AbeBooks' Reading Copy » review http://www.abebooks.com/blog AbeBooks book blog Mon, 22 Sep 2014 21:09:12 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.9.2 Introducing Crap Taxidermy, the must-have coffee table book http://www.abebooks.com/blog/index.php/2014/09/09/introducing-crap-taxidermy-the-must-have-coffee-table-book/ http://www.abebooks.com/blog/index.php/2014/09/09/introducing-crap-taxidermy-the-must-have-coffee-table-book/#comments Tue, 09 Sep 2014 21:46:06 +0000 http://www.abebooks.com/blog/?p=21533

Badly stuffed animals

The blog Crappy Taxidermy has spawned a book, Crap Taxidermy. If you thought no more damage could be done to an animal after its death, think again. This book features many examples of oddly posed animals, badly stuffed animals and bizarre animal hybrids created on some person’s kitchen table.  If you enjoy this book, then you may also be strangely drawn to Walter Potter’s Curious World of Taxidermy… and require help.

A badly stuffed cat

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The best travel book I’ve read recently http://www.abebooks.com/blog/index.php/2013/09/06/the-best-travel-book-ive-read-recently/ http://www.abebooks.com/blog/index.php/2013/09/06/the-best-travel-book-ive-read-recently/#comments Fri, 06 Sep 2013 16:40:55 +0000 http://www.abebooks.com/blog/?p=19577 Travel writing is one of the genres that I dip in and out of. On Saturday, I visited Black Sheep Books on Salt Spring Island in British Columbia and picked up a copy of Iron and Silk by Mark Salzman from the store’s rather good travel section.

Salzman’s book is recommended by Paul Theroux in his compendium of travel writing called The Tao of Travel. Iron and Silk is about China in the early 1980s. Salzman spends two years in China, teaching English at a medical school in Changsha – a city in the Hunan Province where westerners are rarely seen.  For instance, he becomes friends with fishermen who have never seen a white man before. He actually writes very little about the teaching and more about his learnings through the people he meets, especially all the martial arts teachers that he encounters during his two-year stint in communist China. The book is very, very readable and I had finished it by Monday, which is rare for me as I’m a slow reader.

Salzman never judges even though he is placed in difficult situations time again by crazy red tape or a city that seemingly runs on a shoe-string.

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A Beautiful Mystery – Vivian Maier, Street Photographer http://www.abebooks.com/blog/index.php/2013/07/17/a-beautiful-mystery-vivian-maier-street-photographer/ http://www.abebooks.com/blog/index.php/2013/07/17/a-beautiful-mystery-vivian-maier-street-photographer/#comments Wed, 17 Jul 2013 16:53:23 +0000 http://www.abebooks.com/blog/?p=19418 Our latest video lets you have a glimpse inside the most exciting photographic discovery so far this century. The mystery part begins in 2007 when an amateur historian took a chance at an auction house and bought some negatives and film. The wonder part begins in 1926, with the birth of Vivian Maier, who only after her death has been revealed as an enormous photographic talent and unusual, brilliant artist. The negatives proved to be an absolute treasure, from the perspectives of both art and history:

Find your copy of Vivian Maier, Street Photographer.

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And the Mountains Echoed by Khaled Hosseini published today http://www.abebooks.com/blog/index.php/2013/05/21/and-the-mountains-echoed-khaled-hosseini-published-today/ http://www.abebooks.com/blog/index.php/2013/05/21/and-the-mountains-echoed-khaled-hosseini-published-today/#comments Tue, 21 May 2013 17:54:16 +0000 http://www.abebooks.com/blog/?p=19176 And the Mountains EchoedSome authors churn out books nearly at the pace one would read them, but Khaled Hosseini takes his time with his craft.  It has been six years, less a day, since Khaled Hosseini published  A Thousand Splendid Suns; and  it is one week shy of the 10th anniversary of  his debut novel, The Kite Runner, but today the world can finally get its collective hands on the anticipated third novel And the Mountains Echoed

Early reviews are coming in with the consensus that this third novel is just as powerful and emotional as any of Hosseini’s previous work, and that the author has grown even further in his story telling capabilities making the novel well worth the wait.

