Saturday, September 22, 2012

Another Fantastic Literary Event

Just me and Mr. Chabon

The Twin Cities metro area is known for having many literary events. We are a hub for awesome literary greatness! One of my favorite events to attend is our Talk of the Stacks, a library event that hosts wonderful authors throughout the year.

Last night I got the chance to see Michael Chabon, author of the new Telegraph Avenue. He was magnificent. Charming, smart and honestly, just a tad bit sexy. My friend Rachelle and I were smitten.

As the summer of 2004 draws to a close, Archy Stallings and Nat Jaffe are still hanging in there—longtime friends, bandmates, and co-regents of Brokeland Records, a kingdom of used vinyl located in the borderlands of Berkeley and Oakland. Their wives, Gwen Shanks and Aviva Roth-Jaffe, are the Berkeley Birth Partners, two semi-legendary midwives who have welcomed more than a thousand newly minted citizens into the dented utopia at whose heart—half tavern, half temple—stands Brokeland.

When ex-NFL quarterback Gibson Goode, the fifth-richest black man in America, announces plans to build his latest Dogpile megastore on a nearby stretch of Telegraph Avenue, Nat and Archy fear it means certain doom for their vulnerable little enterprise. Meanwhile, Aviva and Gwen also find themselves caught up in a battle for their professional existence, one that tests the limits of their friendship. Adding another layer of complication to the couples' already tangled lives is the surprise appearance of Titus Joyner, the teenage son Archy has never acknowledged and the love of fifteen-year-old Julius Jaffe's life.

An intimate epic, a NorCal Middlemarch set to the funky beat of classic vinyl soul-jazz and pulsing with a virtuosic, pyrotechnical style all its own,Telegraph Avenue is the great American novel we've been waiting for. Generous, imaginative, funny, moving, thrilling, humane, triumphant, it is Michael Chabon's most dazzling book yet (Goodreads)

Happy Reading and as always, thanks for stopping by!

red headed book child

Monday, September 17, 2012

Molly Ringwald

Look who stopped by my store today! Molly Ringwald!

She is in town promoting her wonderful book, When it Happens to You: A Novel in Stories.

She was kind enough to stop by and say hello and sign our stock of her book.

And allow me a picture or two.

What a lovely way to spend a day at work.

Happy Reading and as always, thanks for stopping by!

red headed book child

Sunday, September 16, 2012

I give you THE Sandra Brannan!

Finally, the event I've been waiting for all summer. Sandra Brannan at Magers and Quinn Booksellers in Minneapolis (also my work place). 

She was a peach! Sheila from Book Journey was also there and we had a great time talking it up. I was so happy to be a part of this. I met her as a blogger two years ago and have been trying this long to get her at a signing in my neck of the woods. I was so happy Magers agreed!

Here she is signing books like a pro.

And schmoozing it up!

More schmoozing.

Hey look! Widow's Might is being purchased! Yay for book sales!

Here she is signing the winning copy of Widow's Might for my final Year of Mysterious Giveaways! Who might that be? Well, let's check. (shuffle shuffle) The winner is...

AUDRA at Unabridged Chick. She writes Would love to enter your giveaway -- thanks you, I got her first book in this series after your rave review! (And haven't regretted it!) thank you fo rthe giveaway!" Dear winner please send me your address and I will ship this grand prize off to you.

Thank you Sandra for being such a wonderful author and delightful person to boot. I enjoyed your company and talent  and will continue to spread the word to readers everywhere about your books.

Happy Reading  and as always, thanks for stopping by!

red headed book child

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Did I happen to mention I write on another blog?

Last winter I started another part-time job at an independent bookstore in Minneapolis. At the time, I didn't know if I was going to remain for much longer after the holidays. Turns out, I'm still there! Between this and the library, I have a full week of literary goodness.

Between spending most of my time jazzing up the children's section and helping customers, I also get to put together the store's blog. Lots of folks help contribute with ideas but I get to put it all together. You will find all sorts of info on here; from cool staff picks, to fun displays, to our new T-shirts (see above), event info, or just what the heck life at an independent bookstore is really like. 

Yes, we sip lattes and read books by candlelight. (lol)

Even if you are not from the Minneapolis area, stop by and follow us. 
I'm loads of fun and our store is too. (wink)

Happy Reading and as always, thanks for stopping by!

red headed book child

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Review: The Secret Keeper by Kate Morton

Title: The Secret Keeper
Author: Kate Morton
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Genre: Fiction
Release Date:  October 16, 2012

I can tell I don't have a lot of time or energy to read these days because it took me almost 3 weeks to get through The Secret Keeper. Kate Morton is one of my all time favorite authors and this book was just as good as her others but still, it took me long to read it.

Kate Morton, for those of you who do not know her, writes extraordinary novels; sweeping dramatic stories about love, loss, betrayal, hope, etc. She is the modern day Daphne du Maurier. Historical romance fiction.  

