The act of writing always creates something of value. When I'm reading, it is the various manifestations of that inherent and powerful value that I'm looking to capture and share with my fellow book lovers.
From humble days as a bookseller in Colorado, I now live in NYC and work for one of the big publishing houses. I'm always reading a huge variety of books, but you're bound to find more reviews on titles that might not be on every bookstore's shelf quite yet!
And I must also say that it is immensely important to support independent bookstores. Definitely consider shopping with your local bookshop if you don't already!
If you're looking for one then check out the great store I used to work at:
Such an incredible series. I consider myself lucky to be alive in a time where I was able to read this story in its entirety. This is the kind of narrative that feels to be one long tale vs. four separate books. If pressed, though, my favorites as stand alone titles would be #2 and #4. Lila and Elena are the two women who foster a friendship, a rivalry, and ultimately, a uniquely honest love in these wonderful books. The setting is mainly Naples, Italy in the middle of the twentieth century. These books are so very worth your time, and I found myself exposed to a world and a perspective that I continually craved as I got further and further into the series. You've got to pick this up--there is nothing else like it!
This is one that I really felt out of the loop on. However, I'm now caught up. I was fortunate enough to read pretty much the entire book on the NYC subway. It's quite fun to pass by parts of New York as they get mentioned in the narrative. Really powerful voice with Oskar. He definitely shines most brightly in the book. In addition to the wonderful Oskar, I felt that the sections revealing the family history (basically the grandparent's relationship) were interesting as well. Not completely sold on all of the quirks tossed into their characters, but still a good fit with the novel. You've got to feel sorry for Mom too in here. She felt like a very strong character even though she seemed like more of shadow than a presence. I wish that her actual role was expanded more at the end, but I didn't suffer a loss of sleep over her brief appearances either. Fun book. Worth a read, especially if you are into the NYC scene, and it also views 9/11 with the unique lens that is Oskar.
Marina Keeegan was a gift to this world. She remains a gift through her writing today. A great friend of mine sent this book to me in the mail. I know! Mail! Anyway, I thought it was an interesting choice at first. I'd heard Marina's story. The short version went something like: Talented writer and Yale graduate headed to The New Yorker dies in a car crash one week after graduation. Really a bare bones explanation, but for the sake of a quick review it'll do. So as I open this book I discover a note. Upon reading it, I learned that my friend knew her. They spent summers together at camp year after year. He remembers the song she sang at every talent show, and he remembers how excited she was when the final Harry Potter book finally came out. It then so clearly made sense why he sent me this book. I cried constantly through these stories and esssays. The non-fiction touched me most deeply, from the details of Marina's gluten intolerance to her day with an exterminator. She worked hard to hone her writing, and it shows so clearly in these pages. I recommend this book as highly as I can. We are lucky to have this collection from her, and I wish we could have seen her continue to create beautiful works. Go pick this one up. Now. Really. You won't regret it.
I've never been one for mysteries, and I think I know why now: I simply hadn't read any Raymond Chandler. Beautiful imagery, sharp dialogue, and a twisty plot. The pacing felt perfect as well. I loved this story, and it's got a hell of a title to boot.
I picked up an ARC of this one at the last MPIBA Trade Show after everyone was buzzing around the Harper Collins table for it. The story follows a boy and his mother as they travel from their home to a rough New York town around the year 1900. Caleb and Elspeth are searching for killers, and this story really does morph from a tale of vengeance to a story about character. Caleb is faced with situations that no 12-year-old should be posed against, and although these are interesting passages, the true light in this novel is Elspeth's development. You can really feel the richness of her character as more pieces of her murky past actions are revealed throughout the novel. I would recommend this one to historical fiction readers, but I personally felt echoes from Louise Erdrich's latest, "The Round House." We again watch a boy thrust forward into an adulthood that is coming much too soon.
Just in case anyone on here missed this! Also, it's very odd that the actors playing Hazel and Augustus are the same ones playing Tris and Caleb in Divergent... Curious about how well that's going to work out.
I'm writing a thesis about transmedia narratives- a kind of reading and writing I find super exciting. Thesis writing it taking up a lot of my time and is obstructing my pleasure-reading, but if any of you are interested, I'm documenting the process with videos and tweets.
37 Wonderful pieces of bookness!
It's kind of like reading an action movie. Quick, brain candy, but no real sense of accomplishment. All the same, Craig Johnson is a fun mystery writer and a wonderful man. I had the pleasure of buying him a beer this last weekend. It was a Coors Light.
This story is a Christmas tale, and it is very heavy on flight lingo. Check it out if you're in the mood for a bit of fun.