Friday, June 28, 2019

You Can't Judge A Book By Its Cover #269

- 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
If you've not read Alex Marwood before, you're missing out on some great psychological suspense. Her newest, The Poison Garden releases in July of this year across but not 'til January 2020 in North America. The US cover is on the left and the UK cover is on the right. Well, with garden in the title, you would expect to see plants/foliage on the cover. It looks to be a tree on the US cover. The colour palette used isn't a healthy tone at all. It suggest sickness. I'm not too sure about the knife image though. It just seems too big for the background. But.....I love the UK cover. The leaf images in black/grey tones is just perfect and connotes death and danger. The pop of yellow is just right too. An easy choice for me this week - UK. What about you? Which cover do you prefer? 
Any plans to read The Poison Garden?
You Can't Judge A Book By Its Cover is a regular feature at A Bookworm's World.

Thursday, June 27, 2019

If She Wakes - Michael Koryta

If suspense, mystery, non stop action and a factor of 10 for unputdownabilty sounds good to you, then you're going to want to pick up Michael Koryta's latest book, If She Wakes.

University student Tara is chauffeuring a visiting lecturer to his next talk when they are involved in a terrible accident. The lecturer is killed and Tara is grievously injured and left in a brain dead state - or so it appears. Abby is a insurance adjuster battling her own demons. But she is certain that the crash was not an accident. Her investigation starts a horrifying chain of events.

Could there be anything more frightening than locked in syndrome? Able to hear what's going on around you, but unable to respond and let the world know you are still here. The reader is privy to Tara's thoughts and shares the frustration of not being able to communicate.

Koryta has created a wonderful lead character in Abby. Her background is completely different - former stunt car driver. The reasons for her change of career make her more 'real'. That background figures into much of the action in the book and is really well done.

And you know there's a 'bad' guy lurking in the shadows right? Well, this is one of the best antagonists I've read in a long time. I had chills whenever he appeared. The supporting players are also given detailed characterizations, such as Tara's sister Shannon and bit players like Salvage Sam.

The plot is inventive and unpredictable. There's are some plot turns that require a few grains of salt, but just go with it. And resist the temptation to peek ahead a few chapters. If She Wakes is action packed, guaranteeing a frantic 'just one more chapter' read. Pure escapist reading - here's an excerpt of If She Wakes.

You can connect with Michael Koryta on his website and follow him on Twitter. He's firmly on my 'must read' list.

Wednesday, June 26, 2019

Over the Counter #406

What book caught my eye this week as it passed over the library counter and under my scanner?

A book about bookmarks! How could I not take a second look?

Bookies: Bookmarks to Crochet by Jonas Matthies.

From Dover Books:

"Crochet your own bookmarks—but not just any bookmarks! These fun and unusual animal characters are Bookies, and they'll not only help you keep your place while reading but will also attract admiring attention. And you can proudly say that you made them yourself!

Full-color photos and clear instructions show you how easy it is to create 17 kooky creatures, from Freddy Frog and Selma Snake to Filomena Fox and Ellie the Unicorn. Make them all! You can keep your Bookies for yourself or give them away as unique handmade gifts."

(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, June 25, 2019

Wherever She Goes - K.L. Armstrong

Today is release day for K.L. Armstrong's new book - Wherever She Goes. And its one you're going to want to add to your summer reading list. I devoured it in a day sitting on the back porch!

Separated mom Aubrey is in the park one day and witnesses a young boy being forced into a vehicle. It's the same little boy she met in the park last week with her daughter. Aubrey immediately calls police to report the kidnapping. But...no one has reported a missing child. Aubrey had met his mom last week too. But where is she now? Why hasn't she reported the boy's disappearance?

And here's the kicker.....no one believes Aubrey. Not the police, her husband, her employer. They all think she's making it up....attention seeking.....not coping with the separation and custody arrangements....

Oh boy, what a great premise! But it gets even better. You see, there's more to Aubrey than people in her life today realize. Armstrong doesn't let the reader know right away either. The details of her past are slowly and deliciously revealed. And you know what's going to happen don't you? Yes, Aubrey decides that if the police won't look for the boy, then she will. And the skills from her past life will help that search.

Okay, great premise. But what about the lead character? Just as great. She's tenacious, smart and likable. The reader will be firmly behind Aubrey as she searches for the boy. A secondary plot that focuses on Aubrey's personal life will also have readers hoping for the 'right' outcome. This is well done, not straying into saccharine territory.

Armstrong's writing is just so darn readable. The plot has some turns that require a few grains of salt, but this in no way detracted from my enjoyment of the book. I was engaged and entertained the entire book. (Hence the one sitting read) Wherever She Goes is one to add to your summer reading list.

