Monday, September 27, 2010

Thoughts-Adam and Eve by Sena Jeter Naslund

Adam and Eve
Sena Jeter Naslund
Harper Luxe
$26.99, 352 pages
October 2010

Synopsis from Harper Collins:
Hours before his untimely—and highly suspicious—death, world-renowned astrophysicist Thom Bergmann shares his discovery of extraterrestrial life with his wife, Lucy. Feeling that the warring world is not ready to learn of—or accept—proof of life elsewhere in the universe, Thom entrusts Lucy with his computer flash drive, which holds the keys to his secret work. Devastated by Thom's death, Lucy keeps the secret, but Thom's friend, anthropologist Pierre Saad, contacts Lucy with an unusual and dangerous request about another sensitive matter. Pierre needs Lucy to help him smuggle a newly discovered artifact out of Egypt: an ancient codex concerning the human authorship of the Book of Genesis. Offering a reinterpretation of the creation story, the document is sure to threaten the foundation of the Jewish, Christian, and Muslim religions . . . and there are those who will stop at nothing to suppress it. Midway through the daring journey, Lucy's small plane goes down on a slip of verdant land between the Tigris and Euphrates rivers in the Middle East. Burned in the crash landing, she is rescued by Adam, a delusional American soldier whose search for both spiritual and carnal knowledge has led to madness. Blessed with youth, beauty, and an unsettling innocence, Adam gently tends to Lucy's wounds, and in this quiet, solitary paradise, a bond between the unlikely pair grows. Ultimately, Lucy and Adam forsake their half-mythical Eden and make their way back toward civilization, where members of an ultraconservative religious cult are determined to deprive the world of the knowledge Lucy carries. Set against the searing debate between evolutionists and creationists, Adam & Eve expands the definition of a "sacred book," and suggests that true madness lies in wars and violence fueled by all religious literalism and intolerance. A thriller, a romance, an adventure, and an idyll, Adam & Eve is a tour de force by a master contemporary storyteller. - Harper Collins Website

My Review

Sena Jeter Naslund swept me away in her book Ahab's Wife. I am still recommending this book to readers all the time. I was glued to Four Spirits and Abundance was excellent. When I had the opportunity to read an advance copy of Adam & Eve, I couldn't wait to begin it. Unfortunately, my anxiety from curiosity quickly faded. Reading became a challenge and continuous agitation persisted as I kept waiting for more. The story was confusing and very random, the characters were flat and colorless. I couldn't wait for the story to end, yet as an avid fan, continued to hope it would turn around. I wouldn't give up quite sure the voice of Naslund the phenomenal storyteller would emerge. It didn't.

The synopsis above is published on the publishers website, but it doesn't begin to describe the actual story and randomness of the plot.Here's what just doesn't work. Lucy's husband is killed by a falling grand piano. How bizarre right? Left holding his flash drive, she carries it and his memory with her everywhere. She takes off in a plane, yes she conveniently is a pilot. She agrees to deliver a sealed French Horn case containing an ancient codex, an alternative story of creation. Her plane crashes, and she meets Adam, a nude and attractive man who lives in an Eden like habitat. He believes he is the Adam from the Bible. Who is this Adam? He believes Lucy to be Eve. They are both nude and when a pilot named Riley also crashes, Lucy makes orange clothes out of his parachute. I won't even continue this litany of weird and unusual that approximates more of Ripley's Believe It or Not than a Naslund novel. So disappointing to me after reading three fabulous novels of hers. My recommendation is to read The Book of Genesis again. This one was just a waste of time.

Disclosure: I received this book from William Morrow for review.

© [Wisteria Leigh] and [Bookworm's Dinner], [2010].

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Sunday Salon-Plea for help for Thea the Greyhound!

This is a special Sunday Salon request today.

Thea is a 9 year old greyhound who jumped from a second story window last week and broke her two front legs. No one is sure why she jumped through the screen. It could have been the wind from a storm, but she was spooked for some reason. Her mom is an enthusiastic supporter of greyhound adoption. She was at work at the time and was notified about this catastrophic accident by someone who found her outside her apartment. The medical costs are in excess of $9,000 for the veterinary bills. If you are able to help in any way please see this link and help Thea the Greyhound. Thank you, Wisteria

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Book Giveaway-Raising the Dead, by Dr. Chauncey W. Crandall

Book Giveaway...courtesy of Hachette Book Group! (see details below) Watch this exciting trailer.

