Saturday, August 14, 2010

The Sunday Salon... Books with Buzz, and a Bit of eReader Talk!


Welcome to The Sunday Salon! I can't believe it's Sunday already! It seems as though the week went by in a flash. As always, I had my head in some great books, such as Ashes and Water by Irene Ziegler! Irene's Virtual Book Tour will be making a stop here at Chick with Books on Monday, and I'll be sharing my review then. (Memoir Mondays back to normal starting August 30th!) BTW, Her book, Ashes to Water is a literary thriller, but more about that tomorrow! I also hosted a Book Tour stop for Daniel Silva's The Rembrandt Affair, and was able to reconnect with my old friend Gabriel Allon! He's a retired special agent (OK assassin) for the Israeli government and an art restorer, not to mention a great character! Here's my Review of The Rembrandt Affair... Also from last week, in case you missed it, courtesy of Doubleday I am giving away a copy of Dracula in Love by Karen Essex! I LOVED this book! If you missed it, here's my Review of Dracula in Love. And here's the LINK to the Giveaway! There are plenty of great books to take a peek at today too! So without further ado, here are this weeks Books with Buzz...

First, have you read Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett yet?! It's one of my MUST reads, and fans of Ken Follett have something to look forward to this coming Sept! It's a new epic novel! Fall of Giants, the first novel in the 'Century' trilogy, will be published in 14 countries simultaneously on September 28, 2010. From Ken Follett's website...

"In Fall of Giants, I follow the destinies of five interrelated families – one American, one Russian, one German, one English and one Welsh – through the earth-shaking events of the First World War and the Russian Revolution. Thirteen-year-old Billy Williams enters a man’s world in the Welsh mining pits…Gus Dewar, an American law student rejected in love, finds a surprising new career in Woodrow Wilson’s White House…two orphaned Russian brothers, Grigori and Lev Peshkov, embark on radically different paths half a world apart when their plan to emigrate to America falls afoul of war, conscription and revolution…Billy’s sister, Ethel, a housekeeper for the aristocratic Fitzherberts, takes a fateful step above her station, while Lady Maud Fitzherbert herself crosses deep into forbidden territory when she falls in love with Walter von Ulrich, a spy at theGerman Embassy in London…. These characters and many others find their lives inextricably entangled as, in a saga of unfolding drama and intriguing complexity, Fall of Giants moves seamlessly from Washington to St. Petersburg, from the dirt and danger of a coal mine to the glittering chandeliers of a palace, from the corridors of power to the bedrooms of the mighty.

I was glued to the pages of Pillars of the Earth, not just because I love the time period in which the story took place, which was the Middle Ages, but because Ken Follett brought the families involved alive on the page! I cared about what happened to them, hated them (yes, this is referring to William in particular) and watched as a magnificent church was built. Fall of the Giants is not the Middle Ages, but in the hands of Ken Follett, I am so looking forward to getting to know these families and the world that is theirs.

Also from Ken's website... The second book in the 'Century' series, due to be published in 2012, will feature the children of the characters in Fall of Giants as they live through the Depression and the Second World War. The third book, due out in 2014, will be about the next generation during the Cold War.

The Tower, The Zoo, And The Tortoise by Julia Stuart... There has been a lot of great buzz about this book prior to it's publication date, which was this past week. They say, don't judge a book by its cover, but adorning this cover are the whimsical characters that we will get to know as we turn the pages, and I just love it! On the back cover are Tower of London Facts, such as "Employees of the Tower Mint were said to be rocognizable by their missing fingertips." So, what's it about? From the Publisher...

"Balthazar Jones has lived in the Tower of London with his loving wife, Hebe, and his 120-year-old pet tortoise for the past eight years. That’s right, he is a Beefeater (they really do live there). It’s no easy job living and working in the tourist attraction in present-day London. Among the eccentric characters who call the Tower’s maze of ancient buildings and spiral staircases home are the Tower’s Rack & Ruin barmaid, Ruby Dore, who just found out she’s pregnant; portly Valerie Jennings, who is falling for ticket inspector Arthur Catnip; the lifelong bachelor Reverend Septimus Drew, who secretly pens a series of principled erot ica; and the philandering Ravenmaster, aiming to avenge the death of one of his insufferable ravens. When Balthazar is tasked with setting up an elaborate menagerie within the Tower walls to house the many exotic animals gifted to the Queen, life at the Tower gets all the more interest ing. Penguins escape, giraffes are stolen, and the Komodo dragon sends innocent people running for their lives. Balthazar is in charge and things are not exactly running smoothly. Then Hebe decides to leave him and his beloved tortoise “runs” away." Some of the buzz words heard are, "charming", "whimsical", and "adorable". And I have this in my TBR pile now! *This Book is Kindle Ready!

