Gifts and Gadgets for the Booklover in Your Life

bookmarkerIf you are already thinking about holiday gifts, then check out this post at Business Insider entitled “9 gift and gadgets for the avid reader in your life.”  I added the Everday Innovations Bookmarker to my wish list at Amazon, and am convinced this would make a great giveaway.  Make sure to subscribe to learn how to win the bookmarker!

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Lisbeth Salander is Back

LisbethThe latest book featuring Lisbeth Salander as the girl with the dragon tattoo will be released this coming week.  Personally, I am not sure how I feel about this.  I loved Steig Larsson’s Millennium series and am not sure that I want to read the new book, written with a new author. It’s also not the first time that a new writer has been brought in to continue a popular series after an author has died. New books by writers with best-selling franchises, like Tom Clancy and Robert Ludlum, have continued long after their deaths.

The man chosen to write the new book, The Girl in the Spider’s Web, is David Lagercrantz. He’s written several biographies and a novel based on the life of the British mathematician Alan Turing. He’s best known though for ghostwriting an autobiography of a popular Swedish soccer player that was a huge best-seller in Sweden.

I will probably read the novel.  Larsson’s series is a little like a drug — hard to let go of.  I just hope I’m not disappointed.  After all, I did quit reading Robert Ludlum at some point.

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9 Books To Read If You “Hate” Reading

Crazy Rich AsiansEvery August I head back to school and encounter a new group of students who have no qualms about telling me that they have no interest whatsoever in improving their cognitive abilities. In other words, they “hate” reading.  Bustle, has put out a list of books for people who “hate” reading.  The list is well worth checking out.  Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan looks like a great read, as does Cartwheel by Jennifer DuBois.  I’ve already added those two to my To-read list.  Take a look and see what you might like.

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Book Review: Bradstreet Gate

Bradstreet GateThe Booklover’s Rating:  ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

Bradstreet Gate is a Harvard Yard gate that commemorates the puritan poet Anne Bradstreet and the 25th anniversary of women living in the Yard.  It is also the site of the murder of Julie Patel, a young woman on the eve of her graduation from the illustrious Ivy League school and a subsequent memorial to the young woman.

Kirman’s novel begins ten years after the murder, when a young reporter, Nat Krauss, contacts Georgia Reese (née Calvin) regarding her recollection of events surrounding the murder.  It is through this beginning that Kirman takes us back to 1997 and Reese’s interrogation by police.  From there we are introduced to the other players in the drama: Charles Flournoy, a young man from a blue-collar family who worked hard to get to Harvard; Alice Kovac, a Serbian immigrant who despises her family; and Professor Rufus Storrow, Jr., who teaches a controversial course on ‘Law and the Colonial State.’

The novel moves quickly and is a fast-paced and easy read.  At 320 pages, it just plotted intricately enough to keep you engaged and waiting to see what happens next.  These are certainly assets enough to recommend Bradstreet Gate.  The ending though may leave you wanting and that is the drawback.

Book Details:  Published by Crown (July 7, 2015), 320 Pages, ISBN:  978-0804139311.

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Scribbling Owlet Feature

Sucheta of the WordPress blog Scribbling Owlet contacted me last month and asked me to be a part of her Reader’s Nook.  Her QA with me posted today.  If you would like to learn more about my favorite books, book characters, etc.  you should check it out here.

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Do you have the golden ticket?

Last WordLast month when Michael Koryta was in the Little, Brown warehouse signing copies of his new book Last Words, he wrote the word “Trapdoor” in seven of the books.  If you find one of these books, let him know via Facebook and you will get a complete Michael Koryta library! If you pre-order Koryta’s new book (due out August 18th) and submit your receipt on his Website, you will be sent a paperback of your choice.  Certainly an offer worth considering and the search could be a lot of fun!

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Book Review: The Book of Strange New Things

bookofstrangenewthings-ukThe Booklover’s Rating: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

The Book Of Strange New Things is about Peter Leigh, a former junkie who finds Jesus one night thanks to two broken ankles and a trip to the hospital where he meets his wife-to-be Bea. Peter becomes a Christian minister in England with a little church and as the story opens, we find Peter leaving the small church to go to a far-away planet to spread the gospel to the natives there.  He has been selected as a missionary by USIC, a corporation building a settlement on the planet.  Bea, his wife, has not been selected and will be staying behind.  We find Peter and Bea on the way to the airport pulling over to have sex one final time before they are separated for an unspecified time period.  This normally would turn me off, since I have a personal aversion to gratuitous sex, but it is anything but that as the story goes on.

After a trip to the US and boarding the spaceship, Peter awakes to find himself arriving on Oasis and here the beauty of Faber’s writing shines through.  The reader can very nearly imagine himself there or at the very least Peter there.  The entire selection process, trip to Oasis, description of the planet could not have been more beautifully written for the early 21st century reader.  It is something we would be familiar with, yet at the same time alien.  Faber’s descriptions of Peter’s ministry treat his faith with care and show what it means to care for others more than yourself, as Peter so often does in this book.

Faber’s novel treats Peter’s Christian faith with respect, as Father Peter treats others with respect and you can understand the love and care Peter feels for his Jesus Lovers.  The Book of Strange New Things is a masterpiece work of science fiction, but it does not read like science fiction.  It reads like literature and I felt sadness when the book ended.  I just wanted to know more…

Book Details:  Published by Hogarth (June 30, 2015), 528 pages, ISBN-10: 0553418866.

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