Sunday, March 6, 2011

Book Review Blog Carnival

Here it is, the latest edition of the Book Review Blog Carnival. This edition features forty reviews from twenty-six bloggers in locations as diverse (and exotic!) as Australia, Hong Kong, Chino, and the United Kingdom...among others. Read and enjoy!

A note: click on the name of the blog and you will be brought to the blog's home page; click on the book title and you will be taken to the review of that book.

Shannon Young, writing on her blog A Kindle in Hong Kong, explores the theme of "rooms" in her two reviews. Of A Room With a View she asks, "Do you think that people must defy the expectations of their family and/or their social circle in order to attain maturity?" Hmm, I don't know. What do you think? And of Emma Donoghue's disturbing novel, Room "Despite the dark nature of [the] situation, this book contains powerful moments of hope and light."

Clark Bjorke, who blogs at I'll Never Forget the Day I Read a Book (and who, I might add, is the mastermind of the Book Review Blog Carnival) reviews For All the Tea in China by Sarah Rose. His intriguing blurb for this book? "The story of the most successful industrial espionage caper in history." I'm in, Clark.

Antariksh submits three reviews from the Imagineering blog. About Rift, a technothriller by Richard Cox, "A spellbinding and completely fulfilling work of storytelling magic, Rift asks the ultimate question: What if you had to die to find out what it really means to be alive?" Next up, Beatrice and Virgil, by Life of Pi author Yann Martel, which, we are told has "an awaiting sense of something rich and deep beginning to boil to the surface." And finally,Tales From the Bench and the Bar by Vicaji J. Toraporevala, which is "light-hearted banter and humour."

Kathy, who shares her reading at her blog Book Diary, and has submitted this review of Zeitoun by Dave Eggers, thinks that "people will still be reading this excellent Katrina story 100 years from now."

Angelique, who reviews "books you can sink your teeth into" on her blog Vampires and Tofu (love it!), sent us this review of The Demon Trapper's Daughter by Jana Oliver. Did Angelique sink her teeth into this one?  "The Demon Trapper's Daughter is gritty urban fantasy for young adults and I absolutely loved it!!" I'd call that a yes.

Jesica Hurst, whose blog The Sweaty Hands is about pop culture of all kinds, has reviewed Jonathan Safran Foer's Eating Animals. Jesica is a recent convert to vegetarianism, and she says "I recommend picking up a copy of this somewhere, regardless if you are interested in becoming a vegetarian/vegan or not. You deserve to know where the food you are consuming comes from."

Of Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter  by Tom Franklin (a book which, by the way, has been on my TBR list since it came out, and has now moved up a few places), Janna Voss on Primo Reads says, "Many books are either well written or a quick read, but this excellent novel is both.  I highly recommend it and I'll definitely read more of Franklin's work."

A quartet of reviews from the inimitable Enrique Freeque, blogging on his self-titled Forum. Wonderland Avenue: Tales of Glamour and Excess by Danny Sugarman is a "scintillating page turner," juicier "than freshly squeezed navel oranges." Heading over to the literary--if no less juicy--side of things a novel, The Magus, the first by John Fowles. Asked: "Has a more sexually liberated cast of women characters ever been so bluntly depicted in literary fiction in the last fifty years?" And answered: "Fear of Flying doesn't even get off the ground by comparison!" In his review of Harold Brodkey's 1958 short story debut, First Love and Other Sorrows," Enrique says, "Beware all who approach the First Love and Other Sorrows of Harold Brodkey's, lest his writing resurrect memories and regrets you'd might rather have remained dead." And ending on a lighter note, Yiddish With George and Laura by Ellis Weiner. "My family values Yiddish with George and Laura immeasurably.  We think it's genius."

Jennifer O., on the blog Literary Endeavors, says that although Amaryllis in Blueberry is somewhat didactic, it is "an ambitious novel with enormous scope."

Zohar, the Man of La Book, has submitted four reviews to this edition of the carnival. First, Devotion, by Dani Shapiro, who "writes in an absorbing style about her upbringing in an orthodox Jewish household." Next, another look at Yann Martel's latest, Beatrice and Virgil. "I wasn’t offended, I wasn’t touched and I didn’t learn anything from it." Then The Devil's Star, the third Harry Hole thriller by Norwegian author Jo Nesbo who, "has a gift of observing the obvious and bringing it to the reader’s attention in a round about way." And finally The Oracle of Stamboul by Michael David Lukas, "elegantly crafted with intriguing characters."

Mark Carstairs, blogging his Random Ramblings From Sunny Southern California, reviews The Devil's Food Cake Murder, the 14th Hannah Swensen mystery  by Joanne Fluke. He comments that he continues to enjoy the series, although some people are tiring of it.

From Personal Development with Fred Tracy this review of The Power of Now, a book which transformed his life.

From the delightfully named blog Crochet Concupiscence, Kathryn's review of Artwear: Fashion and Anti-fashion.

