Saturday, October 25, 2014

You Can't Judge a Book By Its Cover #27

- You can't judge a book by its cover - which is very true.
But you can like one cover version better than another...
Canadian cover
US cover
I was hunting down cover art for this week's review of her Love Song of Miss Queenie Hennessy. (Loved it! My review) and came across the Canadian cover on the left and the US cover on the right. I found it interesting
that it was only simple changes - font, font size and colour tone that changed between the two. But having read the book, I prefer the Canadian cover this week. I don't like the red curlicue font at all. And I thought the subtle colour tones captured Queenie's story better. Which cover do you prefer? Do you plan to read The Love Song of Miss Queenie Hennessy? (Canadian peeps - it's out now. US peeps - it releases Feb.24/15)

You Can't Judge A Book By Its Cover is a regular Saturday feature on A Bookworm's World.

Friday, October 24, 2014

Film on Friday #25 - For a Woman

For a Woman is newly released from Film Movement. As with all of their films, it was a selection at numerous film festivals.

Many of (Academy Award nominee) director Diane Kurys's film are autobiographical in subject matter. She has used her parent's divorce and her relationship with her sister as inspiration for previous films.

For a Woman found its origins in a picture Kurys found in her mother's (Lena) things after her death. It showed her, her mother and her father's (Michel) brother - Uncle Jean - a name and a man not discussed in the family.

For a Woman is begins in the 1980's when one of two sisters, Anne, finds that same picture. Kurys imagines what is behind that photo, exploring her parent's lives from their escape from a Nazi concentration camp, to their life in Lyon, France, her father's political leanings, the aftermath of WWII - and the mysterious Jean.

This was a wonderful period piece, exploring a point in history from a very personal and intimate view. The setting, the clothes, the attitudes were all exceptionally well done, supporting the director's view and transporting the viewer to the past.

But, what shines in this film are the relationships between the three main characters. The actors were superb, each portraying their role believably. I was caught up in the story immediately and remained so until the credits rolled. This is one of my favourite releases this year.

As always there is a short film included. Le Ballon de Rouge was just as good as the main feature. A young man offers an unhappy young woman a look at the life she could have - if she walks away with him immediately,

2013 / French with English subtitles / 110 min

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Over The Counter #235

What books caught my eye this week as they passed over the library counter and under my scanner? Nostalgia and collecting this week.....(I remember saving up those Bazooka Joe comics to send away!)

First up was Bazooka Joe and His Gang by The Topps Company.

From the publisher, Abrams Books:

"Bazooka Joe and his Gang have been synonymous with bubble gum ever since their debut in 1953, providing an irresistible combination of cheap laughs wrapped around pink, sugary sweetness. This book celebrates the iconic mini-comics that are recognized the world over. The story of Bazooka Bubble Gum is also detailed with extensive essays, including a profile of Wesley Morse, the original illustrator of Bazooka Joe. Included are reproductions of more than 100 classic comics spanning six decades—including the complete first series, reprinted in its entirety for the first time—as well as jokes, fortunes, and tiny ads for mail-order merchandise. Like Bazooka Bubble Gum itself, the book is pure nostalgia and guaranteed to appeal to kids and adults alike.

 Includes 4 bonus trading cards and a genuine wax wrapper that evokes the original bubble gum packaging—like holding an actual piece of Bazooka in your hands!"

Next up was Hockey Card Stories by Ken Reid.

From the publisher, ECW Press:

"Hockey Card Stories reveals what was really going on in your favourite old hockey cards through the eyes of the players depicted on them. Some of the cards are definitely worth a few bucks, some a few cents — but every story told here is priceless. Sportsnet’s Ken Reid presents the cards you loved and the airbrushed monstrosities that made you howl, the cards that have been packed away in boxes forever, and others you can’t believe ever existed. Whether it’s a case of mistaken identity or simply a great old photo, a fantastic 1970s haircut and ’stache, a wicked awesome goalie mask or a future Hall of Famer’s off-season fashion sense, a wide variety of players — from superstars like Bobby Orr, Denis Potvin, and Phil Esposito to the likes of Bill Armstrong who played only one game in the NHL — chime in on one of their most famous cards."

(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!)

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

The Love Song of Miss Queenie Hennessy - Rachel Joyce

I am often asked - who is your favourite author? Well, it's hard to narrow it down to just one. But, the books that stay with me long after the last page are the ones that move me, that make me laugh, make me cry and make me think. Stories about people. Rachel Joyce writes extraordinary stories. And yes, she is one of my favourite authors.

You may recognize her name - The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry was a best seller and is a book I absolutely loved. (my review) For those of you who haven't read it (and you need to) it is the story of an ordinary man who receives a postcard from Queenie Hennessy, someone he hasn't heard from in twenty years. She is dying, but wants to say thank you for his friendship all those years ago. Harold gets it into his head that if he walks to see her (from one end of England to the other) she won't die.

I remember thinking at the end of Harold's story, that I wanted to know more about Queenie's life. And I've got my wish. Rachel Joyce's new book is The Love Song of Miss Queenie Hennessy. We get to see the other side of the story as Queenie waits in the hospice for Harold to arrive. Unable to speak, and with the help of one of the nuns, she decides to write another letter to Harold - "....tell him the truth, the whole truth. Tell him how it really was."

Queenie's memories are full of joy and love, but also sadness and pain. I loved this ....."If only memory were a library with everything stored where it should be. If only you could walk to the desk and say to the assistant, I'd like to return the painful memories about David Fry or indeed his mother and take out some happier ones please."

