Friday, May 25, 2018

You Can’t Judge a Book By It’s Cover #212

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
Elin Hilderbrand is always a good choice for beach bag reading. Her forthcoming book, The Perfect Couple, releases June 19 on both sides of the pond. The US cover is on the left and the UK cover is on the right. Both covers have 'beachy' pictures - one on the sand and one on a dock or promenade.The word 'perfect' is italicized on both covers. The UK gives us a bit more with a cover tagline. But here's what always makes or breaks a cover for me. I want to form my own mental images of the characters based on the author's words. So and easy choice for me this week - US. I like the subtlety of the feet sticking out from under the umbrella rather that the definite images of two people. What about you? Any plans to read The Perfect Couple? Which cover do you prefer this week?
You Can't Judge A Book By Its Cover is a regular feature at A Bookworm's World.

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Over the Counter # 419

What book caught my eyes this week as it passed over the library counter and under my scanner? Trees this week.... specifically.....

Wise Trees by Diane Cook, and Len Jenshel.

From the publisher, Harry Abrams:

"Leading landscape photographers Diane Cook and Len Jenshel present Wise Trees—a stunning photography book containing more than 50 historical trees with remarkable stories from around the world.

Supported by grants from the Expedition Council of the National Geographic Society, Cook and Jenshel spent two years traveling to fifty-nine sites across five continents to photograph some of the world’s most historic and inspirational trees. Trees, they tell us, can live without us, but we cannot live without them. Not only do trees provide us with the oxygen we breathe, food gathered from their branches, and wood for both fuel and shelter, but they have been essential to the spiritual and cultural life of civilizations around the world.

From Luna, the Coastal Redwood in California that became an international symbol when activist Julia Butterfly Hill sat for 738 days on a platform nestled in its branches to save it from logging, to the Bodhi Tree, the sacred fig in India that is a direct descendent of the tree under which Buddha attained enlightenment, Cook and Jenshel reveal trees that have impacted and shaped our lives, our traditions, and our feelings about nature. There are also survivor trees, including a camphor tree in Nagasaki that endured the atomic bomb, an American elm in Oklahoma City, and the 9/11 Survivor Tree, a Callery pear at the 9/11 Memorial. All of the trees were carefully selected for their role in human dramas.

This project both reflects and inspires awareness of the enduring role of trees in nurturing and sheltering humanity. Photographers, environmentalists, history buffs, and nature-lovers alike will appreciate the extraordinary stories found within the pages of Wise Trees!"

(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, May 22, 2018

Mr. Flood's Last Resort - Jess Kidd

Every so often I stumble across a jewel of a book, a wonderfully unexpected, serendipitous read. Such is the case with Jess Kidd's novel, Mr. Flood's Last Resort.

Mr. Flood is a cantankerous old man, living in his crumbling mansion Bridlemere, surrounded by his 'collections.' His son wants to put him in a home and Mr. Flood has one last chance to stay put - let a carer into the house to clean up the house - and him. That last resort is Maud Drennan.

That's just the starting point. There is so much happening in this novel - and it makes for an absolutely addicting read.

Maud has a tragedy in her past - one that only slowly comes to light as the book progresses. "You'll only cause bloody trouble. Like you did before." There's mystery in Cathal Flood's life as well. A mystery that the house itself seems to be revealing to Maud as she cleans. Maud also receives assistance from the various Saints that trail after her. Ones of course that only she can see and hear.

Kidd's characters are quirky and quickly endeared themselves to me. I adored Maud, but her agoraphobic neighbour Renata is a close second. Cathal Flood will have your emotions running the gamut.

Mr. Flood's Last Resort is infused with magical realism. I enjoy this story telling element and Kidd does it extremely well, with the Saints and the collapsing house that seems determined to put the past right. Irish fables and proverbs  add to that atmosphere. Kidd's prose are wonderful.

There's a mystery to be solved in Mr. Flood's last resort, but there's so much more to the tale. Forgiveness speaks loudly. Heartbreaking, heartwarming and so very, very good. (And that ending? Perfect - although I wished I knew more....) Absolutely recommended. Read an excerpt of Mr. Flood's Last Resort.

Monday, May 21, 2018

Giveaway - The Dante Chamber - Matthew Pearl

Matthew Pearl's newest book, The Dante Chamber, releases on May 29/18 - and I have a copy to giveaway!

From the publisher, Penguin Press:

"From Matthew Pearl, the New York Times bestselling author of The Dante Club, a masterful tale of literature, obsession, and murder.

The year is 1870. Five years after a series of Dante-inspired killings disrupted Boston, a man is found murdered in the public gardens of London with an enormous stone around his neck etched with a verse from the Divine Comedy. When more mysterious murders erupt across the city, all in the style of the punishments Dante memorialized in Purgatory, poet Christina Rossetti fears her brother, the Dante-obsessed artist and writer Gabriel Rossetti, will be the next victim.

Christina enlists poets Robert Browning and Alfred Tennyson, and famous scholar Dr. Oliver Wendell Holmes, to assist in deciphering the literary clues. Together these unlikely investigators rush to unravel the secrets of Dante’s verses in order to find Gabriel and stop the killings. Racing between the shimmering mansions of the elite and the dark corners of London’s underworld, they descend further and further into the mystery. But when the true inspiration behind the gruesome murders is finally revealed, Christina realizes that the perpetrator has even bigger and more horrific plans than she had initially thought.

