Thursday, June 30, 2011

Book Review - The Zero Game

Book Review - The Zero Game
by Brad Meltzer

The Zero Game

This book is a fast-paced political thriller filled with so many details it's almost a lesson in the ins & outs of Capital Hill at the same time. Loved, loved, loved this book, and I can tell I am now going to pick up more Brad Meltzer books in the future.

Not only is this book fast-paced, it is also unpredictable. What you think will happen is flipped around, always keeping the reader guessing, which makes you want to read even more!

I would say this is like a John Grisham novel, but with more political bend and many more well-researched details incorporated into the story.

I highly recommend this to fans of Grisham & Baldacci, but also to anyone interested in a great story filled with adventure, action, and strong characters. Adult mass market fiction, but also appropriate for teen readers as well.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Remember me posting about reading to 2nd graders for the RIF program back in March (here's the link)? Well I didn't have a picture to post with it, but now I do. Here's the picture of me reading one of my children's stories to the kids in the library.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Love Books? Try these sites...

Calling all book lovers...if you love books, then you need to check out these sites. - rent books & audiobooks online and save 60-80% over buying them

NetGalley - delivers secure, digital galleys to professional readers. If you are a reviewer, blogger, journalist, librarian, bookseller, educator, or in the media, you can use NetGalley for FREE to read and request titles before they are published - a community-powered encyclopedia for book lovers - When you shop at an independently owned business, your entire community benefits - book recommendations & book clubs

I'm sure there are a lot more that can be added - do you know any?

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Reading War-Juggling Two Great Books at One Time

It really is a reading war at this point. I have two great books that I'm reading at the same time, and it's amazing to see how drawn I am to both, but let me back it up first and explain how I got to this point.

So, as you probably already know from following the blog, I've been hooked on Cinda Williams Chima's Seven Realms series. And I'm fortunate to have access to an Advanced Readers Copy (ARC) of her forthcoming third book in the series titled, The Gray Wolf Throne. (I LOVE NetGalley for that...the book doesn't come out until August and I'm reading it now - so cool! And I'm LOVING the book, by the way.)  So, I'm reading The Gray Wolf Throne, but it's a digital ARC version that I can't get to my kindle, I have to read it on my laptop. I don't have time to read at my desk, I do most of my reading right before bed or at the gym.  The Gray Wolf Throne became my before-bed reading.  
The Zero GameSo that's book one, now on to book number two. I needed a second book, because I couldn't prop the laptop on the treadmill while I'm exercising (nor would I want to). So I needed one of my kindle books to fit the bill, and that's when I chose, "The Zero Game" by Brad Meltzer. I discovered Brad Meltzer not from his books, but from his series on The History Channel: Brad Meltzer's Decoded. And that led me to download one of his books to my kindle. I was curious. The book sat in my TO READ pile for a few months. And then I needed a gym-read. My finger hovered over The Zero Game as I was scrolling through trying to decide what to choose. Starting a book by an unfamiliar author can be hit or miss; I love Brad Meltzers show, but would I really enjoy his books? I am so glad I decided to give his books a try, because this book so far is a political thriller that is very hard to put down. Let me put it this way, when I'm reading this book at the gym, I've actually stayed extra a couple times already without realizing it because I was so into the book.

So now I'm reading two completely different books, and although I have defined times to read each, I will admit there are moments when I want to cross-over to the other title. They are both fighting for my attention.

Who would have thought that I'd be reading two books that were equally as good?

Thursday, June 16, 2011

The Ever Fleeting Muse

Yesterday, I was hit with inspiration for a new poem. The lines of the poem were coming one after another. It was deep, insightful, and the words fit perfectly. The only problem was that I was driving as it hit. I pulled into the parking lot, with seconds left on my lunch break, and vowed to write it all down the second I was able to.

I got distracted.

The poem never got written.

And now it's lost.

