Literary Quote of the Month

“For poems are not, as people think, simply emotions (one has emotions early enough)—they are experiences,” … Rilke, The Notebooks of Malte Laurids Brigge.

Friday, May 29, 2009

The Night Gardener ... A Murderous Giveaway!

It's a GIVEAWAY for The Night Gardener
A thriller of the murderous kind by legendary writer George Pelecanos!

I have 3 copies of The Night Gardener by George Pelecanos to giveaway to my readers! A BIG thank you to Valerie of Hachette Book Group for making this possible!! George Pelecanos has written 15 crime novels set in and around Washington, D.C. "Bigger and even more unstoppable than his previous thrillers, George Pelecanos achieves in The Night Gardener what his brilliant career has been building toward: a novel that is a perfect union of suspense, character and unstoppable fate."

From Publishers Weekly:
Pelecanos delivers a dignified, character-driven epic that succeeds as both literary novel and page-turner. In 1985, the body of a 14-year-old girl turns up in a Washington, D.C. park, the latest in a series of murders by a killer the media dub "The Night Gardener." T.C. Cook, the aging detective on the case, works with a quiet, almost monomaniacal, focus. Also involved are two young uniformed cops., Gus Ramone, who's diligent, conscientious and unimpressed by heroics, and Dan "Doc" Holiday, an adrenaline junkie who's decidedly less straight.

Fast Forward 20 years. Detective Ramone, now married with kids of his own, investigates the murder of one of his teenage son's friends. The homicide closely resembles the earlier unsolved Night Gardener murders. Holiday, now an alcoholic chauffeur and bodyguard, follows the case on his own and tracks down Cook, long retired but still obsessed with the original murders. While the three work together toward a suspenseful ending, Pelecanos emphasizes the fallacy of "solving" a murder and explores the ripple effects of violent crime on society.

Listen to an excerpt here! Read an excerpt here! Visit the authors website here!

This book has gotten a lot of positive buzz! And now is your chance to win a copy!

So now about the giveaway! There are a number of ways to win, each good for one entry...
  • Leave a comment below with your email address.
  • Blog about this giveaway and leave a comment below with the link.
  • Become a follower and leave me a comment letting me know you just became a follower. (if you're already a follower you'll automatically get an extra entry by entering the giveaway)
So if you do all of the above, you'll get 3 entries!

This giveaway is open to US and Canadian residents only. (No PO Boxes). The books will be shipped to the winners directly from the publisher. I will contact the winners by email for mailing address. (Please check your email, winner must contact me within 3 days! Thanks!) Giveaway ends 11:59 pm EST June 20th! And the winners will be chosen randomly from all the entries the next day.

Good luck everyone! Let's have some fun....

AND THE WINNERS ARE....

Linda, Alexa & Beth
Congratulations Ladies! And thanks to everyone who joined in the fun and entered the giveaway!

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Stakes & Stilettos .... A Review



Here's a Vampire Book to sink your teeth into!

There was a wonderful surprise in my mailbox this week! A special thank you to Anna from Hachette Book Group for sending me a copy of Stakes & Stilettos by Michelle Rowan! I put down what I was reading to scan through a few pages and couldn't put it down! I devoured it page by page! Here's the scoop...

Sarah Dearly has really bad luck! 10 weeks ago she was bitten and turned into a vampire by her blind date. (Don't blind dates suck!?) She is a newly made vamp who just wants her normal life back. "She tries to get a nice regular job and gets staked at the interview"... she goes to her high school reunion where a witch seeking revenge curses her "making her a bloodthirsty, sun-allergic nightwalker (the worst kind of vampire there is)" and to top it off, she's in love with a gorgeous 600 year old master vampire, Thierry, who's stuck in a centuries old "marriage of convenience" and can't seem to get out of it. And did I tell you about the mysterious scarfed vampire that pops up at the most convenient times to 'save' Sarah, but may have sinister ulterior motives?!

So starts another adventure for our heroine Sarah as she gets use to life as a vampire, in a world where vampires are still hunted and she has been mistakenly been labeled 'The Slayer of Slayers' due to an unfortunate encounter with a couple of guys who wanted to kill her (literally put a stake thru her heart!) but didn't quite make it.

