Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Over the Counter #379

What book caught my eye this week as it passed over the library counter and under my scanner? Showing my age here.....excuse me while I flip over my record.....

The Rolling Stones All the Songs: The Story Behind Every Track by Philippe Margotin and Jean-Michel Guesdon.

From the publisher, Black Dog and Leventhal:

"A comprehensive visual history of the "World's Greatest Rock & Roll Band" as told through the recording of their monumental catalog, including 29 studio and 24 compilation albums, and more than a hundred singles.

Since 1963, The Rolling Stones have been recording and touring, selling more than 200 million records worldwide. While much is known about this iconic group, few books provide a comprehensive history of their time in the studio. In The Rolling Stones All the Songs, authors Margotin and Guesdon describe the origin of their 340 released songs, details from the recording studio, what instruments were used, and behind-the-scenes stories of the great artists who contributed to their tracks.

Organized chronologically by album, this massive, 704-page hardcover begins with their 1963 eponymous debut album recorded over five days at the Regent Studio in London; through their collaboration with legendary producer Jimmy Miller in the ground-breaking albums from 1968 to 1973; to their later work with Don Was, who has produced every album since Voodoo Lounge. Packed with more than 500 photos, All the Songs is also filled with stories fans treasure, such as how the mobile studio they pioneered was featured in Deep Purple's classic song "Smoke on the Water" or how Keith Richards used a cassette recording of an acoustic guitar to get the unique riff on "Street Fighting Man."

(Over the Counter is a regular feature at A Bookworm's World. I've sadly come the realization that I cannot physically read every book that catches my interest as it crosses over my counter at the library. But... I can mention them and maybe one of them will catch your eye as well. See if your local library has them on their shelves!)

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

A Stranger in the House - Shari Lapena

Shari Lapena's suspense novel, The Couple Next Door, was a multi list bestseller. I loved it and couldn't wait to see what her next book would bring. Well, that book, A Stranger in the House, releases tomorrow and it was another late night page turner for me.

Karen and Tom, husband and wife. "But she's gone out with her car, and forgotten to lock the door. That's very odd for his wife, who's a stickler about locking the doors." "Something is wrong. He should call the police. He hesitates. Perhaps the police will thing they've had an argument....theirs is an almost perfect marriage."

The neighbour, Brigid. "Just as she does every morning. Brigid sits in her favorite chair by the large picture window in her living room." "She thinks a lot about Tom and Karen, about where they are and what they're doing, about their life together. It's like she's caught up in a particularly good television show and can't wait to see what happens next."

What a great premise eh? I was immediately hooked! So, something does happen (nope, not gonna spoil it for you!) But Lapena keeps the reader on their toes. We're given information about a crime, but not the full picture. Those three main characters are most definitely not likeable, instead they are self serving, secretive, shallow and manipulative. We have a fairly good idea of what has happened as each of the three is given a voice and point of view. With each new entry a little more of the big picture is revealed. The title is quite appropriate as no one is quite who they say they are.

Detective Rasbach, the detective from The Couple Next Door is also the investigator in this case. The emphasis is more on him as a character, than police procedural details.

The style of writing in A Stranger in the House is pared down to essentials and has a staccato feel to it. I thought it suited this plot, as well as the characters, echoing their thoughts, actions and lies. I did find some of the plot points to be a bit of a stretch, but still quite enjoyed the book. I liked the last twisty paragraph - a great ending.

If you enjoy psychological suspense, this one's for you.  Read an excerpt of A Stranger in the House.

Monday, August 14, 2017

The Bookshop at Water's End - Patti Callahan Henry - Review AND Giveaway

Books and the beach. Two of my favourite things! And you'll find them both in Patti Callahan Henry's new novel, The Bookshop at Water's End. An absolutely perfect summer read! And I have a copy to giveaway to one lucky reader.

