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review 2014-01-23 01:57
THE OFFER
The Offer (Baron Series, #1) - Catherine Coulter

BLURB: 

When her new brother-in-law attempted to rape her, Sabrina Eversleigh ran away, and she would surely have died in a blizzard if Philip Mercerault had not rescued her. After he nurses her back to health, he learns that instead of being a hero, he has compromised the lady. There's only one honorable thing to do and that is to marry her. But she turns him down! Philip and Sabrina have a long way to go before they can sit at the same table together.

After reading most of the reviews for this title I was a bit uncertain as to whether I should read it as based on the reviews this is suppose to be a terrible book. However I decided to be brave take the plunge and read it for myself. Well the long and short of it is that I am glad I did. 

REVIEW

I enjoyed reading this book. I found it quite humorous and entertaining. The plot was developed and I found the characters to be quite entertaining. It had me turning the pages as I was quite eager to discover what was going to happen next.

My only disappointment is the ending. I felt that it was rushed and could have been better developed and for that it lost one star.

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review 2014-01-17 19:53
Review: The Necrophiliac by Gabrielle Wittkop
The Necrophiliac - Gabrielle Wittkop

This is probably one of the most beautifully written books I've ever read. I was in awe of the artistry of it. That said, I still haven't decided if I can get past the topic and really endorse it to anyone. What's magnificent about this book is how it completely pulls you in to the world of the main character. His mentality is completely severed from the average one, but because of the way the author writes it still seems understandable, if not redeemable. What's interesting about the narrator is that he doesn't see himself as an immoral character. In fact, he seems to see himself as a positive force within the world, even while he at times recognizes that the world at large doesn't see him that way.

 

The book is written in an utterly sensual manner; there's hardly a part of the book that's not entwined with taste and smell. The world the narrator occupies is completely physical. He never seems to escape the concrete reality that surrounds him, and yet his perception of it is so vastly separated from what might be considered the average. It's interesting to see his data input versus his perception and how one meets up with that of the surrounding world while the other doesn't.

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review 2013-12-13 01:20
The Late age of Print by Ted Striphas
The Late Age of Print: Everyday Book Culture from Consumerism to Control - Ted Striphas,Striphas Ted

This is a charming book, which I just wrote a nice review for and then closed the page. Doh. 

 

It covers the history of "Print Culture" for more or less the past century, from the first rise of what we now call the "trad publisher" over the small private press, through to the early 2000's with the big box book store and the Oprah Book Club and the early days of Amazon.  There's a pretty good look at the real effect that big book store chains like Barnes and Noble had on indie bookstores (apparently, remarkably little, despite all the naysaying and gloom). Amazon on the other hand, is probably going to kill off both, as well as trad pub. 

 

There's also a look at the "taste leader" phenomenon, writ large and personified by Oprah. Now this I found interesting, because it's a wonderful example. Just because a book blogger or GR or BL reviewer's reach isn't Oprah-sized, doesn't mean the same basic dynamics don't come into play. 

 

It's really nicely written, easy to read, and I can quite recommend it if you can find a copy. Like anything involving people and technology, it's going to date, but as a snapshot and history of a time when big print publishing owned the world, it's pretty comprehensive. 

 

Half a star off for being US-centric and apparently not noticing. I don't mind if you want to hog the baseball, just don't say you're having a world series, you know? If you're US focussed in an academic text, just be up front and say so.

 

But it is, overall, quite a fun read.

 

And I'm still quite enamoured of the little section I used as a status update earlier, below.

 


Reading progress update: I've read 35 out of 187 pages.

 

Regarding early publishing industry attempts to discourage library borrowing:

 

"Among Bernays’s more intriguing strategies to “increase the market for good books” was to have his institute sponsor a contest in the spring of 1931 “to look for a pejorative word for the book borrower, the wretch who raised hell with book sales and deprived authors of earned royalties.” Bernays drew his inspiration for the contest from another term that had been introduced into the American English lexicon in 1924, namely, “scofflaw,” which originally referred to a “‘lawless drinker’ of illegally made or illegally obtained liquor.” To judge the contest Bernays convened a panel of three well-known New York City book critics: Harry Hansen (of the New York World-Telegram), Burton Rascoe (formerly of the New York Herald-Tribune), and J. C. Grey (of the New York Sun). Among the thousands of entries they considered were terms like “book weevil,” “borrocole,” “greader,” “libracide,” “booklooter,” “bookbum,” “bookkibitzer,” “culture vulture,” “greeper,” “bookbummer,” “bookaneer,” “blifter,” “biblioacquisiac,” and “book buzzard.” The winner? “Book sneak,” entered by Paul W. Stoddard, a high school English teacher from Hartford, Connecticut."