Fans of Kelley Armstrong's Rockton series (one of my favourites) would enjoy this plot and lead character. See for yourself - here's an excerpt of Wherever She Goes.

Monday, June 24, 2019

Giveaway - The Secret Mother - Shalini Boland

Who loves to read domestic suspense? You do? Well I have a giveaway that you're going to want to enter! The Secret Mother by Shalini Boland.

From Grand Central Publishing:

"Tessa Markham returns home to find a child in her kitchen. He thinks she is his mother. But Tessa doesn’t have any children.

Not anymore.

She doesn’t know who the little boy is or how he got there. After contacting the police, Tessa is suspected of kidnapping the mystery child. Her whole life is turned upside down. And then her husband reveals a secret of his own…

Tessa isn’t sure what to believe or whom to trust. Because someone is lying. To find out who, she must first confront her painful past. But is the truth more dangerous than Tessa realizes?

The Secret Mother is an intense psychological thriller with a twist that will make you wonder if you can ever trust anyone again." Read an excerpt of The Secret Mother.

"Shalini Boland is a USA Today bestselling author of psychological thrillers The Girl from the Sea, The Best Friend, The Millionaire’s Wife, and The Child Next Door. Shalini lives in Dorset, England with her husband, two children, and their cheeky terrier mix. Before kids, she was signed to Universal Music Publishing as a singer/songwriter, but now she spends her days writing suspense thrillers in between school runs and endless baskets of laundry. She is also the author of two bestselling young adult series as well as a children’s World War II novel with a time-travel twist." You can connect with Shalini on her website and follow her on Twitter.

And if you'd like to read The Secret Mother, enter for a chance to win a copy using the Rafflecopter form below. Open to US and Canada, ends July 6/19.

Saturday, June 22, 2019

Giveaway - The Dream Daughter - Diane Chamberlain

The paperback of Diane Chamberlain's 25th novel - The Dream Daughter - has just released - and I have a copy to give to one lucky reader! (And check out the bonus giveaway at the end of the post!)

From St. Martin's Press:

"New York Times bestselling author Diane Chamberlain delivers a thrilling, mind-bending novel about one mother's journey to save her child.

When Carly Sears, a young woman widowed by the Vietnam war, receives the news that her unborn baby girl has a heart defect, she is devastated. It is 1970, and she is told that nothing can be done to help her child. But her brother-in-law, a physicist with a mysterious past, tells her that perhaps there is a way to save her baby. What he suggests is something that will shatter every preconceived notion that Carly has. Something that will require a kind of strength and courage she never knew existed. Something that will mean an unimaginable leap of faith on Carly's part.

And all for the love of her unborn child.

The Dream Daughter is a rich, genre-spanning, breathtaking novel about one mother's quest to save her child, unite her family, and believe in the unbelievable. Diane Chamberlain pushes the boundaries of faith and science to deliver a novel that you will never forget." Read an excerpt of The Dream Daughter.

"Diane Chamberlain is the bestselling author of more than twenty novels published in over eleven languages. Her books include The First Lie, Her Mother's Shadow, The Good Father, and Kiss River. She lives in North Carolina with her partner, photographer John Pagliuca, and her shelties, Keeper and Cole." You can connect with Diane on her website, like her on Facebook, follow her on Twitter as well as on Instagram.

If you'd like to read The Dream Daughter, enter to win a copy using the Rafflecopter form below. Open to US only. Ends June 30th. And keep scrolling down for a second great giveaway!
a Rafflecopter giveaway And that's not all! Enter to win five titles from Diane's backlist, courtesy of St. Martin's Press. Open to US only, ends June 30th. Enter using THIS LINK.


Friday, June 21, 2019

You Can't Judge A Book By Its Cover #268

- 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
Canadian cover
I am a big fan of Val McDermid's Tony Hill and Carol Jordan crime series and am eagerly awaiting the the 11th book - How the Dead Speak. The US cover is on the left and the Canadian cover is on the right. I do like the US cover - the windy path in a distant field and those birds above. Vultures? It's a bit sedate. But I have to say that the Canadian cover just jumps off the page for me. That bright red speaks to danger and death. And the skull is deliciously creepy, promising an intriguing read. So, an easy choice for me this week - Canadian cover What about you? Which cover do you prefer? Any plans to read How the Dead Speak?
You Can't Judge A Book By Its Cover is a regular feature at A Bookworm's World.

Thursday, June 20, 2019

Star- Crossed - Minnie Darke

It's summer at last and the back deck reading has begun. Minnie Darke's latest novel, Star-Crossed, makes for absolutely perfect summertime reading.

Nick and Justine grew up together. There was that moment when it might have been more than friendship, but it passed and their lives moved on without each other. They're adults when their paths cross again. Could it be fate? Ordained by the stars?

