Monthly Archives: February 2013

An Extended Vacation Full of Reading

VailLast week a big chunk of the Edelson clan met up in Vail for a little vacation. For Andrew and I, this “little” vacation became a bit bigger. That’s because, as per our travel luck, we were stuck in Denver an extra couple of days thanks to a snowstorm.

Fortunately, I was prepared. Even after a planeful of reading on the way to Colorado, I had plenty of Defending Jacob left to go by the time we spent an extended stay in the Aloft Denver International Airport Hotel. By the time we touched down in Newark two days later and a different airport than expected, I was done with William Landay’s novel and onto a new book for work.

Well before I bought Defending Jacob, I had heard about it. Everywhere I turned people were reading it and we considered it for book club more than once. When it came time to pick a vacation book, it seemed like the natural choice. And I’m glad I did. For a long book, it’s a quick read. While it’s not a super action-packed thriller by any means, it kept me hooked and the twist at the end was an interesting surprise. Some people I talked to hated the ending and some really liked it. I’m in the “liked it” camp. Without going into too much detail, I thought it provided an unusual conclusion without being quite so Gone Girl unsatisfying.

If you’ve read Defending Jacob, what did you think of the end? (Without giving it away of course…)

Defending Jacob in Vail

Defending JacobTonight Andrew and I join his family in Vail for a long weekend. Since ski bunny I am not, I envision much time spent with a good book in front of a good fire.

More likely this scenario will involve chatting, games, and wine in front of a good fire. I can’t complain since all of the above are a few of my favorite things.

For my vacation reading I’ve chosen Defending Jacob by William Landay. I’ve heard good things both from reviews and from friends. The author’s website gives me a little peek into what I’m getting myself into:

At home, Andy Barber is a quiet family man, a devoted husband and father. At work, he is a trusted senior prosecutor, the District Attorney’s right hand and master trial lawyer. When a teenaged boy is found dead in the woods near Barber’s suburban home, naturally he takes on the investigation, as he has countless homicides before. But the case may be Barber’s undoing: in a terrifying swerve, Barber’s own 14-year-old son, Jacob, is accused of the murder.

While not exactly lighthearted, Defending Jacob should be a compelling read. And even if I don’t find myself curling up in front of the fire with it, I know I’ll certainly be curling up on the airplane with it. As much as one can curl up on an airplane (sorry in advance Andrew).

See you all next week!

“What Good Books Have You Read Lately?”

Billy Lynn's Long Halftime WalkWhen you work in publishing and have a book blog, people think you know a thing or two about books. Weird, right?

Since I love talking about books I appreciate this assumption, but it does bring a certain amount of pressure. By now, I really should be more prepared.

Out at a bar on a Saturday night two different people asked me what good books I’d read lately. Not a hard question, especially for someone who reads as much as I do. And yet, I struggled. I pretty much answered both with an “Oh, um, hmm, let me think… uh, well, I’m listening to Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk now and it’s, uh, pretty good.”

Perhaps because I’ve been reading a lot of manuscripts for work lately, I don’t have that many current books to recommend. Plus I am horrible at remembering what I’ve read recently. Still, I should be able to come through with an answer.

I think from now on at any given time I should have a list of the top books I’ve read in the past few months assembled in my head for when the situation arises. My current one would probably include Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk (well, it’s true), The Middlesteins, Game Change, Where’d You Go Bernadette, and Beautiful Ruins. Give me a few months and I’m sure it will change.

Not The Anne Shirley I Know

As a child, I loved the Anne of Green Gables novels. But it seems a publisher has set out to crush these wonderful childhood memories.

The book-loving internet world is, justifiably, outraged by an Anne of Green Gables cover Create Space Independent Publishing Platform has put on a new edition of the classic. The updated book cover features an Anne Shirley that differs slightly from the old image of the beloved fictional character. Let’s take a look shall we?

Old cover:

AnneGreenGables17

New cover:

ht_anne_of_green_gables_ll_130207_vblog

My, my, Anne has certainly undergone a makeover. It’s all a bit jarring considering the novels describe Anne as red-haired and freckle-faced. Suddenly there is voluminous blonde hair, a sultry smirk, and boobs!

What’s next? The Boxcar Children with tattoos?

Marisa De Los Santos Binge

Falling TogetherI’ve been neglecting the blog a little these days but it’s because I’ve been on a Marisa de los Santos binge. As I mentioned, I recently read Love Walked In and then I immediately picked up the sequel, Belong to Me. While I initially expressed reluctance towards the books, I quickly found myself absorbed.

By the time I finished Belong to Me, I couldn’t get the characters out of my head. Because they took up residence in my brain, it took a while for me to move on. Almost a week went by before I picked up another book. Nothing else was calling out to me. Now I’m eyeing de los Santos’ newest novel Falling Together. It appears to be about a completely new set of characters, though, so there’s less urgency to pick it up. I’ll add it to the list.

In the meantime, I’m checking out a few books for work. More on those later. And suggestions for new books to read are always welcome!

Marisa De Los Santos And Me

Belong To MeThe other day I  randomly plucked Loved Walked In off my shelf. I bought it on a whim a couple of years ago because my mom had recommended the author, Marisa de los Santos, and I chose it now because it looked like a quick, light read.

At first I was skeptical. The story is told from two alternating perspectives: 27-year-old Cornelia and 11-year-old Clare. For some reason, Cornelia rubbed me the wrong way in the beginning. She spoke to the reader too much and with too many asides. (I probably write like this… which is why I don’t read things I write.) However, I immediately liked Clare. What can I say, I have a soft spot for precocious child narrators.

The gist of the story is that Clare’s mother has been acting strangely and Clare is trying hard to keep her life together. At the same time, Cornelia is dating a man she thinks she really likes but isn’t so sure. She’s also not so sure about the rest of her life and what she’s doing with it. Then Clare walks into Cornelia’s coffee shop and both are changed because of it.

It’s pure women’s fiction. But sometimes I like a good pure women’s fiction book. With Love Walked In, I went from skeptical to satisfied.

So when it came to choosing my next book and no grand ideas appeared, I picked up the other Marisa de los Santos book on my shelf. I had ignored it the first time around because it is longer and I had been in the mood for something short. Turns out that was a great decision because Belong To Me is in fact the sequel (of sorts) to Love Walked In. I had no idea.

My mom actually gave me this copy of Belong To Me so it’s nice to be holding something of hers. That didn’t stop me from once again starting off skeptical about the book though. Again, it’s pure women’s fiction. This one’s told from three different characters perspectives: Cornelia, Piper (the mean neighbor who is clearly going to become less mean), and 13-year-old boy genius Dev. Clare was my favorite character from Love Walked In and I was disappointed that she wasn’t a main feature again.  But I’m 100 pages in and I’m already rushing to finish this post so I can go back to reading.

And by “so I can go back to reading” what I really mean is “so I can go watch Grey’s… and then read.”

[Update: Clare has just made an appearance in the book so I can stop complaining.]