #1 internationally bestselling author

Her eyes are wide open. Her lips parted as if to speak. Her dead body frozen in the ice…She is not the only one.

When a young boy discovers the body of a woman beneath a thick sheet of ice in a South London park, Detective Erika Foster is called in to lead the murder investigation.

The victim, a beautiful young socialite, appeared to have the perfect life. Yet when Erika begins to dig deeper, she starts to connect the dots between the murder and the killings of three prostitutes, all found strangled, hands bound and dumped in water around London.

What dark secrets is the girl in the ice hiding?

As Erika inches closer to uncovering the truth, the killer is closing in on Erika.

The last investigation Erika led went badly wrong… resulting in the death of her husband. With her career hanging by a thread, Erika must now battle her own personal demons as well as a killer more deadly than any she’s faced before. But will she get to him before he strikes again?" Read an excerpt of The Girl in the Ice.

"Robert Bryndza is the author of the international #1 bestselling Detective Erika Foster series. Robert’s books have sold over 2 million copies and have been translated into 27 languages. He is British and lives in Slovakia." You can connect with Robert on his website and follow him on Twitter

If you'd like to read The Girl in the Ice, enter to win a copy using the Rafflecopter form below. Open to US and Canada, no PO boxes please. Ends June 2/18.

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Over the Counter #418

What book caught my eye this week as it passed over the library counter and under my scanner? Well, wrong season as summer is on the way, but this is still fascinating......

Lace Up: A History of Skates in Canada by Jean-Marie Leduc with Sean Graham and Julie L├ęger.

From Heritage House Publishing:

"A charmingly illustrated history of the humble skate and its place in Canadian cultural identity.

Throughout our 150-year history, and even longer, people have braved the treacherous Canadian winters and taken to the ice for the purposes of transportation, competition, exercise, and just plain fun. Canadian culture has developed around ice and the recreational opportunities it provides, and much has been written about our love affair with hockey, figure skating, and speed skating. However, one crucial element has always been left out of the discussion.

The skate—that piece of metal underneath your foot that allows you to move on ice—is much more than the sum of its few simple parts. Indeed, the people, the rules, and the games all have stories, but they have also been shaped by the equipment. In ancient times, skates with blades made from animal bones were used to facilitate travel during the winter. Today, the newest models of skates are constantly being tweaked and improved to allow athletes to push themselves in the face of international competition.

Drawing from his own collection of over 350 pairs of historical skates, as well as archival photos and illustrations, world-renowned skate expert Jean-Marie Leduc takes the reader on a journey through the history and development of this humble device and traces its role in our national imagination."

(Over the Counter is a regular feature at A Bookworm's World. I've sadly come the realization that I cannot physically read every book that catches my interest as it crosses over my counter at the library. But... I can mention them and maybe one of them will catch your eye as well. See if your local library has them on their shelves!)

Monday, May 14, 2018

What Would Dolly Do? - Lauren Marino - Review And Giveaway

What Would Dolly Do? How to Be a Diamond in a Rhinestone World is Lauren Marino's homage to Dolly Parton.

Super fan Marino draws upon Parton's stories, interviews, articles, songs, Parton's autobiographies, appearances and more to "curating and culling what I can only call the Dolly Parton philosophy as I see it."

Marino ponders 'What Would Dolly Do?" in chapters exploring happiness, style, love and marriage, money and business, home, creativity, philanthropy and many more.

I have always enjoyed Dolly's career, but had fun finding out more about this iconic star. There are lots of life lessons and snippets that anyone can take inspiration from. Text boxes throughout the book summarize ideas, philosophies etc. It's a fun little read, easy to pick up and put down, reading a chapter and coming back later. (Photos of Dolly would have been a nice addition.) Read an excerpt of What Would Dolly Do?

"Lauren Marino is the former founding editor and editorial director of Gotham Books, where she published multiple bestsellers and award-winning books. She is the author of Jackie and Cassini and has collaborated with celebrities, doctors, and psychologists on their books. She lives in New York City."

And if you'd like to know what Dolly would do, enter to win a copy using the Rafflecopter form below. Open to US and Canada, no PO boxes please. Ends May 26/18.

Saturday, May 12, 2018

Duel to the Death - J.A. Jance

J.A. Jance is an author I've read for years. She writes many series and I'm hard pressed to pick a favourite. Duel to the Death is the latest in the Ali Reynolds series.

From the publisher:

"After taking down the man responsible for his best friend’s death, Stuart Ramey thinks the case is finally closed. That is, until Stu finds himself left with a multimillion dollar fortune in Bitcoin in a desperate bid by Frigg, a rogue A.I. program created by the killer, to keep itself from being fully deactivated.

