Thursday, July 25, 2013

Comfort Foods and Curious Phenomena


The Kitchen Daughter by Jael McHenry


Ginny has Asperger's, and one of the few things that calms and comforts her during times of stress, is cooking. So when she's trying to cope with the sudden death of her parents by making one of her grandmother Nonna's recipes, and Nonna's ghost appears in the kitchen, she's not sure what to think. Is she being cursed or has she got a gift? One thing for certain, she can't tell her sister Amanda, or she'll certainly have to move in with her and her family. More importantly, what was the message Nonna was trying to tell her, just as she faded away? Whatever it was, Ginny knows one thing - she wants to be left alone to find out and take care of herself, no matter what Amanda thinks.

Friday, July 19, 2013

Who is the better writer - Robert Galbraith or J.K. Rowling?

Yes, I know full well that the novel "The Cuckoo's Calling" was published under Rowling's pseudonym Robert Galbraith. By all accounts, the novel was getting fairly good reviews before anyone knew the truth about the author. While it wasn't being considered for any best sellers lists, it was certainly not doing badly for a seemingly "debut" novel.

But when the truth was revealed, two things happened. First of all, the sales started going through the roof, with both the UK and US Amazon sites have it as ranked #1. (I wish I knew how it had ranked before the news broke.) Secondly, a huge number of one-star reviews started popping up on both the Amazon sites. Obviously people were angry about being duped, or maybe they were angry at having the truth leaked. There were a few more four and five star reviews that showed up to counter this, but it seems no one thought the book was all bad until after the news came out. Does that seem a touch suspicious to you? It does to me!

Monday, July 15, 2013

A Novel of Art, Birds and Mysteries

The Gravity of Birds by Tracey Guzeman


This book follows two paths. First we have the story of Alice and Natalie Kessler - sisters who were once lovingly close and now forcibly remain together, still bonded by mutual bitterness. Part of that bitterness comes from Alice's Rheumatoid Arthritis, and Natalie's need to care for her sister after their parents die. But a larger part comes from the pasts that both women are running from.


Saturday, July 13, 2013

Come to me, my little pretties!

Here in Israel, where English is maybe the third, if not the fourth language of the country, bookstores don't leave much room for English titles on their shelves. Those they do stock are more often than not fan-fiction, and what I call best-seller pulp (Danielle Steele, Stephen King, etc.) that hold little to no appeal for me. Since these are imports, they also aren't always affordable. Used bookshops do exist here, but there too one finds slim pickings at the best of times. Plus, these shops are almost always located off beaten and inconvenient tracks. In short, since moving to Israel, obtaining reading material in my native tongue has always been a bit of a challenge here.