Skip to content
May 16, 2016 / Leslie

Mailbox Monday ~ May 16th

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.


 
Last week I attended BEA and that means lots of new books. Over the three days I picked up a total of 40 books — not a lot by BEA standards but only as many as I could carry. I was going to bring my rolling bag on days two and three, but when I hauled it out of my closet, a wheel broke off! I think the book gods were trying to tell me something.

Today I’m featuring 10 books that were already on my want-to-read list. I ended up picking up another 30 books that were too tempting to pass up. I will write about those in the coming weeks.

Books from BEA

BooksMay16

Last Call at the Nightshade Lounge by Paul Krueger from Quirk Books.
A sharp and funny urban fantasy for “new adults” about a secret society of bartenders who fight monsters with alcohol fueled magic.

Constellation by Adrien Bosc from Other Press.
This best-selling debut novel from one of France’s most exciting young writers is based on the true story of the 1949 disappearance of Air France’s Lockheed Constellation and its famous passengers.

The Other Einstein by Marie Benedict from Sourcebooks.
A vivid and mesmerizing novel about the extraordinary woman who married and worked with one of the greatest scientists in history.

Dark Matter by Blake Crouch from Crown Books.
From the author of the bestselling WAYWARD PINES trilogy, a brilliantly mind-bending science-fiction thriller in which an ordinary man is kidnapped, knocked unconscious—and awakens in a world inexplicably different from the reality he thought he knew.

Darktown by Thomas Mullen from Atria.
The award-winning author of The Last Town on Earth delivers a riveting and elegant police procedural set in 1948 Atlanta, exploring a murder, corrupt police, and strained race relations that feels ripped from today’s headlines.

Rise the Dark by Michael Koryta from Little, Brown.
Rise the dark. These were the last words written in Lauren Novak’s notebook before she was murdered in a strange Florida village.

Before the Fall by Noah Hawley from Grand Central Publishing.
On a foggy summer night, eleven people-ten privileged, one down-on-his-luck painter-depart Martha’s Vineyard on a private jet headed for New York. Sixteen minutes later, the unthinkable happens: the plane plunges into the ocean.

The Sudden Appearance of Hope by Claire North from Redhook.
The Sudden Appearance of Hope is the tale of the girl no one remembers. But this gripping story – of love and loss, of hope and despair, of living in the moment and dying to leave a mark – is novel that will stay with you for ever.

The Last Days of Night by Graham Moore from Random House.
From Graham Moore, the Academy Award–winning screenwriter of The Imitation Game and New York Times bestselling author of The Sherlockian comes a riveting historical thriller about the “War of the Currents,” the famous race for glory and riches between Thomas Edison and George Westinghouse.

Britt-Marie Was Here by Fredrik Backman from Atria.
A heartwarming and hilarious story of a reluctant outsider who transforms a tiny village and a woman who finds love and second chances in the unlikeliest of places.

——–

MKAGoodyBagMary Kay Andrews Giveaway

Just in time for summer, I have a giveaway of two MKA paperbacks and swag.

Click HERE to learn more.

——————————–
© 2016 Under My Apple Tree. All rights reserved.
Advertisements appearing on this site are placed by WordPress and are not endorsed or approved by me.

May 15, 2016 / Leslie

BEA 2016 Survivor!

BEAWelcome_20160511_074132Exciting, Exhausting, Overwhelming!

I had all good intentions of blogging about BEA at the end of each day, but that didn’t happen. As a first-time attendee, I didn’t realize how exhausting it would be. By evening I just wanted to put my feet up — and those were very tired feet — and relax in preparation for another eventful day.

I have wanted to go to BEA for several years, but the timing was never right. This year with BEA right in my home city, I made it happen. We have decent transportation in Chicago, and I was able to take the Metra train into the city, walk a few blocks, and catch one of the BEA Shuttles to the convention center.

Bloggers Conference — Day One

The convention floor didn’t open until the afternoon of the first day. However, I attended the Bloggers Conference which began at 8am. This year was different from previous conferences (or so I am told). After the keynote address there were several panel discussions we could choose from, either a Marketing & Engagement Track or a Community Building Track. After the lunch break, we rotated between several roundtable discussions with a choice of 16 different topics. This was followed by an end-of-day party with drinks, popcorn, raffles, and (of course) books.

The Keynote Address was ready to begin.

Waiting for the Keynote Address to begin.