The past and those memories are unfurled and revealed in Queenie's remembering. The pace of her telling varies and I found myself matching my reading to the story. Slowly, to stop and savour the joy and description of her beautiful sea garden and more quickly as the painful memories are unearthed.

The hospice is populated by a wonderfully eclectic group whose time is limited as well. Harold's journey and Queenie's waiting for Harold becomes part of their lives also. The nuns that work at the hospice are funny, kind and wise. Innocent Sister Lucy and Sister Mary Inconno were personal favourites. " You are here to live until you die. There is a significant difference."

Joyce says she ..."set out to write a book about dying that was full of life. It seems to me that you can't really write about one without the other - just as you can't really write about happiness if you don't confront sadness.

And she has. Rachel Joyce's writing make you feel - laugh, cry (oh yes have a tissue ready), empathize and sympathize, and might have you thinking about your own life, loves, hopes and dreams.

There are so many memorable passages in this book - Joyce is such a gifted writer. "Sometimes, Harold, the way forward takes you by surprise. You try to force something in the familiar direction and discover that what it needs is to move in a different dimension. The way forward is not forward, but off to one side, in a place you have not noticed before."

Just when I was resigned to the end of the book only being a few pages away, Joyce surprised me - with the most perfect, unexpected ending. If you loved Harold Fry's story (and I would recommend reading Harold's story first to fully appreciate this book), you'll love Queenie's too.  This is one of my favourite books of 2014. Read an excerpt of The Love Song of Miss Queenie Hennessy. You can find Rachel Joyce on Facebook and on Twitter.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Giveaway - The Bodies We Wear - Jeyn Roberts

I've got a great giveaway for you today - Jeyn Robert's newest book - The Bodies We Wear.

From the publisher, Knopf Books:

"A  streetwise girl trains to take on a gang of drug dealers and avenge her best friend’s death in this thriller for fans of Scott Westerfeld and Robin Wasserman.

People say when you take Heam, your body momentarily dies and you catch a glimpse of heaven. Faye was only eleven when dealers forced Heam on her and her best friend, Christian. But Faye didn’t glimpse heaven—she saw hell. And Christian died.

Now Faye spends her days hiding her secret from the kids at school, and her nights training to take revenge on the men who destroyed her life and murdered her best friend. But life never goes the way we think it will. When a mysterious young man named Chael appears, Faye's plan suddenly gets a lot more complicated. Chael seems to know everything about her, including her past. But too many secrets start tearing her world apart: trouble at school, with the police, and with the people she thought might be her friends. Even Gazer, her guardian, fears she's become too obsessed with vengeance. Love and death. Will Faye overcome her desires, or will her quest for revenge consume her?" Read an excerpt of The Bodies We Wear.

"Jeyn Roberts is the author of Dark Inside and Rage Within. Her first story was published in a middle-grade anthology called Let Me Tell You when she was sixteen. She graduated from the University of British Columbia with a degree in writing and psychology and received her MA from the prestigious creative writing graduate course at Bath Spa University. Jeyn is a former singer, songwriter, actress, bicycle courier, and tree planter. Her favorite authors include Betty Smith, JK Rowling, Ernest Hemmingway, Douglas Coupland, and Jonathan Stroud, and her 5 favorite books of all time are A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, Girlfriend in a Coma, Memoirs of a Geisha, What's Eating Gilbert Grape, and Harry Potter. Visit her at or follow her on twitter at @JeynRoberts. Jeyn lives in Canada"

I've got one copy of The Bodies We Wear to giveaway - simply leave a comment to be entered. Ends Nov 1/14. Open to US and Canada.

Monday, October 20, 2014

One Kick - Chelsea Cain

After turning the final page of the sixth Gretchen Lowell/Archie Sheridan thriller (Let Me Go), I wondered if there could be anything in the future for these characters. For me, this series seemed to have run its course.

Well, Chelsea Cain has unleashed a new character on readers. Her new book, One Kick is the first in a new series featuring Kick Lannigan. What a great character name eh?

Kick was kidnapped as a six year old and famously rescued when she was eleven. The years spent in captivity shaped her path - and her personality. She's tough as nails, but vulnerable, fearsome, yet fearful. And she has a goal - to prey on those that prey on children. A wealthy man named John Bishop, approaches Kick to help him find two local missing kids. There's a chance they could still be alive - and Bishop believes Kick has the key to finding them locked in her past. But who is Bishop really? And what is his agenda?

Cain writes great kick *** characters. Lannigan is definitely one of those, but with a wounded side that makes us fear for her as she wades into danger. One Kick introduces us to Lannigan, lets us get to know her and sets the tone and the background for the next in the series. One Kick has a resolution, but the last few pages are a kicker (sorry, couldn't resist) that will leave readers with the same questions Lannigan has. I 'll be watching for the next book.

Cain's books are not for the faint of heart. There are disturbing themes, descriptions and language. Those looking for a dark thriller will absolutely find it in One Kick. Read an excerpt of One Kick. You can find Chelsea Cain on Facebook and on Twitter.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Winner - Nora Bonesteel's Christmas Past

And the randomly chosen winner of a copy of Nora Bonesteel's Christmas Past by Sharyn McCrumb, courtesy of Abingdon Press is:


Congratulations! I've contacted you by email for your mailing address. Please respond within 48 hours - after that time a new winner will be chosen. Keep your eye on the sidebar for other great giveaways!