Bonny and Lainey were known as the Summer Sisters when they were younger and spent summers in Watersend, SC. But those idyllic days ended when Lainey's mother disappeared one night. Now in their fifties, they are still friends, but have never gone back to Watersend. Bonny is a doctor, but a tragic mistake may cost her her career. Her marriage is also on the rocks and suddenly Watersend is the place she wants to be. She packs up her daughter Piper and Lainey decides to join her with her children as well. Being back revives old memories, hurts, first loves and lots of questions..... The one constant from now and then? Mimi and her bookshop.

Henry's description of time and place had me wishing to be in Watersend, sitting on a porch or browsing the bookstore shelves for a new read.

The Bookshop at Water's End is a character driven novel. The lives, hopes, wishes, dreams and mistakes of the women are very real and believable. The interactions and dialogue between the two friends, their spouses and children rings true. Each of the main characters (including nineteen year old Piper) is searching - for their purpose, for the place they belong, for forgiveness and for answers. Such a summer read would not be complete without some romance. Bonny's past with Owen - and possible future?- will have readers wondering about their own first love. And the mystery from all those years ago - whatever happened to Lainey's mother?

Henry's writing is languid and detailed, suiting the Lowcountry setting. And perfect for summer reading. Read an excerpt of The Bookshop at Water's End.

Patti Callahan Henry is a New York Times bestselling author of Losing the Moon; Where the River Runs; When Light Breaks; Between the Tides; The Art of Keeping Secrets; Driftwood Summer; The Perfect Love Song: A Holiday Story; Coming up for Air; And Then I Found You; The Stories We Tell; The Idea of Love. The mother of three children, she now lives in both Mountain Brook, Alabama and Bluffton, South Carolina with her husband. You can connect with Patti on her website, like her on Facebook and follow her on Twitter.

I have a copy of The Bookshop at Water's End to giveaway - enter using the Rafflecopter form below. Open to US only, no PO boxes please. Ends August 26/17.

Saturday, August 12, 2017

She Rides Shotgun - Jordan Harper

She Rides Shotgun is Jordan Harper's debut novel.

Polly McClusky is eleven years old. She hasn't seen much of her father Nate in the past few years as he's been in prison. But when he shows up outside her school, she willingly goes with him. You see, there's a contract on both their heads....and Polly's mother has already been killed.

Polly and Nate are on the run, trying to stay one step ahead of those determined to wipe them out. Polly is an innocent, but that has to change. Nate needs to teach her skills - skills an eleven year old shouldn't need. An eleven year old he barely knows. But one that has 'gunfighter eyes' just like her father......

Whew! What a great premise. The danger, the action and the unknown direction the story was going to go immediately drew me in. But, it was also about the relationship between a father and daughter and Nate's unwavering desire to protect he at all costs. The reader cannot help but be firmly behind Nate and Polly as they run - and then fight back. Harper does a fantastic job manipulating the reader's emotions. Both characters were well drawn and I had no problem imagining what they looked like. The inclusion of Polly's stuffed bear as an extension of her personality and thoughts was a great device. With each new twist and turn in their lives, I became even more invested in the outcome - and the ride there.

I chose to listen to She Rides Shotgun - and I'm so glad I did. I'm sure it's just as good a read on the printed page, but for me, it was even better listening. I was sucked into the story and found it so hard to stop and climb out. David Marantz was the reader. I thought his voice interpreted Harper's work well. The tone and timbre he uses for Holly conveys her innocence. The gravelly tone for Nate drew a vivid mental image for me. He captures the danger and action of the book. His voice is easy to listen to and is very clear. Listen to an excerpt of She Rides Shotgun. Or if you prefer read an excerpt.

A caution to those who are adverse to violence. Those looking for a helluva a good tale? This one's for you. She Rides Shotgun has movie written all over it. I am now a devoted Jordan Harper fan - more please. You can connect with Jordan Harper on Facebook and follow him on Twitter.

Friday, August 11, 2017

You Can't Judge A Book By Its Cover #171

- You can't judge a book by its cover - which is very true.
 But you can like one cover version better than another....

