Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Oogy Audiobook Giveaway (ends 1/22)


Publisher's Summary. In the bestselling tradition of Rescuing Sprite comes the story of a puppy brought back from the brink of death, and the family he adopted.

In 2002, Larry Levin and his twin sons, Dan and Noah, took their terminally ill cat to the Ardmore Animal Hospital outside Philadelphia to have the beloved pet put to sleep. What would begin as a terrible day suddenly got brighter as the ugliest dog they had ever seen--one who was missing an ear and had half his face covered in scar tissue--ran up to them and captured their hearts. The dog had been used as bait for fighting dogs when he was just a few months old. He had been thrown in a cage and left to die until the police rescued him and the staff at Ardmore Animal Hospital saved his life. The Levins, whose sons are themselves adopted, were unable to resist Oogy's charms, and decided to take him home.

Heartwarming and redemptive, OOGY is the story of the people who were determined to rescue this dog against all odds, and of the family who took him home, named him "Oogy" (an affectionate derivative of ugly), and made him one of their own.

Giveaway Rules. Today I am giving away TWO copies of this touching audiobook!

Entry: Comment with your email address in the body of the comment (you can list it as mary123 (at) yahoo(dot)com). If you do not list your email address your entry will not count.

Extra Entry: Sign up to follow my blog (or let me know that you are a current follower). NOTE: This extra entry MUST be left in a separate comment or it will not count.

The giveaway is open to Canadian and US residents only.
You must be 18 years of age or older.
NO P.O. Boxes for the winner’s mailing address.
One winner per household regardless of the site won on.

Giveaway ends January 22nd. Good Luck!

Monday, December 27, 2010

Mailbox Monday -- December 27th!


The reason why I love Mondays -- Mailbox Monday hosted this month by Lady Q at Let Them Read Books. Below are the following advance review copies that I received this week.

1) Get Energy by Denise Austin. Publisher's Summary. With busy schedules, demanding careers, and little time, many of us battle just to stay awake. But energy is something that is in our control, enven when time is short. Now 50 years young, fitness guru Denise Austin shows readers how to super-charge their lives, using her innovative lifestyle plan. She eats the right foods at the right time of day. She uses the power of stretching and breathing to feed her body with energy-enhancing oxygen. She uses mini-workouts to get energy even on her busiest days--and now you can too!

Denise shows how simple changes can add up to increased energy levels throughout the day. From the foods they consume to the way they sit in their chairs, readers won't believe how Denise's quick and easy plan will dramatically increase their energy levels. In as little as a week, results will be felt: radiant skin, more restful sleep, and a sharper mind...so follow Denise Austin and prepare for a fitness wake-up call!

Thanks to Hachette Book Group!

2) Postmortem by Laurel Saville. Publisher's Summary. Sadly, some lives cannot be understood until after death.

So it was with Anne Ford. A successful, charming beauty queen, model, and fashion designer during the 1950s, this glamour girl about town was poisoned by internal demons and the permissive Southern California culture of the 1960s and 70s. She ended her life as an alcoholic street person, stabbed and strangled in a burned-out building in West Hollywood. Years later, her daughter, the writer Laurel Saville, began the long process of unraveling the twin trajectories of this unusual life.

Postmortem takes the reader on an emotionally charged journey that ranges from Saville’s eccentric West Hollywood childhood, to a top-secret, Depression-era airplane design. Whether describing the artists of the seminal Sunset Strip gallery where Andy Warhol got his start or the hippie parties at the legendary Barney’s Beanery, Saville’s distinctive prose lends insight into the events and emotions that surrounded the life and death of stunning Anne Ford. This candid exploration of one woman’s life and death ends up exposing unexpected truths about both mother and daughter and unscrambling the many webs that entangled Ford’s exceptional life.

Thanks to the publicist!

3) The 1% Solution for Work and Life by To Connellan. Publisher's Summary. Did you know that the difference between the top Olympic medal winning athletes and those not receiving a medal averages just 1%? Chances are you and I won’t be competing in the Olympics, but we can learn from this fact. In The 1% Solution for Work and Life author Tom Connellan maps out the way. He has discovered three things that are the foundation behind that 1% difference and in The 1% Solution he provides actionable ideas to help readers achieve comparable performance results.

Thanks to the Cadence Group!

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas!


Growing up this unusual pairing was one of my favorite Christmas songs. Today, over thirty years later it still is.

To all those who celebrate Merry Christmas!

Oogy Giveaway ends Today!


You don't want to miss this one, so make sure to get your entry in here!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Peace and Plenty Giveaway (ends 1/15)


Publisher's Summary. "When money is plentiful, this is a man's world. When money is scarce, it is a woman's world." Unearthed in a 1932 Ladies Home Journal, this quote is the call to arms that begins PEACE AND PLENTY, Sarah Ban Breathnach's answer to the world's-- and her own personal-- financial crisis. As only Ban Breathnach can, she culls together this compendium of advice, deeply personal anecdotes, and excerpts from magazines, books, and newspapers-- particularly those of the Great Depression-- to inspire readers who are mired in today's financial difficulties.

Focusing on her own personal path, Sarah Ban Breathnach will relate never-before revealed details about how she fell from the financial top to the bottom. Readers will immediately see how deeply she understands the plight of those trying to maintain a happy and comfortable home, while at the same time not even knowing if they will be able to make the mortgage to keep that home.

Sarah has proved to be the voice of comfort for years to women who are spiritually bankrupt, and now she will reach to those who are financially strapped, showing them how to pull themselves out of their psychic and fiscal crises while providing deep comfort and reassurance throughout.

Giveaway Rules. Today I am giving away THREE copies of this thought provoking book!

Entry: Comment with your email address in the body of the comment (you can list it as mary123 (at) yahoo(dot)com). If you do not list your email address your entry will not count.

Extra Entry: Sign up to follow my blog (or let me know that you are a current follower). NOTE: This extra entry MUST be left in a separate comment or it will not count.

The giveaway is open to Canadian and US residents only.
You must be 18 years of age or older.
NO P.O. Boxes for the winner’s mailing address.
One winner per household regardless of the site won on.

Giveaway ends January 15th. Good Luck!

Monday, December 20, 2010

Mailbox Monday -- December 20th!


The reason why I love Mondays -- Mailbox Monday hosted this month by Lady Q at Let Them Read Books. Below are the following advance review copies that I received this week.

1) Peace and Plenty by Sarah Ban Breathnach. Publisher's Summary. "When money is plentiful, this is a man's world. When money is scarce, it is a woman's world." Unearthed in a 1932 Ladies Home Journal, this quote is the call to arms that begins PEACE AND PLENTY, Sarah Ban Breathnach's answer to the world's-- and her own personal-- financial crisis. As only Ban Breathnach can, she culls together this compendium of advice, deeply personal anecdotes, and excerpts from magazines, books, and newspapers-- particularly those of the Great Depression-- to inspire readers who are mired in today's financial difficulties.

Focusing on her own personal path, Sarah Ban Breathnach will relate never-before revealed details about how she fell from the financial top to the bottom. Readers will immediately see how deeply she understands the plight of those trying to maintain a happy and comfortable home, while at the same time not even knowing if they will be able to make the mortgage to keep that home.

Sarah has proved to be the voice of comfort for years to women who are spiritually bankrupt, and now she will reach to those who are financially strapped, showing them how to pull themselves out of their psychic and fiscal crises while providing deep comfort and reassurance throughout.

Thanks to Hachette Book Group!

2) The Anatomy of Ghosts by Andrew Taylor. Publisher's Summary. They say Jerusalem is haunted by Mrs Whichcote's ghost. Frank Oldershaw claims he saw her in the garden, where she drowned. Now he's under the care of a physician.

Desperate to salvage her son's reputation and restore him to health, Lady Anne Oldershaw employs her own agent - John Holdsworth, author of The Anatomy of Ghosts, a controversial attack on the existence of ghostly phenomena. But his arrival in Cambridge disrupts the uneasy status quo. He glimpses a world of privilege and abuse, where the sinister Holy Ghost Club governs life at Jerusalem more effectively than the Master, Dr Carbury, ever could.