Like his previous two novels the book is partially set in Afghanistan, however parts of the book also take place in California, Paris, and Greece.  And the Mountains Echoed also differs from his previous novels in style, rather than a continuous narrative this book is constructed as a series of stories each of a different time, place and point of view but woven together to paint the complete picture.

I loved the Kite Runner and if you are interested in learning more about Hosseini’s third book The Washington Post has a nicely written review which included this lovely quote: “Hosseini’s first two novels, “The Kite Runner” (2003) and “A Thousand Splendid Suns” (2007), spent a combined total of 171 weeks on the bestseller list. He knows how to please a crowd. In his case, the secret ingredient might be intense emotion. I’m not an easy touch when it comes to novels, but Hosseini’s new book, “And the Mountains Echoed,” had tears dropping from my eyes by Page 45.”

You can buy new copies as well as signed copies on AbeBooks.com

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Le Corbusier Le Grand http://www.abebooks.com/blog/index.php/2013/01/11/le-corbusier-le-grand/ http://www.abebooks.com/blog/index.php/2013/01/11/le-corbusier-le-grand/#comments Fri, 11 Jan 2013 17:10:21 +0000 http://www.abebooks.com/blog/?p=18111 The latest AbeBooks video offering is a review and peek inside of the book Le Corbusier Le Grand, a stunning visual biography of the work and life of Swiss-French architect Charles-Edouard Jeanneret, more commonly known as Le Corbusier (an altered version of his maternal grandfather’s name).  Le Corbusier specialized in building solutions for exploding populations in urban areas. His influence on architecture and space management can be seen in the style of city centers all over Europe and the world to this day.

Put out by publishers of famously gorgeous books Phaidon Press, the book itself is an object of beauty and substance, weighing 20 lbs and measuring nearly a foot and a half tall. It includes 2000 images, both photographs and illustrations, and is dazzling to peruse. Enjoy this look inside.

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2012: The Year in Books – A Literary Review of 2012 http://www.abebooks.com/blog/index.php/2013/01/02/2012-the-year-in-books-a-literary-review-of-2012/ http://www.abebooks.com/blog/index.php/2013/01/02/2012-the-year-in-books-a-literary-review-of-2012/#comments Wed, 02 Jan 2013 18:21:32 +0000 http://www.abebooks.com/blog/?p=18082 What did 2012 in the book world look like? It was a year dominated by Fifty Shades of Grey. We lost Maurice Sendak, Ray Bradbury and Maeve Binchy. Hilary Mantel won the Booker Prize (for the second time) and nobody won the Pulitzer Prize for fiction.

J.K. Rowling returned, casually. Salman Rushdie, Zadie Smith, Junot Diaz, Ian McEwan and Justin Cronin also released books during 2012. Another busy year. Read all about it, fron controversry to eagerly-anticipated sequels, bestsellers and more.

A Literary Review of 2012

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The Avid Reader: Beth’s Best Reads of 2012 http://www.abebooks.com/blog/index.php/2012/12/17/the-avid-reader-beths-best-reads-of-2012/ http://www.abebooks.com/blog/index.php/2012/12/17/the-avid-reader-beths-best-reads-of-2012/#comments Mon, 17 Dec 2012 20:23:44 +0000 http://www.abebooks.com/blog/?p=17990 What was that whooshing sound, and why is my hair all ruffled? Ah yes, that must be 2012 flying by at the speed of light. How can it be almost 2013 already? It seems just yesterday we were nervously joking about the Mayan calendar, and now here we (still) are. Can it truly be that one short year ago, I had never heard the words Fifty Shades of Grey (I know it was actually first published in 2011, but it didn’t emerge from the depths and reach me until March, 2012.) ?

