Not much happening in my world this week. The weather turned cold and snowy again, I'm still editing seven days a week, and I'm still so grateful for audiobooks, which remain a mainstay of my reading life.
BEA. Book Expo (the convention formally known as BookExpo America) will be here before I know it. I'm looking forward to a few days in New York to be immersed in all things bookish. I have a feeling this year may be a little odd because the organizers are trying to cut down on attendance (not sure why, but there you have it).
If you think you're going to the convention, please let me know; I'd love to know who else is going and to see if there will be any get-togethers.
Mini Book Reviews
I finished two audiobooks and two comics (graphic novels / nonfiction) this week. I made little progress in straight reading, but that's the fault of my job.
- The Rise of Empire by Michael J. Sullivan (Recorded Books): In this installment of the Riyria Revelations, our heroes were perusing different goals, so there were three separate plot lines, although two converged at the end. The story contained some sad deaths, new people to cheer for and new villains to boo, and deeper world building. Sullivan matured as a writer from the first book in this epic fantasy series, and I am looking forward to seeing his skills continue to grow in the final entry. Rise of Empire ended on a twist, a cliffhanger, and the promise of new directions. Tim Gerard Reynolds's performance on the audiobook is fabulous.
- The Futures by Anna Pitoniak (Hachette Audio): The novel is told from the alternating perspectives of Julia and Evan from about the time they meet as freshman at Yale to the months after graduation, when they try to make a go of it in New York City, just as the economy collapses in 2008. There isn't a lot new in this novel, the pace is on the slow side, and much of the story was predictable. The good news is that Sarah Mollo-Christensen and Michael Crouch both did a fine job reading the audiobook, so that helped me through. My full audiobook review will be available at AudioFile magazine.
- Lucy & Andy Neanderthal by Jeffrey Brown (Crown Books for Young Readers): In this first in a series graphic novel, Brown uses his trademark humor to transport us 40,000 years into the past, where we get a look at what it may have been like to have been a Neanderthal. This is a well-researched story, that accurately describes the tools, social structure, and technology of the Neanderthals. Don't worry, it's not all an anthropology lesson: We follow young Andy as he and his sister get into trouble, help their parents, and have some fun too. There are plenty of laugh-out-loud moments. The book is geared to middle grade readers, but it's perfect for the whole family.
- California Dreamin': Cass Elliot before The Mamas & the Papas by Penelope Bagieu (First Second): Dare I admit that I remember the Mamas and the Papas as well as the words to all their major hits? I really liked this look at how Ellen Cohen, daughter of a struggling Baltimore deli man, became pop music icon Cass Elliot. The graphic biography takes a frank look at her over-the-top personality and large size and shows how these signature characateristics both helped and hindered Elliot's career.
Did you know Masterpiece Theater (PBS / BBC) will be airing a film about the Brontes? To Walk Invisible: The Brontë Sisters (written and directed by Sally Wainwright) airs on March 26 at 9pm (Eastern Time). Here's more information from the press release:
Based largely on Charlotte’s voluminous letters, the film follows the Brontë sisters in the eventful three-year period that saw them rise from ordinary, unmarried women, taking care of the household and their widowed father, to the secret authors of the world’s most sensational literature.Take a look at the trailer; I think this is going to be great.
Finally, if you're as much of a coffee fan as I am, you'll want to download this free eBook: The Book Lover’s Guide to Coffee, created by Signature (Penguin Random House) in partnership with Sprudge and Birch Coffee. The short book contains essays covering all kinds of ways coffee and books intersect. I particularly like the cool infographics. Take a look (click to enlarge):