Monday, April 30, 2012

419 - Will Ferguson

When I think of  Canadian author Will Ferguson, it is his travel memoirs that immediately spring to mind. That and his rich sense of humour (He has won The Leacock Medal for Humour numerous times.)

419 takes us in a completely different direction....

We've all received them. In fact Barrister Salvadore Gallarto sent me one this morning. Can I help him with repatriating 8.5 million euros? It's a simple matter really. I'm sure that every reader has had one of these land in our inbox. And we promptly trash them. But what if you didn't?

Laura Curtis is heartbroken when her elderly father Henry is killed in an auto accident. But on further investigation, it appears he deliberately left the road. Why would he do such a thing? Further digging by the local Calgary police on his computer uncovers the truth - he had become embroiled in a 419 scam...."I can help...." (419 is the Nigerian criminal code for "obtaining money or goods under false pretenses.)

On the other side of the world in Nigeria, we follow the story of  Winston - a 419 scammer. And Amina - a young pregnant woman walking her way across the country, escaping from something. And Nnamdi, a young man from the depths of the Niger Delta.

In the beginning, I wondered how these disparate stories would tie together, but Ferguson deftly weaves an absolutely riveting plot. The criminal underbelly of Nigeria is presented in all of it's seediness. But really, it is the story of Nnamdi that captured me the most. His story is given the most page space and he is the character I felt I 'knew' the most. The effect of the oil industry on a country and its' people is disheartening. The death of her father changes Laura as well. She becomes single minded, after years of staying safely within the confines of the small world she has created. She decides to go to Nigeria and find the man responsible for her father's death. I didn't feel I really got to know Laura and found her sudden about face to be a bit of a stretch.

419 is many things - a mystery, a thriller and a social commentary. I turned the final page with a sense of sadness. Varying degrees, but for most of the characters. Ferguson's tale of the story behind one of these schemes brings a very human face to what most see as a simple nuisance entry handled by a quick tap on the delete button.

An unusual, introspective and recommended read.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Winner - Attachments

And the lucky winner of a copy of  Attachments by Rainbow Rowell, courtesy of Plume Books is:


Congratulations! I've contacted you by email for your mailing address. Please respond within 72 hours.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Afterwards - Rosamund Lupton - Review AND Giveaway

I read Rosamund Lupton's debut novel 'Sister' last year. You may remember me raving about it - it was a fantastic read. (review here) I jumped at the chance to read her second novel - Afterwards.  Another absolutely brilliant read - one I would highly, highly recommend!

I was hooked from the opening paragraph of the prologue.

"I couldn't move, not even a little finger or a flicker of an eye. I couldn't open my mouth to scream....Only one thing for it, I said to myself, thinking of you, and I slipped out of the wrecked ship of my body into the black ocean."

Grace Covey is volunteering at the outdoor sports day at her son Adam's private school. Her older child Jenny is working inside as the school nurse that day. When a fire breaks out, Grace races to find her children. Knowing Jenny is still trapped in the building, Grace runs into the burning building. She finds her, but the two of them are terribly injured.  Cue prologue. Yes, Grace and Jenny are able to leave their ruined bodies. Now, anyone thinking this might be a mainly paranormal type of read is wrong.

Honestly, Afterwards is so many different reads. In the beginning I saw it strictly as a mystery. Grace and Jenny are able to follow along with the investigation into the fire - for it was arson. And Grace and Jenny cannot communicate with the 'outside' world.  Piece by piece, along with the victims, we are able to cobble together what really happened that day. There is much more to this fire than meets the eye. Lupton employs many twists and turns and some red herrings along the way that kept me guessing at the identity of the 'culprit' until the last few chapters.

But, in addition to the mystery is the deeper story - that of a mother, daughter, son, husband and father. Grace's love for her children is achingly beautiful, powerful and so poignant. (Hint - have tissues ready for the last few chapters - I finished the book with tears in my eyes)

Lupton uses a second person point of view that takes a bit of getting used to in the beginning, but it works for this story. I can't see it being told in any other fashion.  Once I finish writing a review, I head out on the net to see what others think. I was quite surprised to see there were mixed reviews on this book. For this reader, it was an absolutely addicting, stay up late read.

