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Book Lovers Inc.
Romance novel reviews, author interviews, commentary.
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- The International Giveaways Café (109)
Hello all and welcome back to your one stop shopping place for great bookish giveaways. Whether you want to enter one already listed or post a new one, we’re happy to see you either way. Have a great rest of the weekend!
And, please let us know if you’ve won anything recently; the Book Lovers would love to hear! As book lovers, we’re happy to spread the word…and the love 😉 Good luck to everyone!
Here’s the fine print for entering your link: Guidelines: If you have a giveaway you would like to share with our other readers, the rules are simple: 1. The giveaway MUST be available to international addresses (Book Depository does count) 2. Add your link below, in the format shown. (Please use the URL for the contest post, not a general blog URL; you don’t want to make it tricky for others trying to enter) 3. Expired …
- Around The Bookish World: Week-In-Review
Welcome to this week’s edition of Bookish news! It has been an interesting week, with the continued fallout over the Goodreads saga over deleted shelves and reviews and dinosaur erotica is the new thing (oh I hope not) to get your claws into…
First up, Goodreads has clarified their guidelines about their new shelving and reviewing policy which they outlined in their Feedback forum. They also have apologised and emailed to the affected members whose reviews and shelves were deleted a few weeks ago when the new policy was implemented. They also have offered to try to regain those shelves/reviews from a backup server so the users could back up their copies of their deleted data. Although many have remarked this was too little and too late to undo the damage and damaged trust about posting reviews on the site.
Meanwhile, one of their competitors, Booklikes, who seem to …
- Interview with Diana Quincy + Giveaway
I LOVE historical romances. They are my alltime favourites, a good, romantic HR just warms my heart. But when I read Diana Quincy‘s debut novel Seducing Charlotte I got an even better and more complex experience: it was a witty, intelligent and captivating romance I couldn’t resist, so I couldn’t have been happier to learn it was the first novel in a brand new series! Now book#2 just got released and to celebrate the release of Tempting Bella I got to interview Diana Quincy and quiz her about the series, weird research findings and favourite time periods. So take a seat and join us, you could even win some great prizes at the end! 😉
Stella: Hi Diana, welcome to Book Lovers Inc! 🙂 Can you please tell us a bit about yourself?
Diana: Hi Stella, thanks for having me! Let’s see…I’m a former television reporter who decided to start …
- ARC Review: Parasite by Mira Grant
Format read: eARC from NetGalley Series: Parasitology #1 Genre: Science Fiction, Biomedical Thriller Release Date: October 29, 2013 Number of pages: 512 Pages Publisher: Orbit Formats available: ebook, audio, hardback Purchasing Info: Author , Goodreads , Amazon , Book Depository , SymboGen .
A decade in the future, humanity thrives in the absence of sickness and disease.We owe our good health to a humble parasite – a genetically engineered tapeworm developed by the pioneering SymboGen Corporation. When implanted, the tapeworm protects us from illness, boosts our immune system – even secretes designer drugs. It’s been successful beyond the scientists’ wildest dreams. Now, years on, almost every human being has a SymboGen tapeworm living within them.But these parasites are getting restless. They want their own lives…
Good news everyone! SymboGen Corporation , the separated-at-birth twin of Umbrella Corporation , will cure disease in a few short years though the revolutionary introduction of a lab-grown GMO. There are only a few side effects….
Well. Only …
- Review: Skies of Gold by Zoe Archer
Format read: ebook provided by Edelweiss Series: The Ether Chronicles, #5 Genre: Steampunk Romance Release Date: August 6, 2013 Number of pages: 352 pages Publisher: Avon Impulse Formats available: ebook, mass market paperback Purchasing Info: Author’s Website | Goodreads | Amazon | B&N | Kobo | Book Depository US | Book Depository (UK)
Two Lonely Hearts . . .
Kalindi MacNeil survived the devastating enemy airship attack that obliterated Liverpool, but even her engineering skills can’t seem to repair her broken heart. Seeking to put her life back together, Kali retreats to a desolate, deserted island—only to discover she’s not alone. Captain Fletcher Adams, an elite man/machine hybrid, a Man O’ War, crashed his battle-damaged airship into the island after the destruction of Liverpool, never expecting to survive the wreck. But survive he did.
One Desire . . .