This is the 4th book in the Immortality Bites series by Michelle Rowan. But don't let that discourage you from picking this book up - there's a prologue that tells us how Sarah and Thierry meet and in the first few chapters we meet most of the key players and feel right at home. Sarah is a great character - she's sarcastic, funny and gets herself in some tough situations because of her belief that most 'people' are basically good. And it's this innocence that gives her charm. There is plenty of chemistry between Sarah & Thierry, but no x-rated scenes here, there are strong friendships that exist between the characters, and the writing is good. The story did not let me down. It's a fun read! If you'd like to start from the beginning Bitten & Smitten is the first book in the series. And that's my next stop! August of this year the 5th and final book in the series Tall, Dark & Fangsome, is due to be published. I can't wait because the end of Stakes & Stilettos leaves us hanging!

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Take a Bite out of This Book Giveaway...


Take a Bite out of This Book Giveaway

I just loved Twilight & New Moon by Stephanie Meyer! And I'm halfway thru Eclipse, but what happens after I'm done with all 4 books?! Where are all the other vampires out there?! I decided to check out some of the other popular vampire reads out there AND decided it would be fun to have a giveaway too so other people could read something new! Of course I may be a little late in finding these books- YOU may have read one of these, so the giveaway is your choice of 1 of the 3 books I'm posting about below! The choices are: Dead Until Dark, Marked or The Dangerous Book for Demon Slayers.....

One of the more popular vampire series, starring Sookie Stackhouse, is by Charlaine Harris. The first book in her southern vampire series is Dead Until Dark and we are introduced to Sookie a "small-time cocktail waitress in small-town Louisiana". She has a "disability" though - she can read minds (which really puts a damper on her love life) until the tall, dark & handsome Bill comes along - and she can't hear a word he's thinking.... which makes him exactly the kind of guy she's been waiting for! Except for the fact that he's a vampire with a bad reputation! 9 books in the series now and an HBO series based on the books!



Marked, the first book in the House of Night series by mother & daughter
team P.C. Cast and Kristin Cast is considered a YA (Young Adult) book and stars 16 yr. old Zoey Redbird. In Marked, vampyres co-exist with the humans and can 'mark' humans as special to train to become vampyre's. If you are 'marked' you enter the House of Night school where you either become a vampyre or if your body rejects the change, die. Zoey has been marked and enters the House of Night school and finds friendship and hardship. If you enter the House of Night you will follow Zoey on her journey. This series has 5 books so far and has gotten great reviews too.



Now we come to a little bit of a departure - The Dangerous Book for Demon Slayers by Angie Fox. This is considered a "urban fantasy" and I put this in as a choice because it is suppose to be just a fun, entertaining read. This is really the 2nd book in the series starring Lizzie pre-school teacher turned demon slayer! The back of the book fills us in on key players and there's a bit of a prologue, so we don't feel left behind. Lizzie learns that she has certain demon destroying powers, but she has no clue what she's doing. We meet Lizzies biker witch grandmother and coven, her handsome boyfriend Dimitri who is a griffin, and a cast of wonderful characters and a hilarious plot. There's already plans for a 3rd installment to the demon slayer series!


So now about the giveaway! There are a number of ways to win your choice of book, each good for one entry.

1. Leave a comment below telling me which book you'd like to win along with your email address.
2. Blog about this giveaway and leave a comment below with the link.
3. Become a follower and leave a comment letting me know you just became a follower.
(If you're already a follower you'll automatically get an extra entry by entering the giveaway)
4. Tell me what your favorite paranormal book is (vampire/werewolf etc.) in a comment.

So if you do all of the above, you'll get 4 entries! That's 4 chances to win! The giveaway ends 11:59 pm EST on June 7th! And the winner will be chosen randomly from all the entries the next day. If you're the winner, I'll email you and ask for your postal mailing address so I can send your book off to you! Good luck! Now let's have some fun.....

Thanks Everyone for a great first giveaway! I've randomly selected the winner with Random.org, AND THE WINNER IS...Susan H. She chose The Dangerous Book for Demon Slayers! Congrats!

Friday, May 22, 2009

Beowulf on The Beach Reading Challenge




Of course you are!! And this summer Books on the Nightstand is hosting one! Books on the Nightstand is a wonderful podcast & blog hosted by Michael Kindness & Ann Kingman. They work together at Random House, but their podcast and blog are not affiliated with work, but with their long standing friendship and love of books! They don't just review books, they talk about books! And they always have great recommendations! I've talked about Ann & Michael before because Books on the Nightstand is my all time favorite podcast! On a recent podcast Michael talked about a wonderful new book by Jack Murnighan called Beowulf on The Beach: What to Love and What to Skip in Literature's 50 Greatest Hits. He calls it a funny & witty book. And from reviews I've read about the book it seems that Jack Murnighan has an enthusiasm for the classics that will have you wondering why you never grab one and put it in your beach bag! But on to the challenge....