From reading about previous years’ blogger conferences, this was not at all what I was expecting. The focus and the topics have shifted from blogging to social media. Twitter, Booktubing and Instagram are the home base for many reviewers. The one thing I took away from all the discussions — learn to use twitter effectively to promote yourself. While I do use twitter, I am not using it to its full extent.

At the end-of-day blogger party.

At the end-of-day blogger party.

In all it was an interesting, fun, and informative day, and I’m glad I attended. I got to meet a few people I knew from their blogs but had never met in person, plus a lot of new people. I rode the train home from the city with Emma of Words and Peace. She lives a few suburbs away from me and this was the first time we met. At the end of day party I met Deb from Readerbuzz. That’s us in the photo above. I’m the one on the right.

40 Books

I did slip out of the Bloggers Conference for an hour to check out the convention floor. It was not overly crowded (that wouldn’t happen until the next day), and I was able to get a signed copy of Brit Marie Was Here and a few other galleys. Over the three days I picked up a total of 40 books — only as many as I could carry. I was going to bring my rolling bag on days two and three, but when I hauled it out of my closet, a wheel broke off! I think the book gods were trying to tell me something.

On the floor of my office waiting to be organized.

BEA books on the floor of my office waiting to be organized.

In the next few days I’ll write about days two and three of BEA and highlight some of the books I’m very excited about, plus a few new discoveries I made, and the awesome Book Group Speed Dating session I attended on Friday.

Were you at BEA? Or Armchair BEA?

——————————–
© 2016 Under My Apple Tree. All rights reserved.
Advertisements appearing on this site are placed by WordPress and are not endorsed or approved by me.

May 14, 2016 / Leslie

Weekend Birding: International Migratory Bird Day

International Migratory Bird Day 2016

Celebrate Birds

Today is International Migratory Bird Day, an annual event that highlights and celebrates the migration of nearly 350 species of migratory birds between nesting habitats in North America and non-breeding grounds in Latin America, Mexico, and the Caribbean.

This gorgeous poster was created by wildlife artist Lionel Worrell.

The 2016 IMBD art illustrates 11 bird species. Ten of these species benefit from conservation laws that conserve migratory birds. One, the Carolina Parakeet, is extinct because of lack of protection in the early 1900’s. It serves as a reminder for the need to be involved in ensuring the future of migratory birds.

Weekend Birding has featured several of the birds on the poster. One bird that is becoming more endangered every year is the American Kestrel, a small, colorful falcon. They prefer open country and have been losing their habits. The bird I featured was one I rescued and took to the wildlife rehabilitation center. He was eventually diagnosed as suffering neurological damage, most likely from a building strike, and did not survive. Conservation laws are helping to save birds like this one.

 


© 2016 Under My Apple Tree. All rights reserved.
Advertisements appearing on this site are placed by WordPress and are not endorsed or approved by me.

May 14, 2016 / Leslie

Beach Town ~ Book & Goody Bag Giveaway

You wouldn’t know it by the crazy weather we’ve been having this year, but summer is just around the corner. Some of my favorite summertime escape reading is a Mary Kay Andrews novel. On Tuesday, May 17th, her latest, The Weekenders, hits the stores.

And, two of her recent novels, Beach Town and Spring Fever, are now out in paperback. A perfect choice to take to the beach this summer. To celebrate these releases, I have a fantastic prize package courtesy of the publisher and Tandem Literary to give away to one lucky reader with a continental US address.

MKAGoodyBagHere’s what will be in that fabulous goody bag:

  • Copy of BEACH TOWN in trade paperback
  • Copy of SPRING FEVER in mass market paperback
  • Two different Mary Kay Andrews bookmarks
  • A recipe card featuring two recipes from MKA’s kitchen
  • BEACH TOWN sunglasses
  • BEACH TOWN lip balm with SPF 15

For more info and to follow MKA…

Twitter | Goodreads | MKA’s Website | Facebook | IG

 

About the books…

The Weekenders

WeekendersSome people stay all summer long on the idyllic island of Belle Isle, North Carolina. Others come only for the weekends-and the mix between the regulars and “the weekenders” can sometimes make the sparks fly. Riley Griggs has a season of good times with friends and family ahead of her on Belle Isle when things take an unexpected turn. While waiting for her husband to arrive on the ferry one Friday afternoon, Riley is confronted by a process server who thrusts papers into her hand. And her husband is nowhere to be found.

