Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Darling Jim

Girls Just Reading is giving away 5 copies of Darling Jim by Christian Moerk. It sounds great but it you don't want to take my word for it you should read the review. To enter all you have to do is visit the girls and leave them a comment. And if you blog about it they will enter you twice. All entries have to be in by midnight EST on May 3rd.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Another Chance to Win Billie Letts

Made in the USA by Billie Letts is everywhere lately and I have been trying to win myself a copy so I would appreciate it if you would all just stop entering and let me have it. But if you don't like that idea you can go over to Just Jennifer Reading and try to win one of the 5 copies she is giving away. You have until May 8th to get over there and try to beat me out for a copy. Like always it is open to the US and Canada, no PO boxes.

More Swimming

There have been a lot of chances to win The Girl Who Stopped Swimming by Joshilyn Jackson out there but if you are like me and still haven't managed to snag a copy you should head on over to Chaotic Compendiums for a chance at one of the 5 copies being given away. For the first entry all you have to do is leave a comment but there are ways to get extra entries so you should make sure to read the rules. The winners will be announced May 13th. And I'm sure you know the drill by now - it is open to residents of the US and Canada, no PO boxes.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Plain Truth Review

Plain Truth by Jodi Picoult

From the back of the book:

'The discovery of a dead infant in an Amish barn shakes Lancaster County to its core. But the police investigation leads to a more shocking disclosure: circumstantial evidence suggests that eighteen-year-old Katie Fisher, an unmarried Amish woman believed to be the newborn's mother, took the child's life. When Ellie Hathaway, a disillusioned big-city attorney, comes to Paradise, Pennsylvania, to defend Katie, two cultures collide - and for the first time in her high-profile career, Ellie faces a system of justice very different from her own. Delving deep inside the world of those who live 'plain' Ellie must find a way to reach Katie on her terms. And as she unravels a tangled murder cases, Ellie also looks deep within - to confront her own fears and desires when a man from her past reenters her life.'

In Plain Truth there is, of course, the mystery of the baby and what happened to him but it is more about the people and how they react to the death of the baby and the accusations that are made and how they deal with each other. It explores the relationships between the characters and you can see how they develop and change as certain things come to light and as beliefs and assumptions are challenged. The interactions are interesting and complex because many of the characters are worlds apart, culturally, religiously, and mentally. I don’t think I ever felt as sorry for Katie as I was supposed to and I had trouble finding sympathy for Ellie as well but I still wanted to know what was going to happen to them, as I did for the other characters. The characters and story are compelling enough to get you involved in the lives of these people as they, and the reader, all try to figure out what the truth is. I did not really understand the point of the story line about Katie’s little sister, Hannah. It seemed tacked on and not really to go anywhere or be part of the bigger story. Maybe it was to give Katie some connection to Adam, who you would normally think she would have nothing in common with, but if that was the point I don’t think it was made strongly enough. I was also kind of let down when I found out what had happened between Ellie and Coop in the past. All the build up and all the tension led me to believe there was something huge and there would be a big revelation, but there just wasn’t one. I didn’t really like the ending of the book and the answer to the mystery but I was glad to have the answers because I was starting to think that some things would remain a mystery and we would never find out what really happened. And I must admit I hadn't figured it out. You do learn a lot about the Amish community (I have assumed that Picoult has done the research and the information is correct) and I found that very interesting. Sometimes it did seem a little forced because the Amish were always explaining themselves or being explained in semi-long speeches. But it did fit into the narrative because it was court testimony or the answer to Ellie's questions and it never became overbearing so it is a small complaint. The book managed to hold my interest through all the point of view changes, shifts in the story, and small twists and turns along the way. It was a nice, rather quick, read but it isn’t the kind of book that will make me run out and read everything Picoult ever wrote. I liked it, but I didn’t love it.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Tome Traveling

The Tome Traveller's Weblog is having two wonderful giveaways.

There are 5 copies of Made in the USA by Billie Letts up for grabs here.

And 5 copies of The Girl Who Stopped Swimming by Joshilyn Jackson here.

