A Novel Source, this morning and she had just posted about it. I found the title of the story itself intriguing - a 24 Hour Book Store!! - so I had to check it out for myself. The story can be found here for FREE to read - Stop by and read it!!!
Basically we have a story about a young man who has lost his job and has been searching for a new one, but in this economy, well, that is proving to be rather difficult. So he happens to come across a Help Wanted sign in a store front - specifically, the Twenty-Four-Hour bookshop located next to the strip club. He wanders inside and finds himself applying for the job and proving to Mr. Penumbra (bookshop owner) that he can indeed climb ladders and reach for books that are not within easy grasp. He lands the job and is told:
“This job has three requirements, each very strict.”
1) “You must always be here from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. exactly. You must not be late. You cannot leave early.”
2) “You may not read, examine, inspect, or otherwise touch any of the books in this store—unless you are retrieving it for a customer.”
3) “You must keep precise records of all purchases. Time. Amount. The customer’s appearance. His state of mind. How he asks for the book. How he receives it. Does he appear to be injured. Is he wearing a sprig of rosemary on his hat. And so on.”
Talk about strange rules - working in a book shop where you can not read any of the books! That would drive me BANANAS! And keeping tabs on the customers, hmmm, suspicious! Anyhow, suffice it to say that our protagonist winds up uncovering some interesting facts about the owner of the store, the customers and the logbook - all with the help of computers, Google and technology. Yes, this is a story about how modern day techno gadgets and jargon have started to influence and affect the book world/industry. And let me just say that it is done rather well. I absolutely loved reading this story! From the beginning, you become completely engaged with the character and his struggle in searching for a job and once he starts working for Mr. Penumbra, you can't help but want him to figure out this bookshop's mystery and the truth about Penumbra.
The writing is great and the characters are fun to read about and the story itself is original and creative. I would highly recommend that you stop on by at Robin Sloan's site to read this story NOW! Check it out when you have some spare time - it does not take long to read and well, its FREE, so why not just give it a go. I love reading about books, book stores, etc - so this was definitely my cup of tea. If you give it a read, let me know what you thought of it! Enjoy!!
Wednesday, July 21, 2010
Sunday, July 18, 2010
I absolutely loved this film! It was such a fun movie - I was laughing out loud the whole time. It was hilarious watching Goldberg (Jack) struggling to accept the fact that Marion (Delpy) has been keeping in contact with her exes and sees no reason why she shouldn't; while he clearly does not see a reason why she should want to keep in contact with any of her exes. We watch Jack endure an uncomfortable lunch with Marion's family, where they mock him because of his French speaking skills and over a naked picture that they have seen of him. Then there is the party that Marion takes Jack to, where he is forced to make small talk with Marion's exes and wonder how faithful Marion has truly been. We watch Marion get into a shouting match with an ex at a cafe, which results in her and Jack getting ousted from the cafe. Then there is Jack's visit to a burger joint in Paris where he befriends a young man who may or may not be a terrorist. And during all of these events we see Paris - the streets, cafes, outdoor markets, etc. We watch two people struggling to come to grips with their own personal insecurities, all the while creating a divide that is pushing their relationship further and further apart. Definitely an interesting film - not your typical romantic comedy, where boy meets girl and they fall in love under the Eiffel Tower. I loved how this film explored the romantic relationship between two very quirky characters in Paris. What a treat to watch! Both Goldberg and Delpy were spot on with their acting - you could believe Goldberg to be a neurotic, hypochondriac who has no problem lying to his fellow Americans when they ask him for directions. And you can believe that Delpy is a free-spirited, independent woman, who has no problem confronting racist cab drivers or maintaining an apartment in Paris that is located directly above her parents'. The dialogue is sharp and witty and the character development is solid. 2 Days in Paris is a must see!
Such a great way to participate in Paris in July! Now I just need to find a good book to read. I started to read the first few page of Nadja by Breton, but its a rather difficult book to get through. Its surrealist in origin and slightly off putting with its non-linear structure - rather reminds of something I would have had to read for my postmodern lit course in college. So, we'll see if I can stick it out. Until my next post, Happy reading!!!
