Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Winners - The 9th Judgement - James Patterson

And the three lucky winners (chosen by of an audio book copy of James Patterson's The 9th Judgement, courtesy of The Hachette Book Group are:

1. Erika Lynn
2. Pauline 15
3. chey

Congratulations. I've contacted you by email for your mailing addresses. Please respond within 72 hours. Check the sidebar for ongoing giveaways.

Giveaway - Into the Beautiful North - Luis Alberto Urrea

Still on vacation! Yet another giveaway!!

Here's something totally different for your book club to try - Into the Beautiful North by Luis Alberto Urrea. And the reading group guide is already done for you!

From the publisher:

"Nineteen-year-old Nayeli works at a taco shop in her Mexican village and dreams about her father, who journeyed to the US when she was young. Recently, it has dawned on her that he isn't the only man who has left town. In fact, there are almost no men in the village--they've all gone north. While watching The Magnificent Seven, Nayeli decides to go north herself and recruit seven men--her own "Siete Magníficos"--to repopulate her hometown and protect it from the bandidos who plan on taking it over.

Filled with unforgettable characters and prose as radiant as the Sinaloan sun, Into the Beautiful North is the story of an irresistible young woman's quest to find herself on both sides of the fence."

Read an excerpt of Into the Beautiful North.

I have three copies to giveaway courtesy of The Hachette Book Group. Open to both US and Canada, no po boxes please. Simply comment to be entered. Ends Saturday July 31 at 6 pm EST.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Giveaway - The Nobodies Album - Carolyn Parkhurst

Thanks to the lovely folks at Doubleday Publishing, I have two copies of Carolyn Parkhurst's new book The Nobodies Album to giveaway.

From the publisher:

"From the bestselling author of The Dogs of Babel comes a dazzling literary mystery about the lengths to which some people will go to rewrite their past.

Bestselling novelist Octavia Frost has just completed her latest book—a revolutionary novel in which she has rewritten the last chapters of all her previous books, removing clues about her personal life concealed within, especially a horrific tragedy that befell her family years ago.

On her way to deliver the manuscript to her editor, Octavia reads a news crawl in Times Square and learns that her rock-star son, Milo, has been arrested for murder. Though she and Milo haven’t spoken in years—an estrangement stemming from that tragic day—she drops everything to go to him.

The “last chapters” of Octavia’s novel are layered throughout The Nobodies Album—the scattered puzzle pieces to her and Milo’s dark and troubled past. Did she drive her son to murder? Did Milo murder anyone at all? And what exactly happened all those years ago? As the novel builds to a stunning reveal, Octavia must consider how this story will come to a close.

Universally praised for her candid explorations of the human psyche, Parkhurst delivers an emotionally gripping and resonant mystery about a mother and her son, and about the possibility that one can never truly know another person."

Read an excerpt of The Nobodies Album. A book club reader's guide is also available.

Simply leave a comment to be entered. Open to the US only, no po boxes please. Ends Saturday July 24th at 6 pm EST.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Giveaway - The Castaways - Elin Hilderbrand

I read and reviewed The Castaways by Elin Hilderbrand last year and really enjoyed it. Here's your chance to win a copy, courtesy of The Hachette Book Group.

From the publisher:

"Greg and Tess MacAvoy are one of four prominent Nantucket couples who count each other as best friends. As pillars of their close-knit community, the MacAvoys, Kapenashes, Drakes, and Wheelers are important to their friends and neighbors, and especially to each other. But just before the beginning of another idyllic summer, Greg and Tess are killed when their boat capsizes during an anniversary sail. As the warm weather approaches and the island mourns their loss, nothing can prepare the MacAvoy's closest friends for what will be revealed.

Once again, Hilderbrand masterfully weaves an intense tale of love and loyalty set against the backdrop of endless summer island life."

Read an excerpt of The Castaways.

Open to both US and Canada, no po boxes please. To be entered - what's on your summer fun list? Ends Saturday July 24th at 6 pm EST. Good luck and check the sidebar for ongoing giveaways!

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Winners - Men and Dogs: A Novel - Katie Crouch

And the three lucky winners (chosen by of an audio book copy of Men and Dogs by Katie Crouch, courtesy of The Hachette Book Group are:

1. Angie (Sandy Jay let me know she had already won a copy)
2. rah267
3. Carole Spring

Congratulations! I've contacted you by email for your mailing addresses. Please respond within 72 hours. Check the sidebar for ongoing giveaways.

