Monday, February 11, 2019

March 26, 2019; Park Row

A librarian’s discovery of a mysterious book 
sparks the journey of a lifetime 
in the delightful new novel 
from the international bestselling author of 
The Curious Charms of Arthur Pepper.

I’ve read both previous books by Phaedra Patrick, The Curious Charms of Arthur Pepper and Rise and Shine Benedict Stone. As I’ve said before, Ms. Patrick has a gift for creating the most charming character. Martha Storm, our main character here, is no exception. Reading Martha, it felt like no one can hate her. There are times I wanted to shake her silly; others, I just want to give her a good hug. She’s an absolute gem – selfless, unassuming and endearing. (Honestly, Ms. Patrick, how do you come up with these characters? We should have a good chat about it.)

THE LIBRARY OF LOST AND FOUND is a familial story, one that can happen to anybody. The most interesting is how fairytales is employed to give weight to the unfolding of fresh truths. Each reflecting a bottled emotion – absolutely challenging and tugging. The naive language and structure of fairytales actually help deliver a moral lesson, meanwhile, reshaping allows new authors to provoke the mind and instinct, like, examine our position on gender roles, color, or social relations. This story is about three generations of women and how their choices have fermented such consequences for their family, and yet, I find it really difficult to blame them.

It’s very rare that I reread a book straightaway after, but I really felt that I must with this one. I enjoyed every minute with this book. It is simple and sincere. Please, do put THE LIBRARY OF LOST AND FOUND on your TBR. I cannot recommend it highly enough.

Book details:
Publication: March 26, 2019; Park Row
Genre: Fiction
Rating: ★★★★★


*Thanks to Edelweiss and Park Row for the DRC in exchange for this unbiased review.


Book Review | THE LIBRARY OF LOST AND FOUND by Phaedra Patrick

Monday, February 4, 2019


Every now and then, I get questions from readers regarding about book blogging. I am not sure if I am the best source of any book blogging information, really, but I’ll try to answer them as best I could. As a reader, you have to take everything with a grain of salt, of course. I compiled those questions and narrowed them down to these series of Q & As.

Part 1 is the foremost among these questions is ‘How to get an ARC or Advance Reader/Reviewer Copy’.

Answer: There are different ways how, and they all require different levels of commitment on your part as a book reviewer. Not every suggestion below is based on my personal experience, you have to try them yourself. Take it or leave it, sort of.



WHO GETS AN ARC?

This is something we have to cover first to answer the main question, because not everyone simply gets a copy. To get an ARC you have to be a librarian, bookseller, educator, reviewer, blogger or in the media. ARC providers or publishers will ask librarians, booksellers, educators, and media entities to provide their organization and proof of affiliation. As a reviewer or blogger, providers or publishers will ask your main platform, site url, how long have you been blogging, and how many unique pageviews you get per month on average. You may want to sign in with Google Analytics to provide you with such information. And if you are cross-posting to other sites, you have to provide them that url, as well.


WHERE TO GET AN ARC?

Netgalley 
Sign up. Fill up all the information needed. They have a help desk on how to make everything in your reviewing and reading life easier. Make sure to list all your preferred genres and favorite publishers. It helps when requesting for a copy. Different publishers have different rules on approving requests and posting reviews, read them.

Edelweiss
Sign up. Like Netgalley, you have to fill up all the necessary information and your preferences. Review copies are divided into those you can ‘Download’ or ‘Request’. You will be asked for a strong reason for requesting a copy every time.

Goodreads
There are groups that offer ARC. I am not a member to any of these groups and most of them are private groups too. So, you have to experience this yourself and find out if it suits you.
Goodreads also offers giveaways. It’s legit! I’ve won a couple of times and they sent me printed copies.

First to Read
Penguin Random House offers this program to US residents only. And I really wish PRH Canada offers it too.

Penguin Teen
These are for Young Adult, Middle Grade, and Picture Books. You need to fill out their Blogger Request Form. Again, this is only available for US residents.

Blog Tours
Being on social platforms, look out for blog tours. Most Blog Tours are run by publicity companies (there are plenty, believe me) and they offer services to authors, which include reviews from bloggers. You sign up for their virtual book tours to get review copies.

Newsletters
Most publisher websites offer newsletters for their followers, opt to sign up. They [almost] always host giveaways. At the very least, you will know which books are hot on the shelves and which are most expected.
Publishers also offer their imprints’ emails. Although, most of them do not approve individual costumer request.

The Book Blogger List 
Let authors, publicist, and publishers find you instead. If you are diligent in keeping up your blog, they will keep you on their list.

Book Sirens
As the website says, it is the easiest way to be a reviewer. If you are reviewing for free [like me], you have to be aware that this site [same with Netgalley and Edelweiss] is free for reviewers but not for authors. You have to read thoroughly before signing up.