But Holdsworth's powers of reason and his knowledge of natural philosophy have other challenges. He dreams of his dead wife, Maria, who roams the borders of death. Now there's Elinor, the very-much-alive Master's wife, to haunt him in life. And at the heart of it all is the mystery of what really happened to Sylvia Whichcote in the claustrophobic confines of Jerusalem.

Why was Sylvia found lying dead in the Long Pond just before a February dawn? And how did she die? Indeed, why was she at Jerusalem, living or dead, in the first place?

Thanks to Hyperion!

Friday, December 17, 2010

The Clinton Street Baking Company



Publisher's Summary. The Clinton St. Baking Company is one of the hottest brunch spots in a city obsessed with brunch. A tiny thirty-two-seat eatery on Manhattan's trendy Lower East Side, the restaurant draws long lines of customers who come from far and wide to sample fresh-baked goods, hearty omelets, sugar-cured bacon, and light-as-air pancakes with maple butter.

In the Clinton St. Baking Company Cookbook, owners DeDe Lahman and Neil Kleinberg share more than 100 treasured recipes that have made their restaurant a sensation. Learn the secret to their house-made buttermilk biscuits and tomato jam, irresistible muffins and scones, delicious soups and sandwiches, and their decadent, eye-catching desserts. Helpful techniques, like Neil's
patented omelet "flip and tuck," and gorgeous color photographs throughout will have readers cooking like pros in no time, and sharing the delicious results.

Review. Even if you don’t live in New York and have never been to The Clinton Street Baking Company diner, thanks to this incredible cookbook, you too can enjoy their incredible brunches.

In the book the owners/authors, DeDe Lahman and Neil Kleinberg, share the secret to their success, “we make simple American classics using serious-chef techniques.” After making the pancakes and maple butter, I concur that they have corned the market on remaking basic brunch dishes. The pancakes were simply the lightest, fluffiest ones I have ever eaten. And the maple butter? Well, according to the authors, a past customer once commented, “I want to wipe maple butter all over my body.” A tad extreme, perhaps, but it really is that good!

I also love the layout of the cookbook. Nearly every recipe is accompanied by a beautiful color photo. The instructions are clear and easy to follow and most of the ingredients are probably already in your pantry. Also included are step-by-step techniques to make breakfast staples, such as, the perfect omelet, flaky biscuits and bakery worthy muffins.

The Clinton Street Baking Company has found a permanent home on my cookbook shelf!





Publisher: Little, Brown and Company (November 8, 2010), 224 pages.
Advance review copy provided courtesy of the publisher.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

5 Ingredient Fix























Publisher's Summary. Claire Robinson, the hot new Food Network star of 5 Ingredient Fix and Food Network Challenge, helps people get dinner on the table with little fuss and a few great ingredients. The quest for simple, affordable, and fresh, mouthwatering food is over. 5 INGREDIENT FIX helps put delicious and sophisticated meals on the table in a snap. With people struggling to simplify, streamline, and budget, the Food Network's Claire Robinson is here to help. Cooking doesn't have to be complicated to be impressive; simplifying the process with fewer ingredients saves time, frustration, and ultimately, money.


Review.
Claire Robinson, a French culinary trained chef and the host of the Food Network’s 5 Ingredient Fix, has authored a cookbook of the same name. The foundation for Robinson’s 5 ingredient recipes is based on her philosophy that meals should be elegant, simple and accessible to everyone (chefs and non-chefs alike).

The 5 Ingredient Fix is composed of easy to moderately-challenging recipes that have a twist or a special ingredient that makes the dish shine. For example, the BBQ Sauce uses spicy Dijon mustard, the Ginger and Lemon Roasted Chicken is paired with braised fennel, and the Easy Ratatouille includes small brined capers. I tried the Cheesy Penne (sorry no pics b/c my camera broke) and found it savory and easy to prepare. The recipe called for Dijon mustard (the special ingredient) which added a new twist to the normal cheesy pasta dish.

The 5 Ingredient Fix does a great job of showcasing the recipes with lots of gorgeous color photos throughout the book. It also conveniently lists the ingredients on the right side of the page so that one can quickly jot a grocery shopping list to make the dish. Additionally, Robinson adds a brief comment or background to each recipe that is often informative.

The 5 Ingredient Fix would make a great gift for both new and established cooks!







Review copy provided courtesy of the Publisher.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

A Christmas Carol: A Pop Up Book


Publisher's Summary. This beautiful re-imagining of Charles Dickens's timeless fable, A Christmas Carol: A Pop-Up Book features artist Chuck Fischer's richly painted depictions of the tale of Ebenezer Scrooge and the Ghosts of Christmas Past, Present, and Future, brought to life in intricate pop-up scenes by paper engineer Bruce Foster. The entire text of A Christmas Carol is reproduced in five removable, illustrated, keepsake booklets. An introductory booklet provides a biography of Dickens and an illustrated feature on the enduring appeal of this beloved story.

Review. Gorgeous! If I had only one word to describe this latest edition of A Christmas Carol: A Pop Up Book by Chuck Fischer and Bruce Foster, gorgeous would be it.

This pop up book is a far cry from the pop books I had as a child. And in fact, such books are now put together in conjunction with “paper engineers” (in this case Foster). And I agree that a fair amount of engineering appears to be present in getting the pages to display correctly.

I think, however, it is the artistry that really grabs the reader. Each page vividly depicts a pivotal moment in the story and adds greatly to the plot’s impact. I especially liked the final happy scene that displays Scrooge and Tiny Tim celebrating in a beautiful Victorian village. The only caveat I would have to giving this book to a child is due to the delicacy of the pages as well as the fact that the story itself is contained in the book on five, small, paper leaflets (along with an additional background leaflet). Thus, If I were to give this to a young child I would recommend that an adult read the book with the child.

A Christmas Carol: A Pop Up Book by Chuck Fischer and Bruce Foster would make a beautiful Christmas present for both adults and children!



Hardcover: 12 pages, Ages 9-12.
Advance review copy provided courtesy of the publisher.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Dare to Take Charge Giveaway (ends January 8th )
































Publisher's Summary. For nearly ten years, Judge Glenda Hatchett has delighted TV audiences with a brand of justice that turns the everyday into something eminently watchable.

Her message can be distilled into the following two words: Dare Yourself. Whatever obstacles or fears one faces, Judge Hatchett's prescription implores readers to write their own story in this life. With care and conviction, Judge Hatchett uses real life stories from the courtroom and her personal life to counsel readers. Shows them how to find their true purpose and gifts, to be real about their reality and its potential outside of challenging circumstances, and to always be true to themselves.

Interactive as well as inspirational, DARE TO TAKE CHARGE challenges the reader to ask self-reflective questions that lead to moments of self-discovery and a defined pathway to healing. Daring her audience to study the positive with the same interest and intensity that they study the negative, Judge Hatchett uncovers the potential for grace and success in lives that are now punctuated with despair and unfaithfulness.

Giveaway Rules. Today I am giving away THREE copies of this engaging book.

Entry: Comment with your email address in the body of the comment (you can list it as mary123 (at) yahoo(dot)com). If you do not list your email address your entry will not count.

Extra Entries: Sign up to follow my blog (or let me know that you are a current follower); follow me on twitter (DCMetroreader) and on Facebook (Metroreader). NOTE: These extra entries MUST be left in a separate comment or will not count.


The giveaway is open to Canadian and US residents only.
You must be 18 years of age or older.
NO P.O. Boxes for the winner’s mailing address.
Only one winner per household regardless of the site won on.

Giveaway ends January 8th. Good Luck!

Monday, December 13, 2010

Mailbox Monday -- December 13th!


The reason why I love Mondays -- Mailbox Monday hosted this month by Lady Q at Let Them Read Books. Below are the following advance review copies that I received this week.