Winners - Rumor Has It - Jill Mansell

And the two lucky winners of a copy of Rumor Has It by Jill Mansell and courtesy of Sourcebooks are:

1. Kristi

2. Sophia Lee

Congratulations! I've contacted you by email for your mailing addresses. Please respond within 72 hours. Thanks to all who entered - check the sidebar for ongoing giveaways.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Giveaway - April & Oliver - Tess Callahan

Here's a great selection for your next book club - April & Oliver by Tess Callahan. And the reading group guide is done for you! You can even arrange for Tess to call in to your group!

From the publisher:

"Best friends since childhood, the sexual tension between April and Oliver has always been palpable. Years after being completely inseparable, they become strangers, but the wildly different paths of their lives cross once again with the sudden death of April's brother. Oliver, the responsible, newly engaged law student finds himself drawn more than ever to the reckless, mystifying April - and cracks begin to appear in his carefully constructed life. Even as Oliver attempts to "save" his childhood friend from her grief, her menacing boyfriend and herself, it soon becomes apparent that Oliver has some secrets of his own--secrets he hasn't shared with anyone, even his fiancé."

Sounds good doesn't it? Read an excerpt of April & Oliver. And thanks The Hachette Book Group, I have 3 copies to giveaway. Simply comment to be entered. Open the US and Canada, no po boxes please. Ends Saturday July 24th at 6 pm EST. Check the sidebar for ongoing giveaways.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Over the Counter # 14

Hmm, with the impending trip and fear of sitting beside someone hacking a lung out on the plane and getting sick for the rest of my visit, Don't Get Sick from the editors of Prevention Magazine caught my eye as it passed over my counter and under my scanner.

From the publisher Rodale Books:

"Coming down with the latest bug will never be on your to–do list. Who has time to be laid up by a cold or the flu? Now that germs are getting bigger and badder, there's even more reason to try to stay healthy.
Don't Get Sick makes the case for smart self–care as the key to stopping the spread of infectious illness. While germs may not be 100 percent avoidable, there's a lot that you can do to reduce your exposure and strengthen your natural defenses.

Drawing on scientific research and expert interviews, Don't Get Sick reveals:

Where germs are most likely to linger (and it's not public restrooms!)
How doctors, teachers, and others in high–risk professions manage to outsmart illness
Which immune–boosting products really work—and which aren't worth the money
... 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!)

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Giveaway - Fever Dream- Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child

Preston and Child are one of my favourite writing duos. Thanks to the generosity of The Hachette Book Group I have 3 audio book copies of their latest - Fever Dream to giveaway.

From the publisher:

"Destined to be a fan favorite, this exciting new thriller from bestselling authors Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child features Agent Pendergast and tells the dark history of his murdered wife, Helen. "

Listen to an excerpt or start reading online!

To be entered, have you read any other books by these authors? Open to US and Canada, no po boxes please. Ends Saturday July 17th at 6 pm EST.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Over the Counter # 13

Catching my eye this week as it passed over my library counter and under my scanner was Lonely Planet's Best Ever Travel Tips, compiled by Tom Hall. Given that I will once again be tackling air travel (eek!) , I found the air transport chapter really helpful. (And it was a really cute little book, made to look like a luggage tag, complete with a hole at the top!)

From the publisher Lonely Planet:

"Featuring contributions from a range of travel writers, industry experts And staff, lonely planet's best ever travel tips gives you the secrets of the Trade that will help you get the most from your trips.

■Find the best value deals
■Score that elusive upgrade
■Make your trip as eco-friendly as possible
■Stay safe on the road"

(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!)

Monday, June 21, 2010

Giveaway - Deliver Us From Evil - David Baldacci

Thanks to the generosity of The Hachette Book Group, I have 3 audio book copies of David Baldacci's latest - Deliver Us From Evil - to giveaway.

From the publisher:

"In South America a 96-year-old man of great wealth reads a book late one night and an hour later he lies dead in his bed, the secrets of his past starkly revealed. Six months later another mystery man lies dead at the bottom of his pool in a villa in Provence. This time, however, there's a witness at the scene: Shaw, the shadowy operative from The Whole Truth, who barely escapes with his life. Meanwhile, a half a world away, photojournalist Katie James is working on a story of international importance. David Baldacci-the #1 bestselling author of THE WHOLE TRUTH and FIRST FAMILY with his most surprising, heart-stopping, and timely thriller to date."