Leave a comment to enter. Extra entries for following and blogging!

Both are open until May 12th to the US and Canada, no PO boxes.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Bloody Jack

Today's Adventure is giving one lucky reader a chance to win a gently read copy of Bloody Jack by L.A. Meyer. It's about pirates! Who doesn't like pirates? So get over there and leave a comment saying if you would be a better pirate or a pirate hunter. Hmm... tough choice. You can get extra entries for following and blogging. Get all your entries in by May 8th at 6pm Eastern. Only open to residents of the US or Canada. Good luck!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Last Queen

Passages to the Past is giving away a copy of The Last Queen by C.W. Gortner. This one is open internationally so everyone can get in on the fun. Become a follower and you get 5 extra entries!! Get your entries in by May 4th.

Sunday, April 19, 2009


Someone was handing out free samples of Quaker Mini Delights 90 calorie packs so I took some. It seemed like a good idea at the time. They were free and it said both delights and chocolatey drizzle on the package. Mini Delights are ‘bite sized light crispy multigrain cakes’. In this case with ‘chocolatey drizzle’ on them. I think chocolatey means chocolate like but not actually chocolate. Unfortunately they are very much like eating crunchy air. There is just a hint of ‘chocolatey’, just enough to know that it’s there. But if it wasn’t for the drizzle there would be absolutely no flavor at all. Plus they are not filling. They would only curb your appetite the way gum would. They give your jaw something to work on so you’re not sticking everything edible you see in your mouth (or am I the only one who does that?) but once they are gone it is like they were never there. I’m not thinking ‘wow, all that for just 90 calories,’ I’m thinking ‘I can’t believe that was a whole 90 calories.’ Maybe if you have a normal appetite and not a gluttonous one like me you might have a different experience but I was left wondering if there was any point to the existence of these multigrain cakes. Personally, I’d rather save 90 calories by not eating them and when I have saved up enough I’ll eat something I might actually enjoy. Of course, since I continue not to lose any weight I think there might be something wrong with my math.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

The Traitor's Wife

Savvy Verse and Wit is giving away The Traitor's Wife by Susan Higginbotham. There are 3 copies from Sourcebooks that will be available to US and Canada residents but she is donating her gently used ARC copy to the cause for an international recipient. Leave a comment about your favorite historical novel to enter and if you go back and leave a comment on her interview with Susan Higginbotham you will get another entry. You can get one more entry by blogging! You have until April 22nd to enter.

Free Matzo Balls!

Okay so you don't really get free matzo balls but it is something just as good, maybe even better. Beth's Book Review Blog is giving away The Matzo Ball Heiress by Laurie Gwen Shapiro. Just leave a comment with your email address to enter. It is open until April 30th but you have to be a resident of the US to enter. It sounds like a good one so get your name in for this one and make sure you look to see how to get extra entries.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

A Level Long Enough Review

Thanks to Quiverfull Family and Amy Deardon for giving me the opportunity to read A Lever Long Enough by Amy Deardon.

From the back of the book:

'A small military team travels back in time to film the theft of Jesus' body from the tomb...
The Israeli team, led by Benjamin Feinan, has exactly seventy-two hours to collect the video evidence. Failure threatens the existence of Israel and may cause the world to slip into all-out war.
Drawn into a web of first-century deception and death, the only way to escape is for Benjamin to change the past.
In the present, a traitor attempts to sabotage the mission and seize control of the military complex. Only Benjamin can reveal him, but he is trapped two thousand years away.
Even with a time machine, time is running out...'

