Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Laydown Lowdown

There are a lot of new releases today.  It's a good thing it's a leap year.  You'll have a whole extra day tomorrow to get lost in a good book.

Flit on over to the Romance section and you'll find the sixth novel in Robyn Carr's "Virgin River" series, "Redwood Bend," as well as "Spellbound Falls," by best-selling author, Janet Chapman.  If you have trouble putting a book down at bedtime, you may find yourself "Against the Night," by Kat Martin.  Or, you could get caught, "Between the Duke and the Deep Blue Sea," by Sophia Nash.

You can take an "Angels' Flight," by Nalini Singh to the Science Fiction and Fantasy section.  You'll see the "Artic Rising," by Tobias S. Buckell and discover a "Kingdom Beseiged," by Raymond Feist.  You better hold on to your "Touchstone," by Melanie Rawn.

Sneaking over to the Mystery section may result in your "Downfall," by Terri Blackstock.  You may find yourself the victim of a "Cinnamon Roll Murder," by Joanne Fluke.

Still Mystery may be a safer place than the Young Adult section today.  It's in utter "Pandemonium," by Lauren Oliver (the sequel to Delirium reviewed here).  Hold fast to your "Allegiance," by Cayla Kluver. 

If you're not interested in any of these titles then you may be a "Lone Wolf," by Jodi Picoult.

Happy Reading Everyone !! Those are your latest releases for this week.   Remember to support your local bookstores whenever possible.  I enjoy watching "Two Broke Girls," but I don't like being one.  Booksellers need your support. 

Don't forget to "follow" us on Twitter @borderlessbooks.  And "Like" us on Facebook.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Walk Like An Egyptian

I love, love, love Egyptian stuff. And as I have found sometimes there are wonderfully helpful books and sometimes there are books that are very dry and boring and make me want to drool in boredom all over their pages. So! I will give you a list of books I have personally found useful that are also non-drool-inducing.

To begin with:

Hieroglyph Detective by Nigel Strudwick. I picked this up at Borders in the bargain section and absolutely loved how helpful it was. It was organized well, and formatted in such a way that was conducive to learning some basics of hieroglyphics. There are actual photographs of stelae and such Egyptiany things, so that you are learning common phrases that you would actual see if you visited Egypt, instead of learning silly English phrases that you will never see anywhere. I have seen some books do that. So this book was very helpful as a beginning tour to Egyptian Hieroglyphs and Ancient Egyptian words and grammar. It was written well and was so pretty. I want to find the person who formatted this book and put together the fonts and artwork and give them a giant hug.

(On a side note that is not relevant at all: I always imagined Nigel as this sexy attractive young man, but do not get your hopes up. He is middle-aged and has scary beard stuff going on. And yes. Beards are scary. Except in very rare cases.)

If, after reading this book, you want to learn more about Egyptian Hieroglyphs I would

recommend How to Read Egyptian Hieroglyphs, not only because it is an international Best seller, but because it is an International Best seller for a reason. It is easy to use, makes learning hieroglyphics relatively easy (I use the term easy loosely here, because it depends on your ability to pick up languages). And again, the things they are having you learn and translate are relevant. There are scan-ins of actual textual examples so that you're not just learning silly stuff, but actual hieroglyphs. And that is exciting.

So: now that you've read these two books, or at least lightly perused them, you can be smarter than whoever designed something for the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts. I had the wonderful opportunity to go to the VMFA to see a special mummy museum. It was quite fun. Wonderful artifacts, fantastic movie narrated by the lovely Patrick Stewart, and I had a great time. BUT. While waiting for the movie to start I looked at the plaques on the wall that some silly person had made and the hieroglyphs were wrong. In hieroglyphs
there may or may not be animal or human figures. If there are such figures, all of them will be facing the same way, and (from what I remember) you read into the figure's mouths, so that you know which direction to read. And the birds were facing both directions in the same column. Absolutely ridiculous. Ahem. Anyway. So these books are useful for learning the hieroglyphic side of Egyptian funness.

For a look into the history of Ancient Egypt I recommend Barbara Mertz. Some of you may know her through her pseudonym, Elizabeth Peters, as she also writes fictional mystery books. She is smart, she is hilarious, and I love her books. I do not own either Red Land, Black Land or Temples, Tombs & Hieroglyphs, but I have read both. Her books truly helped me appreciate the Ancient Egyptian world and brought it alive to me.

(Another note which is more relevant than the first: The cover art on Red Land, Black Land which you see over to the left is some famous wall painting. AND if you read the How-To-Guide on Egyptian Hieroglyphs as found above, you ca actually learn to read the hieroglyphs under the man's arm. Isn't that exciting? If you don't think that's exciting, I'm not sure why you're reading this post, and if you don't like Egyptian things and are reading this anyway, I thank you. That is quite open-minded and respectful of you. And if you would be excited but are too tired, that's quite alright. You should sleep. Sleep is wonderful.)

