Monday, May 23, 2016

Giveaway - Pen and Palate - Lucy Madison and Tram Nguyen

I've a got a great giveaway today for anyone who can connect with food - and friendship!

Pen and Palate: Mastering the Art of Adulthood, with Recipes by Lucy Madison and Tram Nguyen. (Releases May 31/16)

From Grand Central Publishing:

"From the writers of acclaimed blog Pen and Palate, a humorous coming-of-age (and mastering-the-art-of-home-cooking) memoir of friendship, told through stories, recipes, and beautiful illustrations.

Getting through life in your twenties isn't easy--especially if you're broke, awkward, and prone to starting small grease fires in your studio apartment. For best friends Lucy Madison and Tram Nguyen, cooking was an escape from the daily humiliation that is being a twenty-something woman in a big city. Pen and Palate traces the course of Lucy and Tram's devoted friendship through miserable jobs and tiny apartments, first loves and ill-advised flings, successes and setbacks--always with a shared love of food at the center of the narrative. A modern take on Laurie Colwin's classic Home Cooking, this coming-of-age memoir for the Girls set weaves together comical (mis)adventures and recipes meant to be shared with a best friend and a bottle of wine." Read an excerpt of Pen and Palate.

You can connect with Lucy and Tram on:  || Website  ||  Twitter  ||  Facebook  ||

And if you'd like to read Pen and Palate, I have two copies to giveaway! Simply enter to win using the Rafflecopter form below. Open to US and Canada, no PO boxes please. Ends June 4/16.

Friday, May 20, 2016

You Can't Judge A Book By Its Cover #106

- 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
I thought Ruth Ware's debut novel, In a Dark, Dark Wood was fantastic. And I see she has a new one, The Woman in Cabin 10, coming out in the next few months. The US cover is on the left and the UK cover is on the right. I think I'm drawn more the US cover this week. Obviously it's on a ship, but I like the way the letters are smeared and kind of dripping. The UK cover also tells us it's on a ship and the tagline gives us a bit more. And it's clever how the woman is almost in a bullseye with the zero. But, I'm going with US this week. What about you? Which cover do you prefer?
Any plans to read The Woman in Cabin 10?
You Can't Judge A Book By Its Cover is a regular feature at A Bookworm's World.

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Esther The Wonder Pig - Review AND Giveaway

Okay, the title caught your eye didn't it? Esther the Wonder Pig: Changing the World One Heart at a Time. And how about that cute little piggy face?

Well, inside the pages of Steve Jenkins and Derek Walter's new book, written with Caprice Crane, you'll find the story of Esther, the mini pig that was, well, a big pig.

Steve and his partner Derek are animal lovers. They were living with a pair of dogs and cats in their home in a large urban area in Ontario when an old high school friend of Steve's contacted him. (After 15 years of no contact...)

" Hey Steve. I know you've always been a huge animal lover. I have a mini pig that is not getting along with my dogs. I've just had a baby and I can't keep the pig."

Uh huh. So combined with that 15 years and the words 'mini pig', alarms should be going off right? Nope - Steve ends up meeting the woman and bringing home the cute little animal. It's the word 'huge' in that email that is quite prophetic. 'Esther' isn't a mini (surprise!) - instead, she ends up being a full blown commercial size pig. Yes, a 650 pound pig in a 1000 sq.ft. home!

I really enjoyed Steve's voice - I suspect he would be a hoot to meet in person. He's passionate, impetuous and downright funny. I found myself laughing out loud many times. Derek seems to be a bit calmer and more practical. But their love for Esther is the same.

Loving a full sized pig does bring some inevitable changes - physically, mentally and lifestyle. How those changes occurred and how they literally affected and inspired hundreds of thousands of people is a wonderful, heartwarming tale. Esther's story will bring a smile to your day, have you taking a second look at where your food comes from, perhaps inspire you to investigate a vegan lifestyle, support rescue operations and more.

Oh, and my book has a nice little blurb from Ricky Gervais: "Funny, moving, and heartwarming. The greatest love story ever told between two men and their pig." Yup, that about sums it up. A fun read that will leave you smiling. Read an excerpt of Esther the Wonder Pig. My only negative is the celebrity comparisons that just felt forced and awkward.