Rosamund Lupton read English Literature at Cambridge University. After a variety of jobs in London, including copy writing and reviewing for the Literary Review, she was a winner of Carlton Television's new writers' competition and was selected by the BBC for a place on their new writers' course. She was also invited to join the Royal Court Theatre's writers group. Before becoming a novelist, she was a script-writer for television and film, writing original screenplays. She lives in London with her husband, two children and Tango, a large ginger cat. You can find Lupton on Twitter and on Facebook.

 Check out what other bloggers on the TLC tour thought. And, thanks to the great folks at Crown Books I have a copy to giveaway. So if it sounds like your kind of read, simply leave a comment to be entered. Open to US and Canada. Closes Sat. May 19.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Over the Counter #107

What caught my eye this week as it passed over my library counter and under the scanner? Filming the Undead (How to Make Your Own Zombie Movie) by Rod Durick. There seems to be a how to guide for just about everything.......

From the publisher Barron's:

"Today, thanks to the development of modern, relatively low-cost and rentable filmmaking equipment, anybody with ambition, imagination, and basic cinematic know-how can become a movie producer and director. In this book, author Rod Durick helps readers develop that cinematic know-how. He translates his own experiences into a detailed set of practical instructions for budding independent filmmakers who want to specialize in making horror movies. Recognizing that most independent filmmakers must work on very small budgets, Durick emphasizes ways to find low-cost solutions for creating effects that rival those of Hollywood studios. He presents instructions on -

  • Making a storyboard for a story concept
  • Coping with preproduction details, such as contracts, budgeting, financing, assembling casts and crews, finding shooting locations, and more
  • Creating props and special effects, making convincing zombie masks and horror-story makeup, designing costumes, and getting supplies
  • Mastering production details, which include lighting and filming both indoors and outdoors
  • Completing postproduction details, such as film editing, creating visual effects, and adding sound and music
  • Marketing and promoting at conventions, festivals, local theaters, and other sites
The book is filled with step-by-step, how-to color photos and illustrations, lists of needed equipment and materials, do-and-don’t warnings, and virtually everything a low-budget filmmaker needs to know before starting out to produce a successful horror movie."

(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!)

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Forgotten - Catherine McKenzie

Forgotten is the third book by author Catherine McKenzie. I've read the first two - Spin (my review) and Arranged (my review), but I have to say, this latest book is my favourite. (so far!)

I always stop and look at a cover before reading and wonder - what does the picture have to say about the story? Where could this woman be going?

Well, Emma Tupper goes on more than one journey. When her mother dies, she leaves Emma a ticket for a journey she wished she could have taken herself - a month in Africa.

"Her death was a fractional thing. One moment she was still and pale, but alive. The next she was gone. It seemed like almost nothing had happened, but that almost nothing changed everything for me."

Emma is a lawyer and has been working towards  partnership for many years. When her firm strongly discourages her taking a month long absence, she surprises herself by going anyway. The trip starts out well, but within a few days, Emma is seriously ill. The safari leader leaves her with volunteers in a remote village with a promise to send a doctor. But then an earthquake decimates the country. Emma recovers, but there is still no way for her to contact anyone from her remote village. Six months later, she is finally able to return, ready to step into her life again. But, that life is no more - the key to her apartment doesn't work, there's a strange man living there, she can't reach any of her friends by phone, someone else has her job...and more. When Emma googles herself, she discovers the truth - she's been declared dead.

McKenzie has concocted a great premise that just opens up so many avenues. As one supporting character advises Emma -  to "treat what happened to me like an opportunity to change the things in my life I didn't like."

Emma was an eminently likable character. Her best friend Stephanie was loads of fun - I'm quite taken with her bookstore/match making concept! All the classic elements of a great chick lit read are here - love interests (then and now), b****y co-workers, a great supporting cast with both humourous and wise characters, missed cues and found opportunities. But in addition to all that, there is that underlying question - what's important and what would you change? Lots of food for thought there.

McKenzie's prose flow easily, deliciously enveloping me in Emma's tale for hours at a time. If you're looking for the best books to stock your beach bag with this year, make sure you include Forgotten. It's one you won't forget. (sorry - couldn't resist!)