So. Those are some basic books that have been useful to me. If you have anymore please let me know, because my roommate has banned me from searching online for more Egyptian books, because then I will want to buy them and read them and stuff my face inside the pages and breathe deep the wonderful, wonderful aroma of... Ahem. Anyway. I'm off to to do non-Egyptian related things. Bye! *hugs* *runs away*

Saturday, February 25, 2012

February Book Club: Stolen by Lucy Christopher

It was just a cup of coffee. A bit of kindness from an attractive young man at the airport cafe counter. Gemma never thought that she would wake up in the middle of the Australian desert, thousands of miles from her parents, alone with Ty - her strangely intense and oddly disquieting kidnapper. Now all she can think about is how to get home. But as time passes and all of her escape attempts fail miserably and Gemma slowly gets to know the man who has captured her, she realises that there is more to this story than she ever would have guessed. Written as a letter to her captor, Stolen is a haunting look at the twisted nature of love, friendship, and the lengths some people will go to avoid being alone.

Stolen is written for a more mature teen audience and does contain some adult language including the F word.

Want to buy Stolen? Please support your local brick and mortar stores!
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While we don't give too much away, we do talk about the book as though we've read it. Take a look at what we had to say about this month's pick below or you can jump down to the bottom to see what book we'll be reading for March!

Eileen: Stolen is an interesting but intense look at the development of Stockholm's Syndrome. The letter form of writing is not used very often and I did enjoy that. However, because the Stockholm's Syndrome is developed gradually the story's pace is very slow. That, combined with the subject of the book, may make this a difficult read for some. Nevertheless, the emotions of the book are believable and the locations well-described. Therefore, this twisted love story will stick with me.

Jenn N: What really intrigued me about this book was the character development of Ty (the kidnapper). At first he seems like a heartless monster, but as he describes his motives and background, you come to feel some sympathy for him. While a tough childhood doesn't excuse his crime or make it forgivable, it does show you that criminals are not totally evil. They are human beings and hopefully for those like Ty rehabilitation and redemption is possible. This novel is also a perfect example of why women need to be on guard at all times. Stranger danger doesn't just apply to children.

Jess P: I was the oddball of the group that didn't enjoy the book. I felt it was very repetitive in Gemma's escape attempts and that she always got caught. Just once I wanted to see her succeed! However, the book did affect me as I had a nightmare about being in her situation after I finished the book!

Rebecca T: There are a lot of things that I enjoyed about this novel, but I think that, once again, it comes down to the character development. I was so intrigued by Gemma's reaction to her situation - and so glad to see a heroine that didn't just calmly or sullenly accept her fate. She fought. She fought the physical constraints and the emotional and psychological stress. She tried to run away. Over and over. She yelled back at Ty; she ignored him; she did whatever she could. Granted, she began to make concessions. There were things she gave up, but it was always with the end goal of getting free. Something that is sadly lacking in a lot of female protagonists, particularly in YA contemporary (imo).

Have you read Stolen? What are your opinions? We'd love to hear from you!

What are we reading in March?
After much debate we've decided on Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs. The discussion post should be up on the 24th. We'll see you next month! And if you like what you've seen here, we'd love it if you showed your support by following our blog and maybe even liking us on Facebook :)

Friday, February 24, 2012

Recommended books for Baby's library

Wow, February just came right in there didn't it?  It seems like just yesterday I did my post for last month.  I almost couldn't think of an idea for this month and then it hit me.  Some of you might be just like me, expecting a child and don't know what books you should get for your baby! Originally when my friends were thinking about my shower I had wanted everyone to bring a book, but there was one child's book which is a classic that I do not want, how can you possibly tell people bring any book...but not this title? So we scrapped that idea.  Here are a couple classics that I suggest for baby's library!

Perhaps my favorite children's book of all time.  In Guess How Much I love you by Sam McBratney Big Nut Brown Hare (or as my best friend used to read to her children (Big butt brown hare) competes with Little Nut Brown Hare about how much they love each other.  I actually bought a copy of this book for my husband back when we were dating to show how much I love him.  It's a great story about a parents love for their child.

In Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown a little bunny takes the time to say good night to so many things in his room.  There have been quite a few parodies of this book such as Goodnight Goon (for Halloween) or Goodnight Bush, but this classic is simple and perfect for bed time reading.

I couldn't post about kids books without including something by Eric Carle, so I chose The Very Hungry Caterpillar.  Which is about a caterpillar who eats so much that he eventually goes to sleep in his cocoon, you can take a guess as to how the story ends,but I won't be the one to spoil it for you!

Who can forget Little Golden Books, more specifically the Poky Little Puppy?!  It's about a curious little puppy who likes to take his time and explore the world around him.  There are honestly so many Little Golden Books I could suggest, but this is the most popular one (well that I found when I actually sold books), so I chose this one to look at.

My final suggestion is I Love You Through and Through by Bernadette Rossetti-Shustak.  This book again talks about love, but it is unconditional love for a child's teddy bear.  It will reinforce the love that you have for your child with every reading.

