Thursday, May 13, 2010

Book Previews – in a multiple format

This post starts a few changes to regular occurring previews for incoming books for review. For ease and brevity we have decided to do a group preview of books which are not sent directly by the publisher, publicist, or author. I am thinking every several weeks or once a month? The information will be a bit less than the usual preview and will include publisher’s/Amazon’s book blurb, book stats, purchasing links, and perhaps some info and links for the author. Each group preview will also be linked to our personal review in case readers would like some more information about the book, or to purchase one that particularly interests you.

This Group Preview Contains:

  1. The Lovers – A Novel  by Vendela Vida
  2. The Lonely Polygamist – A Novel  by Brady Udal
  3. The Dark End of the Street - New Stories of Sex and Crime by Today’s Authors   Edited by Jonathan Santlofer and S. J. Rozen
  4. One Bloody Thing After Another  by Joey Cameau
  5. The Song of the Whales  by Uri Orlev
  6. The Handbook for Lightning Strike Survivors – A Novel  by Michelle Young Stone
  7. Alison’s Wonderland  by Alison Tyler


Amazon Book Stats:

  • The Lovers – A Novel
  • by Vendela Vida
  • Hardcover: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Ecco (June 22, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0060828390
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060828394
  • Genre: General Fiction

      About the Book:  Yvonne, recently widowed and the mother of grown twins, returns to Datça, the coastal village in Turkey where she and her husband honeymooned 24 years ago. She hopes to immerse herself in the warm sand and sea, and in memories of a better time in her life. But her plans are quickly complicated. Her Turkish landlord and his bold and intriguing wife have a curious marital agreement and are constant visitors to the home. And rather than being comforted by her memories, they begin to trouble her. Overwhelmed by her past and her environment, Yvonne clings to her newfound friendship with Ahmet, a young Turkish boy who sells shells at the local beach. With the boy as her guide, Yvonne gains new insight into her own grown children and begins to enjoy the shimmering sea and the relaxed pace of the Turkish coast. But a terrible accident throws her life into chaos, and her own sense of self into turmoil.

      With the crystalline voice, mordant humor, and depth of feeling for which her work has been so celebrated, Vendela Vida has crafted another unforgettable heroine in a beautiful and mysterious landscape.

      Author info link to Harper Collins; Amazon pre-purchasing links for US/UK/Canada.



      Amazon Book Stats:

      • The Lonely Polygamist – A Novel (ARC copy)
      • by Brady Udall
      • Hardcover: 602 pages
      • Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company; 1 edition (May 3, 2010)
      • Language: English
      • ISBN-10: 0393062627
      • ISBN-13: 978-0393062625
      • Genre: General Fiction/Humor 

      About the Book:   Golden Richards, husband to four wives, father to twenty-eight children, is having the mother of all midlife crises. His construction business is failing, his family has grown into an overpopulated mini-dukedom beset with insurrection and rivalry, and he is done in with grief: due to the accidental death of a daughter and the stillbirth of a son, he has c51rj0ryGEWL._SL160_ome to doubt the capacity of his own heart. Brady Udall, one of our finest American fiction writers, tells a tragicomic story of a deeply faithful man who, crippled by grief and the demands of work and family, becomes entangled in an affair that threatens to destroy his family’s future. Like John Irving and Richard Yates, Udall creates characters that engage us to the fullest as they grapple with the nature of need, love, and belonging.

      Beautifully written, keenly observed, and ultimately redemptive, The Lonely Polygamist is an unforgettable story of an American family—with its inevitable dysfunctionality, heartbreak, and comedy—pushed to its outer limits.

      Author Links – his website, and facebook page.   Amazon purchasing links for US/UK/Canada.

      Cover to the left is for the UK and Canada.



      Amazon Book Stats:

      • The Dark End of The Street – New Stories of Sex and Crime by Today’s Authors
      • Edited by Jonathan Santlofer and S. J. Rozen
      • Paperback: 304 pages
      • Publisher: Bloomsbury USA; Original edition (May 11, 2010)
      • Language: English
      • ISBN-10: 1596916834
      • ISBN-13: 978-1596916838
      • Genre: Mystery/Short Stories/Dark Fiction 

      About the Book:   In one fast-paced story, a strong and aggravated man considers the pretty woman at the bar while he fingers the knife in his pocket. But what becomes of his prey when they move to the bedroom? In another tale, a man remembers the victim of a ghastly murder who visited the same hair salon as he does. And a Don Juan of a protagonist has a hobby of marrying vulnerable women, getting access to their bank accounts, and then robbing them blind.