A dazzling tale of intrigue from the writer Library Journal calls “the reigning king of popular literary historical thrillers,” The Dante Chamber is a riveting adventure across London and through Dante. Expertly blending fact and fiction, Pearl gives us a historical mystery like no other, captivating and enthralling until the last page." Read an excerpt of The Dante Chamber.

Photo: © Mark Ostow
"Matthew Pearl is the New York Times bestselling author of The Dante Club, The Poe Shadow, The Last Dickens, The Technologists, The Last Bookaneer, and The Dante Chamber, and the editor of the Modern Library editions of Dante’s Inferno (translated by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow) and Edgar Allan Poe’s The Murders in the Rue Morgue: The Dupin Tales. His books have been translated into more than thirty languages, and his nonfiction writing has appeared in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Boston Globe, and Slate." You can connect with Matthew Pearl on his website, like him on Facebook and follow him on Twitter.

If you'd like to read The Dante Chamber, enter to win a copy using the Rafflecopter form below. Open to US only, no PO boxes please. Ends June 2/18.

Friday, May 18, 2018

You Can't Judge A Book By Its Cover # 211

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
House swapping. It's done all the time, But what if...."It seems the person they have swapped with is someone she used to know; someone she’s desperate to leave in her past. I like the premise. Now, about the covers... The US cover is on the left and the UK cover is on the right. Both are somewhat muted in tone. A window in one, two doors on the other. Fairly similar font look for the title. Same tagline on both. So, it's hard to escape these days - there is indeed a woman peeking through the curtains on the US cover. I'm going with the UK cover this week. I like the white vs. black doors and the opposite font colour on each door. I like the mystery of what's behind each door, instead of the woman's face. Overall I think it has a more ominous feel and I would be likely to pick it up to have a look inside. What about you? And plans to read The House Swap? Which cover do you prefer this week?
You Can't Judge A Book By Its Cover is a regular feature at A Bookworm's World.

Thursday, May 17, 2018

Giveaway - The Girl in the Ice - Robert Bryndza

Do you like thrillers? Yes? Well then, you're going to want to enter today's giveaway!

The Girl in the Ice is the first book in Robert Bryndza's Detective Ericka Foster series.

From Grand Central Publishing:

"Compelling at every turn! The Girl in the Ice grabs us from the first page and simply won’t let go.” —Jeffery Deaver, #1 internationally bestselling author

Her eyes are wide open. Her lips parted as if to speak. Her dead body frozen in the ice…She is not the only one.

When a young boy discovers the body of a woman beneath a thick sheet of ice in a South London park, Detective Erika Foster is called in to lead the murder investigation.

The victim, a beautiful young socialite, appeared to have the perfect life. Yet when Erika begins to dig deeper, she starts to connect the dots between the murder and the killings of three prostitutes, all found strangled, hands bound and dumped in water around London.

What dark secrets is the girl in the ice hiding?

As Erika inches closer to uncovering the truth, the killer is closing in on Erika.

The last investigation Erika led went badly wrong… resulting in the death of her husband. With her career hanging by a thread, Erika must now battle her own personal demons as well as a killer more deadly than any she’s faced before. But will she get to him before he strikes again?" Read an excerpt of The Girl in the Ice.

"Robert Bryndza is the author of the international #1 bestselling Detective Erika Foster series. Robert’s books have sold over 2 million copies and have been translated into 27 languages. He is British and lives in Slovakia." You can connect with Robert on his website and follow him on Twitter

If you'd like to read The Girl in the Ice, enter to win a copy using the Rafflecopter form below. Open to US and Canada, no PO boxes please. Ends June 2/18.

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Over the Counter #418

What book caught my eye this week as it passed over the library counter and under my scanner? Well, wrong season as summer is on the way, but this is still fascinating......

Lace Up: A History of Skates in Canada by Jean-Marie Leduc with Sean Graham and Julie L├ęger.

From Heritage House Publishing:

"A charmingly illustrated history of the humble skate and its place in Canadian cultural identity.

Throughout our 150-year history, and even longer, people have braved the treacherous Canadian winters and taken to the ice for the purposes of transportation, competition, exercise, and just plain fun. Canadian culture has developed around ice and the recreational opportunities it provides, and much has been written about our love affair with hockey, figure skating, and speed skating. However, one crucial element has always been left out of the discussion.

The skate—that piece of metal underneath your foot that allows you to move on ice—is much more than the sum of its few simple parts. Indeed, the people, the rules, and the games all have stories, but they have also been shaped by the equipment. In ancient times, skates with blades made from animal bones were used to facilitate travel during the winter. Today, the newest models of skates are constantly being tweaked and improved to allow athletes to push themselves in the face of international competition.

Drawing from his own collection of over 350 pairs of historical skates, as well as archival photos and illustrations, world-renowned skate expert Jean-Marie Leduc takes the reader on a journey through the history and development of this humble device and traces its role in our national imagination."

(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!)