Nick makes many of his decisions by reading Leo Thornbury's horoscopes. "But Nick trusted Leo Thornbury. If he followed the astrologer's advice, things worked out."

And guess who just happens to work at the magazine that carries those horoscopes? Uh huh - Justine. And what if she, you know, slightly altered Nick's Aquarius advice every month? "It was only a horoscope in a magazine. What harm could changing it do?"

What a fun premise! And I loved Justine. She's kind, funny and a person you'd love to know. The road to love is a bumpy one. The missed cues, mistakes and miscommunications between her and Nick will have the reader just hoping that true love can triumph. But will Justine's meddling divert the way things are supposed to be?

This is the main plot line, but here's the part I really liked. Changing the horoscope for one person isn't reality. Many others also read them and follow the advice. Darke has written so many vignettes featuring supporting characters. Their lives and loves were just as addicting and well written. (I enjoyed them all, but have a special place in my heart for Brown the dog). And I loved how they interconnected.

I really enjoyed Star-Crossed! A touch of magic, a generous helping of romance, a dash of what if and some wonderful writing make for a fluffy, fun read. See for yourself - here's an excerpt of Star-Crossed.  (And admit it - you've read your horoscope haven't you?!)

Wednesday, June 19, 2019

Over the Counter #485

What book caught my eye this week as it passed over the library counter and under my scanner? A celebrity sensation....

Crusoe The Worldly Wiener Dog: Further Adventures with the Celebrity Dachshund by Ryan Beauchesne.

From St. Martin's Press:

"The New York Times bestselling and 2018 Animal Star People's Choice Award-winning popular blogger, internet sensation Crusoe, the Celebrity Dachshund returns with a beautiful and whimsical book full of heartwarming and goofy photographs of his around the world travels in Crusoe, the Worldly Wiener Dog.

Join the photogenic Crusoe as he leaves fame and fortune behind to expand his horizons, get his passport stamped, and journey across the globe to eat delicious food, relax on beautiful beaches, dig lots of holes, and generally enjoy all that celebrity travel has to offer. You'll also get to see a little of his "staycations" and life at home between travels.

Jet-setting is what dachshunds do best. From Switzerland’s Alps and Mexico’s Mayan temples to Italy’s seaside villages and France’s Eiffel Tower—as well as various locales throughout the U.S. and Canada—Crusoe shares his wit and wisdom on appreciating culture, fine wine, and haute cuisine, always dressing for the occasion, and maybe learning a thing or two about what really matters most in life along the way.

In hundreds of brilliant color photographs, see the charming and charismatic mini-doxie embark on such thrilling adventures as…

 Hitting the streets of New York City as The Wiener of Wall Street
* Stalking evildoers as Batdog
* Strolling Hollywood’s Walk of Fame (with his own star)
* Going out on a dinner and movie date with the lovely Paisley
* Digging for fossils at Dinosaur Provincial Park
* Playing doctor and dentist to his sidekick brother, Oakley
* Drinking at the notorious Bar Vitelli, shooting location of The Godfather
* Recovering from back surgery with lots of love and rehabilitating in style
* Tasting a beignet at New Orleans’s famous CafĂ© du Monde
* Exploring his German heritage as a “badger dog”—and discovering what wiener schnitzel actually is…

And so much more!"

(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, June 18, 2019

The Witch Elm - Tana French

If it has Tana French's name on it, I'm going to read it. I love the Dublin Murder Squad series. The Witch Elm is however, a stand alone novel.

Toby breezes through life, doing well at work, lucky in love and with many friends and a supportive and loving extended family. But his life changes one night when his apartment is broken into - and he is severely beaten. He retreats to the family home to take time to heal and help out his elderly uncle. But that wished for peace is also broken - by the discovery of a skeleton in the garden of the house.

What can I say? French's writing is brilliant. The plot and the reader's expectations change multiple times. As Toby tries to puzzle out the past and present, new pieces are added and subtracted by his family, the police and his faulty memory until he can no longer discern what is truth and what is not. We become privy to the past even as the present changes direction. My outlook as to the whodunit and the ending changed many times over the course of the book.

French's characterizations are in-depth, rich and full with detail. The reader feels as though these are people they have actually met and conversed with. Many of the characters are not particularly likeable - and for me that included lead character Toby. The exceptions are Uncle Hugo and Toby's girlfriend Melissa. His cousins are particularly well-drawn, evoking a visceral reaction. Detective Rafferty is after the truth and his interrogations and actions are so well done.

The Witch Elm is hard to categorize - it's a mystery and police procedural, but at the heart of it I would say it's a character study.

