06 March 2017

Stacked-Up Book Thoughts: A March Miscellany

Book news and reviews for early MarchNot 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.

  • Book news and reviews for early MarchThe 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.
Books to Screen

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.

Coffee Anyone?

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):


Tina 3/6/17, 6:35 AM  

A book expo would be a fantastic trip for me. Alas, I have never been to one. When I was a teen my dream (along with a friend I have long ago lost track of) envisioned ourselves working in the publishing industry in NY. how I ended up amongst rednevks in north Florida I am just not sure 😮
Thanks for the good suggestions, I would like The Futures and Lucy and Andy. The Bronte sisters film will be amazing. Putting this in my notebook for later. Have a great day!

Deb Nance at Readerbuzz 3/6/17, 6:36 AM  

I stumbled upon two wonderful bloggers at BEA last year. I love to pop in on their blogs now and then and see what they are doing. Two fascinating people. It makes me wish I'd prepared better last year, and it makes me want to prepare well this year. I am planning to go to NYC (if I am approved!) even though the thought of NYC on my own fills me with trepidation. I had no fear when I set out for Chicago and Toronto, so I'm not sure why New York seems so scary. In any case, I hope I will get a chance to meet you in person this year at BookExpo.

Samantha@WLABB 3/6/17, 7:27 AM  

I travelled to Chicago for BEA last year, but probably won't go this year, since they doubled the price for bloggers. It was fun though, and I do have my tickets for BookCon, so I will get my fix.

Sarah's Book Shelves 3/6/17, 7:47 AM  

I'm with you on The Futures...had such promise, but was predictable and felt warmed-over for me.

Kailana 3/6/17, 8:46 AM  

I would love to go to BEA one year, but the exchange rate is like 36 percent right now. It is probably not the year for it. lol I might never go, but I do enjoy hearing about it. Because of it last year I heard about The Comet Seekers and it was one of my favourite reads last year!

Susie | Novel Visits 3/6/17, 8:59 AM  

A whole book on coffee? I think I need to check this one out.

(Diane) bookchickdi 3/6/17, 9:26 AM  

One of m friends read The Futures and felt the same way. I will be gong to BEA, but I too wondered about the new path they are taking. I'm looking forward to seeing you!

Laurel-Rain Snow 3/6/17, 11:43 AM  

Ooh, California Dreamin' is definitely one for me! I love the music.

I also have an e-book of The Futures...and thanks for reminding me that I must read it soon. Sorry it was slow for you. I hope I enjoy it...we'll see!

Enjoy your week, and here are MY WEEKLY UPDATES

Greg 3/6/17, 5:43 PM  

Hmm, The Book Lover's Guide To Coffee looks pretty good. I might want to give that a try.

Kathy Reads Fiction 3/6/17, 6:45 PM  

I wish The Futures had been better; I loved the premise. I would love to read California Dreamin'. I've always loved The Mamas and the Papas. Cass Elliot died way too young. I'll check the library for that one.

Yvonne 3/6/17, 7:16 PM  

California Dreamin' sounds like a book I'd enjoy. I loved The Mamas and The Papas.

Have a great week!

Unknown 3/6/17, 9:12 PM  

I'll have to go to BEA sometime. The Masterpiece Theater sounds great! Happy Reading!

Daryl 3/15/17, 8:47 AM  

i am looking forward to BEA because it brings you to NYC and we can have brunch or lunch or dinner ... make sure to save a little time for me!

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