1) Unbearable Lightness by Portia De Rossi. Publisher's Summary. "I didn't decide to become anorexic. It snuck up on me disguised as a healthy diet, a professional attitude. Being as thin as possible was a way to make the job of being an actress easier . . ."

Portia de Rossi weighed only 82 pounds when she collapsed on the set of the Hollywood film in which she was playing her first leading role. This should have been the culmination of all her years of hard work—first as a child model in Australia, then as a cast member of one of the hottest shows on American television. On the outside she was thin and blond, glamorous and successful. On the inside, she was literally dying.

In this searing, unflinchingly honest book, Portia de Rossi captures the complex emotional truth of what it is like when food, weight, and body image take priority over every other human impulse or action. She recounts the elaborate rituals around eating that came to dominate hours of every day, from keeping her daily calorie intake below 300 to eating precisely measured amounts of food out of specific bowls and only with certain utensils. When this wasn't enough, she resorted to purging and compulsive physical exercise, driving her body and spirit to the breaking point.

Even as she rose to fame as a cast member of the hit television shows Ally McBeal and Arrested Development, Portia alternately starved herself and binged, all the while terrified that the truth of her sexuality would be exposed in the tabloids. She reveals the heartache and fear that accompany a life lived in the closet, a sense of isolation that was only magnified by her unrelenting desire to be ever thinner. With the storytelling skills of a great novelist and the eye for detail of a poet, Portia makes transparent as never before the behaviors and emotions of someone living with an eating disorder.

From her lowest point, Portia began the painful climb back to a life of health and honesty, falling in love with and eventually marrying Ellen DeGeneres, and emerging as an outspoken and articulate advocate for gay rights and women's health issues.

In this remarkable and beautifully written work, Portia shines a bright light on a dark subject. A crucial book for all those who might sometimes feel at war with themselves or their bodies, Unbearable Lightness is a story that inspires hope and nourishes the spirit.

2) The Pursuit of Happiness by Douglas Kennedy. Publisher's Summary. Manhattan, Thanksgiving eve, 1945. The war is over, and Eric Smythe's party was in full swing. All his clever Greenwich Village friends were there. So too was his sister Sara, an independent, outspoken young woman, starting to make her way in the big city. And then in walked Jack Malone, a U.S. Army journalist just back from a defeated Germany, a man whose world view was vastly different than that of Eric and his friends. This chance meeting between Sara and Jack and the choices they both made in the wake of it would eventually have profound consequences, both for themselves and for those closest to them for decades afterwards. Set amidst the dynamic optimism of postwar New York and the subsequent nightmare of the McCarthy era, The Pursuit of Happiness is a great, tragic love story; a tale of divided loyalties, decisive moral choices and the random workings of destiny.

3) Crazy Loco Love by Victor Villasenor. Publisher's Summary. Growing up on his parents' ranch in North San Diego County, Victor VillaseÑor's teenage years were marked by a painful quest to find a place for himself in a world he did not fit into. Discriminated due to his Mexican heritage, Victor questions the tenets of his faith and the restrictions it places on his own spirituality and sexuality. Ultimately, his search for identity takes him to Mexico to learn of his family's roots, where he soon discovers that his heritage doesn't determine his intelligence or success. Through this often humorous and poignant tale, Victor deftly undermines the macho stereotype so often associated with Latinos, while exposing the tender vulnerability and naÏvetÉ of a young man grappling with the roles foisted on him by the church and society. Victor's youthful misadventures elicit sympathy, laughter, and tears as he attempts to divine the mysteries of the opposite sex in this powerful, revealing memoir.

Thanks to Simon and Schuster!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Winners!



Dewey's Nine Lives:
kateswen
countrybear52
crazypplrok

A Christmas Carol:
bibliophilebythesea
meah56
krstrpp

The Island:
vidomich
aimala127
rsgrandinetti

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Strangers at the Feast


Publisher's Summary. On Thanksgiving Day 2007, as the country teeters on the brink of a recession, three generations of the Olson family gather. Eleanor and Gavin worry about their daughter, a single academic, and her newly adopted Indian child, and about their son, who has been caught in the imploding real-estate bubble. While the Olsons navigate the tensions and secrets that mark their relationships, seventeen-year-old Kijo Jackson and his best friend Spider set out from the nearby housing projects on a mysterious job. A series of tragic events bring these two worlds ever closer, exposing the dangerously thin line between suburban privilege and urban poverty, and culminating in a crime that will change everyone's life.

In her gripping new book, Jennifer Vanderbes masterfully lays bare the fraught lives of this complex cast of characters and the lengths to which they will go to protect their families. Strangers at the Feast is at once a heartbreaking portrait of a family struggling to find happiness and an exploration of the hidden costs of the American dream.

Published to international acclaim, Jennifer Vanderbes's first book, Easter Island, was hailed as "one of those rare novels that appeals equally to heart, mind, and soul," by the San Francisco Chronicle. In her second novel, this powerful writer reaches new heights of storytelling. This page-turner wrestles with the most important issues of our time—race, class, and above all else, family. Strangers at the Feast will leave readers haunted and deeply affected.

Review.
Have you ever read a review and knew that you must read the book NOW? Recently, this very thing happened to me after reading Bermudaonion’s review of Strangers at the Feast by Jennifer Vanderbes. Boy am I glad I did!

The novel begins on Thanksgiving Day 2007 with the extended Olson family gathering together to celebrate the day. Ginny Olson, a thirty something single professor and daughter of Gavin, an aging Vietnam Vet and Eleanor a suburban housewife, is the host of the dinner. Ginny has never cooked a big meal before, but wants to celebrate her new home and newly adopted mute, seven year old Indian daughter. Rounding out the guest list are Ginny’s brother Doug along with his wife Denise and their three children. Doug is a real estate mogul who is on the brink of bankruptcy due to the real estate bubble burst. On a parallel storyline track are Kijo and Spider, troubled urban teens with a grudge against one Olson family member. By the novel’s end all plotlines have converged in an astonishing and unexpected way.

Strangers at the Feast is a hard to characterize novel – part thriller/suspense, part domestic drama, part socio-political commentary and part satire. Vanderbes, a graduate of the prestigious Iowa Writers’ Workshop, does it all! For instance, when writing about Ginny’s academia article, “The Emasculation of the American Warrior,” Vanderbes weaves an actual article (or at least several pages of it) into the story. Still at other points she includes a thoughtful legal analysis of “eminent domain” and a play by play account of the Green Bay Packers 2007 Thanksgiving Day game.

Strangers at the Feast is an exquisite and riveting story of family dysfunction ripped from recent headlines.



Advance review copy provided courtesy of the publisher.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

The Postcard Killers Audiobook Giveaway (ends January 1st! )


Publisher's Summary. aris is stunning in the summer

NYPD detective Jacob Kanon is on a tour of Europe's most gorgeous cities. But the sights aren't what draw him--he sees each museum, each cathedral, and each cafe through the eyes of his daughter's killer.

The killing is simply marvelous

Kanon's daughter, Kimmy, and her boyfriend were murdered while on vacation in Rome. Since then, young couples in Paris, Copenhagen, Frankfurt, and Stockholm have been found dead. Little connects the murders, other than a postcard to the local newspaper that precedes each new victim.

Wish you were here

Now Kanon teams up with the Swedish reporter, Dessie Larsson, who has just received a postcard in Stockholm--and they think they know where the next victims will be. With relentless logic and unstoppable action, The Postcard Killers may be James Patterson's most vivid and compelling thriller yet.

Giveaway Rules. Today I am giving away THREE copies of this exciting audiobook.

Entry: Comment with your email address in the body of the comment (you can list it as mary123 (at) yahoo(dot)com). If you do not list your email address your entry will not count.

Extra Entries: Sign up to follow my blog (or let me know that you are a current follower); follow me on twitter (DCMetroreader) and on Facebook (Metroreader). NOTE: These extra entries MUST be left in a separate comment or will not count.


The giveaway is open to Canadian and US residents only.
You must be 18 years of age or older.
NO P.O. Boxes for the winner’s mailing address.
Publisher will only send one copy per household regardless of the site won on.

