One thing certain to brighten my day is to have an author whose work I've enjoyed comment on the review I wrote.
I've written hundreds of reviews and this has only happened four times, Its rarety makes it something to celebrate.
The fourth time was today when Derek B Miller tweeted a response to my review of his debut novel "Norwegian By Night".
It was nice of him to take the time. It got my day off to a good start.
Derek Miller has written a sequel to "Norwegian By Night", called "American By Day" which comes out in April and which I have on pre-order from Kindle.
Here's what the publisher says:
"A gripping and timely novel that follows Sigrid—the dry-witted detective from Derek B. Miller's best-selling debut Norwegian by Night—from Oslo to the United States on a quest to find her missing brother
SHE KNEW IT WAS A WEIRD PLACE. She’d heard the stories, seen the movies, read the books. But now police Chief Inspector Sigrid Ødegård has to leave her native Norway and actually go there; to that land across the Atlantic where her missing brother is implicated in the mysterious death of a prominent African-American academic. AMERICA.
Sigrid is plunged into a United States where race and identity, politics and promise, reverberate in every aspect of daily life. Working with—or, if necessary, against—the police, she must negotiate the local political minefields and navigate the backwoods of the Adirondacks to uncover the truth before events escalate further.
Refreshingly funny, slyly perceptive, American by Day secures Derek B. Miller's place as one of our most imaginative and entertaining novelists."
Hello Friday! Hello Follow Friday with book bloggers!
Meet BT, known and Broken Tune on BookLikes, a moody readers who's not afraid of exploring new literary lands!
Follow Broken Tune on BookLikes: http://BrokenTune.booklikes.com
What are you reading now? How is it?
I usually read several books at a time, all appealing to different moods or interests. At the moment I am enjoying I Contain Multitudes by Ed Yong, which is a buddy read with our Flat Book Society. I have also started two biographies – one of Arthur Conan Doyle and one of Phyllis Bottome. I am not sure, yet, what to make of the ACD biography as it seems to be brushing over his biography rather than investigate it, but the Bottome biography is very interesting. It appears that Bottome is yet another author that had an extraordinary life but who has been largely forgotten.
When have you discovered you’re a book lover?
Very early on. My mother and grandmother have always had books around the house and some of my favourite early memories are of bedtime stories and falling out with my cousin when we couldn’t agree on which book my gran should read to us when we stayed at her house for weekends or holidays. To this day, I cannot stand Heidi (my cousin’s favourite choice), but still love The Count of Monte Christo and anything by Jules Verne.
As you can tell, my gran and my mom did not believe in restricting storytime to children’s books, and I am glad they didn’t.
In your bio you write “I'm an eclectic reader”, can you tell us more about your reading preferences?
I like the word “preference”. If there is anything I have learned from being around the Booklikes community, it is that there is not really any genre that I will not try. For example, I used to think that I do not enjoy books labeled as “Horror” because I can’t stand descriptions of gore or gratuitous violence, but then Char inspired me to try a few different authors, and I actually became a fan of one of them - Michael McDowell. (Seriously, check him out!)
So, while my preferences are now less defined by genre, and my reading is more diverse or eclectic in that respect, I prefer books that are intellectually engaging, that are plot driven, and that work magic with their use of language. And to keep things a little more contradictory, I like psychological plots but don’t like popular thrillers, and I like classic mysteries but don’t like books that try to copy classic mysteries.
How did your blogging adventure start?
It started mostly by curiosity. A couple of RL friends had sent me an invite to join GR some years ago, so I did. While my RL friends left it again quite quickly, I was intrigued by the facility to have a space to share thoughts on books with others.
The real joy of blogging came, however, when finding Booklikes. It was so much easier to compose and expand on thoughts about books and all sorts of other topics over here. And the Booklikes community is just fabulous – so welcoming and encouraging to share ideas and events, recipes, travel, and posts on random other topics.
Why reading is important to you?
Reading is important to me because I love exploring – whether it is new places, new ideas, cultures, different times, ... whatever the topic I will find something that catches my interest. Books are a fabulous way to explore the world within and around us. I mean, I love travel, too, but with books you can also travel through time, and to galaxies far, far away, and of course, there is fiction, too. ;)
Apart from a thirst for exploring, I also love that reading can completely change your state of mind – it can calm you down, and it can rile you up. It can offer an escape from your day’s events and it can draw you more into the world and motivate you to engage with other people. There really is something to be said for the idea that books are “uniquely portable magic”.