      But there is much more to this collection than dark-haired vixens and crimes of passion. Some stories are brooding, some twisted; some bring righteous satisfaction, some linger in the back of your mind. What is truly on display is an impressive collection of literary talent: a group of some of the best writers we have, weaving fresh and memorable stories from a pair of classic themes. Taken as a whole, they are a rare treat for fans of great fiction, whether it's high literature, good old-fashioned suspense, or anything in between. Original black-and-white art by artist/author Jonathan Santlofer completes this innovative, exciting, and irresistibly intriguing book.

      This collection features brand new fiction by: Madison Smart Bell, Lawrence Block, Stephen L. Carter, Lee Child, Michael Connelly, Lynn Freed, James Grady, Amy Hempel,  Janice Y.K. Lee,  Jonathan Lethem,  Laura Lippman.  Patrick McCabe,  Val McDermid,  Joyce Carol Oates,  Francine Prose,  Abraham Rodriguez, Jr.,  S.J. Rozan,  Jonathan Santlofer, and  Edmund White.

      This is a great line up of authors within the genre.

      Amazon purchasing links for US/UK/Canada.  

      (A big thanks to Shelf Awareness and the publishers of each of the three previous books for the review copies!)



      Amazon Book Stats:

      • One Bloody Thing After Another
      • by Joey Comeau
      • Paperback: 160 pages
      • Publisher: Ecw Press (March 22, 2010)
      • Language: English
      • ISBN-10: 1550229168
      • ISBN-13: 978-1550229165
      • Genre: Horror/Ghost Story

      About the Book:   Jackie has a map of the city on the wall of her bedroom, with a green pin for each of her trees. She has a first-kiss tree and a broken-arm tree. She has a car-accident tree. There is a tree at the hospital where Jackie’s mother passed away into the long good night. When one of them gets cut down, Jackie doesn't know what to do but she doesn't let that stop her. She picks up the biggest rock she can carry and puts it through the window of a car. Smash. She intends to leave before the police arrive, but they're early.

      Ann is Jackie’s best friend, but she’s got problems of her own. Her mother is chained up in the basement. How do you bring that up in casual conversation? "Oh, sorry I've been so distant, Jackie. My mother has more teeth than she’s supposed to, and she won't eat anything that’s already dead." Ann and her sister Margaret don't have much of a choice here. Their mother needs to be fed. It isn't easy but this is family. It’s not supposed to be easy. It'll be okay as long as Margaret and Ann still have each other.

      Add in a cantankerous old man, his powerfully stupid dog, a headless ghost, a lesbian crush and a few unsettling visits from Jackie’s own dead mother, and you'll find that One Bloody Thing After Another is a different sort of horror novel from the ones you're used to. It’s as sad and funny as it is frightening, and it is as much about the way families rely on each other as it is about blood being drooled on the carpet. Though, to be honest, there is a lot of blood being drooled on the carpet.

      Author Mini Bio: Joey Comeau is the author of Lockpick Pornography, Overqualified, and Too Late to Say I'm Sorry, as well as the popular web comic A Softer World. He lives in Toronto, Ontario.

      This book was recommended by Julie at kittyism is. (she and her blog are very cute – stop by and say hello.) Amazon purchasing links for US/UK/Canada.



      Amazon Book Stats:

      • The Song of The Whales
      • by Uri Orlev
      • Hardcover: 112 pages
      • Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Books for Children; 1 edition (April 12, 2010)
      • Language: English
      • ISBN-10: 054725752X
      • ISBN-13: 978-0547257525
      • Genre: Children’s Fantasy - Ages 9-12

      About the Book:   Michael’s grandfather has a secret—a secret that’s almost too strange to share . .

      When Michael moves to Israel, he leaves loneliness behind and steps into the light of his grandfather’s magic. Like a sorcerer’s apprentice, Michael learns how to blur the lines between dreams and reality when his grandfather hands down the most precious of gifts—a gift that allows Michael passage into his grandfather’s dreams.

      Written with a quiet simplicity that wins the reader over at once Uri Orlev writes in a style so sure and yet so unassuming that it is certain to linger in reader’s minds long after turning the last page.

      About the Author:  Uri Orlev (born Jerzy Henryk Orlowski in 1931) is an award-winning Israeli children's author and translator of Polish-Jewish origin. Born in Warsaw, Poland, he survived the war years in the Warsaw Ghetto and the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp (where he was sent after his mother was shot by the Nazis). After the war he moved to Israel. He began writing children's literature in 1976 and has since published over 30 books, which are often biographical. His books have been translated from Hebrew into 25 languages, while he himself has also translated Polish literature into Hebrew. One of his most famous books, which was also adapted as a play and as a film, is the semi-autobiographical The Island on Bird Street. In 1996 Orlev received the Hans Christian Andersen Award for children's literature.

