Sunday, April 15, 2012

Sunday Salon: reviews that made me want to read the book

In my poking around on the internets, here are some reviews and books that caught my eye and expanded my TBR list.

The Book of the Maidservant Rebecca Barnhouse

Ok, so this wasn't a review, Booksmugglers' hadn't read it yet. They just said they wanted too. But it's based on The Book of Margery Kempe and is the story of her maidservant and what happens when Kempe abandons her and the rest of the pilgrimage group.

A teen book. Based on Margery Kempe. Oh yes.

Memento Mori Muriel Spark

A group of older characters each receive a phone call reminding them that they will die. Intertwined lives, past mistakes and regrets, and reactions to the reminder of their mortality. By Muriel Spark.

My Friend Amy says:

Dame Lettie's bore out in the most obvious way throughout the book. She was the first to receive the phone calls and she heard the voice as very sinister. She enlisted the help of the police, and then a private investigator but when they failed to come up with any answers about who was making the calls, she grew more and more frightened and paranoid. She cut off her phone service. She would hear voices in the night and go investigate. All of these things left her very vulnerable to death itself and it came in the form of an armed robbery and brutal murder. It's easy to see what Sparks was doing here...her fear of death and avoidance of the reality of it made it's arrival harsh and frightening.

If You Want to Write: A Book about Art, Independence and Spirit Brenda Ueland

It's a book about creative writing and how to be better at it.

The Debutante Ball says:

I’m struck by how simple and wise and generous and important Brenda Ueland’s teachings are. She truly believed that anyone could write, as long as they paid attention to the world and did their best to tell the truth on the page. “Everyone is talented, original, and has something important to say,” she says, and you can’t help but believe her.

Afrika Hermann

A graphic novel dealing with the aftermath of Belgium's colonial past.

Adult Books 4 Teens says:

His protagonist in this particular independently standing story is a credibly hard bitten white man who takes his responsibility for a wild animal preserve more seriously than any other aspect of his life. We see the raw savagery inflicted by poachers, the guerilla tactics employed by government agents and Ferrer himself, and the highly visual contrasts between plush, European-style offices and Ferrer’s hardscrabble homestead... [Hermann] paints an Africa of beautifully hued days and shadowy nights, the ashes of an African village, the breakage caused in the jungle as Ferrer and his unwitting partner try to run away from pursing government agents. This is realism at its politically charged best: no deus ex machina, no recovery from misunderstanding.

Fracture Megan Miranda

Girl falls through ice and (kinda) survives, but with weird powers that draw her towards the dead. This is one where it really is the review that makes me take another look at a book I would have otherwise skipped right over.

Bookshelves of Doom says:

Although the synopsis makes it sound like forty bazillion other paranormals, Fracture is different. Yes, yes, Delaney is attracted to Troy (the mysterious dude), and yes, yes, there's a push-and-pull-and-push between her, Decker, and Troy. But it's not the same-old-same-old love triangle that we've come to expect in paranormals. The dynamics are different, and it's less about lurrrve and hormones and more about power, choice, and survival.

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