Tuesday, June 05, 2012

Armchair BEA, post #2 - Besties

Today's Armchair BEA assignment is to write about some favorite books we've read this year and books being promoted at BEA that we're excited about. I did mention some of my favorites in yesterday's post, but I've read so many terrific books that it won't be difficult to add to that list.



















A Good American by Alex George is beautifully written, an immigrant story that pretty much everyone in America can relate to, in some way, with emphasis on music and food. Bonus: Alex George is a terrific guy. I got to meet him when he came through our area and he is absolutely charming.

On the Beach by Nevil Shute is a classic post-apocalyptic tale in which the entire earth's inhabitants are about to be wiped out. Most of them are already dead. The book explores how people might spend their remaining days in such a case and it is every bit as fascinating and relevant today as it was when it was written.

Glow by Amy Kathleen Ryan is a YA set in outer space. Two space ships have been sent from a dying earth to colonize a new planet, one ahead of the other. But, the first ship drops behind and its inhabitants attack the second ship and snatch all the young females. Absolutely gripping. I have been bouncing on my toes in anticipation of the second book in the series, which my friend Tammy is going to send me.

And, what about titles being promoted at BEA? I must confess I have no idea what's being promoted, apart from one particular title that a squillion people have mentioned on either Twitter or their blogs, which just happens to be a book I'm eagerly anticipating:

The Twelve by Justin Cronin, sequel to The Passage. I gobbled down The Passage in a surprisingly short time (for me) and then proceeded to have all-night, frequent-waking, tossing, turning nightmares. That was one bizarre experience, let me tell you. But, I loved the book, in spite of the nightmares and the wait has been excruciating. If I could get my mitts on an ARC of this one, I think I would have kittens. Or, maybe I'd just bring home another kitten. Don't tell Izzy and Fi I said that.









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30 comments:

  1. I have heard of these books and I still need to read the Passage. Those all look like good books this year.

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    1. You're probably better off waiting and reading The Twelve right after The Passage. The wait really has been awful. Still is. I've had a pretty terrific reading year! :)

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  2. I've wanted to read A Good American for a while, but it's not widely available here in the UK.

    I had mixed feelings about The Passage - thought it was a bit too long, but I'm still looking forward to The Twelve.

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    1. Sam, I hope you can find a copy of A Good American. I think it's wonderful. Alex will be traveling to the UK to do signings, soon.

      Yes, a lot of people had mixed feelings about The Passage. I just loved it. I'm not even sure why. There were things I disliked -- or, maybe that creeped me out so much I would have liked them to be slightly different for the sake of nightmare-avoidance, but I really did feel like it was a uniquely immersive reading experience. :)

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  3. NO! I don't want to read The Passage!

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    1. I won't make you. Promise!

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  4. Glow sounds awesome! And I too can't wait for The Twelve. They sent me an ARC of The Passage last time, do you think that means they'll send me one of The Twelve? I'm keeping my fingers crossed!

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    1. Glow is really fun, Suey! The writing isn't wonderful, but it's so plot heavy and gripping that you end up not caring about how well it's written.

      I have a sneaking suspicion they won't be quite as generous with ARCs of The Twelve, but I hereby declare myself willing to set aside my "I'm not taking review books" policy for The Twelve. Think anyone's listening?

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  5. I can NOT wait for The Twelve! I listened to The Passage on audio earlier this year to remind myself of the little plot threads that might have slipped in the two years since I read it in print. The narrator, Scott Brick, did such an awesome job - I'm really hoping my library will get The Twelve on audio, too.

    And I have seen On the Beach mentioned for years and had no idea that it was post-apocalyptic! I'll have to check it out.

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    1. I need to reread The Passage in preparation because I honestly don't remember the characters at all. That's one thing that makes the wait so miserable, just knowing you'll forget everything. I'm not an audio person, but I do at least still have my ARC of The Passage! Wootness!

      Yep, it's the end of the world as we know it. Kind of a slow book but a good one -- there's a lot to talk about. My local book group is going to discuss a different Nevil Shute book, A Town Like Alice, in a couple months. Very excited about that.

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  6. I've been meaning to read The Passage forever, in fact I even bought it a few months ago. Surely there will be time this summer...Also, thanks for the reminder about Nevil Shute's book. Sometimes, I think we're closer to end times than I even want to imagine. But, I'm not trying to be alarmist.

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    1. Story of my life, Bellezza. I STILL haven't gotten to the Potato Peel book. Is that the crazies, or what? That's one reason I've decided I have got to limit the number of ARCs I'm taking in (only 1, this past month -- go, me!). I've already got too many books waiting for me!

      I don't know how I feel about the end times, anymore. I've done some Beth Moore Bible studies that had me convinced and then I think back and realize people have been guessing the end times are coming for an awful long time. Really, the only thing we can do is continue to survive, you know? If it happens, it happens.

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  7. A Good American sounds interesting, but I've not had a chance to see if the library has it. But you just sold me on Glow, since it is still on sale at B&N. I don't think I have heard of The Passage, but it sounds like my kind of book. Another one to add to the mountain.