Friday, July 16, 2010
Holly Blandeen has always cherished the story her grandmother told her about the thread that connects all women, tying them forever in sisterhood. It's a beautiful idea, but with all the curveballs life has thrown her way, Holly has often felt isolated, different from other women. That starts to change when she meets four strangers in an airport and they agree to share a luxury hotel suite because a powerful spring storm is barreling across the country, stranding travelers from California to Florida. What begins as a spur-of-the-moment decision becomes an unlikely, unexpected, and sometimes reluctant exercise in female bonding, as these five exceptional women - each at a crossroads - swap stories, share secrets, and seek answers to the questions they've been asking about life, love, and the path to true happiness. A storm may have grounded them for the moment, but after this wild adventure in which anything can and does happen, they'll never have to fly solo again.
I enjoy reading chick lit and women's lit - I have no shame in admitting that. However, I do not enjoy to read badly written lit of any kind and sadly this is exactly what transpired when I chose to read and review Hearts on a String for the TLC Book Tours. From the summary I was provided with, the book sounded like the perfect light read for a summer's day - exactly what I was in the mood for. Alas, my mood was dampened when I began to read the book and discovered what I was in for: bad writing. The story centers on a group of women who meet by chance in the airport's restroom where they all band together to fish a cell phone out of the toilet. As they celebrate the phone's freedom, an announcement is made that due to terrible weather the airport has shut down all of its inbound and outbound flights - thereby stranding these women in Tampa, Florida. In a split second they all agree to follow Nan (owner of cell phone in toilet) to the hotel suite she has just vacated (apparently its still available) and room together to ride out this terrible weather. From this point on we find out about each woman and the ways in which they are similar and different from one another. We discover that they all want the same thing - happiness in their lives. Aside from the women, we find out that there is a convention being held at the hotel - a convention of psychics, who seem intent on sliding messages underneath the women's suite informing them that there are dangerous people lurking about the hotel (so they should BEWARE).
Saturday, July 10, 2010
From back of book:
Leo Hoffman was born with a gift for languages. When his dreams for the future are destroyed by World War I, the dashing young Hungarian attempts to use his rare talent to rebuild his life, only to find himself inadvertently embroiled in an international counterfeiting scheme. Suddenly Leo is wanted across the European continent for a host of crimes, including murder. Left with no options, he must escape to Shanghai with his lover, carrying with him a stolen treasure that could be his salvation...or his death warrant. But the gangsters who control the decadent Asian city have no intention of letting him outrun his past. And when the Japanese invade, one wrong move could cost Leo Hoffman everything he holds dear.
I like historical fiction for the details. I like to read about the past and envision the cities, countries, architecture, lifestyles and people that are being brought to life in novels about intrigue, love and war. However, I'm not keen on books that have one-dimensional characters that are carried along in the story with such planned efficiency that its rather obvious the author did not let the plot evolve naturally, but instead devised each event without a sense of realness. Its rather disappointing when that happens, because it tends to detract from the well researched historical details provided throughout the novel. And this is exactly what I experienced when reading Heart of Lies - DISAPPOINTMENT. Oh well, at the end of the day, not every book is going to make it to my list of top reads, right? The thing I don't get is that I had read several positive reviews about this book, which confuses me - what did they read that I didn't? I suppose that this is another case of 'different strokes for different folks', eh? Well, if anyone in the US wants my copy of Heart of Lies just leave a comment and include your email address - maybe you'll enjoy it more than I did. Well, I'm on to the next read. Cheers!
By the by, Thanks to Nicole over at The Book Report Network for providing me with a copy of Heart of Lies!
On a spring afternoon in 1920, Swandyke - a small town near Colorado's Tenmile Range - is changed forever. Just moments after four o'clock, a large split of snow separates from Jubilee Mountain high above the tiny hamlet and hurtles down the rocky slope, enveloping everything in its path.
Meet the residents whose lives this tragedy touches: Lucy and Dolly Patch, two sisters long estranged by a shocking betrayal. Joe Cobb, Swandyke's only black resident, whose love for his daughter forces him to flee Alabama. Then there's Grace Foote, who hides secrets and scandal that belie her genteel facade. And Minder Evans, a Civil War veteran who considers cowardice his greatest sin. Finally, there's Essie Snowball, born Esther Schnable to conservative Jewish parents but who now works as a prostitute and hides her child's parentage from the world.
