Monday, June 24, 2013

Upcoming Good Reads

I thought I'd do a little post about my upcoming reads.

Nicole Galland's newest book Godiva is my next read.  The book comes out July 2nd and I've been emailing her and it looks like I'll be able to do a little interview with her.  Yippee! I fell in love with her work after reading I, Iago (my review) last year.  I also have her novel Revenge of the Rose on my shelf to read which will hopefully get read before the summer is out.  If you notice, Nicole sent me a copy and I got another copy so I'll be able to do a giveaway!

If you head over to Book Bath's blog, you'll see she's gearing up for Paris in July.  I love love this idea and for the past couple of years can't help but join in the fun.  I snagged the library book sale copy of Foreign Tongue last year in anticipation for this.  I have no clue about the author or book so we'll see.  I've also been sitting on The Paris Wife for WAY too long.  I read almost a 100 pages and loved it but somehow got sidetracked a while back.  I'll be starting over and finishing it up.  I might be biased though because I'm fascinated with Hemingway.  I adore For Whom the Bell Tolls but so far haven't loved any of his other works as much as that one.

I won this copy of Nancy Bilyeau's novel The Crown from Peeking Between the Pages. I've heard such great things about this series so when I was asked to join the TLC Book Tour for her second novel The Chalice in August I jumped!  I just DEVOURED The Crown - absolutely loved it - and am so excited they sent me a paperback copy as well. So I'll be able to do another giveaway!  Yay!

So far this has been a great summer to read.  For those of you who don't know, my toddler Rocket is about to get a little brother in just a few weeks so lately I've been having to just kick up my feet and take it easy. Which means more time to read!  This was my view from my chair yesterday:

I hope everyone else is having a great summer and enjoying their reads!  What have you been reading or looking forward to read?

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Book Envy - The Ocean at the End of the Lane

I was beyond excited and surprised when this showed up in my mail a couple of days ago. I did not think I'd get so lucky to get Neil Gaiman's latest.  How beautiful is this little gem?  Today is the publication date so you too can run out and buy it.

Because everyone should look this happy when they read a book:

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Doctor Who Giveaway Winner!

Thanks to everyone who entered my giveaway for Doctor Who!  Not to waste any more timey wimey, the winner is:

Scott D.!

Congratulations!  I'll be emailing you and asking to confirm which of the three books you'd like.  I'll admit that Who-ology is AWESOME for any new or old fan.

Monday, June 10, 2013

My Name is Memory - Ann Brashares

Title: My Name is Memory
Author: Ann Brashares
Hardcover: 324 pages
Audiobook: 10 hours, 55 min
Narrators: Kathe Mazur & Lincoln Hoppe
Publisher: Penguin Audio
Published date: 2010
FTC: Hardcover bought at library bookstore, audio from library

I snagged a hardcover copy of My Name is Memory from the library bookstore. I remember a few years ago it receiving pretty good reviews and I read her novel The Last Summer of You (and Me) and thought she was a pretty good author (my review).  I'm trying to make room on my rapidly bulging bookshelves right now so when I saw the library had the audiobook I snagged it up.  Note: I pretty much always will have a different opinion of a book solely based on audio - there's just so many different things to judge when listening versus reading.

Back of the book:

Daniel has spent centuries falling in love with the same girl. Life after life, crossing continents and dynasties, he and Sophia (despite her changing name and form) have been drawn together-and he remembers it all. Daniel has "the memory", the ability to recall past lives and recognize souls of those he's previously known. It is a gift and a curse. For all the times that he and Sophia have been drawn together throughout history, they have also been torn painfully, fatally, apart. A love always too short.

Interwoven through Sophia and Daniel's unfolding present day relationship are glimpses of their expansive history together. From 552 Asia Minor to 1918 England and 1972 Virginia, the two souls share a long and sometimes torturous path of seeking each other time and time again. But just when young Sophia (now "Lucy" in the present) finally begins to awaken to the secret of their shared past, to understand the true reason for the strength of their attraction, the mysterious force that has always torn them apart reappears. Ultimately, they must come to understand what stands in the way of their love if they are ever to spend a lifetime together.

A magical, suspenseful, heartbreaking story of true love, My Name is Memory proves the power and endurance of a union that was meant to be.

My thoughts:

My Name is Memory is such an original and unique love story.  I really enjoyed Daniel's narration and part of the story.  Lincoln Hoppe did an excellent job telling his story and perhaps it's because I love history but the narrations of his previous lives were fascinating.  Although I couldn't help but think that after all of his lives and the fact that he could remember everything, he still seemed so young and naive.   His basis for his great love with Sophia also seemed a bit weak.  It's what I'd think a person married to their soul mate and true love for 50 years would compare to a high school kid with their first crush.  Daniel seemed more on the high school crush level.  But whatever.