Hope this gives you some ideas for books to start a library for baby, whether it's yours or a friend/relative.  I can truly say they are some of the best books you can give!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Laydown Lowdown

It's a full day, with lots of new releases.  First up, Steve Martin, the hilarious stand-up comedian, actor, and wicked banjo player has a new book out today, "The Ten, Make That Nine, Habits of Very Organized People.  Make That Ten.  The Tweets of Steve Martin."  If you're on Twitter and don't follow, @SteveMartinToGo, you're missing out.  Join his 1.4 million followers and check out what is sure to be the funniest book of the year.

Other noteworthy releases today include "Fever," the 2nd book in Lauren DeStefano's "Chemical Garden Trilogy."  You'll remember we discussed the first book in this trilogy, in December.  Perhaps, we'll be reading this for book club in the near future.  Also new in YA today is the latest from best-selling author Melissa Marr, "Farey Tales & Nightmares," and "The Catstrophic History of Me and You," by Jess Rothenberg.

Over in Romance, you'll find the latest "Secrets of Hadley Green" novel, "The Revenge of Lord Eberlin," by Julia London.   Also available today, "Return to Grace," by Karen Harper and Sophie Barnes will tell you "How Miss Rutherford Got Her Groove Back."

 Lurking over in Science Fiction, you'll discover "A Perfect Blood," the 9th installment in Kim Harrison's "Rachel Morgan" series and the 3rd book in Elizabeth Moon's "Paladin's Legacy" series, "Echoes of Betrayal." 

There are many of new titles to discover in mystery today.  Nora Roberts' alter-ego, J.D. Robb's latest "Eve Dallas" novel, "Celebrity in Death" debuts today along with "The Shadow Pact" by Alex Berenson,"And She Was," by Alison Gaylin, "Banana Split," by Josi S. Kilpack, "The Technologists," by Matthew Pearl and "Before the Poison," by Peter Robinson.

I've been hearing a lot of buzz about "The Dressmaker," a fictional tale of the Titanic which sets sail in bookstores today.  Other new fiction releases include "In Flight," by Helen Simpson, and "Flatscreen," by Adam Wilson.

Happy Reading !  Remember to support your local bookstore!  Just because of blog is online, it doesn't mean your shopping has to be.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Dear Mr. Patterson

Dear James Patterson,

I am sorry that I neglected to include your latest novel (with co-author Mark Sullivan) , "Private Games," in last week's "Laydown Lowdown."  Therefore, I have dedicated today's post to you!

I consider Monday to be "your" day anyway as your books are always released on a Monday, a day before books are traditionally released.  This always baffled us booksellers. Why do you release your books "early."  Are you trying to help your fans beat a "case of the Mondays?"  Now that I think of it, "A Case of the Mondays," sounds like a great title you could use to co-author your next book with!

We are also curious as to why you seem to write a lot of your recent releases with a co-author.  In the past, you wrote your "Women's Murder Club," and "Alex Cross" novels all by yourself.  Now, your books always seem to have a co-author.  You also write for many genres now and have many books released during the year-on Mondays!  How do you find the time to fit that all in?

I hope you don't mind but in all my years of shelving and setting up displays for your books, I gave you a nickname.  I began calling you "Jimmy P."  This nickname caught on and soon all of us booksellers began calling you "Jimmy P." 

I also feel the need to apologize for never reading one of your books.  Many of them look very interesting but short chapters are a pet peeve of mine.  I think chapters should be longer than two pages.  To me, it's like having a paragraph the consists of only two sentences.  It just annoys me for no legitimate reason.  However, you're a best-selling author.  So, you don't really need my purchasing support.

I played an awesome prank on a fellow bookseller once.  Your publisher sent us a press kit for "Beach House" (co-authored by Peter DeJong). It included a postcard with your "signature" on it.  This press kit came in while the bookseller who I'll call "A" was out to lunch.  When "A" returned from lunch, I told him he'd just missed you.  I flashed the postcard.  I told him I couldn't believe just a big-name author stopped in our little store.  He told me you grew up not too far from us and must've been back in the area.  He got all upset and asked why I didn't call him to come down from the food court.  I started cracking up. 

Finally, I would like to offer you one piece of advice.  You should have a more flattering photo of yourself taken for your book covers.  I saw you in passing at Book Expo America and you are much healthier looking than your photos convey.

In the future, I will try not to forget you in my upcoming "Laydown Lowdown" posts.  Just in case, anyone reading this open letter should look for "Guilty Wives," with co-author David Ellis on Monday, March 26, 2012 and "I, Mark Bennett," with co-author Michael Ledwidge on Monday, July 9, 2012.


Jenn N.

Happy Monday aka James Patterson's Day-and you thought today was President's Day !!  Consider it James Patterson's Day with co-authors The Presidents?

Saturday, February 18, 2012


There are many types of characters in literature.  Those we admire, love, despise, envy or a mix of all those qualities.  Then there are those we'd just want to hang out and be ourselves with, our literary best friends.  Who would you want your literary best friend to be?  Here are our picks.