Believing he …
- New Releases: Sep. 30 – Oct. 6, 2013
Title: Cursed (Fallen Sirens, #1) Author: S.J. Harper Genre: urban fantasy Release date: October 1, 2013 by Roc
Meet FBI Agents Emma Monroe and Zack Armstrong. She’s cursed. He’s damned. Together, they make one hell of a team.
Emma Monroe is a Siren, cursed by the gods and bound to earth to atone for an ancient failure. She’s had many names and many lives, but only one mission: redemption. Now that she works missing persons cases for the FBI, it could be just a rescue away. Unless her new partner leads her astray.
Special Agent Zack Armstrong just transferred into the San Diego Field Office. He’s a werewolf, doing his best to beat back the demons from his dark and dangerous past. As a former Black Ops sniper, he’s taken enough lives. Now he’s doing penance by saving them.
Emma and Zack’s very first case draws them deep into the realm of the paranormal, and forces them …
- Best Books of September: Book Lovers Pick of the Litter
We’re here to squee all over you! Yes, that’s right, it’s time for our “Pick of the Litter” post. And who better to lead things off this month than our resident snarky Dragon Lover! I can’t believe Cass found a book she enjoyed that did not involved dragons. OH NOES! The sky is falling…
Cass: Perdition (Dred Chronicles #1) by Ann Aguirre.
This book was a ton of fun! I loved the idea of a prison ship in space, and how The Man (government? corporations?) just decided to fuck worrying about guards and rioting and shit. They’re in space! Let me figure their own shit out. Leaving room for the Glorious Dred Queen to emerge. I have a sneaking suspicion future books will show how The Man rues their lackadaisical approach to prison oversight and maintenance.
Stella: Some Like It Spicy (A Perfect Recipe #1) …
Whoooo, it’s Sunday! There’s been some, shall we say, DRAMA going on. Which I have decided to copy with in the traditional Alaskan way. GLACIER MARGARITAS FOR EVERYONE!
Some people didn’t want to come with me. Until I told them I was buying. I also planned out how I’ll spend $1 million dollars if I ever win the lottery. Then we did a $100 million version, but I ran out of frivolous things to blow it on and started doing good deeds. Which is less fun to drunkenly contemplate. ( Whoo! lets give half a mill to Planned Parenthood so they can do abortions in Texas. Whoo! Wait, I’d rather talk about the luxurious vintage train vacation again…. )
Either amount would be one helluvan accomplishment seeing as how I never play the lottery. Maybe I could marry money? Who wants to marry a book reviewing workaholic legal aid attorney?
While I start reviewing …
- The International Giveaways Café (108)
Welcome to this week’s news post and oh boy has it been eventful with major announcements and more drama in the offering such as more on the fallout on the new changes with Goodreads.
Last week, I reported that Goodreads will be changing its terms of services over the use of shelving names which now users cant be based on authors and their behaviours. This has upset a lot of members, especially the power users who have volunteered their time and energy on the site as librarians improving the database and highlighting bugs. But the feedback discussion has illustrated some important points about the choices on how users shelve and catalogue their books especially in the instances if an author has homophobic or racist views or have a history with child pornography. I think many readers would like to be aware of examples of these to decide whether they want …
Unfortunately Google Friend Connect will stop working for non Blogger blogs at the start of March.
- Thomas on Explore This! Albuquerque, New Mexico : I just wanted to let you know that the photo of the bridge i...
- Colleen on Interview with Claire Ashgrove + Giveaway : I was wondering if you are going to do a book with sofia tem...
- Draconismoi on ARC Review: Parasite by Mira Grant : DON'T GIVE HER IDEAS. I met Seanan at WorldCon. That woman ...
- Diana Quincy on Interview with Diana Quincy + Giveaway : I agree. Dumb heroes don't inspire me either, but humor and ...
- Diana Quincy on Interview with Diana Quincy + Giveaway : Hi Ada. Know-it-all heroes are annoying. Unless, of course, ...
- Diana Quincy on Interview with Diana Quincy + Giveaway : Hi Barbara. I also love a hero who protects others. Sebastia...
- Anita H. on Interview with Diana Quincy + Giveaway : I love those with a sense of humor and love if they can show...