Giveaway ends January 1st. Good Luck!

Monday, December 6, 2010

Mailbox Monday -- December 6th!


The reason why I love Mondays -- Mailbox Monday hosted this month by Lady Q at Let Them Read Books. Below are the following advance review copies that I received this week.

1) End Game by Frank Brady. Publisher's Summary. Endgame is acclaimed biographer Frank Brady’s decades-in-the-making tracing of the meteoric ascent—and confounding descent—of enigmatic genius Bobby Fischer. Only Brady, who met Fischer when the prodigy was only 10 and shared with him some of his most dramatic triumphs, could have written this book, which has much to say about the nature of American celebrity and the distorting effects of fame. Drawing from Fischer family archives, recently released FBI files, and Bobby’s own emails, this account is unique in that it limns Fischer’s entire life—an odyssey that took the Brooklyn-raised chess champion from an impoverished childhood to the covers of Time, Life and Newsweek to recognition as “the most famous man in the world” to notorious recluse.

At first all one noticed was how gifted Fischer was. Possessing a 181 I.Q. and remarkable powers of concentration, Bobby memorized hundreds of chess books in several languages, and he was only 13 when he became the youngest chess master in U.S. history. But his strange behavior started early. In 1972, at the historic Cold War showdown in Reykjavik, Iceland, where he faced Soviet champion Boris Spassky, Fischer made headlines with hundreds of petty demands that nearly ended the competition.

It was merely a prelude to what was to come.

Arriving back in the United States to a hero’s welcome, Bobby was mobbed wherever he went—a figure as exotic and improbable as any American pop culture had yet produced. No player of a mere “board game” had ever ascended to such heights. Commercial sponsorship offers poured in, ultimately topping $10 million—but Bobby demurred. Instead, he began tithing his limited money to an apocalyptic religion and devouring anti-Semitic literature.

After years of poverty and a stint living on Los Angeles’ Skid Row, Bobby remerged in 1992 to play Spassky in a multi-million dollar rematch—but the experience only deepened a paranoia that had formed years earlier when he came to believe that the Soviets wanted him dead for taking away “their” title. When the dust settled, Bobby was a wanted man—transformed into an international fugitive because of his decision to play in Montenegro despite U.S. sanctions. Fearing for his life, traveling with bodyguards, and wearing a long leather coat to ward off knife attacks, Bobby lived the life of a celebrity fugitive – one drawn increasingly to the bizarre. Mafiosi, Nazis, odd attempts to breed an heir who could perpetuate his chess-genius DNA—all are woven into his late-life tapestry.

And yet, as Brady shows, the most notable irony of Bobby Fischer’s strange descent – which had reached full plummet by 2005 when he turned down yet another multi-million dollar payday—is that despite his incomprehensible behavior, there were many who remained fiercely loyal to him. Why that was so is at least partly the subject of this book—one that at last answers the question: “Who was Bobby Fischer?”

Thanks to Random House!

2) Wither by Lauren DeStefano. Publisher's Summary. What if you knew exactly when you would die?

Thanks to modern science, every human being has become a ticking genetic time bomb—males only live to age twenty-five, and females only live to age twenty. In this bleak landscape, young girls are kidnapped and forced into polygamous marriages to keep the population from dying out.

When sixteen-year-old Rhine Ellery is taken by the Gatherers to become a bride, she enters a world of wealth and privilege. Despite her husband Linden's genuine love for her, and a tenuous trust among her sister wives, Rhine has one purpose: to escape—to find her twin brother and go home.

But Rhine has more to contend with than losing her freedom. Linden's eccentric father is bent on finding an antidote to the genetic virus that is getting closer to taking his son, even if it means collecting corpses in order to test his experiments. With the help of Gabriel, a servant Rhine is growing dangerously attracted to, Rhine attempts to break free, in the limited time she has left.

3) Lipstick in Afghanistan by Roberat Gately. Publisher's Summary. Roberta Gately's lyrical and authentic debut novel—inspired by her own experiences as a nurse in third world war zones—is one woman's moving story of offering help and finding hope in the last place she expected.

Gripped by haunting magazine images of starving refugees, Elsa has dreamed of becoming a nurse since she was a teenager. Of leaving her humble working-class Boston neighborhood to help people whose lives are far more difficult than her own. No one in her family has ever escaped poverty, but Elsa has a secret weapon: a tube of lipstick she found in her older sister's bureau. Wearing it never fails to raise her spirits and cement her determination. With lipstick on, she can do anything—even travel alone to war-torn Afghanistan in the wake of 9/11.

But violent nights as an ER nurse in South Boston could not prepare Elsa for the devastation she witnesses at the small medical clinic she runs in Bamiyan. As she struggles to prove herself to the Afghan doctors and local villagers, she begins a forbidden romance with her only confidant, a charming Special Forces soldier. Then, a tube of lipstick she finds in the aftermath of a tragic bus bombing leads her to another life-changing friendship. In her neighbor Parween, Elsa finds a kindred spirit, fiery and generous. Together, the two women risk their lives to save friends and family from the worst excesses of the Taliban. But when the war waging around them threatens their own survival, Elsa discovers her only hope is to unveil the warrior within. Roberta Gately's raw, intimate novel is an unforgettable tribute to the power of friendship and a poignant reminder of the tragic cost of war.

Thanks to Simon and Schuster!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Oogy Giveaway (ends 12/25)









































Publisher's Summary. In the bestselling tradition of Rescuing Sprite comes the story of a puppy brought back from the brink of death, and the family he adopted.

In 2002, Larry Levin and his twin sons, Dan and Noah, took their terminally ill cat to the Ardmore Animal Hospital outside Philadelphia to have the beloved pet put to sleep. What would begin as a terrible day suddenly got brighter as the ugliest dog they had ever seen--one who was missing an ear and had half his face covered in scar tissue--ran up to them and captured their hearts. The dog had been used as bait for fighting dogs when he was just a few months old. He had been thrown in a cage and left to die until the police rescued him and the staff at Ardmore Animal Hospital saved his life. The Levins, whose sons are themselves adopted, were unable to resist Oogy's charms, and decided to take him home.

Heartwarming and redemptive, OOGY is the story of the people who were determined to rescue this dog against all odds, and of the family who took him home, named him "Oogy" (an affectionate derivative of ugly), and made him one of their own.

Giveaway Rules. Today I am giving away TWO copies of this touching book.

Entry: Comment with your email address in the body of the comment (you can list it as mary123 (at) yahoo(dot)com). If you do not list your email address your entry will not count.

Extra Entries: Sign up to follow my blog (or let me know that you are a current follower); follow me on twitter (DCMetroreader) and on Facebook (Metroreader). NOTE: These extra entries MUST be left in a separate comment or will not count.


The giveaway is open to Canadian and US residents only.
You must be 18 years of age or older.
NO P.O. Boxes for the winner’s mailing address.
One winner per household regardless of the site won on!

Giveaway ends December 25th. Good Luck!

Monday, November 29, 2010

Mailbox Monday -- November 29th

The reason why I love Mondays -- Mailbox Monday hosted this month by Knitting and Sundries. Below are the following advance review copies that I received this week.

1) The Brave by Nicholas Evans. Publisher's Summary. There's little love in eight-year-old Tom Bedford's life. His parents are old and remote and the boarding school they've sent him to bristles with bullies and sadistic staff. The only comfort he gets is from his fantasy world of Cowboys and Indians. But when his sister Diane, a rising star of stage and screen, falls in love with one of his idols, the suave TV cowboy Ray Montane, Tom's life is transformed. They move to Hollywood and all his dreams seem to have come true. Soon, however, the sinister side of Tinseltown casts its shadow and a shocking act of violence changes their lives forever.

What happened all those years ago remains a secret that corrodes Tom's life and wrecks his marriage. Only when his estranged son, a US Marine, is charged with murder do the events resurface, forcing him to confront his demons. As he struggles to save his son's life, he will learn the true meaning of bravery.