The concept of A Lever Long Enough intrigued me and it and it was even more interesting because I actually finished the book on Easter Sunday. It has Christian themes and talks about whether Jesus actually rose from the dead or not and while these things are central to the book they are not exclusive of everything else. The book is part science fiction, part suspense thriller and part historical fiction so it is not just for an audience interested in biblical history or religious doctrine. The characters were interesting and more than one dimensional and though I was upset when Ben was quick to turn so completely on someone he was supposed to care about it was more like I was disappointed in him personally and not that I didn’t think people would really act that way. He wasn’t poorly written, just written so he wasn’t perfect. There are also interesting facts about Jewish culture woven into the book and although there is some explaining of concepts and customs it never interferes with the narrative or bogs down in pedantic prose. The countdown at the beginning of each chapter gives everything a sense of urgency and the short chapters seem to make the action happen faster so the book moves quickly. I wish there had been a little more explanation of some of the things in the present, like how and why the followers were interfering with the peace treaty and more insight on the motivations of the saboteur. I know why you wouldn’t want to put in a complete detailed account of the history behind the story but I found the situation in the present vaguer than I would have liked. But as I kept reading I forgot to worry about it and got caught up in the story. Deardon obviously did some research for this book and lays out for the reader what she has learned and although it is clear what some of the characters believe she never tells the readers what they should believe. The Jews in the book who do not believe in the resurrection are very intolerant of those who do, aggressively so, but that is as close as Deardon comes to saying that the followers are the good guys in the story. It is an entertaining read that will give you something to think about if you are open to the idea but without leaving you feeling like you have been preached at.

If you want to learn more about Amy Deardon you can go to her website or her blog.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Win Charlie Chan!!

Carp(e) Libris Reviews is giving you a chance to win a copy of The House Without a Key by Earl Derr Biggers. Charlie Chan is back and here is your chance to win the first in the series. And you should go check out the great cover. Want in on this wonderful deal? Head on over to Carp(e) Libris before April 21st and tell them why you love mysteries. And who doesn't love a good pulp noir mystery? So run over and enter. Good luck!

More Joy

Joystory is having another giveaway. This time it is for 5 copies of Made in the USA by Billie Letts. All you have to do to enter is leave a comment but make sure you leave an email address so she can get in touch with you if you win. You can get an extra entry by blogging about it. You have until May 16th to get your entries in. Open to the US and Canada only, no PO boxes.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Two Triple Giveaways

Joystory is having two giveaways.

She has 3 copies of The Poet by Michael Connelly here.

And she has 3 copies of The Big Love by Sarah Dunn here.

All you have to do to enter is leave a comment and leave some way to contact you. You can get an extra entry by blogging about it.

Both are open until April 18th to the US and Canada, no PO boxes.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Lost City of Z

a lovely shore breeze...

Now doesn't that sound nice? Don't you want to go there? Well, you should. Because that's where you can enter to win an ARC copy of The Lost City of Z by David Grann. It sounds like a fascinating book and all you have to do to enter is leave a comment saying you would like to win it. The winner will be drawn on April 19th. Sorry, guys, but this one is only open to residents of the US.

Made in the USA

So Many Precious Books, So Little Time is giving away Made in the U.S.A. by Billie Letts. You can enter just by leaving a comment that includes some way to reach you if you win, 2 more entries for blogging about it, and 5 more entries if you follow or subscribe. It is open until May 1st to the US and Canada, no PO boxes.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Gone Away Vocabulary

I recently read The Gone-Away World by Nick Harkaway. It’s a good book and I really enjoyed it. I would recommend it, although it is not for everyone. It is original, imaginative, highly entertaining and I like the way Harkaway writes. Mostly. The only problem was he made me feel slightly stupid. There were so many words I didn’t know the meaning of, not just that but they were so foreign to me I was convinced he made some of them up. He didn’t by the way. I looked a lot of them up and they all had perfectly good definitions. About halfway through the book I decided to start a list. And at the risk of proving that I am slightly stupid and having people say things like ‘I can’t believe she didn’t know that word. I thought everyone with half a brain knew what that meant,’ I’m going to share some of the words I needed to research. I looked up all the words at because I was closer to a computer than an actual dictionary at the time.