CATHERINE McKENZIE was born and raised in Montreal, Quebec. A graduate of McGill University and McGill Law School, Catherine practices law in Montreal. An avid runner and skier, her novels SPIN and ARRANGED are national bestsellers. Visit her online at Or you can find Catherine on Facebook and on Twitter.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Winner - The Day the World Ends

And the lucky winner of a copy of The Day the World Ends by Ethan Coen, courtesy of Broadway Books is:

Karen Marie

Congratulations! I've contacted you by email for your mailing address. Please respond within 72 hours.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Over the Counter #106

What caught my eye this week as it passed over my library counter and under the scanner? The Great American Cereal Book by Marty Gitlin and Topher Ellis. This one was so much fun! And brought back lots of memories of cereals your mom didn't want to buy!

From the publisher, Abrams Image:

"Americans love their breakfast cereal, which is second only to milk and soda in supermarket spending. Cereals and their cartoon spokescharacters are some of the most enduring pop-culture icons of the 20th century. The Great American Cereal Book is the definitive compendium of breakfast cereal history and lore, celebrating the most recognizable brands and packaging, such as Cheerios, Cocoa Puffs, Frosted Flakes, Grape-Nuts, and Trix. Award-winning writer Marty Gitlin and co-author Topher Ellis provide behind-the-scenes stories about the creation of these iconic kitchen-table companions, with 350 images of cereal boxes, vintage ads, and rare memorabilia."

(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!)

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Reviews by Teen Blogger Ella!

Resident teen blogger Ella stops by today to offer her thoughts on some recent reads!

Fair Game, by Patricia Briggs

"Not a YA series, but TOO FABULOUS not to mention. Patricia has me eating out of her hand at this point. If she writes it, I will read it. Fair Game does not disappoint!!!!! The ending was AMAZING. I have not shrieked that loudly at a surprise twist for many moons. It's the 3rd instalment in her Alpha and Omega series, which happens side-by-side her Mercy Thompson series (also amazing). Werewolves and kin are the main protagonists, but fae, vampires, witches, etc also feature. Too big a universe to go into more detail: suffice to say it's a staple of the urban fantasy genre for a reason. YA authors should take note of the graceful way Patricia Briggs writes excellent, believable romances for her characters without stooping to overly angsty, drawn-out love triangles. Monogamy is okay, guys! Just because it worked for Stephenie Meyer does not mean One True Love is out." Read an excerpt of Fair Game.

The Iron Knight by Julie Kagawa

"To be honest, I pretty much skipped the middle of this book. I wasn't overly attached to this series for the first 3, so my attempt for number 4 was half-hearted. Spoilers for the first 3: Megan Chase, Prince Ash's true love, has become the Queen of the Iron Kingdom, restoring the balance of the fairy world. Iron is deadly to all fairies, though, which throws a wrench in their happy ending (Ash is a fairy). Basically, this is the story of Ash's quest to find a way to be with Megan.

If you were a fan of The Iron King, The Iron Daughter and The Iron Queen, then you'll probably really like it. I'm actually okay with Ultimate Noble Sacrifice endings, as Julie calls them in the Q&A, so I was satisfied with the ending in The Iron Queen. I just couldn't really care about Ash's quest. Most of the same characters were in it, so it felt kind of overdone. On the plus side, my copy had a sneak peek to her next series in it, Blood of Eden, which is apparently coming out April 24th: looks like evil vampires, nice and gory. Yay vampire apocalypse!" Read an excerpt of The Iron Knight.

As always Ella, thank you - your reviews are always entertaining!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

More Like Her - Liza Palmer

I reviewed Liza Palmer's previous book A Field Guide to Burying Your Parents a few years ago and really enjoyed it. (review can be found here) So, I was quite looking forward to reading her latest book More Like Her (releases today)

From the cover, I was expecting a 'chick lit' type of read, but the opening prologue is a 911 call detailing a shooting at the Markham School. We then meet Frannie in the opening chapter. She's a teacher at the Markham School. She's also just come through a nasty breakup with her boyfriend, also a teacher at the school. We're introduced to Jill and Lisa, Frannie's sidekicks. Palmer provides lots of light hearted banter and situations to open the novel. But underneath it all is Frannie's desire to be what's she's not, to have what she doesn't. Just like Emma, the new director of the school, who seems to have it all. Frannie laments..."I'm not the girl men choose."But it turns out that Emma's life is not all that perfect.

