Monday, December 31, 2012

Happy New Year 2013!

Wishing all of you the best for 2013.
 Health and happiness foremost.
This is the time of year when we all swear off excesses, but books are the one excess I have no interest in swearing off!
Happy New Year!

Friday, December 28, 2012

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Over the Counter # 143

I love tiny things, so it's no wonder that Tiny Food Party! by Teri Lyn Fisher and Jenny Park caught my eye passing over the library counter and under my scanner.

And if you're hosting or attending a New Year's Eve party - there's lots of fun ideas for appetizers!

From the publisher Quirk Books:

"In Tiny Food Party! Jenny Park and Teri Lyn Fisher share dozens of quick and easy recipes for bite-size munchies. Use mini-cupcake tins to bake up sweet little Two-Bite Cheesecakes. Turn thin slices of sweet shallots into dainty Little Onion Rings. Fill small rectangles of dough with strawberry jam, and you’ve got adorable Mini Homemade Pop Tarts! With full-color photographs of every recipe—plus tips and tricks for “downsizing” all your favorite foods—Tiny Food Party! is a celebration that everyone will want to attend!"

(Over the Counter is a regular feature at A Bookworm's World. I've sadly come the realization that I cannot physically read every book that catches my interest as it crosses over my counter at the library. But... I can mention them and maybe one of them will catch your eye as well. See if your local library has them on their shelves!)

Monday, December 24, 2012

'Twas The Night Before Christmas - Clement Clarke Moore

" 'Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house
Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse;
The stockings were hung by the chimney with care,
In hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there;
The children were nestled all snug in their beds,
While visions of sugar-plums danced in their heads;
And mamma in her 'kerchief, and I in my cap,

Had just settled down for a long winter's nap,
When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from the bed to see what was the matter.
Away to the window I flew like a flash,
Tore open the shutters and threw up the sash.
The moon on the breast of the new-fallen snow
Gave the lustre of mid-day to objects below,
When, what to my wondering eyes should appear,
But a miniature sleigh, and eight tiny reindeer,
With a little old driver, so lively and quick,
I knew in a moment it must be St. Nick.
More rapid than eagles his coursers they came,
And he whistled, and shouted, and called them by name;
"Now, Dasher! now, Dancer! now, Prancer and Vixen!
On, Comet! on Cupid! on, Donder and Blitzen!
To the top of the porch! to the top of the wall!
Now dash away! dash away! dash away all!"
As dry leaves that before the wild hurricane fly,
When they meet with an obstacle, mount to the sky,
So up to the house-top the coursers they flew,
With the sleigh full of toys, and St. Nicholas too.
And then, in a twinkling, I heard on the roof
The prancing and pawing of each little hoof.
As I drew in my head, and was turning around,
Down the chimney St. Nicholas came with a bound.
He was dressed all in fur, from his head to his foot,
And his clothes were all tarnished with ashes and soot;
A bundle of toys he had flung on his back,
And he looked like a peddler just opening his pack.
His eyes -- how they twinkled! his dimples how merry!
His cheeks were like roses, his nose like a cherry!
His droll little mouth was drawn up like a bow,
And the beard of his chin was as white as the snow;
The stump of a pipe he held tight in his teeth,
And the smoke it encircled his head like a wreath;
He had a broad face and a little round belly,
That shook, when he laughed like a bowlful of jelly.
He was chubby and plump, a right jolly old elf,
And I laughed when I saw him, in spite of myself;
A wink of his eye and a twist of his head,
Soon gave me to know I had nothing to dread;
He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work,
And filled all the stockings; then turned with a jerk,
And laying his finger aside of his nose,
And giving a nod, up the chimney he rose;
He sprang to his sleigh, to his team gave a whistle,
And away they all flew like the down of a thistle.
But I heard him exclaim, ere he drove out of sight,
"Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good-night."

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Winner - Patagonia Giveaway

And the lucky winner of the e-book of her choice from

And she has chosen Closer to the Ground.
Congratulations! I've emailed you to confirm.

Friday, December 21, 2012

The Boy in the Snow - M. J. McGrath

The Boy in the Snow is the second book in M. J. McGrath's Edie Kiglatuk mystery series - the follow up to her very successful fiction debut novel White Heat.