- Ada on Interview with Diana Quincy + Giveaway : I enjoy a romance hero that can laugh at themselves and are ...
- Barbara Elness on Interview with Diana Quincy + Giveaway : I enjoyed reading the interview and I think Diana Quincy's b...
- Susan on Around The Bookish World: Week-In-Review : I hope you've reviewed some of those wtf books--oh, please t...
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Books – Treasure or Trash
Ship breaker by paolo bacigalupi.
Book Review of Ship Breaker: 3 Treasure Boxes Publisher: Audible Studios, Audible Audio Edition, Listening Length: 9 hours and 8 minutes Program Type: Audiobook, Version: Unabridged, Audible.com Release Date: May 4, 2010, ASIN: B003KWL65S
In a dystopic society set in the future where the gap between the wealthy and the poor is vast and impassible, and the world has been depleted of natural resources, life for the poor is almost unbearable. Nailer, a fifteen year old boy, tries to exist working as a ship breaker on the south-east coast of North America. He, along with his crew mates, scavenge abandoned oil tankers for anything of value. It is imperative they meet the quota set by their bosses, or they could end up discarded, and become beach rats with nothing. Nailer not only has to deliver the goods, but he has to do this while avoiding his drug-crazed and violent father. So what will Nailer do when faced with a choice between killing a beautiful but helpless rich girl his own age, or letting the swank live and watch his chance for the easy life slip away?
Paolo Bacigalupi has been nominated, and has won, many awards for his work. For Ship Breaker he won the Michael L. Printz Award for Best Young Adult Novel in 2011. Bacigalupi has written 5 novels including Ship Breaker , with a 6th one on its way, and he has written numerous short stories. He writes primarily biopunk, science fiction, and young-adult stories. Ship Breaker is a young-adult science fiction story told in a third-person narrative from the point of view of the main protagonist, Nailer.
There are many fascinating aspects to this story. The setting is well thought out and the characters are well developed. The reader is immediately drawn into the story right from the first page when Nailer is introduced climbing through a service duct tugging at copper wire. The story shows both the depth of despair that the people working on the salvage rigs face, as well as the intensity of the connection between the people working together as crew.
This is a dystopian society that takes place many years in the future, yet it is also a story about people. I really enjoyed this novel, and I highly recommend it to anyone who enjoys reading YA dystopian stories. I rate this book as a very good read, and I am looking forward to reading more stories by Palol Bacigalupi.
Flow my tears, the policeman said by philip k. dick.
Book Review: 3 Treasure Boxes Publisher: Mariner Books; Reissue edition (July 17, 2012); Reissue edition (July 17, 2012), Paperback: 256 pages, ISBN-10: 0547572255, ISBN-13: 978-0547572253
Flow my Tears, The Policeman Said is set in a dystopic future where everyone does drugs, genetic modification exists, and the police have supreme power. In one moment Jason Taverner has it all. He, along with a select few, has been genetically modified to be the perfect human. He is a famous singer and television personality. He has charisma, grace, good looks, extreme intelligence, and plenty of luck. Until one day when his luck runs out, and he wakes up with nothing. He not only has no identification on him, but now no one knows his name, and he is a nobody. He risks facing death or ending up in a forced labour camp unless he can prove who he really is, but is that even possible? Taverner goes on a race against time and the authorities to discover what happened.
Philip K. Dick was a prolific writer, having published 49 novels and over a hundred short stories, and all were primarily science fiction. Much of his work concerns altered realities and drug use, and Flow My Tears, The Policeman Said , certainly delivers these and more. This book is a science fiction novel that includes drug use and an alternative universe. Interesting enough several of my favourite science fictions movies, like The Adjustment Bureau, Minority Report, Paycheck, A Scanner Darkly, Blade Runner, and Total Recall have all been based on stories by Philip K. Dick. Flow my Tears, The Policeman Said is written using a third person point of view, primarily from the point of view of Jason Taverner, but also at times moving into the point of view of the Police General Felix Buckman.
There is some really incredible writing in this story, but there are also a few areas which do not make sense and contradict what previously occurred. It is possible that these were intentional, and perhaps support the premise of the book, because their existence could explain movement between alternate realities. Like for example on page 26, when Eddy, the police informant, exits the building leaving Jason alone with Kathy so she can prepare forged identification documents for Jason. Then on page 32, suddenly Eddie is in the room with them, and Eddy “lurked in the background, smoking a fake Havana cigar; he had nothing to say or do, but for some obscure reason he hung around.”