Raising the Dead

A Doctor Encounters the Miraculous, by Chauncey W. Crandall IV

Full Description from Hatchette's Website
On October 20, 2006, a middle-aged auto mechanic, Jeff Markin, walked into the emergency room at the Palm Beach Gardens Hospital and collapsed from a massive heart attack. Forty minutes later he was declared dead. After filling out his final report, the supervising cardiologist, Dr. Chauncey Crandall, started out of the room. "Before I crossed its threshold, however, I sensed God was telling me to turn around and pray for the patient," Crandall explained.
With that prayer and Dr. Crandall's instruction to give the man what seemed one more useless shock from the defibrillator, Jeff Markin came back to life--and remains alive and well today.
But how did a Yale-educated cardiologist whose Palm Beach practice includes some of the most powerful people in American society, including several billionaires, come to believe in supernatural healing?
The answers to these questions compose a story and a spiritual journey that transformed Chauncey Crandall.

I have 2 copies of this amazing book to giveaway to residents of the US and Canada. No PO Boxes please. All you have to do is leave a comment with your thoughts. Make sure you leave your encrypted email address so that I can notify the winners.

Should you tweet this contest, leave the link and you will get another chance. +(1)
Should you add this contest to your sidebar on your blog you will get two extra chances. +(2)
Become or already follow my blog another extra chance. +(1)

Books will be sent directly from Hachette Book Group.
Contest will end on September 30, 2010.

© [Wisteria Leigh] and [Bookworm's Dinner], [2010]

It's All About Children Thursday-Aldo Zelnick Comic Novels

This week I received in my mailbox from Independent Publishers Group two books that I immediately sat down to read. As I've said before, I usually won't stop everything, stop reading the book I'm involved in to read something that just arrived. These two books screamed "Read me, please!" So, I did. Comparisons will be made to the Diary of a Whimpy Kid series, and I can see why from the format. However, they are different and Aldo (rhymes with Waldo) Zelnick is sure to cause a stir in YA hearts.

Aldo Zelnick Comic Novel
Written by Karla Oceanak
Illustrated by Kendra Spanjer
Bailiwick Press
Ages 9-12
162 pages
humor, graphic novel, magic, family, friendship, mystery

Aldo Zelnick loves to draw, and his eccentric grandmother Goosy is an artist who gives him a sketchbook as a gift to start off his summer vacation.
The first book is called Artsy-Fartsy, followed by Bogus. You might imagine distasteful language, but not so. Aldo records his life, his friends, family, pets and his somewhat unusual neighbor, Mt. Mot. He's ancient.* and of course Goosey, his grandmother.

Bogus (book 2)

What I love about each book is Aldo's self generated glossary of difficult words he selects, places an asterick in the text and then provides the definition in his words at the end. Each book highlights a difference letter onset. For instance, Artsy-Fartsy focuses on all the words starting with A.

For example: Definition of Artsy-Fartsy

artsy-fartsy: artistic, creative. Sometimes when people call someone artsy-faartsy, they mean he or she is trying to show off by being artistic. But Goosy told me she thinks artsy-fartsy just means being creative and having fun with it.

*ancient: 50 years old or older

The collaboration between Karla Oceanak and Kendra Spanjer is delightfully entertaining. These are so much fun to read and the illustrations are a riot, providing chuckle time. Hope you check them out. I'm sure this will be an A-Z popular hit in my media center. I can see teaching dictionary skills has just been made easier.

© [Wisteria Leigh] and [Bookworm's Dinner], [2010].

Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to [Wisteria Leigh] and [Bookworm's Dinner] with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Elizabeth Chadwick is brilliant!

