April 23, 2015

Carry On Cover


And here it is! The cover for Rainbow Rowell's upcoming Simon Snow novel Carry On. I've spent a not inconsiderable amount of time wondering just what direction they would take this cover and I find myself both surprised and satisfied. In some ways it reminds of me the hardback Attachments cover. Rowell mentions that she wanted a cover that "made me feel a little nervous." Done and done, St. Martin's. I'm anxious, excited, nervous, pretty much all the emotions. Carry On is due out October 6th. Who else will be there the moment their bookstore opens (or conversely, have you already pre-ordered)?

April 21, 2015

The Books of My Numberless Dreams, or Angie's Top 10 18 All Time Favorite Authors

Top Ten Tuesday is a bookish meme hosted @ The Broke and the Bookish

Normally I break out in hives when people ask me what my favorite book/s is/are or who my favorite author/s is/are. My oldest does this to me on a regular basis just to see me twitch. But (very) occasionally, I find myself tempted to see if I can survive having a go at whittling the giant horde down to ten or eighteen (shut up) absolute faves. Like would run back into the burning house favorites. And since this is authors and not single books, I'm not quite as close to hyperventilation as might otherwise be the case. So—despite the fact that not a one of these will surprise you, I mean my husband could probably rattle this list off with his eyes closed—my favorite authors of all time (in alphabetical order by last name). Do we share any?

See my Beloved Bookshelf for individual titles/series by each of these.


Lloyd Alexander

Jane Austen

Kristin Cashore

Susan Cooper

Charles Dickens

Madeleine L'Engle

C.S. Lewis

Juliet Marillier

Robin McKinley

Rainbow Rowell

J.K. Rowling

William Shakespeare

Sharon Shinn

Maggie Stiefvater

Mary Stewart

Megan Whalen Turner

Cynthia Voigt

Ellen Emerson White

April 9, 2015

Rainbow Bright Pretties


These bright rainbow colors just make me happy and put me in the mood for spring (even though it's currently sleeting outside). I've never read any of these authors before, but wow did they luck out in the cover department. Also titles. I can only imagine the rounds authors, editors, publishers, etc. go in selecting just the right title, but I like all of these. I'm particularly fond of '89 Walls.

Re Jane by Patricia Park
The early buzz on this one is quite good, and I am nothing if not a sucker for a Jane Eyre retelling, especially when it features contemporary issues of family, race, and culture. Highly anticipated.
Due out May 5th

First & Then by Emma Mills
Hm. A novel of first impressions proving problematic, involving football and family and secret crushes. Tell me more. That cover, though . . .
Due out October 13th

'89 Walls by Katie Pierson
1989. Politics. Blue collar boy. College-bound girl. Doomed romance in small-town Nebraska. It's like they're making a laundry list of my catnip, people.
Due out June 5th

March 30, 2015

Review | The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller

I've been sitting on a review of The Song of Achilles for some time now. And it's simply another case of me worrying I won't do justice not just to the book, but to (perhaps even more importantly) my feelings for the book. I was attempting to do just that a number of nights ago with a friend, and wound up choked up and slipping the tears from my eyes as I touched on a scene of inevitable sorrow. My emotions continue to ride ever so close to the surface with this book, with Patroclus and Achilles. I stayed away from Madeline Miller's debut novel for awhile for several reasons, among them my fear of said sorrow as well as the usual concern when one comes to a retelling of characters and stories one loves. But eventually that coverthe gold foil, you guys, the glorious gold foiland the parade of ecstatic reviews got to me enough that I grabbed a copy the next time I was at the library and settled down that night to see.

Patroclus has always led the uneasiest of lives. Disparaged for his slight build and his relative weakness in comparison to his father, he has been a somewhat second-class citizen in his own father's court. Then one day an accident occurs and a young nobleman dies as a result. Patroclus is deemed at fault and so is exiled to be fostered in the realm of the legendary King Peleus. It is there that he meets Peleus' song Achilles. Achilles is everything Patroclus wishes he could be, bright and brave and the most talented of warriors where Patroclus is dull and shy and physically inferior. Which is why no one is more shocked than Patroclus when Achilles takes him as his personal companion. And so the two young boys form the fastest of friendships as they live together, train together, and run wild through the olive groves together. But through it all they can never seem to escape the shadow of the coming war or the prophecy that Achilles would go on to become the greatest hero the Greeks had ever known.
If I had had words to speak such a thing, I would have. But there were none that seemed big enough for it, to hold that swelling truth.