This one's a chunkster weighing in at over 500 pages. I decided to listen to The Witch Elm this time 'round.  Paul Nugent was the reader and he was wonderful. His voice is easy to listen to, his enunciation clear and his accent appealing. But where he really shines is in bringing the story to life. His interpretation was wonderful. He captures the emotion, angst, action, tension and more, drawing the listener in. Different tones, accents and tenors identify each character. Here's an audio excerpt of The Witch Elm. Or if you prefer, here's a written excerpt.

I will be eagerly waiting the next book from French!

Monday, June 17, 2019

The Tiger Catcher - Paullina Simons - Q and A And Giveaway!

I'm today's stop on the blog tour for Paullina Simons' new book, The Tiger Catcher! Thanks Paullina for stopping by for a few Q and A! And I'm thrilled to to be able to offer an autographed copy of The Tiger Catcher to one lucky reader!

"The Tiger Catcher is the story of Julian, living a charmed life in Los Angeles, whose world is turned upside down by a love affair with Josephine, a mysterious young woman who takes him by storm. But she is not what she seems, carrying secrets that tear them apart - perhaps forever.  So begins Julian and Josephine's extraordinary adventure of love, loss, and the mystical forces that bind people together across time and space. It is a journey that propels Julian toward impossible choices which will lead him to love fulfilled ... or to oblivion."

I had a chance to ask Paullina a bit more about The Tiger Catcher...

Q. Your last epic love story began with The Bronze Horseman, which you published in 2001. Why have you waited so long to go back to this type of story?

 A.  I will admit that after The Bronze Horseman I wondered whether or not I would ever write another book. I honestly thought there was nothing left in me to write about. Then I began the second book in the saga.

 And then I had another idea, and another...

 In 2014, I had an idea for a story about lost love and one man’s desperate search and an adventure to make things right, to get a second chance, to try again.

The story got bigger and bigger. I didn’t realize at first it was going to be this huge. But after about a year of writing and thinking about it, I knew. It just kept growing.

Q. Without giving anything away it’s fair to say that The Tiger Catcher has some mystical elements. You’ve been writing for twenty-five years, why enter this realm now?

 A.  I can’t say it was an intentional move. The fact is that, for me, this story came from the same place that all my others have come. I simply had an idea. In this case, the idea was about a man who loved a woman so much he bridged time and space to find her.

Q. The Tiger Catcher takes place in Los Angeles and London. Do you have a personal connection to those places?

A.  I lived and worked in London from 1984 to 1990, and I love that city. Los Angeles is the unrequited love of my life. I’ve dreamed of living there since I was 13.

Q. The book also delves deeply into historical London, how did you do your research for that? How did you select the time periods in which to base your story?

A.  I lived and worked in London from 1984 to 1990, so I always felt a real connection to the city. And, of course, literature makes it hard not to have a sense of the history of London. There’s Shakespeare, Dickens, the romantic poets. As a child, the worlds of David Copperfield, Oliver Twist, and Sherlock Holmes were as real to me as my own. For me, the history of London feels like the history of Western civilization AND of my life.

As for research, living there helped. And I have been back many times since I left.

I’ll admit I was a bit jealous of my daughter’s favorite writer, Cassandra Clare, who is an American, but lived in London for many months while she was working on her 19th century supernatural stories set in England. I wish I could do that. Maybe when the kids are all out of the house.

The time periods were an organic process that that evolved from the story, itself. Where were Julian and Josephine in the narrative of their love affair? What stage was the progress of their souls? Where did they begin, where were they going, where did they need to be? And so each part of their story informed the next part, and the next. It was almost as if they, themselves, chose the settings for their adventures.

Q. Where did the title come from? Is tiger catching a real vocation?

A. Tiger catching is real. It’s an art passed down from generation to generation of families who live in East Asia. It’s infinitely more complicated than hunting, and success requires an almost spiritual connection to the tiger.

Q. The Tiger Catcher is billed as the first book in a trilogy. What can readers expect from books 2 and 3, A Beggar’s Kingdom and Inexpressible Island?

A. I have some things I definitely want the readers to take away from the whole saga but it’s too early for me to say now. I can say that I definitely want readers to come away from The Tiger Catcher wanting more!

Thanks Paullina! The Tiger Catcher sounds fab! And if you think so too, enter for a win a chance to win an autographed copy, courtesy of William Morrow, using the Rafflecopter form. Ends June 29/19.


Paullina is also running a giveaway over on her blog with an amazing grand prize! You can check out the rest of the tour stops for more chances to win here.

