Library Love: April 25, 2014



Library Love is a recurring post in which I share each week’s bounty from my public libraries.


Oh, y’all, I’ve got some good reads this week! While I didn’t make it to the actual library, I scored big-time with both my local library’s digital library and with the digital library at The Free Library of Philadelphia (y’all, if you have a Kindle or other e-book device, it is SO worth the $50 out-of-towner yearly fee). The Boy is still working on his book hauls from the last couple of weeks, and his iPad broke a while back so he can’t benefit from e-books right now, anyway, so he was left out this week. He’ll get over it, I think. Let’s take a look at my haul:

Emma Donoghue absolutely rocked my world with her novel, Room, so of course I have to check out her latest, Frog Music. The premise of Hyde is awesome: Hyde as a reluctant hero? Can’t wait to see how that plays out. I’ve got another Scottoline novel this week – she’s usually a good bet. I checked out The Spinning Heart in honor of a fellow book blogger I know from Ireland… gotta represent my peeps, right? The rest of the haul is a group of novels I’ve been wanting to read for a while, so I’m anxious to delve into all of them, as well. Speaking of which, I’ve got to get to it. Happy Reading, y’all!

Do you have a special book you’re planning to read this weekend?



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Book Binge – July, 2013

Oh, y’all, July was a banner month for book-buying! Thanks to Book Gorilla and all my free Amazon gift cards from SwagBucks, my total out of pocket cost was $4.73. It doesn’t get better than that, folks. Now all all I have to do is stop checking out so many library books so I can start reading the ones I actually own! Take a look at the awesome haul I pulled in:

Now, I have already read a couple of these books, but had previously checked them out from the library and really wanted my own copies. Some of the titles were ones I may not have normally purchased, but at such low prices, it was worth it. For example, The Hangman’s Daughter books were only $0.99 each – awesome price, right? Plus the fact that with my Amazon gift cards, they were free for me. So, totally worth it once I get around to reading them. Other books were ones that I’ve been wanting to read for a while now {some for quite a while!}. In addition to signing up for the free newsletter from Book Gorilla, you can also find good deals on Kindle books on the Amazon website itself. Look for the Kindle Daily Deals; they also offer Monthly Deals at $3.99 or less. There are a ton of other resources out there, too – all you have to do is look. Books, books, everywhere, people!

Do you have a Kindle? Where do you find deals on Kindle books?

Review: Honeymoon in Paris by Jojo Moyes

Honeymoon in ParisFor fans of Jojo Moyes’ Me Before You, who can’t wait for her new novel The Girl You Left Behind – out in August – here is an irresistible ebook-only prequel novella, Honeymoon in Paris.
At the heart of Jojo Moyes’ heartbreaking new novel, The Girl You Left Behind, are two haunting love stories – that of Sophie and Edouard Lefevre in France during the First World War, and, nearly a century later, Liv Halston and her husband David.
Honeymoon in Paris takes place several years before the events to come in The Girl You Left Behind when both couples have just married. Sophie, a provincial girl, is swept up in the glamour of Belle poque Paris but discovers that loving a feted artist like Edouard brings undreamt of complications. Following in Sophie’s footsteps a hundred years later, Liv, after a whirlwind romance, finds her Parisian honeymoon is not quite the romantic getaway she had been hoping for…
This enthralling self-contained story will have you falling in love with Liv and Sophie, and with Paris then and now, and it is the perfect appetizer for the The Girl You Left Behind, a spellbinding story of love, devotion and passion in the hardest of times.” – Goodreads

Honeymoon in Paris by Jojo Moyes is an enchanting novella – available only as an ebook –  written as a prequel to Moyes’s upcoming book, The Girl You Left Behind. In Honeymoon in Paris, we are introduced to Sophie and Edouard Lefevre, who are living in Paris during the First World War as they enjoy the honeymoon days following their whirlwind courtship and marriage. Nearly one hundred years later, we meet Liv and David Halston, an English couple who are honeymooning in Paris after their own whirlwind courtship and marriage. Both couples are featured in The Girl You Left Behind, and here we are given the chance to take a peek into their lives together as they are just beginning and the challenges that each couple faces during their honeymoon period.