I am a huge mood reader. While I do have some set reading lists this year in order to chop down Mt. TBR and have a few reading projects going with the Suffragettes, Sherlock Holmes, and the ongoing challenge to read all of Agatha Christie’s novels, most of my day to day reading is decided on which mood I am in and which book appeals most.
The problem with this is that it can take a while to choose a book. I can literally stand in front of my shelves or stare at my kindle for quite some time before a book speaks to me.
What are you three favorite book covers?
That’s a tough one. I am way too easily swayed by gorgeous book covers. I don’t think I have favourite book covers, tho. Last December, I read Gladys Mitchell’s Murder in the Snow and I had to leave the book on my currently reading shelf for a couple of days after I finished it because I loved the cover so much. I am also very partial to the covers of Gilded Needles and A is for Arsenic, which may also be partly due my loving the books themselves just as much as the covers.
There is just something very pleasing about the simplicity of the covers.
We’ve spotted the 2018 Mt. TBR Project. What’s your reading plan for this year?
There isn’t that much of a plan. A plan doesn’t really work for me because my reading depends on my mood so much. However, I needed to do something about the stacks and stacks of physical books that I have at home. The book collection has long exceeded my shelf space, so some of them will need to go.
That’s why I decided to try and focus on reading the books I already have at home this year. I tried this a few years ago, and it helped to keep my physical shelves under some control. Last year, I decided to have a year of free reading and book buying...and I ended up with way too many books.
So, the Mt. TBR Project had to make a come-back this January. I can pick any of the books off the stacks, read them in any order, but the goal is to read them all by the end of the year...and not buy more than I read in the process.
You’re reviewed over 600 books on BookLikes. What’s your book review process?
It really depends on the book. It appears that I find it easier to write reviews for books that I did not like, while the books I love are the most difficult to write about because I know I will never do them any justice in a review.
I mostly make notes while I read that will remind me of quotes and ideas and thoughts that occurred while I read the book. Then it will usually take me a few days to gather my thoughts together for a review. I type the review, post it, and instantly remember another two or three things that I would have loved to write about... So it goes.
Which books are you most excited recommending to your followers?
I find recommendations very difficult because it really depends on who the recommendation is made to and what I know of the likes and dislikes of the reader.
However, I do find it exciting when I get to recommend books that are important to me or that have had a big impact on me. So, I am always thrilled when people try a book by Ali Smith or Ruth Ozeki or even one of the lesser-known travel writers like Ella Maillart.
With every recommendation, however, there is also some anxiety that accompanies the excitement – Will they like the book? Will they not like the book and wonder why I recommended it?
Recommending a book is just not that easy.
Do your read one or several books at a time?
Several. Always. I usually have a selection of different formats and different topics that I can pick up to respond to whichever mood I might be in.
How much time do you spend reading daily?
I probably read about 2 hours a day on average. If I travel with work, I read a lot more. There is nothing I like better than to read while being stuck on a train or a plane. And of course, the weather and time of year also have an influence on the time I spend with books. I hardly ever switch on the tv, so if the weather is “dreich”, a good local word, and I don’t have be somewhere I’ll turn to a book.
A paper book or an e-book?
Both! And let’s not forget audiobooks! I love all formats of books, but not all books will work in all formats. I prefer paper for non-fiction, but ebooks or audiobooks for fiction.
Three titles for a desert island?
Well, how long am I stuck on the island for? If it is for a long time, I may want to pack something practical such a survival guide by Bear Grylls... I am kidding. I have no interest in that, and his books generally aren’t long enough to be of use on a desert island.
I’d have to take The Count of Monte Cristo, because it is long and features an escape from an island. I’d also take a book by Ayn Rand, either The Fountainhead or Atlas Shrugged, because, again, they are excessively long and that might be the only circumstance that I would actually read them.
Lastly, I would take something like Ovid’s Metamorphoses or one of Homer’s books that can be read over and over and will still offer something new to be discovered.
Oh, so many... Let’s go with this one:
‘Right! Let’s do some good!’ she said, to the universe at large.
Terry Pratchett - Maskerade
If you could meet one author, who would it be?
Shelfie time! Please share your home library photos :)
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See you next Friday!