"Paullina Simons was born and raised in Leningrad, USSR. In 1968, her father was arrested for protesting the Soviet Union’s invasion of Czechoslovakia and spent the next five years of his life in the Gulag prison camps and in exile. In the mid-seventies, Paullina and her family managed to leave the U.S.S.R. and immigrate to the United States. While growing up in Russia Paullina dreamed of someday becoming a writer. Her dreams were put on hold as she learned English and overcame the shock of a new culture.

After graduating from the University of Kansas and various jobs including working as a financial journalist and as a translator, Paullina wrote her first novel Tully. Through word of mouth, the book was welcomed by readers all over the world. She has since written twelve novels, a memoir, a cookbook, and two children’s books. Her books have been published in over 23 countries, sold millions of copies, and have been on many bestseller lists around the world.

Paullina has lived in Rome, London, and Dallas, and now lives in New York with her husband and half of her children.

The Tiger Catcher, Paullina’s first book in the new End of Forever Trilogy, will be published in May 2019. A Beggar's Kingdom, Book Two, will be published in August 2019, and the final book in the trilogy, Inexpressible Island, will be published in December 2019." You can connect with Paullina on her website, find her on Facebook and follow her on Twitter.

#TigerCatcher, #EndOfForever, #JulianAndJosephine, #PaullinaSimons, 
#WilliamMorrow, #TrueLoveNeverDies  #TigerCatcherTour

Saturday, June 15, 2019

The Summer Guests - Mary Alice Monroe

Looking for a summer beach read? Look no further than Mary Alice Monroe's new novel - The Summer Guests!

A hurricane is set to strike the Florida and North Carolina coasts. Grace Phillips lives inland and has offered a number of her diverse group of friends to take refuge at her inland farm. The one thing they have in common? Horses.

The weather mirrors the lives of the large character cast. As the hurricane threatens, the lives of the characters are facing stormy times. When the storm hits, lives change and as the storm eases up, new paths are set for almost everyone over the course of ten days. (And a lot happens!)

All types of relationships are explored - friendship, mother/daughter, romantic, working - and horses. I am completely in the dark about equine matters and I learned quite a bit from Monroe's descriptions and settings. Again, much of the equine situations mirror what's going on in the lives of the group.

It is a diverse group and readers will gravitate towards some players (I really liked Moira and her mother Grace - maybe we'll see them in a future book?). And dislike others. With so many characters, the narrative changed often and I felt like I didn't really get to 'know' them as much as I would have liked.

The Summer Guests takes inspiration from Munroe's own life and experiences through an evacuation, her knowledge of the horse community and of course, the Southern settings.

This was a first read of Mary Alice Monroe for me. The Summer Guests engaged me, the story was entertaining and it just seemed right for beach reading. See for  yourself - here's an excerpt of The Summer Guests.

"Mary Alice Monroe is the New York Times bestselling author of more than twenty books, including the Beach House series: The Beach House, Beach House Memories, Swimming Lessons, Beach House for Rent, and Beach House Reunion. She is a 2018 Inductee into the South Carolina Academy of Authors’ Hall of Fame, and her books have received numerous awards, including the 2008 South Carolina Center for the Book Award for Writing, the 2014 South Carolina Award for Literary Excellence, the 2015 SW Florida Author of Distinction Award, the RT Lifetime Achievement Award, the International Book Award for Green Fiction, and the 2017 Southern Book Prize for Fiction. Her bestselling novel The Beach House is also a Hallmark Hall of Fame movie. An active conservationist, she lives in the lowcountry of South Carolina." Visit her at her website and like her on Facebook and follow her on Twitter.

Friday, June 14, 2019

You Can't Judge A Book By Its Cover #267

- 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
Oh, I'm looking forward to the next suspense novel from Shari Lapena! Someone We Know releases on both side of the pond at the end of July. The US cover is on the left and the UK cover is on the right. Dark tones on each cover. Androgynous person out at night in leafy suburb on the US cover.  And a neighbourhood shot on the UK cover as well, with a house instead of a person. And  a little earlier in the day. Yellow font on both, but flipped between title and author name. I find the blue author name on the US cover not as much of a standout. The UK cover does have a tagline that gives the reader a bit of a clue as the story awaiting. But...having read the premise of the book, I am going to go with the US cover this week. I like that dark street and the unknown person. But, either cover, it's going to be a good read. What about you? Which cover do you prefer? Any plans to read Someone We Know?
You Can't Judge A Book By Its Cover is a regular feature at A Bookworm's World.

Thursday, June 13, 2019

Your Life is Mine - Nathan Ripley

Nathan Ripley's debut novel Find You in the Dark was deliciously dark and creepy. (my review). His second novel, Your Life is Mine, is just as dark.

