Saturday, September 29, 2012

Coming Attractions: Books I'll Be Reading and Reviewing for Amazon Vine

Being selected for Amazon Vine seems like unbelievable good luck to me. They send me two lists a month, on the third and fourth Thursdays of the month. I get to pick two free things from each list in exchange for reviews. Win-win. Some of my previous Vine reviews have included:

Kiss, Crush, Collide by Christina Meredith
Juliet Immortal by Stacey Jay
Beauty Queens by Libba Bray
The Abused Werewolf Rescue Group by Catherine Jinks
Family by Micol Ostow
The Bowl of Light by Hank Wesselman

I don't always order books. In fact, next week I'll be testing out a 7-Eleven Slurpee maker. But I do read a lot of books from Vine. The ones I just finished are:

- An excellent beginners'/young adult biography of Charlotte, Emily and Anne. I find it very sad to know that Patrick Bronte outlived all five of his daughters and his son, and that between them, the three Bronte sisters who lived into adulthood - known to the Victorian book-buying public as Currer, Ellis and Acton Bell - produced only seven novels and one volume of poetry between them. Charlotte was the only one who lived long enough to marry.

This book will fascinate readers (the intended age range is 10-14) interested in how the human body works. It focuses mainly on the science, but also explores a little bit of the mythology that's historically been associated with blood. Most of the science will be familiar to the average adult, but I learned a few fascinating tidbits about the blood of some other species, such as the horseshoe crab. The book is designed to look as if the pages were splashed with blood, so if you're very squeamish, it might be a bit much to handle. Blood doesn't usually bother me, but a few of the more gruesome medical passages made me feel a little squeamish.

The ones I have slated to read are:

I've read about a third of this one so far. Mine doesn't have the pretty cover. It's an ARC with a plain chartreuse wrapper. ("Plain chartreuse" is kind of an oxymoron, though, isn't it?) Having come from an educational background in psychology, I've read The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat and An Anthropologist on Mars and count them both among my "permanent keeper" books. (Awakenings I like a little less, and although I read Musicophilia, I don't own a copy.) It's fascinating. I learned that the actor Silas Weir Mitchell, who plays Monroe on Grimm, is named for a 19th-century physician ancestor who experimented with mescaline and quantified his hallucinations.

I just finished the migraine chapter, which very much reminded me of a biography of Mary Todd Lincoln I read in college; her alleged "insanity" was very likely to have been a combination of PTSD and migraines.

Set in Key West, in the Hemingway residence that is now a famous tourist attraction, the one I visited in 2004.

I still don't think I care to read The Count of Monte Cristo, but that doesn't mean I'm not fascinated by the true story behind it.

The follow-up to Dead is a Battlefield. The only disappointing thing is that it's, by far, the skinniest volume in the series so far.

Of course, I still have to read the original Jane Eyre first. Sadly, it's true: the only one of the Bronte sisters' seven novels that I've read is Wuthering Heights. (But I've read it three times, if that helps.)


Sharon Martin said...

I havent heard of Amazon vine so thanks for the info x Thanks for popping over to our weekly book blog hop this week xx

Erin O'Riordan said...

The only bad thing about Amazon Vine is that you can't sign up for it. Amazon chooses you, not the other way around.