I admit this was not my most plentiful year for reading. I didn’t read as many books as I wanted. I know exactly why, too, and can narrow it down to a two-word culprit: smart phone. Yes it’s true, up until early this year, I had an archaic talk-and-text, with perhaps an occasional game of Tetris thrown in for good measure. This year I succumbed to the hype…

Read the whole article, Beth’s Best Reads of 2012

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A book about one village’s war memorial http://www.abebooks.com/blog/index.php/2012/11/09/a-book-about-one-villages-war-memorial/ http://www.abebooks.com/blog/index.php/2012/11/09/a-book-about-one-villages-war-memorial/#comments Fri, 09 Nov 2012 17:46:29 +0000 http://www.abebooks.com/blog/?p=17743 This looks like an interesting book – War Memorial by Clive Aslet., which is reviewed by the Daily Telegraph.

Struck by the fact that a village close to his Devon home, Lydford on the edge of Dartmoor, had names not only from both world wars on its memorial, but also fatalities from the comparatively recent conflicts in the Falklands and Iraq, Aslet resolved to research and write the stories behind these nameless names. His book is at once a touching tribute to ordinary lives hallowed by the horrible accident of being brutally cut off long before their allotted time; and a vivid testimony to why memory – personal and collective – matters so much both to individuals, and to our increasingly fissiparous and fractured nation.

I have always been drawn to the memorials found in the villages throughout Britain. I look at the names and it’s always sad to see a host of soldiers with the same last name, and realize that an entire family was devastated by the Great War or World War II.  I feel this is going to be a desperately sad book but I think I’m going to have to read it. The book details the lives and deaths of the 22 men and one woman who are listed on the memorial in this small village of just 458 inhabitants.

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Marjorie Celona Interview http://www.abebooks.com/blog/index.php/2012/10/25/marjorie-celona-interview/ http://www.abebooks.com/blog/index.php/2012/10/25/marjorie-celona-interview/#comments Thu, 25 Oct 2012 16:20:28 +0000 http://www.abebooks.com/blog/?p=17659 Marjorie Celona – if you haven’t heard the name before, remember you heard it here first, because she is going places. The Victoria, British Columbia-born author is on a launch tour for her debut novel right now. Simply titled Y, the novel has already generated all kinds of literary buzz, earned legions of devoted fans, and been nominated for the Giller Prize.

It tells the story of Shannon, born to a mother in the midst of turmoil and subsequently left behind at the door of the YMCA, where a man is quietly watching from his vehicle. The story is gripping from the get-go, and very hard to put down, as readers and critics far and wide have agreed.

Just 31 years old, one might expect Celona to be head-in-the-clouds giddy with all the attention, but she remains firmly rooted to the ground and down-to-Earth. We got to catch up with her and hear all about her sense of belonging, growing up on Vancouver Island, her favorite books, and how it is essential to work with a dog at (or on) one’s feet. Read on for an interview with Marjorie Celona.

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A Glimpse of Christian Grey from 50 Shades of Grey http://www.abebooks.com/blog/index.php/2012/07/09/a-glimpse-of-christian-grey-from-50-shades-of-grey/ http://www.abebooks.com/blog/index.php/2012/07/09/a-glimpse-of-christian-grey-from-50-shades-of-grey/#comments Mon, 09 Jul 2012 20:38:19 +0000 http://www.abebooks.com/blog/?p=16839 Picture using image-composite technology. But instead of using it for police purposes to track down a criminal, it is instead to titillate and engage millions of lust-crazed fans of the bestselling erotica phenomenon Fifty Shades of Grey (you can read my review of 50 Shades of Grey here). How? By creating your very own image of 27-year-old troubled multi-millionaire playboy and pain aficionado Christian Grey, that’s how.

Which is exactly what Dr. Faye Skelton from the University of Lancashire has done, by asking a sample of women who have read the book to describe Grey, then creating a composite. The result:

A proposed Christian Grey. (Photo: UCLAN)

I don’t know. I think the nose is too long, or the eyes are too high and small, or something – he has a decidedly “Duuuuh” look to me. And if one is going to become a multi-millionaire with both private jet AND private helicopter by age 27, one must have one’s wits about them, no?

Meanwhile, the celebrity gossip world is abuzz about who will play Christian Grey in the 50 Shades of Grey movie, with guesses ranging from the sublime (Ryan Gosling, Chris Pine) to the ridiculous (Christian Bale, Morgan Freeman).

The novel is now the fastest selling paperback of all-time, even beating out Dan Brown’s The Da Vinci Code.

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