Alan would enjoy adventuring with John Clark, a recurring character in Tom Clancy's novels.  He's the last person on earth anyone should mess with, so he's a handy guy to have around.

Claire would love to hang out with Flavia from the "Flavia De Luce" series by Alan Bradley. Flavia is unlike any 11 year old she knows.  Flavia is so adult and yet such child.  She would also enjoy girl talk with the women from the "Number One Ladies Detective Agency" by Alexander McCall Smith because she loves all they have to say, and she would like to be told that she is traditionally built.

Jennifer C. wants to have a pillow fight with Menolly from Anne McCaffrey's "Pern" series. Menolly is smart, funny, independent and loyal. She also shares her love of music and animals.

Jess P. would love to be best friends with Mary Ann Spier from "The Baby-Sitters Club" by Ann M. Martin.  She imagines herself crying along to sappy Hallmark commercials with Mary Ann and trading needlework tips. 

Mallory dreams of  putting on those magical jeans and be friends with the girls from "The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants" by Ann Brashares.  She loves the amazing bond that  Tibby, Carmen, Lena, and Bridget share.  Despite geographic distance and life's ups and downs, the girls remain the best of friends  

Luna Lovegood, Hogwart's unpopular outcast (from the "Harry Potter" books by J.K. Rowling) would love Orange County.  She has two ladies vying to be her BFF here.  Both Rebecca T. and Jess B. admire Luna's loyalty, intelligence, and quirkyness.  Rebecca T. and Jess B. also feel they'd be sorted in Ravenclaw House and thus the friendship would blossom after some shenanigans in the common room.

Rachel, who has a cat named Luna, would rather head up north to befriend Anne Shirley from the "Anne of Green Gables," novels by L.M. Montgomery.

Finally, I'd enjoy shopping with Stacey McGill from "The Baby-Sitters Club."  She was always my favorite.  She could've put her math skills to good use by tutoring me in school and I would love weekend trips to New York City with her.   Plus, if Jess P. is best-friends with Mary Ann, we could all hang out together all the time !

Who is your literary best friend?  Share with us below, friends !

Friday, February 17, 2012

What Would You Do in a World Without Love?

Please take a moment to check for the following symptoms:

"Phase One
     preoccupation; difficulty focusing
     dry mouth
     perspiration, sweaty palms
     fits of dizziness and disorientation
     reduced mental awareness; racing thoughts; impaired reasoning skills

Phase Two
     periods of euphoria; hysterical laughter and heightened energy
     periods of despair, lethargy
     changes in appetite; rapid weight loss or weight gain
     fixation; loss of other interests
     compromised reasoning skills; distortion of reality
     disruption of sleep patterns; insomnia or constant fatigue
     obsessive thoughts and actions
     paranoia; insecurity
Phase Three (CRITICAL)
     difficulty breathing
     pain in the chest, throat, or stomach
     difficulty swallowing; refusal to eat
     complete breakdown of rational faculties; erratic behavior; violent thoughts and fantasies; hallucinations and delusions

Phase Four (Fatal)
      emotional or physical paralysis (partial or total)
                                   -Lauren Oliver "Delirium"  

Have you contracted Amor Deliria Nervosa? Sure, you may enjoy the thrill of the sickness. You may enjoy the way your heart races when he touches your hand. But is it worth it?

Imagine a world where your biggest fear is love; a world where even just a curious thought about the handsome young boy that sits across from you in homeroom could put your life in danger. Lena Haloway lives in this world. She lives in a world where Love is the most dangerous and deadly disease of all.

Lena has always looked forward to her eighteenth birthday: the day she can finally be cured, and free of the fear of contracting amor deliria nervosa. She'll be cured, and matched with a suitable partner for the rest of her life. Her life will be safe, measured, predictable. Her life will be happy, and free of pain. Lena counts down the days until she will be free of temptation - until she meets Alex.

The boy with the touch that makes her feel alive, the eyes that see through her soul, the autumn brown hair that makes her heart skip beats. The boy that infects her.

Isn't love the very feeling we all spend our whole lives searching for? The feeling we're willing to give anything for? What place would a government have to tell us we can't have it? To deem it a disease? How could we all exist without the passion we feel for our lover, the loyalty towards our best friend, or the fondness you feel towards your baby brother? What would be the point, and would life be worth living?

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Laydown Lowdown

It's Valentine's Day and ironically there are no new releases in the Romance .  I guess fans of the genre are too busy with their sweethearts to read today.

However, there are a slew of new releases in Mystery/Thriller today.  Photojournalist Cass Neary returns and is on the run after escaping a serial killer in Elizabeth Hand's follow-up to "Generation Loss," "Available Dark."  Joan Hess' latest "Claire Mallory" mystery, "Deader Homes & Gardens," is on sale today along with "Oath of Office," by Michael Palmer; "Night Rounds," by Helene Tursten; and "Restless in the Grave," by Dana Stabenow.