Beowulf on The Beach Reading Challenge
* The reading challenge runs from May 25 - September 7, 2009 (Memorial Day to Labor Day)
* Read at least one book featured in Beowulf on the Beach, though you can, of course, read more.
* Write about your challenge and reading experience (on a blog, Facebook, Goodreads, Twitter, etc.)
* Feel free to use one of the beautiful reading challenge buttons on your blog (challenge buttons)

Visit Books on The Nightstand to learn more about the challenge & get some great reading recommendations while you're there! And BTW, while you're there check out how to win 1 of 5 signed copies of Beowulf on The Beach!

Monday, May 18, 2009

Afraid... A Review

Afraid

by Jack Kilborn


“Are you afraid of the dark? You will be...” An elderly woman sleeps alone in her upstairs bedroom while her husband is fishing out on the lake.... She is awakened suddenly and while in total darkness hears a noise downstairs.... She calls out her husbands name, but gets no response... she hears footsteps coming up the stairs... she calls her husbands name again... no response... then she hears the sound of her husbands motorboat echoing off the lake... what?! who is here then?! ... the sound of footsteps are heard walking down the hallway towards her bedroom.... “Welcome to Safe Haven, Wisconsin. Miles from everything, with one road in and out...A helicopter crash near Safe Haven unleashes something horrifying” - a group of hand picked convicts who have been ‘enhanced’ by the US government to be super soldiers and whose only mission is to Isolate, terrorize & annihilate. “Residents begin dying in a storm of gory violence.” Is this a horrible mistake? Or is something else going on behind the scenes in the sleepy little town of Safe Haven?


And so the story begins... It was an intense, heart stopping page turner! With most of the action taking place in the dark... No working electricity in most of the town... I held my breathe as Fran, the single mom and waitress, tried to make her way into the back of the virtually empty diner to find candles. I cringed as Josh, one of Safe Haven’s finest firefighters, walked into a darkened house where moments before a earth shattering scream could be heard coming from upstairs. I waited as whatever was in the woods revealed itself. Fran, Josh & Safe Haven’s aging sheriff hold the town’s survival in their hands- are they up for it? You’ll have to crack the spine of this book to find out!


It’s been a while since I’ve read anything I would classify as horror but this sure fits the bill. A bit gory in places, with only a few details left to the imagination. The characters were well developed and believable. You can’t help but become invested in their welfare. Plenty of action, but still sprinkled with a bit of wry humor! Some twists and turns to the plot that will satisfy even the most ardent thrill reader. If I had to compare the author to a modern day horror writer I would compare Jack Kilborn to Dean Koontz. Pick this book up! You will never feel the same in the dark again..... And look for Jack Kilborn’s new novel, Trapped, coming in winter 2010!



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Saturday, May 16, 2009

The Gargoyle ... A Review

This weeks review is a love story like no other...


The Gargoyle ... by Andrew Davidson
A love story like no other... A book that you never want to end... A book you will compare everything you read to for the next year... That is what The Gargoyle is!

The mother of the nameless protagonist dies in childbirth, so he goes to live with his grandmother who doesn't really want him. His grandmother soon dies and so he goes to live with his drug addicted aunt & uncle, who basically leave him to his own devices. His aunt & uncle soon die so he goes to live in a "home" with other children that have no families...

He's a good looking kid and as he matures he starts to "enjoy" the women around him. Eventually he is old enough to be on his own and must leave the "home" - but there are only 2 things he knows how to do well: drugs and sex. He chooses the later and becomes a porn star... Now we come to the opening of the book... He is driving home in his car. He's on cocaine and drinking bourbon from a bottle. He starts to have hallucinations and swerves to avoid what he sees, spills the bottle of bourbon all over his lap and steers his car off an embankment, rolling over multiple times on the way down until he is upside down and the car catches on fire. First place to burn - where he spilled the bourbon (alcohol and fire don't play well together!) Before he is 'saved' from the burning car, he is horribly burned over most of his body - and definitely no more porn star.