The writing, as I was expecting from my experience with The Last Summer of You (and Me) is awesome.  But there's still something I didn't like.  Both My Name is Memory and The Last Summer of You (and Me) are touted as Adult books versus her YA series Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants.  But I just don't see it.  While My Name is Memory starts with Daniel and Lucy meeting in high school, the majority of the story takes place while Lucy is in college and grad school - so adult right?  I guess it just still seems like a YA book.  Maybe like I said above, it's because it's still got a bit of that cheese of high school crush/first love stuff.

Lucy wasn't my favorite character.  I mean she just seemed like one of those blase bland Twilight Bella characters who just kind of course through like waiting for something or someone to happen rather than take control. That always bothers me.  The narration in the audio book was also a bit odd.  When flash backing to Daniel's past, Lincoln Hoppe narrated.  But present-day Lucy was narrated by Kathe Mazur - makes sense.  But sometimes present-day Daniel was narrated by Ms Mazur as well.  Seemed odd.  But they both did a great job: weren't annoying and easy to follow along.

The other irksome thing is the ending.  It doesn't really wrap up nicely and just leaves you hanging.  Ann Brashares said on her blog that she plans on writing a sequel but I'm not sure how that is going.  Will I read it if/when it comes out?  Hmm.  Maybe.  I think that it's because of despite the well written and unique story, the relationship between Daniel and Lucy still seemed too YA and juvenile for me.  Would I have loved this story when I was younger? Absolutely. But touted as an "adult" novel it just didn't do it for me.

Friday, June 7, 2013

The Intercept - Dick Wolf

Title: The Intercept: A Jeremy Fisk Novel
Author: Dick Wolf
Paperback: 387 pages (ARE version)
Publisher: William Morrow
Published date: January 2013
FTC: Requested to ARE to review

It's funny how my reading preferences shift and change over the years.  A while ago I would have told you I prefer historical fiction and classics. While still true I've also fallen for more mysteries, YA books, dystopian stuff, fantasy, and sci-fi.  For some reason Dick Wolf's new suspense series revolving around Jeremy Fisk, a detective in the NYPD Intelligence Division really caught my interest.  If you are looking for a well-written beach read or airplane book this summer, you can't miss with this one.

Back of the book:

Days before the July Fourth holiday and the dedication of One World Trade Center at Ground Zero, an incident aboard a commercial jet over the Atlantic Ocean reminds everyone that vigilance is not a task to be taken lightly. But for iconoclastic New York Police detective Jeremy Fisk, it may also be a signal that there is much more to this case than the easy answer: that this is just the work of another lone terrorist. 

Fisk—from the department’s Intelligence Division, a well-funded anti-terror unit modeled upon the CIA—suspects that the event might also be a warning sign that another, potentially more extraordinary scheme has been set in motion. Fluent in Arabic and the ways of his opponents, Fisk is a rule breaker who follows his gut—even if it means defying those above him in the department’s food chain. So when a passenger from the same plane, a Saudi Arabian national, disappears into the crowds of Manhattan, it’s up to Fisk and his partner Krina Gersten to find him before the celebrations begin. 

Watching each new lead fizzle, chasing shadows to dead ends, Fisk and Gersten quickly realize that their opponents are smarter and more agile than any they have ever faced. Extremely clever and seemingly invisible, they are able to exploit any security weakness and anticipate Fisk’s every move. And time is running out.

My thoughts:

Sometimes books like these can be pretty generic: terrorist plot-line - check, New York City setting - check, time running out - check.  But what stands out with Dick Wolf's debut novel is the writing.  I've read some similar author/genre novels and they can be a bit simplistic: short simple sentences which rely on a lot of drama and action to keep you reading.  Dick Wolf can actually write which made this novel a refreshing change for this genre.

The other thing that I enjoyed was the New York City setting.  Ok, sometimes NYC settings can really annoy me.  They can be so cliched and the characters really annoying.  But I felt Wolf's NYC was authentic.  I also found his descriptions of NYPD policies and policing post 9/11 to be fascinating. It's still amazing to me how much the world has changed in the last decade.

While I enjoyed Jeremy Fisk's character and more importantly his role within the NYPD, I felt that his character development was the only thing really lacking in the book.  Considering this is the character upon whom a series is going revolve around, I don't feel like I really got to know him.  I actually liked Krina Gersten better and kind of wished this was a Krina Gersten Book #1 novel instead of Fisk.  I can only hope that future books in the series flesh out the character a bit more.

Also Reviewed By:
Luxury Reading