Tuesday, April 17, 2012

April 23rd: World Book Day

Hi everyone! I apologize for the lack of updates lately. I've been pretty busy. However, I wanted to make a quick post. Yesterday I was at Barnes & Noble and noticed that they were asking for donations of new or gently used books. You see, April 23rd is apparently World Book Day (or World Book Night). Though the Barnes & Noble referred to World Book Day, it appears that the US celebration is actually titled World Book Night. Or something like that-I'm honestly not sure.

Anyway, there are a few different things you can do to get involved in World Book Day/Night/Whatever. However, a great thing to do is donate some used books. The places you can donate are specific to your area, but schools, libraries, hospitals and nursing homes are great places to start. As I mentioned earlier, the Barnes & Noble near me was accepting book donations, so if you have one near you, definitely go check it out.

That's all for now, I just wanted to let people know about World Book Day/Night. Hopefully I'll have a review up soon!

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Victoria Ferrante: "Love held Christina steady and kept her grounded while autism tried to smash her against the rocks."

Hope by Victoria Ferrante (Amazon) is not a pleasant book. It is not an uplifting book and it is not a lighthearted book. It is, however, a book very strongly rooted in reality. It follows the journey of a young mother struggling to raise her autistic daughter. Everywhere she turns for help she finds only roadblocks and a lack of compassion. I do not want to spoil the ending, but I do want to warn you: just like in life, there is no happily ever after or miracle cure for autism.

I think that this book will be very controversial among people who have autistic family members or work with autistic individuals. Some people may say that it ignores some of the joys that can come from raising an autistic child. I think that it is important to remember that the author is the parent of an autistic child and that she wrote the book to raise awareness of some of the more extreme circumstances caretakers of autistic children may find themselves in. 

I actually don't think I would necessarily recommend this book to someone who is struggling with  raising an autistic child. I would instead recommend it to anyone who dares to pass judgement on people who are doing their best, or who are unable to understand the challenges faced when raising an autistic (or otherwise disabled) child. Victoria Ferrante's writing does an excellent job of capturing the inner turmoil and anxiety that parents of autistic children face.

I found contact information on Victoria Ferrante's website and I wrote her a note:

"I read Hope as part of the April 9th Book Blast. I just wanted to let you know that I thought it was amazingly done. Your writing evoked strong emotions in me, and I hope that those who do not understand autism or the challenges faced by those who care for individuals with autism read your book. I am sure it will help them understand, and perhaps reach out to help those in need."

I am giving away an ebook version of this novel. This giveaway is open until April 16th and is international.

Friday, April 6, 2012

C.R. Corwin: "The obituaries are the best part of my day."

Exactly one week ago, I wrote about A Little Trouble With The Facts by Nina Siegal (original post here). Much to my surprise I seem to have found myself reading another book with a similar theme. You see, when I saw "A Morgue Mama Mystery" on the cover (not visible in the cover shown to the right), I assumed that the book would be about someone who works in a morgue. Oh how wrong I was!

Dig: A Morgue Mama Mystery by C.R. Corwin (Amazon) is about a woman named Maddy Sprowls who works at a newspaper. She is in charge of the newspaper's archives, which can also be called the morgue, hence the nickname Morgue Mama. She has a habit of always reading the obituaries first when she reads the newspaper, which serves her well until one day she sees that an old college friend has been murdered. Being a self proclaimed nosy old lady, she decides to try to solve the crime. It should be noted that she has a track record of solving crimes, despite the people around her trying to discourage her snooping. Dig appears to be the second in a series, though it serves perfectly fine as a stand alone novel.

I enjoyed this book. It was a nice, plain mystery. Not too many plot twists, but enough to keep you on your toes. The language used in this books was also plain, which was appealing. The voice of Maddy Sprowls really shown through. Anyone who is a fan of "nosy old lady" detective novels (you know exactly what I'm talking about) should check it out.

C.R. Corwin is a pseudonym. The actual author is Robert Levandoski, and he unfortunately passed away in 2008, so no letter this time.

The giveaway ended and the winner had been notified. There will be another giveaway on my blog beginning on April 9th, so stay tuned for that. This one will be a digital copy so anyone may enter.

Also, just a clarification: if you click my Amazon links and then make any purchase through Amazon (not necessarily the product linked) I will most likely get referral credit (some products are exempt). So, if you're thinking about making any Amazon purchase, and want to help support this site, then please click on one of my links before purchasing. 

I hope you have a great weekend!

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Goodnight Dune

Okay, so I have a confession: I've never read Dune (Amazon) by Frank Herbert. I tried to read Children of Dune (Amazon) a very long time ago. It didn't go so well and I've never gone back. However, Goodnight Dune (available in full online) by Julia Yu, is adorable. Honestly, it almost makes me want to pick up Dune again. Seriously, go check it out right now.

I decided to write her a quick note as well:

"I just stumbled across Good Night Dune and wanted to let you know that I think it's absolutely adorable! Thanks so much for making this project and putting it up on the web to share!"

A few announcements:

I am now an Amazon Affiliate. This means that if you click on my Amazon links (only the more recent ones-I was too lazy to go back and change the older ones) and then purchase anything on Amazon I get a small percentage.

My giveaway of Baking Cakes In Kigali ends soon! Check it out here!

Monday, April 2, 2012

"How Many Of Those Nine Lives Do You Have Left? Two?": Catwoman: When In Rome

Everybody knows Catwoman. She's probably one of the most iconic villains from Batman, right after the Joker. However,  very few people know her back story. Catwoman: When In Rome (Amazon) by Jeph Loeb and illustrated by Tim Sale explores a bit more of the history of Gotham's most alluring criminal.

I really enjoyed this book. Partially because it was nice to read a book set in the Batman universe without having Batman as the main character. Don't get me wrong, I love Batman as much as anybody else who has over 35 trade paper backs sitting on their bookshelf. However, sometimes I want to explore even more aspects of his world. Books like Catwoman: When In Rome allow me to do so, and with Jeph Loeb and Tim Sale at the helm (they also did Batman: The Long Halloween), you know it's going to be good.

I couldn't find contact information for Jeph Loeb, but Tim Sale has a contact form on his website, so I left him a note.

"I read Catwoman: When In Rome, and I just wanted to let you know that I loved it! I really enjoy books in the Batman universe that don't focus primarily on Batman, and this book was very well done. Your illustrations worked perfectly with the story!"

Also, I just realized that I somehow forgot to write to Christopher Moore yesterday. I'll make another post soon remedying that situation. Also, don't forget to check out my giveaway, ending on Thursday!

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Christopher Moore: "There's always a bloody raven."

I must confess, Christopher Moore is not an author I've never heard of, nor did I just read this book. However, I haven't read anything new lately and I wanted to make a post. Then I remembered that today is April Fool's Day and I realized that Fool (Amazon) by Christopher Moore was an excellent choice for today.

Fool is a book about, well, a fool. It's a parody of King Lear. Yes, that King Lear, by Shakespeare. It's a hilarious, raunchy parody, definitely not something that I would give to a child or anyone easily offended. However, anyone who wants an irreverent rewrite of Shakespeare should definitely check it out.

For those who are unfamiliar with the original Shakespeare play, it is about a king who begins to go mad. He decides to divide his estate among his daughters in accordance with who loves him best. One daughter refuses to play a game of flattery and King Lear becomes outraged and makes some hasty decisions. As anyone who knows the play can tell you, there is a lot more to it than my summary can capture, so it might be best to just check out the Wikipedia article if you're interested.

Anyway, that's all for today. Remember to check out my giveaway, it's ending in a few days!