Bestselling author Anne Rice, returns to her horror/sci-fi genre with "The Wolf Gift." As the title implies, she's delving into a new world of werewolves. Four college friends on a wilderness hike get way more than they bargained four when the stumble upon human remains in "The Ritual," by Adam Nevill.  "Other Kingdoms," by best-selling author Richard Mattheson is also available today.

Alex Finn continues to put an original twist on fairy tales with "Bewitching: The Kendra Chronicles," in YA today.  For more re-imagined fairy tales, readers may also enjoy   "Scarlet," a  new version of Robin Hood by A.C. Gaughen.

There is sure to be a broken heart or two  in Lauren Fox's latest release "Friends Like Us," by Lauren Fox is a tale of a complicated love triangle.  A valentine may be found with,  "I've Got Your Number," by best-selling author Sophie Kinsella or you may rather be "Gone with a Handsomer Man," by Michael Lee West.

And that's the Laydown Lowdown for the week of February 14th!  Happy Reading and Happy Valentine's Day.  Remember to support your local bookstore whenever possible.  Just because our blog is online, it doesn't mean your shopping has to be. 

Saturday, February 11, 2012

We Love Love Stories !

Tuesday is Valentine's Day.  In honor of this special day, we're sharing our favorite love stories with you.

Alan loves Edgar Rice Burroughs and he loves the relationship between Tarzan and Jane in the first three "Tarzan" novels.  He also finds Ginny Weasley's love for Harry Potter, as depicted in J.K. Rowlings' novels endearing.

Rachel also finds love in the "Harry Potter" novels.  While Severus Snape may seem like nothing but a bitter wizard at first, as the series progresses, you'll see that he was once a young man who was very much in love with Harry's mother Lily.  Despite that love being unrequited, he never stopped loving her.  Rachel feels that love tops all.

Claire is true to her first love.  As a child she loved "The Little House on the Praire" novels by Laura Ingalls Wilder.  Today she admires the great love stories interwoven into the novels.  What girl wouldn't like to find a great man like Charles Ingalls or Almanzo Wilder?

Jess B. lusts for "Heart of the City," by Ariel Sabar.  She says that it's amazing  stories of love in NYC that asks the question if iconic landmarks can bring true love in "environmental psychology."

Jess P. wants to skate hearts in the ice whenever she reads "My Sergei," by Ekaterina Gordeeva.  From Gordeeva's point of view she describes how she met and fell in love with her ice skating partner Sergei.  The duo went on to win many Olympic medals before his tragic death.

My favorite is the relationship between Jessica Darling and Marcus Flutie in Megan McCafferty's "Jessica Darling" novels.  I loved how their relationship progressed over the five books in this series.  They have their ups and down and after Jessica broke Marcus' heart in "Fourth Comings," you wonder if they'll ever get back together.  Then, after years apart, they run into each other at the airport in "Perfect Fifths," and - well I don't want to spoil the ending but I did say it's may favorite love story ;) 

Happy Reading Everyone !  What are some of your favorite love stories?  Share with us below.  Please follow us on twitter, @borderlessbooks and  "Like" us on Facebook.  Don't break our hearts, please do it now !


Friday, February 10, 2012

Basso for Hire - The China Gambit

Today I was going to post a review on the latest book I've read, which is Elmore Leonard's "Raylan."  Those of you who follow the excellent FX Network series "Justified" know who Raylan is, and those of you who don't, need to do so.

But that's not why I called you here today.  Wednesday afternoon on my lunch break, I was browsing through the Barnes & Noble on 3rd Avenue in Manhattan, when a gentleman approached me and introduced himself as Allan Topol.  He then showed me a paperback edition of his latest novel, entitled, "The China Gambit."  Mr. Topol then gave me a little taste of what the book entails, and said if I had any interest in purchasing it that day, he would be happy to autograph it for me.

I had exactly $3.47 on me that day, and had left my plastic at home to avoid temptation.  I was not familiar with Mr. Topol or his works.  But he described a mystery/espionage/intrigue tale that now has me hooked, and I told him so.  He seems like such an excellent gentleman, too.

I then continued my browsing, and Mr. Topol continued on to his next prospective buyer.  I went upstairs and found another copy of his book, and for the next several minutes, yes, I did read through the first few chapters.

Oh, my goodness!  I will be purchasing this book after my next pay day.  The China Gambit is the first in a trilogy featuring ex-CIA officer Craig Page.  I'm not going to give you any more details now, but if you are remotely a fan of Robert Ludlum, Tom Clancy, or Frederick Forsythe, you need to acquaint yourself with this author's works.  His writing style is detailed, but not so much to drown you in it.  The prologue captured my attention right away, and it was with reluctance that I put the book back on the shelf when I had to go to work.

Allan Topol's website is http://www.allantopol.com/.  I encourage you to visit it to get more information on his titles, and then to go to your nearest brick and mortar bookstore and buy The China Gambit.