At times the writing alludes to unknowable past events while at the same time pulls the reader into the story. Like on page 6, “Forty-five beautiful years ago, when the world was young and droplets of rain still clung to the now-gone Japanese cherry trees in Washington, D.C. And the smell of spring that had hovered over the noble experiment.” While this is never explicitly explained, the story itself points to past events that may have lead up to the current dystopic society. The characters in the story are interesting and well drawn. The plot is intriguing and the reader is immediately pulled into the story. If you like science fiction stories, then I recommend Flow my Tears, The Policeman Said as a very good read.
From Harvey River: A Memoir of My Mother and Her Island by Lorna Goodison
Book Review: 4 Treasure Boxes Publisher: Amistad; Reprint edition (April 23, 2013), Sold by: HarperCollins Publishers, File Size: 635 KB, Print Length: 306 pages (Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0061337560), ASIN: B00C0UHKEM
Lorna Goodison is a poet, an author of short stories, and an artist. She has received several awards for her work, and she has been writing poetry since her teens. She was born in Kingston, Jamaica on August 1, 1947, and From Harvey River is the legacy of Goodison’s roots. Much of the writing reflects the impact of her family’s heritage—a legacy that is driven by spirits and ghosts derived from both African and Jamaican beliefs.
From Harvey River is a memoir of Goodison’s mother. On the surface this history appears unremarkable, but the combination of fiction, history, and family lore, told from the point of view of spirits in the past, creates an interesting and intriguing tale. I thoroughly enjoyed this book. I found it touching, and at times it made me laugh, and other times it made me cry. If you enjoy a good read about interesting people in a unique and fascinating setting then I recommend this book as an excellent read.
Wool Omnibus Edition by Hugh Howey
Wool Omnibus Edition (Wool 1 – 5) – 3 Treasure Boxes Books 1 – 5 in the Silo SeriesPublisher: Broad Reach Publishing (January 25, 2012), Kindle edition File Size: 711 KB, Print Length: 550 pages, Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1469984202, ASIN: B0071XO8RA
The outside world is uninhabitable and humanity has moved underground. The livable world is now encased by a silo that starts at ground level and extends far into the earth. This existence has continued for hundreds of years, and numerous strict rules ensure the maintenance of the current lifestyle. However the worst offense an inhabitant can make is to talk about going outside. If anyone suggests or even implies an interest in the outside, they are forced out, and end up dying within steps of the silo. Until one day when Juliette is sent out, but doesn’t die. Instead she goes beyond the sightline of the silo and survives. But what she finds, and the reason she was put out are very surprising.
Wool is a science fiction story that is told in a third person narrative. It comprises five short stories that have been combined to create Wool . Currently there are two more books in the series, the next one is called Shif t, and it comprises three stories. Shift is a prequel to the events in Wool . The final book in the Silo Series is Dust and it immediately follows the events in Wool .
Wool is an interesting story with a curious title. It took me awhile to figure out why Howey called the book Wool . There are numerous possibilities. There are several references in the story to knitting—including the titles of the middle three sections of the book. There is a reference to pulling the wool over people’s eyes. Regardless, I believe the meaning implies something deeper. I believe the title refers to humans as sheep, and suggests that when one person jumps off the cliff all the others will follow.
Wool is a dystopian story that deals with human nature, and it poses the question: can we learn from our past mistakes, or are we destined to continue to make the same mistakes over and over and over? Initially, the plot line appears to suggest that as humans we are destined to continually make the same mistakes. Yet the end of story seems to point in a new direction. I am curious to see where Howey is going with this and I am planning on reading the next two installments in the series.
The characters are well defined and the world that is created in fascinating. The nature of society, and of time itself is at issue. There is both a sense immediacy and delay, and the story sparks many questions, causing the reader to question humanity. I enjoyed this book and I recommend it as a very good read.
