Review (revisited) and Blog Tour: “The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend” by Katarina Bivald (translated by Alice Menzies)

RBW-Blog-Tour-Graphic 9781492623441-300_RBGThis book was previous reviewed by our very own Calliope (see her review here) a little while ago. It was a cute book though, so why not review it again for our readers! Besides, it’s always interesting to see what different people think about books!

This was a cute and often funny book. It was also predictable. I don’t mind predictable. Sometimes we all need that in our lives. Heck at one point the author points out that very thing. However, my complaint with this novel is that at times the author really seemed to “force” quirkiness into this novel. For me it felt almost as if Bivald sought out some quirky traits that everyone would love and forced them into the characters of the novel, instead of making characters that we would all love and filling them with quirky traits….I realise that for many readers there might not be a difference, however for me there was. That is where the book let me down.

Regardless of that I loved the story. So many wonderful quotes as well. Some of the quotes were well worth the time it took for me to read this novel.

I don’t know if this was a debut novel for Katarina Bivald or not, but regardless, it read like one to me….in saying that I hope I don’t take away from someone wanting to check out the book, because it simply means that I look forward to reading more by this author. I can’t wait to see her grow more confident with her talent and going with that. Perhaps she forced nothing and it’s just the way the book turned out…however, it’s something I expect won’t be there in future novels….

Perhaps, my review left you uninspired to pick up this novel. I hope not. It really was a fun read. To prove it I’ll hopefully tantalize you with some quotes, just so you know that Bivald really does have some promising talent…

Sara had never believe that you had to meet friends—many of her most rewarding relationships had been with people who didn’t even exist—

It’s funny, the way we talk about terrorism nowadays as though only Muslims and Arabs threaten our society. I’m afraid my understanding of terrorism was shaped long before September 11. It was the fear, the arbitrariness, the violence that affected people indiscriminately—even those who said they didn’t want to get involved or had no intention of fighting against segregation. For me, terrorism is still the image of white men, people active in society, standing over the charcoal, lynched body of a black man and looking pleased with their work. John says I think about historic injustices too much. Maybe he’s right, but it’s just that it doesn’t feel historic to me. We never seem to be able to accept responsibility for these injustices. First, we say that’s just how things are, then we shrug our shoulders and say that’s just how things were, that things are different now. No thanks to us, I want to reply, but no one ever seems to want to hear that….That day I got him drunk, he said it was the first place he hadn’t felt afraid. Do you understand now? How can something like that be forgiven?

It was, in many ways, her dream bookshop. Not least because all the books had already been read. Books that had already been read were the best. She hadn’t always thought that.

Books or people you ask…I can’t for the life of me explain why I have the bad sense to prefer people. If you went purely by numbers, then books would win hands down. I’ve loved maybe a handful of people in my entire life, compared with tens or maybe even hundreds of books (and here I’m counting only those books I’ve really loved, the kind that make you happy just to look at them, that make you smile regardless of what else is happening in your life, that you always turn back to like an old friend and can remember exactly where you first “met” them—I’m sure you know just what I’m talking about). But that handful of people you love…they’re surely worth just as much as all of those books.

Finally, this gem…

There’s always a person for every book. And a book for every person.

Until next time…

Urania xx

ARC provided by NetGallery for an honest review

buy it here Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend by Katarina Bivald

Musing: When Authors Like Our Book Reviews

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I’m going to speak for all of us when I say that we don’t write book reviews for fame or fortune. Nor recognition or accolades. We write reviews because we love to read, and we want to share our love of books with other people. You.

But you know what happened? We’ve found some excellent byproducts of the reading, reviewing, and blogging process!

Naturally, we get to interact with other people who like to read what we read: other bloggers and our blog followers. Book conversations? Ummm yes, please. Definitely.

Sometimes authors interact with us, too, which is pretty cool. Even a simple retweet makes me feel like my efforts made a difference to someone. Some muses have entire conversations (twitter, Facebook) with authors.

Today I found something that just took the cake. I was googling a book I’ve read in the past, and to what did my wondering eyes did appear? An excerpt of a Random Book Muses book review… ON AN AUTHOR’S WEB SITE! Yes, you heard me right: authors are using excerpts of our reviews on their web sites. How cool is that?!

So I googled some more.

Hello! More excerpts on more author web sites! I even found one of Pegasus’ reviews in its entirety.

Here are some of the links, so you can check out these wonderful, friendly authors yourself:

Megan Mulry

Jennie Jones

Vincent Lam

Laura Florand

…and the one that started it all…
Susan Mallery

It all makes me giddy, really.

So thank you, authors. Thank you for the love. We appreciate you noticing our words about your words. ❤️

-Calliope

Musing: Keeping Up with NetGalley Approvals

20140504-141055.jpg Do you use NetGalley? It’s a repository full of advance copies of books that haven’t been published yet. You fill out a profile page, peruse the available books, and request the ones you want. Publishers approve or decline the requests, and if they approve one, you can download an electronic copy for free. Yes, free! FREE BOOKS! Then you read, write a review, post it, and boom, you’re done.

Well, actually, if you’re like me, you end up selling your soul for these “free” books. The books have publish dates and archive dates associated with them, both of which create pressure to read fast, review fast, and move on to the next one.

I’m actually a little bit proud of my NetGalley achievements. I’ve been approved for 117 books since last July, and I’ve read 101 of them. I have a handful to read in May and June.

Then I have THE EIGHT. The eight NetGalley books that were published in 2013 that I just haven’t gotten to. That’s what the picture is up there. The eight unread, need-to-be-read NetGalley books.

They’ve been on my kindle for so long that I’ve lost all excitement for them. But there are only eight. I should get going and get them over with.

Any ideas which one I should start with?

–calliope

Musing: The Three-Star Review

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The whole book-rating thing isn’t so helpful, I’m afraid. I don’t blame Urania for avoiding a star rating whenever she can help it. It’s not accurate in so many cases, and frankly, there are so many reasons to give a book three stars instead of four, that who even knows if you’d like the book unless you actually read a review?!

So, why do I give a book three stars? Because it’s a nice, enjoyable, straightforward way to pass the time. Usually a three star book is somewhat predictable, evenly written, maybe a little bit superficial. I always like a three star read. (If I didn’t, I’d give it two stars.) I just don’t love a three star book.

Three stars means it didn’t pull me in and make me live in the story. It means I probably didn’t cry or laugh out loud. Likely, I didn’t need to go off and tell people about it when I was done.

But the three star reads still have a place in my weekly reading. Most notably, they are relaxing. I don’t have to put a lot of intellectual or emotional effort into a three star book. I can just veg out and read, and let the story wash over me.

So if you’re about to pass by a book that I gave three stars, reconsider. Read the review before you decide. Maybe you need an easy-on-the-heart-and-easy-on-the-mind book. I know I often do.

Check out recent reviews by Pegasus and the Muses.

Happy reading!
–Calliope