I should have pulled over and written it as the words flowed, because now as I try to recreate the poem, nothing is coming. Instead of sounding deep and moving, now it just sounds cheesy.

Chalk it up to another lesson in writing, do whatever it takes to write the words down when the muse is present. Otherwise the words will be lost forever.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

$5,000 Narrative Prize...Deadline: Midnight

Looking for a contest to enter? How about the 2011 Narrative Prize. Here's what the contest is all about as quoted from the Narrative website:
"The $5,000 Narrative Prize is awarded annually for the best short story, novel excerpt, poem, one-act play, graphic story, or work of literary nonfiction published by a new or emerging writer in Narrative."

If you want to enter you better hurry; the deadline is tonight at midnight. Here's the link for more information: Narrative Prize Contest

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

For Favs, I Covet Actual Books

I think traditional books will be around for a very long time. I love my kindle, but there's also something about holding an actual book that none of the e-readers can replace. That's my feeling anyway. For the books that are on the top of my favorites list, I make sure I have actual copies of the book. Here's a perfect example; yesterday I wrote about my bookstore stop on Friday night. Two of the books I bought are ones that I had already read, but I had read borrowed copies. It's been bugging me that I don't have them on my bookshelf at home (it would be the same if I had read e-copies). I coveted the actual books, so I bought them.

What do you think? Do you feel the same? Do you still add your favorite books to your bookshelf?

Monday, June 13, 2011

On Friday night, after eating at Benny Tudino's Pizzeria in Hoboken N.J.,  I discovered a hidden gem of a bookstore on main street called Symposia. It's just a short distance from Carlo's Bakery, the famous location where Cake Boss is filmed. 
Anyway, if you know me at all, you know that when I walk into a bookstore I always come out with something. And this time I came out with an armload full of books. This bookstore is great because the shelves are lined with amazing titles at amazing prices...soft covers for $5 and hard covers for $6 (at least for the books I was looking at). And I'm SO excited, because I found copies of both A Thousand Splendid Suns AND The Kite Runner, both of which I've already read but I had read borrowed copies. Now I have copies of my own!

Here's a pic of my finds:

Love this place! If you're in Hoboken, check it out.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Book Review - The Exiled Queen

Book Review - The Exiled Queen
by Cinda Williams Chima
Exiled Queen, The (A Seven Realms Novel)The Exhiled Queen is the second book in Cinda Williams Chima's Seven Realms series. The story picks up where book one (The Demon King) left off, and readers are immediately thrown into the action. New characters are introduced and previous favorites are developed even more here.

I raved about The Demon King, and the Exhiled Queen is even better.

I am in love with the characters, who are each strong and well-defined. The story is flawless and full of twists and turns that keep the reader turning page after page to find out what happens next.
Loved, loved, loved this book!

Recommendation: As this is a continuation in storyline, I highly recommend ready book one, The Demon King, before picking up this book.

Young Adult, fantasy, good for boys & girls, strong adult crossover appeal.

Thursday, June 09, 2011

Testing 1, 2, 3...

I am setting up a feature which will give me the ability to text blog updates from my Blackberry, so the post that appeared below was the test run...and it worked!

"Testing blogging features from my Blackberry...let's see if this posts."

Now I can blog on the go. Gotta love technology.

Monday, June 06, 2011

Event - BooksNJ

For those in the NJ/NY/PA area, here's an event to add to the calendar.

Sunday, June 12th from 1:00-5:00
Paramus Public Library
116 Century Road
Paramus, NJ 07652

Lot's of authors are scheduled for the day. Check out the website for details and a calendar of events: BooksNJ

Wednesday, June 01, 2011

Interviewed for the Bookless Book Tour

I had the distinct pleasure of participating in the "Bookless Book Tour" with Tracey Baptiste from the Knitting With Pencils blog. Here's the link to the interview that's posted there: Ten Questions with Writer Michelle Reynoso

Thanks Tracey for some great questions!