Powerfully written and intensely moving, The Brave traces the legacy of violence behind the myth of the American West and explores our quest for love and identity, the fallibility of heroes and the devastating effects of family secrets.

2) Oogy by Larry Levin. Publisher's Summary. In the bestselling tradition of Rescuing Sprite comes the story of a puppy brought back from the brink of death, and the family he adopted.

In 2002, Larry Levin and his twin sons, Dan and Noah, took their terminally ill cat to the Ardmore Animal Hospital outside Philadelphia to have the beloved pet put to sleep. What would begin as a terrible day suddenly got brighter as the ugliest dog they had ever seen--one who was missing an ear and had half his face covered in scar tissue--ran up to them and captured their hearts. The dog had been used as bait for fighting dogs when he was just a few months old. He had been thrown in a cage and left to die until the police rescued him and the staff at Ardmore Animal Hospital saved his life. The Levins, whose sons are themselves adopted, were unable to resist Oogy's charms, and decided to take him home.

Heartwarming and redemptive, OOGY is the story of the people who were determined to rescue this dog against all odds, and of the family who took him home, named him "Oogy" (an affectionate derivative of ugly), and made him one of their own.

Thanks to Hachette Book Group!

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Dewey Giveaway Ends Today!


Check a holiday gift off the list when you win a copy of Dewey here. Good Luck!

Friday, November 26, 2010

The Island Giveaway Ends Today!


This audiobook would make a great stocking stuffer, so make sure to get your entry in here!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!



Today is a reminder to reflect on the many blessings that each of us have and to give thanks. Here's to wishing you and your family the very best of happiness on this family centered holiday! Happy Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Holiday Shopping Ideas!



Finding the perfect holiday gift is often a challenge. Although cash and giftcards are a;ways appreciated, I think there is something special about unwrapping the perfect gift. And what could be better for a bibliophile than a new book?

Here are a few of my personal suggestions for book buying this holiday season:

1) Oogy by Larry Levin. This is a heartwarming memoir that pet lovers will enjoy.

2) Life by Keith Richards. In this memoir the notorious rocker tells all (or almost all), but is also surprisingly reflective about his life.

3) The Clinton Street Baking Company: Breakfast will never be boring again!

4) Peanuts: the new box set gift collection. Every fan will love this boxed set!

5) A Christmas Carol Pop Up. This book is just plain gorgeous!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Sundays at Tiffany's Giveaway (ends 12/18)


Publisher's Summary. Jane Margaux is a lonely little girl. Her mother, a powerful Broadway producer, makes time for her only once a week, for their Sunday trip to admire jewelry at Tiffany's. Jane has only one friend: a handsome, comforting, funny man named Michael. He's perfect. But only she can see him. Michael can't stay forever, though. On Jane's ninth birthday he leaves, promising her that she'll soon forget him. Years later, in her thirties, Jane is just as alone as she was as a child. And despite her own success as a playwright, she is even more trapped by her overbearing mother. Then she meets someone-a handsome, comforting, funny man. He's perfect. His name is Michael . . .

Giveaway Rules. Today I am giving away ONE copy of this romantic book!

Entry: Comment with your email address in the body of the comment (you can list it as mary123 (at) yahoo(dot)com). If you do not list your email address your entry will not count.

Extra Entry: Sign up to follow my blog (or let me know that you are a current follower). NOTE: This extra entry MUST be left in a separate comment or it will not count.

The giveaway is open to Canadian and US residents only.
You must be 18 years of age or older.
NO P.O. Boxes for the winner’s mailing address.
Publisher will only send one copy per household regardless of the site won on.

Giveaway ends December 18th . Good Luck!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Mailbox Monday -- November 22nd

The reason why I love Mondays -- Mailbox Monday hosted this month by Knitting and Sundries. Below are the following advance review copies that I received this week.

1) The Radleys by Matt Haig. Publisher's Summary. Just about everyone knows a family like the Radleys. Many of us grew up next door to one. They are a modern family, averagely content, averagely dysfunctional, living in a staid and quiet suburban English town. Peter is an overworked doctor whose wife, Helen, has become increasingly remote and uncommunicative. Rowan, their teenage son, is being bullied at school, and their anemic daughter, Clara, has recently become a vegan. They are typical, that is, save for one devastating exception: Peter and Helen are vampires and have—for seventeen years—been abstaining by choice from a life of chasing blood in the hope that their children could live normal lives.

One night, Clara finds herself driven to commit a shocking—and disturbingly satisfying—act of violence, and her parents are forced to explain their history of shadows and lies. A police investigation is launched that uncovers a richness of vampire history heretofore unknown to the general public. And when the malevolent and alluring Uncle Will, a practicing vampire, arrives to throw the police off Clara's trail, he winds up throwing the whole house into temptation and turmoil and unleashing a host of dark secrets that threaten the Radleys' marriage.

The Radleys is a moving, thrilling, and radiant domestic novel that explores with daring the lengths a parent will go to protect a child, what it costs you to deny your identity, the undeniable appeal of sin, and the everlasting, iridescent bonds of family love. Read it and ask what we grow into when we grow up, and what we gain—and lose—when we deny our appetites.

2) Winter Bloom by Tara Heavey. Publisher's Summary. In the heart of bustling modern Dublin is a littered, overgrown garden of tangled weeds and a stagnant, hidden pond. Belonging to an iron-willed elderly lady named Mrs. Prendergast, who is rumored to have murdered and buried her husband there, the garden draws Eva Madigan, a young mother struggling to move on from the pain of her past. Eva is joined by Emily, a beautiful but withdrawn college dropout; Uri, an old-world immigrant; Seth, his all-too-handsome son; and occasionally even Mrs. Prendergast herself. But what drives Eva to transform the neglected urban wilderness? What makes the others want to help her? Even as Mrs. Prendergast puts the land up for sale, the thorny lives of all the gardeners are revealed and slowly start to untangle. Overgrown secrets are dug up and shared. Choices are made; a little pruning is in order. Now Eva is about to discover that every garden is a story of growth toward a final harvest. . . .

3) Waiting for Snow in Havana by Carlos Eire. Publisher's Summary. A childhood in a privileged household in 1950s Havana was joyous and cruel, like any other - but with certain differences. The neighbour's monkey was liable to escape and run across your roof. Surfing was conducted by driving cars across the breakwater. Lizards and firecrackers made frequent contact. Carlos Eire's childhood was a little different from most. His father was convinced he had been Louis XVI in a past life. At school, classmates with fathers in the Batista government were attended by chauffeurs and bodyguards. At a home crammed with artifacts and paintings, portraits of Jesus spoke to him in dreams and nightmares. Then, in January 1959, the world changes: Batista is suddenly gone, a cigar-smoking guerrilla has taken his place, and Christmas is cancelled. The echo of firing squads is everywhere. And, one by one, the author's schoolmates begin to disappear -- spirited away to the United States. Carlos will end up there himself, without his parents, never to see his father again.

Narrated with the urgency of a confession, Waiting For Snow In Havana is both an ode to a paradise lost and an exorcism. More than that, it captures the terrible beauty of those times in our lives when we are certain we have died -- and then are somehow, miraculously, reborn.

All of these thanks to Simon and Schuster!

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Winners!



Lots of winners in this post!

Hitch 22 Winners:
zameta3
choateorama
jessterlyn

The Broom of the System Winners:
Tina B.
Melody W.
Headlessfowl

The 30 Day Method:

Melissa S.
JGOffice

Backseat Saints Winners!
Writing.Meg
Knittingandsundries
Kristin D.

Congrats everyone!

Friday, November 19, 2010

Readings for the Season


This is my favorite time of year. Spending time with friends and family. Baking my extra special Christmas cookies. Shopping for the perfect present. Enjoying the lights, music, food, movies and, of course, the books.

If you are looking for terrific seasonal reads, might I suggest the following:

1) The Christmas Cookie Club by Ann Pearlman. It features several compelling story lines as well as some terrific cookie recipes.

2) A Highlander Christmas by Janet Chapman. For a fun, paranormal Christmas romance story.