Listen to an excerpt of Deliver Us From Evil.

Open to US and Canada, no po boxes please. Simply comment to be entered. Ends Saturday July 17th at 6 pm EST.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Vacation Time!

As you read this, I will be winging my way to the heart of the American mid west to visit my daughter, son in law and their extended families. I'll feel great once I get there - it's the plane trip I'm dreading.....

So I will be taking a vacay from the computer as well. I've set up some giveaways and Over the Counter features to post while I'm away and I'll stop in to pick some winners of ongoing giveaways. See you in a couple of weeks!

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Winners - Street Boners - Gavin McInnes

And the three lucky winners (chosen by of a copy of Street Boners by Gavin McInnes, courtesy of The Hachette Book Group are:

1. Lauren from Shooting Stars
2. Jo kindly let me know she had already won a copy , so it went to Arr I Be Tellin No Onez
3. waxtheknob

I've contacted you by email for your mailing addresses. Please respond within 72 hours. Thanks to all who entered and check the sidebar for ongoing giveaways.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Winner - Wicked Prey & Storm Prey

And the really lucky winner of a copy of Wicked Prey And Storm Prey by John Sandford is:


Congratulations! I've contacted you by email for your mailing address. Please respond within 72 hours.

Men and Dogs - Katie Crouch

Men and Dogs is the second novel from Katie Crouch, following her success with Girls in Trucks.

Hannah is eleven when her father Buzz takes the family dog Tucker and heads out to go fishing in their hometown harbour of Charleston, South Carolina. The dog is found adrift in the boat and Buzz is presumed drowned. A body was never recovered.

Hannah is now thirty five. She is married and loves her husband, but continually cheats on him. On her latest mission of reconciliation she falls from a fire escape. Her husband John and her mother Daisy agree it would be best for all involved if she went home to Charleston to recover. Her older brother Palmer has also stayed on in Charleston.

Their father's disappearance has shaped both Hannah and Palmer's lives in different ways. Hannah cannot accept that he is dead. Her time at home is spent reconnecting with her past and trying to figure out where her father has gone and why. Palmer is also dealing with the past. He cannot commit in his relationships and always keeps his partners at arm's length. Daisy is the only one has accepted Buzz's death and moved on. She married Dewitt and is happy with her life.

Crouch has crafted a mesmerizing story that explores how much a childhood loss or trauma shapes our future path. Her examination of the relationships between Hannah, her brother, her former lover and her stepfather are especially poignant.

Hannah is an interesting character. I found her take on things refreshing, but at the same time didn't really gravitate towards her, despite knowing the reasons for her development. I actually found DeWitt to be the character I liked the most.

Always there is the question of what really happened to Buzz.

I listened to this book in audio format. The reader was Gabra Zackman and she was excellent. Her voice was clear and nicely modulated. She conveyed the emotions of Hannah and Palmer very well. Her southern accent was believable. I don't know if I would have enjoyed reading this book as much as I did listening to it. Sometimes a story translates better vocally and I think this is one of them.

Listen to an excerpt of Men and Dogs. You can find Katie on Facebook.

Want to listen to it yourself? You have until Sunday Jun 27th at 6 pm EST to enter to win a copy!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Over The Counter - # 12

Catching my eye as it passed over the counter and under my scanner this week was What's a Disorganized Person to Do? by
Stacey Platt.

I am constantly picking up books like this that let me know how I can totally organize everything in my life. Reading is one thing, doing is another....

From the publisher - Workman ;

"An easy-to-read, idea-packed guide for anyone who wants to be more organized—and who doesn't?

Everyone has overflowing closets and desk drawers, countertops loaded with kitchen gadgets, and overstuffed computer desktops. We dream of getting organized—but what's a disorganized person to do? In this book, professional organizer Stacey Platt comes to the rescue with empowering ideas on putting and keeping things in order.

Like earlier titles in the series, such as the best-selling What's a Cook to Do?, this book offers easy-to-scan and access solutions to everyday aggravations: How do you keep from misplacing your cell phone or house keys? What's the best way to organize the fridge? How do you pack efficiently for a trip? This user-friendly book, illustrated with stylish, full-color photography, is up-to-date on the latest technologies for organizing everything from music to family photos.

