Friday, December 23, 2011

The Weed that Strings the Hangman’s Bag
by Alan Bradley
This was the other audiobook that I listened to on my road trip, but I didn’t get to finish it until I was wrapping Christmas presents yesterday. The wrapping task was made much more pleasant as I enjoyed the lilting British voice of Jayne Entwistle narrating this charming mystery told by a ten-year-old detective named Flavia de Luce. Flavia is far more cunning and brilliant than any ten (almost 11) year old has ever been! She can go where grown-ups would be suspect and snoop on everyone in the community without arousing suspicion. She can seem innocent while plotting to poison her older sisters. She can wrap her elders around her little finger!
Perhaps she is really Miss Marple reincarnated!
I loved it and will now look for more in the series.

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Be the Monkey – A Conversation About the New World of Publishing Between Barry Eisler and Joe Konrath
This is a three-part, live Google Docs discussion between authors J.A. Konrath and Barry Eisler. It examines the history and mechanics of the publishing industry as it exists today, analyzes the way the digital revolution reflects recent events in Egypt and the Maghreb, and considers a completely inappropriate YouTube video featuring a randy monkey and an unlucky frog. It reveals some pretty startling things and is available for free. Here’s a link where you can download this title:
The purpose of this discussion is to assist authors who are discouraged with traditional book publishing, and to encourage legacy publishers to changing their existing business patterns.
I downloaded this ebook and read it on my smart-phone. I found it to be extremely interesting, mildly amusing, and very instructive in the reality of how very little authors are making from traditional publishing contracts in an era when self-publishing is actually much more likely to pad their pocketbooks.

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American Thighs: The Sweet Potato Queens' Guide to Preserving Your Assets
by Jill Conner Browne
There is nothing better for a long road trip than a great audiobook to intrigue and entertain you as you drive. Last weekend I drove about 14 hours and was LOL throughout the first 8 ½ hours as I listened to Jill Conner Browne reading her book: American Thighs. As someone who is about the same age, I could thoroughly relate to Jill’s hilarious stories and “tips” for finding the joy in life. She refers to those under 40 as ‘larva’ and those who are past menopause as ‘geezers’. I would recommend this book to anyone who is a ‘geezer’ for a good laugh, and to those who are ‘larva’ for fair warning!

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Friday, December 09, 2011

This Dark Endeavor: the apprenticeship of Victor Frankenstein by Kenneth Oppel

I am one of those wimps who can’t stand to watch horror movies, but I have made it through the old “Frankenstein” movie starring Boris Karloff .
When I saw that this new YA novel by Oppel was about Frankenstein, my first impulse was to ignore it. A few weeks ago, however, I learned that this might be one of the novels being considered for the Michael Prinze Award for young adult fiction of 2011 Reluctantly, I began to read… but soon I became reluctant to put the story down. This account is much truer to Mary Shelley’s novel than any of the movies made by Hollywood. The names of these characters are straight out of the original classic and some other details follow the same pattern as Shelley’s novel.
Elizabeth is the love interest of twin brothers, Victor and Konrad. The young men are filled with lust for adventure and a recklessness that will certainly resonate with YA readers. Elizabeth can be a sweet, religious young woman in one moment and a daring feminist in the next. The tale has sensational moments of suspense and gore, but not so much that I couldn’t get through them. I am going to eagerly await the next installment, as Oppel absolutely must write more!

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