New releases to lose sleep over

Holidays are great aren’t they? Not only do we get to buy books for our loved ones but people give us books! And certificates for books! And money to buy MORE books! It’s the best time of the year.

Here are a few upcoming releases to be excited about this holiday season and save some of that cash for.

           To be released: December 2, 2014

Haruki Murakami will be releasing “The Strange Library” next week and if you’re a bookworm – be really excited. Book nerds like us adore authors who write about their love of literature or set their stories in a place of books. Shadow of the Wind? Dash and Lily? Ex-Libris? So many great novels revolve around books within books. “The Strange Library” is about a boy and a girl who try to escape a dark and mystical library full of nightmarish things. SO EXCITED! Who doesn’t want to read about being trapped in a dark, surreal library? It’s a dream come true.

 

 To be released: January 6, 2015

SO YOU THOUGHT FLAVIA WAS GONE? Think again. Flavia may have been packed up to be sent away from Bradshaw at the end of the last book, but her new adventures will occur in the super secret boarding school for spies. New mysteries to solve, new murders to stumble upon. And all with fellow children her age who are uncannily intelligent! It’s a whole new world and I can’t wait to see what Flavia will get tangled up in next.

 

To be released: February 17, 2015

I can only imagine this will be yet another rollicking adventure with our favorite couple, Sherlock Holmes and his badass wife Mary Russell. They are on their way to California (always an excellent choice) and decide to stop by Japan on the way over. The mystery begins aboard their steamer and continues round the world, from Tokyo to Oxford.

                  To be released: December 23, 2014

I have not actually read Sundquists’s other book but I’ve read great reviews on it and this one sounds really funny too. I’m looking forward to checking out this author and seeing if he’s worth his salt! “We should hang out sometime” is Josh humorously investigating why he can’t seem to get a girlfriend. He has many adventures and mishaps and it promises to be an amusing trip into his world.

 

I’m sure there are many more upcoming. What are some of the books you’re excited for?

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Jack Reacher, all around badass

Jack Reacher. Six feet, 5 inches and 220 pounds. Ex-military policeman and all-around badass. Maybe you’ve heard of him?

I was talking to my father one day and he started ranting a bit about the new “Jack Reacher” movie starring Tom Cruise. (Book-related ranting runs in the family). He talked about how the movie was based on a very extensive book series, but they had cast it all wrong.

Jack Reacher was supposed to be huge. Burly. Muscular. A giant. He stands out in a crowd, intimidates the bad guys and is able to throw down on any enemy who gets in his way. Though I am not usually one to pick up light crime-action novels, it made me curious, and I thought I’d give them a try.

“Killing Floor,” the first in the series, opens over breakfast. Reacher watches as cops burst into a diner to arrest him for a murder he didn’t commit. He is interrogated and jailed, though there is no evidence against him. Reacher becomes intrigued by the cop’s inability to realize he isn’t the murderer, but he stays out of it. It isn’t his problem.

Suddenly, it becomes personal when he finds out that the person murdered is none other than his own brother, Joe. Reacher then takes down each criminal with his military-trained efficient and smooth kick-butt abilities. Reacher not only solves the town’s problems but gains a lady friend, Roscoe, who adds a little personality and love interest to the plot.

After “Killing Floor,” I read “Die Trying.” Now, I’m currently on “Tripwire.” This stumbling-upon-a-crime scenario seems to be pretty common so far in the series. In the second book “Die Trying,” Reacher helps a woman on the street and ends up being thrown into a vehicle with her, kidnapped and held as part of a rebel militia scenario. In “Tripwire,” he is digging pools in Key West when a detective comes looking for him, is killed and then Reacher follows the detective’s trail to discover himself once again involved in something very twisted and personal.

Each book has a crime element, a love element and a lot of action. There is plenty of running, fighting, shooting and scheming to keep you turning the pages to see whose butt gets handed to them next.

Reacher, though not a deep character, is entertaining because he is so incredibly calm, cool and proper. He believes in being polite, treating women well and minding his own business. He only gets involved when a wrong needs to be righted, and then he doesn’t give a damn what is legal, only that justice be served, often in blood.

The Reacher books are quick, entertaining reads that will keep your attention on any beach, flight or rainy afternoon. I plan to continue reading and with 15 books in the series, I’ve only got 12 to go.

(See original article I wrote for our Get Out)

Grab Bag o’ Books Giveaway (closed)

I recently was offered a job in New York (confetti! trumpets!) so I will be relocating from my current perch in Texas. As a result, everything I own must fit into my car for the drive over. Due to the lovely local bookstores here, I have too many books and not enough room.

Help me make my car look less like this:

And more like this:

So in celebration of sending my books to good homes instead of donating them to a Library that already has copies of most of what I own (I checked), I am giving them away to fellow book lovers.

Interested? Here we go! In the spirit of surprises and fun, comment on this post to win a book in the great Grab Bag o’ Books Giveaway. You won’t know what you are getting until you get it, but note, most of what I own is YA, Fiction, Non-Fiction and some historical novels.

So here are the steps:

1.) Make sure you are a follower of my blog

2.) Leave a comment telling me what kind of books you like to read (so I can try to send you something you’d enjoy)

3.) Send a mailing address to readingconfessions@gmail.com

That’s it! Woo hoo!

*Winners have been notified and will be mailed books soon*

Delirium by Lauren Oliver

Love: It will kill you and save you, both

Oh Ms. Oliver, is it your goal in life to break my heart? I read Delirium today because I liked Before I Fall and wanted more. Those of us who are obsessive compulsive readers sometimes cannot help but immediately pick up the next book by an author we’ve so thoroughly enjoyed. Delirium, although quite different from Before I Fall, haunts you with its sad but striking story in a very similar way.

Lena Haloway lives in the controlled society of Portland where people are ‘cured’ at the age of 18 of deliria, or as we call it, love. I was amused how Oliver spins love into a pretty convincing “disease.” Deliria is known to cause anxiety, depression, lack of appetite and insomnia. Even reckless behavior. Romeo and Juliet is a ‘cautionary tale’ that the children read in school to learn about the effects of deliria.

There are fences, guards, night raids and regulators. They can only listen to specific types of music, read approved books, their phone calls are tapped and everything is very carefully watched. Those who have been cured walk through life feeling nothing, caring about nothing. They are matched with a person, marry them, have kids and live out their lives within the system.

Of course there are rebels, they live outside the city’s walls in the ‘Wilds’ and are called invalids.  Lena’s life changes the day she meets an Invalid named Alex. As their relationship progresses, Lena begins to doubt that all the restrictions of their society is actually for their own good.

I once again loved Oliver’s writing, her characters shine with life, humor and emotion. (except you know, the cured ones. They shine with zombie-like creepiness and lack of basic human compassion.) Lena is a character who is good through and through. I couldn’t help but love her (I know, I know, its against the law but still!) I look forward to the next two books in the trilogy and can’t wait for them to come out.

Delirium, is of course, only the beginning, but Lena must make the decision that will shape everything that comes next. She is caught in the classic dilemma between safety and freedom. To do what she was taught is right or to follow her own diseased heart.