The Passage: A Novel by Justin Cronin
Book Review of The Passage : 2 Treasure Boxes First book in The Passage Trilogy
Random House Audio, Audible Audio Edition, Listening Length: 36 hours and 52 minutes (785 pages), ASIN: B003QL14NC
Justin Cronin has to date, written four novels, two of them in The Passage trilogy. The third book in the series, The city of Mirrors , is supposed to be released sometime in 2014. Cronin has won numerous awards for his writing. The Passage is a horror story, and it is told in a third person narrative using several different tactics including diary entries. I found the switch between third person narrative and diary readings to be confusing, especially when some of those diary entries were 1000 years after the events in the book. There are numerous protagonists throughout the novel, but Amy seems to be the constant.
The story was interesting and original. I really enjoyed the beginning, which I thought was well written and engaging. However, I found the middle of the book to drag a bit, and to be a bit boring. I understand that Cronin wanted to fill in some information to gap the years between the onset of the virus and year 93, but I did not enjoy how he did it. I did not like the use of the diary entries. I did think that Cronin’s concept of the vampire was fascinating. I also liked the characters that he focused on, and I thought his character development was well done. I recommend this book as a good read, and I am looking forward to reading the next book in the series. I liked how this book ended, and I could see the potential for a future story.
New Book in our Online Book Club: The Hundred-Foot Journey by Richard C. Morais
Today at Find The Treasure, our Online Book club, we have started reading a new book, The Hundred Foot Journey by Richard C. Morais. This book will soon be coming out in a movie starring, Helen Mirren. On the surface, the story is about a restaurant, however underneath it is about life and relationships.
To Join our discussion, please click on the page tab on the right. Find the Treasure – Online Book Forum, and then click on “The Hundred Foot Journey”
We hope you join us and we look forward to hearing all your comments and feedback.
Book details as outlined on Amazon.com
“Soon to be a major motion picture starring Helen Mirren and Om Puri, directed by Lasse Hallstrom, and produced by Oprah Winfrey, Steven Spielberg, Juliet Blake, DreamWorks Studios, and Participant Media.
“That skinny Indian teenager has that mysterious something that comes along once a generation. He is one of those rare chefs who is simply born. He is an artist.”
And so begins the rise of Hassan Haji, the unlikely gourmand who recounts his life’s journey in Richard Morais’s charming novel, The Hundred-Foot Journey . Lively and brimming with the colors, flavors, and scents of the kitchen, The Hundred-Foot Journey is a succulent treat about family, nationality, and the mysteries of good taste.
Born above his grandfather’s modest restaurant in Mumbai, Hassan first experienced life through intoxicating whiffs of spicy fish curry, trips to the local markets, and gourmet outings with his mother. But when tragedy pushes the family out of India, they console themselves by eating their way around the world, eventually settling in Lumière, a small village in the French Alps.
The boisterous Haji family takes Lumière by storm. They open an inexpensive Indian restaurant opposite an esteemed French relais —that of the famous chef Madame Mallory—and infuse the sleepy town with the spices of India, transforming the lives of its eccentric villagers and infuriating their celebrated neighbor. Only after Madame Mallory wages culinary war with the immigrant family, does she finally agree to mentor young Hassan, leading him to Paris, the launch of his own restaurant, and a slew of new adventures.
The Hundred-Foot Journey is about how the hundred-foot distance between a new Indian kitchen and a traditional French one can represent the gulf between different cultures and desires. A testament to the inevitability of destiny, this is a fable for the ages—charming, endearing, and compulsively readable.”
The Storyteller by Jodi Picoult
The Storyteller is comprised of several separate and distinct stories that interconnect. Sage is a young woman who has a disfiguring facial scar, and she is battling an inner torment that disfigures her far more than the scar on her face. Josef is a 94 year old, healthy, German man who no longer wants to live because he is tormented by his past and the things he did as a Nazi commander at Auschwitz. H e asks Sage to help him end his life. Minka is Sage’s grandmother and she is many things including a survivor of the Holocaust as well as a creative writer. Within is included a story that Minka wrote about a young woman who falls in love with a vampire.
Jodi Picoult has written 20 novels, including My Sister’s Story . The Storyteller is both a drama and a historical novel. The story is told in a first person narrative from the point of view of the character whose story is being revealed.