There's no better way of celebrating the International Women's Day than reading books written by female authors. We've looked through the book catalog, your posts and reviews, and women writers tag, and picked 10 great titles written by woman recommended by BookLikes community of book bloggers.
What's your favorite title written by female author? Share your suggestions in the comment section below! Happy reading!
There is only one person who has ever truly understood fourteen year old June Elbus, and that's her uncle, the renowned painter, Finn Weiss. Shy at school and distant from her older sister, June can only be herself in Finn's company; he is her godfather, confidant, and best friend. So when he dies, far too young, of a mysterious illness her mother can barely speak about, June's world is turned upside down. But Finn's death brings a surprise acquaintance into June's life-someone who will help her to heal, and to question what she thinks she knows about Finn, her family, and even her own heart.
Book review: My real-life book club is indulging in a year of reading young adult literature, and this is our March selection. I am also using it to fulfill the “book about grief” selection for my 2018 PopSugar Challenge and the entry for B in my Female Authors A to Z challenge. What a great portrayal of life in all its messiness! If you’ve lived through some family rifts or somehow found yourself further away from a sibling that you ever believed possible, you will find something to hang onto in this novel. The relationships were realistic, not melodramatic or overdone... keep on reading on Wanda's Book Reviews blog
Zélie Adebola remembers when the soil of Orïsha hummed with magic. Burners ignited flames, Tiders beckoned waves, and Zélie’s Reaper mother summoned forth souls. But everything changed the night magic disappeared. Under the orders of a ruthless king, maji were killed, leaving Zélie without a mother and her people without hope. Now Zélie has one chance to bring back magic and strike against the monarchy.
Reading in progress note: Wow. The action is not letting up at all. I don't know how this is going to end but am watching between my fingers that Zelie and her brother Tzain make it out okay. The writing and world building are so freaking fantastic. I can picture each character and setting in my mind. I am just craving some art though. This book practically sings for a graphic novel adaptation... keep on reading on Obsidian Blue blog
From the bestselling author of Everything I Never Told You, a riveting novel that traces the intertwined fates of the picture-perfect Richardson family and the enigmatic mother and daughter who upend their lives.
In Shaker Heights, a placid, progressive suburb of Cleveland, everything is planned – from the layout of the winding roads, to the colors of the houses, to the successful lives its residents will go on to lead. And no one embodies this spirit more than Elena Richardson, whose guiding principle is playing by the rules.
Book review: ...this will be my book of the year. A high-octane literary tale of the highest order, Celeste Ng tackles heady topics like racism and classism and morality and societal rebellion in smart, tactful strikes. Like the best literary fiction, this one unfurls slowly while keeping the reader totally engaged. I read this one in two sittings, my mouth agape and my hair on fire... keep on reading on Cody's Bookshelf blog
Recalling Olive Kitteridge in its richness, structure, and complexity, Anything Is Possible explores the whole range of human emotion through the intimate dramas of people struggling to understand themselves and others.
Here are two sisters: One trades self-respect for a wealthy husband while the other finds in the pages of a book a kindred spirit who changes her life. The janitor at the local school has his faith tested in an encounter with an isolated man he has come to help; a grown daughter longs for mother love even as she comes to accept her mother's happiness in a foreign country; and the adult Lucy Barton (the heroine of My Name Is Lucy Barton, the author's celebrated New York Times bestseller) returns to visit her siblings after seventeen years of absence.
Book review:It is a melancholy book, and getting a little too caught up in the stories and reading them all in two sittings got to me a little. But it is also a book full of compassion and understanding for its characters (most, though not all, of the protagonists are compassionate and understanding people themselves), of human connection and love, of wisdom about what makes people tick. It is very well-written and got me quickly invested in the characters and their situations... keep on reading on Merle blog
From an author of rare, haunting power, a stunning novel about a young African-American woman coming of age--a deeply felt meditation on race, sex, family, and country
Raised in Pennsylvania, Thandi views the world of her mother's childhood in Johannesburg as both impossibly distant and ever present. She is an outsider wherever she goes, caught between being black and white, American and not. She tries to connect these dislocated pieces of her life, and as her mother succumbs to cancer, Thandi searches for an anchor--someone, or something, to love
Book review: I wasn’t quite sure what I was reading when I read this novel, was this a work of fiction or a memoir? The main character was personally reflecting upon her own life, the death of her mother and the aftereffects. As I read, I also had a hard time understanding some of the chapters as they didn’t feel connected to the storyline and they seemed to come out of nowhere. I have mixed feeling about this novel as I thought the storyline was good but... keep on reading on My Never Ending List blog
For the girls at Forevermore, a sleepaway camp in the Pacific Northwest, days are filled with swimming lessons, friendship bracelets, and camp songs by the fire. Bursting with excitement and nervous energy, they set off on an overnight kayaking trip to a nearby island. But before the night is over, they find themselves stranded, with no adults to help them survive or guide them home. The Lost Girls of Camp Forevermore follows Nita, Andee, Isabel, Dina, and Siobhan through--and far beyond--this fateful trip. We see the survivors through the successes and failures, loves and heartbreaks of their teen and adult years, and we come to understand how a tragedy can alter the lives it touches in innumerable ways.