Here are hundreds of ingenious solutions for gaining control of clutter so you can live happily in your space. There are quick solutions as well as one-hour projects—from organizing your emails so you can find your passwords to sorting the area under the bathroom sink—that readers can tackle, one weekend at a time, with big payoffs. From the kitchen to the home office, the bedroom closet to the car, this thoughtful guide will help readers carve out more space and more time. "


(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!)

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

A Bad Day for Pretty - Sophie Littlefield

A Bad Day for Pretty is the second novel by Sophie Littlefield featuring Stella Hardesty.

In the first book, A Bad Day for Sorry, having dispatched her abusive husband to the great hereafter, Stella decides she will become a force of justice for wronged women.

"When the courts failed, when the restraining order didn't manage to restrain anything , when the man who promised he'd never do it again at ten o'clock forgot his promise by midnight. When a beaten woman finally picked herself up the floor and washed off the blood and took inventory of the latest bruises and something snapped and she decided this time was the last time - when the day came, she knew where to go, and and to see: Stella was ready for the job."

Stella is fifty something, a bit rough around the edges, but with a heart of gold and a soft spot for the underdog. She has taken over the sewing shop her husband ran and is making a new life for herself in Prosper, Missouri. When a tornado uncovers a body beneath the snack shack at the demolition derby track, everything points to local handyman Neb. But Neb and his wife are friends and Stella know he couldn't have done it. To make matters worse, the wife of the local sheriff (who Stella thought was single) has come back to town to claim her man. She manages to stir up a heap of trouble at the same time.

Littlefield has created quite the colourful character in Stella. I loved her turns of phrase and outlook on life.

"Still - cosmetics - an industry she had supported as enthusiastically as anyone in her young years - had certainly changed in the last decade or so while her attention had been elsewhere, and reentry was proving a little more difficult than she'd expected."

The descriptions of small town life and the town smack of realism. (and somewhat remind me of my own small town!) Littlefield herself grew up in rural Missouri.

The mystery isn't what overly drives this series. Instead it is Stella herself who is the draw. She is imminently likable and you can't help but admire her feistiness. She's someone you'd like to sit at the kitchen table with and shoot the breeze. Although the cover mentions this is a crime novel, it's certainly not a serious one. I was somewhat reminded of an older, slightly more violent Stephanie Plum. The supporting character cast is filled with offbeat and eclectic personalities. I think I have a soft spot for Jelloman!

I have not read the first book in this series and felt slightly out of the loop not knowing quite what had gone on before. But I did enjoy this light hearted read. Number three is written and Littlefield is working on the fourth.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

The Left Hand of God - Paul Hoffman

I try every once in a while to step out of my comfort zone and read something that for me, is different.

The Left Hand of God by Paul Hoffman filled the bill. It's a dark fantasy, set in a dystopian past.

Cale is taken at a very young age to the Sanctuary of the Redeemer to be trained by warrior monks to fight a holy war against the outside world. The thousands of boys inside the wall of the fortress have no idea of the world outside the walls - they've been indoctrinated to believe in the monks' cause. But one day, Cale and two of his friends (although friendship is discouraged) discover a secret door. They find that there are others - females,plentiful food, music and more. When Cale acts against the monks, he and his friends must escape out into the unknown.

What follows is a great adventure. I was intrigued by what would be beyond the walls. Hoffman's world is an odd mix of the past, drawing upon biblical references, philosophical views and historical works. Yet, his description of the impending and continuing wars among the peoples of this world parallels many of the conflicts happening in our present day. One ruler's plans to take all of one race to a remote island and be rid of them calls the Holocaust to mind.

This book somewhat reminded me of a darker Princess Bride as well. Cale is drawn to a young woman of the ruling cast of Memphis and much of his path is dictated by his attraction to her. Battles, escapes, miscommunication and odd characters populate The Left Hand of God. Hoffman has a sly sense of humor, injecting offbeat comments when least expected.

It's hard to say who this book will appeal to. The publisher has touted it as a dark Harry Potter, the protagonists are in their teens, but the audio book version is listed as 18+. There is cruelty and violence, yet love and hope as well. Definitely one for fans of speculative fiction. This is the first of a planned trilogy and the ending has neatly set up the second book. As there were a few plot lines that were never fully explained in this first book, I predict they too will be part of the sequel. Not my usual fare, but I enjoyed it and am curious as to what Hoffman has planned for Cale.