Palmer explores lots of areas in More Like Her - bullying, domestic abuse, marriage and self searching. As Frannie puts it - the search for the Real Me.

I enjoyed the interaction between the main characters (although I thought Lisa became a 'bestie' awfully quick)  Funnily enough, the character I enjoyed the most was Sam - the object of Frannie's desire. I found Frannie to be a bit exhausting. You might know her  - she's the one who has to slice, dice and dissect every last situation and detail, wringing nuance from inflections, tones and glances and discussing them over and over again.  I enjoyed Frannie's  introspective look at finding her real self, but found myself growing tired of the repetition. I wish there had been more focus on Emma and her situation.

Those looking for a traditional chick lit book won't find it here. But, those looking for a contemporary women's fiction read that explores the green grass on the other side of fence will. Read an excerpt of  More Like Her.

Liza Palmer is the author of the international bestsellerConversations with the Fat Girl, as well as Seeing Me Naked and A Field Guide to Burying Your Parents. She lives in Los Angeles, California, and is hard at work on her next novel in addition to several film and television projects.

You can find Liza Palmer on Twitter and on Facebook.

See what others on the TLC book tour thought. Full schedule can be found here.

Monday, April 16, 2012

White Horse - Alex Adams

My secret passion is dystopian fiction. I usually indulge myself with young adult offerings, but the opening lines of Alex Adams' adult debut novel White Horse drew in and had me settled into my favourite reading nook (for a very long time)

"When I wake, the world is still gone. Only fragments remain. Pieces of places and people who were once whole."

I am always intrigued by what authors imagine our future might be.

Our protagonist is Zoe - a young widow who works as a cleaner at Pope Pharmaceuticals. Zoe's story is literally told in a Then and Now fashion. (which really worked for me)  We start at the beginning with a mysterious jar appearing in her apartment, then cut to Zoe already on the move, trying to get to what she believes will be a safe place. The narrative cuts back and forth, from people getting sick, sicker and the world we know slowly disintegrating to almost two years in the future as Zoe makes her way across a world hardly recognizable. Ninety percent of the population is wiped out, five percent are mutating in horrific ways and the remaining five percent seem to be immune. Zoe has no idea why she hasn't succumbed to the plague, named White Horse - a reference to one of the four horsemen of the Apocalypse.

White Horse was a very different read. I was horrified, yet mesmerized, repelled, yet drawn in by Adams' tale. She paints a brutal, raw picture with her prose. But those prose completely capture a world turned upside down. Fair warning to gentle readers - there are scenes and descriptions that may offend some.

I'm still not quite sure how I feel about Zoe.  She comes across as a very strong character, both physically and mentally and we know that she will survive. I applaud her efforts to try and hang on to her humanity and ideals in this new world. While I find her a strong lead character, I never felt fully engaged with her, despite cheering for her to beat the odds. I'll have a chance to bond with her in future books - this is the first in a planned trilogy. I want to see where Adams takes Zoe next - the last line in White Horse is a gotcha.

White Horse is a strong debut from a new author and was definitely an addicting read for me. A reading group guide is available. You can find Adams on Twitter and on Facebook.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Winner - Blogiversary Box o' Books!

Congratulations to:

 Pam (I write in books)!

She's the lucky winner of the Blogiversary Box o' Books giveaway! I've contacted you by email for your mailing address. Thanks to all who entered and for reading my blog!On to year five! Cheers!

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Winner - Gone Reading

And the lucky winner of the products of their choice ($20.00 value) from Gone Reading is:


Congratulations! I've contacted you by email for your mailing address. Please respond within 72 hours.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Calico Joe - John Grisham

John Grisham is one of the most recognizable names in fiction today. He is well known for his legal thrillers, but has also written a number of novels outside of that genre. His latest - Calico Joe - fall into that category.