Book review: This book reminded me of my years working at a camp for disabled children. I loved this book. This book was very intriguing... keep on reading Heather's Book Blog
Book review: This book got so much hype and I must say the hype is well deserved, in my opinion. I really enjoyed this book and everything about it. It is well written, fast paced and fun, thrilling roller-coaster ride. I loved the world that Holly Black has created, an awesome mix of faerie land with yet a touch of the modern world as we know it. We get a great deal of fairie and its daily life which at times does not seem so different than ours. School, work, politics and the daily grind is the same in fairie as it would be here. Just a bit different and with different views on life, mortal or fae... keep on reading on SnoopyDoo's Book Reviews
London, 1888. As colorful and unfettered as the butterflies she collects, Victorian adventuress Veronica Speedwell can’t resist the allure of an exotic mystery—particularly one involving her enigmatic colleague, Stoker. His former expedition partner has vanished from an archaeological dig with a priceless diadem unearthed from the newly discovered tomb of an Egyptian princess. This disappearance is just the latest in a string of unfortunate events that have plagued the controversial expedition, and rumors abound that the curse of the vengeful princess has been unleashed as the shadowy figure of Anubis himself stalks the streets of London.
Book review:I love Veronica Speedwell. Her character is almost everything I admire in a person, with the exceptions of her penchants for collecting butterflies, necessitating her killing them, and her need to verbalise her sexual liberty. This isn't hypocrisy on my part; I think it's distasteful when men make their sexual needs topics of casual conversation, and it's no less so when a woman does it. Boundaries. Good fences make good neighbours and all that. But these are very minor niggles. Everything else about Veronica is excellent and Stoker doesn't suck either... keep on reading on Murder by Death blog
Isobel is an artistic prodigy with a dangerous set of clients: the sinister fair folk, immortal creatures who cannot bake bread or put a pen to paper without crumbling to dust. They crave human Craft with a terrible thirst, and Isobel’s paintings are highly prized. But when she receives her first royal patron—Rook, the autumn prince—she makes a terrible mistake. She paints mortal sorrow in his eyes—a weakness that could cost him his life.
Book review: This was stunning. Not just a good read. A new favourite. Reminds me of the first time I picked up Holly Black's Tithe, or Melissa Marr's Wicked Lovely. Gamechanging, fresh and classic at the same time. Excellent, lush worldbuilding. Compelling, surprising characters. A story that twists and yet... keep on reading on YA Fantasy - K.A. Wiggins blog
It began back in 1986, at the fair, on the day of the accident. That was when twelve-year-old Eddie met Mr Halloran - the Chalk Man. He gave Eddie the idea for the drawings: a way to leave secret messages for his friends and it was fun, until the chalk men led them to a body. Thirty years later, Ed believes the past is far behind him, until an envelope slips through the letterbox. It contains a stick of chalk, and a drawing of a figure. Is history going to repeat itself?
Was it ever really over? Will this game only end in the same way?
Book review: First, I must say this novel has the potential of becoming a good screen psychological thriller. I was held captive once I began reading. This story is intense and gripping. Nothing is what it seems and with all its twists and turns, stopping at the end of a chapter wasn't an option. Tudor didn't skimp on the characterization... keep on reading on My Reviews My Words blog
What's your recommended female author book?
Thought I'd throw together a short list of some of my favorite book bloggers. I will be sure to update as time goes on and of course feel free to comment some of your favorites as well. :)