Alan Andrews

Wednesday, February 8, 2012


"In olden times when men still worshipped ugly idols, thee lived in the land of Greece a folk of shepherds and herdsmen who cherished lighe and beauty. They . . . created . . . their own beautiful, radiant gods . . . . Mortals worshipped the gods and the gods honored Mother Earth."
from the Introduction

D'Aulaires' Book of Greek Myths is a fascinating read concerning the mythology of Greek gods. When my children and I studied Greece,we enjoyed reading this book together. The authors deliver the facts and details about Greek gods in an easy to understand format. The stories are written in such a way that all ages can enjoy them and learn from them.

We were introduced to the Titans, to Zeus and his family, to the minor gods, nymphs, satyrs and centaurs. They also write of some of the Greek kings, one of which is Sisyphus of Corinth. You can read how he fooled the gods and cheated death twice. You have heard the term "bored to death. Did you know it came from Greek mythology? You can read this story about Hermes and Argos is this book.

I think this is a must-have book for every home school family and for anyone interested in mythology. Pick up a copy at a local bookstore or check it out of the library. Have fun!

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Laydown Lowdown

Valentine's Day is just 7 days away.  Have you gotten your sweetheart a book they'll love?  You may want to consider one of this week's new releases.

In Romance, "A Scandalous Countess," by Jo Beverly can be found on shelves today along with "Not Wicked Enough," by Carolyn Jewel.  Perhaps the heroine of Jewel's novel should've taken a lesson from the Countess?  Also available in Romance today, you'll find "Dream Shadows," by Ingrid Weaver and "Last Chance Beauty Queen," by Hope Ramsay.

You'll have to run to snag the latest mystery by Lisa Gardner, "Catch Me," the sixth book in the "Det. D.D. Warren" series is released today.   If you don't catch it, you might be "Left for Dead," which is the latest novel by best-selling author J.A. Jance.

Over in Science Fiction, Anya Bast's latest, "Midnight Enchantment, the fourth in the "Dark Magick" series will be enchanting readers today along with "Something About Witches," by Joey W. Hill.  "City of Dragons," the third book in Robin Hobb's "Rain Wilds" series is available today as well as the third "Mark of the Vampire," novel, "Eternal Captive," by Laura Wright and the 11th "Sisters of the Moon" novel, "Shared Vison," by Yasemine Galehorn.

It's no lie, "Two Truths and a Lie," the latest "Lying Game" novel by Sara Shepard will have YA fans sneaking off to bookstores today.  It's the truth, "The Rivals," the second book in "The Mockingbirds" series by Daisy Whitney is released today as is "Born Wicked," the first book in the "Cahill Witch Chronicles," by Jessica Spotswood.

Other releases in fiction include: "House on Butterfly Way," by Eizabeth Bevarly; "The Lost Daughter," by Lucy Ferris; "Life of Bring Ideas," by Sandra Kring; and "Spin," by Catherine McKenzie.

And that's the latest in new releases for the week of February 7, 2012.  Happy Reading !  Remember to support your local bookstores whenever possible.  Just because our blog is online, your shopping doesn't have to be.

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Monday, February 6, 2012

One year ago...

I remember it so clearly. I was in the fiction section of borders shelving some insane amount of re-shelves, and someone came over the walkie and told me some heart breaking news. J.D. Salinger had died at the age of 91. I remember feeling as if a close friend had died. You see Catcher in the Rye is my favorite book. Which is saying a lot since I read very often. But this book made me love reading, and love myself.

Holden Caulfield get better each time I read this book. He is mean spirited, hateful, and severly rough around the edges, but deep down he is one of the most caring men I have ever seen portrayed. His love for sister knows no bounds and I can express the same sentiment. I wish I could put into words how this book makes me feel, but every time I think of it the only word I can think of is 'home'.

Please give this book another chance since maybe you haven't read it since your teacher told you too in 9th grade, but I know it will change your life again and again. I learn something new about myself each and every time I read this book. It grows with me and I will continue to read it until the day I die.

"Don't ever tell anybody anything. If you do, you start missing everybody"

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Let's Help a Fellow BookBlogger

As a massive bibliophile with a large personal library, one of my biggest nightmares is a fire in which I lose all of my lovely book friends.

So when I heard about the tragic house fire that a fellow book blogger survived, I knew this was something I wanted to help with. A number of other blogs (such as Reading Teen, Mundie Moms and Twilight Moms) have banded together to replenish the library of Yara from Once Upon a Twilight. Her birthday is the end of February, so one of the goals is to have a big group of books together to give her on her birthday.

You can find all the information you need at the Restock Yara's Bookshelves Blog. There you will find links to donate money to help the family get back on their feet as well as links to book lists so you can see what has already been donated and what books they are suggesting Yara would like. They are asking people to only send books on the list or similar to the ones on the list so all the books can be ones Yara will love.

They are also collecting books for Yara's two sons who also lost all their books in the fire. That information can be found on the same blog. And of course, there's always the option of gift cards or e-cards so Yara and her boys can buy anything they want.

To pledge books and get mailing information you can check out the Donation Page.