Wakela of Wakela Runen's World submits two reviews to the blog carnival. First the memoir Day of Honey, "A luminous portrait of life in the Middle East." And of the novel Flavors by Emily Sue Harvey, "This is a very quick read, but it delivers a powerful punch.  I really enjoyed the quirky story and all the great characters.  Emily Sue Harvey has done a splendid job of transporting you back to the 1950s in this novella."

Jim Murdoch at The Truth About Lies reviews two novels from very different parts of the globe. From Brazil, Clarice Lispector's 1977 novel The Hour of the Stars. He says, "MacabĂ©a loves movies, Coca-Cola, and her rat of a boyfriend; she would like to be like Marilyn Monroe, but she is ugly, underfed, sickly, and unloved. Yet despite all of this she is inwardly free. She doesn't seem to understand how unhappy she should be. Lispector’s last book, written while she was dying, cuts away the reader's preconceived notions about poverty, identity, love, and the art of fiction, taking readers close to the true mystery of life." And from Russia, Living Souls by Dmitry Bykov. "It’s some 50 years in the future. A new fuel source has been discovered and Russia’s oil reserves are no longer needed. The country plunges into civil war. But in the midst of the collapse four couple struggle to reach two almost magical towns close to where the Final Battle has been planned. A sprawling epic that looks back as well as forward. Who are the true Russians?"

Scott Bartlett, who blogs at Batshite (better than being chickenshite, he says), submits a review of Kenk: A Graphic Portrait, "a graphic novel about an environmentally-conscious bicycle thief."

Marco Gustafsson has posted a review of Breath at Digital Book Readers. He says, "A very real and plausible account of growing up, Breath highlights the ubiquitous forces that influence every teenager’s development."

Among Others, says Jeanne over at Necromancy Never Pays, is "is for anyone who loves reading, anyone who claps during a performance of Peter Pan, and anyone who has been a teenager." Check, check, and check.

Dona, the Allergy Kid Mom, presents two reviews this time around. One is a book for grown-ups, The Life Ready Woman, and one, Mubu and Mu-Mu The Little Animal Doctor, for the kids they love.
Robin at You Think Too Much shares this delightful review of a delightful book, As Always, Julie: The Letters of Julia Child and Avis DeVoto.

Kerrie, from Mysteries in Paradise, reviews Flash Fiction for the Cocktail Houra collection of short short stories ("Never read any flash fiction? Think short stories. These are crime fiction "shorts". Little scenarios, each skilfully leaving something to the reader's imagination. An excellent introduction to the form") by Cathryn Grant and Dying Gasp by Leighton Gage ("Leighton Gage's Mario Silva crime fiction novels are set in Brazil. DYING GASP is #3 in the series. In The Netherlands, a bomb explodes on a tram. Eight thousand kilometers away, in Brazil, the granddaughter of a powerful politician is kidnapped. In this, the third book in Leighton Gage’s compelling series, the author weaves the two incidents together - and transports his readers to an Amazonian hell hole where Chief Inspector Mario Silva reencounters an old enemy.").

Peter's review of the audiobook version of The Immortal Life of Henrietta Laks at Audio Book Downloads is as much a review of the audio as it is of the book. "As one review I came across said, “this book will inspire you, break your heart, and teach you.” Well said. Now do yourself a favor and get this audio book!"

Read Aloud Dad presents a collection, The World of Peter Rabbit by Beatrix Potter, which I've coveted for many years. He says, "Is there any common unit to measure nostalgia? Maybe not, but I am certain that if our collective childhood memories were distilled, the end product would invariably be .... Beatrix Potter. And a certain Peter Rabbit." Hear, hear!

Maggie--Free Market Mommy--reviews The Angel's Game, Carlos Ruiz Zafon's follow up to The Shadow of the Wind. She says, "Though not up to the high standard of The Shadow of the Wind, The Angel's Game is a suspenseful and entertaining read set in the same mystical Barcelona."

Two Books Your Kids Will Love reviewed by Sara. First, The Underland Chronicles, Suzanne Collins other series, which targets a slightly younger reader than The Hunger Games. Next, She Loves You, She Loves You Not by Julie Anne Peters, a contemoporary novel for older teens.

Alexia, on her blog Alexia's Books and Such..., reviews As Lie the Dead, a "seriously awesome novel" by Kelly Meding.

Thanks for reading. I hope you've enjoyed this incredibly diverse selection of reviews of books--and by bloggers--from around the world. The next edition of the Book Review Blog Carnival goes up on March 20, and will be hosted by Bookish Ruth. To submit a book review, click here.


EnriqueFreeque said...

Fantastico job once again Becky! No time to read 'em all now -- heading out to UCLAs Pauley Pavillion to take Megs to special needs gym meet -- but I'll be back to peruse 'em all this evening.

Jeanne said...

Thanks for a lovely display of the reviews!

Kerrie said...

Very nicely presented Becky. Thank you and well done

Janna said...

Well done! Great formatting.

And, loads of interesting books that I just added to my TBR list.

Thanks a bunch!

Scather said...

Great carnival, I enjoyed reading through! Hope to join the next one :)
I'm now following your blog, would love a follow back - - Celebrating a love of good books, with weekly scathes at those books that are in fact (contrary to popular belief) shitbox... *Footnotes Included!