Tuesday, October 22, 2013

There's No Such Thing As Too Many Books... The Tenth Witness Review, and White Fire Giveaway

Jane Smiley
“Many people, myself among them, feel better at the mere sight of a book.”
This quote is not only true, I smile every time I read it. I smile when I think of my books - all of them, read and unread...

So, I've got all these books to read. Old books of mine that I would like to reread, books from my mother, either new ones she's passing on (willingly or not) - or the boxes in my shed of the adult books she read as I was growing up, new books I've bought or been given as gifts, and now, Advanced Reader Copies (ARC), "First Reads" (from GoodReads), and "giveaways" from the author or publisher themselves (see below). Now that I have a book blog, I have moved up in the book world; or at least I'm getting more "free" books and it's feeding my ego. There is one problem. So many books and so little time.

The idea of the ARC is to give "Uncorrected Proof" copies to booksellers, libraries, and reviewers (including bloggers) so that word of mouth about the title can begin before the book is released or during/after release to have it fresh in book-people's minds. My problem is since I love too many books, I sign up for too many giveaways and have been very, very, blessed with a new pile of books to read for review - I'm stressing about reading each one, getting a review written, and published, in a timely manner. The worst, for me, is I won an ARC biography-written by a Pulitzer prize winning author; I desperately want to read this book, and review it, however it's written in the kind of non-fiction style that I don't care for, and now, just a few pages in, it sits at the bottom of a pile of books that came after. I even asked my step-father if he was interested in reading it and commenting on it, he declined, not the time period he is interested in. Sigh. I want to do right by each and every one of these books.
At least here is one I can.

This book was a giveaway by the author. I would like to thank Len Rosen *very* much for sharing his book with me, taking the trouble to sign it, and include a personal note. I try to keep my "good books" in perfect condition; this book, has been well read and well loved. The note included is still tucked in it's pages.
Let me start by saying, I read this book in two long sittings; unfortunately they were not all that close together. It wasn't that I didn't want to get back to the book (like some others), life just interfered.
Once I did complete it, I had to sit with this book for a long time. Two weeks to be precise. It tackles themes that I've been questioning recently myself; the book does a beautiful job exposing them like a flower with the petals opening, exposing a new thought, a new way of looking at the situation, a new conundrum. The love story is stunning and powerful; as are many of the relationships, grandparents, parents, and children, "uncles" who are not related by blood-but by love, war comrades, and enemies across generations.
It was fascinating to read a book written completely from the European point of view. All of the primary players are European, though there are travels to other continents, and important discoveries made during those trips. Through the characters we see both war torn Europe during WWII, and the lingering effects on the population in the late 1970's (not just in Europe, but worldwide).
I tend to avoid most books written by European authors (the exception being books about books, such as Shadow in the Wind or The Club Dumas), however Mr. Rosen is an American, therefore his writing does not have the affected, pretentious tones that I find in so much European literature.
This book is a prequel to his "much-honored debut" All Cry Chaos (which, luckily I had not already read, since I *hate* reading books in a series out of order, regardless of when they were written). All Cry Chaos was the winner of two Awards, and a Finalist for three, including the highly prestigious Edgar Award for Best First Novel. I am now looking forward to getting it and finding time to read it!
I did notice on GoodReads that The Tenth Witness is shown as Henri PoincarĂ© Mystery #2; since it is a prequel should it not be #.5 if All Cry Chaos is #1? Curious about that.
Please leave me a comment letting me know why you would like a FREE giveaway of this book; expected publication November 12th. I will pick a winner and that person will get a copy sent to them courtesy of the publisher, Grand Central Publishing.
This is the 13th in the fabulous Pendergast series. I'm thrilled to be getting mine, however, I have to admit, I didn't realize, I'm a few books behind in the series! So once the two missing books arrive (used, unfortunately, due to budget constraints), I will dig into this as soon as I possibly can! (I can usually read these very quickly).
Thanks for reading!