Read an excerpt of The Left Hand of God.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Giveaway - Babushka's Beauty Secrets - Raya Ruder and Susan Campos

Old World Tips for a Glamorous New You

Thanks to the good folks at The Hachette Book Group, I have 3 copies of Babushka's Beauty Secrets by Raya Ruder and Susan Campos to giveaway.

It's the 'all natural' that appeals to me!

From the publisher:

"Don't spend a fortune to look flawless. Esthetician to the stars Raisa Ruder learned her time-tested beauty techniques from her Ukrainian grandmother (or babushka, as they say in the old country). Now everyone can discover the all-natural, better-than-botox secrets the Hollywood stars use to shine on the red carpet! Ruder reveals her sought-after beauty recipes that can fight wrinkles, plump lips, and eliminate crow's feet and acne, using inexpensive, everyday grocery items like eggs, honey, vegetable oil and strawberries (and a splash of vodka for freshness!).

...Skin-saving Soufflés - whipped up wonders that shrink pores, brighten skin, and diminish lines
...Chocolate weight-loss wrap- a moment on the hips, tightens, tucks, and nips!
...Hot hair- a cayenne pepper blend that leaves locks silky, soft, and full
...PediPure- a soothing, smoothing foot scrub made with milk and mint
...Lustrous Lashes - a simple castor oil serum that thickens and lengthens
...Perfect Pucker- a mix of salt, green tea, and fruit that plumps up lips naturally
...And much more...

Simply leave a comment to be entered. Open to both US and Canada, no po boxes please. Ends Saturday July 10 at 6 pm EST. Check the sidebar for ongoing giveaways.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Winners - A Change in Altitude - Anita Shreve

And the three lucky winners (chosen by of a copy of A Change in Altitude by Anita Shreve, courtesy of The Hachette Book Group are:

1. DarcyO (Amy &Carol had already won copies!)
2. Julie
3. Patti V

I've contacted you by email for your mailing addresses. Please respond within 72 hours. Thanks to all who entered and check the sidebar for ongoing giveaways.

Winners - The Secret Speech - Tom Rob Smith

And the three lucky winners (chosen by of a copy of The Secret Speech by Tom Rob Smith, courtesy of The Hachette Book Group are:

1. Kelsey
2. Arch
3. Jason C

I've contacted you by email for your mailing addresses. Please respond within 72 hours. Thanks to all who entered - check the sidebar for ongoing giveaways.

Friday, June 11, 2010

This Body of Death - Elizabeth George

I am a big fan of mystery series. I like to follow the personal lives of the characters in addition to a really good whodunit. Elizabeth George is hands down one of my absolute favourites. Picking up her newest book is like opening a present you've been waiting for.

This Body of Death is the sixteenth book in the Inspector Thomas Lynley series. It picks up a mere three months from the last book. This is one of the appeals of George's novels - they happen in almost 'real time'.

Lynley is still recovering from a personal tragedy and is on leave from Scotland Yard. The acting superintendent, Isabelle Ardery, has alienated much of the team in her short stay. In an effort to win a permanent place, she asks Thomas to help with their latest case. A beautiful young woman has been found brutally murdered in a isolated cemetery. The clues point to the New Forest area, a community in a rural area. Two of the team - Winston Nkata and Barbara Havers are sent to follow up. Havers, Lynley's former partner, is one of my favourite characters. She is the antithesis to Lynley (who is actually a Lord.) Barbara doesn't give a fig for her appearance, smokes too much and bucks authority as much as she can without losing her job. But she is a determined investigator and her persistence usually pays off.

The book opens with a partial report from an unnamed author documenting a criminal act. Further parts of the report appear throughout the book, revealing more with each entry. Although seemingly unrelated, this element plays an integral part in the plot. And what a plot George has crafted! Multi layered and complex, it had me guessing right up to the end. Seemingly innocuous comments or observations often prove germane, so you definitely don't want to speed read. And I never do with any of George's books. For me they're a treat to be savoured.