Edie is a wonderfully unique protagonist. She is half Inuit, half white and makes her home on remote Ellesmere Island, Nunavut, working as a guide. She has travelled 'down south' to Alaska with Sergeant Derek Palliser to support her ex-husband/his friend Sammy in his bid to run the Iditarod. But while out on a drive, Edie stumbles across the body of a baby, left in the forest. Her reporting the body to the police is only the beginning of her involvement - she can't let it rest and begins to investigate on her own - with the help of Derek.

Edie is canny, intuitive, dogged, determined and just a really engaging and different character. McGrath has chosen unique settings and backgrounds as well. McGrath has written non fiction on the displacement of Canadian Inuit. Her fiction narrative carries detail and descriptions that utilize that knowledge very effectively. Customs, culture and language and the landscape all play an important role in McGrath's story.

The plotting of the mystery in The Boy in the Snow is excellent as well - corrupt politicians, age old religious sects and more. But, this is truly a character driven series - one I will be adding to my must read list.

I chose to listen to this book. Now the reader was Kate Reading - not one of my favorites as I dislike her habit of drawing out her words. (She just narrated Cornwell's The Bone Bed) But it didn't bother me as much this time - I think because I was quite engrossed in both the story and the characters. Read an excerpt of The Boy in the Snow.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Over the Counter #142

What books caught my eye this week as they passed over the library counter and under my scanner? Well, it's December, so Christmas books made me stop and browse!

First up was The Farm Chicks Christmas  - Merry Ideas for the Holidays by Serena Thompson.

From the publisher Country Living:

"For Farm Chick Serena Thompson, Christmas means a house overflowing with ornaments, lights, and cherished treasures, and the aroma of baking cookies to welcome family and friends. Here, she shows us how to spread the magic of the season, with ideas for entertaining, decorating, tree trimming, charming crafts, and 17 recipes for yummy holiday sweets - plus tips for wrapping food and gifts.

As in The Farms Chicks in the Kitchens, Serena weaves delightful stories of her family and friends throughout the book, calling forth nostalgic smiles that remind us of the importance of tradition as this special time of the year."

Next up was Sweet Christmas by Sharon Bowers.

From the publisher Stewart, Tabori and Chang:

"Sweet Christmas puts the holidays back into the family kitchen with 100 recipes and projects for holiday treats for parents and children to make together. The recipes are easy to make, don’t require special equipment, and are accompanied by lush color photographs. From real homemade candy (peppermint fudge, pulled ribbon candy, sugared pecans) to edible decorations for the tree (stained glass cookies, Rice Krispie snowmen, chocolate Santa mice) to handmade gifts for special people (golden caramel sauce, dark chocolate truffles, Christmas pudding bonbons), this beautiful and inspiring book even has recipes for Christmas morning: buttery pull-apart bread in a caramel glaze, sticky buns, orange-butter pancakes, and hot maple doughnuts."

(Over the Counter is a regular feature at A Bookworm's World. I've sadly come the realization that I cannot physically read every book that catches my interest as it crosses over my counter at the library. But... I can mention them and maybe one of them will catch your eye as well. See if your local library has them on their shelves!)

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Blind Fury - Lynda La Plante

Yes, I did just review a Lynda LaPlante title recently. (Blood Line - my review) That was my first introduction to the Detective Inspector Anna Travis series. Well, I was in need of an audio book to listen to, so I thought I would download the previous book - Blind Fury.

DI Travis is called in when a young woman's body is found in a ditch by a highway service station. With the amount of traffic passing through and by, finding a suspect will be difficult. But when further investigation turns up another young woman killed in the same manner, the team realizes they may have a serial killer on their hands. But what they don't have is any clues. Convicted killer Cameron Walsh insists he has information to share - but he will only talk to Anna - the copper who put him behind bars.

The reader was Kim Hicks. Her voice was excellent, providing lots of different voices and accents for various characters.

It's always different listening to a book rather than reading. Unless you fast forward, you hear every word. If you're reading, it's possible to skim over some passages. I enjoyed the plotting in Blind Fury crime and the solid investigation by the team. What I did find a bit tiresome was Anna's love life in this book. It was all a bit swoony for me. Now, I will rarely go backwards in a series as I find it frustrating to already know what's going to happen and where the character is going. And in this case, I was right. I knew what the shock was going to be in the final chapters and it did spoil the book a bit for me.

So, will I read/listen to another Anna Travis book? Yes, as I really enjoyed Blood Line. But I won't be hunting down any others in the back list. Read an excerpt of Blind Fury.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

The Mystery of Mercy Close - Marian Keyes

Irish writer Marian Keyes is a best selling author on both sides of the pond. I quite enjoyed her last book - The Brightest Star in the Sky. (my review)

So I picked up her latest novel - The Mystery of Mercy Close, expecting another fun read.