Freedom by Jonathan Franzen... Fans of Jonathan Franzen have waited nine years since he wrote The Corrections, which won The National Book Award, for something new. That wait is finally over. In fact, Jonathan Franzen made the cover of Time magazine this week! An honor never bestowed upon a living author. Here's what the Publisher tells us about Freedom...

Patty and Walter Berglund were the new pioneers of old St. Paul—the gentrifiers, the hands-on parents, the avant-garde of the Whole Foods generation. Patty was the ideal sort of neighbor, who could tell you where to recycle your batteries and how to get the local cops to actually do their job. She was an enviably perfect mother and the wife of Walter’s dreams. Together with Walter—environmental lawyer, commuter cyclist, total family man—she was doing her small part to build a better world. But now, in the new millennium, the Berglunds have become a mystery. Why has their teenage son moved in with the aggressively Republican family next door? Why has Walter taken a job working with Big Coal? What exactly is Richard Katz—outrĂ© rocker and Walter’s college best friend and rival—still doing in the picture? Most of all, what has happened to Patty? Why has the bright star of Barrier Street become “a very different kind of neighbor,” an implacable Fury coming unhinged before the street’s attentive eyes? In his first novel since The Corrections, Jonathan Franzen has given us an epic of contemporary love and marriage. Freedom comically and tragically captures the temptations and burdens of liberty: the thrills of teenage lust, the shaken compromises of middle age, the wages of suburban sprawl, the heavy weight of empire. In charting the mistakes and joys of Freedom’s characters as they struggle to learn how to live in an ever more confusing world, Franzen has produced an indelible and deeply moving portrait of our time.

I love complex family stories. I've heard that Franzen doesn't necessarily give the reader likable characters, but breathes life into his characters to make real people, with real fears and feelings. I'm putting this one on my TBR list.

Kindle? Nook? Are you enjoying your eReader?! I love my Kindle, can't wait to see the newest member of the Kindle family (a little less than 2 weeks away!) and I am really enjoying my Nook! Yes, I bought a Nook for reading ePub books from the library! It's a joy to download ebooks from the library onto the Nook. And the Philadelphia Library makes it easy to borrow ebooks and reserve them too! I mentioned in an earlier post that the Philadelphia Library uses one of my favorite ebook libraries hosted by Overdrive. (My home library doesn't), and for a fee of $15 per year, you can get a Philadelphia Library card and enjoy accessing their eBook library via the internet! These eBooks are in the ePub format, so you need a eReader that is compatible. Sorry Kindle owners, you CAN NOT download ebooks from the library! Kindle's do not accept ePub books! If you're interested, here's the LINK to apply for a card. * Check the Philadelphia Library website to see if you have a compatible device. As of this posting, Nooks and Sony eReaders are compatible! Here is the LINK to the quick overview of what you need to get started, including a link to get Adobe Digital Editions for free, which is how you manage & transfer the ebooks you check out.

A Little Nook News... Barnes & Noble has a eBook & Nook Blog. You can access it on your Nook, but going into "The Daily", which you'll find on the bottom screen. Or you can access it on The Barnes & Noble website. Paul Hochman writes the blog, and features new ebooks, interesting ebooks, and FREE eBooks! On fridays, B & N has "Free eBook Fridays"! Check out The Daily on your Nook on Fridays to see what's available! * Julie commented about today's post and wanted to share that B & N is also offering FREE B&N CLASSIC eBooks for the Nook every Friday too! The program started July 16th and will run until Sept. 14th! Here is the link to download your free Nook Classics. There are 12 classics per week, and the selection changes every week. Thanks Julie for letting us know!

A Little Kindle News too... I see that Amazon has a new feature on their site called Debut Discount, and for a "limited time", and if you've ever watched the Kindle book bargains you know how fleeting some of these bargain prices are, you try some new authors at a discounted price. Right now there are 6 ebooks highlighted and priced at $3.99.

Well, I'm off again to take in some nature before the sun beats down too much. What have you been reading this week?! Share you're great reads right here with everyone! And are you using a eReader? Which ones are you enjoying?!

Happy reading... Suzanne

16 comments:

Mary said...

Great post, Suzanne. I'm looking forward to reviews of the new Follett. Didn't know about the Debut Discount books so thanks for the heads up. Have a great week!

Julie P said...

I added a few titles to my wish list based on your post! As far as ereaders go--my husband bought me a Nook last month and I LOVE it!

You mentioned the free ebook every Friday, but did you know they are giving away 12 free classics every Friday for the Nook from now through September?

Bibliophile By the Sea said...