3) A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens and edited Stephen Skelton. This is a completely annotated version of a classic story.

4) Cowboy and Wills by Monica Holloway. Technically, this is not a Christmas book, but part of the story takes place at Christmas time. Moreover, I think the story itself is suitably touching for the season.

Break out the egg nog and snuggle up with a good read. It is going to be a memorable holiday season!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Oogy
































Publisher's Summary. In the bestselling tradition of Rescuing Sprite comes the story of a puppy brought back from the brink of death, and the family he adopted.

In 2002, Larry Levin and his twin sons, Dan and Noah, took their terminally ill cat to the Ardmore Animal Hospital outside Philadelphia to have the beloved pet put to sleep. What would begin as a terrible day suddenly got brighter as the ugliest dog they had ever seen--one who was missing an ear and had half his face covered in scar tissue--ran up to them and captured their hearts. The dog had been used as bait for fighting dogs when he was just a few months old. He had been thrown in a cage and left to die until the police rescued him and the staff at Ardmore Animal Hospital saved his life. The Levins, whose sons are themselves adopted, were unable to resist Oogy's charms, and decided to take him home.

Heartwarming and redemptive, OOGY is the story of the people who were determined to rescue this dog against all odds, and of the family who took him home, named him "Oogy" (an affectionate derivative of ugly), and made him one of their own.

Review.

Dear Oogy,

You are my hero! Your story of surviving, despite being brutally disfigured, at least one or more vicious attacks while only a few months old and being left for dead is nothing short of amazing! Who knows how many days you had been lying in your cage, before the police found you and brought you to the animal hospital. Next, you had to undergo the first of many surgeries that saved your life, but caused you a lot of pain. Speaking of pain it turns out that you lived with chronic pain for over two years before it was discovered. What a strong character you have!

But what really inspires me is the way you bounced back from the trauma and abuse to reveal your happy and loving self. I am so glad that you have found a loving home with the Levins. I think it is extra special that the Levin boys and you share the special bond of being adopted/chosen by Larry and Jennifer Levin.

I am also excited about the new career you are embarking on as a certified therapy dog. I can only imagine the joy you will bring to hospitalized children and wounded vets. You rule!

Although we have never met, I would love to head up your fan club (or at least a local chapter). And if our paths ever cross, Milkbones are on me!

From your number one fan!




Advance review copy provided courtesy of the publisher.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

The Decaf Diet Review and Giveaway (with a Twist)






















Publisher's Summary. In The Decaf Diet, Eugene Wells explains how coffee, tea, soda, and chocolate are making a large contribution to the obesity epidemic. Wells explains how caffeine drives overeating while hindering weight loss, and in doing so he empowers readers to decide for themselves just to what extent caffeine should control their waistlines. In The Decaf Diet you will learn how caffeine makes you overeat, reduces your muscle mass, slows your metabolism, keeps your stress and insulin levels elevated, and can negatively affect thyroid function. You will also learn how to painlessly decrease or eliminate your caffeine intake for rapid weight loss, and how to reduce caffeine's fattening properties when you do have it.

Review. As someone who would like to lose a few pounds I was intrigued by Eugene Wells’ provocative book The Decaf Diet: Is Caffeine Making You Fat? I admit to being a little skeptical as I had never heard that caffeine could negatively affect one’s weight. However, after reading this well documented book (it includes over 70 pages of reference notes!) I am convinced.

According to Wells: “caffeine is at odds with weight loss because it decreases our feelings of satiety, contributes to overeating, and also decreases our energy expenditure while at rest.” Nor is weight gain the only side effect, caffeine also:

• Reduces muscle mass;
• Slows the metabolism;
• Elevates stress levels;
• Elevates insulin levels; and
• Negatively impacts thyroid function.

And if you think that being a tea drinker is any better -- think again! Wells states that regular tea is, in fact, even worse than coffee. Apparently, caffeinated tea (including green tea) contains large amounts of fluoride which can alter thyroid function.

After laying out the case why caffeine is harmful, Wells includes three decaf plans: gradual reduction; cold turkey; and optimal caffeine use (for those who want to continue to caffeine in moderation). As a caffeine lover, I paid particular attention to the last plan. Nowadays, I still have my morning java break, but I do, more often than not, skip the second cup. This, I think, is a start!

The Decaf Diet is a well researched book that may just convince you to grab a nice cup of herbal tea instead of the usual coffee and a muffin.

Giveaway Rules: Today I am giving away THREE copies of this informative book! The first three U.S and Canada residents who comment on this post and leave a valid email address in the post (you can include spaces in the email and or spell the symbols) are the winners.

Review copy provided courtesy of the author.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

The Family Dinner Giveaway (ends 12/11)


Publisher's Summary. The producer of An Inconvenient Truth, Laurie David's new mission is to help America's overwhelmed families sit down to a Family Dinner, and she provides all the reasons, recipes and fun tools to do so.

Laurie David speaks from her own experience confronting the challenges of raising two teenage girls. Today's parents have lots to deal with and technology is making their job harder than ever. Research has proven that everything we worry about as parents--from drugs to alcohol, promiscuity, to obesity, academic achievement and just good old nutrition--can all be improved by the simple act of eating and talking together around the table.

Laurie has written a practical, inspirational, fun (and, of course, green) guide to the most important hour in any parent's day. Chock-full chapters include: Over seventy-five kid approved fantastic recipes; tips on teaching green values; conversation starters; games to play to help even the shyest family member become engaged; ways to express gratitude; the family dinner after divorce (hint: keep eating together) and much more. Filled with moving memories and advice from the country's experts and teachers, this book will get everyone away from electronic screens and back to the dinner table.

Giveaway Rules. Today I am giving away ONE copy of this yummy book!

Entry: Comment with your email address in the body of the comment (you can list it as mary123 (at) yahoo(dot)com). If you do not list your email address your entry will not count.

Extra Entry: Sign up to follow my blog (or let me know that you are a current follower). NOTE: This extra entry MUST be left in a separate comment or it will not count.

The giveaway is open to Canadian and US residents only.
You must be 18 years of age or older.
NO P.O. Boxes for the winner’s mailing address.
Publisher will only send one copy per household regardless of the site won on.

Giveaway ends December 11th . Good Luck!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Mailbox Monday -- November 15th



The reason why I love Mondays -- Mailbox Monday hosted this month by Knitting and Sundries. Below are the following advance review copies that I received these awhile ago, but forgot to post so I am posting them as this week's haul:

1) Raising the Dead. by Chauncey W. Crandall IV, MD.  Publisher's Summary.  On October 20, 2006, a middle-aged auto mechanic, Jeff Markin, walked into the emergency room at the Palm Beach Gardens Hospital and collapsed from a massive heart attack. Forty minutes later he was declared dead. After filling out his final report, the supervising cardiologist, Dr. Chauncey Crandall, started out of the room. "Before I crossed its threshold, however, I sensed God was telling me to turn around and pray for the patient," Crandall explained.With that prayer and Dr. Crandall's instruction to give the man what seemed one more useless shock from the defibrillator, Jeff Markin came back to life--and remains alive and well today.

But how did a Yale-educated cardiologist whose Palm Beach practice includes some of the most powerful people in American society, including several billionaires, come to believe in supernatural healing?
The answers to these questions compose a story and a spiritual journey that transformed Chauncey Crandall.

2) What Good is God? Phillip Yancey.  Publisher's Summary.  Journalist and spiritual seeker Philip Yancey has always struggled with the most basic questions of the Christian faith. The question he tackles in WHAT GOOD IS GOD? concerns the practical value of belief in God. His search for the answer to this question took him to some amazing settings around the world: Mumbai, India when the firing started during the terrorist attacks; at the motel where Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated; on the Virginia Tech campus soon after the massacre; an AA convention; and even to a conference for women in prostitution.

3) The Postcard Killers by James Patterson and Liza Marklund.  Publisher's Summary.   
Paris is stunning in the summer
NYPD detective Jacob Kanon is on a tour of Europe's most gorgeous cities. But the sights aren't what draw him--he sees each museum, each cathedral, and each cafe through the eyes of his daughter's killer.

