Sunday, March 29, 2015

2015 - 2016 Georgia Peach Awards for Teen Readers Nominees Are:

Are You Experienced  by Jordan Sonnenblick
Caged Warrior  by Alan Sitomer
A Death-Struck Year by Makiia Lucier
Everything Leads to You by Nina LaCour
Fake ID  by Lamar Giles

Faking Normal  by Courtney Stevens
Far from You by Tess Sharpe
Free to Fall  by Lauren Miller
Girls Like Us by Gail Giles
Hostage Three by Nick Lake

I'll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson
Jackaby  by William Ritter
Killer of Enemies by Joseph Bruchac
Nearly Gone by Elle Cosimano
Phoenix Island  by John Dixon

Say What You Will  by Cammie McGovern
The Scar Boys by Len Vlahos
We Were Liars by E.Lockhart
What I Thought Was True  by Huntley Fitzpatrick
When I Was the Greatest  by Jason Reynolds

From this list, one award book and two honor books will be chosen. Any predictions? I can't really say because I've only read one of the books on the list so far, Jackaby. Add your predictions or discussion to the comments. Thanks for stopping by. Happy Reading!

Saturday, March 28, 2015

2014-2015 Georgia Peach Book Awards for Teen Readers - The Results Are In!

The winner for the 2014-2015 year is Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell.

The honor books chosen are: 

The nominees for the 2014-2015 year can be found in an annotated pdf  put together by the Georgia Peach Award people.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Waiting on Wednesday #79 - The Faerie Tree by Jane Cable

"Waiting on Wednesday" is a weekly event hosted by Jill over at Breaking the Spine where we spotlight upcoming releases we are eagerly anticipating. 

Synopsis from publisher:

How can a memory so vivid be wrong?

I tried to remember the first time I’d been here and to see the tree through Izzie’s eyes. The oak stood on a rise just above the path; not too tall or wide but graceful and straight, its trunk covered in what I can only describe as offerings – pieces of ribbon, daisy chains, a shell necklace, a tiny doll or two and even an old cuckoo clock.
"Why do people do this?" Izzie asked.
I winked at her. "To say thank you to the fairies."

In the summer of 1986 Robin and Izzie hold hands under The Faerie Tree and wish for a future together. Within hours, tragedy rips their dreams apart.

In the winter of 2006, each carrying their own burden of grief, they stumble back into each other’s lives and try to create a second chance. But why are their memories of 1986 so different? And which one of them is right?

With strong themes of paganism, love and grief, The Faerie Tree is a novel as gripping and unputdownable as Jane Cable’s first book, The Cheesemaker’s House, which won the Suspense & Crime category of The Alan Titchmarsh Show’s People’s Novelist competition. It is a story that will resonate with fans of romance, suspense, and folklore.

Why am I interested in this mystery? The last line of the blurb gets it for me. I particularly like that it will resonate with fans of suspense and folklore. Generally speaking, it sounds like an interesting plot. And I am wanting to find out what happened in 1986, and what will happen now that they are back in the same place again.

What book are you waiting on this week? Leave it or a link in the comments so we can check it out. Happy reading!

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Teaser Tuesday - Quicksand by Gigi Pandian

Teaser Tuesday is a weekly bookish meme hosted by Miz B of A Daily Rhythm. Anyone can participate, just do the following:
  • Grab your current read and open to a random page
  • Share two (2) "teaser" sentences from somewhere on that page.
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (Make sure what you share doesn't give too much away! You don't want to ruin the book for others!)
  • Share the title and the author so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR lists if they like your teasers.
Add caption

"Let me save you from the quicksand, Jones. I risked stealing from the  Louvre so that you'd be safe. Please, let me handle this." 
~ Lane speaking to Jaya at 45% through on my Kindle

Quicksand is the 3rd book in the Jaya Jones series put out by Henery Press. It was released March 10, 2015.

Plot synopsis from
A thousand-year-old secret room. A sultan’s stolen treasure. A missing French priest. And an invitation to Paris to rekindle an old flame.... 

Historian Jaya Jones finds herself on the wrong side of the law during an art heist at the Louvre. To redeem herself, she follows clues from an illuminated manuscript that lead from the cobblestone streets of Paris to the quicksand-surrounded fortress of Mont Saint-Michel. With the help of enigmatic Lane Peters and a 90-year-old stage magician, Jaya delves into France's colonial past in India to clear her name and catch a killer.

What's your teaser this week? Please leave it or a link in the comments so we can check it out. Happy reading!

Monday, March 23, 2015

Review: The Turnip Princess by Franz Xaver Von Schonwerth

The Turnip Princess and Other Newly Discovered Fairy Tales by Franz Xaver von Schonwerth edited by Erika Eichenseer and Maria Tartar is a new collection of some tales from old northern Bavaria.

