February has kicked off to a great start! I’ve already completed five books for the month, with another 4 in progress. I’m in process of finishing Sever (the third book in The Chemical Garden trilogy) by Lauren DeStefano, Dragonfly in Amber (the second in the Outlander series) by Diana Gabaldon, Heading out to Wonderful by Robert Goolrick (this is my left over book from January) and Sons and Daughters (a Pride and Prejudice sequel) by Karen Wasylowski. Upon finishing these four books I plan on beginning the audio version of Invisible Murder by Lene Kaaberbøl and Agnete Friis. I was lucky enough to get to meet them at a book signing they did in the US back in the fall and I’ve been dying to listen to this book. Now it’s your turn! Tell me what’s currently got you hooked in the comments section below!
I can’t believe it’s time to write yet another round up post. October wasn’t super packed with stuff, so I got a lot of good reading time in. The highlight of the month though was definitely heading to my favorite bookstore, R.J. Julia, and seeing Lene Kaaberbøl and Agnete Friis discuss their newest book Invisible Murder. The book is the second in their Nina Borg chronicles, the first being The Boy in the Suitcase (which I reviewed here). Hearing them discuss the research that went into the book, their travels through Hungary, and the tragic stories of what life is like in Hungary for gypsies was harrowing. I’m excited that I have some background on the real life instances that parts of the book are based on. It’ll only add that much more to my reading of it.
We also participated in our second read-a-thon of the year! Todd and I made it through an hour longer than our first read-a-thon and completed more books as well. We considered it a success and are already looking forward to the next one in the spring.
Besides the read-a-thon our month was spent celebrating our birthdays and Halloween! Our birthday celebration consisted of Todd, me, and 12 of our friends hitting up downtown New Haven for pizza and beers. Following dinner we took the group saki bombing! Those unfamiliar with the term – you take a glass and fill it about halfway with beer (preferably Japanese beer) and then balance a shot of hot saki on top. You bang the table, let the shot drop in the beer, and then chug down the rest. (Sounds gross but is actually really delicious!) It was a fabulous celebration and I can’t wait till next year!
Our Halloween party was as always a ton of fun. Todd’s home-brewed pumpkin beer was a huge smash. (Such a smash all 5 gallons was drunk in one night!) Everyone went all out on their costumes this year! (Todd and I were newsies) I’m already anticipating how we’re all going to top ourselves next year.
October was a fantastic reading month! I met my second reading goal of the year of 160 books and have decided to up the goal to 200 books by year-end. As of today I’m at 176, so I’m keeping my fingers crossed that I can make it through 24 more before year-end. I completed 19 books in October with my favorite being The Girl on the Cliff by Lucinda Riley (my review is here). Great great great book. I really hope y’all will add it to your to-read piles.
The staff has been diligently working on getting through a whole slew of books this month. Adam’s been reading the historical fiction novel Deal With The Devil Part II and recently posted his review for it. His next review is for a young adult mythology book, Pantheons. Todd’s been reading a new thriller novel Targets of Deception and the fiction novel Believe Like A Child. Christine’s been reading a short story/poetry anthology called Everblossom. Jess is reading the memoir Taking Flak, while Charlie’s been working on a review of the film The Perks of Being a Wallflower. I do also want to inform all of you about the addition of another staff blogger for the Reflections team, Sam! Sam’s been working on a young adult dystopian thriller, The Tube Riders. You can find out more about Sam and her reading tastes on The Staff page!
Let us know what you read last month and what books we should be adding to our to-read piles! As always, happy reading!
Two people have been chosen as the winners in the Boy In The Suitcase Giveaway!
Congratulations to: Lisa Garrett who left a comment on December 14th and Clenna Emery who let a comment on December 19th for being the lucky winners!!
Please contact me with your mailing address by Wednesday, December 28, 2011 to claim your prize. Shipment is to the US only.
Thank you to all who participated and left comments!