I love the way this book blogging community bands together to help each other out! So a big thanks to the blogs that organized all of this. I've got my stack of books ready to mail out!
funny pictures of cats with captions

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Meet and Greet

As booksellers, we've been very fortunate to have had the opportunity to meet some great authors whether it was at our store, a trade event, or a road trip to an author signing.  Still there are many authors we haven't met.  Here is our wish list of authors we'd love to chat with.

Alan wants to meet Edgar Rice Burroughs.  If you've been reading this blog regularly, you'll remember that Alan is a big fan of this classic science-fiction writer who fostered his love of reading.

Claire would like to sit down with Alan Bradley and Alexander McCall Smith.  She loves Bradley's "Flavia de Luce" series and admires Smith's uncanny ability to write from a woman's perspective so well

Jess B. would've liked hole up with J.D. Salinger for a bit and tell him how much his works like "A Catcher in the Rye," inspired her.  If she did have the opportunity to meet him, I bet her cake pops would've roused him out of seclusion.

Jess P. would like to take a few minutes for some girl talk with Meg Cabot, the best-selling author who is most known for "The Princess Diaries" series.  Jess would to know Cabot was able to write other books in other YA genres like mystery and supernatural so well.  Cabot wrote other series like "1-800-WHERE-R-YOU," and "The Mediator" under pen names before she rose to fame.  Jess wants to know how Cabot feels about these books finally being released under her real name.

Mallory would've liked to have boarded a wagon with Laura Ingalls Wilder for a bit.  She would like to praise her for being able to write about her life with such detail.  Claire, who is also a writer, would've liked to have met her too.  As a fan of the TV show, I would've like to chat with her a bit as well and find out how she felt about the creative licenses the show took with her life story.

Naomi, wanted to have been able to make a trek to meet J.R.R. Tolkein to talk with him about his work with Icelandic Sagas and his creation of the Elvish language,  Dwarvish history and pretty much anything and everything about Middle-Earth, the Silmarillion and Roverandom.

Rachel, as readers of this blog are aware, is a huge Harry Potter fan.  Needless to say, her obvious choice of author to meet is J.K. Rowling.  However she said, "she's so magnificent that I fear that looking directly at her will destroy any mortal."  So instead she'd like to meet Chuck Klosterman.  She wants to make a great impression on him like the Cracker Barrel Kafka girl in "Killing Yourself to Live" but fears she'd end up saying "ohmagoshiloveyousomuchimahugefan."

Rebecca is currently working on a thesis about the works of LM. Montgomery.  She'd love to chat with the "Anne of Green Gables," author regarding research for her paper.  She wouldn't just be using this meet-up as a way to score an easy-A.  She is a fan of her books and would've loved the opportunity to get to know her better.

Like Rachel, I'm intimidated to meet one of my authors too.  Back when Bret Easton Ellis was promoting "Imperial Bedrooms," I passed on an opportunity to meet him at a signing in NYC.  I was too afraid to go all "fangirl" which I know he'd detest.  I would've to have asked him how much of "Lunar Park," was really his life story and what parts were totally fabricated.  Then I'd want to know if the parts he made up where things he'd wanted for himself in life or just pure fiction.  I'd also like to ask him what makes him decide to get up the middle of the night for to tweet movie reviews and random  musings on pop culture on Twitter.  

Now, who would you like to meet?  We'd love you to share with us!  Post below, "like" us on Facebook (look for Booksellers Without Borders NY," and follow us on Twitter, @borderlessbooks. 

Thursday, February 2, 2012

One for the Money

When books are made into films, the transition is not always a good one.  When I first heard that a studio had brought the rights to Janet Evanovich's "One for the Money," the first in her best-selling "Stephanie Plum" series of mysteries, I was a little nervous.  This nervousness turned into downright outrage when I read that they'd cast the waifish, blonde, rom-com heroine, Katherine Heigl to play the petitie, curly brown haired, 130lbs Stephanie Plum.  I didn't think Ms. Heigl had the looks or the chops.

Then about a month ago, I finally saw a trailer for "One for the Money."  The producers sure got Stephanie's look down and the trailer was full of humor, adventure, and fun as are the book.  I put my preconceived notions aside and I started to get excited.  Then, last Friday I took a day off from work and made a movie date with my grandmother who is just as spirited, if not even more spirited than Stephanie's Grandma Mazur.

I was pleasantly surprised with the film.  Katherine Heigl was so good in the part that I forgot that she was that actress from "Grey's Anatomy," and totally bought into her as Stephanie.  There are over 18 books in the series but this film takes it all back to the beginning.  We're introduced to Stephanie Plum, a former lingerie buyer who is down on her luck after being fired and falling way behind on her bills.  Desperate for cash, she takes a job working for her weaselly cousin, Vinnie, a bail bondsman.  As a bounty hunter, Steph's first assignment is chasing down her former high-school crush, Joseph Morelli.  Joe, a cop with the Trenton Police has found himself on the other side of the law after skipping bail after getting mixed up in a shoot-out. Initially, she is excited to not only make $50,000.00 for the finders fee but to get her revenge on Joe after he broke her heart years ago.  Along the way, Stephanie learns the tricks to the bounty hunter trade by seasoned pro, Ranger.  She also receives unlikely assistance from a sweet and sassy hooker named Lula and even Joe Morelli himself who is desperate to clear his good name. 