The killing is simply marvelous

Kanon's daughter, Kimmy, and her boyfriend were murdered while on vacation in Rome. Since then, young couples in Paris, Copenhagen, Frankfurt, and Stockholm have been found dead. Little connects the murders, other than a postcard to the local newspaper that precedes each new victim.

Wish you were here

Now Kanon teams up with the Swedish reporter, Dessie Larsson, who has just received a postcard in Stockholm--and they think they know where the next victims will be. With relentless logic and unstoppable action, The Postcard Killers may be James Patterson's most vivid and compelling thriller yet.

4) A Christmas Carol: A Pop- Up Book by Chuck Fischer.  Publisher's Summary.  This beautiful re-imagining of Charles Dickens's timeless fable, A Christmas Carol: A Pop-Up Book features artist Chuck Fischer's richly painted depictions of the tale of Ebenezer Scrooge and the Ghosts of Christmas Past, Present, and Future, brought to life in intricate pop-up scenes by paper engineer Bruce Foster. The entire text of A Christmas Carol is reproduced in five removable, illustrated, keepsake booklets. An introductory booklet provides a biography of Dickens and an illustrated feature on the enduring appeal of this beloved story.

5) The Family Dinner by Laurie David.  Publisher's Summary.  The producer of An Inconvenient Truth, Laurie David's new mission is to help America's overwhelmed families sit down to a Family Dinner, and she provides all the reasons, recipes and fun tools to do so.

Laurie David speaks from her own experience confronting the challenges of raising two teenage girls. Today's parents have lots to deal with and technology is making their job harder than ever. Research has proven that everything we worry about as parents--from drugs to alcohol, promiscuity, to obesity, academic achievement and just good old nutrition--can all be improved by the simple act of eating and talking together around the table.

Laurie has written a practical, inspirational, fun (and, of course, green) guide to the most important hour in any parent's day. Chock-full chapters include: Over seventy-five kid approved fantastic recipes; tips on teaching green values; conversation starters; games to play to help even the shyest family member become engaged; ways to express gratitude; the family dinner after divorce (hint: keep eating together) and much more. Filled with moving memories and advice from the country's experts and teachers, this book will get everyone away from electronic screens and back to the dinner table.

6) The Peanuts Collection. by Nat Gertler.  Publisher's Summary.  This fully authorized, one-of-a-kind illustrated book celebrates the 60th anniversary of the world's most beloved comic strip characters. A compendium of rare materials from the Charles M. Schulz Museum and family archives, The Peanuts Collection comes in a sturdy slipcase and features high-quality reproductions of original sketches, comics, and photographs from the world of Peanuts. Removable film cells, stickers, and booklets are included, as well as reproduction prints of Peanuts artwork ready for framing.

All of these thanks to Hachette Book Group!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Novica 50 GC Winner!



A big congrats to panicxduh winner of the $50 Novica Gift Card. Have fun shopping!

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Backseat Saints Giveaway Ends Today!



The giveaway for this terrific audiobook ends today. And you know what they say, you gotta play to win, so be sure to get your entry in here.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Running of the Books





















Publisher's Summary. Avi Steinberg is stumped. After defecting from yeshiva to Harvard, he has only a senior thesis essay on Bugs Bunny to show for his effort. While his friends and classmates advance in the world, he remains stuck at a crossroads, unable to meet the lofty expectations of his Orthodox Jewish upbringing. And his romantic existence as a freelance obituary writer just isn’t cutting it. Seeking direction—and dental insurance—Steinberg takes a job as a librarian in a tough Boston prison.

The prison library counter, his new post, attracts con men, minor prophets, ghosts, and an assortment of quirky regulars searching for the perfect book and a connection to the outside world. There’s an anxious pimp who solicits Steinberg’s help in writing a memoir. A passionate gangster who dreams of hosting a cooking show titled Thug Sizzle. A disgruntled officer who instigates a major feud over a Post-it note. A doomed ex-stripper who asks Steinberg to orchestrate a reunion with her estranged son, himself an inmate. Over time, Steinberg is drawn into the accidental community of outcasts that has formed among his bookshelves — a drama he recounts with heartbreak and humor. But when the struggles of the prison library — between life and death, love and loyalty — become personal, Steinberg is forced to take sides.

Running the Books is a trenchant exploration of prison culture and an entertaining tale of one young man’s earnest attempt to find his place in the world while trying not to get fired in the process.

Review. In the free world, libraries are a gathering place for the community to share books, participate in events, or simply hang out, but what purpose does a prison library serve? To fulfill prisoners’ legal rights to law books? To serve as a harmless distraction for inmates? To plant the seeds of rehabilitation? To teach how to be a “better” criminal? According to the accidental prison librarian, Avi Steinberg, the answer is all of the above.

When the Harvard educated, free lance obituary writer, Steinberg answers a craigslist ad for a prison librarian, he soon learns that his job in a Boston prison is anything, but the normal 9-5 routine. As the prison librarian, he is constantly torn between two worlds: jailer and educator; supervisor of an inmate crew and coworker to guards; friendly, but not friend of inmates. One of his coworkers confesses to Steinberg, “You’re in a bind here, you don’t have that uniform. Your authority comes from you, your actions alone.” To fill this gap Steinberg rises to the role of “Sheriff Librarian” protecting his turf and keeping the inmates in line. Still Steinberg finds it hard not to occasionally identify with some of the inmates. For example, there is Jessica who comes to Steinberg’s creative writing class to watch her inmate son in the prison yard. And there is also Josh Schreiber a prisoner with a background that matches Steinberg’s, save for the addiction and burglary offenses.

Running the Books covers an unusual subject matter in an insightful, compassionate, and often humorous way. Steinberg is an observant writer who mastered the prison lingo and culture. I loved learning about “kites” (notes left in books); “catching a case” (a criminal offense); “skywriting” (sweeping hand signals done before a cell window) and “feeders” (staff who give food to inmates). Of course, not all of the subject matter concerns light topics, but even when Steinberg delves into disturbing or sad events the insights are worth the discomfort.

Running the Books is an enlightening and entertaining memoir of a colorful period in Steinberg’s life.



Advance review copy provided courtesy of the publisher.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

A Christmas Carol: A Pop Up Book Giveaway (ends 12/4 )


Publisher's Summary. This beautiful re-imagining of Charles Dickens's timeless fable, A Christmas Carol: A Pop-Up Book features artist Chuck Fischer's richly painted depictions of the tale of Ebenezer Scrooge and the Ghosts of Christmas Past, Present, and Future, brought to life in intricate pop-up scenes by paper engineer Bruce Foster. The entire text of A Christmas Carol is reproduced in five removable, illustrated, keepsake booklets. An introductory booklet provides a biography of Dickens and an illustrated feature on the enduring appeal of this beloved story.

Giveaway Rules. Today I am giving away ONE copy of this classic book made in pop up form!

Entry: Comment with your email address in the body of the comment (you can list it as mary123 (at) yahoo(dot)com). If you do not list your email address your entry will not count.

Extra Entries: Sign up to follow my blog (or let me know that you are a current follower); follow me on twitter (DCMetroreader) and on Facebook (Metroreader). NOTE: These extra entries MUST be left in a separate comment or will not count.


The giveaway is open to Canadian and US residents only.
You must be 18 years of age or older.
NO P.O. Boxes for the winner’s mailing address.
Publisher will only send one copy per household regardless of the site won on.

Giveaway ends December 4th. Good Luck!

Monday, November 8, 2010

Mailbox Monday -- November 8th

The reason why I love Mondays -- Mailbox Monday hosted this month by Knitting and Sundries. Below are the following advance review copies that I received this week.