      This books is a translation and I added the author’s information since it is pertinent to the book.

      Amazon purchasing links for US/UK/Canada.



      Amazon Book Stats:

      • The Handbook for Lightning Strike Survivors – A Novel
      • by Michelle Young Stone
      • Hardcover: 384 pages
      • Publisher: Shaye Areheart Books (April 13, 2010)
      • Language: English ISBN-10: 0307464474 ISBN-13: 978-0307464477
      • Genre: General Fiction

      Book Blurb:   On a sunny day in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, in 1977, Becca Burke, flame-haired daughter of Mary and Rowan Burke, was struck by lightning. She was eight years old. No one believed her, even when her Winnie-the-Pooh watch kept losing time and a spooky halo of light appeared over her head in every photograph taken after the strike. She was hit again when she was 16. Becca survived, but over time she would learn that out smarting lightning was the least of her concerns.

      Buckley R. Pitank never knew his real father, but his mother was the love of his life--until the day she was struck and killed by lightning on a boat in Galveston, Texas, just as they were making a new home far away from their troubled past. Reeling from the loss of the one person who truly understood him, Buckley returns to Mont Blanc, Arkansas, to live at the mercy of his mother's estranged husband, the Reverend John Whitehouse.When he finally escapes, Buckley's quest to understand the power of lightning will lead him around the country and into the heart of a young woman who once thought she was alone in the world.

      Author Info:  MICHELE YOUNG-STONE earned her MFA in fiction writing from Virginia Commonwealth University. Once, many years ago, she was struck by lightning in her driveway. She survived. Visit her at her blog, website.

      Purchasing links from Amazon for the US/UK/Canada.


       Amazon Book Stats: front-1

      • Alison’s Wonderland
      • By Alison Tyler
      • Paperback: 416 pages
      • Publisher: Spice; Original edition (July 1, 2010)
      • Language: English
      • ISBN-10: 0373605455 ISBN-13: 978-0373605453
      • Genre: Erotic Fairy Tale Retellings

      About Alison Tyler and her Book:   Over the past fifteen years, Alison Tyler has curated some of the genre's most sizzling collections of erotic fiction, proving herself to be the ultimate naughty librarian. With Alison's Wonderland, she has compiled a treasury of naughty tales based on fable and fairy tale, myth and legend: some ubiquitous, some obscure - all of them delightfully dirty.

      From a perverse prince to a vampire-esque Sleeping Beauty, the stars of these reimagined tales are - like the original protagonists - chafing at desire unfulfilled. From Cinderella to Sisyphus, mermaids to werewolves, this realm of fantasy is limitless and so very satisfying.

      Penned by such erotica luminaries as Shanna Germain, Rachel Kramer Bussel, N.T. Morley, Elspeth Potter, T.C. Calligari, D.L. King, Portia Da Costa and Tsaurah Litzsky, these bawdy bedtime stories are sure to bring you (and a friend) to your own happily-ever-after.

      Alison Tyler’s site is adorable – link here, her blogspot blog (but it is for adults only!)

      Pre purchasing links from Amazon for US/UK/Canada.

      (Thanks to Net Galley and the publishers whom have given access to the e-copies of each of the 4 above books for review – I do believe each are ARC – advanced review copies.)


      What do you think of the new combined preview format? any questions, suggestions, or thoughts? Most importantly which titles interest you most?

      Thanks for reading Layers of Thought.


      Alexia561 said...

      I like the new format! Am especially interested in seeing what you think about The Dark End of the Street, as I'm reading it now. Some of the stories I like, others...not so much.

      Haven't gotten The Handbook for Lightning Strike Survivors yet, but I'm tempted as it looks good!


      Unknown said...

      Alexia -
      We shall see with format. I am just so opposed to doing "in my mail box" - which actually would not be completely

      I saw that on goodread that you had started the sex crimes collection...
      Whats up with some of the stories too dark?

      There are so many on Net Galley... I could drown in a sea of pages...

      Charlie said...
      This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
      Crystal Posey said...

      Hi, Shellie! I saw your comment on my blog, thanks for dropping by. I like this blog you've got here! :)

      Unknown said...

      Hi Crystal -
      Thank you - I just changed the header today for fun :)

      I was liking the changes you just mad to yours recently. White is great and apparently better for retention!

      I was thinking too, I also have a challenge blog, which I have just taken over. Its for writers and authors and called The Basic Challenge.

      Its in an awkward stage right now but it would be great to get you to check it out and perhaps join in as a commenter or reader if not a participant?

      Here is the link:

      Thanks for stopping by!

      thesis writing said...
      This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
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