Beth's Book-Nook Blog

Reviews of What I've Been Reading….

Book Expo America 2014

This week I’ve been in NYC to attend Book Expo America (BEA) and the Bloggers’ Con. Today is the last day of events, so soon I will have a full report on what I did, who I saw, and what great books I got.

Just a few highlights:

  • Four days in NYC – one of my favorite places!
  • Meeting lots of new blogging friends and seeing “old timers”!
  • Interesting sessions!
  • Networking!
  • Exhibits – Exhibits – Exhibits!
  • Lots of FREE books that I will be reading and reviewing and also maybe holding a few giveaways! (I managed to meet the authors of and get signed copies of both “Convergence” and “We Were Liars” – major squee! – sorry, but I have to keep those)
  • Wonderful authors that I got to meet in person!
  • Theater friends take note: Author Breakfast hosted by Neil Patrick Harris!! (that warrants two exclamation points)
  • Timing that coincided with “Manhattenhenge”!
  • All in all, a great few days!

Look to this space in the near future to see what I learned and what I came home with this year.

Also I had the wonderful opportunity to spend time with Marybeth Zeman, author of TALES OF A JAILHOUSE LIBRARIAN, which I finished shortly before leaving for NYC. I’ll be reviewing her book and writing about our chat together.

Nothing like a few days away to rejuvenate this blogger!

 

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Quick Review: ON MOUTAINEERING by Radford C. West

My friends at Smith Publicity sent me this small volume to read and review. ON MOUNTAINEERING is part memoir, part travel guide, part tips and suggestions all related to mountain climbing. Radford West started mountain climbing after returning from duty in Vietnam in the early 1970’s. He covers seven different climbs, complete with pictures and his personal journal entries from the times he climbed them. Since they read almost like individual vignettes, you can easily pick up this book for a short time and revisit it later without losing the flow. The entire volume is only a bit over 100 pages.

Inspiring, interesting, and informative, ON MOUNTAINEERING is a fine read for those interested in mountain climbing – both in real life and through armchair travel!

Thank you, Kendell at Smith Publicity, for my copy.

You can see it on Amazon where I am an Associate:

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YA Review : WE WERE LIARS by E. Lockhart

I had heard some buzz about this book, so I ordered it from Amazon for my Kindle for when it was released earlier this month. This is the kind of book that people say, “I can’t talk about it without giving it away”. Okay – that’s true, but I can say this: this was one of those books that you start to read and can’t put down. I read it almost entirely straight through as I was trying to figure out what was going on. It’s memorable and heart-breaking and just really, really good – all at the same time.

In WE WERE LIARS, Cadence Sinclair has grown up as the eldest grandchild of the wealthy and well-known Sinclair family. They spend their summers together on an island off the coast of Massachusetts. They play, they argue, they exist as a big sprawling family. Cadence spends her long summer days with her cousins Johnny and Mirren, and their friend Gat. Then one summer, while they are in their teens, things change. Decisions are made and actions follow which have devastating consequences.

Loved loved loved this book. I’d suggest it for older teens (and adults – if you read YA, and you should!).

Can’t say more without spoilers, but I’ve added a You Tube clip of the author reading from the novel:

See it on Amazon where I got mine and I am an Associate:

 

 

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Review: THE BOY WHO STOLE FROM THE DEAD by Orest Stelmach

This book takes up where THE BOY FROM REACTOR 4 leaves off (reviewed here: https://drbethnolan.wordpress.com/2013/09/02/review-the-boy-from-reactor-4-by-orest-stelmach/ ). Bobby Kungenook is accused of murder and his guardian, Nadia Tesla, is 100% sure that Bobby is not a killer. Bobby, though, is not talking to anyone and refusing to see Nadia, so she goes on a quest to prove his innocence. Travelling to the Ukraine with her brother, Nadia tackles some tough Russian mobsters, all the while learning more about her new employer. Did Bobby really kill an English businessman? Who exactly was he? What is the connection to Russia and Chernobyl? Will she be able to save Bobby?

