Cover Wars: The Changeable Spots of Leopards

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The Changeable Spots of Leopards by Kristopher Jansma was one of the most unique novels I read in 2013, but for some reason it didn’t seem to attract the kind of attention I thought it deserved. Jennifer at The Relentless Reader mentioned the same thing yesterday. Continue reading

The Mad Sculptor by Harold Schechter

The-mad-sculptorI will be completely honest with you and say that I chose The Mad Sculptor: The Maniac, The Model and The Murder that Shook the Nation┬ábecause I had it mixed up in my head with The Wife, The Maid and the Mistress by Ariel Lawhon. Both are New York based mysteries set in the 1930s and both use alliteration with the letter ‘M’ in their titles. Beyond that, there is little similarity.

The Mad Sculptor is about a murder that rocked New York City in 1937. Robert Irwin, a brilliant young sculptor, went to the apartment of his unrequited love interest and killed her mother and a boarder before finally killing Veronica. Following the murders, Irwin was the target of a manhunt that lasted several months. Continue reading

Local Customs by Audrey Thomas

local-customsIs it just me or is Audrey Thomas one of Canada’s most underrated writers? She’s won numerous prizes for her works over the years, and yet she doesn’t seem to garner the same sort of attention and conversation as Carol Shields or Elizabeth Hay. Her new novel, Local Customs, is a fabulous and fascinating true tale that I read in one sitting. Continue reading

Cover Wars: Lucy Clarke

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Well, this is my most difficult Cover Wars post so far. What happens when one book is given different titles in different countries? I’m not talking about language differences. No, this is completely different titles in two English speaking regions. Continue reading

The Sea Sisters by Lucy Clarke

For Christmas this year my in-laws gave me a book subscription to the Willoughby Book Club. It is the greatest gift ever. Every month I receive one paperback of literary fiction (subscriptions are tailored to your likes). They come beautifully wrapped and I love that it will be a surprise.

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The Golden Day by Ursula Dubosarsky

the-golden-dayIs it just me, or is Australian literature experiencing somewhat of a renaissance right now? It seems as though every other book I pick up these days is by an Australian. The Golden Day by Ursula Dubosarsky is the latest piece of Aussie lit to grab my attention. The novel is about the day Miss Renshaw goes missing on a class excursion to the park and the legacy it leaves behind on the eleven girls in her class.

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Cover Wars: The Rosie Project

The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion seems to be one of the break out books of 2013. There are some nay-sayers out there, but I feel pretty comfortable about recommending this book to just about anyone. Also, I thought this would be a good chance to tie-in with Katie and Fellowship of the Worms‘ group reading of The Rosie Project.

I like all the covers to The Rosie Project. I do have a favorite, but I am drawn to all of them because of the colors and clean look. What do you think?

The Answer to the Riddle is Me by David Stuart MacLean

the-answer-riddle-meI first heard of The Answer to the Riddle is Me a couple of weeks ago when David Stuart MacLean did a segment on NPR’s This American Life. I was blown away. Basically, MacLean woke up one day on a train platform in India and did not know who he was, where he was or why he was there. He didn’t even have a passport. All of this he attributes to the anti-malarial drug known as Larium or mefloquine.

That is what truly peaked my interest. Larium. Mefloquine. When I went to India for the first time in 1996 I was prescribed Mefloquine. I was fine for the two months that I was in India, but within months of returning to Canada I became severely anxious and fell into a deep depression. I was already prone to depression, but this was different. I was scared.

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The Isolation Door by Anish Majumdar

the-isolation-doorIf you’ve been reading nothing but chunksters like The Goldfinch lately, and you want to go with something a little slimmer, may I suggest The Isolation Door by Anish Majumdar. Though less than 200 pages long, it wallops you and draws you in just like a chunkster, but without the time commitment. In fact, looking back, I’m shocked that it was less than 200 pages long.

At the core of The Isolation Door are issues of mental health. Neal’s mother, who believes she is a Bollywood actress, has been repeatedly institutionalized for schitozphrenia, Neal’s friends in the university drama program are also fighting with demons of their own. Neal himself can’t seem to open up to anyone around him. Most frightening were the scenes taking place at the mental hospital, where i found the treatment of the patients to be draconian.

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The Literary Blog Hop

lit-blog-hop-2014Hello and welcome to the Literary Blog Hop organized by Judith at Leeswammes’ Blog. Between now and Wednesday February 12 you can hop on over to the more than 40 blogs participating with giveaways and more! The focus will be on literary fiction with some good non-fiction thrown in for variety. Continue reading