I enjoyed the story and I liked how the past and present combined to slowly reveal the truth. I thought the characters were well developed and multidimensional. My favorite was Minka; I enjoyed reading her tale. I thought she was a strong and resourceful woman, and I found it fascinating how her fictional story about Ania and the Vampire saved her life. It provided both a sense of hope, as well as entertainment to the other prisoners, because it was a metaphor for love and redemption. The Storyteller may have been about the Holocaust, and parts of the story provided a heart-wrenching view into what it was like, but it was so much more than that. It was really about forgiveness, and not just for Josef, but for all of the characters and on many different levels.
I liked how the story unfolded, and I was surprised by the twist at the end. I recommend this book as a very good read, and if you enjoy reading about the Holocaust, both the horror of it as well as the triumph over it, then you will enjoy The Storyteller .
“Mary folds her arms. “I know I’ve told you how I left the convent, but did I ever tell you why I entered it?” she says. “My mother was raising three kids on her own, because my father walked out on us. I was the oldest, at thirteen. I was full of so much anger that sometimes I woke up in the middle of the night with the taste of it in my mouth, like tin. We couldn’t afford groceries. We had no television and the lights had been turned off. Our furniture had been reclaimed by the credit card company, and my brothers were wearing pants that hit above the ankle because we couldn’t afford to buy new school clothes. My father, though, he was on vacation with his girlfriend in France. So one day I went to see our priest and I asked what I could do to feel less angry. I was expecting him to say something like, Get a Job , or Write your feelings down on paper . Instead, he told me to forgive my dad. I stared at the priest, convinced he was nuts. ‘I can’t do that,’ I told him. ‘It would make what he did seem less awful.’
I study Mary’s profile as she speaks. “The priest said, ‘What he did was wrong. He doesn’t deserve your love. But he does deserve your forgiveness because otherwise he will grow like a weed in your heart until it’s choked and overrun. The only person who suffers, when you squirrel away all that hate, is you.’ I was thirteen, and I didn’t know very much about the world, but I knew that if there was that much wisdom in religion I wanted to be part of it.””
“She faces me. “I don’t know what this person did to you, and I am not sure I want to. But forgiving isn’t something you do for someone else. It’s something you do for yourself. It’s saying, You’re not important enough to have a stranglehold on me. It’s saying, You don’t get to trap me in the past. I am worthy of a future. ””
This was my favorite quote because it sums up forgiveness and why it is important.
Bridget Jones: Mad About the Boy by Helen Fielding
Book Review of Bridget Jones: Mad About the Boy: 3 Treasure Boxes Publisher: Knopf (October 15, 2013), File Size: 2745 KB, Print Length: 400 pages, ASIN: B00CNQ7CRI
Helen Fieldings created the lovable and amusing character of Bridget Jones. She has previously written two Bridget Jones books: Bridget Jones Diary and Bridget Jones: Edge of Reason. Both have been made into movies. Bridget Jones: Mad About the Boy continues the diary style used in the previous two books, and shares with the reader all of Bridget’s private thoughts through her daily diary entries.
Bridget Jones Diary , the forerunner of the chick-lit genre, is an enjoyable and humorous story. Bridget Jones is a delightful character, and in Bridget Jones: Mad About the Boy, Fieldings once again shares with the reader the ups and downs of Bridget’s life. In the previous books Bridget, a single woman in her mid thirties with the support of her friends, is looking for love while counting calories. In Bridget Jones: Mad About the Boy as in the previous installments, Fieldings accurately captures and relays the thoughts of feelings of a single woman. Only this time Bridget is 51 years old and a mother. She is once again looking for love with the support and encouragement of her friends, and she is still counting calories. Only now she is also grappling with social media and online dating.
I enjoyed the story, and I both laughed and cried with Bridget as she stumbled through life, dating, and motherhood. However, I did find the lack of grammar in some of the diary entries to be both distracting and annoying. “Look. Is absolutely fine being in on own on Saturday nights. Will simply clear out cupboard under stairs then get on exercise bike.” Location 604-5. But when she expands on a scene and includes dialogue, then the story becomes enjoyable. However I did find some of her diary entries amusing and funny. “Was trying to park car. This is impossible in our street as is narrow, curved and cars park on both sides. Had just reversed in and out of space fourteen times, then resorted to Braille Parking, i.e. forcing car into space by bumping cars in front and behind.” Location 853-56.