Helen Walsh couldn't find a job she could stick with until she got her private investigator's license. But jobs are hard to come by lately and her finances are suffering. So much so, that she's lost her job and has had to move back home with her parents. The one bright spot is her new boyfriend Artie, who also works in law enforcement. When her old boyfriend Jay approaches her with a missing persons gig, she takes the job - she desperate for cash.

Okay, does this whole set up/character sound familiar to anyone else? Yeah, me too.

Keyes's lead character Helen is a little darker though - she suffers from depression and anxiety and her mental state is very much a part of the plotting. Upon further investigation, I discovered that Keyes herself suffers from major depression. So the inclusion of this made a little more sense.

Keyes is known for her chick lit stories that do incorporate some darker themes (abuse was part of the plot of a previous book) I did like Helen's dark sense of humour - her shovel (not bucket) list was fun. "It's more of a conceptual thing. It's a list of all the people and things I hate so much that I want to hit them in the face with a shovel." There's some steamy romance of course with Artie, some generational humour with her parents, some sibling interaction that's amusing. The Walsh sisters are excellent characters.  The mystery part of things wasn't too hard to figure out. So, all the elements seem to be there for a good read - but sadly, it was just okay for me.  I found myself picking it up and down over the course of a couple of weeks as it didn't really hold my attention. And, at five hundred pages, it felt like it was dragged out too long. And I feel bad...'cause I really wanted to like it more.

You can find Marian Keyes on Twitter.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Astray - Emma Donoghue

My first Emma Donoghue book was The Woman Who Gave Birth to Rabbits - a short story collection built on historical tidbits and facts that was released in 2002. I've enjoyed many more titles from Donoghue since - Slammerkin remains a favorite. I was thrilled to see that her latest book Astray was again a collection of short stories with their origins found in obscure historical realities.

In this latest collection Donoghue explores all the ways a life, a person, a path can go astray...." on and off, for the past decade and a half, I've been writing stories about travels to, within, and occasionally from the United States and Canada. Most of these travelers are real people who left traces in the historical record; a few are characters I've invented to put a face on real incidents of border crossing. Many of them stray in several senses, when in the course of their journeys across geographical and political boundaries they find themselves stepping over other ones: law, sex, or race. Emigrants, immigrants, adventurers, and runaways - they fascinate me because they loiter on the margins, stripped of the markers of family and nation; they're out of place, out of their depth."

The places and times of the stories in Astray are varied, ranging from London to New York to Texas to Canada and more  and ranging from the 1600's to the 900's.  Donoghue is able to write with different voices and outlooks, providing a fresh and unique outlook with every exploration.

It's hard to pick favourites, but I think Counting the Days - the story of a reluctant emigre and her husband who went ahead stayed with me. As did The Gift - a series of letters from a mother trying to find her child.

I absolutely adored this book. Each story was a little glimpse into a life gone before - a reminder of a life, a moment, a time. At the end of each, Donoghue provides us with the 'real' details - the names, the times and the places that these people inhabited. I found myself stopping after each tale, savouring what I'd read and wondering about what might have happened next for those captured by Donoghue's imagination. In a few cases, my interest piqued, I went online and did some research of my own. And, I also stopped in an effort to make the book last longer - I didn't want it to end. Looking for a book to spend that gift card on? Look no further. Read an excerpt of Astray.

You can find Emma Donoghue on Twitter and on Facebook.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Over the Counter #141

It's a busy time of the year and my reading has slowed you, dear reader, get an extra helping of Over the Counter this week!

What book caught my eyes this week as it passed over the library counter and under my scanner?

Imagining Canada:  A Century of Photographs Preserved by The New York Times. William Morassutti, Editor. (Ironic though - an American paper preserving Canadian photos....)