I thought this book did a great job picking up right where the last book left off (and apparently there is another book on its way at the end of the year). I often don’t enjoy sequels as it feels like they are just pulling out the action and are almost an afterthought, but this novel continues the action started in the first book, does a full plot, and then sets up the next story in the saga.

I also love the character of Nadia because she’s so smart and strong – a great combination!

Thanks, Net Galley, for my copy! If you enjoy mysteries and action, you will most probably enjoy these books.

You can see it on Amazon where I am an Associate:

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QUICK REVIEW: Berried to the Hilt by Karen Mac Inerney

I’ve enjoyed other “Grey Whale Inn” mysteries, so I was thrilled to find this one in the Kindle shop. These stories take place on Cranberry Island, off the coast of Maine, and center on a B&B owner, Natalie Barnes, who just so happens to run into murders/dead bodies/etc. In this installment, a sunken ship is located off the coast of the island and it’s a race to see who can claim it: a university team or a private treasure hunters’ group. Then one of the searchers is found dead. They’ve all been staying at the Grey Whale Inn, so Natalie has plenty of opportunity to sleuth around and establish motives and means (of which there are many!). However, will Natalie find she’s the next victim?

I do enjoy this cozy mystery series which comes with recipes at the back of the book (they are featured in the story). Natalie is a far nosier innkeeper than I would ever be, but it keeps the plot moving. I could see these stories being made into a BBC series.

I found mine on Kindle and you can see it there, too (where I am an Associate):

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Review: CITY OF DARKNESS AND LIGHT by Rhys Bowen

Rhys Bowen recently came out with a new Molly Murphy mystery. If you read me, you know I’ve read them all. I really enjoy historical cozies and Molly is one of my favorite female sleuths (though I have to admit to an even greater fondness for Georgie of Bowen’s Royal Spyness mysteries!).

In this installment, Molly is headed to Paris to stay with friends Sid and Gus after a horrible bombing of her home in New York by an Italian gang. She and Daniel and the baby weren’t hurt, but sadly their young maid was killed. Molly has barely gotten her feet on solid ground when she’s landed in to the middle of a murder mystery. Where are Gus and Sid and why did they leave so suddenly? Who murdered the painter Reynold Bryce? And will Molly ever find her friends or have to go back to NYC?

Once again, Ms. Bowen has written a lively and well-crafted mystery, this time in a unique location. Paris at the turn of the century was a vibrant and beautiful place (it still is, but you know what I mean!). The art culture is explored here, and I was delighted to see many well-known real characters brought to life: Picasso, Degas, Monet, Mary Cassatt, Gertrude Stein. Molly interacts with all parts of the city, but especially the Montmartre district in her quest to find and then help her friends. I did not guess the murderer (kudos to Ms. Bowen!) and enjoyed reading this right up to the last page. This might be my favorite Molly mystery yet.

Another home run for the Molly Murphy series!

I got mine on Amazon where I am an Associate, and you can see it there, too:

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Kids/YA Review: Secrets in the Fairy Chimneys by Linda Maria Frank

I picked up this little book through Net Galley to review for the children in my life. In SECRETS IN THE FAIRY CHIMNEYS, Annie Tillery joins her boyfriend Ty on an archaeological dig in Turkey. However, something is not right: artifacts are disappearing, and then a member of the team is killed in an accident (or was it??). At the same time a shady character tries (unsuccessfully) to kidnap Annie. Annie is an amateur sleuth (this is the third book in a series, apparently), and nothing will stop her from poking around where she shouldn’t. But will her discoveries put her in danger, too?

I enjoyed this children’s mystery, which I read on my kindle. It had some illustrations, and Annie and her boyfriend’s relationship is “kid reader friendly”, so I would suggest it for middle grade readers and up. Annie is in her twenties, though, so she could appeal to older readers as well. My favorite characters were the twins that were at the site with their father (one of the dig leaders). They were amateur sleuths themselves! Overall this story reminded me of an updated Nancy Drew or Hardy Boys, and in fact, the author is quoted on Amazon as saying that the Annie books are like “Nancy Drew meets CSI”.

Thank you, Net Galley and Archway Publishing, for my copy!

You can see this book on Amazon where I am an Associate:

Here’s a fun book trailer via You Tube:

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