Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Teaser Tuesdays: Shadow Ritual

This week my teaser lines come from Shadow Ritual, by Eric Giacometti and Jacques Ravenne (translated by Anne Trager). A thriller involving Freemasons and Nazis, it's a little outside my usual comfort zone. I'm reading this on the Kindle, so I'm not sure about page numbers, but this snippet is at Loc.541 of the e-book edition.
When he was younger, Bashir had been partial to throat slitting. Then one September night in Beirut, when he was executing a contract at a private party, a spurt of blood had stained his Armani suit -- a superb three piece he had bought in Rome.... He had used guns and rope ever since.
Okey-dokey. Like I said -- not exactly a comfy read. But it's had some really positive reviews, so I'm hoping I'll love it.

Oh, and you know, I bet a really good dry cleaner could have removed that bloodstain with no problems at all.

Teaser Tuesdays is hosted by Jenn at A Daily Rhythm. If you'd like to read more teasers, or take part yourself, just head on over to her blog.

And please feel free to leave me a link to your Teaser Tuesday post in your comment here.

Friday, March 27, 2015

Reading Notes

According to an article in today's Shelf Awareness newsletter, readers between the ages of 18 and 34 (the so-called "Millennials") prefer print books to e-books, and still value the bookstore experience. That bit of info is based on a Publishing Technology survey of 1000 millennials in the U.S.

The Shelf Awareness report goes on to say:
Millennials prefer to acquire print books from physical bookstores: 52% of respondents said they preferred to buy from chain bookstores, while 45% said they preferred used bookstores, and 53% said they preferred to check out books from libraries. Only 40% of respondents, meanwhile, said they preferred online retailers.
I've read that other studies have found e-book preference is rising in the group of readers who are over 55. Not sure this means anything, but I think it's interesting and encouraging that the younger generations still seem to love libraries and book stores.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Booking Through Thursday: Carrier

I haven't participated in BTT for quite a while. But this week's topic is an interesting one. Deb asks:
Do you carry a book around with you? Inside the house? Whenever you go out? Always, everywhere, it’s practically glued to your fingers? 
(And yes, digital books very much DO count as long as you’re spending time reading on your Kindle or iPad and not just loading them with books that you never actually read.) 
Well, I don't exactly carry a book around with me when I'm at home -- but I'm never very far from one. I usually have books piled up on the coffee table and on my bedside table, since those are the two places I generally do most of my reading (I keep my iPad in one of those places, too). So I don't really need to carry them with me; they're just there.

Now when I go out -- that's another thing. I don't always have a "real" book with me when I'm out and about; but I do have the Kindle app on my iPhone, so I'm never without something to read. Until the battery needs recharging, anyway.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Once Upon a Time IX

All artwork for the challenge by Kimberly Kincaid

Ya think winter is FINALLY over? Got my fingers crossed.  Even though this was supposedly the WARMEST winter on record for the whole planet, around here it was cold, wet and nasty.  And much too looooong!

But spring must be here because Carl, over at Stainless Steel Droppings, has announced the beginning of this year's Once Upon a Time reading challenge/event (number 9!) -- something I've been looking forward to for weeks now. The "challenge" runs from March 21 to June 21, and you can read all about it and sign up over on the challenge announcement page. There are very few rules.

I love this challenge, even though I never manage to read or review as many books as I'd like.  It has a lovely symbolism that lifts my spirits, and it gives me a reason to indulge in some of my favorite literary genres.

Once again, I'll be signing up at the Journey level which means reading just one book. But as usual, I'll be hoping to read more than that.

I might also try to do the Screen Quest this year, although I think I sort of wiped out on that last year. So that's a little tentative right now.

During the course of the challenge, I'll be tracking my progress and making my lists over on my challenge blog (HERE). Haven't yet decided exactly what book/books I'll read, but here are some I'm considering:
  • Beastkeeper, by Cat Hellisen. A re-imagining of the beauty-and-the-beast tale for young readers, that's been getting a lot of positive reviews lately.
  • Elidor, and/or The Moon of Gomrath, by Alan Garner.  I read The Weirdstone of Brisingamen, by Garner, many years ago. It's the first book in a trilogy (Tales of Alderley) and I've been meaning to read the second book (Gomrath) ever since.
  • Five Children and It, by E. Nesbit. Can't believe I've never read any of Nesbit's books.
  • The Mabinogion, by Gwyn Jones. There are many editions and compilations of the traditional Welsh tales and legends. I think this is the version I've got on the Kindle. So much literature is based on these stories.
  • Magic or Not? and The Well-Wishers, by Edward Eager. Two books in his classic Tales of Magic series from the 1950s. I've read lots of Eager's books and loved every one of them.
  • The Mists of Avalon, by Marion Zimmer Bradley. Every year I say this will be the year I finally read this one, and every year it's just too much for me. Maybe this year?
  • Silver on the Tree, by Susan Cooper. The fifth and final book in her Dark is Rising series. Read the first four novels for past Once Upon a Time challenges. 
  • The Wind in the Willows, by Kenneth Grahame. Another of the many classic children's books I never read as a child -- or adult.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Teaser Tuesdays: A Saintly Killing

This week my teaser lines come from A Saintly Killing, by Martha Ockley. It's the third book in her "Faith Morgan" mystery series centering on an Anglican priest who's also a former policewoman in Winchester, England. I haven't actually started reading this one, but it's on my list for March. In this snippet, Faith has come upon local artist Sal Hinkley, collapsed on the ground beside her easel:
There were several dark, bluish-red marks on Sal's slim neck. Faith stared at them, and for an odd moment she thought they might be paint. But the painting on the easel, the view of St James's Church, was a different palate entirely....
Sal Hinkley had been strangled. (p.17)
Not yet twenty pages into the story, and already we've got a murder on our hands. So far, I like it.

Teaser Tuesdays is hosted by Jenn at A Daily Rhythm. If you'd like to read more teasers, or take part yourself, just head on over to her blog.

And please feel free to leave me a link to your Teaser Tuesday post in your comment here.

Monday, March 02, 2015

It's Monday! What Are You Reading?

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? is hosted by Sheila at Book Journey. If you want to let the world know what you're going to be reading this week, head on over to her blog and leave your link. It's also a great way to discover new books and new blogs.

So here we are -- first Monday in a brand new month. February wasn't such a great reading month for me. The weather was terrible, which shouldn't really affect my reading habits, I know. But when the sun disappears for weeks at a time, I get so depressed it's hard for me to settle down to any activity for very long, even reading. Mostly, I just walk around moaning about the winter and wondering when (oh, when) will it end.

But I did get a few books read in February (two novels and one novella), and if all goes well (and my seasonal affective disorder doesn't get any WORSE), I hope to get some reviews up this week.

● Books Read in February:

The Resurrection Maker, by Glenn Cooper

The Room, by Jonas Karlsson

The Third Man, by Graham Greene

Also hoping to finish up a couple more I started in February, but put aside.

● Reading now:

Let Sleeping Dogs Lie, by Rita Mae Brown

The Book of Illusions, by Paul Auster

After that, I've got a stack of ARCs that I really do need to get read and reviewed pretty quick -- no matter what the weather does. So I should stop moaning and get reading!