While the plotting is fantastic, the characters play just as big a part of the book for me. After fifteen novels, I am quite invested in these recurring characters. I was actually quite upset with George when she 'tampered' with their lives in a way I didn't like in a previous book. The ending of This Body of Death has opened the door to many other changes, some that I am not looking forward to, others that I hope that I hope will develop. Nothing is predictable or static in the world of Inspector Lynley, each book is fresh.

Read an excerpt of This Body of Death.

This a series I'm passionate about. I encourage you to discover it as well! Fans of Kate Atkinson would enjoy this author.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Over the Counter # 11

Raccoons seem to think our property is a vacation resort - we have so many of them stopping by - so the cover (and the title) of At Least in the City Someone Would Hear Me Scream by Wade Rouse caught my eye as it passed over my counter and under my scanner.

From the publisher Random House:

"We all dream it. Wade Rouse actually did it.

Finally fed up with the frenzy of city life and a job he hates, Wade Rouse decided to make either the bravest decision of his life or the worst mistake since his botched Ogilvie home perm: to uproot his life and try, as Thoreau did some 160 years earlier, to "live a plain, simple life in radically reduced conditions."

In this rollicking and hilarious memoir, Wade and his partner, Gary, leave culture, cable, and consumerism behind and strike out for rural Michigan–a place with fewer people than in their former spinning class. There, Wade discovers the simple life isn’t so simple. Battling blizzards, bloodthirsty critters, and nosy neighbors equipped with night-vision goggles, Wade and his spirit, sanity, relationship, and Kenneth Cole pointy-toed boots are sorely tested with humorous and humiliating frequency. And though he never does learn where his well water actually comes from or how to survive without Kashi cereal, he does discover some things in the woods outside his knotty-pine cottage in Saugatuck, Michigan, that he always dreamed of but never imagined he’d find–happiness and a home.

At Least in the City Someone Would Hear Me Scream is a sidesplitting and heartwarming look at taking a risk, fulfilling a dream, and finding a home–with very thick and very dark curtains."

(Over the Counter is a new 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, June 9, 2010

Street Boners - Gavin McInnes

Subtitled: 1,764 Hipster Fashion Jokes.

And it's all in pictures....

Gavin McInnes was the originating force behind Vice Magazine's Do'sand Dont's list for 13 years. He now runs With the print version Street Boners, he continues his critique of street fashion. A kitty head rating system of 1-10 is employed and there is a comment on every photo. He opens the book with an interview conducted by himself with himself. Also included are articles describing the history of fashion and fashion in various cities - New York, London and Montreal.

McInnes has an incredibly biting wit. Nothing is sacred, all who dare to have their photo taken are skewered. For this middle aged reader, some of the comments and language were a bit over the top and frequently involved McInnes' genitals. But a lot of them were laugh out loud funny too. Street Boners is probably better suited for the younger crowd. Although I must admit, I had lots of fun checking out the 'fashion' shots! One of those books you can pick up and leaf through rather than an all in one read.

Wondering about those pictures? You can read an excerpt of Street Boners.

Want to read it for yourself? You've got until Saturday June 19th to enter to win one of three copies.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

The 9th Judgment - James Patterson & Maxine Paetro

James Patterson is one of the most prolific and best selling authors publishing today. The 9th Judgment is the latest installment in the Women's Murder Club series.

Lindsay Boxer has two cases to deal with this time. A female cat burglar is in the midst of robbing a well known celebrity of her jewels. Things go awry and the celebrity is left for dead. At the same time, a ruthless killer is targeting mothers and their children and callously killing both. Seemingly disparate story lines that come together in a very coincidental manner.

I listened to this novel in abridged audio format. I'm not a big fan of abridged versions as I always sense that I've missed part of the story. That may account for some of my thoughts on The 9th Judgment.

I found the 'villains' to be almost caricatures of 'bad people'. The plot line involving the cat burglar (nicknamed Hello Kitty by the press) is somewhat unbelievable. I found the ending for this story line unsatisfactory as well. The last couple of books in this series have left me feeling somewhat indifferent to a few of the main characters, namely Cindy and Yukio. When all was solved and wrapped up, the added epilogue seemed awkward and forced.

The reader was Carolyn McCormick, who has read numbers 4 through 9 in the series. She has a no nonsense tone of voice which works well for the Boxer character. She also has very clear enunciation - a big plus for a reader, but I must admit I found it slightly annoying after awhile.