1) A Place to Die by Dorothy James. Publisher's Summary. Murder and mayhem in the Vienna Woods? Hardly what Eleanor and Franz Fabian expect when they arrive from New York to spend Christmas with Franz’s mother who has just reluctantly moved into a sedate retirement home. A long-married middle-aged couple, they are bored with each other and with their habitual quibbling mode of communication. They are in no mood to deal with the insoluble problems of an aged parent. To Franz’s chagrin, Eleanor gleefully escapes the role of bored wife to try herself out as amateur sleuth, would-be assistant to Inspector Büchner, a detective with a sense of history as well as a sense of humor. He tracks down the murderer against a backdrop of Viennese history, the history that has formed a backdrop to the lives of the elderly residents, from the Nazi years to the present day.

Thanks to the author!

2) How the Government Got in Your Backyard by Jeff Gilman and Eric Heberlig. Publisher's Summary Biotechnology — the future or a genetic time bomb? Renewable fuels — the key to cleaner air or just corporate welfare? Greenhouse gasses — baking the earth to death or just a needless worry? Plant patents — improving gardens and farms or just profiteering? When you stop to think about it, the government has its hand in every important environmental issue. And with the left and the right raucously disagreeing about whether the government’s policies are for good or for evil, it’s impossible for a concerned citizen to know what to think.

How the Government Got in Your Backyard distills the science, the politics, and the unbiased, nonpartisan truth behind hot-button environmental issues from pesticides to global warming. By clearly representing what the left says, what the right says, what the science is, and what the facts are, Gillman and Heberlig don’t set out to provide the answer — they light the path so concerned citizens can uncover their own true and informed opinion. In this season of political discontent, the unbiased truth about environmental policies — free of political agendas — is as refreshing as it is fascinating.

How the Government Got in Your Backyard is not for Republicans or Democrats, liberals or conservatives. It’s for anyone who is ready to get to the bottom line.

Thanks to Timber Press!

3) Moonlight Mile by Dennis Lehane. Publisher's Summary Amanda McCready was four years old when she vanished from a Boston neighborhood twelve years ago. Desperate pleas for help from the child's aunt led investigators Kenzie and Gennaro to take on the case. The pair risked everything to find the young girl—only to orchestrate her return to a neglectful mother and a broken home.

Now Amanda is sixteen—and gone again. A stellar student, brilliant but aloof, she seemed destined to escape her upbringing. Yet Amanda's aunt is once more knocking on Patrick Kenzie's door, fearing the worst for the little girl who has blossomed into a striking, clever young woman—a woman who hasn't been seen in weeks.

Haunted by their consciences, Kenzie and Gennaro revisit the case that troubled them the most. Their search leads them into a world of identity thieves, methamphetamine dealers, a mentally unstable crime boss and his equally demented wife, a priceless, thousand-year-old cross, and a happily homicidal Russian gangster. It's a world in which motives and allegiances constantly shift and mistakes are fatal.

In their desperate fight to confront the past and find Amanda McCready, Kenzie and Gennaro will be forced to question if it's possible to do the wrong thing and still be right or to do the right thing and still be wrong. As they face an evil that goes beyond broken families and broken dreams, they discover that the sins of yesterday don't always stay buried and the crimes of today could end their lives.

Thanks to Harper Collins!

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Friday, November 5, 2010

30-Day Method




























Publisher's Summary. Did you know muscles get bored, just like people do? And did you also know that there's a 9 out of 10 chance that you're working the wrong muscles when you exercise? With TRACY ANDERSON'S 30-DAY METHOD you don't have to worry--her unique workout will help you drop the weight and shrink your body in just 30 days.

Based on ten years of scientific research and experience getting not just herself, but A-list stars and everyday people, red carpet ready, Anderson has developed a unique 30-day diet and workout routine that reshapes the body and defies genetics to tone the muscles and drop the pounds. While most people incorrectly target their major muscle groups, like the bicep or hamstring, the focus should be on the smaller accessory muscles that can create a long, lean, balanced look--instead of bulked up look. Anderson's program is composed of a groundbreaking three-tiered approach, including a mat workout and cardio routine targeting the all-important accessory muscles, and an exclusive 30-day meal plan, complete with dozens of delicious recipes.

This comprehensive kick-start program is unlike any other workout on the market and it leaves no chance for anything but terrific, fast results!

Review. Given the choice between a leisurely jog through the park on a crisp, sunny, fall day and staying in bed with the latest biography and a venti skim latte, I will choose the book and coffee every time. Moreover, I am a carboholic: pasta, bread, cakes, and cookies, I love them all! Yes, I am a true couch potato. I say this not to brag, but to acknowledge what I am. I know my personal preferences are not a winning combination for long term health and fitness. And I want to change --- really I do. So when the opportunity came along to review Tracy Anderson’s 30-Day Method I jumped on it.

Tracy Anderson, a personal trainer to celebrities including Gwyneth Paltrow and Courtney Cox, has written a plan for getting in shape in a month’s time. According to Anderson:

“The Method works for everyone, hands down. So what’ll you find in my book is my 30-Day Method: a complete program with a cardio routine, plus new mat exercise sequences every ten days to keep your accessory muscles focused and at attention. You’ll lose the fat and tone your muscles. And once you add in the 30-Day eating plan, you’ll really see results!

With statements like that my interest was definitely piqued. I also liked that the 30-Day Method has lots of pictures of the muscle toning exercises; a cardio companion dvd for the dance aerobics, and a detailed meal plan (one for meat eaters and the other for vegetarians, but both unfortunately lack calorie counts). This all sounded very promising, but also a little intimidating too. While I wanted to ease into making healthier eating choices and incorporate a sustainable exercise plan into my life, the 30-Day Method is all or nothing – there is no room for deviations. As Anderson declares, it is her way or the highway. For me, I am looking for a long term plan that I can grow with and maintain. If, however, you are willing to commit completely to Anderson’s program, or at a higher level of fitness than I am, I have no doubt that you will see results.

The 30-Day Method is an intensive, detailed plan for getting into shape!




Review copy provided courtesy of the publisher.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Guest Post: Why A Place to Die by author Dorothy James


Today I am pleased to post the following guest post from Dorothy James, author of the thriller/mystery: A Place to Die.

Why “A Place to Die”?

A murder mystery, I thought, that’s what I’ll write, now that I’ve retired from the world of work and can do what I like. I’ve always read murder mysteries for fun—though with a bit of a bad conscience--how, when you really think about it, can murder be fun? But now I wanted finally to escape the academic straitjacket and write something that would entertain. And I wanted to escape from myself, and write something that was distinctly not autobiographical. But the freedom of a open-style novel was not yet for me. I have always liked the constraints of form in poetry; I could never write free verse. And a murder mystery has a form, it has conventions, it has certain set patterns that drive the plot forward, that discipline the writer and even develop the characters. So a murder mystery it was.

I visited the mother of my dearest friend in an old people’s home, and I thought, an ideal setting for a murder mystery: a group of people confined in one place, all with long lives behind them, many motives for murder, past and present, many reasons to love and to hate, many intertwined stories. And so it began, old people living together in a place to spend the rest of their lives, or, one might say, a place to die. I was living in Vienna at the time, a wonderful city for stories rooted in the past. But soon after I began to write, my own father in Wales began to die and his dying took many months, and the murder mystery that was started for fun, to escape from myself, became an exploration of growing old, of slowly, slowly facing the passing of time and the inevitable end of life. One way to preserve dignity in this daunting phase of life is to face up to it with humor, with irony, with the ability to laugh at oneself. And so it was that I did after all write a murder mystery for fun, a place to find my own laughter, to catch my own tears.

About the Author: Dorothy James was born in Wales and grew up in the South Wales Valleys. Writer, editor, and translator, she has published short stories as well as books and articles on German and Austrian literature. She has taught at universities in the U.S., England, and Germany, makes her home now in Brooklyn and often spends time in Vienna and Berlin. She wrote A Place to Die in her attic apartment on the edge of the Vienna Woods. She has travelled far from Wales, but has not lost the Welsh love of playing with language; she writes poems for pleasure as does Chief Inspector Büchner, the whimsical Viennese detective who unravels the first mystery in this new series of novels.

Read an excerpt of A Place to Die here.