 

I kind of like the idea of being bookaneer or a biblioacquisiac :)

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review 2013-01-05 00:00
The Texan's Wager (Wheeler Large Print Book Series)
The Texan's Wager - Jodi Thomas Nice Western romance story. I was hoping for more, way more. I almost put this down but gave it another shot. This line: "Be my wife, all my life" is what convinced me to keep reading. I liked the characters enough to keep reading and the premise sounded really interesting but I just didn't find myself attached or moved by anything in this as I wanted to be. The plot and pacing definitely could have been juiced up.

This is my first Jodi Thomas book so I'm not familiar with her writing. I felt too much time was focused on things that weren't really interesting or as dramatic as they were supposed to be and little time was spent on the central characters: Carter and Bailee. I struggled to truly believe Bailee and Carter falling so quickly in love given the little amount of time they spent together and actually communicating. I really felt more of the story should have focused on them as a married couple rather than them individually helping the town sheriff, hiding Gypies, and running after criminals.

The world building in this I felt was lacking in some areas, especially intimate scenes. It just made the reading disruptive and choppy which was frustrating. There were parts where I literally had to go back and re-read passages because I had difficulty picturing exactly what was going on in a scene or the physical positions and actions of the characters weren't translating well or just didn't make any sense. It takes you completely out of the scene when you run into problems like that and can be very distracting. Trying to figure out if the couple are lying down or standing while having sex can just ruin the moment. :/ Because of that I just couldn't fully get into it and I felt the overall story and my enjoyment suffered because of it.

Carter made for an interesting hero. I liked him, he was really sweet but I do wish the author wasn't so heavy-handed with his brooding silence and selective hearing quirks. At times he came off a little too empty-headed and slow rather than reserved and quiet. His back story and how he came to be the way he is heartbreaking, I just struggled to connect with him. Given his careful nature and weariness around new people I found it a little hard to believe how quickly he became smitten with Bailee who is the complete opposite of him. I don't mind beta heroes, I love them, but here I guess you can say I found the passion, emotions, reactions overall totally lacking, especially where Carter is concerned. I wanted more from him, Bailee and the story.

Bailee I wasn't really impressed with. I liked her at times but she frustrated me too. Her constant habit of second-guessing and mistrusting Carter started to wear thin and I didn't understand. While the story takes place in a span of 1-2 months I felt the romance arc was incredibly rushed and not really believable. Why? Because the amount of time these two actually spend together actually communicating was very little. Carter is not the talkative type, the beginning of the story he's a mute and Bailee has to corner him into talking to her. Once he starts to open up to her I was hoping we would get more meaningful alone time or special moments but except for a hesitant quick peek-a-boo 'revealing' by the peach trees nothing else happens. The author divides these two up quite often throughout the story, spending ridiculous amount of time apart worrying about secondary characters that for me, were not interesting enough to take up page time. The author doesn't waste time on any flowery prose but rather blunt straight-to-the-point dialogue, which is fine in some cases, but here I found it a little jarring and missing it's mark. This is a Western-romance after all. And there are some sweet touching moments in here but I found them fleeting, very rushed and just.... cold for the lack of a better term. I didn't get any emotion behind the ILY confessions at the end. I wanted to be swept away or at least feel something and I didn't. Everything just read very dry and detached. The end conclusion I found very abrupt and anticlimactic considering the time these two spent apart. So yeah, great potential but the overall writing style and execution of the story I found lacking.
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review 2012-10-29 00:00
Keeper Of The Heart - Johanna Lindsey From the bad reviews I thought I would hate this book and it was actually pretty good. I could see why the heroine took forever to warm up to the hero which was a major point of frustration to other reviewers. Don't be scared, it's not that bad!
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