Blanche Potter ran from her past and never returned - until the murder of her mother Crissy. She finally returns to her home -  to the town where her father, Chuck Varner, went on a killing spree in a crowded mall. He saw himself as a leader - the head of a self created cult. Blanche grew up listening the doctrine her mother and father espoused. And it looks like Crissy continued the 'teachings' after Chuck's death, keeping Chuck's legacy alive.

Blanche's arrival is immediately met by a police officer who seems intent on not investigating Crissy's death. I was a little surprised that Blanche didn't push harder here. A journalist named Emil who knows who knows Blanche really is, is also there - intent on using Blanche's life to write an exposĂ©.

Your Life is Mine is driven by Blanche, but Emil is also given a voice. He too has more than a few issues with his parent.

Blanche ran, but you can't escape that kind of upbringing. She is mentally scarred, scars she has kept hidden from her best friend Jaya. Ripley does a good job of imagining how a survivor of such an upbringing might turn out. How her outlook on life might be, what paths in life she might choose, what relationships might look like after such trauma. The relationship between Blanche and Jaya goes into much detail. Despite her past, I did find it hard to connect with Blanche. I found myself drawn more to Jaya.

Just as disturbing are the 'lessons' and 'wisdom' that Chuck preached. But they are topped by those willing to buy into his vision. This is unfortunately not far-fetched at all.

Ripley gives us some twists along the way to the final conclusion. There are some clues along the way, so they weren't completely unexpected. The build up to an inevitable, final confrontation keeps building and takes most of the book. I did find the resolution happened much quicker than I expected and the speed of those final chapters left me slightly underwhelmed with the conclusion.

Ripley's writing is very readable. I liked the first book better, but will absolutely read what he writes next. Here's an excerpt of Your Life is Mine.

Wednesday, June 12, 2019

Over the Counter #484

What book caught my eye this week as it passed over the library counter and under my scanner? Well....we all know about the five second rule right?

Did You Just Eat That?: Two Scientists Explore Double-Dipping, the Five-Second Rule, and Other Food Myths in the Lab by Paul Dawson and Brian Sheldon.

From WW Norton Books:

"Is the five-second rule legitimate?
Are electric hand dryers really bacteria blowers?
Am I spraying germs everywhere when I blow on my birthday cake?
How gross is backwash?

When it comes to food safety and germs, there are as many common questions as there are misconceptions. And yet there has never been a book that clearly examines the science behind these important issues—until now. In Did You Just Eat That? food scientists Paul Dawson and Brian Sheldon take readers into the lab to show, for example, how they determine the amount of bacteria that gets transferred by sharing utensils or how many microbes live on restaurant menus. The authors list their materials and methods (in case you want to replicate the experiments), guide us through their results, and offer in-depth explanations of good hygiene and microbiology. Written with candid humor and richly illustrated, this fascinating book will reveal surprising answers to the most frequently debated—and also the weirdest—questions about food and germs, sure to satisfy anyone who has ever wondered: should I really eat that?"

(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, June 11, 2019

The Rosie Result - Graeme Simsion

I adored Graeme Simsion's novel The Rosie Project, the first book that introduced us to Don Tillman. (my review)

The Rosie Result is the third book chronicling Don's life. And life has moved on. He and Rosie have moved back to Australia - along with their eleven year old son Hudson. And you know that old saying - like father, like son? Well, Don and Hudson fit that description. But....is Hudson really autistic? Rosie and Don debate over having a formal diagnosis done. In the meantime, Don's latest project is to help Hudson fit into his new school and environment.

I truly like Don and his take on life. This latest book only cements that opinion. Hudson is just well drawn. I enjoyed seeing life from Hudson's viewpoint as he attempts to circumnavigate friendship, bullying, sports, academics, social norms and all the other things that go with with making your way through life. I did find the behaviour of the school towards Hudson to be upsetting. But I applaud Don and Rosie's advocating on his behalf.

Don and Rosie are also having difficulties - especially with work. Don of course comes up with a brilliant idea - opening a bar to take advantage of their cocktail making talents. His problem solving skills are always ingenious and for the most part effective. Although there are a few that don't go quite as planned - the video clips of animals mating for sex-ed purposes is one example.

Supporting cast members from previous books also end up in Australia. Dave is a perennial favourite of mine. I must admit, I didn't really like Rosie in the second book. I'm happy to say that she has redeemed herself in this latest and is much kinder.

The Rosie Result is by turns humorous, eye-opening and heart warming.  Those who have have enjoyed the previous two books will enjoy catching up with Rosie and Don and meeting Hudson. I did. I wonder if there will be another book in the future for Don as Hudson grows up. Read an excerpt of The Rosie Result.

I think the book could have been shortened up a bit. It comes in at 386 pages and I did find that some situations were re-hashed and began to feel repetitive.