I loved this movie.  Often times,when a book transitions into a film, the little details from the book get lost or changed.  Not here, Stephanie's apartment is just as tiny as described in the book.  She barely has a kitchen, it's more like a kitchenette and her dinning room, if you could call it that, consists of a tiny table with three mismatched chairs.  I was also super-excited to see her hamster Rex.  I was horrified the producers would turn Stephanie into a cat lady.  Not that there is anything wrong with cats, I am a cat lady !  Stephanie however is not.

The casting was also brilliant.  In the books Morelli is described as having dark curly hair, with beautiful eyes and muscles.  Jason O'Mara played this role to dreamy perfection.  The writers worked in all of Morelli's cheesy lines to endearing and not campy delight.

You had me at Cupcake 

Ironically, Daniel Sunjata, who plays Ranger is currently starring on "Grey's Anatomy."  He totally fit the cool, tough,mysterious, professional bounty hunter role of Ranger.  Sherri Sheppard is absolutely wonderful as the wild, spandex loving, wise-cracking hooker Lula.  Screen legend Debbie Reynolds is terrific as zanny Grandma Mazur.

There is one nitpicky thing that has been nagging me all week since I saw this movie.  Morelli drinks Yeungling beer?!  I thought he was a Bud man.  Oh well, the product placement worked well because I now have a case in my fridge for any sexy cop that wants to stop by.

This film is great for Plum fans and non Plum fans alike.  My grandmother has never read the books and enjoyed the movie as much as I did.  However, unlike Stephanie's grandmother, mine developed a soft spot for Morelli and not Ranger. Don't get me wrong, Ranger is great, just not our cup of tea.

This film was a great set-up for future installments and if they are as good as this first one, I hope there are many more films to come.  As the novels progress, more and more fun characters are added to the Plum universe.  I would kill to see Sally Sweet come to life on the big screen !  Fans of the books, will know what I'm talking about.  If you don't know, go read the books ! Just skip over "Finger Lickin' Fifteen,"  it wasn't finger lickin'.  And go see "One for the Money," in theaters !!!  You won't be disappointed.  It was PLUM PERFECT ! 

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

African-American Science Fiction and Fantasy Titles

February is Black History Month. It is a time to celebrate and reflect on the contributions of African-Americans that have enriched our culture as a whole. It is a time for learning and walking a mile in someone else’s shoes. Reading is a great way to get out of your comfort zone, get out of your own head and learn about another person’s culture through the stories he or she shares. Here are three selections from African-American Science Fiction and Fantasy authors you may or may not know about.

The first book is The Einstein Intersection by Samuel R. Delany. The story is loosely based on the myth of Orpheus and Eurydice. The main character is Lo Lobey. He is a member of the alien race that has replaced humanity on Earth after our demise. Their world is full of the relics of history; all the trash and treasure that was left behind. Everything is scavenged including the myths and legends of world culture. Lo Lobey wears the story of Orpheus the way a person would wear a coat. It slips on and off in this tale creating something entirely new and beautiful.

The second book is Kindred by Octavia E. Butler. It is the story of Dana. Dana is a modern black woman living in Los Angles in 1976. Suddenly, for reasons never fully understood, she is whisked away to Maryland in the 1800’s. Dana is summoned by Rufus, a scared white child, who eventually becomes a bitter plantation owner fitting with the times. Dana only appears to assist Rufus when his life is in danger. Each time she goes back, the stays become longer. Dana must keep her wits about her in a world where she is another person’s property and has no tangible rights. One of Rufus’s illegitimate children will be Dana’s direct ancestor; adding to the complexity of Dana’s situation. This book delves into the psychology and history behind being a slave as the author conveys a realistic account of slavery to the reader. This book is a challenging and important work. It is a one-of-a-kind literary experience.

The last book on the list is The Opposite House by Helen Oyeyemi. It is about a young woman named Maja. The story is set in London as Maja deals with living in a foreign country as a woman who is the child Afro-Cuban exiles. She feels lost and seems to be sleepwalking through her life. This story is juxtaposed against a story of the gods and goddesses of Santeria. Each deity is disguising itself as a Catholic Saint to survive in the modern world. This story is an urban fantasy with a post-colonial voice. It is about feeling alien and lonely in a world full of people who are all supposed to act identically and change themselves according to social norms.

Society is changed and built by innovators; whether it is through inventions, philosophies or words. America has a sorted and complex history. We celebrate changes while asking our citizens to forget the parts of our country’s collective past that are shameful. Our culture becomes so concerned with preserving one specific history that many voices become marginalized. Black History Month is about hearing different stories, different truths and different points of view. Happy Reading.