His life is basically over in his eyes, and while he is in the burn unit of a hospital where they are trying to save his life, he contemplates how he's going to kill himself once he's out. This would be funny except we are told blow by blow how his injuries occurred in the present tense and we learn graphically how a burn patient with extended injuries is treated. It made my stomach a bit queazy to read some of the procedures, but then in walks Marianne Engel. This is where the story becomes magical...

Marianne Engel walks into the hospital room of our nameless patient and proclaims that they were lovers in 14th century Germany. Marianne Engel was also a patient... a psychiatric patient. But where all his old friends from 'the business' were repulsed by his appearance and abandoned him, Marianne was not and began to visit often. And while she visits she tells these marvelous tales of love and life in medieval times where she was a nun in the famed monastery Engelthal and he was a badly injured mercenary that she nursed back to health. And she recounts other tales that span vast continents and times...

We start to look forward to the visits and the tales as much as he does. And slowly we all fall in love with Marianne Engel... It's a love story from ages ago and a love story in the present. Is true love bound by time & place?

The writing is wonderful, but the love stories are what really make the book shine. They alone could be scooped up from the pages and put down in their own book. I would say that if you read Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett and liked it, you will like this book as well. A bizarre & wonderful read all mixed together!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Books with Buzz...



Books with Buzz............

Plenty of Books with Buzz this week in the publishing world! Check these books out!

The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie ... by Alan Bradley
It's 1950... Meet Flavia de Luce, she's "an aspiring chemist with a passion for poison." She's a precocious 11 year old who lives in the sleepy English village of Bishop's Lacey with her aloof father and 2 older sisters. When a series of a strange events start happening in Bishop's Lacey and a dead man is found in the cucumber patch underneath Flavia's bedroom window, Flavia is "appalled and delighted" at the same time. She decides she is going to solve the murder! And the adventure begins! Flavia is Harriet the Spy and Sherlock Holmes all wrapped up together. She's "a new breed of detective heroine". A charming detective novel, with a touch of dark humor this book has adults raving and expecting more - which we'll get! Because this is the first book in the Buckshaw Chronicles! If you'd like to learn more about Flavia check out her fan club : The Flavia Fan Club . This book is on my shelf right now and I'm chomping at the bit to get to it! And as soon as I do, I'll do a "proper review'!



The Sugar Queen ...by Sarah Addison Allen
"27 year old Josey Cirrini is sure of 3 things: winter in her North Carolina hometown is her favorite season, she's a sorry excuse for a Southern belle, and sweets are best eaten in the privacy of her hidden closet...her one consolation of her uneventful life is the stockpile of sugary treats and paperback romances she escapes to each night... until she finds in her closet Della Lee Baker, a local waitress who is one part nemesis and two parts fairy godmother." Her life will never be the same... A woman who hoards sweets in her closet and reads romance novels? What more could you ask for? Throw in a bit of magic with a sprinkling of friendship and you have one sweet read - literally! A chick lit book that should leave you entertained & very satisfied.... PLUS author Sarah Addison Allen is giving away boxes of "Your Favorite Decade" candy to five lucky winners! Enter by August 1st! Here the link for details: Sugar Queen Giveaway and when you enter the giveaway be sure to mention you found her thru Chick with Books Blog!

Follow Me ...by Joanna Scott
It's 1946 and Sally Werner is a 16 year old precocious daughter of Pennsylvania farmers. The need for adventure prompts her to take a motorcycle ride with her cousin Daniel. That small decision creates a series of dramatic consequence including the birth of a baby and decades of wandering & escape from her shame. Sally eventually entrusts her version of her life story to her granddaughter, who believes everything until someone comes along with a different version. A version that makes her granddaughter search for the answers she thought she knew. Follow Joanna Scott as she leads you to places you'll want to stop & explore!

Hope this whets your appetite for now... And coming this weekend my review of The Gargoyle by Andrew Davidson! The book is definitely a winner! Thanks for stopping by and leave me a comment and let me know what you're reading!!

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Kids are Dogs, Teens are Cats (a little Mother's Day humor...)

Kids are Dogs, Teens are Cats
A Little Mother's Day Humor
(author unknown)

I just realized that while children are dogs... loyal and affectionate... teenagers are cats.

It's so easy to be a dog owner. You feed it, train it, boss it around. It puts its head on your knee and gazes at you as if you were a Rembrandt painting. It bounds indoors with enthusiasm when you call it.