Quick reminders for new bloggers, though. (1) I highly recommend that you put up a Review Policy, no matter how small your site is or irregular your reviews are. Review request will frequent sooner or later. Your Review Policy will help you narrow down to what you really want to read or host and when to best accommodate them. (2) Review copies costs both authors and publishers. And digital galley proofs are limited. Decline offers if you cannot accommodate them as soon as possible. If your request is approved, be kind enough to provide them with a review, even a short one. If you really can’t provide one, give them an honest reason why. (3) The truth is rejection will happen more than you expect it, keep requesting anyway. Here's my rant on how I handle rejection.

I hope part one of this Q & A series provided you with some answers. Part two will try to answer why I decline or do not respond to some review requests. I’ll be brutally honest, PROMISE!

My resources is limited, if you can add more ways to get ARCs, please comment below.


Q & A #1 | ADVANCE READER COPIES AND HOW TO GET THEM

Monday, January 28, 2019


March 5, 2019;
Riverhead Books

The prize-winning, bestselling author of
Boy, Snow, Bird and
What Is Not Yours Is Not Yours 
returns with a bewitching and inventive novel.

Book Review | GINGERBREAD by Helen Oyeyemi

Monday, January 21, 2019

A book from my early childhood.
Once, a long time ago, my father gave me a copy of this book. It’s a story about a mother kangaroo who doesn’t have a pouch to carry her joey with. So, starts her adventure searching about for a way.

KATY-NO-POCKET by Emmy Payne, H.A. Rey

Monday, January 14, 2019

   

It isn't often you receive a letter from the dead. When Vianne Rocher receives a letter from beyond the grave, she has no choice but to follow the wind that blows her back to Lansquenet, the village in south-west France where, eight years ago, she opened up a chocolate shop. But Vianne is completely unprepared for what she finds there. Women veiled in black, the scent of spices and peppermint tea, and there, on the bank of the river Tannes, facing the square little tower of the church of Saint-Jerome like a piece on a chessboard - slender, bone-white and crowned with a silver crescent moon - a minaret. Nor is it only the incomers from North Africa that have brought big changes to the community. Father Reynaud, Vianne's erstwhile adversary, is now disgraced and under threat. Could it be that Vianne is the only one who can save him?


Joanne Harris’ opening lines will get you every time. You will tell yourself, “just a few paragraphs for now”, then, “just this chapter”, but before long you have read a quarter of the book itself. You do not want to put it down. A fact.
We came on the wind of the carnival. A warm wind for February, laden with the hot greasy scents of frying pancakes and sausages and powdery-sweet waffles cooked on the hotplate right there by the roadside, with the confetti sleeting down collars and cuffs and rolling in the gutters like an idiot antidote to winter. - Chocolat (#1)  
It is a relatively little-known fact that, over the course of a single year, about twenty million letters are delivered to the dead. - The Girl With No Shadow (#2)  
Someone once told me that, in France alone, a quarter of a million letters are delivered every year to the dead. What she didn’t tell me is that sometimes the dead write back. - Peaches for Monsieur Le Curé (#3)

If I may venture to say, Harris is a conjurer. She conjure words. They are so delectable, I want to enjoy every bits of them. She conjures people, the kind you are so enthralled with, you want to follow them around and eager to find out what will happen next. She conjures the most intriguing place, Lansquenet-sous-Tannes, I cannot find it in any map, but welcomes me every time I open a Chocolat book.

As with its prequels, not everything is what it seems in PEACHES FOR MONSIEUR LE CURÉ. They are about perceptions versus the heart of things. Harris had been extra brave with this one. The book tackles the sensitive, but relevant issues of religion, race, and gender. It highlights how people can twist religion to their advantage; how self-righteousness and position create disparity and oppression, mostly on women; and, reminds us that Christianity is not about the comparison of religion, but abounding inclusion.

Lastly, this book is about food and how it crosses the divide – by sharing cultures and heritage - the most binding thing in any community around the world. And love, of course, above all is love.

There will always be a space in my heart for this series.

Book details:
Title: Peaches for Monsieur Le Cure
Author: Joanne Harris
Publication: May 24th 2012, Doubleday
Genre: Fiction, Magical Realism
Rating: ★★★★★



PEACHES FOR MONSIEUR LE CURÉ by Joanne Harris

Wednesday, January 9, 2019


About the Book:
An enchantress and a wizard get tangled in the grisly plans of an undead creature.

Tor Lir, the Nameless One, is unsure what he is. However, he knows he was born to bring balance to the powers of good and evil.

Forsaking his birthplace and fleeing from suggestions of a dark knowledge he’d rather not discover, he decides to take his fate into his own hands.

A chance encounter with a dead body, a dangerous beast, and a desirous creature lead him on the path to Paradise, where he senses imbalance.