Paul Tracey gets a call one day - Warren, the father he hasn't seen in years, is dying. Paul's reaction? "After a few minutes, I admit the truth - life without Warren will be the same as life with him."

But this call does stir up old hurts, memories and unfinished business. We're taken back to Paul's childhood for the beginning of the tale. Warren made it to the big leagues - he was a pitcher for the Mets in 1973. He was also a womanizer, a hard drinker, a man with a temper and a man with a family who was happy to not have him home. Paul loved baseball as well. He played himself and could cite the stats on any team. When a young phenom named Joe from Calico Rock, Arkansas is called up to play for the Cubs, he takes the country (and young Paul) by storm. Never before has there been such a player.  And then the Mets and the Cubs face off...

Yes, Calico Joe is a sports story, but it's much more than that. It's the story of a father and son and redemption.  I played ball when I was younger, so the sports stats didn't throw me at all and won't detract from the story for non sports readers. They really set the scene for the emotional strings that Grisham deftly pulls as he carefully builds the story of Calico Joe, young Paul and his father.

Calico Joe is listed as a novel, but I thought of it more as story telling. I could picture myself listening to this one over the radio in days gone by or sitting listening to a retired player sharing a tale from the old days. As one character in the book says "But it doesn't matter: he loves to talk and tell stories....I am delighted to be here and happy to listen."

As was I. A one sitting read and another home run from Grisham. Read an excerpt of Calico Joe. You can find Grisham on Facebook

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Over the Counter #105

What book caught my eye this week as it passed over my library counter and under the scanner? Boring Postcards USA edited by Martin Parr. Actually, I found them kind of fascinating!

From the publisher Phaidon:

" A companion to Martin Parr's fascinating and extremely funny Boring Postcards, this collection brings together 160 of the dullest postcards of 1950s, 1960s and 1970s America.

  • Hilarious views of quintessentially ordinary America, including motels, shopping malls, truck stops and interstate highways.

  • Reveals poignant insights into postwar American social, cultural and architectural values."

  • (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!)

    Wednesday, April 11, 2012

    Ashes to Dust - Yrsa Sigurdardottir

    I've been reading a number of Nordic mystery/thriller authors lately, but Yrsa Sigurdardottir was the first Icelandic author I've read. Indeed, she is known as 'Iceland's Crime Queen.'

    Yrsa's recurring character is lawyer Thora Gudmundsdottir. In Ashes to Dust, the third book in the series, Thora is employed by a former resident of Heimaey Island in  The Westman Islands. This fishing village was covered by a volcanic eruption in 1973 and only now (2007) is her client's former childhood home being uncovered. The government owns the houses and contents, but Markus insists on going to the basement ahead of the archaeologists to recover a box, before he signs off on the waiver. (I found the setting fascinating and ended up reading all about the Westman Islands online)

    He swears he has no idea what's in the box - a friend left it in the basement and she is the one who desperately wants it back he says. But when the archaeologists go down after him, what they discover changes the game - three bodies nicely laid out. And the box? It contains a head. Yes, a head. Thora's case has taken a completely different turn.

    Thora is a wonderfully different protagonist. She is a grandmother with a young child still at home, divorced, hoping that her long distance romance will work out. She's very, very determined and undertakes to prove her client's innocence. I found this different from North American practices - the lawyer pursuing clues and the truth rather than an investigator. I loved that she took along her secretary - again another character that's a square peg in a round hole. Interspersed with Thora's investigations are chapters from other characters that we know must somehow be related to the case.

    Sigurdardottir has created a winding plot that takes us down many avenues, exploring familial relationships as well as those of a small close knit village. There are no great surprises (many of the clues are plainly laid out) and some of the story seems superfluous. At times, I wanted to hurry the tellin along - it seemed it could have been done in about eighty pages less.

    I did enjoy the descriptions of Iceland's culture, lifestyle and scenery. But, Ashes to Dust felt a little wooden in parts. I'm not sure if this is in the original text or a result of the translation. It was an entertaining tale, but comparisons to Steig Larsson may be a bit too ambitious.

    You can find Yrsa on Facebook. Read an excerpt of Ashes to Dust.

