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April 27, 2015 / Leslie

Mailbox Monday ~ April 27th

SpringBirdsFenceMailbox-smlWelcome to Mailbox Monday, created by Marcia of To Be Continued, a place where readers share the books that came in their mailbox during the last week.

After several years of being on tour with different blogs as the monthly host, the Mailbox Monday Blog is now the permanent home for the meme.


Here’s what arrived last week…

New Arrivals

BooksApril27_170016

Fishbowl by Bradley Somer from AmazonVine.
A goldfish named Ian is falling from the 27th-floor balcony on which his fishbowl sits. He’s longed for adventure, so when the opportunity arises, he escapes from his bowl, clears the balcony railing and finds himself airborne. Plummeting toward the street below, Ian witnesses the lives of the Seville on Roxy residents.

The Gracekeepers by Kirsty Logan from Crown Books.
Inspired in part by Scottish myths and fairytales, The Gracekeepers tells a modern story of an irreparably changed world: one that harbors the same isolation and sadness, but also joys and marvels of our own age.

Pirate Hunters by Robert Kurson from Random House.
Treasure, Obsession, and the Search for a Legendary Pirate Ship
A thrilling new adventure of danger and deep-sea diving, historic mystery and suspense, by the author of the New York Times bestseller Shadow Divers.

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Still time to enter the giveaway for…

LosingFaithLosing Faith by Adam Mitzner

Filled with suspense, twists, and turns, Losing Faith will captivate legal thriller fans everywhere.

Enter on or before May 2nd. US and Canada only.

How was your week?

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April 25, 2015 / Leslie

Dewey’s 24 Hour Readathon

ReadathonLogoLet the Reading Begin

Many of you are familiar with the Readathon, a twice yearly event which begins today at midnight GMT and continues for 24 hours.

Hundreds of readers are participating and posting on their blogs, twitter, Facebook and Goodreads.

I will be participating part of the day—unfortunately the Readathon coincides with my grand niece’s 1st birthday party so I will be out in the afternoon. But I have plenty of time to listen to audio in the car with an hour drive each way.

The Readathon begins for me at 7 a.m. here in Chicagoland when I will return with my opening post and cup of coffee. This is be my seventh Readathon. I have yet to make a full 24 hours, but it’s always been a great time.

I will be updating this post throughout the Readathon.

Rather than fill my feed with posts that some of you may not be interested in, I will use this one post for my updates and mini-challenges throughout the day and on twitter at #readathon.

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Hour 1 – Introduction

1) What fine part of the world are you reading from today?

I live in the USA in a suburb of Chicago.

2) Which book in your stack are you most looking forward to?

In print I’m starting with Love is Red by Sophie Jaff. In audio I’ll be listening to The Year My Mother Came Back by Alice Eve Cohen. However, I have a tall stack of books and audio to choose from if I change my mind!

3) Which snack are you most looking forward to?

I’m usually pretty healthy with my snacks and nibble on fruits, veggies, nuts, cheese, granola bars, and cereal, but I also have a big bowl of Hershey Kisses—the original kind, individually wrapped in silver foil—that I just can’t resist.

4) Tell us a little something about yourself!

I’ve been blogging for about 10 years and have had a book blog since 2009. I’m an eclectic reader, gardener, bird watcher, amateur photographer and all around nature lover. I volunteer as a wildlife monitor and at a bird rescue shelter.

If you’ve visited here before, you already know I have a passion for birds. I share my photographs and stories in my Weekend Birding posts.

5) If you participated in the last read-a-thon, what’s one thing you’ll do different today?

Once again, I would like to read Read More! I say it every time but it’s true, I get easily distracted by all the challenges and visiting other blogs.

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Mid-Event Survey

1. What are you reading right now?

I’m listening to The Year My Mother Came Back by Alice Eve Cohen.

2. How many books have you read so far?

I finished listening to the last two hours of The Last Bookaneer by Matthew Pearl earlier today.

3. What book are you most looking forward to for the second half of the Read-a-thon?

Love is Red by Sophie Jaff.

4. Have you had many interruptions? How did you deal with those?

Most of the afternoon was an interruption! I was at a niece’s birthday party, but I listened to audio in the car on the drive there and back. My first half total was only 4 hours of reading, no challenges, and a few visits to other blogs. I just got back home and plan to read for the second half or until I fall asleep.

5. What surprises you most about the Read-a-thon, so far?

The amazing number of participants.

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Readathon_203315Hour 14 Mini-Challenge: Bookish Brews

Snap a picture of your current beverage of choice AND your current read…

Yes, that’s a glass of wine. I finally get to sit down, relax, and read for a few hours.
 
 
 

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Hour 19 Mini-Challenge: Shelfie

Shelfie_012949

Take a picture of your shelves…

There really is a bookshelf behind all those books on the floor.

 
 
 
 

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© 2015 Under My Apple Tree. All rights reserved.
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April 24, 2015 / Leslie

Friday Feature and Giveaway – A Legal Thriller

Losing Faith by Adam Mitzner

Today I have a special feature and the opportunity for one of my readers to win a copy of Losing Faith by Adam Mitzner. It’s a nail-biting legal thriller in the bestselling tradition of John Grisham and Scott Turow.