Banished from her village and lost in a wicked forest, Citrine makes a deal with a dark creature, but that was before she found Paradise—the legendary land of a friendly giant.
Falling in love with the land, Citrine takes advantage of her time to study the lore of herbs and craft a spell of protection for her mythical beasts.
When darkness creeps into Paradise, bringing the mysterious Nameless One and an omen of death, Citrine realizes the consequences of her actions spell danger for herself, her beasts, and Paradise.
As time runs out the undead come to life. Citrine faces the ultimate showdown as everything she holds dear is ripped away.

Will the Nameless One save Paradise or destroy it to welcome an era of peace?

Realm of Beasts is the first of six planned books in the epic fantasy series: Legend of the Nameless One.

Find a copy of the book via Amazon.


About the Author:

Angela J. Ford is an International Bestselling Author and author of the epic fantasy series: The Four Worlds. Brought up as a bookworm and musician, Angela J. Ford began writing at the age of twelve. The story line of her books was largely based off of the imaginative games she played with her sisters.

Angela originally finished the series when she was sixteen. After college, Angela began to rewrite The Four Worlds Series, bringing it from a child’s daydream to an adventure young and old can enjoy. Since it is inspired by fairy tales, high magic, and epic fantasy, Angela knows you’ll enjoy your adventures within the Four Worlds.

If you happen to be in Nashville, you’ll most likely find her at a local coffee shop, enjoying a white chocolate mocha and furiously working on her next book. Make sure you say hello!

Find more about her here.


*Content sent by the author's publicist for this blog's publication. This is a free ad.


Wednesday Spotlight | Realm of the Beast by Angela J. Ford

Wednesday, January 2, 2019

With respect to reading, 2018 was a good year. I’ve read 45 books in all, 21 out of that were five-starred. I know my numbers are measly compared to other readers, but I am really happy with my results. No one or two stars. Yay!

If you want to see My Year 2018 in Books via Goodreads, give it a click here.

Here are my most favored reads, in no particular order:

  • PEACHES FOR MONSIEUR LE CURÉ by Joanne Harris (Chocolat #3) – Going back to Lansquenet and joining all the old and new characters were a wonderful experience. Ms. Harris’ words are always so tasteful, I enjoyed them very much.
  • A MEMOIR OF AN ADVENTURE: The Argentine Tango Chronicles of Senor Don Roberto Juan Carlos Fuljumero y Suipacha by Robert Fulghum – One of my favorite authors. I knew Tango was exquisite, but it is even more so in Fulghum’s writing. As always, gleaning precious insights from Robert Fulghum's writing is a gift.
  • THE TRUE ADVENTURES OF NICOLO ZEN by Nicholas Christopher – A boy pretending to be a girl and deceiving Master Vivaldi, I was instantly intrigued by the premise.
  • THE INEXPLICABLE LOGIC OF MY LIFE by Benjamin Alire Sáenz – This was nominated for various awards, and rightly so. I love how Sáenz fleshed-out his characters; I love their goodness, their flaws, their pain, and their connections.
  • HERO AT THE FALL by Alwyn Hamilton (Rebel of the Sands #3) – The whole series will stay with me for a long time. It’s magical!
  • MURDER GAMES by James Patterson, Howard Roughan – An exceptionally satisfying read. I loved Dr. Dylan Reinhart from the very beginning.
  • GOOD TIME COMING by C.S Harris – A hauntingly beautiful coming-of-age tale.  Louisiana 1862, a time when children cannot be children and adults will never be the same.
  • BEAR TOWN by Fredrik Backman (Björnstad #1) – This was a departure from Backman’s usual whimsical stories. The premise was heavy with moral dilemma and no one can easily forget this one.
  • WHO KILL THE INNOCENT by C.S. Harris (Sebastin St. Cyr #13) – I thought that it would be difficult to top Where the Dead Lie, but C.S. Harris has proven me wrong, yet again. I love, love this series!
  • LABYRINTH OF THE SPIRITS by Carlos Ruiz Zafón (El Cementerio de los Libros Olvidados #4) - Reading this installment is like taking a long exhale, unraveling everything slowly. Book #4 is worth the wait, if only to read Fermin's witty dialogues again.
  • SPEECHLESS by Adam P. Schmitt - One of the many reasons I love Middle-Grade books is that they give me a whole new set of lenses to look through. It is a very well-written, memorable story.
  • BRIDGE OF CLAY by Markus Zusak - It's beautiful! It's sad, lyrical, and beautiful.
  • WHEN ALL IS SAID by Anne Griffin – An absolute brilliant read, coming this January 24th. Do put this one on your TBR.