From the publisher Doubleday Canada:

"Sophisticated and well-curated, this photographic tour through Canada's history documents the nation's evolution over more than a century, as seen through the lens of photographers from The New York Times. The book compiles more than 100 iconic, momentous and inspiring images of Canada and includes ten commentary pieces from a range of important thinkers, historians and writers, including National Chief Shawn Atleo, MP Justin Trudeau, historians Charlotte Gray, Peter C. Newman and Tim Cook, and sports columnist Stephen Brunt. Through these pages and images, which represent a portal in time, a portrait of Canada emerges, not as seen by its own citizens, but as viewed through a distinctly American lens.
The book includes photos arranged according to the following themes:
• The Battlefield: Canada at War
• Aboriginal People
• The Changing Face of Canadian Society—Our Immigration Story
• Landscape
• The Political Arena
• Industry
• The War Machine: How the Homefront Supplied the Wars
• Hockey
• Icons (Stars, Sports Heroes, Political Figures, Royalty)"
(Over the Counter is a regular feature at A Bookworm's World. I've sadly come to the realization that I cannot physically read every book that catches my interest as it crosses over my counter at the library. But...I can mention them and maybe one of them will catchy your eye as well. See if your local library has them on their shelves!)

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Over the Counter #140

What book caught my eye this week as it passed over the library counter and under my scanner? Well, I admit I was craving something sweet at the time, so the Field Guide to Candy by Anita Chu caught my eye. So did the subtitle - How to Identify and Make Virtually Every Candy Imaginable. Make?! Hmm, further investigation needed.....

From the publisher Quirk Books:

"What puts the crunch in buttercrunch toffee? How do you cook the perfect raspberry chocolate truffle? What’s the secret to making lollipops and lemon drops? Discover these answers and more in Field Guide to Candy, a handy pocket reference to more than 100 recipes, complete with serving suggestions and fascinating historical trivia (in the 1940s, gumdrop cakes were among the most popular desserts in America).

Field Guide to Candy includes traditional favorites and exotic treats from all over the world, everything from peanut butter cups and salt-water taffy to Pastelia (Greek honey candy) and Turkish Delight. Each candy is photographed in glorious full color, with step-by-step instructions on how to prepare, make, serve, and store your creations. Yummy homemade confections are just minutes away with Field Guide to Candy in your pantry!"

(Over the Counter is a regular feature at A Bookworm's World. I've sadly come to the realization that I cannot physically read every book that catches my interest as it crosses over my counter at the library. But...I can mention them and maybe one of them will catchy your eye as well. See if your local library has them on their shelves!)

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Blessed Are Those Who Thirst - Anne Holt

I first 'discovered Anne Holt when I read the Edgar nominated 1222 featuring recurring protagonist Hanne Wilhelmsen last year. (and loved it! - my review)

Holt is a Norwegian author and started the Hanne series in 1993. Holt has worked for the Oslo P.D., as a lawyer and a journalist and news anchor as well. This extensive background has added much authenticity to this crime series. The first books featuring Hanne are just being released to North American markets this year. Blessed Are Those Who Thirst is the second in the series.

Oslo Detective Inspector Hanne Wilhelmsen and her colleagues are sweating it out - both figuratively and literally. Oslo is in the middle of a heat wave and crime rate is rising with the thermometer. Hanne is called out to investigate an abandoned shed - covered in blood with a series of cryptic number written on the wall. There's no body and until testing is carried out, no indication it is human blood. Hanne's caseload increases when she is given another crime to investigate - that of a brutal rape. But the rape clearance rate in Norway is appalling. And the victim and her father are aware of that....Then another blood soaked scene and set of numbers is discovered....

I was so enamoured of the middle aged Hanne in 1222 that it was a bit of a shock to encounter a young Hanne. But I enjoyed seeing the beginnings of this character - her interactions with fellow cops, her complicated relationship with her sexuality and her partner. Her initial enthusiasm has not been replaced by the cynicism that will come by 1222. What hasn't changed is Hanne's pursuit of the truth, her keen sense of observation and her dedication to justice.

Holt has two story lines running perpendicular - that of Hanne's investigation and personal life and that of the rape victim and her father. Both are intriguing. but also handled with thoughtful introspection. Holt successfully combines credible plotting with an engaging lead, as well as some social commentary, to produce an excellent read. I did find the translation a little stilted in the beginning, but it certainly didn't detract from my enjoyment of the book.

Now, normally I won't go back to the beginning of a series if I've read the latest. In Holt's case, I will be making an exception. I'm quite taken with this series and will be watching for the next release. See for yourself - read an excerpt of Blessed Are Those Who Thirst.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

The Art Forger - B. A. Shapiro

The Art Forger marks B.A. Shapiro's fiction debut.

Now I must admit, I have very little knowledge of the art world. So I honestly wasn't sure if I was going to enjoy this book or not.

