Thursday, June 24, 2010

heading to ALA...

I leave tomorrow for the American Library Association's Annual Conference. It's in Washington, DC this year, which is one of my favorite cities. Around meetings and programs, I'm hoping to find time to visit a few sites, including the...

Smithsonian Folklife Festival - This was one of my favorite events when I was lucky enough to live in DC for a summer internship.

World War II Memorial - This memorial is new since the last time I was in DC. All of the veterans' memorials on the mall are amazing and moving so I'm looking forward to experiencing this one.

Paper Engineering: Fold, Pull, Pop and Turn @ National Museum of American History - I just heard about this exhibit featuring movable book art thanks to the AL Direct newsletter from ALA. Another must see added to the list! The Museum is open until 7:30pm during the conference EXCEPT on June 26 when it closes at 5:30pm

Thank goodness a lot of DC's attractions are accessible past 5pm. All the monuments on the Mall are viewable 24/7 with Park Rangers and tours available pretty late into the evening. So no excuses, librarians! Make the most of your time in the nation's capital.

the adventures of Cotton Malone...

I finished all of Steve Berry's books featuring Cotton Malone and never tired of them. Now I have to wait until November 23rd to find out what happens next! In case you are interested in reading the series, here's a list.

The Templar Legacy

The Alexandria Link

The Venetian Betrayal

The Charlemagne Pursuit

The Paris Vendetta

The Emperor's Tomb (coming November 23)

One of the characters in the Cotton Malone series is Cassiopeia Vitt, a smart, strong woman I'm sure you'll enjoy. She is getting her own feature in The Balkan Escape, an "eBook original" being released on September 13, so get those e-readers ready!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Review : Etta

Etta by Gerald Kolpan. Ballantine Books (March 24, 2009)

What amazing imagination and skill Gerald Kolpan has! He has artfully created an entire life for the nearly unknown Etta Place, a compatriot of Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. Kolpan used the known timeline of real-life people to create a rich, fascinating story of love and adventure, but little to none of the detail is true. I had to constantly remind myself of this while reading. I imagine the real Etta Place would love for this to be her true life story. If you aren't a fan of westerns, don't let that deter you. This book is far more than a western. It's a beautiful tale about a remarkable woman, and the best historical fiction I've read since The 19th Wife. I would recommend this book to any reader.

Review : The Charlemagne Pursuit

The Charlemagne Pursuit by Steve Berry. Ballantine Books (2008)

A son's quest for truth, a government cover-up, and an ancient mystery. Intrigued yet? You should be. When Cotton Malone, former U.S. government agent turned rare book dealer, was ten, his father and the submarine he commanded disappeared in the North Atlantic. In The Charlemagne Pursuit, Cotton sets out on a mission to find the truth about his father's death. He soon finds himself entangled in the Charlemagne Pursuit, the search for proof of an unknown ancient civilization on one side and the desire to suppress it on the other. You'll have to read the book to find out how the two are related. While only loosely based on historical fact, I found Berry's imaginative story completely plausible as I was reading. The Charlemagne Pursuit also stands well on its own despite being the fourth book to feature Cotton Malone. Steve Berry is surely compared to Dan Brown on a regular basis, so I hate to do it here, but if you enjoy Brown's work, I'm confident you'll love Berry and Cotton Malone. I enjoyed The Charlemagne Pursuit so much I've gone back to the beginning of the Malone series and have already powered through The Templar Legacy and am well into The Alexandria Link within a matter of days. Both are equal to The Charlemagne Pursuit. So why not start at the beginning?

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Review : According to Their Deeds

According to Their Deeds by Paul Robertson. BethanyHouse (March 2009)

When I requested According to Their Deeds, I didn't realize it was from a Christian publisher. I wouldn't have read this book if I had so I'm glad I didn't. Deeds is not overtly Christian in nature. It strikes me as fiction for Christians who just want to avoid sex and profanity. There is, of course, a moral to the story, but it isn't rammed down the reader's throat. There is a subtlety that I appreciated. But what about the story, you ask? The main character is a rare book dealer who becomes involved in a mystery following the death of a long-time client. The story is well-structured and keeps you in suspense to the very end. I'm a sucker for mysteries and books with a book connection so I enjoyed the story. The political element was an added bonus. Overall, I would recommend According to Their Deeds to those looking for a light, quick read who share my bent towards book-related mystery. It isn't the best mystery novel I've ever read, but it kept me entertained, and I think it will keep you entertained as well.

New reviews on the way...

Guilt has finally gotten the best of me. Thanks to the regular reminders from LibraryThing about uncompleted reviews and a sweet acquaintance who asked about this blog a couple of weeks ago, I'm climbing back on the blogging horse. I still have four LT Early Reviewer books in the hopper so you'll be seeing some long overdue reviews from me over the next few weeks. Hopefully, my readers are still out there to see them!