Category Archives: New Releases

New John Grisham Book is FREE

John Grisham has a new book out. It’s short and it’s totally free. You can download the kindle verison straight from Amazon or you can click over to this page and download any file format you want. You can even order a free hard cover copy!

John Grisham download FREEThe book is called “The Tumor” and it has nothing to do with the legal system and probably doesn’t even qualify as a “thriller”. This one is all about cancer and new technology. It’s something that seems near and dear to Grisham’s heart. So he decided to write this 49-page book, partner with the Focused Ultrasound Foundation and give it away. All just to help raise awareness about new technology available to fight cancer.

The story follows a 35-year old father of three as he goes through the prognosis and treatment of a brain tumor. Pretty heavy stuff from Grisham.

I haven’t read it yet. Let me know if you have and how the story stacks up.

Comparing Harper Lee’s Two Books

Go Set a Watchman is out and in the hands of readers around the globe. It’s been interesting to see how people respond to the story in the book, but it’s been absolutely fascinating watching how people respond to the story of the book itself.

A quick snapshot of the evolution of the book:

Harper Lee wrote Go Set a Watchman first back in the 1950’s. Her editor said something like ‘I’m more interested in the backstory’. So Harper Lee wrote the prequel which became To Kill a Mockingbird published in 1960.

I’m not sure Lee ever expected Go Set a Watchman to ever be published.

Taking this path to life into account and realizing how books are written the folks at Quartz ran both books through their computers to compare the texts to see if there were any similarities. What author wouldn’t take awesome passages from a finished manuscript and re-use them in a newer, updated book of another title? Especially if they never thought the original had a shot of seeing the light of day.

You can click through and read the passages that Lee and her editor copied over verbatim and where the revisions are. What is interesting is that all of the ones Quartz shares appear later in To Kill a Mockingbird than they do in Go Set a Watchman. You begin to get a sense of how Lee constructs each story when you realize that so many descriptive and background passages appear up front on the newly released book, but appear much later in the earlier released novel. It sheds some light on what the priorities of each book are.

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Honestly, I was surprised there isn’t more recycling going on. Harper Lee truly did the work and created a new book back in the 1950’s.

Harper Lee’s new book is already a huge success commercially and people will be debating its authenticity and providence for years to come (so many conspiracy theories!).  But no matter how you feel about Atticus and Scout, this one (and any future books – conspiracy alert!) is a wonderful and rare look at Harper Lee’s methods for readers, researchers and students of storytelling.

The Fold – Book Review

Title: The Fold
Author: Peter Clines
Publisher: Random House, 2015
Where I heard about this book: I received this book directly from the publisher.

For years a government agency has been trying to get high school science teacher Leland “Mike” Erikson to come work for them. But he always turned them down until they asked him to investigate a secret physics installation in southern California. A place that “folds” the fabric of space/time, allowing people to walk across the universe in the blink of an eye. At least, that’s what they think it does.

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I really enjoyed the whole build up of The Fold as Mike, who has been assigned the task of figuring out what is going on and how it’s being done, is piecing clues together, grappling with the science and coming around to believing the impossible. And when the impossible happens, people start dying. Fast. And then things get weird. Fast.

Clines does a decent job with the science with this story, leaving just enough in the realm of WTF and fuzzy thinking to make it fun and plausible. Just make sure you’re reading with an open mind and you’ll enjoy.

If you’re a fan of Sherlock I think you’ll like The Fold as Mike (who, in the book, is compared to both Holmes brothers) has one hugely useful talent – his eidetic memory. He remembers everything as if he’s skimming through a DVD with time codes and everything. It makes piecing together crime scenes, looking for patterns and eliminating variables fast and easy. And he can sound like a jerk. But so did Sherlock at times.

While it all wraps up quickly, you can’t be sure how it’ll end or even who will be standing when it does.

I give Peter Clines’ The Fold three out of five stars and recommend it to fans of the Stargate series, time travel movies and anyone else who already realizes that there are some things mankind just shouldn’t mess with.

The Little Paris Bookshop – Book Review

Title: The Little Paris Bookshop
Author: Nina George
Publisher: Crown, 2015
Where I heard about this book: I received this book directly from the publisher

What first drew me to Nina George’s The Little Paris Bookshop was all the “books about books” chatter accompanying its launch. An area it certainly delivered in. But while books play a central part in The Little Paris Bookshop it is ultimately about loss and the consequences of our choices. All of which is peppered with the food and landscape of France.

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The book follows Jean Perdu, book prescriber, bookseller and captain of the Literary Apothecary, a book barge moored along the Seine and overflowing with books and . The first third of the book is filled with thoughts and talk of books, literature and book buyers as Perdu will not allow his customers to buy any old book they want – it must be the “right” book.

“There are books that are suitable for a million people, others for only a hundred. There are even remedies—I mean books—that were written for one person only…A book is both medic and medicine at once. It makes a diagnosis as well as offering therapy. Putting the right novels to the appropriate ailments: that’s how I sell books.” –Monsieur Jean Perdu

This self-imposed hermit bookman displays a knack for sizing up a customer and prescribing just the right book to cure what ails them. But Perdu is suffering from his own pains and deeper issues as well. So he and a best-selling-author neighbor cast the lines ashore and take off down the river, in the book barge, to deal with Perdu’s past choices head on. More literary-minded characters come on board along the way as lives unravel and are laid bare.

Once the journey starts, George really starts to focus on loss, the choices we make in life and the stages of grief. Oh my goodness does Perdu spend time becoming self-aware. A lot of time. Towards the end there’s lots of yelling at the sea and pounding on tables as he comes to grips of lost love, growing older, re-connecting with himself and those around him.

The book is much more of a romance than I was first expecting. There was a lot more pining away and emotional anguish than I planned on. But the jacket designer, for the U.S. edition, nailed it. Just know that the sense you get from the cover is exactly what’s inside.

All of the book talk made it worth it for me though. Lots of Harry Potter and classic literature references to feed your inner bibliophile. And I would be selling it short if I didn’t mention the food and the river scenery. I was ready to set sail and eat my way through France by the time I turned the final page. The book even has a few recipes in the back from meals that were enjoyed in the book. Ultimately this book is filled with folks that I’d love to have over for a dinner party.

I give The Little Paris Bookshop three out of five stars and I’m recommending this book to friends I already know read romance books. But again it was worth it to me, just for all of the bookish discussions and characters.

EXTRA: The publishing team for the book put together a neat promotional book apothecary website where you can go and get books prescribed for you based on how you’re feeling.