Her latest would not be my favorite of her four but it was still a wonderful read.

Here's the scoop from the publisher's website:

From the New York Times and internationally bestselling author of The Distant Hours, The Forgotten Garden, and The House at Riverton, a spellbinding new novel filled with mystery, thievery, murder, and enduring love.
During a summer party at the family farm in the English countryside, sixteen-year-old Laurel Nicolson has escaped to her childhood tree house and is happily dreaming of the future. She spies a stranger coming up the long road to the farm and watches as her mother speaks to him. Before the afternoon is over, Laurel will witness a shocking crime. A crime that challenges everything she knows about her family and especially her mother, Dorothy—her vivacious, loving, nearly perfect mother.
Now, fifty years later, Laurel is a successful and well-regarded actress living in London. The family is gathering at Greenacres farm for Dorothy’s ninetieth birthday. Realizing that this may be her last chance, Laurel searches for answers to the questions that still haunt her from that long-ago day, answers that can only be found in Dorothy’s past.
Dorothy’s story takes the reader from pre–WWII England through the blitz, to the ’60s and beyond. It is the secret history of three strangers from vastly different worlds—Dorothy, Vivien, and Jimmy—who meet by chance in wartime London and whose lives are forever entwined.The Secret Keeper explores longings and dreams and the unexpected consequences they sometimes bring. It is an unforgettable story of lovers and friends, deception and passion that is told—in Morton’s signature style—against a backdrop of events that changed the world.

What Morton does really well is create complex characters and makes the reader get emotionally attached. She teases us with secrets and keeps us reading with her crafty intrigue. Mix it with a alluring setting (England mostly), a crumbling estate of some kind and a past and present story laid out at the same time, and you got yourself a book you can't put down.

I am looking forward to recommending this one this fall. A Kate Morton novel is always a good pairing with a glass of wine on the cool fall night.

Here are her other novels that I think you should read as well. You can find more info about them on her website, Kate Morton.
The House at Riverton
The Forgotten Garden
The Distant Hours

Happy Reading and as always, thanks for stopping by!

red headed book child

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Thrill Week Review: Freak by Jennifer Hillier

Welcome to my Thrill Week Review Post!

Marcia @ Tea Time With Marce gives us the chance to post anything we really want to post, just so long as it is about the mystery genre. I was very excited to be a part of it again! Last year I chose to feature a debut author, Jennifer Hillier. She has brand new to me and I love to discover new authors!

This year I am going to write about that same author and her follow up book, Freak.

I was sent a copy of Creep just as whim and really, really enjoyed it! I actually requested this follow up, Freak, from the publisher (something I rarely do these days). I was just really excited to see she had a sequel. 

Here is the description from Goodreads:
Suspense magazine chose Jennifer Hillier’s “truly frightening” debut,Creep, as one of 2011’s best novels, while #1 bestselling author Jeffery Deaver cautioned “you better call in sick—you’re not going anywhere until you finish reading.” Now, Hillier returns to the Pacific Northwest college town where one killer’s stranglehold has ebbed . . . but another sick mind has waited for the perfect moment to pick up where the terror left off. Sitting alone in a maximum-security prison cell, Abby Maddox is a celebrity. Her claim to fame is the envy of every freak on the outside: she’s the former lover of Ethan Wolfe, the killer who left more than a dozen dead women in his wake and nearly added Puget Sound State professor Sheila Tao to the tally. Now Abby, serving a nine-year sentence for slashing a police officer’s throat in a moment of rage, has little human contact—save for the letters that pour in from demented fans, lunatics, and creeps. But a new wave of murders has given Abby a possible chance for a plea bargain—because this killer has been sending her love letters, and carving a message on the bodies of the victims: Free Abby Maddox.

Jerry Isaac will never forget the attack—or his attacker. The hideous scarring and tortured speech are daily reminders that the one-time Seattle PD officer, now a private investigator, is just lucky to be alive. Abby Maddox deserves to rot in jail—forever, as far as Jerry’s concerned. But she alone may possess crucial evidence—letters from this newest killer—that could crack open the disturbing case. With the help of Professor Sheila Tao, seasoned police detective Mike Torrance, and intuitive criminology student Danny Mercy, Jerry must coax the shattering truth from isolated, dangerous Abby Maddox. Can he put the pieces together before Abby’s number one fan takes another life in the name of a killer’s perverted idea of justice?

This series is totally up the alley for any reader who likes Chelsea Cain or Jeff Lindsay's Dexter books. It's a little different, in the sense that it focuses on a female killer. It has all of the psychological elements that I love; the unexpected, the drama, the suspense.

This is a fast read. If you haven't read Creep, pick that one up first. It definitely is a story you have to know before you dive into Freak.

I really look forward to Hillier's next book. If you want suspenseful, sharp reading that will keep you turning the pages, check her out. Support those newer authors!