Meniscus – 1. a crescent or a crescent-shaped body
2. the convex or concave upper surface of a column of liquid, the curvature of which is caused by surface tension

Reify – 1. to convert into or regard as a concrete thing
2. to regard or treat (an abstraction) as if it had concrete or material existence

Cavil – 1. (v) to raise irritating and trivial objections; to find fault with unnecessarily
2. (n) a trivial and annoying objection

Putative – 1. commonly regarded as such; reputed; supposed

Lacuna – 1. a gap or missing part, as in a manuscript, series, or logical argument; hiatus

Pabulum – 1. something that nourishes an animal or vegetable organism; food; nutriment
2. material for intellectual nourishment

Bruit – 1. to voice abroad; rumor
(Am I the only one who thinks this sounds like it should have something to do with a bear?)

Diktat – 1. a harsh, punitive settlement or decree imposed unilaterally on a defeated nation, political party
2. any decree or authoritative statement

Susurrus – 1. a soft murmuring or rustling sound; whisper

And these are just the ones in the second half of the book. I would hate to think what the list would look like if I had started at the beginning.

Won't You Be My Neighbor

Lori's Reading Corner is giving away a copy of The Neighbor by Lisa Gardner. All you have to do to enter is leave her a comment. Just remember to also leave an email address or an active blog address or your comment will be DELETED. If you blog about the giveaway and leave Lori a link you will get an extra entry. It is open to US residents only. You have until April 13th to get your entries in.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Spring Cleaning

This is the kind of Spring cleaning I enjoy, someone else is doing all the work!

At Home With Books is doing the cleaning which means free books for four lucky readers. It's time to clean the shelves and four books need to find new homes.

Bedlam South by Mark Grisham & David Donaldson (Paperback Advance Review Copy)
Sophomore Switch by Abby McDonald (Paperback Advance Review Copy)
The Angel Maker by Stefan Brijs (Trade Paperback)
The Only True Genius in the Family by Jennie Nash (Paperback Advance Review Copy - Plain yellow cover with no picture)

As a bonus one winner will not only receive one of these four books but another book as well.

Leave a comment saying which books you would like to be entered for to enter. There are ways to earn extra entries but make sure you leave a separate comment for each one. Contest is open until April 29th but to the US and Canada only.

Giving an Ultimatum

The Novel Bookworm is giving away a copy of Ultimatum by Matthew Glass. To enter leave a comment with some way to contact you if you win. For another entry blog about the giveaway, and for yet another entry follow the Novel Bookworm. The winner of this brand new hardcover book will be drawn out of a hat on April 15th.

Triple Giveaway

Minds Alive on the Shelves has three books to give away.

Lethal Legacy by Linda Fairstein
American Wife by Curtis Sittenfeld
Hot Mess: Summer in the City by Julie Kraut and Shallon Lester

All you have to do for a chance to win one is leave a comment saying which is your first choice. You can get a second entry by blogging about it.

Please make sure to leave an email address so you can be reached if you win.
3 lucky winners will be chosen on April 13th. Open to the US and Canada only.

Full Meridian Pre-review

I am a member of Library Thing’s Early Reviewer program and the book I got in the February batch was Full Meridian of Glory: Perilous Adventures in the Competition to Measure the Earth by Paul Murdin. Now the comment that I get on Library Thing says that I am encouraged to post my review on my blog and, since I now have a blog, I thought I would do just that. The only problem is I’m having trouble writing one. So I thought I would post some of my thoughts about the book and hope I could polish it up from there. So what you read here is less a review and more a first draft, stream of consciousness sort of thing. Hopefully it will tell you something about the book and help me come up with a well thought out review to put on Library Thing.