You can keep up with Esther, Steve and Derek and learn more on : ||   Website   || Esther the Wonder Pig's Facebook Page ||  Esther's Community Kitchen Facebook Page  ||  Happily Ever Esther Farm Sanctuary  || Twitter  ||  Instagram  ||  Fan Club ||

So, if you'd like to read Esther's story, enter to win one of two copies being given away using the Rafflecopter form below. Open to US and Canada, no PO boxes please. Ends June 4/16.

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Over the Counter #215

What books caught my eye this week as they passed over the library counter and under my scanner? All about homes this week - past and present....

First up is The Making of Home by Judith Flanders.

From the publisher, Atlantic Books:

"The idea that 'home' is a special place, a separate place, a place where we can be our true selves, is so obvious to us today that we barely pause to think about it.

But, as Judith Flanders shows in this revealing book, 'home' is a relatively new concept. When in 1900 Dorothy assured the citizens of Oz that 'There is no place like home', she was expressing a view that was a culmination of 300 years of economic, physical and emotional change. In The Making of Home, Flanders traces the evolution of the house across northern Europe and America from the sixteenth to the early twentieth century, and paints a striking picture of how the homes we know today differ from homes through history.

The transformation of houses into homes, she argues, was not a private matter, but an essential ingredient in the rise of capitalism and the birth of the Industrial Revolution. Without 'home', the modern world as we know it would not exist, and as Flanders charts the development of ordinary household objects - from cutlery, chairs and curtains, to fitted kitchens, plumbing and windows - she also peels back the myths that surround some of our most basic assumptions, including our entire notion of what it is that makes a family. As full of fascinating detail as her previous bestsellers, The Making of Home is also a book teeming with original and provocative ideas."

And the present? Who better than The Property Brothers and their new book, Dream Home: The Property Brothers' Ultimate Guide to Finding and Fixing Your Perfect House.

From the publisher, Houghton, Mifflin, Harcourt:

"Jonathan and Drew Scott have taken HGTV by storm with their four hit shows, Property Brothers, Property Brothers at Home, Buying and Selling, and Brother vs. Brother. The talented duo’s good-natured rivalry, playful banter, and no-nonsense strategies have earned the popular twins millions of devoted fans who have been anxiously waiting for a Scott Brothers book. Dream Home is a comprehensive source, covering the ins and outs of buying, selling, and renovating a house, with hundreds of full-color photos throughout.

The brothers cover numerous topics including the hidden costs of moving, savvy negotiating tactics, and determining your home must-haves. Other handy features include a calendar of key dates for finding the best deals on home products and a cheat sheet of worth-it fix-its. Look inside for a wealth of information on attaining what you want—on time and on budget. Dream Home also includes all the tips and tricks you won’t see on TV, making it a must-have resource not just for fans but for any current or aspiring homeowner."

(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 17, 2016

Every Exquisite Thing - Matthew Quick

Matthew Quick's latest book, Every Exquisite Thing, is a YA read.

I've enjoyed Quick's quirky characters, plots and thoughts in his previous books, especially The Silver Linings Playbook and The Good Luck of Right Now.

When a beloved teacher gives Nannette O'Hare an out of print, cult classic novel called The Bubblegum Reaper, she is entranced, enthralled and consumed with it. She hunts down the author and meets Alex, another teen just as fascinated with the book, its origins and the meaning behind the words.

Quick has created characters I wanted to be drawn to, that I wanted to care about. But I never really warmed up to Nanette. I felt like more of a dispassionate observer, rather than becoming immersed in her path. She herself employs a detached look at her own life, pretending to be someone she's not in the latter part of the book. I enjoyed the the supporting characters a bit more - I liked Alex and Oliver, but again was disappointed with how Quick dealt with Alex. Without revealing the plot line, I was angered by the way his story went - and how it was dealt with by the adults in his life. Booker, the author of The Bubblegum Reaper, kinda creeped me out a little bit. I found his involvement with these teens troublesome.

But, Quick had me just as curious about the book and what the answers might be. I was engrossed in the story until he had the main character talking about herself in the third person. Hated it. A little bit would have been okay, but it just became annoying and irritating. And I finished off reading with that irked feeling.

Every Exquisite Thing is a coming of age tale. Quick does bring in events, thoughts and situations that are part of a teen's search for self. The end message is good, but I just didn't enjoy the journey to the revelations as much as I had hoped to. Quick is a talented wordsmith and an author I will absolutely read again - this one just wasn't a hit with me. Read an excerpt of Every Exquisite Thing.