Title: Freak
Author: Jennifer Hillier
Genre: Thriller
Publisher: Gallery Books

Make sure you stop by Marcia's blog to check out the other bloggers who are posting this week. Support the Mystery/Thriller Genre!!!

Happy Reading and as always, thanks for stopping by!

red headed book child

Monday, September 3, 2012

Thrill Week September 1-8

THRILL WEEK- Hosted by Marcia @ Tea Time with Marce

I participated in this event last year, the first year because I adored Marcia's blog and am also a lover of all things mystery. WE NEED MORE MYSTERY LOVERS OUT THERE! So, this event is a great way to find other bloggers who love the mystery genre as well.

I will be posting a review and a giveaway later this week. Please check out the link to Marcia's blog and see what else is happening!

1)      Introduce yourself:
My name is Michelle and I've been blogging for three years now. I used to work at Borders as a manager before I was laid off and then eventually the company went belly up :( I now work part-time at my local library and also at an independent bookstore.

2)      What has been your top 3 reads this year?  Link your reviews
My top three reads this year have been Love, Anthony by Lisa Genova (due out September 25), Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn and Bossypants by Tina Fey.

3)      What are you currently reading during Thrill Week?
I'm currently reading Indiscretion by Charles Dubow (not yet released), a super charged psychological thriller with lots of drama. I'm also listening to Faithful Place by Tana French.

4)      Do you have an all time favourite cover in the genres above?
The book I am giving away, Freak by Jennifer Hillier has a pretty spooky cover. I will show it to you later this week.

5)      What debut author(s) or new to you author(s) have you read within the last 12 months that have impressed you?
Gillian Flynn, author of Gone Girl. Though I owned her early novel I have never read her. I loved Gone Girl!

6)      Favourite trilogy or series you recommend to others to read in the genres above?
The Dublin Murder Squad by Tana French. I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE them so much!

7)      What popular author(s) have you NOT read but is on your Wishlist?
I am really curious about Linda Fairstein. She has great covers to her books and they seem really dark and mysterious, like psychological thrillers I would love.

8)      Other than blogs, share with us what other tools you use or subscribe to in order to keep up with the latest news on authors, new releases, book tours, etc? 
Well, I work at a library and a bookstore, so I'm pretty much surrounded by it daily!

9)      What current book is hyped among the blogosphere that you want to read or are not interested in?  Why or why not or link your review if you have read it.
I really want to read Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs and The Taker by Alma Katsu.

10)   What is most important in these genres to you?  Plot, characters, location, dialogue, red herrings, narrator or what mix of them? I am a character driven gal. That's why I love Tana French's books. She really fleshed out her characters and you get really caught up! Location is not THAT important but I do enjoy certain spots more than others; ie, NYC, Dublin, small towns, etc.

11)   Recommend a book made into movie you thought both were good?  
Recently I can't think of anything but I absolutely adore Dennis Lehane and I thought Shutter Island and Mystic River, both books I read and loved, were excellent movies!

12)   Recommend a book you would like to discuss with others and possibly the author?  Note – I will do a poll with participant’s choices at the end of Thrill Week and then we can agree on a date for Q&A.  I will try and arrange the chosen author to participate.
I would like to chat with Lisa Unger, author of Beautiful Lies and the new, Heartbroken (which I have but have not read)

Happy Reading and as always, thanks for stopping by!

red headed book child

R.I.P Challenge

Wow, it's been a few weeks since I've posted! I've been reading and listening a lot, I promise.

I'm so excited because we are entering my favorite time of year. The Fall Season. Ahhhh, I would love the heat and humidity to go the you-know-what away.

I'm ready for cool nights, spooky movies, spooky reads, drinking wine and making stew.

I'm also very ready for the R.I.P Challenge from Stainless Steel Droppings. I've been a part of it my first two years of blogging but not last year. I love it because it revolves around anything spooky or mysterious.

Here is the link for you all to check it out.

There are many different levels to this challenge. I have chosen two parts because I would like to read and watch something spooky.

Peril the Third is to read ONE book from either Mystery, Horror, and Gothic genre(and more sub genres to be found on the link).  I am chosing Broken Harbor by Tana French, Book 4 in the Dublin Murder Squad. I haven't decided whether to read or listen to it yet but it is definitely on my list for October. It would fit under Mystery/Thriller.

Peril on the Screen is the part of the challenge where you pick something spooky to watch. Well, this is a given for me this time of year. I have my favorites definitely but this year I am picking something new that I discovered. Fingersmith by Sarah Waters is one of my very favorite books of all time. It was made into a BBC miniseries a few years back and when I found out, I rushed to order it from my library. It's on its way and I hope it gets here before October is done!


So there you have it! If you are interested in the spooky genres,
check out the link and sign up!

Happy Reading and as always, thanks for stopping by!

red headed book child