Monday, June 10, 2019

Giveaway - Fake Like Me - Barbara Bourland

Barbara Bourland's new novel, Fake Like Me, releases on June 18/19. And I have a copy to giveaway to one lucky reader!

What's it about? From Grand Central Publishing:

"At once a twisted psychological portrait of a woman crumbling under unimaginable pressure and a razor-sharp satire of the contemporary art scene, Fake Like Me is a dark, glamorous, and addictive story of good intentions gone awry, from the critically acclaimed author of I'll Eat When I'm Dead.

Carey Logan was the art world's genius wild child. FAKE
I was a no-name painter clawing my way up behind her. LIKE
When Carey died, she left a space that couldn't be filled. Except, maybe, by ME.

After a fire rips through her loft, destroying the seven billboard-size paintings meant for her first major exhibition, a young painter is left with an impossible task: recreate the lost artworks in just three months without getting caught - or ruin her fledgling career. Homeless and desperate, she begs her way into Pine City, an exclusive retreat in upstate New York notorious for three things: outrageous revelries, glamorous artists, and the sparkling black lake where brilliant prodigy Carey Logan drowned herself.

Taking up residence in Carey's former studio, the painter works with obsessive, delirious focus. But when she begins to uncover strange secrets at Pine City and falls hard for Carey's mysterious boyfriend, a single thought shadows her every move: What really happened to Carey Logan?" Read an excerpt of Fake Like Me.

"Barbara Bourland is the author of the critically acclaimed I’ll Eat When I’m Dead, a Refinery29 Best Book of 2017 and an Irish Independent Book of the Year. People called I’ll Eat When I’m Dead “delectable.” Wednesday Martin, bestselling author of Primates of Park Avenue and Untrue, deemed it “a deft, smart, and hilarious debut.” Kirkus noted that “death by beauty was never so much fun,” and the book was featured in Fortune, Us Weekly, and The New York Post, among others. I’ll Eat When I’m Dead is now available in paperback, and is forthcoming in Hebrew from Matar Press in Israel." You can connect with Barbara on her website, follow her on Twitter as well as on Instagram.

And if you'd like to read Fake Like Me, enter for a chance to win a copy using the Rafflecopter form below. Open to US and Canada, ends June 25/19. a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, June 7, 2019

You Can't Judge A Book By Its Cover #266

- 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
Michael Connelly has a new entry in his Ballard and Bosch
series coming in October 2019 on both sides of the pond. The Night Fire. The US cover is on the left and the UK cover is on the right. So we have the spark for a fire on the US cover, while the UK cover has a full fledged fire. At first I thought the fire was a downed plane, but on closer view, it does seems to be wood. I like the orange sky and the cityscape in the background. But I also like the detailed match image on the US cover. The author's name takes precedence over the title on both books and the Ballard and Bosch tag appears on both covers. I'm torn this week - one cover is effective in it's simplicity, while the other gives the reader more food for thought. But if forced to pick - I would go with the US cover. What about you? Which cover do you prefer? Any plans to read The Night Fire?
You Can't Judge A Book By Its Cover is a regular feature at A Bookworm's World.

Thursday, June 6, 2019

The Dead Ex - Jane Corry

The Dead Ex is from author Jane Corry.

Vicki is the main protagonist. She is an unreliable narrator, suffering from a faulty memory amongst other things. And she lies. When the police arrive at her door to question her about her dead husband's disappearance she is stunned. Surely they can't believe that she had anything to do with him or his disappearance. Or could she? What about his current wife Tanya? Scarlet and Zelda's stories are also told concurrently to Vicki's. Zena is a dealer and a con who uses her eight year old in her 'business.'

While I quite enjoy multiple storylines, I felt like this one went back and forth too long. Corry has indeed crafted connections between the two narratives. But I felt she tried to keep the reader guessing too long with much foreshadowing and many, many teasers. When the 'big' reveal came, I found myself underwhelmed. And without providing any spoilers, I had a hard time believing what had been alluded to. Vicki presents as far too scatterbrained and unprofessional to have been employed as she was. And given that background, the way she allows the police to treat her is completely ridiculous. On the flip side, her current health concerns do contribute to memory loss. I felt like I should be on team Vicki - but I couldn't get on board. I just didn't like her or empathize with her. Part Two gives us another female character to consider. And more actions that I had a hard time buying. I persevered and made it the end, but had pretty much lost interest by this point.

I've enjoyed Corry's previous books, but this one fell flat for me. Here's an excerpt of The Dead Ex.

Wednesday, June 5, 2019

Over the Counter #483

What book caught my eye this week as it passed over the library counter and under my scanner?

Lindsay Wong's memoir....The Woo-Woo: How I Survived Ice Hockey, Drug Raids, Demons, and My Crazy Chinese Family......