What I found fascinating was that Shapiro wove her story around actual historical figures and events. In 1990 the Gardner Museum was robbed of a number of significant art works.  They have never been recovered. The works were collected by Isabelle Stewart Gardner - a woman who lived life on her own terms.

Shapiro's narrator and main character is painter Claire Roth. She survived a scandal personally, but the professional fallout has left her 'reproducing' famous art works for a living. When a well known gallery owner approaches her about reproducing a famous work in exchange for a show of her own work, she hesitates - but agrees. The work she'll be copying is one of Degas's - and one stolen from the Gardner. Or is it?

Shapiro's research has been carefully carried out. She describes the atmosphere, the smell, the process of painting with great detail and passion. I did actually learn quite a bit during my read, but at the end did find myself glossing over some of these passages as they seemed to cover ground already discussed. The same  process is covered multiple times.

Shapiro uses flashbacks very effectively. In bits and pieces we learn what happened to Claire three years ago and what led to her current situation.  As that story unfolds, it seems that history may be repeating itself. Has Claire made the same tragic mistakes yet again?

The third storyline is told in 1880's letters from Isabelle to her niece - her only confidant. The mystery of the current day missing paintings might be found in these missives. But, have they survived the years? I really enjoyed these letters.

But somehow, I never felt I connected with Claire on a personal level. I had a hard time buying her relationship with Aiden the gallery owner.  I found the art side of the story much more developed and richer than the characters themselves. They seemed rather wooden and somewhat cliched.

The Art Forger has been billed as a literary thriller, but I disagree. It's a good story, but isn't really a thriller at heart. The mystery aspect of the book is somewhat obvious and it was not a surprise when I was proven right. An enjoyable read, but not a standout for this reader. Read an excerpt of The Art Forger.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Giveaway - Patagonia Books

"Is Patagonia on your bookshelf? Mention outdoor clothing company Patagonia and what comes to mind? Jackets! Puffy ones, fleece ones, waterproof ones -- beloved, long-lasting, favorite ones.

How about books? That's right. Patagonia has been publishing since 2007. But their little-known secret is out, as Patagonia Books are now available in digital form. Readers can now find all 12 titles in digital form at, Amazon,, and iTunes. E-Books do right by the environment: same great stories, less environmental harm. That's why Patagonia has joined the mobile movement. Great news for Patagonia-clad readers, since print books don't really travel well. (Remember Cheryl Strayed in Wild, torching chapters on the trail?)

“Not only do eBooks have less environmental impact, they are also more portable,” says Patagonia Books Director Karla Olson. “We know that our audience is often on the move, and the convenience of having these titles available as eBooks will enhance their reading experience.”

Enjoy the thrill of the outdoors with e-Books from Patagonia – and this special giveaway!"

Preview the latest releases below, and the entire catalog at

Closer to the Ground: An Outdoor Family’s Year on the Water, in the Woods, and At the Table - Dylan Tomine describes a year of foraging in the Pacific Northwest and how living close to the earth enriches one's own life and that of one’s children.

The Responsible Company: What We've Learned From Patagonia's First 40 Years - Yvon Chouinard and Vincent Stanley offer insights into the process of reducing the impact of their company.
Paddling North is a tale of a solo kayak journey in Southeast Alaska by Audrey Sutherland that is remarkable for her self-sufficiency and powers of observation.
The Voyage of the Cormorant - Christian Beamish tells what happens when vision meets reality in his book about his building an open sailing boat and then taking it in search of surf down the Pacific Coast of Baja.

And since e-books don't have to be mailed....this one's international! Simply leave a comment with the book you'd like to read. A random winner will be chosen on Dec 22.

For more choices, go to

Thursday, December 6, 2012

The Bone Bed - Patricia Cornwell

When Patricia Cornwell first started writing, I loved her books featuring forensic pathologist Kay Scarpetta. But, slowly but surely the love affair ended and I stopped following this series.  Well, recently I needed something to listen to, so I decided, what the heck, I'll give her another shot. So I picked up her latest book - The Bone Bed.

Scarpetta is now the medical examiner for the state of Massachusetts. Her niece Lucy, a talented tech wizard and investigator Pete Marino also work with/for her. Kay's husband Benton, an FBI profiler, also often works with Kay.

Scarpetta receives an email which documents a crime committed against an American paleontologist working in Alberta and now missing. Lucy finds evidence that the clip may be connected to a murder on U.S. soil. So, a good premise and I was intrigued.