Edouard Lefevre is an artist who fell in love with and married Sophie after she modeled for him. Sophie was a provincial shop girl before marrying Edouard and moving to Paris, nothing like the women he knew before her, and his friends and former lovers are shocked at the hasty and unexpected union. Thanks to the vicious meddling of a former lover of Edouard’s, Sophie begins to fear that it is only a matter of time before he tires of her and returns to seeking pleasure from the women who model for his paintings. She becomes morose and bitter, and they have their first – and perhaps last – fight. After Sophie leaves the apartment, Eduoard begins to paint a portrait of her as he saw her hours before – insecure, unhappy, and accusing. Will Sophie return to make amends? Will their love story continue or is this the end?

Nearly a century later, Liv and David Halston have arrived in Paris for their own honeymoon after a brief courtship and unexpected union. Liv is ecstatic and looking forward to their time together in this beautiful city of love – until David announces that “something has come up” and he has to attend an unexpected business meeting. After an argument, Liv spends the day sad and alone, but then struggles to be understanding and allows David to make his amends that evening. Unfortunately, David has more news to share – he must attend another meeting the next day. In disbelief, Liv spends yet another day on her own. She finds herself in a museum, standing in front of a painting that she feels an odd connection to. In it, a beautiful woman stands, looking angry, accusing, and unhappy. Liv is instantly struck with the thought that she and David have made a monumental mistake by rushing into marriage so soon and resolves to confront him with this information. When he joins her later that day, she brings him to the painting and shares her fears. Oddly enough, David interprets the portrait in a completely different way – one that is amazingly different than most would expect. Is this the end of Liv and David’s brief marriiage? Or will they find a way to continue along the path of the love story they began just a few months before?

Honeymoon in Paris is a sweet story of the love and conflict that are universal to marriage despite the course of time. This was my first experience with Jojo Moyes’s writing, and I must say that I enjoyed it immensely. It is a captivating and charming introduction to the two couples who we will continue to acquaint ourselves with in The Girl You Left Behind. Moyes has said on her website that she “hopes if you read the short book first, the second book becomes more poignant’”. I certainly hope so, and I can also safely say that it has raised my interest in reading the second book even more.

Honeymoon in Paris by Jojo Moyes is currently available for purchase {in ebook format only}.

The Girl You Left Behind by Jojo Moyes will be available for purchase {in hardcover} as of August 20, 2013.

4 out of 5 stars

Source: Penguin/Viking {via NetGalley}

Random Penguin House… Hook Me Up!

ebooks for libraries

As of Monday, July 1, 2013, publishers Penguin and Random House have officially merged into one entity to now be known as Penguin Random House (I personally would have preferred Random Penguin House, but they didn’t ask my opinion). According to The Associated Press, this merger “creates the world’s largest publisher of consumer books.” The former chairman and CEO of Random House, Markus Dohle, will be the CEO of Penguin Random House. In a statement on July 1st, Dohle stated, “Together we will give our authors unprecedented resources to help them reach global audiences – and we will provide readers with unparalleled diversity and choice for future reading. Connecting authors and readers is, and will be, at the heart of all we strive to accomplish together.”

What does this mean to me? One thing – more eBooks at the library. Out of the Big Six publishers (now to be the Big Five), only three publishing houses have made their entire eBook catalogs available to libraries for purchase – and Random House happened to be one of these publishers. Currently, eBooks published by Penguin are subject to ridiculous restrictions: titles purchased before February, 2012 are still available through libraries that use the Overdrive eBook platform, but new titles and bestsellers are available only to a limited number of libraries through a pilot program with two somewhat uncommon eBook platforms.

Is it possible that this merger means Random House will exercise its influence upon Penguin to make its eBooks more readily available to libraries? Oh, I certainly hope so! The cold shoulder publishers have shown libraries in the past regarding eBooks has long been a point of contention for library staffers and patrons alike. Historically, publishers have supposedly been concerned about the financial side of things, and the sales they might be losing by allowing eBooks to be loaned out instead of requiring them to only be available via purchase. This is a ridiculous claim, however, when statistics have long shown that library users are much more apt to purchase books or books from a series that they originally discovered within a library. There is no reason for this to be any different with eBooks.

I truly hope that Markus Dohle is ready to put his money where his mouth is and bring Penguin Random House into the future (present?) of eBooks as a major media platform. We love our Kindles, our Nooks, and our other eReaders. And now that tablets are so commonplace, as well as the many eReader apps for smartphones, no one is immune to the ease and accessibility of eBooks. This novelty idea that so many thought would fade is only getting bigger and bigger, and it’s not going to go away. Publishing houses’ only option is to move forward with readers and give us what we need and want – and for many of us, that is more access to eBooks at the library. Give it up, Big Guys – it’s long past time.