I've started Fall of Giants and it is addictive.

Have a great week.

Aisle B said...

Love Ken Follet! He has yet to do a book that I have not liked. Love his earlier work and will have to pick him up again soon.

Have a great relaxing Sunday!

Alyce said...

I still haven't read Pillars of the Earth, but I have it on my shelf. I have a feeling I'll love it once I find the time to read it.

I have a first generation kindle, but have lost the charger. Once I buy a new charger I'm sure I'll be enjoying using it again. Our library has online e-books to download too, but I haven't seen if they work with the kindle yet or not. So far I've just been using it for audiobooks to listen to on my mp3 player.

SenoraG said...

I cant wait to get my hands on the new Follet book! Thanks so much for the link to the Philly library. I was born and raised and they do have excellent libraries. Now I am in NJ but I think I will get the out of state card! Happy Sunday

Suzanne said...

Hi Mary!
I can't wait to see those reviews for the new Ken Follett book either! And a few of those Debut authors looked very interesting. I'm curious to see how often Amazon rotates authors. Thanks for stopping by and saying hello!

Suzanne said...

Hi Julie!
I'm going to have to look on friday for that list of 12 free classics now! Thanks for sharing! And Enjoy your new Nook!!! I really like my Nook! And it's a breeze to download my library ebooks with which I can't with the Kindle! You hubby is a gem for buying you one!!!

Suzanne said...

Hi Bibliophile by the Sea!
You are one lucky girl for getting an ARC of Ken Follett's new book!!! And I am so happy that you are finding it addictive! I look forward to your full review!!!

Suzanne said...

Hi PK!
I never read any of Ken Follett's earlier work, but now I'm going to have to. And I'll definitely be picking up Fall of Giants! Will probably go through withdrawal for the next in the series just like the Girl with the Dragon Tattoo books! :-)

Hi Alyce!
You were ahead of the ebook reading curve with the Kindle 1! Unfortunately you can't use it for those library ebooks! I think the Kindle would be perfect with that ability, but someone pointed out on a ereader board that Amazon doesn't want you to rent free library book with your Kindle- they want to see you books, so we'll probably never see ePub books on a Kindle! :-( But you know I always forget that you can listen to your music on the Kindle! I'll have to load some book reading music on there now!

Hi SenoraG!
My hubby is from Philadelphia too! I am always amazed when we visited the relatives how many libraries there were. It seemed like every neighborhood had one. And that Philadelphia Library card is great for us out of town readers!

Sharon said...

I have read many of Ken Follett's books over the years and this new one sounds great. I love my Kindle, so i appreciated greatly the link to the Debut Discount page! Thanks! I was also really interested to find that I could check out eBooks from a library in Philadelphia!Thanks for that too!

Suzanne said...

Hi Sharon!
I'm always interested in both finding new authors to check out and Kindle book bargains, so I'm happy to share both!

Although us Kindle owners CAN NOT check out eBooks from the library! All the library ebook formats are in ePub version and Kindles are not compatible. That's why I bought a Nook...

Marg said...

I haven't actually read any Follett before despite the fact that I have had Pillars of the Earth recommended to me numerous times!

I am planning to start reading him at the start of this new trilogy and then if I like his writing I will go back and read his backlist.

Suzanne said...

Hi Marg,
Pillars of the Earth was such a departure from what Ken Follett normally wrote that his publishers did not want him to write it! He was in the spy/thriller genre and they wanted him to stick to his "familiar" formula. I am so glad he pushed what HE wanted to do! Pillars is a beauty. We'll all have to discuss what we think of the new book when we all get to it!

Booksnyc said...

I am reading The Corrections right now - it is great! Franzen does a fantastic job with family drama.

I am on the cusp of purchasing an e-reader and am leaning towards the Nook because I can download library books to it. What do feel are the pros/cons of Nook vs. Kindle?

Suzanne said...

Hi Booksnyc,
Both eReaders are nice. The Kindle is my favorite just because of it's slimmer profile and I believe the new Kindle 3 screen will be a superior contrast to read by. I also prefer using the actual keyboard on the Kindle to navigate where I want to go... The Nook uses the touch screen below the reading screen to navigate. The one benefit the Nook has over the Kindle is the ability to download ePub books from the library. It seems that the book industry (with the exception of Amazon) has adapted ePub as the preferred format for eBooks. The more I use my Nook, the more I really like it. It really is a hard choice. Some other things to consider are if more than one person in your household will have a eReader... You can register more than one Kindle to the same person. My husband's Kindle is registered under my name, so we can share books. We can read the same book at the same time. This is a nice feature of the Kindle. Good luck! Let me know what you finally decide!

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