Those looking for a light entertaining listen will find it here and fans of Patterson will be thrilled. But if you're after a serious police procedural, look elsewhere. Time for this reader to give Patterson a rest.

Listen to an excerpt of The 9th Judgment.

Want a chance to listen and judge for yourself? Enter the giveaway - open until Jun 30th.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Giveaway - Innocent - Scott Turow

Thanks to the generosity of the Hachette Book Group I have three audio book copies of Innocent by Scott Turow to giveaway.

From the publisher:

"The sequel to the genre-defining, landmark bestseller Presumed Innocent, INNOCENT continues the story of Rusty Sabich and Tommy Molto who are, once again, twenty years later, pitted against each other in a riveting psychological match after the mysterious death of Rusty's wife. "

Listen to an excerpt or read an excerpt of Innocent.

Watch a video trailer. You can find Scott Turow on Facebook as well.

Oh this will be a good one! To be entered, just leave a comment. Open to both US and Canada, no po boxes please. Ends Saturday July 3rd at 6 pm EST.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Winner - Daughter of the Witching Hill

And the lucky winner is:


Congratulations - I've contacted you by email for your mailing address. thanks to all who entered - check the sidebar for ongoing giveaways!

Friday, June 4, 2010

The Kitchen House - Kathleen Grissom

Every so often a book just reaches out and grabs you. The Kitchen House by Kathleen Grissom was one of those books for me.

It's 1791. Lavinia is 7 yrs old and her entire family has perished on the boat from Ireland to America. The captain takes her to his own plantation as an indentured servant. She is sent to live with the slaves who run the kitchen house. Abinia, as she comes to be known, is welcomed into the hearts and homes of Mama Mae, her daughter Belle (who is the captain's illegitimate daughter) and their extended families. They love her as one of their own, despite the fact that she is white.

As Lavinia grows, she is taken to the big house to help with the captain's wife, who is battling an addiction to opium. It is here that Lavinia finally has to acknowledge the chasm between black and white, master and slave. And where her place is. As she grows older, circumstances conspire and she is forced to make difficult choices that have grievous repercussions. This is s a very bare bones synopsis as there is so much more to this book.

Grissom forced me to break one of my cardinal rules. I never, ever, read ahead in a book. I got so caught up in the story, the characters and the hurtling plot that I was reading way too fast to take it all in. I had to find out what happened, then go back and slowly take the journey to the event.

Grissom's descriptions of the settings, social life, characters and dialogue truly had them jumping off the page. Indeed, Grissom herself says that "For the most part, Lavinia and Belle dictated the story to me. From the beginning it became quite clear that if I tried to embellish or change their story, their narration would stop." I became invested in each and every character, loving some and hating others, but each evoking emotion is this reader.

The Kitchen House is told in alternating chapters from Lavinia and Belle's viewpoints The same event takes on a very different hue when seen through another set of eyes.

Slavery is a main theme of the book. But slavery in many different forms - addictions, societal expectations and mores as well as racial. But so is strength, again in many forms.

I literally could not put The Kitchen House down. It's destined to be a keeper in my library. Read an excerpt.

Kathleen and her husband restored an old Virginia plantation tavern. In researching it's past, she found an old map with a notation - Negro Hill. This was the impetus for The Kitchen House. She is currently working on a novel called Crow Mary - about a young Saskatchewan Crow woman traded to in marriage to a fur trader. Noted on my 'ones to watch for' list.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Over the Counter # 10

Hoarding seems to be a hot topic lately (I've seen one episode of the television show Hoarders and was hoardified!)

So Stuff (subtitled Compulsive Hoarding and the meaning of Things) by Randy O. Frost & Gail Steketee is the latest book to catch my eyes as it passed over my library counter and under my scanner.

From the publisher Houghton Mifflin Harcourt:

"What possesses someone to save every scrap of paper that's ever come into his home? What compulsions drive a woman like Irene, whose hoarding cost her her marriage? Or Ralph, whose imagined uses for castoff items like leaky old buckets almost lost him his house? Or Jerry and Alvin, wealthy twin bachelors who filled up matching luxury apartments with countless pieces of fine art, not even leaving themselves room to sleep?