To sort out his situation and take Frigg down for good, Stu enlists the help of Ali Reynolds and the rest of his cyber security colleagues at High Noon Enterprises. But they are not the only ones who know about Frigg’s existence.

Graciella Miramar, an unassuming accountant to all appearances, is actually the right-hand woman to El Pescado, the leader of a dangerous drug cartel. She’ll do anything to get her hands on that program. With Frigg’s help, Graciella hopes to take over her father’s criminal underworld and become wealthy beyond her wildest dreams. But Stu—and El Pescado and his henchmen—may not be so easily defeated."

Now, I hadn't read the plot summary before I started listening. I did find it a bit odd - an AI and a cartel connection in the first two chapters. I kept listening, waiting for Ali and her team to make an appearance. It's these recurring characters that keep me revisiting Jance's works. And I was happy to reconnect....but...

Listening provides a different experience and outlook on a novel than reading does. And here's where Duel to the Death fell down for me. The amount of detail and minutiae become overwhelming. Now, this is also what makes Jance's novels feel like visiting old friends. But in this case it became distracting, boring and wandered away too often from the main plot. And I lost interest. I tried a second time but just couldn't get past the rambling or interested again in the book.  Sadly, Duel to the Death is a DNF for me.

The reader was Karen Ziemba. She's a narrator I've listen to before. She's got a nice, crisp voice that is pleasant to listen to. She enunciates well and each word is clear and clean. Her voice has movement and gives animation to the words. Listen to an excerpt of Duel to the Death

Here's some reviews from Goodreads from others who did enjoy this latest.

Friday, May 11, 2018

You Can't Judge A Book By Its Cover #210

You can't judge a book by its cover - which is very true. 
 But you can like one cover version better than another.

US cover
UK cover
I read a lot of Stephen King when I was younger - The Stand is still one of my favourite books. The newest Stephen King book - The Outsider - releases May 22/18. The  US cover is on the left and the UK cover is on the right. Both the red and the black colour schemes used denote danger, but it is the ominous hooded person on the front that really sends shivers down my spine. The font used for the title on the US cover is unsettling as well.  The US figure seems to be carrying a bag and the UK figure has a knife. I almost feel like the UK character is stepping out of his own shadow. But maybe he is the shadow.  But its that upside down figure on the US cover seals the deal for greatest creepy factor for me this week. What about you - any plans to read The Outsider? Which cover creeps you out the most this week?
You Can't Judge A Book By Its Cover is a regular feature at A Bookworm's World.

Thursday, May 10, 2018

Lean on Pete - Willy Vlautin

I'm always a sucker for books and movies that champion the underdog, the overlooked, the hard luckers and the downtrodden. Willy Vlautin'snovel, Lean on Pete, is all that. It's recently been made into a movie.

Charley is fifteen years old and lives with his single father, often fending for himself. But tragedy strikes after they move to Portland, leaving Charley on his own. Determined not to be put into 'the system', Charley sets out to find a job and earn enough money to travel, looking for the only relative he has left in the world. He finds a job at the local racetrack, ending up in the employ of a crusty, somewhat shifty, old man named Del. Del is the owner of a number of failing racehorses, including one named Lean on Pete.

Charley bonds with Pete, pouring out his hopes, dreams, desires and fears to the horse. The horse becomes the boy's family. Loneliness populates Vlautin's book. The main characters are all wounded and isolated, as are many of the others we meet. Marginalized in so many ways. And yet, Charley's life and circumstances are not that far from the truth for many teens. I became quite worried as the book progressed and Charley is faced with many unsavory people and situations. I did feel that there were a few too many of these scenes (especially as Charley hit the road) and some seemed simply gratuitous and didn't add much to the overall narrative. Charley's voice is spare, matching his daily life - simply trying to survive. The reader can't help

Knowing nothing of the racing world, I found some of the racetrack practices and treatment of the horses quite disturbing.

I chose to listen to Lean on Pete and was excited to find that the author himself was the narrator. There's nothing better than listening to an author read his own work. Vlautin is also the lead singer of a band. He has a wonderfully resonant voice, with a slight gravelly undertone. His voice never raises, but keeps the listener closely drawn in to this haunting, harrowing tale. Listen to an excerpt of Lean on Pete.

Did I like it? Yeah, I really did. Vlautin's work has a touch of Steinbeck and Twain to it. Now, we'll have to see if the movie does it justice.