Daily Archives: March 17, 2013

Mailbox Monday – March 18, 2013

MailboxSpringWelcome to this week’s Mailbox Monday and which is hosted by Caitlin at Chaotic Compendiums this month. Visit the dedicated blog for the meme to see the complete tour schedule in the right sidebar.

I found some good books in my mailbox this week:

BurgessBoysFrom the Library Thing Early Reviewer Program, I snagged The Burgess Boys by Elizabeth Strout (Random House, March 2013). I loved Olive Kitteridge (read my review) and have wanted to read more books by this author. In The Burgess Boys, Strout introduces readers to Jim and Bob Burgess who are haunted by the freak accident in Maine that killed their father when they were children. Now living in New York City Jim is a successful corporate lawyer and Bob is a Legal Aid attorney. When their sister, Susan—the Burgess sibling who stayed behind—urgently calls them home,  “the Burgess brothers return to the landscape of their childhood, where the long-buried tensions that have shaped and shadowed their relationship begin to surface in unexpected ways that will change them forever.” Strout’s new novel is being described as a “tender, tough-minded, loving, and deeply illuminating [book] about the ties that bind us to family and home.

Elizabeth Strout is the author of the New York Times bestseller Olive Kitteridge, for which she was awarded the Pulitzer Prize; the national bestseller Abide with Me; and Amy and Isabelle, winner of the Los Angeles Times Art Seidenbaum Award and the Chicago Tribune Heartland Prize. She has also been a finalist for the PEN/Faulkner Award and the Orange Prize in London. She lives in Maine and New York City. Learn more about Strout and her work by visiting the author’s website.

Tuesday'sGOneI received a hard cover of Nicci French’s second book in the series of psychological thrillers featuring Frieda Klein: Tuesday’s Gone (Pamela Dorman Books, April 2013). You might remember that I read the first book in this series (Blue Monday) last year and really enjoyed it (read my review).  In Tuesday’s Gone, a London social worker makes a routine home visit only to discover her client, Michelle Doyce, serving afternoon tea to a naked, decomposing corpse. With no clues as to the dead man’s identity, Chief Inspector Karlsson again calls upon Frieda for help. She discovers that the body belongs to Robert Poole, con man extraordinaire. But Frieda can’t shake the feeling that the past isn’t done with her yet. Did someone kill Poole to embroil her in the investigation? And if so, is Frieda herself the next victim?

Nicci French is the husband and wife team of journalist Nicci Gerrard and writer Sean French. They write seamless novels while pursuing their own writing careers, and raising a family of four young children in Suffolk. Their novels include The Memory Game, The Safe House, Killing Me Softly, Beneath the Skin, The Red Room and Losing You. Learn more about Gerrard and French by visiting the authors’ website.

EvilThe good people at Tor Forge sent me a hardcover edition of Evil In All Disguises by Hilary Davidson (March 2013). When travel writer Lily Moore joins a group of journalists for an all-expenses-paid press junket to Acapulco, Mexico, she expects sun, sand, and margaritas. Instead, she finds that the Mexican city is a place of faded glamour and rising crime. Skye McDermott, another journalist on the trip, asks Lily for help with an article she’s working on about fraud and corruption in the hotel industry. When Skye disappears suddenly, Lily suspects that her friend is in grave danger. But the hotel’s staff insists that everything is fine and refuses to contact the police. Only after Lily tries—and fails—to leave the Hotel Cerón does she discover the truth: the journalists are prisoners in a gilded cage.

Smoothly sinister characters and a creepy Poe-like atmosphere keep the pages turning.”—Publishers Weekly on Evil in All Its Disguises

Hilary Davidson’s debut novel, The Damage Done, won the 2011 Anthony Award for Best First Novel, and the Crimespree Award for Best First Novel. The book was also a finalist for a Macavity Award and an Arthur Ellis Award. The second book in the series, The Next One To Fall, was published in February 2012. Evil in All Its Disguises is the third book featuring protagonist Lily Moore. Davidson’s acclaimed, award-winning short stories have appeared in Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine, Thuglit, Beat to a Pulp, and Crimespree, among others. Her work has been featured in many anthologies. Davidson has served as an At-Large Director on the National Board of the Mystery Writers of America since January 2012. She is also on the board of MWA’s New York Chapter. Learn more about Davidson and her work by visiting the author’s website.

Did any wonderful books arrive at YOUR home this week?



Google Reader Going Away – But, I Hope You’ll Stay


Like half the blog-o-sphere, I gaped in disbelief when I read that Google is planning to discontinue its feed reader service beginning July 1st. After denial, there was, predictably, anger. I’ve been subscribing to blogs through Google Reader ever since I started blogging and the last thing I wanted to do was spend hours looking for a replacement RSS feeder.

But, alas, change keeps on coming despite me digging in my heels and hoping everything will stay the same.

FrustrationI’ve spent the last couple of days researching new feed readers and have pretty much decided that the best thing to do is to re-activate my subscription to Feedly. It is not the perfect system (I hate being forced to open each article separately in order to read the post), but it seems to be the easiest one to transition to for now. Feedly promises its users that the transition from Google Reader to Feedly will be “seamless” on July 1st. And it is very simple to copy your current subscriptions to the Feedly home page (it even remembers your folders – yay!). I figure that I can go this route for now and always change to another system down the road if I want to do so.

I currently have 455 subscribers to my blog through Google Reader and it scares me just a little that come July 1st all those subscribers will disappear because it is too time consuming or confusing to re-subscribe through another feed reader. I hope you’ll stick around and find a service that works for you rather than stop reading my blog! If you are like me – completely overwhelmed – then I would suggest simply opening an account with Feedly. Google Reader and Feedly are currently “connected”…meaning that if you decide you want to continue with Google Reader right up until the last minute, no problems – everything you do on Google Reader neatly syncs over to Feedly and vice versa.

You can also check out other options here.

Today I went through all my subscriptions and deleted those which had not posted anything in the last 3 months…and also those who only show an abbreviated feed. The ruthless culling will probably continue in the coming months. But for now – I’m exhausted.

Oh, by the way, Happy St. Patrick’s Day!