Randy Frost and Gail Steketee were the first to study hoarding when they began their work a decade ago; they expected to find a few sufferers but ended up treating hundreds of patients and fielding thousands of calls from the families of others. Now they explore the compulsion through a series of compelling case studies in the vein of Oliver Sacks.With vivid portraits that show us the traits by which you can identify a hoarder--piles on sofas and beds that make the furniture useless, houses that can be navigated only by following small paths called goat trails, vast piles of paper that the hoarders "churn" but never discard, even collections of animals and garbage--Frost and Steketee explain the causes and outline the often ineffective treatments for the disorder.They also illuminate the pull that possessions exert on all of us. Whether we're savers, collectors, or compulsive cleaners, none of us is free of the impulses that drive hoarders to the extremes in which they live.

For the six million sufferers, their relatives and friends, and all the rest of us with complicated relationships to our things, Stuff answers the question of what happens when our stuff starts to own us."

Read an excerpt of Stuff.

(Over the Counter is a new 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, June 2, 2010

Leaving Unknown - Kerry Reichs

You know me - covers first. Loved this one! What is she running from or to on that long road?

Leaving Unknown had me laughing in the first few pages. From the protagonist, Maeve Connelly...

"I've always been restless. I can't seem to settle on anything. I had no idea what I want to do and a lot of time on my hands. That's when the trouble began. That's when I discovered"

Maeve reconnects with an old friend out in California. She also discovers the Facebook app 'Cities I've Visited'. (it's real) She's always had a fascination with place names. (I must admit to sharing this appeal) Impulsively and with nothing to hold her in Charlotte NC, she decides to drive to California, taking the scenic route and stopping in as many oddly named places as she can. (Climax, Toast and Whynot NC, Ninety Six, SC and many more - all real. (Satan's Kingdom in Vermont seems a little worrisome)

Maeve packs her cockatiel Oliver and herself into her battered car Elsie and strikes out. They do pretty well until Elsie breaks down outside of Unknown, Arizona. Maeve is forced to wait in town while parts are ordered. She also needs to find a way to pay for those parts. And it is here that the story really begins.

The town of Unknown and its denizens come to life under Reich's pen. Unknown is full of eclectic characters and settings. The residents are warm, caring and funny. I connected with every one of them. The town is a world unto itself. I was totally enamoured of the bookstore that Maeve finds work in. Unknown is a place I could call home.

The longer Maeve waits for the parts, the happier she becomes. She's found work, friends, a purpose and Maeve discovers that sometimes the road less travelled leads you right where you need to be.

I thought the book was an excellent chick lit read, but Reichs surprised me midway through the novel with a character's revelation about their past. I didn't see it coming at all. This added another layer to an already wonderful book.

Kerry Reich's writing style is warm, witty and effortless. The story and the characters will stay with you after you turn the last page, wondering what's going on in Unknown...

A marvelous read - 5 stars and highly recommended. Reich's first book - The Best Day of Someone Else's Life - just as good!

You can find Kerry on Twitter.

(A small interesting tidbit - Kerry is the daughter of author Kathy Reichs)

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter - Seth Grahame-Smith

I've seen the various titles and covers and had avoided this mash up genre up til now. I think the cover of Seth Grahame-Smith's previous best seller Pride and Prejudice and Zombies scared me off.

But you know, I was pleasantly surprised and entertained! The premise is that Seth has stumbled upon the secret journals of Lincoln, not seen for 140 years. From these personal journals, Seth retells the true story of Lincoln's life.

I think this was the neat part. Historically the tale is factual. Lincoln's accomplishments, family and history are all there. It's the reason behind those achievements and drive that is the twist. Lincoln's mother was killed by a vampire and this is reason he has sworn to rid the country of this scourge. Armed with his trusty axe, Abe cuts a path through many vampires on his way to the presidency. (Reader and listener beware - there are some slightly graphic descriptions) Grahame-Smith is very creative in his retelling of this iconic American figure, exposing the real history behind the Civil War and the truth about John Wilkes Booth.

I listened to Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter in audio format. The reader, Scott Holst, was very good. He captured the sonorous tones of Lincoln and the oddly formal tones and language of the vampire Henry equally well. I was able to easily differentiate between the various characters.

I don't think I'll become a die hard fan of the mash up, but I did find it to be an entertaining listen.

Listen to an excerpt of Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter. Watch the book trailer on YouTube.

Also on Facebook and there's even an iPhone app!