Jul 31, 2013

Waiting on Wednesday: Alex by Pierre Lemaitre

Waiting on Wednesday is hosted weekly by Jill @ Breaking the Spine. Let us know what new releases you are eagerly waiting for. Link your post to Breaking the Spine.

Title: Alex by Pierre Lemaitre, translated from the French by Frank Winne
To be published September 3, 2013 MacLehose Press
Genre: police procedural, Verhoeven Trilogy #2

The book description reminds me of some of the Scandinavian thrillers I've read, in particular Jussi Adler-Olsen. Read any of his?

Publisher's description: Winner of the 2013 Crime Writers Association International Dagger Award: “An original and absorbing ability to leash incredulity in the name of the fictional contract between author and reader . . . A police procedural, a thriller against time, a race between hunted and hunter, and a whydunnit, written from multiple points of view that explore several apparently parallel stories which finally meet.”

Synopsis: "Alex Prévost—kidnapped, ... suspended from the ceiling of an abandoned warehouse in a tiny wooden cage—is running out of time. Police Commandant Camille Verhoeven has nothing to go on: no suspect, no leads, and no family or friends anxious to find a missing loved one. Camille is forced to acknowledge that the person he seeks is no ordinary victim. She is beautiful, yes, but also extremely tough and resourceful.

Before long, saving Alex’s life will be the least of Commandant Verhoeven’s considerable challenges." (book description)

What new release are you waiting for?

Jul 30, 2013

Book Review: The Nine Fold Heaven by Mingmei Yip

Title: The Nine Fold Heaven by Mingmei Yip
Published June 25, 2013; Kensington
Genre: historical fiction
Objective rating: 4/5

The unemotional Skeleton Woman of Yip's previous novel, Camilla, trained from childhood to be an assassin, slowly becomes a more compassionate woman in this novel as she searches for her child and his father, risking death by returning to gang-ridden Shanghai from her safe haven in Hong Kong.

This book is a worthy follow-up to the story of the three Skeleton women who survive dangerous odds in the Shanghai of the 1930s in the previous book, Skeleton Women (see my review).  I enjoyed descriptions of the setting and the pithy Chinese sayings that the author weaves through her stories to illustrate the truths of life. Well written and entertaining, I recommend both books.

Watch the dramatic and colorful trailer for The Nine Fold Heaven.

Thanks to the author for a review copy of this book.

First Chapter: Ask Bob by Peter Gethers

Teaser Tuesdays  is hosted by MizB; choose sentences from your current read and identify author and title for readers.  First Chapter, First Paragraph is hosted by Bibliophile by the Sea.

Opening paragraph:
Dear Dr. Bob:
Our son just went off to college and my wife and I are suffering a bit from Empty Nest Syndrome. I want to get a dog to help ease the blow. I'm a serious bike rider and love the idea of a little four-legged buy running along beside me on my Saturday bike jaunts. The problem is, my wife is dead set against it. She feels the responsibility of taking care of him will fall on her.... I'm thinking of getting one anyway, taking the gamble that he'll grow on her. Got an opinion?
--A Hoped-to-Be Pet Owner in the Near Future
Page 56:
As usual, Ted didn't have money of his own; to my knowledge, he'd landed only one acting job since moving to L.A., a small part in an experimental play at a non-for-profit theater. But Ted did have superb taste, and that was very much his own.
Title: Ask Bob: A Novel by Peter Gethers
To be published August 6, 2013; Henry Holt
Publisher's book description: "Dr. Robert Heller is one of New York City’s leading veterinarians, and his “Ask Dr. Bob” advice column is hugely popular among pet-lovers. Yet Dr. Bob understands animals a lot better than people, and he definitely could use some advice of his own—especially when it comes to his family. "

Based on the opening paragraph and the teaser and the excerpt from the publisher's description, would you keep reading? 

Jul 28, 2013

It's Monday: Whatcha Reading?

Join  It's Monday; What Are You Reading? at Book Journey and share your currents reads.

I am in the middle of reading Bend, Not Break: A Life in Two Worlds by Ping Fu with MeiMei Fox, a 2013 book I discovered at the library. It is a dramatic and moving memoir about a child torn from a loving home and surviving the Cultural Revolution in China, later seeking asylum in America, putting herself through college, settling into her new country, and becoming a successful entrepreneur. It's an eye opener into that period of upheaval in China and the struggles of a new immigrant.