The book is about, well, the perilous adventures in the competition to measure the Earth. It sort of revolves around the Paris Meridian (which I didn’t know existed until I read this book) and spirals out to encompass many scientific endeavors. From finding the shape and size of the Earth, to measuring longitude, to how the world came to tell time, to GPS. It explores the dangers that the scientists faced and the competitive nature of the work. It is a very interesting topic. And a lot of it was new to me. I didn’t know these scientists and I was unfamiliar with their work. (Although I think if you lived in France you would have a much greater knowledge of these things.) I like to read about exploring and science and it was nice to be reading accounts that I had never heard before. But I found myself having to go back and reread a lot. Sometimes, I must admit, it was because Murdin was explaining some concept that a few introductory science courses way back in college didn’t prepare me to understand after one casual reading. Other times though the sentences got really long and were awkwardly constructed and I had to go back to figure out what was being said. This book took absolute concentration for me to read, I couldn’t have people around me talking, I couldn’t be in a room with the TV on. I needed to sit in silence and remain completely focused. I didn’t expect this to be a light easy read but neither did I expect to have to concentrate so hard that the slightest thing could make me lose the whole thread. I also didn’t care for the ‘asides’ that were inserted into the text. Every once in a while there would come a small section, in a smaller print so you could tell it from the rest of the text, to further explain who a certain person was or give more information about a place that was mentioned. Not that the information provided wasn’t interesting but it was shoved into places I’m not sure it should have gone and broke up the narrative that I was already having trouble following. The information was interesting and I did learn about a lot of things I didn’t know about before but I don’t think this is the type of book just any casual reader would want to pick up and read for enjoyment. Maybe the book just needs a more scholarly reader than me, or should that be I.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Girl Who Stopped Swimming

There are a lot of chances to win a copy of The Girl Who Stopped Swimming by Joshilyn Jackson.

Readaholic has 5 copies. Open until April 12th.

So Many Books, So Little Time has 5 copies. Open until April 13th.

Just One More Page has 5 copies. Open until April 15th.

Socrates' Book Reviews has a copy. Open until April 15th.

rhapsodyinbooks' weblog has 5 copies. Open until April 17th.

Fresh Ink Books has 5 copies to give away. Open until April 19th.

The Review From Here has 5 copies. Open until May 2nd.

Books and Needlepoint has 5 copies. Open until May 15th.

All giveaways are open to the US and Canada only, no PO boxes.

The Girl She Used to Be

Drey's Library is giving away a copy of The Girl She Used to Be by David Cristofano. David was also nice enough to answer a few questions so you'll want to read the Q&A with the author as well. You can also read Drey's review here. The contest is open until April 17th, to the US and Canada, no PO boxes. Make sure you read the rules! You must comment with something about the FBI to enter. Extra entries are available as well. Good luck!

Saturday, April 4, 2009

The Physick Book

Shhh I'm Reading is having a giveaway for The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane by Katherine Howe. To enter once all you need to do is leave a comment. There are ways to get extra entries but make sure that you leave a separate comment for each one and an email address so you can be contacted if you win. Open until April 14th.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Bunches of Free Books

Thanks to the people at Hachette Drey's Library is able to offer you the chance to win bunches of free books.

First, is the Earth Day giveaway. This is a set of 6 books which includes:

Harvest for Hope by Jane Goodall, Gary McAvoy, Gail Hudson
The Rural Life by Verlyn Klinkenborg
Is it Just Me or is Everything Shit? by Steve Lowe, Alan McArthur, Brendan Hay
Starbucked by Taylor Clark
Garbage Land by Elizabeth Royte
The Gift of Nothing by Patrick McDonnell

Also available is the National Poetry Month giveaway. This is a set of 6 books which includes:

100 Best Poems of All Time by Leslie Pockell
The Complete Poems of Emily Dickinson
The Poets' Corner by John Lithgow
Odes to Common Things by Pablo Neruda, Ken Krabbenhoft, Ferris Cook
American Primitive by Mary Oliver
Revolution on Canvas Vol. 1 by Rich Balling

Up to five SETS of each are being given away. The more people who enter the more sets can be given away.

Enter By April 30th. Open to the US and Canada, no PO boxes.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Fault Line Giveaway

Dan's Journal is giving away an ARC copy of Fault Line by Barry Eisler. All you have to do to enter is leave a comment telling Dan who your favorite author is. Okay, so maybe picking just one name is not easy but I think for a free book you can work something out. Mine is Donald Westlake, but no cheating, come up with an author of your own. You have to hurry though because the giveaway ends on April 8th. The contest is only open to US residents.