But....although I enjoy personal story lines in addition to the main plot, I quickly grew tired of listening to what seemed to be the same old, same old. Benton and Kay are having relationship problems, Lucy is being secretive, Kay's staff are betraying her, Marino is in trouble again. Sound familiar? Cornwell fills out the story with endless detail - which refrigerator is the parmigiana in - number one or two? "I check my oversized titanium watch on its rubber strap and reach for my coffee—black, no sweetener—as distant footsteps sound in the corridor of my bullet-shaped building on the eastern border of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s campus. It isn’t light out yet this third Monday of October." First lines of chapter one.

The reader was Kate Reading. I have to admit she's not one of my favourite narrators. I find her habit of dwelling on final consonants and drawing out words slightly annoying. But her tone does seem to fit the character of Kay, who seems to see herself as somewhat superior and whom I find supercilious.

The ending and the 'culprit' were such a letdown. And confirmed why I will be saying goodbye again to Patricia Cornwell. If you're so inclined - read an excerpt of The Bone Bed.

(The title The Bone Bed refers to the dinosaur bone deposits in Alberta, Canada. Although they are featured in the opening scene, they truly didn't have a lot to do with the story. It almost felt like Cornwell was copying Kathy Reich's penchant for using the word bone in many of her titles that also feature a forensic pathologist.)

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Over the Counter #139

What books caught my eye this week as they passed over the library counter and under the scanner? Well, it was all about vintage this week.

First up was Vintage Cakes by Julie Richardson. Subtitled: Timeless Recipes for Cupcakes, Flips, Rolls, Layer, Angel, Bundt, Chiffon and Icebox Cakes for Today's Sweet Tooth.

From the publisher Ten Speed Press:

"A charming collection of updated recipes for both classic and forgotten cakes, from a timeless yellow birthday cake with chocolate buttercream frosting, to the new holiday standard, Gingerbread Icebox Cake with Mascarpone Mousse, written by a master baker and coauthor of Rustic Fruit Desserts.

Make every occasion—the annual bake sale, a birthday party, or even a simple Sunday supper—a celebration with this charming collection of more than 50 remastered classics.

Each recipe in Vintage Cakes is a confectionary stroll down memory lane. After sifting through her treasure trove of cookbooks and recipe cards, master baker and author Julie Richardson selected the most inventive, surprising, and just plain delicious cakes she could find. The result is a delightful and delectable time capsule of American baking, with recipes spanning a century.

Each cake has been expertly tested and retooled using the best ingredients and most up-to-date techniques. With precise and careful guidance, Richardson guides home bakers—whether total beginners or seasoned cooks—toward picture-perfect meringues, extra-creamy frostings, and lighter-than-air chiffons.

A few of the dreamy cakes that await: a chocolaty Texas Sheet Cake as large and abundant as its namesake state, the boozy Not for Children Gingerbread eBundt cake, and the sublime Lovelight Chocolate Chiffon Cake with Chocolate Whipped Cream. With recipes to make Betty Crocker proud, these nostalgic and foolproof sweets rekindle our love affair with cakes."

Next up was My Cool Classic Car by Chris Haddon. Subtitled: An Inspirational Guide to Classic Cars."

From the publisher Pavilion Books:

"My Cool classic Car features approximately 42 vehicles from around the world, including the small but perfectly formed Fiat 500, the Bavarian Goggomobil, Willys WW2 Jeep, the Plymouth Belvedere with its extraordinary trademark wings, the popular and trustworthy Morris Minor, and the Mini, the design success of the 60s. The book also includes details of extraordinary journeys (some short and some long) that some of these cars have made – London to Mexico; 2,000-mile round trips to Italy; and forgotten time capsules untouched for decades along with heartwarming stories of how a car has become a priceless part of the family.

The book uses high-quality, stylish photography to capture the beauty of these cars set against attractive backdrops. The photography focuses on the design specifics which have earned these cars the label ‘classic’. The owners’ stories and accompanying vehicle notes (which explain the influence of car design on the wider design community) offer interesting insights as well as inspiration to the design conscious. The book is guaranteed to leave the reader contemplating the joys of embarking on a road trip in any one of the iconic cars featured."

(Over the Counter is a regular feature at A Bookworm's World. I've sadly come to the realization that I cannot physically read every book that catches my interest as it crosses over my counter at the library. But...I can mention them and maybe one of them will catchy your eye as well. See if your local library has them on their shelves!)

