Tag: book

Elizabeth Is Missing

June 12, 2014 Fiction, Literary, Thriller, Women's Fiction 28

Elizabeth is MissingTitle: Elizabeth Is Missing
Author: Emma Healey
Source: from publisher via TLC Book Tours
Rating: ★★★★☆
Review Summary: As promised by the book jacket, parts of this book were darkly humorous, but mostly it was a poignant, emotional story about family and growing old.

“Despite Maud’s growing anxiety about Elizabeth’s welfare, no one takes her concerns seriously—not her frustrated daughter, not her caretakers, not the police, and especially not Elizabeth’s mercurial son—because Maud suffers from dementia. But even as her memory disintegrates and she becomes increasingly dependent on the trail of handwritten notes she leaves for herself in her pockets and around her house, Maud cannot forget her best friend. Armed with only an overwhelming feeling that Elizabeth needs her help, Maud resolves to discover the truth—no matter what it takes.” (Source) Read more »

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Books That Didn’t Live Up to the Hype in Mini-Reviews

June 10, 2014 Fiction, Thriller, Translated Fiction 38

1232Title: The Shadow of the Wind
Author: Carlos Ruiz Zafón
Source: library
Rating: ★★★☆☆

I’ve heard almost exclusively good things about The Shadow of the Wind. I’ve loved all of the other translated fiction I’ve read, and I love books about books. Objectively, this book was perfect for me. For some reason, though, I just didn’t connect with it. I did sometimes find the prose really beautiful and the loving descriptions of books and secret libraries made my book-loving self very happy. I also liked that the conversations followed a distinctly different pattern than what I’m used to. I felt like I was getting a glimpse of Spanish culture. However, the main character is essentially swept up in someone else’s story. I felt he had very little agency. There were clearly intended to be parallels between his life and that of the man whose life he enters, but I thought the connections were superficial. I ended the book wishing there had been something more. Read more »

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Small Town Witch

June 8, 2014 Fantasy, Fiction, LGBT, Young Adult 11

17888783Title: Small Town Witch
Author: Kristen S. Walker
Source: from author for review
Rating: ★★★★★
Review Summary: This book exceeded all my expectations with natural-sounding dialogue, perfect pacing, fascinating world-building, and a main character who doesn’t create her own drama.

“Teen witch Rosamunde thinks she has it all: friends, parties, a happy family, and magic at her fingertips. But something dark lurks underneath the surface. When Rosa uncovers strange spells in her house, the illusion of the perfect life begins to crack, hinting at family secrets she never imagined. With the help of her friends and the handsome kitsune Kai, Rosa peels back the layers of lies. Her search for the truth will take her far from home, into the dangerous Land of Faerie . . . but if the truth threatens her family’s apparent happiness, will she choose to live with the lie or break the enchantment that binds them all?” (Source) Read more »

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Author Interview with Alena Graedon

June 7, 2014 Author Interview 13

18209339Hi Alena! Thanks so much for joining us on Doing Dewey today. I loved your book and am very excited to have a chance to talk to you about it. Could you please begin by telling us a bit about The Word Exchange?

Hi, Katie! Thank you so much for inviting me! I’m utterly thrilled to join you, and I’m very grateful to you for having read the book, for your very kind words about it, and for giving me the opportunity to join you today!

The Word Exchange is set in the very near future, just a few years from now. The much-anticipated “death of print” has finally become a reality. That’s a problem for the main characters, because they work together at a dictionary—the last of its kind.

When The Word Exchange begins, the final print edition of their dictionary is just about to come out. After that, the protagonists’ future is uncertain, which, as it happens, is also true of the future of language. That’s because in this near-future world, smart phones have become even smarter than they are today, unlike the people who use them. The handheld devices that people rely on most are called Memes, which anticipate users’ wants and needs. But these handy little machines have also started to corrode people’s memories. There’s no need to remember things anymore when it’s easier just to use “memory.” In fact, many people have even started forgetting the meanings of some words. If a person encounters an unknown term—during a conversation, in a text, etc.—her device will ask if she wants to download its definition (for just a couple of cents) from a huge online database called The Word Exchange. Read more »

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The Romanov Sisters

June 4, 2014 Biography, History, non-fiction 16

18404173Title: The Romanov Sisters
Author: Helen Rappaport
Source: from publisher via NetGalley
Rating: ★★★☆☆
Review Summary: Parts of this book were interesting or moving, but most of the time so many details of the sisters’ monotonous daily routines were included that the story dragged.

Even during the lifetime of the four beautiful Romanov sisters, their mysterious personal lives lead to much speculation and idolization. This book uses many diaries, letters, and other first person accounts to bring the sisters to life. The book starts when their mother journeys to Russia, a lonely bride in a strange land. It then follows the rest of the sisters’ lives, through the beginning of the first world war and their eventual murder by Bolshevik soldiers. Read more »

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The Map Thief

June 1, 2014 Biography, History, Narrative Non-Fiction, non-fiction, Psychology 28

18693681Title: The Map Thief
Author: Michael Blanding
Source: from publisher for review
Rating: ★★★★★
Fun Fact: Because mapmakers continued to depict California as an island after it was known not to be, Ferdinand VII of Spain issued a law which simply stated “California is not an island.”
Review Summary: This is a well-researched story which included both interesting personal details and awesome fun facts written in an engaging way – everything I want from narrative nonfiction!

To most people who knew him, E. Forbes Smiley III appeared to be a respectable, well-to-do map dealer. However, there were some who suspected otherwise, noting his sometimes bounced checks and less than friendly business practices. Nothing could be proven until he dropped a razor blade while visiting a rare book collection, raising the librarians suspicions. The Map Thief tells Smiley’s story, from his childhood through his arrest, as well as the history of map-making and map collecting. The author shares bits of an exclusive post-arrest interview with Smiley and is able to share other personal stories from interviews with friends. He also addresses clues that Smiley might not have been entirely forthcoming about how many maps he stole. Read more »

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Armchair BEA Beyond the Borders – Ways to Add Diversity To Your Reading

May 29, 2014 Blogger Events 33

BeyondTheBorders

Today’s Armchair BEA topic has to do with all the different types of diversity in books, from varied genres to books written in different countries, from books by authors of color to books with LGBT characters. The recent outpouring of support for the We Need Diverse Books campaign suggests many bloggers feel strongly about diversifying our reading. As many bloggers have pointed out before me, one of the most amazing things about books is their ability to inspire empathy for even those very different from ourselves. Here are some of the strategies and resources which have helped me diversify my reading. Read more »

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Armchair BEA Introduction

May 26, 2014 Blogger Events 45

intro

Happy Memorial Day everyone and welcome to Armchair BEA! This is my first Armchair BEA, so I’m excited to join in, do some reading and some cheering, and get to know all of the wonderful bloggers involved. Here are my answers to the introduction questions so you can get to know me a bit too 🙂

Read more »

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