Friday, November 24, 2017

You Can't Judge A Book By Its Cover #

- 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
Australian cover
I'm looking forward to Alafair Burke's forthcoming book, TheWife. (January 2018) It's a "A Novel of Psychological Suspense", so it's on my TBR list. The US cover is on the left and the Australian cover is on the right. The first thing I notice is the different 'tones' between the covers. The beach says light, sunny and airy to me. But, small things like wedding rings do get lost in the sand. I like the imagery - looking through that perfect circle. The Aussie cover is dark and foreboding. A dark, closed door with a heavy knocker. This cover also has a tag line that lets you know a bit more about what you might find inside. I'm torn this week, but in the end will go with the Aussie cover - simply because I would be more likely to pick it up, given my love of suspense novels. What about you? Any plans to read The Wife?Which cover do you prefer?
You Can't Judge A Book By Its Cover is a regular feature at A Bookworm's World.

Thursday, November 23, 2017

Braving It - James Campbell

This is the kind of thing I wish I could have done when I was younger. Seeing more of the world, being a little more adventures and taking chances. But, at this stage, I am just as happy to read about others' adventures.

That's the story in Braving It: A Father, A Daughter, and An Unforgettable Journey Into the Alaskan Wild by James Campbell.

James Campbell and his fifteen year old daughter Aidan headed to the Alaskan wilds not once, but three times. Winter and Summer. They visited Heimo Korth and his wife Edna twice, helping to build their new cabin, hunting and trapping. The third visit was braving and paddling the HulaHula river.

Campbell's descriptions of the land, people and lifestyle of Alaska are vivid and powerful, attesting to his love of the outdoors, notably Alaska. Campbell is an established writer and he knows how to tell a story. I was captivated by the details - what it takes to stay alive in this wild country, the dangers and the simple pleasures.

And while Braving It is on the face of it a travel adventure and memoir, its also the story of Campbell and his daughter Aidan's relationship. Campbell's decision to take his daughter to Alaska was not made lightly. We are witness to Aidan's burgeoning love of Alaska, her growing confidence and her continued love of the outdoors. These trips ignite a sense of wanderlust in Aidan - I would be curious to see where life takes her. Campbell is torn between protecting his daughter and allowing her to grow. These trips are almost a coming of age - for both of them.

I chose to listen to Braving It. The narrator was Roger Wayne. I thought he interpreted the novel really well. His voice is pleasant to listen to and easily understood. His reading depicted Campbell's thoughts and emotions well. His inflection and thoughtful pauses allowed the reader to feel as thought we were having a conversation with Campbell.  Wonderfully written and a treat to listen to. Listen to an excerpt of Braving It.

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Over the Counter #394

What book caught my eye this week as it passed over the library counter and under my scanner? I scream, you scream, we all scream for.......

Sweet Spot: An Ice Cream Binge Across America by Amy Ettinger.

From Dutton Books:

"A journalist channels her ice-cream obsession, scouring the United States for the best artisanal brands and delving into the surprising history of ice cream and frozen treats in America.

For Amy Ettinger, ice cream is not just a delicious snack but a circumstance and a time of year—frozen forever in memory. As the youngest child and only girl, ice cream embodied unstructured summers, freedom from the tyranny of her classmates, and a comforting escape from her chaotic, demanding family.

Now as an adult and journalist, her love of ice cream has led to a fascinating journey to understand ice cream’s evolution and enduring power, complete with insight into the surprising history behind America’s early obsession with ice cream and her experience in an immersive ice-cream boot camp to learn from the masters. From a visit to the one place in the United States that makes real frozen custard in a mammoth machine known as the Iron Lung, to the vicious competition among small ice-cream makers and the turf wars among ice-cream trucks, to extreme flavors like foie gras and oyster, Ettinger encounters larger-than-life characters and uncovers what’s really behind America’s favorite frozen treats.

Sweet Spot is a fun and spirited exploration of a treat Americans can’t get enough of—one that transports us back to our childhoods and will have you walking to the nearest shop for a cone."

(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, November 21, 2017

The Museum of Broken Relationships - Review AND Giveaway

If you're a fan of books like PostSecret and Humans of New York, The Museum of Broken Relationships" Modern Love in 203 Everyday Objects is a book you're going to want to pick up. And I have a copy to giveaway, courtesy of Grand Central Publishing!

Olinka Vistica and Drazen Grubisic were a couple for four years. When their relationship ended, they came up with a novel idea - a place to store all the painful triggers of past loves, creating a vault for both their tangible and intangible heritage. We named this repository The Museum of Broken Relationships.

The collection tours, but there are two permanent museums - on in Zagreb, Croatia and one in Los Angeles, California. And now there's a book!

I found the concept fascinating. We all have mementos - things we keep that remind us of a love or a loss. Things that may bring comfort - or sadness. There is a time to let those heartbreaking items go - both physically and emotionally.

Those are the items housed in the museums - ranging from small toys, stuffed animals, wedding dresses, shoes, rings, letters and more. I think the belly button lint was the most unusual, but there were more unexpected items. Each item appears in a full colour photograph. Accompanying each item is the story behind it - and why it has finally been let go. The dates of the beginning and the end are also noted. A relationship gone sour is the most prevalent, but death is also behind some of the stories.

What is the appeal of this you ask? We all have a little streak of voyeur in us - glimpsing a peek into some else's heartache or heartbreak. And it's impossible not to keep turning pages. And at the end, I thought about one or two things I could send in.......