The story was predictable, and I could see what was going to happen with Mr. Wallaker almost as soon as he was introduced into the story, but I did enjoy the journey. I could relate to Bridget’s trials, tribulations, and successes. I recommend Bridget Jones: Mad About the Boy as a very good read. If you enjoyed the previous Bridget Jones books, then you must treat yourself to the newest book in the series.
A Week in Winter by Maeve Binchy
Maeve Binchy was an Irish author and she published 16 novels; A Week in Winter was the last novel that she wrote. The protagonist in A Week in Winter isn’t a person, but rather a place. It is Stone House, a newly renovated hotel on the cliffs of the west coast of Ireland. Each chapter tells a different story about the inhabitants of the inn during it’s opening week.
I enjoyed this book, it was a nice light and easy read. There were not any surprises, and not much excitement, but it was entertaining. I recommend this book as a good read.
Children of Air India: un/authorized exhibits and interjections by Renée Sarojini Saklikar
Book Review of Children of Air India: 3 Treasure Boxes
Although this book is a work of fiction, and many of the details were derived from her imagination; it merges fact with the fiction. It many ways it is a form of docu-poetry. Saklikar spent many hours researching and reading transcripts and archives. She was born in India, and lost an aunt and uncle in the bombing of this airplane. She experienced the loss first hand and through her work she has brought the loss of these 329 people into the hearts of her readers.
I found the book well laid out and presented in an interesting manner. It starts with a short introduction that shares with the reader the terrible loss of the individuals as well as the unfathomable injustice of the resulting trial. Throughout the book, Saklikar redacted all the names of the victims, and in many instances, simply refers to the individuals as “Redacted.” For me, this represents the finality of the loss and death of each person. From page 113, she writes, “Write the names all the way through. Write them down. In writing there is redaction, redact. That is the burning that is the body.”
Part One of the book is “in which N imposes meaning” with “N” representing niece and/or narrator, in other words, herself. She is searching for meaning for herself, and for those who perished. Through her words she brings the departed briefly back to life, as in page 21,
“…she loves to read,
wins a prize in math.
Her sister follows, arms holding
large heavy books…
Status: bodies not found.”
Saklikar makes the passengers real, and at the same time is able to impact to the reader the horrendous plane crash. I found the poems that related directly to the passengers very touching, and there were many such poems throughout the book.
Throughout the text, Saklikar effectively uses white space. In so doing she speaks volumes without the use of words. I found this technique haunting, because many of these people’s bodies were lost in the open space of the ocean.
Saklikar is able to blend the terrible with the dispassionate and in doing so able to combine human tragedy within the confines of the impersonal court. In this way she brings into the poetry the injustice of the mishandling of the trial, without sermonizing. She effectively shows both to the reader.
However there were other parts that I did not understand. Like on page 61, it is filled with what appear to me to be random letters, “ACI-ACISS ACPS ACS…” and this page also includes two randomly placed 2.2cm 2 squares. Additionally on page 85, entitled “Exhibit: June 4, 1985, in the woods outside Duncan, items of examination,” I did not understand what these items were nor why they were included.
In writing this review, I found the subject matter quite upsetting, and very, very sad. Several times I was moved to tears for the lost of so many people, each one cherished. I recommend this book of poetry as a very good read.
Book Reviews for Book Lovers
A life amidst books.
Book Review: The Lover’s Dictionary by David Levithan
Book Review: The Lover’s Dictionary by David Levithan
David Levithan is the supremely talented author of incredibly fine works of young adult fiction, as well as an editorial director at Scholastic. But in The Lover’s Dictionary , David Levithan does something completely different: He writes for grown-ups.
To be clear: The Lover’s Dictionary isn’t a YA book that adults will also love. It is a mature look at adult love, and it is astounding.
Am I gushing yet? Because I feel like I’m gushing.
This is a novel, but the title doesn’t lie: It is a novel written in dictionary format. Each page contains an entry — at the least a few lines, at the most a page or two — going from A to Z, offering a word and its part of speech, followed by simply sensational definitions.
From aberrant to zenith , The Lover’s Dictionary tells the story of a relationship, not in chronological order, but in alphabetical order.
The two main characters remained unnamed. All we know is that this man and this woman meet online, begin dating, fall in love, live together, and then deal with what living together and loving together really means.
It’s beautiful and it’s unpredictable. It’s also disturbing and even heartbreaking.
