A BookerMarks Review: The Testament of Mary

testamentPenny’s review as it appeared on the BookerMarks’ site, and pasted in to the above BookerMarks page, can be viewed HERE.

Quick and dirty thoughts on this one: 2.5 stars for an extremely disrespectful portrayal.

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Giveaway! JoJo Moyes’ The Girl You Left Behind

JoJoGIVEAWAY! 

The Literary Hoarders are so pleased (and excited) to be able to offer 1 copy of JoJo Moyes’ latest novel The Girl You Left Behind! (US Addresses only please). Viking/Penguin has graciously said one copy will be sent to one lucky winner (randomly chosen) as well!

Jackie and I read and Looooved Me Before You and we also read it for our Wink 3 Book Club and everyone there raved about it. It was a breakthrough hit for JoJo and everyone we’ve recommended it to has loved, loved, loved it!

The Associated Press said, “There are books that you cannot put down. There are also books where you become so invested in the characters, you force yourself to stop reading to prolong the experience because you don’t want the story to end, and that’s what can happen when you read Me Before You.”

So the hardcover of this new one is sitting here staring me in the face just begging me to dive in to it! Knowing how fantastic Me Before You was, and reading this amazing description about it below, I can’t imagine that The Girl You Left Behind won’t become another major fan favourite!

The Girl You Left Behind isn’t on sale until August 20th, so if you comment below, or better yet, Like Us and comment on our Facebook page, you may just have the lucky, lucky chance of reading before it hits the stores!

(Taken from Viking/Penguin.com):

From the New York Times–bestselling author of Me Before You, a spellbinding love story of two women separated by a century but united in their determination to fight for what they love most

Jojo Moyes’s bestseller, Me Before You, catapulted her to wide critical acclaim and has struck a chord with readers everywhere. “Hopelessly and hopefully romantic” (Chicago Tribune), Moyes returns with another irresistible heartbreaker that asks, “Whatever happened to the girl you left behind?”

France, 1916:  Artist Edouard Lefevre leaves his young wife, Sophie, to fight at the front. When their small town falls to the Germans in the midst of World War I, Edouard’s portrait of Sophie draws the eye of the new Kommandant. As the officer’s dangerous obsession deepens, Sophie will risk everything—her family, her reputation, and her life—to see her husband again.

Almost a century later, Sophie’s portrait is given to Liv Halston by her young husband shortly before his sudden death. A chance encounter reveals the painting’s true worth, and a battle begins for who its legitimate owner is—putting Liv’s belief in what is right to the ultimate test.

We hope you take advantage of the offer and tell us below (and/or on our Facebook page) why you really, really, really need to be the one to get your hands on JoJo Moyes’ latest! This offer is available until Tuesday, July 30th. 

The BookerMarks 2013 Edition Begins!

The Man Booker Award 2013 Longlist has been announced! You can click on the BookerMarks page above to see the Longlist titles. I’ve pasted the full post from Typographical Era‘s site on our page here on the Literary Hoarders site. (Hope that’s okay Aaron! You do a lovely job of this!)

We’re excited to get reading! For the next few months, our reading schedules will be fully occupied with reading the Man Booker titles. Hope you check in and see how it’s going! You can see everything on the BookerMarks site!

There are 13 selected titles, which are you most excited to read? Which of the 13 do you think will make the Shortlist of 6?

luminaries   spinning   testament   A_Tale_For_The_Time_Being Almost_English Five_Star_Billonaire-225x300 Harvest-225x300 The_Kills The_Lowland The_Marrying_Of_Chani_Kaufman Transatlantic Unexploded We_Need_New_Names

Book Review: The Hundred Hearts

heartsMany thanks to Thomas Allen & Sons Ltd. for sending this book to us for review. I loved it. I was very surprised at my reaction and feeling to it, as I had just finished a somewhat similar “war” book (A Constellation of Vital Phenomena) and was wondering if I would be engaged enough to read another one. While each book is definitely different, I found I really, really enjoyed The Hundred Hearts more soIt’s on its way over to Jackie now because I think she’ll really like this one too.

Here is Kowalski’s description of The Hundred Hearts, taken from his website:

My fifth novel, The Hundred Hearts, will be published by Thomas Allen Publishers in May of 2013. It’s too soon to say much about the book yet, but it’s never too soon to show off a beautiful cover like this. I am exceptionally happy with it. It was designed by Michel Vrana, who went out of his way to spend time talking with me about my vision and did his best to incorporate it in the final design.

Michel’s job is a hard one. He must find something to please the sales and marketing team, the editor, the author, and the potential reader, while still maintaining his integrity as an artist. I think he pulled it off.

Each heart will be individually stenciled with spray paint, and will therefore be distinct in some small way from the other ninety-nine. This is the kind of craftsmanship you don’t see much of these days, especially in book cover design.

The story is about a young American soldier who returns home after being gravely wounded in Afghanistan. He tries to re-adjust to life at home at the same time as he deals with his F’d up family. I should have an “official” description of the book soon, but that’s basically it.

Mr. Kowalski has hit upon two things above. First, his brief description about his book is bang on. It’s really basically that, it’s about Jeremy returning from Afghanistan and attempting to regain a life that is no longer memorable to him, but also the time spent in Afghanistan poses difficulty as well, as he is no longer that person either. Throw in a messed up, very dysfunctional family and you have The Hundred Hearts.

Secondly he mentions the quality of the cover design, but I want to mention the quality of the book itself as well. Every time I’ve picked up a Thomas Allen publication I am incredibly impressed at the quality. The softcover always has a flap with heavy cover stock, the pages are so sharp, crisp, white and simply beautiful to touch. And honestly, even the smell of the book is distinct! I absolutely love holding, reading and feeling Thomas Allen publications. The Hundred Hearts was a book that I couldn’t stop touching, holding and flipping through, but mostly I couldn’t put it down because of what was contained in the pages.

Last year’s buzz book about our generation of war was Billy Lynn’s Long Half Time Walk by Ben Fountain. We read that one for our Wink 3 book club, and I have to tell you, The Hundred Hearts is far superior, in my opinion. It really deserves a wide readership and I hope I am convincing enough to get you to read this one, especially if you did read Billy Lynn. To me there was no comparison. Kowalski gifted the reader with characters so vivid and real, the story is so sharp, far more coherent, dosed with heavy hits of humour and holds a huge amount of heart. The people in this book will take a firm hold on your heart. The writing will keep you glued to the pages.

One perspective I really enjoyed was Jeremy’s grandfather Al. Everyone has an Al in their family. That acerbic, grouchy, “it’s not how it used to be” kind of grandfather. But Al also still suffers deeply from the demons he brought home from Vietnam. Al is the way he is, and his relationship with his wife, children and grandchildren are all formed based the man he was when he returned from Vietnam. I loved that Kowalski brought attention to it, to show the similarities found in the men returning home from Afghanistan. Al later gives up information about his actions and part taken in the atrocities, or war crimes, in that war, which Al wholeheartedly defends.

Jeremy returns home broken in so many ways other than his physical trauma and struggles to regain an identity all the while navigating the mess that his family. The situation with Grandpa Al, and the parts where he takes care of his mentally challenged cousin Henry are all filled with great humour and I found myself laughing out loud many times.  The Hundred Hearts deserves a far and wide readership and I do encourage you to read this one, Jeremy, Al and Henry are three men you won’t forget about for some time. 5-stars for this superbly written book full of heart and humour.