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Thursday, October 29, 2009

The Body Finder and In the Woods

Starting off strong..."The Girl Who Kicked the Hornets' Nest finished second on the U.K.'s book charts last week...according to book sales monitor Nielsen BookScan. It came in behind Dan Brown's thriller The Lost Symbol..." (Shelf Awareness, October 8, 2009). US release for Hornets' Nest scheduled for October 31st.

From last week's New Atlantic region indie book conference...Just finished the advanced reading copy of The Body Finder by Kimberly Derting. While I'm older than the target audience (by far!), I really enjoyed the mystery.
Described as: "A serial killer on the loose...A girl with a morbid ability...And the boy who would never let anything happen to her." On-Sale date: 3/16/2010.

Already out, In the Woods by Tana French. Best described by Nancy Pearl on NPR's Morning Edition: "...intense debut novel...part whodunit, part psychological thriller, and wholly successful...French's plot twists and turns will bamboozle even the most astute reader." Winner of the 2007 Edgar Award for Best First Novel

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Some quick notes

When my sister visited, she left some books and I just finished reading one of them - The Tenderness of Wolves, the debut book of Stef Penney. Not sure if I would have picked up, but I really liked it. "Think Cold Mountain -- only colder...mystery, romance and really bad weather - just try putting this one down." People

Also, finished The Probable Future by Alice Hoffman, one of my favorite authors which explains why it seemed vaguely familiar; I read it a while back. Enjoyed it just as much this time around.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Zombie tips from "Never Slow Dance with a Zombie"

After totally enjoying the movie Zombieland, this book caught my attention. Never Slow Dance with a Zombie by E. Van Lowe is for teens and has received good buzz.

Excerpt from the publisher's website:
...Margot and Sybil arrive at school one day to find that most of the student body has been turned into flesh-eating zombies. When kooky Principal Taft asks the girls to coexist with the zombies until the end of the semester, they realize that this is the perfect opportunity to live out their high school dreams. All they have to do is stay alive....

Principal Taft's 3 Simple Rules for Surviving a Zombie Uprising:

Rule #1: While in the halls, walk slowly and wear a vacant expression on your face. Zombies won't attack other zombies.

Rule #2: Never travel alone. Move in packs. Follow the crowd. Zombies detest blatant displays of individuality.

Rule #3: If a zombie should attack, do not run. Instead, throw raw steak at to him. Zombies love raw meat. This display of kindness will go a long way.

Books so new that...

you can't buy them in the US yet. In my cache of advance reader edition books from the NAIBA conference, here are several more winners.

Incarceron by Catherine Fischer. 'One of this year's most striking fantasy novels' -- Amanda Craig, The Times '... imaginatively drawn and vividly described. ... an exciting adventure story.' -- School Librarian '... stands out above all others ... It's imaginative scale and gobsmacking finale make it one of the best fantasy novels written for a long time.' -- Times, Amanda Craig 'a deliciously dark and scary ride.'

The best review? A 13 year old friend races through the book and wants to share it with his friend before returning it to me. Scheduled for US release in Jan 2010.

The 13th Hour by Richard Doetsch. "A man is given the chance to go back in time in one hour increments to prevent the murder of his wife, a crime that the police think he committed." I had a little trouble getting caught up in this "murder in reverse," but once I settled into the concept, I really enjoyed it. Scheduled for release in late December 2009.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

A book a day, now that's REALLY ambitious

Nina Sankovitch had a quest.

The NY Times interviewed Nina about A Quest to Read a Book a Day for 365 Days.

She started on her birthday, Oct 28th and will be closing out her year of daily book reading in the next two weeks. Wow!

AND she blogs about each book on Read All Day. I wish I could be that hardcore. (although with the stacks of books around my room, I could read a book a day and not run out for a LONG time...) word on whether she'll continue.

(Thanks for the story, My-Van!)

Friday, October 9, 2009

Random thoughts on traveling

Packing again and again...That’s how I feel when I go through the checkpoint – re-pack the computer; put my shoes on, put the liquids back in my bag and don’t hold up the line. You can tell the folks who know the drill, they’re ready to go through and quickly re-assemble.
I'm getting old because I remember when you could arrive 10 minutes before your flight and get on the plane. I remember walking off the jetway from a 17 hour flight from South Africa and my sister greeting us with flowers. I remember when friends drove you to the airport and visited until you boarded the plane. I’m probably like many others who’ve traveled this way (pre 9/11), who miss the ease, civility and feeling of adventure than has been replaced with lines,

"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover." ~ Mark Twain

...And why can’t we somehow collect the water we all throw away at the security checkpoint and use it water plants on the airport property or for the fountains? What a waste of a previous resource.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Just reading about The Guinea Pig Diaries had me laughing

(hint - I would like this as a gift if I don't break down and buy it myself first)

In the words of A.J. Jacobs' website (since he's way funnier than me):
"Jacobs is the editor at large at Esquire magazine and author of two New York Times bestsellers...In 2004, Simon & Schuster published The Know-It-All...spent eight weeks on the New York Times paperback bestseller list.