    Tuesday, April 10, 2012

    The Land of Decoration - Grace McCleen

    Every year there seems to be a book that stays with me long after I've turned the last page. And when someone asks me for a good book recommendation, it's the first one that comes to mind. The Land of Decoration - a debut novel by Grace McCleen is one of those books.

    Ten year old Judith McPherson lives in England with her father, her mother having passed away.  She attends school, but is bullied and isolated, primarily because of the religious beliefs that she and her father follow.

    And sometimes Judith escapes into her own little world - one she has created in her room from rubbish.

    "There is a world in my room. It is made from things no one else wanted and it is made with things that were my mother's, that she left to me, and it has taken most of my life to make."

    She calls this world The Land of Decoration. She has taken this name from the book of Ezekiel  - the land of milk and honey, a paradise for the faithful in the afterlife -  The Promised Land. For Judith, it is where she will see her mother again.

    When Judith transforms her Land of Decoration into a snow covered blizzard and it happens in reality, she believes she is responsible. " Miracles happen because someone made them and because someone, somewhere, had faith." And she's doubly sure she's responsible as God told her she was.

    The bullying amplifies, as does the unrest at the factory Judith's father works at. And so does Judith's belief that she has the power to create miracles and change things. And God's voice is getting louder.

    I was so mesmerized by this book. I couldn't read it straight through, but had to put it down and come back later as my emotions were in a turmoil.  Judith's voice was heartbreaking in so many ways. McCleen has created a character in Judith that just grabbed me and wouldn't let go. I found myself stopping to ponder many of her views. I wanted so badly to help her as she faced so much more than a ten year old should.  McCleen's depictions of the other main players are just as well done. Judith's father is another poignant portrayal that was difficult to accept and read at times.

    McCleen's books explores so many themes - love, hate, tolerance, persecution, belief, faith and more, but ultimately is about the love between a parent and child.

    I wonder how much of Judith's story is Grace's story. She was raised in a fundamentalist religious environment and has a strong interest in miniatures as well. I think readers are either going to love or hate McCleen's book, much like Emma Donoghue's Room. This reader loved it. (so did Emma Donoghue)  Read an excerpt of The Land of Decoration.

    Monday, April 9, 2012

    Guest Post & Giveaway - Rainbow Rowell - Attachments

    I reviewed Rainbow Rowell's debut novel Attachments last year and adored it. (see review here) The softcover is newly released and I'm lucky enough to have a copy to giveaway. I think that Attachments would make a great rom/com movie, so I'm even luckier to have Rainbow stop by with her thoughts on who would star in a movie version.

    But first to catch you up if you haven't yet had a chance to read the book. From the publisher, Plume:

    "Hi, I'm the guy who reads your e-mail, and also, I love you . . . "

    Beth Fremont and Jennifer Scribner-Snyder know that somebody is monitoring their work e-mail. (Everybody in the newsroom knows. It's company policy.) But they can't quite bring themselves to take it seriously. They go on sending each other endless and endlessly hilarious e-mails, discussing every aspect of their personal lives.

    Meanwhile, Lincoln O'Neill can't believe this is his job now- reading other people's e-mail. When he applied to be "internet security officer," he pictured himself building firewalls and crushing hackers- not writing up a report every time a sports reporter forwards a dirty joke.

    When Lincoln comes across Beth's and Jennifer's messages, he knows he should turn them in. But he can't help being entertained-and captivated-by their stories.

    By the time Lincoln realizes he's falling for Beth, it's way too late to introduce himself.

    What would he say . . . ? "

    And now for Rainbow's casting call.....

    "It’s tricky to think about casting the book because most actors and actresses are far too beautiful to play my characters. I’d love it if Attachments were made into a movie! There is a producer attached to it, so you never you know . . . maybe someday.

    I imagined Lincoln and Beth as maybe the most attractive people in the room – not the most attractive people in the whole world.

    Generally, I don’t care if actors look exactly the way characters are described in books – but I do think that whoever played Lincoln would have to be big. That’s such a key part of his personality – the way he feels heavy and clumsy. His gentle giant vibe.