Now, of course, I have special mentions:
  • HELLO, UNIVERSE by Erin Entrada Kelly – Winner of the 2018 Newbery Medal. A tugging tale, replete with diversity.
  • NEWS OF OUR LOVED ONES by Abigail DeWitt – A compelling read, perfect for historical fiction lovers.
  • BRITT-MARIE WAS HERE by Fredrik Backman – Another charming book – it can be funny and heartwarming, other times, it can be sad.
  • HOUSEKEEPING by Marilynn Robinson – It’s the absolute quietness of this book paralleled to the turbulent emotions it evoked inside that struck me. It is tragedy enveloped with disturbing calmness. Ms. Robinson snags me every time.
  • EUPHORIA by Lily King – Special thanks to Tin who gave me a copy. This story will shift something inside of you. The melancholy was absolute.

My 2018 wish was fully realized, I’ve read some really satisfying books. I wish the same for this year. And maybe, more books in the mail, please and thank you.

It’s THE PAGE WALKER’S 6th bloggy birthday. Thank you for following, for the emails, and bounce rates!

Happy 2019, everybody!



THANK YOU, 2018!

Wednesday, December 26, 2018

'Tis the season for lists and I have time to spare. I thought of jotting down books, come 2019, that I cannot wait to get my hands on. It turned out to be longer than I intended, but I'm pretty sure there'll be more. 

There is no particular theme to this list. It's a mix of debut authors, authors I've read before, some new plots, and series I've been following. Eclectic as before, of course. I am not sure if I'll ever get to read all of them once they are out, but maybe putting them right here will give me a good perspective.

If you've made your own list, do let me know.



  • THE WOLF IN THE WHALE by Jordanna Max Brodsky
                                                           January 29th 2019 by Redhook
  • WHEN ALL IS SAID by Anne Griffin
                                                           January 24th 2019 by Sceptre
  • THE HUNTRESS by Kate Quinn
                                                           February 26th 2019 by William Morrow
  • THE CITY IN THE MIDDLE OF THE NIGHT by Charlie Jane Anders
                                                           February 12th 2019 by Tor Books
  • BOWLAWAY by Elizabeth McCracken
                                                           February 5th 2019 by Ecco
  • GOOD RIDDANCE by Elinor Lipman
                                                           February 5th 2019 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
  • GINGERBREAD by Helen Oyeyemi
                                                           March 5th 2019 by Riverhead Books
  • THE LIBRARY OF LOST AND FOUND by Phaedra Patrick
                                                           March 26th 2019 by Park Row
  • KADDISH.COM by Nathan Englander
                                                           March 26th 2019 by Knopf Publishing Group
  • WHO SLAYS THE WICKED by C. S. Harris
                                                           April 2nd 2019 by Berkley Books
  • THE EDITOR by Steven Rowley
                                                           April 2nd 2019 by Putnam
  • THE BOY WHO STEALS HOUSES by C.G. Drews 
                                                           April 4th 2019 by Ochard Books
  • THE CONFESSIONS OF FRANNIE LANGTON: A Novel by Sara Collins 
                                                           April 4th 2019 by Penguin
  • MACHINES LIKE ME by Ian McEwan
                                                           April 18th 2019 by Jonathan Cape
  • THE 18TH ABDUCTION by James Patterson
                                                           April 29th 2019 by Little, Brown and Company
  • LALANI OF THE DISTANT SEA by Erin Entrada Kelly 
                                                          May 7th 2019 by Greenwillow Books
  • THE BRIDE TEST by Helen Hoang
                                                          May 7th 2019 by Berkley
  • THE PRINTED LETTER BOOKSHOP by Katherine Reay
                                                          May 14th 2019 by Thomas Nelson
  • WHERE I END AND YOU BEGIN by Preston Norton
                                                           June 4th 2019 by Disney-Hyperion
  • MOSTLY DEAD THINGS by Kristen Arnett
                                                           June 4th 2019 by Tin House
  • THE ALIENIST AT ARMAGEDDON (Dr. Laszlo Kreizler, #3) by Caleb Carr
                                                           September 1st 2019 by Mulholland Books
  • KILLER INSTINCT (Instinct #2) by James Patterson, Howard Roughan
                                                           September 9th 2019 by Little, Brown and Company
  • THE SEVEN SISTERS (Neverwhere #2) by Neil Gaiman
                                                           September 15th 2019 by William Morrow
  • POISON FOR BREAKFAST by Lemony Snicket
                                                           October 1st 2019 by Tundra Books
  • THE STARLESS SEA by Erin Morgenstern
                                                           November 5th 2019 by Doubleday

BTW, this marks as my 300th post thru Blogger.


MOST ANTICIPATED BOOKS OF 2019

Monday, December 24, 2018


An initiation.
February 5, 2019;
Penguin Press


A tale of bohemian youth on the make in Mexico City 
from a master of contemporary fiction, 
and a sublime precursor to The Savage Detectives.

Book Review | THE SPIRIT OF SCIENCE FICTION by Roberto Bolaño