Then around age 13, your adoring little puppy turns into a big old cat. When you tell it to come inside, it looks amazed, as if wondering who died and made you emperor. Instead of dogging your doorstep, it disappears. You won't see it again until it gets hungry... then it pauses on its sprint through the kitchen long enough to turn its nose up at whatever you're serving. When you reach out to ruffle its head, in that old affectionate gesture, it twists away from you then gives you a blank stare, as if trying to remember where it has seen you before.

You, not realizing that the dog is now a cat, think something must be desperately wrong with it. It seems so antisocial, so distant, sort of depressed. It won't go on family outings. Since you're the one who raised it, taught it to fetch and stay and sit on command, you assume that you did something wrong. Flooded with guilt and fear, you redouble your efforts to make your pet behave.

Only now you're dealing with a cat, so everything that worked before now produces the opposite of the desired result. Call it and it runs away. Tell it to sit and it jumps on the counter. The more you go toward it, wringing your hands, the more it moves away.

Instead of continuing to act like a dog owner, you can learn to behave like a cat owner. Put a dish of food near the door and let it come to you. But remember that a cat needs your help and your affection too. Sit still and it will come, seeking the warm, comforting lap it has not entirely forgotten. Be there to open the door for it.

One day your grown-up child will walk into the kitchen, give you a big kiss and say, "You've been on your feet all day. Let me get those dishes for you."

Then you'll realize your cat is a dog again.

Friday, May 8, 2009

The Noticer by Andy Andrews... a Review

In a small town in Orange Beach, Alabama where a young man is alone, living under a pier and giving up on life, where a married couple is contemplating divorce, and a man hits financial ruin, in walks Jones, not Mr. Jones, just plain Jones. He's an old man carrying a old beat up suitcase wearing a white t-shirt & leather flip flops and when things seem their darkest he dispenses a good dose of common sense to put a new spin on what seems to be an impossible situation. You see, he's a noticer, "While others may be able to sing well or run fast, I notice things other people overlook...I notice things about situations and people that produce perspective." And Jones goes on to tell the people he encounters that all they need is "a little perspective" thus opening their eyes to seeing the solution to their problems which is usually sitting right in front of them.

The author writes an inspirational message that teaches us that our happiness is in our own hands and no matter what the situation we can always turn it around by looking at it from a different angle, a different "perspective". Andy Andrews writes this book as a story with Jones the connecting thread as he weaves in and out of different lives. There is something here for everyone as Jones deals with all sorts of situations, from how to chose the right spouse to how each individual has a contribution to make in this world no matter how old they are. And the author ties up all the loose threads at the end of the story in a unique and wonderful way that will leave you smiling.

I enjoyed this book because it did read like a story not just a "how to turn your life around" book. Interspersed with real life stories and anecdotes, The Noticer was an interesting read as well. The people Jones encounter are believable and their situations are ones we can all relate to. I don't usually read "inspirational" books, but after finishing this book I was left comforted by the thought that perspective is something that may come in handy in my own life once in a while!

Andy Andrews wrote that The Noticer "is rooted in the belief that our time on this earth is a gift to be used wisely and one of the best ways to use that gift is by noticing those who have made an impact on our lives." As a result he has created The Noticer Project . It's a world wide project to notice the five most influential people in your life. To 'notice' someone can be as simple as making a phone call to an old friend or you can join the Noticer Facebook Group. Click on "The Noticer Project" highlighted above to learn more. And in the meantime let's all "notice" our Mothers this Sunday, remembering how special they are and how they inspire us! Happy Mothers Day to all the Mom's out there and especially to my Mom who inspired me to be the person I am today!

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Is Bigger Better??


Have I got your attention??! Nothing racy here, just want to know what you think of the NEW Kindle DX! Yup, Amazon.com has just announced another Kindle. Now if you're not familiar with the Kindle it's the eReader (electronic reading device) that operates on 3G technology- that is you can download books wirelessly using the same technology as your cell phone. At the press of a button you can purchase books, magazines & newspapers.

Now I recently purchased a Kindle 2 ( the updated version of the original Kindle) and still have mixed feeling about not having the actual paper book to read. The nice thing about the kindle is that it is so small & slim. About the size of your average trade paperback & as slim as a CD jewel case. Very easy to take with you where ever you go! The new Kindle DX is like the supersized version of the Kindle 2 with a 10.4 x 7 inch screen (the Kindle 2 is a mere 8 x 5 inch screen). It has auto rotation, so if you turn the kindle horizontally the display will adjust. It has a built in PDF reader and you can store up to 3500 books!

