20 February 2013

The Wild Girl from Kate Forsyth - Signed!

Signed copy of The Wild Girl
by Kate Forsyth
I was so excited today to receive a parcel containing a signed advance copy of The Wild Girl, the newest offering from Kate Forsyth, author of Bitter Greens.

The Wild Girl is being published in March, and Carpe Librum will be participating in a blog tour as part of the launch, so stay tuned for more details coming soon.

I'm really looking forward to reading this book featuring the Grimm brothers (having enjoyed Bitter Greens so much); and was further enticed by Kate's personal inscription:
For Tracey, 
A story of love, war and fairytales - I hope you are enchanted!
I can't wait to get stuck in and look forward to sharing my review with you all.  

If you have any questions you'd like to ask Kate Forsyth, author of 27 books, please leave a comment below, and I'll make a list for the upcoming blog tour.

Thanks and happy reading!

13 February 2013

Review: The Internet Is A Playground by David Thorne

Let me be clear, The Internet Is A Playground by David Thorne is the funniest book I've read in years, and I'm giving it 5 stars!

I first came across the legendary Australian author David Thorne when someone sent me his very funny email sequence Missing Missy and I became an instant fan.

His sense of humour is laugh out loud funny and really makes you want to share it with someone, which is hard when you're reading it at 1.00am in the morning and everyone else is asleep.  

And yes, I laughed out loud on the tram reading it, but I didn't care; I just made sure I held up the book so that other passengers could see what I was reading and choose to make a note of the title if they wanted to.  (Bookish courtesy).

The Internet Is A Playground by David Thorne is a brilliant gift idea for any occasion and a fantastic book to pick up when you need a good laugh. In fact, I even read some out to my physio at the end of a hard day of making small talk with her patients and she enjoyed it too!

Get it, read it, share it and enjoy it, you'll be smiling and laughing all the way through.  I didn't want it to end and I'll be on the lookout for anything else from David Thorne.

My rating = *****

Carpe Librum!
11 February 2013

New Winner Announced - Secret Keeper Giveaway

Ten days ago, I posted that I was desperately seeking Kate, the winner of The Secret Keeper Giveaway, held in November last year.  Unfortunately the deadline for her to make contact has come and gone, and I've held on over the weekend just in case.

However, the time has come to 'get on with it' and draw another winner for this fabulous giveaway (apologies to Kate if she ever reads this, I know she'll be disappointed).

So, the new winner of The Secret Keeper Giveaway and a signed proof copy of Kate Morton's novel The Secret Keeper is (drum roll):


Congratulations Selwyn!! Please email me by midnight Monday 18th February with your postal address so that I can mail out your prize.

Happy Reading and Carpe Librum!

New Winner Announced - Australia Day Book Giveaway Blog Hop

So, the deadline of midnight Thursday 7th February 2013 came and went and I still haven't heard from our winner Bec Brown, winner of the Carpe Librum Australia Day Book Giveaway Blog Hop.

As promised, if the winner couldn't be located a new winner would be drawn, and so it gives me great pleasure to announce that our new winner is:

Joe Jeney!!!

Joe had two entries because he left a comment and signed up to follow the site via Google Friend Connnect, so Congratulations Joe! Please email me with your postal address by midnight Monday 18th February 2013 to claim your prize, a copy of The Unfinished Journals of Elizabeth D by Australian author Nichole Bernier.

Happy Reading and Carpe Librum!
10 February 2013

Review: The Writer and the Witch by Robin Sloan

The Writer and the Witch by Robin Sloan book cover
After falling in love with Robin Sloan's Mr Penumbra's 24-hr Bookstore recently, I was keen to read more from this fabulous author, and settled on this short story from him entitled: The Writer & The Witch.

I read it last month, but am reviewing it now, as part of freebie February, because you can read it online here for free.

It is essentially the story of a writer cursed by a witch who then has to stay in the one spot or age a year for every step he takes.  What happens next is the essence of the story and it was an entertaining read with a fairytale feel; suitable for a YA audience.

At an equivalent of 23 pages in length, The Writer & The Witch is short and enjoyable and I thoroughly recommend it as a lunch-time read.

My rating = ****

Carpe Librum!
04 February 2013

Review: Under The Skin by Michel Faber

Under The Skin by Michel Faber book cover
Under The Skin by Michel Faber is the weirdest book I've read in quite a while; and that's certainly saying something.

In this science fiction come horror novel, the main character Isserley trawls the road looking for male hitchhikers to pick up, although early on in the novel her purpose is unclear. What is clear is that her appearance is different, she has scars criss-crossing her body and she refers to the men she is hunting as vodsels.

Hailed as "An Animal Farm for the next century" and with reviews claiming it "Teases and prods the reader up a plethora of literary blind alleys before hauling them screaming towards its final, thrilling destination" I was really looking forward to something special from Michel Faber, author of The Crimson Petal and the White.

Did I get it?  Well sadly, no. I spent the entire book waiting for the big reveal.  The explanation or the backstory explaining the difference between humans and vodsels and Isserley's own history. I was rewarded with snippets, but it was never explained to my satisfaction.

I just had a look at the offerings on Wikipedia regarding Under The Skin, and the contents regarding the plot were a complete surprise to me; how could I have missed that? I have no idea, either it wasn't spelled out well or I'm a fool. Either way, this supposedly literary dynamite offering from Michel Faber was a let down for me.

Surprisingly it's being made into a film starring Scarlett Johansson, so of course I'll have to watch it just to see what they do with it. It might even shed some light on the book for me.

My rating = **

Carpe Librum!
01 February 2013

Seeking Kate - Winner of The Secret Keeper Giveaway

In November 2012, I ran a giveaway to win a signed copy of Kate Morton's novel The Secret Keeper.  The winner was announced on 2 December 2012, and lucky Carpe Librum entrant Kate was declared the winner.

Kate, you have one more week to claim
The Secret Keeper Giveaway!!

Prize to be claimed by Kate
Since then, I haven't been able to contact Kate, and I'm desperate to unite her with her prize, so if you're reading this Kate, please make contact by midnight Friday 8th February 2013.

If I can't make contact by that date, I'll have no other choice but to draw a new winner from the other entrants in the competition.

Carpe Librum!