Archive | Book Review RSS for this section

Bloggiesta almost over!

The site is currently under redesign, and the bloggiesta is about to conclude! Stay tuned, and in the mean time, line up for some fall reads by my author friends I can’t wait to introduce you to, starting with my dear friend and fellow romance author, Joanne Bischof:

“Bischof kicks off her Cadence of Grace series with a tale of love blossoming in the most daunting circumstances. A gem by an author sure to draw fans.”

~Publishers Weekly

The Castaways is a keeper…

The CastawaysThe Castaways by Elin Hilderbrand
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

One book, four couples, eight lives intertwined, six of them–in grief after losing two of their own.

Did you get that? Sounds like my daughter’s word problems from math homework, but in reality–it’s the Castaways, by Elin Hilderbrand. One wonders if an author of this caliber takes time to read or scan every review of her work. If so, I’m offering a hearty hello! and bravo! You’ve gone and made a fan for life. Expect a spike in back-list sales!

In The Castaways, I identified most with Delilah–a dreamer, a steadfast lover, wife, and mother with her feet on the plot of land tended by her stoic, farmer husband and her head in the clouds. She knows at any moment she can take flight, run away, and yet she remains. Driven. Caring. Loving fiercely. Grieving even fiercer for her friends, lost. And love, unrequited. Okay, so I don’t identify with that part–but I have, in the past, and that’s why Delilah (who is VERY close to being a proverbs 31 style wife except for the fact that she doesn’t believe in anything but her friends and family) is easiest to identify with. At least, for me. I fell in love equally with the emotionally bound Phoebe, the two-sides of Andrea, and the men in their lives. Ed–who could be my own husband in his and Andrea’s relationship. Jeffrey–who loves so deeply just in his being there. Addison, sweet, flawed Addison. And of course, Greg and Tess, remembered by all. They are caricatures of us all in the microcosm of Nantucket.

As for the place, it is obvious this is the heart of the author’s home, as much as the octet’s wanderlust shows her love of travel. Nantucket, in its beaches, it’s quaint town square, it’s dunes and isolation. Suddenly, it is someplace I must visit someday.

A wonderful study of personality, friends, relationships, parenting, and forgiveness, The Castaways is not to be missed. Each page should be savored like fine wine, like exotic flavors, like times remembered. It reminds me that too often we live on the surface. There is so much below, beneath us all, that has made us into the people we are. The Castaways reminds us of that. Of failed expectations, secret hopes, hidden dreams, and in the end, that love is all that matters.

Thanks, Elin! and I look forward to following you out of The Castaways, and into The Island.

~Ashley

View all my reviews

Twitter Book Reviewers by GalleyCat

This is a rerun from GalleyCat reviews, on of my favorite Twitterers to follow… if you’re interested, either as Author or Reader, take a gander below and read their take on The Most Popular Book Reviewers on Twitter

By Jason Boog on Feb 03, 2010 04:23 PM

flwbooks100x100.pngWhat are your favorite book review sites on Twitter? We are putting the finishing touches on our growing book review directory for GalleyCat Reviews, and we realized that we can’t exclude Twitter.

The microblogging site has become a hub for many book reviewers and readers. Last year, we interviewed Eric Mueller, the co-founder of the Twitter book review, Flashlight Worthy Book Recommendations. They’ve since grown to include more than 80,000 followers.

In addition, we’ve already uncovered a few hashtags for literary criticism, including: #bookreviews, #reviews #books, and #bookchat. Even better, TweepSearch lists 575 book reviewers on Twitter.

Where do you go for book reviews on Twitter? Add your favorite Twitter reviewers in the comments section, we’ll add them to our growing collection of literary criticism on Twitter. After the jump, check out the ten most popular self-identified book reviewers on Twitter, ranked by number of followers.


Here are the book reviewers with the most followers, according to TweepSearch.

1. Tamoor: “Astrology, Teaching Metaphysics since 1972, EFT, Award Winning Fantasy Author, dragons, fairies, wizards, book reviews, gold panning, Labradoodles”

2. Janette Fuller: “My Thank-You Project, Social Media, Blogger, Book Reviewer, Librarian, Children’s Literature Enthusiast, eBay, Card Making”

3. Horror News Net: HORRORNEWS.NET Official Site FREE Horror Horror news Horror reviews DVD reviews Book reviews”

4. Library Journal: “Library views, news, and book reviews from LJ staffers.”

5. Susanna K. Hutcheson: “Copywriter, journalist, entrepreneur, fitness fanatic, photographer, collector of vintage ads, fountain pens, book reviewer and a hell of a lot of fun.”

6. Organic Wales: “The Organic Wales directory covers organic Welsh food, restaurants, homes, gardening, and holidays. Features include recipes and book reviews.”

7. Wayne Hurlbert: “Blogger, social media, SEO consultant, speaker, business book reviewer, Blog Business Success host on BlogTalkRadio”

8. Erin–Books in 140: “Book reviews. In 140 characters. Also: coffee addict, tv addict, pop culture addict, giant.”

9. Katlogictalk: Award winning Blogger of Kat Logic, published author, book reviewer, business owner.

10. Maria Schneider: “Freelance writer, editor, blogger, forum hostess, book reviewer, former editor of a writing magazine you’ve probably heard of. Wants to eradicate the semicolon.”

