Young Adult Recommends: Empire of Shadows

October 13, 2014

Empire of Shadows
by Miriam Forster
18716722Three years after she was exiled from her tribe, Mara has graduated from the Order of Khatar and is ready to pledge herself to someone and protect them until death. After a strange turn of events, she finds herself as the bodyguard of a noblewoman in the Empire’s capital. But when it becomes more dangerous than Mara expected, she will have to come to terms with her past in order to save her future. A high-stakes adventure in a beautifully imagined world, Empire of Shadows is the heart-pounding prequel to City of a Thousand Dolls, though it can also be read as a stand-alone novel.

-Julia

 

HarperCollins, 2014, 496 pages,
This book will be available on November 4, 2014


Young Adult Recommends: Frostborn

July 22, 2014
Frostborn
by Lou Anders
18301308Thianna and Karn are from two different worlds. Thianna is half human, half frost giantess, and feels like she doesn’t belong. Karn is a human boy who doesn’t want to learn how to run a farm, and would rather play the board game Thrones and Bones. The two of them quickly become friends after they are forced to flee into the harsh Norrongard wilderness. Frostborn is the first book in a Norse-inspired fantasy series that has everything from trolls to dragons to the walking dead.

-Julia

Crown Books, 2014, 352 pages, $16.99
This book will be published on August 5, 2014


Young Adult Recommends: One Past Midnight

June 25, 2014

“One Past Midnight”

by Jessica Shirvington

9780802737021

Sabine has a secret. She lives two lives. Every night, at exactly midnight, she “shifts” and lives each day twice. All Sabine wants is to have one life, but to do so she must give up the other. This book has a powerful message about being happy with what you have. Sabine’s tale will have readers absorbed in it, and leave them wondering what will happen next.

-Julia

Available July 22, 2014
Bloomsbury,2014, 352 pages, $17.99


A Therapy Session of Sorts

May 22, 2013

by Louis Borgenicht

My trainer, whom I work with once a week, calls me a recreational overachiever. Initially I thought it was because it seemed to him that I simply did too much to avoid doing something constructive, but when I asked him what he meant, he suggested that with all of my recreational pursuits there was a common theme.

I play tennis twice a week, golf once or twice, fly fish, ride my road bike, and nap. His contention is that I am not at all competitive; I simply enjoy them. I do not need to win, never keep score in golf, enjoy the moment when I am fishing, don’t care if someone passes me on the bike, and wallow in the pleasure of a short nap.

All of which may explain why my reading suffers. So the other day I stopped in at The King’s English for a little therapy from Jan and Anne. I parked in the 15 minute slot across the street. I figured that I could only afford a short session rather than the de rigueur 50-minute therapeutic hour.

“I need some therapy,” I said making eye contact only with Anne. Jan and I have a long-standing sardonic relationship.

They both laughed though.

“I am currently reading a month old issue of The New Yorker and have a ten inch stack of the New York Times Magazine. Plus about fifty articles I have saved on my Mac, not to mention the book, People Who Eat Darkness, on my bed stand.”

“Yes.”

“Well, I feel guilty about not devoting as much time to reading as I do to anything else,” I said.

Anne said, “Get rid of your New York TImes Magazines. Just toss them out.”

“But there might be really interesting articles in them,” I said, feeling a sense of expectation. I live my life through the phrase “but what if?” My glass is usually half full.

Jan simply watched the evolving conversation but I knew what she would have had to say.

The meter maid had not come by to to ticket me for overtime parking but I was getting nervous that my session was nearly over.

I knew that I would have a hard time tossing out something as august as the New York TImes Magazine.

I turned to both Anne and Jan and said, “I think I need to program my time better. You know maybe give up a golf game.” I knew I would not be able to do it.

Then Jan said, “Yeah, maybe you will have time to read Anna Karenina.”

I looked at my smart phone; my fifteen minutes was up. Thank god.


Nose for Books

February 12, 2013

by Louis Borgenicht

Back in the day paperbacks had a very definite smell. I was going to write “odor” but that connotes something noxious and “olfactory” is too technical. It was a smell, sometimes characteristic enough to encourage to buy the book on that basis alone. It did not last long; you had to read the book shortly after purchase to glean the full experience.

None of the unique smells are describable at least from the distance of fifty years, but each of them was distinctive. My favorite was Bantam paperbacks. At one point in the mid-seventies I had convinced the publisher that I had the (then) equivalent of a blog and that I reviewed books. Thus I would receive a box of newly published Bantam books and would open the box with literary expectation; it was redolent with my favorite paperback smell.

The books were a mix: fiction, non-fiction, self-help, The Best Jewish Jokes, etc. Receiving freshly minted Bantam paperbacks were one thing but their smell was another. I never really got high from sniffing, but the smell was always reassuring.

Ballantine Books, publishers of tales of adventure and escape (e.g. Paul Brickhill’s The Great Escape), also had a distinct but evanescent smell. It did not last that long. Penguin Books were odorless, perhaps because they were published in Britain back in the day. Crest paperbacks probably had a smell that I cannot recall.

Bantam was indubitably my favorite.

Nowadays books don’t smell. Sometimes they are hardly even books (see Kindle, Nook and Kobo).

IMAG0546Editor’s note: And for something completely different this Valentine’s Day…book-scented perfume! The perfect gift for the consummate book lover is from Steidl Publishers in Germany. Paper Passion: Perfume For Booklovers at $98 may be just the thing for the person who loves their e-reader but misses the smell of the written word! Perfect to pair with your new Kobo eReader.