Are You Hooked on Vooks?

I have not tried vooks yet and that’s not unusual since I would be considered a “late adopter” by marketers.  I did, however, read an interesting article in the The Washington Post by Monica Hesse about the vook.  Another reason I haven’t read a vook is that I don’t like to pay for my reading material as a rule and the prices for vooks average $4.99 each.  The public library is free or paid for by my taxes.  Having said that, vooks do sound interesting!

A vook is a new innovation in reading that blends a well-written book, high-quality video and the power of the Internet into a single, complete story.  You can read your book, watch videos that enhance the story and connect with authors and your friends through social media all on one screen, without switching between platforms.

Vooks are produced in part by Simon & Schuster’s Atria books and can be found at vook.com.  The most interesting title seems to be Embassy, a conspiracy thriller.  Although I don’t usually read Jude Deveraux, I did notice a title by that author.  She is extremely popular and it seems a good move by vook.com to include this title.  There are only six titles besides the two I have mentioned at vook.com, so the selection is a little thin.  It will be interesting to see what comes up in the future.

You can read the article by Monica Hesse at this link:  http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/12/27/AR2009122701973.html.

Have you read a vook?  Are you hooked on vooks?  If so, please leave a comment and tell us about it!

Book Review: In the Shadow of Gotham

The Booklover’s Rating:  ♥ ♥ ♥

This is a first novel by Stefanie Pintoff’ and a winner of the first Minotaur Books/MWA Best First Crime Novel award.  I choose this book because I had enjoyed Caleb Carr’s book The Alienst and hoped for something similar.  This book is good, but does not have the depth of Caleb Carr’s novel.

The following review is from Publisher’s Weekly:
The wreck of the steamship General Slocum in 1904 cost Det. Simon Ziele of the New York City police both his fiancée and the full use of his right arm. In response to those losses, Ziele has abandoned big-city policing for the quiet dullness of Dobson, a town in Westchester County, but a brutal murder interrupts his retreat from the world. Someone slashes and bludgeons to death Sarah Wingate, a Columbia mathematics graduate student whose brilliance evoked jealousy in her peers, in her home under circumstances that resemble the notorious murders of Lizzie Borden’s parents. Ziele’s investigation is soon co-opted by Alistair Sinclair, a student of criminology who’s convinced he knows the culprit’s identity. The period detail, characterizations and plotting are all top-notch, and Ziele has enough depth to carry a series.

This book is a quick read – great for the plane or train.  I only gave the book three hearts, but am looking forward to Ms. Pintoff’s next work and expect that her books will only get better and better.

Book Details: Published by Minotaur Books (April 28, 2009), 400 pages, ISBN-10: 0312544901, ISBN-13: 978-0312544904.

Book Review: 2666

The Booklover’s Rating: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

Wow!  I’m finally finished!

It took me over a month to read 2666, granted I wrote two research papers during that time frame as well, but it is a hefty read.  Having said that, I did like 2666.

This book is actually five books in one.  The common thread between the five books is a fictional city in Northern Mexico called Santa Teresa.  Book One begins with a small group of academics in search of the elusive author Benno von Archimboldi.  The academics trace the writer to the Mexican border town of Santa Teresa, but there the trail runs dry.  It isn’t until Book Five that readers learn who Archimboldi is and why he went to Santa Teresa.

The second book tells the readers about a professor from Spain moves to Santa Teresa with his beautiful daughter, Rosa, and begins to hear voices, while the third concerns Quincy Fate Williams, a black American reporter who is sent to Santa Teresa to cover a prizefight and ends up rescuing Rosa from her gun-toting ex-boyfriend.  The fourth and longest “book” catalogues the women murdered and raped in Santa Teresa and gives the readers a look at a power system that may be covering up for the real criminals.

This is a tough book to read in some respects (the murders are gruesome and there are many of them) and easy to read in others.  The story is enthralling, but the threads are difficult to follow through five books (not too mention the paragrah long sentences).  All in all 2666 is worth the effort!

Book Details: Published by Farrar, Strauss and Giroux (November 11, 2008), 898 pages, ISBN-10: 0374100144, ISBN-13: 978-0374100148.