Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Teaser Tuesday January 13

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

Open to a random page:
Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page. BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn't give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)

Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

My teaser comes from A Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving:

"The worst part about being buried in a pile up to your chin was that the lumber yard dog, the Eastman's slobbering boxer, a mindless beast with halitosis vile enough to give you visions of corpses uprooted from their graves. This dog with the mouth of death was then summoned to lick your face, and with the sawdust packed all around you, as arm less as Watahantowet's totem, you were powerless to fend the dog off."

Friday, January 9, 2015

(2) People of the Book

Title: People of the Book: A Novel by Geraldine Brooks
Publisher: Penguin Audio
Format: Audio Book
Narrator: Edwina Wren
Time: 13 hours 58 minutes
Genre: Fiction, religion

Synopsis: Inspired by a true story, People of the Book is a novel of sweeping historical grandeur and intimate emotional intensity by an acclaimed and beloved author. Called "a tour de force"by the San Francisco Chronicle, this ambitious, electrifying work traces the harrowing journey of the famed Sarajevo Haggadah, a beautifully illuminated Hebrew manuscript created in fifteenth-century Spain. When it falls to Hanna Heath, an Australian rare-book expert, to conserve this priceless work, the series of tiny artifacts she discovers in its ancient binding-an insect wing fragment, wine stains, salt crystals, a white hair-only begin to unlock its deep mysteries and unexpectedly plunges Hanna into the intrigues of fine art forgers and ultra-nationalist fanatics.

Review: Over the years I have seen many people reading this book but I just never felt it looked interesting enough.  I wasn't until reading the "End of Life Book Club" that it started to peak my interest again and I'm glad it did.  This book pulled me in from the very beginning.  I didn't want to stop listening to it.  The narrator's voice was hypnotic.  I know some reviews were disappointed in her changing her accent but I thought it really added to the story.

I am starting to realize how irritated so many Americans are with accents and their inability to understand them. This baffles me but I just chalk it up to American arrogance. I thank my parents for exposing me to different cultures and different accents at an early age.

This book really emphasizes how important history is.  Whether its the history of an object or our history.  While researching the Haggadah Hanna also discovers her past which helps her to make sense of her relationship with her mother and also helps her discover more family.  The book flips around between Hanna's research and her interactions with her family and the people she works with and the history of the Haggadah.  The book delves deep into the different stories of the people who help create and preserve the book and tells the journey that it has made. Its a fascinating journey filled with Brook's vivid depiction of the characters who are Christian, Muslim and Jews.

The story can get a little confusing when you are listening to it and I think that it may be easier to follow if I was actually reading it but its fairly easy to sink back into the story once you realize what time period you are in. The book also touches on long running anti-semitism and the hardships of women and finding their place in the world.  Its is a well constructed book and brilliantly narrated by Edwina Wren.

Wednesday, January 7, 2015


I finally broke down and registered my own domain and will be relocating the blog to http://www.ReadingGrrl.com in the next few days.  I don't know what that will do to those of you who are already subscribed. You may have to change the link if you link back to this blog though so check back within the next week! 

Monday, January 5, 2015

(1)The City of Blood

Title:The City of Blood (Paris Homicide Book 3) by Frederique Molay
Publisher: Le French Book
Pages: 219
Format: kindle
Genre: Mystery

I received an advanced e-copy of this book through netgalley from the publisher. It is due to be published January 20, 2015. 

Synopsis: When a major Parisian modern art event gets unexpected attention on live TV, Chief of Police Nico Sirsky and his team of elite crime fighters rush to La Villette park and museum complex. There, renowned artist Samuel Cassian is inaugurating the first archeological dig of modern art, three decades after burying the leftovers of a banquet. In front of reporters from around the world, excavators uncover a skeleton. Could it be the artist’s own son? And does that death have anything to do with the current string of nightclub murders by the “Paris Butcher”? On the site of the French capital's former slaughterhouses, the investigation takes Nico and France's top criminal investigation division from artists' studios to autopsy theaters and nightclubs in hopes of tracking down the murderer who has turned this Paris park into a city of blood.

Review: This is not the first book in this series yet it is the first one I have read. I find it fascinating to read crime fiction from other countries to see how different their laws are from those in the US. Apparently in France there is a statue of limitations on all crimes including murder where there is no limit in the US.  When a skeleton is unearthed in France Chief of Police Nico is determined to bring the killer to justice despite the fact that the statute of limitations has run out.  He may get this opportunity when several other young men all resembling the person whose body is unearthed are found dead.

While not a fast paced novel it is well done, the characters are very personable and there are several plot twists and turns that leave you guessing.  I look forward to following this series in the future.

Happy New Year

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