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2018 Reading Challenge

2018 Reading Challenge
Jill Elizabeth has read 25 books toward her goal of 175 books.
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Book Review: Playing to the Gods by Peter Rader

How fascinating this was! I am no expert in the early theater or early movies, but find the origins of stardom and the cult of personality exceedingly interesting, so this title – which explored the “rivalry” between Sarah Bernhardt and Eleonora Duse and their individual approaches to acting and fame – drew me in right away.

I was familiar with both actresses, although like most people, more so with Bernhardt than Duse. The two women were pitted as rivals, yet shared a startling number of qualities (chief among them perseverance and an extraordinary unwillingness to accept the role others tried to slot them into). Their careers were exceptionally dramatic (perhaps not surprising, given the field they both excelled in), as were their lives (most notably in the romantic, financial, and familial arenas). Continue reading Book Review: Playing to the Gods by Peter Rader

Book Review: This Body’s Not Big Enough for the Both of Us by Edgar Cantero

Oh. My. Goodness. I LOVE EDGAR CANTERO’S BOOKS!!

Seriously, he has the most incredible imagination. And he pairs that with an impeccable writing style/sense of pacing and comedy AND a seemingly endless (and absolutely brilliant) collection of literary and pop-culture allusions that he sprinkles throughout his stories like marshmallows in Lucky Charms. Honestly, you couldn’t ask for more! Continue reading Book Review: This Body’s Not Big Enough for the Both of Us by Edgar Cantero

Guest Post: On Selling a “Sleigh-Load” of Books by Penny Sansevieri PLUS a Bonus Excerpt

Today I’m beyond pleased to be able to bring you some insight into the book marketing and sales world. Penny Sansevieri is CEO and founder of Author Marketing Experts, Inc. (AME) and an Adjunct Professor at NYU, and her latest book – 50 Ways to Sell a Sleigh-Load of Books – is designed to give you a peek behind the curtain so as to maximize the holiday sales market. Enjoy!

On Selling a Sleigh-Load of Books
by Penny Sansevieri

Retail sales reached nearly $700 billion dollars last year during the holidays. The outlook for this year is equally as sparkling. People are ready to shop and buy.

Are you all set to get your piece of the holiday pie? Continue reading Guest Post: On Selling a “Sleigh-Load” of Books by Penny Sansevieri PLUS a Bonus Excerpt

Book Review: Smoking Kills by Antoine Laurain

With a delicious droll French sensibility, Laurain’s latest delivers the perfect blend of black comedy and social commentary. The story of an utterly unrepentant smoker who finds himself struggling after being hypnotized out of the enjoyment (but not the addiction) of smoking is in turns snarky, witty, and just a little bit tragic. With an excellent supporting cast that fleshes out the scenes perfectly, the book will make you smile with grim glee as you join Fabrice on his journey down the rabbit hole. This is a darker side of smoking you’ve NEVER seen before, and it was an exceedingly enjoyable ride from the first pages through the last!

That’s my review of the book – which is incredible. Now let me say a few words about the fact that it’s a translation…

Continue reading Book Review: Smoking Kills by Antoine Laurain

Book Review: The 7 1/2 Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle by Stuart Turton

This was such an incredible concept, and executed with an absolutely brilliant eye for detail and connection. I cannot even imagine how difficult it must have been to write and plot this interwoven tale of Aiden Bishop and his quest to solve the murder of Evelyn Hardcastle. There are secrets and lies everywhere and no one is who they seem – including Bishop himself, who has no idea who he even is for much of the first third of the book, as he struggles to wake up each day in a different body with no idea why, where he is, or what he’s supposed to be doing – other than staying alive. It’s difficult to call those around him a supporting cast, since so many are iterations that Bell wakes up as, but regardless of how they’re described, each and every person in this story is a tale unto him(or her-)self.

Continue reading Book Review: The 7 1/2 Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle by Stuart Turton

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