In the 1850s, Franz Xaver von Schönwerth traversed the forests, lowlands, and mountains of northern Bavaria to record fairy tales, gaining the admiration of even the Brothers Grimm. Most of Schönwerth's work was lost - until a few years ago, when thirty boxes of manu­scripts were uncovered in a German municipal archive. Now, for the first time, Schönwerth's lost fairy tales are available in English. Violent, dark, and full of action, and upending the relationship between damsels in distress and their dragon-slaying heroes, these more than seventy stories bring us closer than ever to the unadorned oral tradition in which fairy tales are rooted, revolutionizing our understanding of a hallowed genre.

A collection like this is always a treasure. What makes it more so is that he recorded them as they were told to him and not prettied up or changed to make them sound better or more moral. The tales are told in plain language. Maria Tartar, one of the best-known scholars in folklore and fairy tales, writes an informative introduction to the tales.

According to Maria Tartar, Erika Eichenseer was the first person to translate the stories into English. She has kept faithful to the way the stories were told in German. There is quite a variety of the tales as well. "Prince Goldenlocks" is one example and is the first story in the book. The tale holds elements that are similar to several different tales, but in the end, it reminds me most of a combination of Snow White, Donkey Skin, and Cinderella. I would have to add that some of the tales are also not for the faint of heart involving things like biting off a pinkie or substituting animal parts for human parts.

If you are really into fairy tales and folklore, this book is worth a read. The tales are from upper Bavaria which is different from the Grimm's tales. They are told in simple straight forward language. Because some of the content can be considered violent, parents might want to share the book with their children rather than simply pass the book onto them. 

Einstein says, "If you want your children to be intelligent, read them fairy tales. If you want them to be more intelligent, read them more fairy tales." These tales are an interesting addition to the pantheon of fairy tales. 

I gave this book 4 out of 5 stars because it has a good introduction and other resources are listed. The tales themselves are in a plain language and are of good, interesting quality. If you are looking for something a little different to add to your fairy tale shelf, consider this book.

Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book in exchange for my unbiased opinion.

Friday, March 20, 2015

Review and Giveaway: A Curious Man by Neal Thompson

Published May 7, 2013
by Crown Archetype
A Curious Man: The Strange and Brilliant Life of Robert "Believe It or Not" Ripley by Neal Thompson is an interesting book. I didn't know the half of it when I started reading the book. I found it fascinating to read his sort of rags to riches story. To say he was a well-traveled man, is an understatement. He was all over the world and brought back many oddities. Some oddities or stories about them were acquired when people sent in the information or objects to him. Early on, he ended up hiring an assistant to deal with mail and to help him pull together his ideas for his column. 

The book is full of vignettes of his trips as well as interesting information on just what went into his comics and eventually his programs. He really was a fascinating man. Admittedly one of my favorite parts of the book was the section containing photographs of and about Ripley. I would be remiss if I did not mention that there is a multi-media aspect to the book. It requires a download of a free app to your phone. Then you can scan some of the photo pages and videos and additional information would appear. 

I can remember seeing reprints of his comics in the Sunday Funnies growing up. I'm glad I had an opportunity to read this biography about such a fascinating man. Also according to the book, "Ripley's Believe It or Not" comic has been one of the longest running. It was being drawn by John Graziano in 2012. If you grew up reading the same comics or perhaps hearing the program on the radio or watching it on TV, I think you would enjoy this book.I gave this book 4 stars.

Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Review: The Writing Dead by Thomas Fahy

The Writing Dead: Talking Terror with TV's Top Horror Writers was published March 3, 2015 by University Press of Mississippi. The book is divided up into 4 main parts with an introduction to the book and acknowledgements.

“I just write about what scares me. When I was a kid, my mother used to say, ‘Think of the worst thing that you can, and if you say it out loud then it won’t come true.’ And that’s probably been the basis of my career.” -Stephen King

Each section of the book has interviews with writers related to that topic. There are quite a variety of writers interviewed including those who write or wrote for Hannibal, Dexter, Bates Motel, True Blood, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Supernatural, Grimm, Angel, The Walking Dead, Hemlock Grove, Being Human, American Horror Story, X-Files, and Millenium. Each part of the book that focuses on a particular writer or series type, starts with a brief synopsis of why they were included and then goes into a transcript of an interview by Thomas Fahy with the author.

What I found interesting about the book is somewhat the usual things that one would take away from such a book, how the writer’s come up with their ideas and write. I enjoyed reading about all of the authors and found it interesting to see some of the other things in their career that they wrote before they came to horror and how it affected what they wrote.

I ended up giving this book 4 stars. I would recommend it to others as a good read or as a gift for someone who enjoys learning more about the behind the scenes writing of their favorite horror programs and movies. It’s interesting to see the connections between a movie that has become a series or a series of books that becomes a tv series. It’s also interesting to see how a particular writer’s previous projects affected what they in turn wrote for the horror programs.

Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion. Any quotes appearing in the text come from an advance reading copy and may appear differently in the final copy.