Angelology, by Danielle Trussoni

Hey, everyone

I have taken a step back from editing MAMMOTH SECRETS as my heart was heavy, and my spirit flagging. So, instead of writing and rewriting as I’ve been called to do, I picked up ANGELOLOGY, which amazingly enough – I own a lovely autographed edition, thanks to Dona Watson and her Fantasy & Faith blog.

Angelology

Angelology brings you into a world beneath the world, behind a curtain if you will, revealing that which has been veiled from our view. It postulates that society as we know it is an enslaved earth, with the Nephilim–the heirs of the fallen angels aka “Watchers”, now trapped in the bowels of the earth–in control.

Angelologists are those tasked with maintaining the natural order, restoring the earth to that which the Lord intended and managed (according to early philosophers) for a total of 29 seconds before Lucifer fell.

Are you still with me?

The story takes place in both 1999 and 1943, flip flopping briefly to childhood of the main character, Evangeline,  in the 1980s. My favorite parts took place during the revelation of Celestine as a young woman, and Evangeline’s discoveries at St. Rose Convent. The historical flashbacks were so neatly woven into the tale, it became a seamless-secondary novel. I roamed the Paris streets with Celestine and Gabrielle. I bought the historic accounts they read and cataloged, as if the texts by the Venerable Clematis were actual works.

I admit, there were a few moments I had to stop, and breath in my willing suspension of disbelief. There were other moments where I simply turned page after gripping page, hanging on for the ride. Danielle Trussoni is a magnificent story teller, and left me…wanting more.

I want more.

I want a sequel. Are you hearing me, out there, Penguin USA? Ms. Trussoni? You cannot leave me like this. I must know what happens next, to Verlaine, Evangeline, to Angelology as I now know it.

Pretty please, with sugar on top.

~Ashley

Spend Some Time in The Shack

The Shack The Shack by William P. Young

My review

rating: 5 of 5 stars
This book intrigued me from the word “go.” Working as I do for R. R. Bowker, I keep my ear to the trades, plus as my friends know, I’m a new novelist – – so any story of how a new author becomes published is of interest to me. ESPECIALLY this one. Windblown Media blew my mind. Way to go, guys.

At any rate, I was intrigued by the fact this book couldn’t find a home at a “traditional” publication house, but hit the world with such powerful timing. No matter how this book found the shelves, demanded distributorship, and now can be purchased everywhere from Walmart to Costco, I can’t tell you enough how I suggest everyone read it. The funny thing, I found myself recommending it to others before I even purchased my copy. And that, I think, is testament to the power of word of mouth.

First and foremost, the story of Mack. Man, as a Mom — the trials that Mack and Nan went through as parents leveled me before I even picked up the book to inspect the cover. I, as a rule since becoming a mother, refuse to watch my once favorite show, Law and Order SVU. I stay away from movies like The Changeling, even though I know at one time I would have eaten that up. But after encouragement of a friend, I started reading. (Simultaneously, as it turns out, with my Mother — which I find cosmically cool.) Once I started, I couldn’t put it down.

All spoilers aside – because I wouldn’t do that to you, Mack, Papa, or Willie – this story shows the heart of God in a way I’ve rarely seen. Wrap The Shack up and give it as a Christmas gift, to yourself, and others. Read it for the heart in which it was written, whether you choose to agree or disagree with its philosophy. You won’t regret the journey.

View all my reviews.

Reinvent the perfect invention?

I stumbled across this article this morning — through Twitter. The title:  Why We Don’t Need to Reinvent the Book

Before you hop on over and give it a read, let’s think about the truth, falacy of this. Does the book need to be reinvented to fit into the time frame we have for it? As a mother and writer, I love to read. I read to the kids — I try to read for pleasure when I can, usually after everyone goes to bed with the help of my itty bitty booklight. But the truth of the matter, I can grab a chapter here or there, waiting for the kids at gymnastics or dance. Or soon, at soccer games.

But, as I was reminded by Smart B@#$%es Trashy Books this morning, sometimes when you dart out the door you forget something of key importance. Your latest paperback. Your Sony E-Reader or Kindle. No time to return, you suffer watching little ones tumble about — okay, it’s not suffering, but you get the point. Your heart longs for whatever story has captured your attention. Whichever author is currently holding you hostage with their carefully woven story. BUT who leaves the house without their phone?

Personally, I’d pay the two bucks to download a chapter through Stanza, while on the go. And while I love the feel of the book, I also love the earth. I am a author, so I want to build an audience.  As a new author, maybe readers will check out a free book or shell out a few cents for a short story. And, as one of my reviewers once said, the short story is the perfect fulfilling length for mommies on the go.

So, yes. Don’t reinvent to book. Don’t stop printing them. Keep them, love them, shelve them on something other than Shelfari. But, maybe Tim O’Reilly is right about something. We do need to reinvent some of the medium to keep up with the world. To engender a love of reading in our youth. And remind them why literature, the book, and the musty page smell we all adore is something not to forget.

Wow! Take a look at Wowio!

I came across a read today which I can’t put down. And, what’s more, it’s an E-book, downloadable for free from Wowio.com

I’m suddenly a huge Jack Cavanaugh fan. I’ve never read the story about how the Bible was ultimately translated out of Latin, and I find myself entranced after page 1.

Review to come!