About the Book

LosingFaithLosing Faith

by Adam Mitzner
Publisher: Gallery Books
Publication Date: April 2015
Format: Hardcover | 368 pages

Aaron Littmann, the chairman of one of the country’s most prestigious law firms, has just been contacted by a high-profile defense attorney, whose client is Nikolai Garkov, a Russian businessman arraigned on terrorism charges for pulling the financial strings behind recent treasonous acts. The attorney informs Aaron that Garkov is looking to switch representation and will pay one hundred thousand dollars just to take the meeting. But Aaron doesn’t have any choice, as Garkov is ready to go public with the damning evidence that Aaron and the judge in the high-profile case — Faith Nichols — had a torrid affair during another recent case. Filled with suspense, twists, and turns, Losing Faith will captivate legal thriller fans everywhere.

About the Author

Adam Mitzner, author of Losing Faith, is a practicing defense attorney and the author of A Case of Redemption, a finalist for the ABA’s Silver Gavel Award, and A Conflict of Interest, one of Suspense Magazine’s Best Books of 2011. He lives in New York City.

Connect with Adam

Facebook | Goodreads | Webpage

Giveaway Information

Courtesy of the publicist, I have one copy of Losing Faith to give away to a reader with a mailing address in the US or Canada. To enter, fill out the form below on or before midnight, Saturday, May 2nd. For an extra entry, tweet or blog about the giveaway. The winner will be contacted by email and have 48 hours to respond.

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© 2015 Under My Apple Tree. All rights reserved.
Source: Giveaway provided by FSB Associates.
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April 22, 2015 / Leslie

Wordless Wednesday: Earth Day

Geese_DupageRiver_IMG_1223

Almost wordless: Today is the anniversary of what many consider the birth of the modern environmental movement in 1970, and why many of us are now enjoying a healthier planet—cleaner air, water, and the resurgence of many threatened wild animal species.

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More Wordless Wednesday. © 2015 Under My Apple Tree. All rights reserved.
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April 20, 2015 / Leslie

Mailbox Monday ~ April 20th

WelcomeBirdhouseMailbox-smlWelcome to Mailbox Monday, created by Marcia of To Be Continued, a place where readers share the books that came in their mailbox during the last week.

After several years of being on tour with different blogs as the monthly host, the Mailbox Monday Blog is now the permanent home for the meme.


Here’s what arrived last week…

New Arrivals

BooksApr20_164432

Pip Bartlett’s Guide to Magical Creatures by Jackson Pearce and Maggie Stiefvater from AmazonVine.
From bestselling authors Maggie Stiefvater and Jackson Pearce comes an exciting new series full of magical creatures, whimsical adventures, and quirky illustrations.

The Fold by Peter Clines from LibraryThing.
A team of DARPA scientists has invented a device that could make teleportation a reality. But something is very wrong with the project. The personalities of the scientists who work on it are changing. People are dying. And reality itself seems to be…warping.

How was your week?

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© 2015 Under My Apple Tree. All rights reserved.
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April 18, 2015 / Leslie

Audiobook Memoir: A Physician’s First Year

A Rapid Review

The Real Doctor Will See You Shortly by Matt McCarthy

RealDoctorPublisher: Random House | April 2015
Format: Audio Download | 9 hours | Rating: 3½ stars
Audio Listening Level: Easy

This funny, candid memoir of McCarthy’s intern year at a New York hospital provides a scorchingly frank look at how doctors are made, taking readers into patients’ rooms and doctors’ conferences to witness a physician’s journey from ineptitude to competence.

This is indeed a very candid look at what a newly minted doctor faces as a first year resident. And in turn it’s a very scary look at what a patient admitted to a teaching hospital can encounter as well. I have a healthy fear of doctors and hospitals, and what I read here confirms much of it. Residents are literally tossed into the line of fire and expected to ‘learn’ on the job. Scary to think about and compelling to read.

The author’s writing style is engaging and at times even humorous. The book reads like a journal of his time at the hospital but doesn’t delve into anything more personal about himself or any of the patients stories. I liked the book, but thought it could have been a little more in-depth.

Audio production:
The book is narrated by the author. Memoirs are usually a good choice for audio over print and yet I am hesitant to recommend the audio. On the plus side, the author has a nice voice and in telling his own story it adds a level of authenticity. On the negative side, it is a bit uneven and at times choppy—but still very listenable. This was probably more noticeable to me because I listen to so much audio and so many Audie winning performances.

Audio Sample:

An Under My Apple Tree Rapid Review
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Source: Review copy provided by Random House Audio.
© 2015 Under My Apple Tree. All rights reserved.
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April 16, 2015 / Leslie

Books for Young Readers

Genuine Sweet by Faith HarkeyGenuineSweet

Publisher: Clarion Books | April 2015
Age: 9 – 12 years | 288 pages

Told in the engaging, irresistible voice of Genuine Sweet herself, Faith Harkey’s debut novel spins a remarkable tale of a small-town girl with big-time magic and an even bigger heart.

Twelve-year-old Genuine Sweet has just discovered she is a wish fetcher. Wish fetching is in her family—mom and gram could fetch wishes too. She gathers magic from the stars to grant wishes for others, but never for herself. Things go well for Genuine as long as she keeps the wish-granting local, but when a friend convinces her to grant wishes online, it all gets a bit more complicated than she anticipated.

Filled with southern charm—the story is set in a small Georgia town—it’s sweet, folksy, and moves at a leisurely pace; almost a bit too slow at times. There are a lot of characters, not a lot of action, and a few adult topics—death, cancer, alcoholism, plus a budding romance. These are handled well and are suitable for a book aimed at middle grade and older readers.

I was expecting more magical realism and fantasy, but instead this is a sweet story with several lessons about responsibility and growing up.

Rating: 3½ stars

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Source: Review copy provided by the publisher.
© 2015 Under My Apple Tree. All rights reserved.
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