The title? It's a quote from Oscar Wilde's The Picture of Dorian Gray - "Behind every exquisite thing that existed, there was something tragic."

Monday, May 16, 2016

Giveaway - A Mary Kay Andrews Goody Bag!

For me, summer reading must include the latest Mary Kay Andrews book! Well, to celebrate the release (tomorrow May 17/16) of her newest read - The Weekenders - I have a fantastic MKA prize pack to give away to one lucky reader!

What in the prize pack? Glad you asked! Inside you'll find:

• A copy of BEACH TOWN in trade paperback
• A copy of SPRING FEVER in mass market paperback
• Two different Mary Kay Andrews bookmarks
• A recipe card featuring two recipes from MKA’s kitchen
• BEACH TOWN sunglasses
• BEACH TOWN lip balm with SPF 15

"Mary Kay Andrews is the New York Times bestselling author of Beach Town, Save the Date, Ladies' Night, Christmas Bliss Spring Fever, Summer Rental, The Fixer Upper, Deep Dish, Blue Christmas, Savanna Breeze, Hissy Fit, Little Bitty Lies and Savannah Blues, with THE WEEKENDERS coming from St. Martin’s Press on May 17, 2016.

As a lifelong “junker” the author claims to know the location of every promising thrift store, flea market and junkpile in the Southeastern United States, plus many parts of Ohio.

Married to her high school sweetheart, Tom, she has two adult children and two grandchildren. After a three-year hiatus in Raleigh, NC, she and her husband moved back to their old neighborhood in Atlanta. She also owns two restored beach cottages on Tybee Island, GA, both of which are named for fictional locations in her novels." You can connect with Mary Kay Andrews on: 
||   Website   ||   Facebook   ||   Twitter   ||   Pinterest   ||   Instagram  ||

Enter using the Rafflecopter form below for a chance to win.
Open to US only, no PO boxes please. Ends May 28/16.
Oh, and watch for my forthcoming review of The Weekenders - and another giveaway!

Blog Tour - The Only Thing Worse Than You Is Me - Lily Anderson

A Bookworm's World is the next stop on the blog tour for The Only Thing Worse Than You Is Me by Lily Anderson.

What's it about? From Griffin Teen:

"Trixie Watson has two very important goals for senior year: to finally save enough to buy the set of Doctor Who figurines at the local comic books store, and to place third in her class and knock Ben West--and his horrendous new mustache that he spent all summer growing--down to number four.

Trixie will do anything to get her name ranked over Ben's, including give up sleep and comic books--well, maybe not comic books--but definitely sleep. After all, the war of Watson v. West is as vicious as the Doctor v. Daleks and Browncoats v. Alliance combined, and it goes all the way back to the infamous monkey bars incident in the first grade. Over a decade later, it's time to declare a champion once and for all.

The war is Trixie's for the winning, until her best friend starts dating Ben's best friend and the two are unceremoniously dumped together and told to play nice. Finding common ground is odious and tooth-pullingly-painful, but Trixie and Ben's cautious truce slowly transforms into a fandom-based tentative friendship. When Trixie's best friend gets expelled for cheating and Trixie cries foul play, however, they have to choose who to believe and which side they're on--and they might not pick the same side.

Credit: Sarah Lambert
The Only Thing Worse Than Me Is You is a geeky, contemporary retelling of Shakespeare's Much Ado About Nothing." Check out the excerpt below!

"Lily Anderson is an elementary school librarian and Melvil Dewey fangirl with an ever-growing collection of musical theater tattoos and Harry Potter ephemera. She lives in Northern California. This is her debut novel."

Friday, May 13, 2016

You Can't Judge A Book By Its Cover #105

- 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
Susie Steiner's newest novel, Missing, Presumed is the first in a new series. It's a crime thriller, so it is right up my alley! The US cover is on the left and the UK cover is on the right. Two very different covers this week. Having read the synopsis, I'm going to go with the UK cover this week. The cover shot suits a crime novel, the font used for the title is bold and the tagline gives you a further clue. The US cover shot doesn't hint at a crime novel at all. At first glance, I would think family drama were it not for the title. What about you? What cover do you prefer?
Any plans to read Missing, Presumed?
You Can't Judge A Book By Its Cover is a regular feature at A Bookworm's World