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

The Black Box - Michael Connelly

Oh, Harry Bosch is back! I started Michael Connelly's latest book in the series (#18) - The Black Box - and I tried really, really hard to make it last.....but it was no use.....I finished it in a day. I literally couldn't put it down.

Harry is still with the Open-Unsolved Unit of the LAPD. It's the 20th anniversary of the L.A. riots and the Unit has been asked to try and clear some cases from that time period. Harry knows the case he wants to re examine. He worked the streets during that turmoil and was there when Anneke Jespersen's body was found in an alley. The murder of the young journalist was never solved.

"In the chaos of the moment, the mission was simple; preserve the evidence, document the scene as well and as fast as possible, and collect the dead. Get in and get out. And do it safely. The real investigation would come later. Maybe."

Well, that time is now.  With today's capabilities in forensic science, Harry makes a discovery - bullets at the Jespersen scene match other crime scenes - committed after her murder. And Harry is on the trail. "Twenty years later, he got another shot at it. And it was a very long shot at that." What he also has is a new lieutenant - one determined to put Harry in his place.

This is Harry at his best, under the gun from superiors, eschewing the politicos, running solo, making connections others don't see and pursuing his cases full out. Justice for the victim is his focus. I have such a vivid mental image of Harry as I read - he is one of my favourite detectives.

As always, the plotting was intricate. I enjoyed solving the crime along with Harry as he pieced together his case from tenuous leads, intuition and dogged determination.

Connelly has given us the softer side of  Harry in the last few books with the addition of his daughter Maddie. While I enjoy Harry having a personal life and storyline, I'm still on the fence about Maddie. But not about the new love interest Hannah - she's got to go. I'm curious as to whether a new female cop introduced in this book will return in future stories. Initially I thought she was just a supporting character, but played a bigger role than I imagined.

As always, another great read from Connelly. The downside - we'll have to wait another year for his next book - The Gods of Guilt. You can find Connelly on Facebook.

"The saying is that law enforcement work is ninety-nine per-cent boredom and one percent adrenaline - screaming high intensity moments of life -and- death consequence." The Black Box? One hundred percent recommended. Read an excerpt of The Black Box.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Jack Reacher's Rules - With an Introduction by Lee Child

Reacher Creatures - Rejoice! It's here at last. All the wisdom from Jack Reacher in one handy reference guide - Jack Reacher's Rules.

And some of you many be wondering - who the heck is Jack Reacher? Well, Reacher is the creation of author New York Times best selling author  Lee Child - and one of my favourite series. (Me and a whole lot of other readers!)

"Jack Reacher, of no fixed address, is a former major in the U.S. Military Police. Since leaving he army, the authorities have not been able to locate his whereabouts, although his name mysteriously crops up from time to time in connection with investigations into murders, terrorist threats, and other breaches of the law."

Jack's credo to live by ---- "I'm a man with a rule. People leave me alone, I leave them alone. If they don't, I don't."

Child has culled from the seventeen books featuring Reacher to paint a picture of this iconic character.

You'll find the basics....."Never say no to a cup of coffee"...."After up to nine days, put clothes in trash and buy a new set"...."Carry a spare shirt and pretty soon, you're carrying spare pants. Then you need a suitcase. Next thing you know, you've got a house and a car and a savings plan and you're filling out all kinds of forms."

To the more, shall we say, specialized skills...."To set your own broken nose, smack yourself firmly in the face with the heel of your hand"...Sometimes an entire city block can be taken out with one cigarette and a book of matches...If you're swinging a weapon, get near and get near early"... and many more.

There's nothing new here, but this book will appeal to established fans, who will recognize many quotes and anecdotes from the series. Although, for those new to Lee Child's books, Jack Reacher's Rules may whet your appetite for reading the actual novels.  

"I don't want to put the world to rights. I just don't like people who put the world to wrongs" "I try to do the right things. I think the reasons don't really matter. I like to see the right thing done." Peek inside Jack Reacher's Rules.

And we like to follow Jack on his quest to do the right thing!  Reacher Creatures everywhere will be watching for the movie coming out on Dec. 21 starring Tom Cruise as Reacher. The jury's still out on that casting, but we'll see.....

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Winner - Cold City

And the lucky winner of a copy of Cold City by F. Paul Wilson, courtesy of Tor Books is:

Rheyvynn! Didn't hear back from her, so Scatoma - come on down! 
*sigh* Okay, lets try again. Michael you're next......

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