    There are two actors I like for Lincoln, and they’re both very different from each other:

    Cory MonteithThe guy who plays Finn on Glee. He’s actually the perfect age, 29, and even though he looks pretty on Glee, I think they could dress him down – let his eyebrows go, put him in a pair of cargo pants. Monteith plays a shy guy on Glee, he does a good job of quietly expressing deep feelings. There’s something vulnerable about him. Vulnerability and sincerity are Lincoln’s key characteristics. Also, I like the way Monteith seems a little too big for his body. He walks like a big guy. When he puts on a suit, his proportions seem a little off, like his arms and chest kept growing after the rest of him stopped.

    Chris PrattAndy from Parks and Recreation. Okay, I know he plays a dufus on Parks and Rec, but Chris Prett looks perfect, I think. Big and exactly the right kind of handsome. Manly. Solid. I always imagined Lincoln as the kind of guy who could look really normal/unnoticeable some days and really adorable others. Which is totally Chris Pratt. And again, very vulnerable and sincere. I think he could rein in the goofiness to play Lincoln.

    For Beth, I think the most important characteristic is funny. It would have to be an actress who can be authentically funny. Good-natured. Confident, but not arrogant.

    My first choice for Beth would be Kat Dennings, from Nick and Nora’s Infinite Playlist and Two Broke Girls. SHE IS PERFECT! She’s genuinely hilarious and genuinely genuine. Sometimes when actresses are funny, they come off hard. Closed off. Beth isn’t closed off – she’s funny and smart, but she’s still a romantic. And I just think Kat Dennings could inhabit her, make her seem like the kind of girl you could fall in love with before you ever met her.

    I also like Laura Prepon for Beth. Prepon played Donna on That ‘70s Show. She comes off funny and likable and cool. Also, she’s not teeny-tiny. Beth is described as tall with broad shoulders. Laura Prepon is 5-foot-10.

    For Jennifer, I like Mindy Kaling  who plays Kelly on The Office. She can be neurotic and bitter, yet still really funny and likable. Actually, I think Mindy Kaling could pull off either Beth or Jennifer – and I’d love to see her star in her own romantic comedy – but I can practically hear her saying Jennifer’s lines. She would plus the whole character."

    Great choices Rainbow! Thank you so much for stopping by!

    And readers, if you'd like a chance to win a copy of Attachments, simply leave a comment! Ends April 26. Open to US and Canada.

    Thursday, April 5, 2012

    The Anatomist's Apprentice - Tessa Harris

    The Anatomist's Apprentice is the first (and debut) book in Tessa Harris's new series featuring Dr. Thomas Silkstone.

    I initially picked up the book based on the description - 18th century, London, England, mystery, early forensic detection, as it seemed to fall into one of my favourite genres - historical mysteries.

    Lady Lydia Farrell's brother dies a horrible death in his own bed. Was he the victim of some unknown condition? Or was helped along the way to his Maker - by her husband? She seeks the advice of a well known anatomist - Dr. Silkstone - hoping he can shed light on what really happened to her brother. Silkstone uses his medical skills, but also seems to have a keen eye and ear for ferreting out details about situations and people that may reveal the truth.

    The Anatomist's Apprentice is a period piece and as such, it does move at a more leisurely pace in terms of plot, development and language. I sometimes wanted to hurry things along. Harris's historical research was very well done and showed in the details. Where the book fell down for me was the whole romantic entanglement between Silkstone and Lady Lydia. It started to fall into bodice ripper territory for me  (a place I try not to go). Once I found out who the publisher was - Kensington Books - it made sense.

    Harris does deliver a good twist at the end. She has two further books planned for Silkstone. This will appeal to readers who would enjoy, in the words of the author "...a cracking yarn interwoven with a love story, set against a fascinating historical backdrop."

    Read an excerpt of The Anatomist's Apprentice.  You can find Harris on Twitter

    Wednesday, April 4, 2012

    Over the Counter #104

    What book caught my eye this week as it passed over my library counter and under my scanner? Crap at my Parents' House by Joel Dovev. 