Fate, chance, and perhaps divine providence all collide in the everyday lives of these people. And ultimately, no one is without sin, no one's soul is whiter than snow, and no one is without the need of forgiveness.
A solid read that kept me interested throughout. Whiter Than Snow is a human interest story about the townsfolk of Swandyke coming together in the midst of a tragic event - an avalanche trapping children - and putting aside their differences in the hopes of racing against the clock to save their children. The writing was good and made for a fast read. The characters were a bit stereotypical, but developed enough to make them engaging. We begin the story with the fact that nine children get trapped, but only four survive. From this point we learn about several characters through flash backs and find out what brought them to Swandyke. We find out their fears, hopes and secrets - all the while willing them to dig faster, because 20 minutes is not enough ( the time they have to get their children out from under all that white snow.). And that is why you keep reading, because you want to find out who lives and who doesn't - whose future will be irrevocably changed forever.
Talk about a dramatic tale - there is tragedy, history, snow, love, forgiveness, and death. Whiter Than Snow is a good read and if you are interested in my copy then be the first one to leave a comment requesting it and I will send it out to you - for US residents only. Don't forget to include your email with your comment.
Thanks to Anne from The Book Report Network for sending me a copy of this good read!
Wednesday, July 7, 2010
Alright, so my next read was going to be something French for the Paris in July challenge, but I got sidetracked. On Friday, my Amazon order came in and well I couldn't help but look over my new book purchases - one of those being The Passage. I had barely read the first few sentences when I knew that I was not going to be reading anything French this weekend.
From the book flap:
IT HAPPENED FAST.
THIRTY-TWO MINUTES FOR ONE WORLD TO DIE, ANOTHER TO BE BORN.
First, the unthinkable: a security breach at a secret U.S. government facility unleashes the monstrous product of a chilling military experiment. Then, the unspeakable: a night of chaos and carnage gives way to a sunrise on a nation, and ultimately a world, forever altered. All that remains for the stunned survivors is the long fight ahead and a future ruled by fear - of darkness, of death, of a fate far worse.
As civilization swiftly crumbles into a primal landscape of predators and prey, two people flee in search of sanctuary. FBI agent Brad Wolgast is a good man haunted by what he's done in the line of duty. Six-year-old orphan Amy Harper Bellafonte is a refugee from the doomed scientific project that has triggered apocalypse. Wolgast is determined to protect her from the horror set loose by her captors, but for Amy, escaping the bloody fallout is only the beginning of a much longer odyssey - spanning miles and decades - toward the time and place where she must finish what should never have begun.
My thoughts: WOW!!!
What a gripping and fantastic read! I just could not put this book down at all! The Passage is a must read book that tells the story of a group of people journeying towards survival and answers. You have a world that is no more because of a military experiment gone awry - the virals (vampires) they created have gotten loose and have destroyed the world. People are scarce and therefore history, culture, society, laws, etc. have pretty much been forgotten. The Colony we happen upon has their own governmental system that consists of a hierarchy and lineage based on who was here first. As for the virals that are roaming the earth, well they all follow their thirst. I don't really want to write much about the plot, because there is just so much that happens and its better for you to read it yourself to fully get the picture of all the events that lead to 'the passage'. Plus, it has been noted that Cronin will be writing 2 more books to follow The Passage - thereby making it a series. I cannot wait to find out what happens next to Peter and Amy and everyone in the book. Will they survive? Will they succeed? What happened to The Colony? Where is everyone? Hmmm.
As for the writing - excellent! And by excellent, I mean the kind where you refuse to sleep, eat, leave the house, etc. because you are so involved in the book that aside from breathing, everything else can fall to the wayside. Yes, I was that consumed by my book! It was just so easy to fall in step with the writing and follow along on this journey being taken by a group of characters that are so engaging , you can't help but cheer them on when they succeed and shed a tear when they don't. I found myself completely immersed in this world of virals, corrupt government officials, The Colony, nuns, and the Girl from Nowhere. I also found myself wondering where Cronin got the idea for this book, because, though it is a vampire book, it really isn't. There's more to it then just virals that need to be killed - its a book about humanity, love, hope and despair. Its a book about a world that can be mended.
And I would most definitely recommend The Passage. Even if you aren't into vampire books, it is a fun book to read - it has action, suspense, thrills and love. Definitely one of my favorite books of 2010.