Beach Town

Beach Town by Mary Kay AndrewsAs a movie location scout, picture-perfect is the name of the game. But her last project literally went up in flames, and her career is on the verge of flaming out. Greer has been given one more chance, if she can find the perfect undiscovered beach hideaway for a big-budget movie. She zeroes in on a sleepy Florida panhandle town called Cypress Key. There’s one motel, a marina, a long stretch of pristine beach and an old fishing pier with a community casino-which will be perfect for the film’s explosive climax.

Spring Fever

SpringFeverAnnajane Hudgens truly believes she is over her ex-husband, Mason Bayless. They’ve been divorced for four years, she’s engaged to a new, terrific guy, and she’s ready to leave the small town where she and Mason had so much history. She is so over Mason that she has absolutely no problem attending his wedding to the beautiful, intelligent, delightful Celia. But when fate intervenes and the wedding is called to a halt as the bride is literally walking down the aisle, Annajane begins to realize that maybe she’s been given a second chance.

To enter the giveaway

Fill out the form below on or before midnight, May 21st. One entry per person or address, continental US only. I will draw a random winner who will be notified by email.


 
 
 
 
——————————–
© 2015 Under My Apple Tree. All rights reserved.
Giveaway provided by St. Martin’s Press and Tandem Literary.
Advertisements appearing on this site are placed by WordPress and are not endorsed or approved by me.

May 9, 2016 / Leslie

Mailbox Monday ~ May 9th

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.


 
This is going to be a busy but fun week. I’ll be at BEA Wednesday through Friday — my first time attending.

New Arrivals

BooksMay9_20160508_195240

The Mandibles: A Family, 2029-2047 by Lionel Shriver from Harper.
The year is 2029, and nothing is as it should be. The very essence of American life, the dollar, is under attack. In a coordinated move by the rest of the world’s governments, the dollar loses all its value. The American President declares that the States will default on all its loans–prices skyrocket, currency becomes essentially worthless, and we watch one family struggle to survive through it all.

Missing, Presumed by Susie Steiner from LibraryThing.
For readers of Kate Atkinson and Tana French comes a page-turning literary mystery that brings to life the complex and wholly relatable Manon Bradshaw, a strong-willed detective assigned to a high-risk missing persons case.

——————————–
© 2016 Under My Apple Tree. All rights reserved.
Advertisements appearing on this site are placed by WordPress and are not endorsed or approved by me.

May 6, 2016 / Leslie

Audiobook Review: The Sleep Revolution by Arianna Huffington

Transforming Your Life, One Night at a Time

A Rapid ReviewSleepRevolution

Publisher: Random House Audio | April 2016
Format: Audio Download | 10 hours | Rating: 3½ stars
Audio Listening Level: Easy – Intermediate

We are in the midst of a sleep deprivation crisis, writes Arianna Huffington, the co-founder and editor in chief of The Huffington Post. And this has profound consequences – on our health, our job performance, our relationships and our happiness. What is needed, she boldly asserts, is nothing short of a sleep revolution.

While I enjoyed reading this, there is nothing really new or revolutionary here. The book contains a lot of commonsense information, but most of us know this stuff already, even if we don’t always heed the experts’ advice. News stories, magazine articles, the internet — they have loads of information on how we as a nation, or maybe much of the world, are depriving ourselves from needed rest. I know I am (was), which was why I chose to listen to this.

Arianna Huffington is not a sleep expert. She quotes lots of expert sources for that. What she has done is compile a lot of information on sleep in what I see as an attempt to change the culture of sleep less, accomplish more. If you are not already familiar with the subject, or want a refresher, then reading this would be a good choice.

Audio production:
The book was narrated by Agapi Stassinopoulos. The narrator sounds a lot like Ariana, so much so that at first I didn’t realize Ariana wasn’t the narrator. Aside from Aniana reading it herself, which would be credible, the choice of a narrator with such a heavy (and at times difficult to understand) accent doesn’t make sense. Listen to the sample below before making a decision on audio vs print.

Audio Sample:

An Under My Apple Tree Rapid Review
——————————–
Source: Review copy provided by Random House Audio.
© 2016 Under My Apple Tree. All rights reserved.
Advertisements appearing on this site are placed by WordPress and are not endorsed or approved by me.

May 4, 2016 / Leslie

Wordless Wednesday: Wood Ducks

WoodDucks_IMG_5245

Almost wordless: The usually shy and secretive Wood Ducks were out for a swim yesterday. They are almost always hiding in the grass and reeds, making them very difficult to photograph.

——————————–
More Wordless Wednesday. © 2016 Under My Apple Tree. All rights reserved.
Advertisements appearing on this site are placed by WordPress and are not endorsed or approved by me.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,855 other followers