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    1. Sarah,

      A Good American is worth scouting out. I hope you'll look for it at your library! Glow is such fun. I was in need of something adventurous and it was just right. Cannot wait for the second book! You haven't heard of The Passage? It's a chunkster and I'm terrible at reading chunksters, but I could not put that sucker down.

      This Armchair BEA thing is kind of bad for weighing down the wish list, isn't it?

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  8. Ok, I am now sold on The Passage and The Twelve! Now the question is - how many years will it take to get through my TBRs??

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    1. Libby,

      Wahoo! Hurry up and read The Passage, then come back when I've got a copy of The Twelve, 'kay? :) As to the TBRs . . . oh, man. I'm not thinking I'm going to live long enough to get through mine unless I'm some kind of freak of nature. It's baaaad. Hope yours are a little more manageable!

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  9. Everyone has raved about The Passage and I admit, I'm coming close to caving and reading it. :) It'll still have to wait since I've committed to reading The Stand for a readalong.

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    1. You know, I got The Passage on a whim (as an ARC via Shelf Awareness) and I had no idea it was going to be such a monster, but I gobbled that thing down. It was such fun. But, it's definitely not for everyone. You probably should see if you can flip through a copy before committing . . . you know, after the Standalong is over. Have fun with that!

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  10. I'd squeal like a pig if I was able to get an ARC of The Twelve. Good thing that's not going to happen...I'd probably bust ear drums.

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    1. I would also squeal like a pig if I got The Twelve as an ARC, too. In fact, I did a little scary squealing tonight, but not for a really good reason. We made an offer on a house and then I kind of panicked. Huzzybuns said, "You are so weird." But, talk about weird. He wants to buy the house because he's IN LOVE WITH THE ATTIC.

      Anyway, I hope you get an ARC. You deserve it for being so cool.

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  11. The only one on your list that I've read is GLOW. I really liked it. I read it and then listened to the audio. I have SPARK, the sequel on my nightstand to read. I'm looking forward to it.

    Happy AC BEA!!

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    1. Wahoo! Another GLOW fan! That's so cool that you read it and listened to the audio, also! I'll look forward to your thoughts on SPARK. I'm going to have to link up to all the new people I'm meeting.

      Thanks! Happy Armchair BEA to you, too!

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  12. I just got A Good American the other day so I'm super glad to see it on your list!

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    1. Yay, I'm glad you got a copy of A Good American! I highly recommend trying to track him down when he does a reading/signing if you can. He's a great speaker (and has a British accent - *Anglophile alert*). I could listen to him talk all day.

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  13. I read The Good American and Glow and liked them both. I haven't been able to get my hands on an ARC of the sequel to Glow either.

    The Passage has been on my shelf for a while. I think its size is what's putting me off.

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    1. Cool! Glad you enjoyed both books, too!! I think the sequel to Glow is fairly new. I'm only getting my mitts on an ARC because I'm fortunate to have a friend who doesn't want to keep hers. Tammy is a peach. :)

      I know what you mean. I am absolutely terrible about reading chunksters. But, for some reason The Passage just called to me. As I recall, it took about 75 pages or so to get into, but after that it went very quickly -- about 3 days. I'm not a fast reader, another reason I tend to balk at thicker books.

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  14. Glow sounds really good, and I'm eager to read The Twelve as I loved The Passage!

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    1. I think you'd like Glow. The writing isn't brilliant, but it's well plotted and adventurous. I love that. Dying to read The Twelve. I was looking at photos from BEA, though, this morning . . . OMG, it's just like any other big trade fair. Freebies aside, I think those things are kind of miserable. Always so intensely crowded, you know? I love authors and bloggers but I'll just stick with signings and occasional meet-ups with my best buds.

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  15. I gave my mom a copy of The Good American (based on all the glowing reviews) and she said it was wonderful. I'm hoping she'll send it out to me, so I can read it sometime this summer. Or at the rate I'm going, next summer! ;)

    I have a copy of The Passage (in hardcover) that I need to dig out from under the huge stacks of ARCs (I think it was a promo copy that arrived at the store in hardcover) and dive in. After I finish re-reading The Stand. Hmmm. That could take a while. And I really do want to read Shute's On the Beach, as well as some of his others. I think I have Pastoral in one of my bookcases.

    I need to learn to sleep less and read more. Wonder if I can survive on 6 hours of sleep...

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    1. Yep, it's pretty awesome. Alex's writing is very mature. I think you'll love it, when you get around to reading A Good American.

      Oh, I don't know if I'd read The Passage right after The Stand! That would be a bit too much chunksterness for me. I did love The Passage, though. Think I read it in about 3 days--which is pretty quick for me, considering the size. On the Beach is very thought-provoking. I've got A Town Like Alice (or is it "called Alice?") and my book group is going to read it for our July selection. Wahoo!

      Heh, I stay up way too late reading all the time. You'd think I'd read more, but I don't read till bedtime.

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