As if he had heard me, he reached for my hand. I did not need to look; his fingers were etched into my memory, slender and petal-veined, strong and quick and never wrong,

"Patroclus," he said. He was always better with words than I.
This is the part where I confess I was vastly unprepared for the depth of feeling this novel would incite. I have been enamored of Greek mythology basically as far back as I can remember, and I recall with perfect clarity the chills that ran down my spine the first time I read the opening lines of The Iliad. I've read a number of retellings since, but I realized few of them worked hard to make Achilles sympathetic. Or at least more sympathetic than Hector. And while each incarnation left me impressed with Achilles' grandeur, I remained always firmly in Hector's camp. The Song of Achilles is told entirely from Patroclus' perspective, and his mind is as sharp and perceptive as his friend's body is honed and agile. The result is an extremely nuanced portrait of both young men. I savored the opportunity to watch them grow up together, to see Achilles handle the heavy layers of expectation and destiny, to watch how he dealt with his human father and his immortal mother. Thetis is a force to be reckoned with and I, like Patroclus, worried about the depth of her influence over Achilles. As ever with this epic tale, the question of which force will hold sway in the end is a desperate one. It's impossible to shake the feeling of dread while reading, but Miller does such a fine job of allowing you to soak up those golden moments leading up to the war, to come to know and love both Achilles and Patroclus enough that you understand why they make the choices they do in the end. And I can honestly say that my knowing what was coming in no way impeded my experience, the words were that expertly chosen and woven together with a level of skill that left my cup full to the brim.
The sorrow was so large it threatened to tear through my skin. When he died, all things swift and beautiful and bright would be buried with him. I opened my mouth, but it was too late.

"I will go," he said. "I will go to Troy."

The rosy gleam of his lip, the fevered green of his eyes. There was not a line anywhere on his face, nothing creased or graying; all crisp. He was spring, golden and bright. Envious Death would drink his blood, and grow young again.

He was watching me, his eyes as deep as earth.

"Will you come with me?" he asked.

The never-ending ache of love and sorrow. Perhaps in some other life I could have refused, could have torn my hair and screamed, and made him face his choice alone. But not in this one.
What an exquisite agony reading The Song of Achilles was. I wept more than once. But the sorrow was handled well, in such a way as to allow it its full and brutal impact before winding to a close so beautiful I felt the breath leave my lungs. How I loved them. Patroclus and his brilliant Achilles.

Buy

Linkage
The Allure of Books - "If you’re interested in mythology, war or just a great love story – pick this up and prepare to be amazed."
The Book Smugglers - "My own plea is that you read this book immediately."

March 26, 2015

Cover Reveal: All for You by Laura Florand

Forget what I said before about pacing ourselves when it comes to upcoming pretties. We are just gonna go ahead and switch over our regular programming to All Covers All The Time. And today's reveal is an absolute delight. You all know how I feel about Laura Florand's Amour et Chocolat books, which is to say roughly how I feel about a box of delicate macarons, a cup of rich hot chocolate, and a plane ticket to Paris—put them in my hands. So that's why I was over the moon to hear Laura is launching a whole new series set in Paris and featuring three young women attempting to make their way in the male-dominated world of French haute cuisine. All for You focuses on Célie who was Dom's chef chocolatier in The Chocolate Touch, which thing fills me with glee. Because snippets of Dom!
Some crushes aren’t meant to be

When her older brother’s best friend left to join the Foreign Legion, eighteen-year-old Célie moved on to make a life for herself as a Paris chocolatier. Now, five years later, the last thing she needs is another man to mess up her happiness.

Let alone the same man.

But five years in the Foreign Legion is a long time for a man to grow up, and a long time to be away from
the woman he loves.

Especially when he did it all for her.

Half strangers, more than friends, and maybe, if Joss Castel has his way, a second chance…

Coming May 5, 2015!
PRAISE FOR LAURA FLORAND’S NOVELS:
“Chocolate, Paris, and a Greek god for a hero; this delectable confection has it all!” – Library Journal Starred Review
“(Florand) captures the nature of love, its fierce, soul-warming necessity, in a way that will make you as happy as the finest bonbon could.” – Eloisa James, The Barnes & Noble Review, a Best Book of 2013 selection
“Florand outdoes herself with this exquisite confection… painstakingly crafted and decadent as the sweets it portrays, leaving the reader longing for just one little taste.” – Publishers Weekly Starred Review
“Adorable, charming, whimsical.” – Smexy Books
“Florand serves up a mouth-watering tale of slow-burning passion and combustible consummation that’s as perfectly crafted as the hero’s surprisingly complex confections and as silky and addictive as the heroine’s dark chocolat chaud.”–RT Book Reviews, 4.5 stars, TOP PICK!, RT Seal of Excellence, RT Reviewers Choice nomination Best Book of 2013
“A delectable summer bonbon.” – NPR Books
“This is one of the cleverest, most persuasive enemies-to-lovers stories I’ve read in a long time.” – Dear Author, RECOMMENDED READ 

March 24, 2015

A Curious Beginning Cover

Normally, I like to space out the book cover posts a tad. But I simply couldn't wait with this gorgeous cover (her dress . . . the fog . . . gah) just being revealed for A Curious Beginning—the first book in Deanna Raybourn's upcoming Victorian mystery series. The series follows Veronica Speedwell—a scientist with a taste for adventure. There is an enigmatic German baron, a bad-tempered historian named Stoker, murder, mayhem, oh my. A Curious Beginning is due out September 1st. Yippee!