Audio-book fans listen up!! Reflections of a Book Addict is kicking off a five stop blog tour for AudioGO’s audio-book release of The Boy In The Suitcase by Lene Kaaberbøl and Agnete Friis, narrated by Katherine Kellgren. With the Swedish crime novel kick Todd and I have been on, we jumped at the chance to listen and review the first novel in the Nina Borg chronicles.
I’m stealing the summary of the novel off of AudioGO’s website, because it saves me from revealing too much of the mystery!
Nina Borg, a Red Cross nurse, wife, and mother of two, is trying to live a quiet life. The last thing her husband wants is for her to go running off on another dangerous mission to help illegal refugees. But when Nina’s estranged friend Karin leaves Nina a key to a public locker in the Copenhagen train station and begs her to take care of its contents, Nina gets suckered into her most dangerous case yet. Because inside the suitcase is a three-year-old boy: naked and drugged, but alive. Nina’s natural instinct is to rescue the boy, but she knows the situation is risky. Is the boy a victim of child trafficking? Can he be turned over to authorities, or will they only return him to whoever sold him? In an increasingly desperate trek across Denmark, Nina tries to figure out who the boy is, where he belongs, and who exactly is hunting him down. When Karin is discovered brutally murdered, Nina realizes that her life and the boy’s are in jeopardy, too.
Kim: Right from the get go this novel takes off like a bat out of hell. A naked, drugged, three-year-old is found in a suitcase shoved in a locker in a train station. How can you kick a novel off better than that? Why is he there? Who put him there? You start listening to this novel and already have 1,000 questions running through your mind that make you all the more interested and invested in the plot.
Todd: Kaaberbøl and Friis create a wonderfully detailed cast of characters that they expound on to give the listener an amazingly good sense of the backgrounds of these individuals and what drives their actions and feelings. I really enjoy when authors do this and I can really get a sense of what kind of person the character is in order to put them in context of the plot.
Kim: I definitely agree that the writing is top-notch. I’ve often found that in these types of twisted crime novels, the writing has to be superb in order for the novel to work. Without intelligent language, it would just fall flat. Also, we can’t forget to give credit to Katherine Kellgren for a job well done in narrating this work. You can tell that she put a lot of time and effort into making sure that words not in her native tongue were pronounced properly and accurately. Narrators that take this extra step make the novel that much more realistic and gripping.
Todd: I have to echo Kim’s statements about the narrator. Of course, I think it’s also a staple that the person be British, because who doesn’t love a calming British accent? Anyway, if you happen to be a fan of Stieg Larsson’s Millennium Trilogy, this is definitely not a book to miss. With thrilling accounts of murder and suspense that lurk in each chapter, you’ll find yourself glued to the spoken words, anxiously waiting to see what happens to The Boy in the Suitcase.
Kim’s Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars
Todd’s Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars
The Boy In The Suitcase by Lene Kaaberbøl and Agnete Friis
CD: 8hrs 40min
Jill over at AudioGO has been kind enough to offer us a clip of the first chapter of The Boy In the Suitcase. You can find the remaining pieces of the first chapter at each stop on the blog tour. (Info below) Without further ado, here’s the beginning of chapter one…
To hear the remainder of chapter one (and for more giveaway chances) visit the rest of the blogs hosting the blog tour:
12/13/11 – The Haunting of Orchid Forsythia
12/14/11 – Teresa’s Reading Corner
12/15/11 – The Literate Housewife
12/16/11 – Devourer of Books
Two lucky winners will have the opportunity to win an audio-book version each of The Boy In the Suitcase by Lene Kaaberbøl and Agnete Friis. For your chance to win simply leave a comment in the thread below. Comments will be accepted through midnight of Tuesday, December 20, 2011. Winners will be picked at random and announced on Wednesday, December 21, 2011. Giveaway open to residents of US only. Good luck!
Special thanks to Jill at AudioGO for our review copy, and for including us on this fabulous blog tour!