Fun Facts Friday: Elizabeth Coatsworth
Fun Facts Friday , Latest Posts / May 31, 2013

Elizabeth Coatsworth (31 May, 1893 – 31 August, 1986) was an American author known for her children’s stories and poetry for both kids and adults.  Born in Buffalo, New York, Elizabeth was the daughter of a prosperous grain merchant.  As a young girl, Coatsworth went to a private girls’ school.  Her parents took her traveling with them, my age 5 she already visited the Alps and Egypt. Coatsworth as a Master of Arts from Columbia University. The author’s first published works appeared in poetry magazines and her first book, Fox Footprints, was published in 1923 and was a collection of poetry for adults. Coatsworth friend, Louise Seaman, founded the first children’s book publishing dept. at Macmillan. Louise is the one that convinced Elizabeth to write her first children’s book. The Cat Who Went to Heaven was published in 1930. The book tells the story of an artist who is painting a picture of Buddha for a group of monks. The Cat Who Went to Heaven earned Coatsworth a Newberry Medal for “the most distinguished contribution to American literature for children”. Coatsworth won praises for her adult fiction as well, especially The Incredible Tales.  Over the span of an incredible career, Coatsworth…

Armchair BEA – Day 3 – Literary Fiction
Latest Posts / May 30, 2013

Armchair BEA – Day 3 – Literary Fiction Hmm… literary fiction – how do you even define that? What’s literary fiction for me could be utter crap to you and vice versa. Heck, I bet half of us (myself included) can’t even define literary fiction – which is why I Goggled it to find a good definition so I could at least write a post without looking like a complete idiot (part idiot is fine, I do it on a daily base). I’ve visited several sites, all by established authors, publishers and editors (and Wikipedia) and no-one seems to agree on what literary fiction actually is. However, the one common theme to all is that literary fiction is character driven rather than plot driven and is “elegantly written, lyrical, and … layered” – something so abstract and general that you’d be hard pressed to find two people who agree on what that means. So here is the problem, if someone asked me to read a character driven, lyrical book I’d probably pass on it. That being said, I read these types of books before and some I actually loved. So the questions still remain: what is my favorite literary fiction…

Armchair BEA – Day 2 – Genre Fiction
Latest Posts / May 29, 2013

Today’s topic on Armchair BEA is out of my league, the question is about favorite fantasy/sci fi / horror etc. My brain is not wired for these type of stories, once in a while I can read a magic book like Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell but that’s just about it. I tried to read Lord of the Rings several times, including listening to the audio book, because people told me how great it was and I kept thinking I was missing something. But I couldn’t get 100 pages in. Same with Game of Thrones. Same with Harry Potter. There are two genre fiction I like to read, those taking place in or around World War II – a subject which I’m fascinated about and novels about espionage (which are usually set around that time as well). But let’s face it, a good book is a good book regardless of genre. Sure we’re able to narrow down what we want to read based on a myriad of factors (author, cover, blurb) including genre.

Book Review: The Geneva Option by Adam LeBor
4 Stars , Fiction , Latest Posts / May 29, 2013

About: The Geneva Option by Adam LeBor is a novel which introduces the reader to Yael Azoulay, a high-level UN staffer. The book is marketed as being the first in a trilogy by Mr. LeBor who is, by trade, an author and journalist. The pub­lisher is giv­ing away one copy of this book –to enter fill out the Raf­fle­copt­ter form at the end of the post. 368 pages Publisher: Harper Paperbacks Language: English ISBN-10: 0062208551 My rat­ing for The Geneva Option — 4 Buy this book in paper or elec­tronic format* More Books by Adam LeBor Thoughts: The Geneva Option by Adam LeBor is a gripping thriller which introduces the world to a strong heroine. The world created by the author is raw and brutal, a world most of us would like to think does not exist. Yael Azoulay, the protagonist, is truly an international woman with no roots and no place she can call home. This is a fast paced book is entertaining on the surface but has a lot going for it in between the lines.  The lose-lose deals Yael has to strike leave the reader feeling almost dirty but with the clear understanding that they must be made…

Armchair BEA – Introduction
Latest Posts / May 28, 2013

1. Who are you? I’m Zohar, been blogging for about 3.5 years but I feel as if I’m getting worst at it instead of better. I got into blogging because I wanted to write my thoughts about the books I read and have some feedback. Simple. 2. Where in the world are you blogging from? Tell a random fact or something special about your current location. Feel free to share pictures. I’m blogging from Delaware, we just moved here (we’re on the DE, NJ, PA border) from NJ due to my work. I have a hell of a commute but the kids are in a good school and my wife loves the area. There is a horse park right around the corner which my daughter loves. 3. Have you previously participated in Armchair BEA? What brought you back for another year? If you have not previously participated, what drew you to the event? I’m back for another year, I’ve done this event two years in a row (this is my third) and I always seem to miss the initial post. It’s a fun event and I was really thinking I’d go to the BEA this year in NYC, but it…

Bookish Beer – Raven Special Lager
Latest Posts / May 27, 2013

When shopping for some brew I noticed this beer on the shelf, from the same people who brought you The Raven Beer. I love the graphics, the taste and of course the tag line “The Taste is so Poetic”. This beer, to me, seems to go well with foods which are spicy, especially meats. This beer reminded me of the beers I had in Zurich.    

Fun Facts Friday: Mikhail Sholokhov
Fun Facts Friday , Latest Posts / May 24, 2013

Award winning Russian writer Mikhail Sholokhov (24 May, 1905 – 21 February 1984) was known for write and the Russian revolution, Civil War and collectivization. 1)      Sholokhov was born in Veshenskaya, known as “land of the Cossacks”. 2)      Sholokhov’s mother learned how to read late in life for the sole purpose of corresponding with her son. 3)      At the age of 13 Sholokhov fought in the Russian civil war for the Bolshevikk side for several years. 4)      After the war Sholokhov moved to Moscow to work as a journalist. He held several jobs including a stonemason and an accountant to pay the bills and be able to participate in writers’ seminars. 5)      In 1923 Sholokhov published his first work, The Test, but returned to Veshenskaya in 1924 to devote  himself to writing. 6)      In 1924 Sholokhov married Maria Petrovna Gromoslavskaia. The couple had two daughters and two sons. 7)      Sholokhov’s most famous book, And Quiet Flows the Don which deals with Cossacks before and during World War I and the Russian civil war earned him the Stalin Prize and took 14 years to finish. The work, called socialist realism, was the most read Soviet fiction and won Sholokhov the 1965 Nobel…

Book Review: Seduction by M.J. Rose
4 Stars , Fiction , Latest Posts / May 23, 2013

About: Seduction by M.J. Rose is another novel in the Reincarnationist series. This is the fifth book in the series and deals with past lives as do the other books. 384 pages Publisher: Atria Books Language: English ISBN-10: 1451621507 My Rating for Seduction – 4 Buy this book in paper or electronic format* More books by M. J. Rose Thoughts: Seduction by M.J. Rose (web­site) is a detailed and somewhat haunting novel. This Gothic tales touches on reincarnation (as do the other books in the series), love and loss, pain and family secrets. Half the book takes place in present time, the other half in the past in which author Victor Hugo is a major part of. While I do enjoy Ms. Rose’s work and writing style, the fact that Hugo was in the book was a major draw for me. While there is some romance in the book, as well as a few paranormal elements (not the normal genre I read) they are sub-stories to the main narrative. As the other books in the series, this one also deals with finding about past lives and how they affect individuals to this day. While the book can be read as a…

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