    From the publisher Abrams Books:

    "Crap at My Parents’ House is a laugh-out-loud celebration of all the weird, odd, and unfathomably tacky stuff that our moms and dads accumulate without our knowledge or consent. Comedian Joel Dovev has compiled and commented upon the best (or would that be worst?) items submitted by folks from around the globe in a very funny—but fair—way, revealing all those dirty secrets that range from deer hoof bottle openers and plush Oscar Meyer Wienermobiles to soccer-playing Jesus ceramics and grizzly bear toilet paper holders. Whether you’re 15 or 65 and still shaking your head at your mom and dad’s decorating choices, Crap at My Parents’ House is a reason to be thankful for parents being so unintentionally hilarious."

    (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!)

    Tuesday, April 3, 2012

    Phantom - Jo Nesbo

    Harry Hole returns in Jo Nesbo's latest North American release - Phantom. If this is a new to you series, I wouldn't recommend starting with Phantom. To truly appreciate Harry, you need to hop on at the beginning of the series - and get ready for a heck of a ride. If you've been following this series, then it's one you definitely don't want to miss.

    Harry Hole is one of the most tortured, conflicted, complicated protagonists in crime fiction. He's been away from Norway for the last three years in an attempt to clean himself up and step away from his relationship with Rakel. But what brings him back is murder, of course. Rakel's son Oleg has been charged with the murder of Gusto, a known drugs pusher. The evidence is damning, but Harry knows that the gentle little boy he watched grow could not be guilty of such a crime. Harry approaches his old department, but they have no interest in either reopening the case or having Harry back on board. So, Harry being Harry, he decides to investigate on his own. His inquiries catch the eye of the drug trade, in particular the mysterious Dubai, who runs an insidious new product called Violin. Corrupt individuals on the police force and in the political theatre aren't happy with Harry's investigation either. Harry is creating problems and needs to be eliminated. It's just a matter of who gets him first.......

    " You can't stop this Harry. It's all happened. It has to run its course. If you get in the way, more will die....It's too big, Harry. It'll swallow you up, swallow everyone up."

    Phantom is a stark, bleak tale.  Drugs and the resulting carnage wreaked on individuals and society figures prominently. Nesbo's prose conjure up a bleak, barren wasteland where need trumps everything.

    We learn the story behind Gusto's death and Oleg's involvement in interspersed chapters, as Gusto lays dying. The more Harry learns, the more he refuses to be stopped, seemingly on a mission to save both Oleg and himself.

    "A curse lay over it. Over him. But it wouldn't have made any difference. He had been cursed long before the knife appeared. And the curse was worse than any knife. It said that his love was a plague he carried around with him...all those who had allowed themselves to be loved by Harry had been made to pay."

    Nesbo explores relationships in Phantom, giving us another glimpse into this tormented protagonist. Nesbo has crafted a complex plot that kept me guessing right up to the end - the explosive, didn't see it coming, OMG ending....

    Read an excerpt of Phantom. You can find Jo Nesbo on Facebook.

    Monday, April 2, 2012

    Giveaway - The Day the World Ends - Ethan Coen

    April is National Poetry Month! And to celebrate, I have Ethan Coen's new book of poetry - The Day the World Ends - to giveaway. Ethan Coen? Isn't he that movie director.....?

    From the publisher Broadway Books:

    "From one of the most inventive and celebrated filmmakers of the twentieth century, and co-creator of such classics as Fargo, No Country for Old Men, and True Grit, a collection of poems that offers humor and insight into an artist who has always pushed the boundaries of his craft.

    Ethan Coen's screenplays have surprised and delighted international audiences with their hilarious vision and bizarrely profound understanding of human nature. This eccentric genius is revealed again in The Day the World Ends, a remarkable range of poems that are as funny, ribald, provocative, raw, and often touching as the brilliant films that have made the Coen brothers cult legends.

    Short, accessible, and nearly the same price as a movie ticket, this new poetry collection is a perfect treat for Coen’s legions of fans.  

    When not writing plays, poetry, or short stories, Ethan Coen makes movies with his brother, Joel Coen. After thirteen films, the Coen brothers have one of the most beloved and critically acclaimed bodies of work in the history of cinema."

    Curious aren't you? To be entered, simply leave a comment. Or a poem if you're so inclined. Open to US and Canada, ends April 22.

    Sunday, April 1, 2012

    Winner - Girl Unmoored

    And the lucky winner of a copy of



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