Because the book is written alphabetically, there’s a strange sense of dislocation and confusion throughout. Wait, she cheated? When, exactly? Oh, they had a beautiful day in the park. But was that before or after? When they talk about having hope, are they in the early days, or the days that might possibly be too late?
But isn’t real life full of dislocation and confusion? Real relationships don’t evolve along a timeline, nicely following an outline like the tidy plot of a movie. There are ups and downs, reversals and collapses, leaps forward, near misses. It doesn’t have to go in order to make sense.
What we the readers are left with is a story of two people who seem to love each other intensely, but who also occasionally irritate each other and hurt each other and wish the other person would change, either a lot or a little.
Little snippets of the relationship just feel so real:
belittle , v . No, I don’t listen to the weather in the morning. No, I don’t keep track of what I spend. No, it hadn’t occurred to me that the Q train would have been much faster. But every time you give me that look, it doesn’t make me want to live up to your standards.
Who hasn’t had these types of highs and lows, even in the same day, in a long-term relationship:
commonplace , adj. It swings both ways, really. I’ll see your hat on the table and I’ll feel such longing for you, even if you’re only in the other room. If I know you aren’t looking, I’ll hold the green wool up to my face, inhale that echo of your shampoo and the cold air from outside. But then I’ll walk into the bathroom and find you’ve forgotten to put the cap back on the toothpaste again, and it will be this splinter that I just keep stepping on.
David Levithan knows words. I’ve admired his use of language in his YA novels as well, and here his verbal flourishes are on full display. He delves into the inner lives of words, twists them apart and finds their hidden selves, finds connections in the most unlikely of places. It’s beautiful to behold, even apart from the story itself, how the author turns the use of everyday language into an elevated art form.
Meanwhile, the story itself is gritty and often sad, yet has moments of real romance, humor and beauty. Interestingly, it’s The Lover’s Dictionary , not The Lovers’ Dictionary . That apostrophe placement makes a big difference. The male narrator is a writer, and this is his record of the relationship. Is he building a case? Is he writing a love letter? Is this a memory or a real-time journal? We don’t know. We don’t see both sides of the story. We just see him, with his devotion and his exasperation, addressing his thoughts to her, with hope and with love.
It’s one of the most unusual books I’ve ever read, but it truly works.
And now I really am gushing.
Clearly, I love this book. It’s not long (211 pages in the hardcover edition), but it’s no more than a reading session of an hour or two, given the white spaces and breathing room around each dictionary entry. Don’t rush, though. Because it’s not chronological, much is open to interpretation. Was this referring to that ? Or maybe to that one there ? So savor, enjoy the language, puzzle out the connections in time, and then maybe flip back through one more time to see if you still think the same events occurred in the same order, for the same reasons and with the same outcomes. I know I changed my mind a few times along the way.
A final note: If you haven’t had the pleasure, don’t miss out on David Levithan’s young adult novels. His gift for language and his commitment to getting to the essence of communications shine through in everything he writes. If you’re interested, check out my reviews of some of his other books:
Nick & Norah’s Infinite Playlist (co-authored with Rachel Cohn) Every Day Two Boys Kissing
Title: The Lover’s Dictionary Author: David Levithan Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux Publication date: 2011 Genre: Adult fiction Source: Library
5 thoughts on “ book review: the lover’s dictionary by david levithan ”.
Hmm… I’m very intrigued by the sounds of this book! Oh, and I don’t know if you accept awards (I’ve noticed some bloggers don’t) but I’ve nominated you for the One Lovely Blog award. Details can be found on my latest blog post. 🙂
Oh, thank you so much for thinking of me — I actually don’t accept awards (but really appreciate the thought!), but I’ll check out your post!
No problem. 🙂
I recently read this book and it was so beautifully written. I went into it thinking it would be a forgettable read but I loved it so much. Though it was bits and pieces of the character’s memories, it was still very emotionally impacting and relatable. I’m happy you enjoyed it so much as well!
Thank you! I didn’t expect it to be so wonderful either! It really feels like a “hidden gem” type of book — so beautifully written and lovely to read! 🙂
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Book Review: The Lover's Dictionary by David Levithan I'm so glad that I finally picked up a copy of this remarkable book -- one of the few remaining books by David Levithan that I had yet to read