US cover
UK cover
Hands up - who is looking forward to Harlan Coben's
forthcoming book? Don't Let Go releases in September and is on my must read list. The US cover is on the left and the UK cover is on the right. Well it's an easy choice for me this week. I'm not a fan of the blue and red on the UK cover. And I definitely don't like the image of the man as I prefer to draw my own mental images of characters as I read the book. And the picture of a woman(?) within the other picture. Pass.  I would be much more inclined to pick up the bright yellow US cover. The red font works on the yellow. The man's image with in the door in the 'O'  is understated but effective. So, US cover for me this week. Which cover do you prefer? Any plans to read Don't Let Go? You Can't Judge A Book By Its Cover is a regular feature at A Bookworm's World. 

Thursday, August 10, 2017

I Know a Secret - Tess Gerritsen

I Know a Secret is the twelfth book in Tess Gerristsen's celebrated Rizzoli and Ives series.

For those of you who haven't read this series yet (?!) - the two female leads are Boston PD detective Jane Rizzoli and her friend, Boston medical examiner Maura Isles.

This latest case is a puzzler. Two bodies with no cause of death that Isles can detect. They've both been posed after death in unusual circumstances. Rizzoli is having just as hard a time finding a connection between the two.

But there is one - and I have to say - it's clever. Using actual crimes as a starting point, Gerritsen has created an inventive plotline. Tess keeps the reader guessing with many players to choose from for the final whodunit. She skilfully manipulates the reader's thinking with dialogue and actions from many that are 'suspicious'. One of those characters is given a voice and chapters of her own. These chapters are 'teasers' with actions and motives being slowly doled out. I did have my suspicions, but was happy to find that I wasn't completely right at the end. And that ending leaves the door cracked open for further stories....

The personal lives of these two leads, as well as the supporting cast, are just as much of draw for me as the main plot is in this series. Their lives have moved along in real time, with a few somewhat startling threads. (Maura's mother is something else....) Their human quirks, ruminations, successes and failures only serve to make them more 'real'. The dynamic between the two leads is believable and enjoyble.

Gerristen's take on the medical aspects of her books is excellent, a she herself is a licensed doctor.

I Know a Secret can absolutely be read as a stand alone, but the evolution of this pair is worth reading from the first book, The Surgeon. An entertaining, enjoyable read for me - and one of the best of the twelve. Read an excerpt of I Know a Secret.

There's a nice cover blurb from Lee Child: "Suspense doesn’t get smarter than this."

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Over the Counter #378

What book caught my eye this week as it passed over the library counter and under my scanner? Literary crocheting this week....

Crochet Ever After: 18 Crochet Projects Inspired by Classic Fairy Tales by Brenda K. B. Anderson.

From the publisher, Interweave:

"18 projects to crochet happily ever after.

From the whimsical mind of Beastly Crochet author Brenda K. B. Anderson comes a funtastic collection of 18 fairy-tale inspired crochet projects. Shows and movies based on fairy tales are incredibly popular, and crafty crocheters now have a book of fabulous projects that pay homage to their favorite stories. Little Red's hood with integrated infinity scarf will stay put when she's being chased by the Big Bad Wolf. Sleeping Beauty now has just the right nightie to wear while waiting for Prince Charming to wake her up. Gretel can take her snacks to go with her cupcake purse. Plus the Evil Queen will know exactly who the hottest in the land is when she gazes into her Mirror, Mirror on the Go makeup case.

Heroines, fairy princesses, witches, and big bad wolves are all accounted for in this fanciful collection of crochet accessories, toys, bags, kids' clothes, and more."

(Over the Counter is a regular feature at A Bookworm's World. I've sadly come the realization that I cannot physically read every book that catches my interest as it crosses over my counter at the library. But... I can mention them and maybe one of them will catch your eye as well. See if your local library has them on their shelves!)