From Arsenal Pulp Press:

"2019 Canada Reads Finalist. Shortlisted for the Hilary Weston Writers' Trust of Canada Prize for Nonfiction.

In this jaw-dropping, darkly comedic memoir, a young woman comes of age in a dysfunctional Asian family who blame their woes on ghosts and demons when they should really be on anti-psychotic meds.

Lindsay Wong grew up with a paranoid schizophrenic grandmother and a mother who was deeply afraid of the "woo-woo" -- Chinese ghosts who come to visit in times of personal turmoil. From a young age, she witnessed the woo-woo's sinister effects; when she was six, Lindsay and her mother avoided the dead people haunting their house by hiding out in a mall food court, and on a camping trip, in an effort to rid her daughter of demons, her mother tried to light Lindsay's foot on fire.

The eccentricities take a dark turn, however, and when Lindsay starts to experience symptoms of the woo-woo herself, she wonders whether she will suffer the same fate as her family.

At once a witty and touching memoir about the Asian immigrant experience and a harrowing and honest depiction of the vagaries of mental illness, The Woo-Woo is a gut-wrenching and beguiling manual for surviving family, and oneself."

(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, June 4, 2019

The Library of Lost and Found - Phaedra Patrick

I loved Phaedra Patrick's previous book, The Curious Charms of Arthur Pepper. I knew I was in for another wonderful read when I picked picked up her latest, The Library of Lost and Found. You had me at library!

Martha Storm volunteers at her local library - she does so much to ensure the patrons find what they need. But she does more than that - she'll help anyone with anything they ask of her.  Her lists keep her on top of things. But sometimes she feels, well, a little invisible.

And then......a mysterious book of fairy tales lands on her doorstep and her carefully ordered life is turned upside down....

Oh, there's so much to love in this book. First is Martha herself. She's a character the reader will be inevitably drawn to - but you'll want more for her than she seems to want for herself. And when she does consider other possibilities for herself, you'll be urging her forward. "The thought of doing something out of character again gave her a small buzz."

Such a change might include love. Patrick's 'love story' is wonderfully subtle and slow burning.

The supporting cast of characters is just as well drawn. In the beginning I was quite sure of who I liked and who I disliked. But Patrick manipulates the reader, providing some turns in the story that I didn't predict - but they perfectly suited to this tale. I loved the quirky patrons of the library - and speaking from experience, some of them are not too far-fetched at all. Patrick's own love of libraries shines through in her descriptions and setting.

A heartwarming tale of coming to terms with the past and finding yourself - and happiness - at last. Loved it! Read an excerpt of the Library of Lost and Found.

Monday, June 3, 2019

Giveaway - The Starter Wife - Nina Laurin

Ohh, if you love suspense, you're going to want to want to enter this giveaway! Nina Laurin's new novel, The Starter Wife, releases on June 11/19! And I have a copy to give away to one lucky reader.

What's it about? From Grand Central Publishing:

"From the bestselling author of Girl Last Seen comes "a spine-tingler" (Booklist) of a psychological suspense, perfect for fans of Lisa Jewell and Jessica Knoll.

'Local police have announced that they're closing the investigation of the suspected drowning of 37-year-old painter Colleen Westcott. She disappeared on April 11, 2010, and her car was found parked near the waterfront in Cleveland two days later, but her body has never been found. The chief of police has stated that no concrete evidence of foul play has been discovered in the probe.'

I close the online search window, annoyed. These articles never have enough detail. They think my husband's first wife disappeared or they think she is dead. There's a big difference.
My phone rings, jarring me away from my thoughts, and when I pick it up, it's an unknown number. The only answer to my slightly breathless hello is empty static.
When the voice does finally come, it's female, low, muffled somehow. "Where is it, Claire? What did you do with it? Tell me where it is."
A woman. A real flesh-and-blood woman on the other end of the phone. She's not just in my head.
A wave of panic spreads under my skin like ice water. It's Colleen." Read an excerpt of The Starter Wife.

"Nina Laurin studied Creative Writing at Concordia University in Montreal, where she currently lives. She arrived there when she was just twelve years old, and she speaks and reads in Russian, French, and English but writes her novels in English. She wrote her first novel while getting her writing degree, and Girl Last Seen was a bestseller a year later in 2017. The follow-up, What My Sister Knew, came out in summer 2018 to critical acclaim. Nina is fascinated by the darker side of mundane things, and she’s always on the lookout for her next twisted book idea. She blogs about books and writing on her own site, thrillerina.wordpress.com." You can connect with Nina on Twitter as well.

And if you'd like to read Starter Wife, enter for a chance to win a copy using the Rafflecopter form below! Open to US and Canada, ends June 18/19. a Rafflecopter giveaway