Elizabeth Chadwick,Sourcebooks Landmark, September 2010, $14.99,pb,544p, 978-1402244490

Synopsis the cover jacket:
When Roger Bigod arrives at King Henry II’s court to settle a bitter inheritance dispute, he becomes enchanted with Ida de Tosney, young mistress to the powerful king. A victim of Henry’s seduction and the mother of his son, Ida sees in Roger a chance to begin a new life. But Ida pays an agonizing price when she leaves the king, and as Roger’s importance grows and he gains an earldom, their marriage comes under increasing strain. Based on the true story of a royal mistress and the young lord she chose to marry.

I was simply enchanted and swept away as Chadwick captured my attention and introduced me into the world of Ida de Tosney. There is such a clear vision in your mind of Ida’s thoughts, her agony and the fear she has upon first meeting King Henry. It’s painful to witness her self loathing consume her. She shivers at times knowing the word “whore” is attached to her name. This way of life will never bring her happiness, regardless of her favored position and the lavish lifestyle at court. Her sense of what’s right and wrong are always clear to her. Her intelligence is what saves her, as she envisions a better life for herself, knowing the King will cast her aside one day for a younger woman. Ida is a proud woman who has keen survival instincts. Empathy for Ida is unavoidable. As the reader you just want to make it all better for her, become her confidant, offer advice.

One can never tire reading about King Henry II, who is a complex royal with a lustfully exciting life. Roger Bigod is a perfect knight in shining armor. His story is less familiar, creating the drama of a dysfunctional 12th century family complete with betrayal and greed. The characters live because of this writers breath. One of the best historical fiction novels I have read this year. Everyone must experience Elizabeth Chadwick’s exquisite writing. Her proficiency and talent place her among the elite in her genre.

Book Origin: Sourcebooks ARC sent for review.

© [Wisteria Leigh] and [Bookworm's Dinner], [2010].

Sunday, September 5, 2010

New Austen Authors Blog

I am sharing an email I received from Danielle at Sourcebooks about a new blog that will go live on September 6, 2010. I can't wait for this blog to begin. As you can see from the email, there are 20 authors who will contribute. There will be contests and posts from all Austen lovers so I hope you will all check it out. After finishing Darcy's Voyage by Kara Louise recently, I can honestly say, the title of this new blog certainly fits. I just visited the site Austen Authors..because there's never enough Jane Austen!

Dear Wisteria,

Tomorrow, September 6, marks the official launch of,
a labor of love started by two Sourcebooks Landmark authors, Sharon Lathan
and Abigail Reynolds. Noticing the success of group author blogs in the romance
genre, they decided to gather up some of their fellow Jane Austen Fiction
comrades and start a group blog!
After putting together some initial plans in August, Sharon and Abigail began to contact Austen authors from all publishers and the final list of 20 contributors is very impressive:
¨       Susan Adriani
¨       Marsha Altman
¨       Marilyn Brant
¨       Skylar Burris
¨       Jack Caldwell
¨       Carolyn Eberhart
¨       Monica Fairview
¨       Regina Jeffers
¨       Cindy Jones
¨       Sharon Lathan
¨       Kara Louise
¨       Kathryn Nelson
¨       Jane Odiwe
¨       C. Allyn Pierson
¨       Abigail Reynolds
¨       Mary Lydon Simonsen
¨       Heather Lynn Rigaud
¨       Victoria Connelly
¨       J. Marie Croft
¨       Lynn Shepherd
Staring on September 6, daily blogs posts will be put up, celebrations of new books going into stores will be had, and for the launch month of the blog, many giveaways and contests will be held!

© [Wisteria Leigh] and [Bookworm's Dinner], [2010].

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Three Contest Winners

Here are the winners for the three contests recently hosted on my blog. So sorry for the delay in posting the winners. It has been unusually busy trying to get ready for school this year. I also had to present a workshop on the first day to teachers that I had not planned on, so my apologies.

Congratulations to the winners!!!

Shadow of the Wind--Debbie Two of a Kind

Hansel and Gretel--Jill-Rhapsody in Books

Interrupting Chicken-Dianne-Bibliophile By the Sea

I will be emailing the winners for their snail mail addresses.
Thanks to Penguin Books for the copies of Shadow of the Wind and Hansel and Gretel. Thanks to Candlewick Press for the copy of Interrupting Chicken. Thank you to everyone who participated.

© [Wisteria Leigh] and [Bookworm's Dinner], [2010].