As many of you may know, I am no longer a New Yorker, so please check out my new blog A Library of My Own. If you are just reading Life and Times, you are missing out. Thanks!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

New Books

This past Monday I was invited by Harper Collins to meet and check out a new-to-me author Jo Nesbø, a crime writer from Norway who's books follow Detective Harry Hole.

He's become critically acclaimed in Europe and his books are now being translated into English. He's won the Glass Key Award in Europe and his book Nemesis was shortlisted for the 2010 Edgar Award for Best Novel.

I have to say I love the Edgar Award. Does any one know of a cool Edgar Award book challenge?

Anyway, I think these are going to be great books for my upcoming road trip. What do you think?

Friday, March 12, 2010

News and such

Hello all!

Sorry I've been so MIA lately. I have big news I want to share. My husband has decided to go back to school for his Ph.D. so we are going to be moving out of New York. Yikes!! I have to say I am so happy he's finding something he wants to do and perhaps place him in a teaching position or something along those lines. I am hopefully going to be in a position to finally get my foot in the library arena. I've recently received my Library and Information Science degree and can't wait to get my dive in.

So where are we going? Looks like I will be a new Kentuckian (is that how you say it?)!! We'll be near Mammoth Caves N.P. and pretty close to Nashville, Tennessee so I am very excited about all that. And our pups will hopefully have a back yard! We'll be leaving here late March and will be going on a little road trip to some fun National Parks and through Texas to see family. I will hopefully be posting photos as we go along. I also have a box of books to keep me company so I'll definitely be posting reviews as well.

What does this mean for this blog? I will keep posting here until probably sometime in May or June. Then I'll be switching over to a new blog. For those of you want to still keep up with whatever I am doing and reading, you can follow me over. If you want more NYC fun stuff, I'll make sure I point you to some great bloggers I've found.

I've noticed I have some new followers so to all my old and new friends, hello and welcome!

I want to give a big thanks to Al from Publish or Perish who gave me the Sunshine Award. If you don't know Al, he's a wonderful Australian blogger who takes amazing pictures of his place in the world and who's book Veiled in Shadows I am anxiously awaiting publication. Keep up the good work Al!
Put the logo on your blog in your post.
Pass the award onto 12 bloggers.
Link the nominees within your post.
Let the nominees know they have received this award by commenting on their blogs.
Share the love and link to the person from whom you received this award.

I have so many great people who constantly comment and say such encouraging remarks. I love reading their blogs as well so here's my list of people you should go check out.

Heather at Age 30+ a Lifetime of Books - A wonderful book blogger and mother who shares my love of the Wheel of Time series. Thanks for chatting with me the other day at That's How I Blog on Blog Talk Radio!

Jen at Devourer of Books - A wonderful book blogger who also joined in the chat. Thanks Jen!

She at A Book Blog. Period. - A prolific book blogger and an awesome commenter. Good luck with all your studies!

Vivienne at Serendipity - I love her beautiful blog and wonderful reviews. She always makes my day brighter with her comments.

Dennis the Vizsla - Dennis and his fun crazy family are always a treat to read about. Anna Bear and Charlie Dog say hello!

Diane at Bibliophile by the Sea - Love her reviews. Go read her blog now.

Brainella the Librarian - I love her brainy blog design and she never fails to crack me up. Got to love librarians!

Amy at Passages to the Past - A wonderful historical fiction blog who adds TBR books to my list all the time.

Aarti at BookLust - A gorgeous book blog with wonderful posts.

Andi at Estella's Revenge: Tripping Toward Lucidity - A teacher and book blogger who has a little one on the way.

Amanda at A Bookshelf Monstrosity - Also a librarian science student living in Tennessee. Hey! We'll be neighbors soon!

Stacy's Books and Movies - A great blog combining two of my favorite things: books and movies.

This isn't even close to everyone I want to mention, so a big "Thank you!" to everyone who make me smile as I read your blogs and comments.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Raven Stole the Moon - Garth Stein (Giveaway)

A short while back, I was asked to read and review Garth Stein's book Raven Stole the Moon. I thought it was his new novel but it is actually a reprint of a book he wrote some thirteen years ago. Since my husband and I really enjoyed reading The Art of Racing in the Rain (our joint review here), I jumped at the chance.

I don't want to have any spoilers so here's the story:

While vacationing at a resort in Alaska, Jenna and Robert Rosen lost their only young son in a boating accident and his body was never recovered. Two years later, back in Seattle, Jenna is still unable to come to terms with the guilt and grief over his death. After an angry fight with Robert, Jenna spontaneously drives to Bellingham where she catches the ferry to Alaska knowing she must deal with his death in her own way.

Jenna arrives in Wrangell, the home of her Tlingit grandmother who passed away years earlier. There she meets a few characters who help her search for answers to her son's death and disappearance including Eddie, an injured fisherman who develops quite the crush on Jenna. While searching for answers, Jenna becomes more and more a believer in the Tlingit lore and legend surrounding kushtaka spirits: shape-shifting otter spirits believed to steal the souls of lost people.

I am having a hard time deciding how I like this book. I liked it. I didn't love it. There were too many hard topics to make it really enjoyable but I was sucked into the story anyway. My husband said it's not as engaging as The Art of Racing in the Rain, but we both devoured the story anyway. When I wasn't reading the book, he was.

I think the biggest thing to note is that this is an older book of Garth Stein's and it shows in the writing which is not as fluid as The Art of Racing in the Rain. But I completely loved the Alaskan setting and the Tlingit spirit lore. Garth Stein is part Tlingit and I loved that he really put work into the Alaskan setting.

The hard part about reading this book is the topics of death, grief, and guilt and how they can wreck, ravage, and pull apart a family. It was a great book for discussion between my husband and I though. I found that I had more sympathy with the husband and thought Jenna was insanely selfish while my husband felt they were both mildly awful in their selfishness.

I searched around the web and found a Tlingit image of a kushtaka:

Here's the original cover of Raven Stole the Moon. I definitely like the newer one much better:

***An now for a GIVEAWAY!

Sarah at Terra Communications is letting me give away a copy of Raven Stole the Moon to one lucky U.S. or Canada resident. The contest is open through March 19th so good luck!

To enter, please post a comment with your email address or blog so I know how to get a hold of you.

Also reviewed by: