Saturday, 24 January 2009

January Prize Draw - Captivity: Debbie Lee Wesselmann

It's time for our first prize draw here at 'The Year of Readers', yehaw. I decided to hold monthly draws with prizes that will encourage all participants in their reading. John F Blair is the first publisher who has generously donated a free book to give one lucky participant something new to read. Check out short blurb of 'Captivity' by Debbie Lee Wessemann below:

"Dana Armstrong is no ordinary primatologist. In the 1970s, she was the little blond girl with a chimpanzee for a sister, a participant in her father's psychology experiment that sought to narrow the divide between species. Now, decades later, the black-and-white clips of Dana bathing, learning sign language, and throwing tantrums with her "sister" still flicker in classrooms across the country. Dana wants nothing more than to forget about them, but as director of a chimpanzee sanctuary in the woods of South Carolina, she cannot escape.

Dana arrives at work one morning to discover that the worst has happened: someone has vandalized the buildings and opened the cages, setting loose a group of particularly dangerous chimpanzees. She mobilizes her staff to capture the missing chimps before they can injure local citizens or be killed themselves. The sanctuary is already on precarious ground, and if it fails, the chimps--some infected with HIV, some survivors of experimental surgeries, some rescued from roadside zoos--have nowhere to go. The sanctuary is all they--and Dana--have left."

If you would like to win this book and a small assortment of craft goodies from various Etsy sponsors just comment on this post telling me what your favourite book about nature is by January 31st. (PS you will also receive an e-mail detailing the terms and conditions of this giveaway once I get back to my work computer- only official participants of this challenge who have signed up using Mr Linky are eligible to enter for this prize).

Wednesday, 21 January 2009

What I'm Reading

I'm a bit strapped for time so I thought I'd just do some quick twitterish reviews of read the books I've read so far here. You'll be able to see full reviews later at a variety of locations and I'll be back with links soon. For now:

Dooley Takes the Fall - Norah McClintock

An interesting variation n the YA genre with a noir/crime theme. Dooley is just trying to keep out of trouble, on schedule and away from temptation but he finds himself at the scene of a classmates death at the begining of this book. With a criminal record, a bad reputation and a known altercation with the deceased boy Dooley needs to clear his name fast.

I loved that Dooley had such a well crafted, genuine voice. The book had a fast pace and held my attention through nights filled with 'just one more chapter' before bed. The ending was a little confusing, I couldn't quite work out how two things combined to result in murder for a while. I would like to see some of the long term secondary characters like Dooley's uncle develop more in the next book in the trilogy (which I am super excited about reading) but overall a really satisfying book.

Temeraire - Naomi Novik

Dragons, battles, slash fiction elements, history, unrespectable behaviour and deceit...what's not to love! Captain Laurence and his crew capture a French frigate only to find a dragon egg aboard. The egg is about to hatch so a handler must be found to imprint the dragon before it goes feral and becomes useless to the British AirCorps (the air force but with dragons instead of planes). The dragon rejects the handler chosen and responds to Laurence forcing him into a life away from the navy and respectable society. He and his dragon Temeraire begin to train for a life defending the country from Napoleon.

I love alternate history. Chuck in talking dragons that bond with humans and I am sold. To understand a lot of exactly what I loved about it check out this review by Nic at Eve's Alexandria.

Jazz - Toni Morrisson

Toni Morrisson's earlier work is stunning. She takes a strange occurence and winds a story that makes it effortless to fall into the lives of the characters. I loved the forward to this book where the author said she wanted to write a book that felt and sounded like the launguage and music of the jazz age not a book peppered with historical facts that where static parts of the book.

Violet's husband shoots his sweetheart Dorcas and at the funeral Violet tries to difigure the corpse with a knife. The book is full of the characters histories which entwine with the history of the black civil rights movement and the issue of gradiations in skin colour.

The Sugar Queen - Sarah Addison Allen

A lovely romance novel mixed with some magical realism. You can see some of my quick thoughts at Beautiful and Fabulous this week.

So what have you read, what are you reading? How are the challenges going (I know you're all doing them, don't try and hide it)?

Friday, 16 January 2009

Mr Linky

Ok so I'm not paniced quite yet as the Mr Linky device has disappeared and come back before. However I did just see someone at another blog say their Mr Linky has disappeared for good. It's not a big deal for readers as if you signed up with a blog your name is listed in the sidebar, but it's a bit annoying for anyone new who wants to sign up.

So if you're arriving here eager to sign up and start raising funds please just leave a comment with your e-mail address/active website or blog either on this post or on the original post at the top. That way I can get in contact with you.

Hope everyone is finding some great books. I haven't found a bad one so far this year which I think comes from listening to closely to blog recommendations. Remember to link us to your reviews or repost them here.

(Edited to say yes it did pop right up after I posted this just to make me look like a fool but I'm still very glad it's back).

Thursday, 1 January 2009

Start Your Reading

'The Year of Readers' officially begins today. Today we've begun to help some charities and by the end of the year we will all have contributed to making the world just a little better. I'm so excited that over thirty people felt passionately about taking part in this challenge. I hope we get even more people joining up throughout the year.

Feel free to post/cross post from your own blog about great books you read here so others can find great book recommendations. If you have any questions you can contact me at bakerjodie at googlemail dot com .

Happy reading!

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