In 2007, The Year of Living Biblically was released...It appeared on the cover of the evangelical magazine Relevant, but was also featured in Penthouse. (Jacobs is proud to be a uniter, not a divider)."

In September of 2009, his new book -- The Guinea Pig Diaries: My Life as an Experiment -- was published.

"These experiments wreaked havoc on my life, and drove both my wife and me to the brink of insanity, but also gave me fascinating insights." Experiments include:

My Outsourced Life:
Why should Fortune 500 companies have all the fun? I hired a team in Bangalore, India, to take care of everything in my life. And I mean everything. My e-mails, phone calls, shopping, arguments with my wife and reading bedtime stories to my son.

The Unitasker:
I was so distracted – by the internet, by my cell phone, by snacks beckoning from the kitchen – that I was four months behind deadline in writing this book. So I became the Unitasker...I unplugged my laptop, I meditated, I talked on the phone – just talked, no surfing the internet at the same time – crazy, no? (it helps that I blindfolded myself). I literally tied myself to my desk chair. It did end up changing my life. I’ve come to believe multitasking isn’t just a minor problem, it’s the Eleventh plague.

I Think You’re Fat:
I became a temporary convert to the Radical Honesty movement, which teaches that you should never, ever lie. But more than that, you should say whatever’s on your mind. You should remove the filter between your brain and your mouth. This was the worst month of my life. I had to spend the following weeks apologizing to everyone I offended. But it was also one of the most illuminating.

Whipped (a.k.a. the perfect spouse):
At the suggestion of readers who point out that my wife is a saint, I vowed to spend a month agreeing to her every command. Sure, it was a month of Kate Hudson movies and foot massages —but also of stereotype-shattering insights into the politics of the modern American marriage. Plus, at one point, I had wear a male chastity belt. (It comes in three varieties—clear plastic, wood-paneled and camouflage!) And Julie gets to write the final section.

And each of them comes with a conclusion about the lessons I’ve learned. Plus, my wife writes a rebuttal you don’t want to miss."

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Can it really do that??

Having worked with infomercial companies, I'm a little suspicious of a book that helps you lose weight, obtain career success, improve relationships (while laying on the couch), but check the excerpt from Good Morning America.

How To Rule The World From Your Couch by Laura Day
From Fresh Fiction:
"In her new book...Laura Day teaches you or your company how to create success in any area by using your brain in unique and compel-ling ways so that your innate intuition can propel you ahead to successful solutions.

The step-by-step exercises included -- many of which can (and should!) be done from the comfort of your couch -- will show you how you can:

• Find and secure your dream job
• Maintain solid relationships, even at a distance
• Lose weight by reclaiming the body you were meant to have
• Know how to spot your perfect mate
• Make better investments and business decisions
• Negotiate differences in the workplace
• Have an understanding relationship with your child
• Identify which opportunities will pan out
• Project a desirable image for yourself or your product
• Anticipate and resolve difficult conflict before you walk into a situation

...Day has shown that 98 percent of success is planning and that you, therefore, have the power to transform your life."

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

US release of film version of Girl with Dragon Tattoo in early 2010

From Shelf Awareness
"The film version of Stieg Larsson's novel The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo now has a U.S. distributor. Variety reported that Music Box Films acquired the U.S. rights to the Swedish thriller, "which has grossed almost $100 million internationally and has still to open in Germany. The $13 million pic, the first in the 'Millennium' trilogy based on Stieg Larsson's international bestsellers, is slated for U.S. release early next year. It has been sold to 30 territories. . . . The next pic in the trilogy, The Girl Who Played With Fire, has already taken $16 million from four foreign markets. The third film, The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest, is in post-production and will be released this year."

View info on film.

Monday, October 5, 2009

books, books and more books

a veritable book orgy - so much as to be somewhat overwhelming. I just left the New Atlantic Independent Bookseller Association (NAIBA) Fall Conference. Besides helpful information, contacts and wonderful, generous spirit of the independent bookstore owners, I come home with piles of books. It's lovely!

I do feel a little selfish, so if any of my friends would like to read some wonderful new books, let me know. All I ask is that you give me a thumbs up/thumbs down on the book as many of these are soon to be released new books.

More specifics on the book bounty later...

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Dragon Tattoo and Zombies

Nope, not the same book, but two books I finished recently.

There's a reason why Stieg Larsson has a book at the top of the hard cover and paper back mystery lists right now. Having read an excellent review of The Girl Who Played with Fire, I decided I wanted to go back and read the first book The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (besides liking the title). Fresh Air (NPR) describes it far better than I: "A super-smart amalgam of the corporate corruption tale, legal thriller and dysfunctional-family psychological suspense story." And so much more...

The third book in the trilogy The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest is getting great reviews and will be released in the US until October 31, 2009.

For a little background on this series and how pippi longstocking fits in...

Also finished Pride and Prejudice and the original Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy end up together and unlike the original, survive the disapproval of Lady Catherine as evidenced by the attack of her ninjas on Pemberley.