I am also reading Access: Thirteen Tales by Xu Xi, a collection of short stories about women in Hong Kong, published in 2011.

I've finished Tahoe Chase. the thriller set in Tahoe, CA, and plan a review this week. The book will be out in a few days. Check back!

I am also looking forward to reading

Queen's Gambit, an historical novel about Katherine Parr, the last wife of King Henry VIII,  by Eizabeth Fremantle.

What are you reading this week?

Jul 27, 2013

Winners of The Last Camellia

Congrats to five winners:

Mike, Melanie and Millie
Deb Nance 

for winning a copy of this paperback.

 I have sent you email and if you accept the win, please send me your mailing address by July 29. The publisher will mail the books. Congrats! A fabulous read!

Jul 26, 2013

Sweet Salt Air by Barbara Delinsky

Friday 56 Rules: *Grab a book, any book.
*Turn to page 56 or 56% in your eReader  *Find any sentence, (or few, just don't spoil it) that grabs you. *Post it. *Add your (url) post in Linky at Freda's Voice.

Also visit Book Beginnings by Rose City Reader and add your post to the Linky.

Title: Sweet Salt Air: A Novel by Barbara Delinsky
Published June 18, 2013; St.Martin's Press
Charlotte Evans was used to feeling grungy. As a freelancer, she traveled on a shoestring, getting stories other writers did not, precisely because she wasn't fussy about how she lived. In the last twelve months, she had survived dust while writing about elephant keepers in Kenya, ice while writing about the spirit bear of British Columbia, and flies while writing about a family of nomads in India.  
Page 56:   
That's when they bumped into the publisher of the island weekly. He lit up when he saw them, though he quickly focused on Nicole. "I heard your good news. A book, huh?"

About the book: Charlotte and Nicole were once the best of friends, spending summers together on an island in Maine, but many years, and many secrets, have kept the women apart. A successful travel writer, single Charlotte lives on the road, while Nicole, a food blogger, keeps house in Philadelphia with her surgeon-husband, Julian. 

When Nicole is commissioned to write a book about island food, she invites Charlotte back to Quinnipeague, Maine for a final summer, to help. Charlotte agrees. What both women don't know is that they are each holding something back that may change their lives forever. For Nicole, what comes to light could destroy her marriage but save her husband. For Charlotte, the truth could cost her Nicole’s friendship but free her to love again. (publisher)

Based on the opening paragraph and the snippet from page 56, would you keep reading? Does the publisher's description of the book help you decide?

Jul 24, 2013

Bread and Butter, a Novel by Michelle Wildgen

Waiting on Wednesday is hosted weekly by Jill @ Breaking the Spine. Let us know what new releases you are eagerly waiting for. Link your post to Breaking the Spine.

Title: Bread and Butter: A Novel by Michelle Wildgen
To be published: February 11, 2014; Doubleday

Book description:
"Kitchen Confidential meets Three Junes in this mouthwatering novel about three brothers who run competing restaurants, and the culinary snobbery, staff stealing, and secret affairs that unfold in the back of the house.

Britt and Leo have spent ten years running Winesap, the best restaurant in their small Pennsylvania town. They cater to their loyal customers; they don't sleep with the staff; and business is good, even if their temperamental pastry chef is bored with making the same chocolate cake night after night. But when their younger brother, Harry, opens his own restaurant—a hip little joint serving an aggressive lamb neck dish—Britt and Leo find their own restaurant thrown off-kilter. Britt becomes fascinated by a customer who arrives night after night, each time with a different dinner companion. Their pastry chef, Hector, quits, only to reappear at Harry's restaurant. And Leo finds himself falling for his executive chef-tempted to break the cardinal rule of restaurant ownership.

Filled with hilarious insider detail—the one-upmanship of staff meals before the shift begins, the rivalry between bartender and hostess, the seedy bar where waitstaff and chefs go to drink off their workday—Bread and Butter is both an incisive novel of family and a gleeful romp through the inner workings of restaurant kitchens."

Sunday Salon: Japanese Authors and a Mystery

  Klara and the Sun   by Kazuo Ishiguro.  Klara and the Sun was easy to read for a literary novel of such magnitude and celebrity, I found...