Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Signing up for the Maisie Dobbs Read-Along

I just heard about the Maisie Dobbs Read-Along to celebrate the paperback release of The Mapping of Love and Death in February 2011 and the newest Maisie Dobbs mystery, A Lesson in Secrets.

I hadn't read any of the Massie Dobbs series previously but it sounds right up my alley. Here's how the series was described to me: "Maisie Dobbs is a female investigator living in London in the 1920s and 30s, and whose stories and cases find their roots in World War I." 

Doesn't it sound fun? Intriguing? Learn more about Maisie Dobbs, the cast of continuing characters in the novels, and her creator Jacqueline Winspear at http://jacquelinewinspear.com

I've just signed up for the Maise Dobbs Read-Along organized by Book Club Girl.  Book Club Girl invites us to join her in reading Maisie Dobbs books and to discuss as we go along. The author, Jacqueline Winspear is scheduled to answer questions in April.  The Read-Along runs from Jan 14 to April 25.  Sign up at Book Club Girl's blog.

Giveaway of The Imperial Cruise by James Bradley

The Imperial Cruise: A Secret History of Empire and War

Hatchette and Back Bay Books are generously sponsoring a giveaway of 3 copies of James Bradley's The Imperial Cruise: A Secret History of Empire and War.  

Does the book sound interesting?  Read  my review of The Imperial Cruise below.  To enter the giveaway,  comment on my review.  Please mention why you'd like to read the book and your email address so that I can reach you if you win. 

The contest is limited to US and Canada only.  One winner per household.  The contest ends at noon on December 31, 2010.

Charles Dickens: A Christmas Carol - a Pop-Up Book by Chuck Fischer

Remember Chuck Fischer's Angels: A Pop-Up Book last Christmas? This year, Chuck Fischer's come up with a detailed depiction of Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol with A Christmas Carol: A Pop-Up Book (Pop Up Book).  

A Christmas Carol: A Pop-Up Book (Pop Up Book)

The book includes a small and beautifully illustrated insert that recounts Charles Dickens' life history and how he came to write A Christmas Carol in 6 weeks. The book was published on December 19, 1843 - one day and 177 years ago.   Mark Twain credited Charles Dickens as the author who invented the book tour since Dickens would travel to present his literary works.  This book, A Christmas Carol, is said to have helped transform Christmas from a regular holiday to a celebration of good will and holiday cheer.  

A Christmas Carol was my introduction to Charles Dickens when I was in elementary school.  And it remains one of my favorite books and Dickens one of my all time favorite authors.

As Dickens had written in installments, A Christmas Carol: A Pop-Up Book (Pop Up Book) presents the story -- Dickens' actual words -- in five staves: Marley's Ghost, The First of The Three Spirits, The Second of the Three Spirits,  The Last of The Spirits, and The End of It. Each section magically recreates the important and unforgettable events in each of the five parts. 

The first recreates Dickens and Marley's London with the lamp lighters and gas street lights, horse drawn carriages, urchins warming by an outdoor fire, Scrooge & Marley's office with old Scrooge stepping out and tightly grasping his briefcase.  The second gives us the grandfather clock, the luxurious interior of Scrooge's townhouse, and Scrooge and Marley.  Scrooge's expression captures so well the moment that Marley appears.  I loved the third part best. Fischer didn't just describe the visit of the Ghost of Christmas Past. He recreated several of the pivotal moments in Scrooge's life.  This section will surely make the book a family favorite.  The fourth shows us the Cratchetts' at dinner with the Christmas pudding, a depiction of  the feasts that Scrooge refused to join, and Scrooge as he is affected by the visits.  The fifth shows Scrooge confronted how his life might end and his horror at this.  The book ends with Tiny Tim Cratchett and his famous line, "God Bless Us, Every One!" and the new shop, Scrooge and Cratchett.

A Christmas Carol: A Pop-Up Book (Pop Up Book) is the beautiful sort of book that a child would love.   The pictures will capture the child's attention.  The story and Dickens' writing will captivate.

ISBN-10: 031603973X - Hardcover $30.00
Publisher: Little, Brown and Company; Pop Har/Bk edition (November 10, 2010), 12 pages.
Review copy provided by the publisher.