But let's think for a second... one of the things I like about my Kindle is the size. I like being able to put it in my handbag. It's easy to carry around too. And text size isn't a problem on the "small" version because you can adjust the size larger if you need to. I guess auto rotation is kinda cool- but realistically after playing with this feature for a few hours I don't think I really need it. WOW, 3500 books though! Of course my Kindle 2 can store 1500 books and my TBR list is almost as long as that so do I really need room for 2000 MORE books?! The only new feature that I would really like is the PDF reader. Sometimes when I send a book in PDF form to my Kindle it doesn't really reproduce it well- words run into eachother, paragraphs are nonexistent. (But thankfully most of my ARC's are in actual book form!)

So, do you think bigger is better? What do you think about eReaders period? Good, Bad, Don't take my books away? Is there any feature you wish the Kindle had? Are you going to run out and get this? (actually it's a preorder at this point) Here's the link to my original post about the Kindle 2 if you'd like to learn more about the original: Kindle 2 And in the meantime I think I'll be happy with what I have and thankful that they still publish REAL books!

Sunday, May 3, 2009

I've been presented...The Zombie Chicken Award!

The Zombie Chicken Award...
"The blogger who receives this award believes in the Tao of the zombie chicken -- excellence, grace and persistence in all situations, even in the midst of a zombie apocalypse. These amazing bloggers regularly produce content so remarkable that their readers would brave a raving pack of zombie chickens to read their inspiring words. "

Thank's to Jessica of Books Love Jessica Marie for the award! As a recipient of this world-renowned award, I have the task of passing it along. I thought I would share it with a couple more of my favorite blogs...

My Awardees:

Check out Cathy & Amy's blogs by clicking on their blog titles. And don't forget to check out Jessica's blog Books Love Jessica Marie because she is an amazing blogger!


Saturday, May 2, 2009

The Little Horse That Could...

Every little girl at one time or another wants a horse. I was no different... But that basically was the extent of my horsemanship. I would go to the horse farm and trot around in circles on a horse that was about as fast as a 4 cylinder car going up a steep hill, which at the time made me exceedingly happy. What brings to mind all this nostalgia is a little race I saw today called The Kentucky Derby. Mine That Bird, a little horse that shouldn't have, but did win the race was bought for a mere $9500 ( about the price of a candy bar in racing circles) and hauled by a trailer behind the trainers pickup truck 21 hours to the track. I don't really follow horse racing and just happen to turn the TV on just before the race started, but to watch Mine That Bird come from behind weaving in and out of the crowd of horses was amazing. Being the 50 - 1 underdog made me even more happy for his win. Mine That Bird's win reminds me of another underdog I read about and the subject of today's reading recommendation - Seabiscuit.

In 2001 Laura Hillenbrand wrote a book called Seabiscuit that was an amazing read. I picked it up because someone whose reading recommendations I respect was reading it. He did not recommend it to me, but his enthusiasm in describing the book made me buy it anyway. I can not believe how much I enjoyed this book!

"In 1938, near the end of a decade of monumental turmoil, the year's number-one newsmaker was not Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Hitler, or Mussolini. It wasn't Pope Pius XI, nor was it Lou Gehrig, Howard Hughes, or Clark Gable...It was an undersized, crooked-legged racehorse named Seabiscuit..." And this is the story of the horse that had everything against him but found victory and fame anyway. Laura Hillenbrand is a great writer, she captures your attention as she leads you thru the world of horse racing with the hardships of being a jockey, to the rigors of nursing a horse to become a champion. Hillenbrand introduces us to a host of human characters - Charles Howard a bicycle repairman who eventually made his fortune with something called the automobile, and who eventually would own Seabiscuit, Tom Smith a cowboy with a talent for 'horse whispering' who would become Seabiscuits trainer, and Red Pollard a down on his luck jockey who would ride Seabiscuit to more than one of those victories and in the process turn his luck around too. Her writing is wonderful and her description of the Santa Anna race makes you feel like you are in the saddle and battling for your life! Even if you know nothing of horse racing, which I didn't, Hillenbrand pulls you into the story and entertains you. You will be surprised at what goes on behind the scenes and even at 50 - 1 odds I promise you this is a winner! (BTW- the Ballantine Reader's Circle edition has a great interview with Laura Hillenbrand in the back!)


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