If you'd like to read The Museum of Broken Relationships, I have a copy to giveaway to one lucky reader. Open to US and Canada, no PO boxes please. Ends December 2/17.

Monday, November 20, 2017

Voices on the Road Blog Tour AND Giveaway!

I had someone ask me the other day how I found time to read so many books.Well, the truth is that I listen to a great number of books as well. I've always got one in the car for my commute back and forth to work. (And for those nights I can't sleep - one on the MP3 player as well) I find listening brings a book to life for me - I become immersed in the tale.

Lots of you will be travelling this weekend - car, bus, plane - or maybe you're the one doing all the cooking! Either way, an audio book makes a great companion. I've listed five that I've enjoyed below. AND make sure you enter the amazing giveaway I have for a fantastic selection of 10 audiobooks that have been generously donated by Galaxy Press, Hachette Audio, Harper Audio, High Bridge Audio, Macmillan, Penguin Random House Audio, and Post Hypnotic Press, Scholastic, Simon and Schuster Audio, and Tantor Audio. Enter at the end of the post.

And in no particular order, here are five of my favorite listens:

The Passage by Justin Cronin is the first book is this apocalyptic trilogy. The reader for all three entries is Scott Brick. Brick is a fantastic narrator. Or perhaps I should say performer. His voice is amazingly expressive. He narrates all three books.  Listen to an excerpt of The Passage. (My review)

Tana French's Dublin Murder Squad series is a series I enjoy. I read the first book, but have since listened to subsequent entries. The Secret Place features readers Stephen Hogan and Lara Hutchinson. Their Irish accent creates vivid mental images of time and place. I enjoy the two readers - it makes it feel like you are listening in..... Listen to an excerpt of The Secret Place. (My review)

Matchup is edited by Lee Child. But here's the great thing - this is a short story collection featuring iconic characters from many authors. And it's narrated by many readers. The stories are great and it's a wonderful way to discover new readers. Listen to an excerpt of Matchup. (My review)

Michael Connelly's Harry Bosch series is another perennial favorite of mine. Again, I started reading the series, but have transitioned to listening to them - in great part because of the reader. The Wrong Side of Goodbye was a fantastic listen. Narrator Titus Welliver has become the voice of Bosch for me - gruff, growly, tough. His interpretation of the character absolutely matches my mental image. Listen to an excerpt of The Wrong Side of Goodbye. (My review)

She Rides Shotgun is Jordan Harper's debut novel. It reads like a movie and narrator David Marantz's interpretation captured the feeling of danger and action that drives the book. Listen to an excerpt of She Rides Shotgun. (My review)

Check out other blogger's favorites on this Audio Publishers Association tour - full schedule can be found here. Want more? Keep up on social media -  Audiobook_Comm on Facebook and @Audiobook_Comm on Twitter with the hashtag #loveaudiobooks.

Enter to win a selection of ten audiobooks using the Rafflecopter form below. Open to US and Canada, ends December 2/17.

Friday, November 17, 2017

You Can't Judge A Book By Its Cover #185

- 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
Now, I must say that although mysteries and thrillers are my favourite genres to read, I also love a good post apocalyptic read. I'm looking forward to The Feed by Nick Clark Windo. "Set in a post-apocalyptic world as unique and vividly imagined as those of Station Eleven and The Girl with All the Gifts, a startling and timely debut that explores what it is to be human and what it truly means to be connected in the digital age."The US cover is on the left and the UK cover is on the right. Two different looks this week. The US cover illustrates an urban area, densely populated. And to me red always signifies danger or stop. The UK cover is the opposite - a decimated or rural area with nothing but the two figures. The colours are not what you would expect - no green on the ground or blue in the sky. Instead these colours seems to say something unnatural has happened. Both covers feature The Feed with twisting, almost insidious tendrils throughout. Different taglines, but both are ominous. I like the starkness of the UK cover and the two people, so it's UK for me this week. Which cover do you prefer? Any plans to read The Feed?
You Can't Judge A Book By Its Cover is a regular feature at A Bookworm's World.

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Lola - Melissa Scrivner Love

I've not really tried reading urban fiction before, but I liked the description of Melissa Scrivner Love's debut novel, Lola.

Lola is the girlfriend of Garcia - one of the members of the Crenshaw Six - a small gang in South Central LA. The gang works in 'distribution' - of drugs. But, what no one outside the gang realizes is that Lola is the leader. She's hidden behind people's assumptions and misconceptions. When she sees the opportunity for growth for her group, she decides to take it. But things don't go as planned. Can Lola save her people - and herself? And at what cost? Love's plot unfolds swiftly, with action and suspense carrying it forward quickly.

Lola is a great female protagonist. She's kick butt tough, not afraid of violence (and is in fact quite violent herself) and very, very smart. Love introduces a secondary plot line that threatens to be her Achilles heel - as sentimentality can get you killed in her world. This development also reveals that although she is street smart, she realizes that outside of her own world, she is out of step.

Love has worked as a writer on shows such as Miami CSI and Person of Interest. That background has translated well to the written page. Her lead character is easily imagined from her description, thoughts and actions. I did find some of the supporting cast to be somewhat cliched. But they serve their purpose well. The plotting is also detailed. I have no idea how close to the truth it might be - it does read a bit like a television or movie plot. Gang warfare, drugs, violence, sex and more populate the pages of Lola. Probably not recommended for gentle readers.

I liked the lead character and can see another book featuring her. Lola was a decidedly different read for me and it was good to step outside of my usual tastes. But, I'm heading back to known territory now.  Read an excerpt of Lola.