Thursday, December 29, 2011

Top Ten Inspiring Novels

We continue our series of Top 10 lists from the QBR fans with this great list from classic to current reads.

By R. Lynn Wilson


1.       F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby – Fitzgerald’s diction and syntax verily exude the tension and frustration of unfulfilled longing, of living every single moment of one’s life to achieve one stellar goal, and never realizing it was always out of reach.

2.       Markus Zusak’s The Book Thief – That Zusak can make Death both narrator and teacher of lessons in humanity is proof of authorial genius.  At times I could read only a half page at a time before needing a moment to absorb and move on.

3.       Jonathan Safran Foer’s Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close – The events of 9/11 told from a nine-year-old narrator who knows more about loss and the processes of grief than anyone should ever have to experience.

4.       Tim O’Brien’s The Things They Carried – O’Brien’s novel reads like a treatise on distortion of reality to attain truth.  That the text is not non-fiction is often surprising, and possibly upsetting, to readers.

5.       Barbara Kingsolver’s The Poisonwood Bible – Kingsolver’s prose reads like poetry.  The writing is intelligent and alluring, and the characters are unforgettable.

6.       Pat Conroy’s Beach Music – This compelling novel is appropriately titled in that Conroy’s imagery fairly sings.  Beautiful, living imagery serves as the backdrop for some heartbreaking characters who compel readers to evaluate their own shortcomings.

7.       Yann Martel’s Life of Pi – This bizarre novel is as difficult to describe as it is to put down.  Martel reminds us to choose carefully which tigers we decide to set sail with.

8.       Jane Hamilton’s The Book of Ruth – Ruth tells her story in harsh, unvarnished truth.  The paradox of a strong, blunt voice coming from an average, nearly invisible character is undeniably captivating.

9.       John Steinbeck’s East of Eden – Steinbeck turns the timeless struggle of good and evil into a masterpiece of artistic language.  There are moments when the narrator’s voice breaks through the plot and leaves the reader stunned at the beauty of the words.

10.   Larry McMurtry’s Lonesome Dove – If I could choose any group of characters I’d like to hang out with, it would be McMurtry’s band of flawed, heroic adventurers.  I found myself so thoroughly immersed in the story that I was incapable of separating the characters from my subconscious.  The one work that most inspired my own novel, Maggie’s Fall, was Lonesome Dove.  I treasure the grit and humanity that McMurtry infuses into his characters.  I am forever indebted and grateful.


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Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Top Ten Rock Fiction Books of all Time

By Helene Susan Gottfried

Top Ten Rock Fiction Books of all Time

1. KL Going -- Fat Kid Rules the World

This Printz-winning book is every bit about alienation as much as it is about the way in which the punk subculture has room for everyone, especially the misfits. Truly my favorite book of all time, excepting my own.

2. Jeremy Wagner -- The Armageddon Chord

The guitarist for metal bands Lupara and Broken Hope, Wagner knows what it means to live the Rock Fiction way of life. The premise here is fresh, creative, and unparalleled.

3. David Hiltbrand -- Deader than Disco

This sophomore entry into a short-lived and mostly overlooked trilogy proves that Rock Fiction as a genre has room for the pop star. Angel lives and breathes, and she's only one of this book's strengths.

4. Don Bruns' Mick Sever series

Yep, an entire series. Not one will let you down. Mick Sever's on the case, and the mysteries always take place in beautiful, Caribbean locations. Just in case the music's not enough, which it is.

5. Mark Childress -- Tender

Okay, it's nothing more than a fictional retelling of the Elvis story. It's still a book by Mark Childress, and that's saying a lot. The man is a master. 

6. Rachel Cohn and David Levithan -- Nick and Nora’s Infinite Playlist

Skip the movie and read the book. Nick and Nora's Infinite Playlist isn't just about running around New York one night. It's about being in love with music, with life, with the possibilities that lie all around us. 

7. Michael Shilling -- Rock Bottom

One for the more literary among us, Rock Bottom tells the story of a band who've hit bottom and are trying to pull it together. The characters are very real and their adventures evoke great sympathy from the reader. So much for sex, drugs, and rock and roll.

8. RJ McDonnell's Rock and Roll Detective series

This fun series' strength comes from the cast of characters, who are as colorful as any cast in fiction. That's saying a lot. PI Jason Duffy leads an endearing crew on a series of capers that are innovative in the genre.

9. Michael Scott Miller -- Ladies and Gentlemen... the Redeemers

What happens when you're down on your luck and you want to make a comeback? You struggle. The Redeemers are more rag-tag than the Bad News Bears ever were. This book portrays people many think of as losers, but imbues them with great dignity and depth.

10. Susan Helene Gottfried --  The Trevolution series

What? You thought I could list ten great Rock Fiction books and not include my own? And where's the props for putting them last instead of first?


Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Holiday Blog Hop - You Could Win a Kindle!


Here’s your chance to see some great websites and win some fun prizes including, books, gift certificates and even a Kindle Fire!

WHEN:
Blog Hop is from Dec 15 – Dec 25.

WHAT:
This Holiday Blog Hop is a way for readers to discover tons of talented authors and great blogs. Every author is running a contest on their blog/website that you can enter with a variety of prizes. There is also a grand prize up for grabs; the Kindle Fire. Winners from every individual site will be entered to win the Kindle. That means if you are a winner here, you’ll be entered to win the Kindle.

What are the prizes for Quickie Book Reviews?
I’ll select three random people from all the entries to receive ecopies of these great books:
1st Winner: Toxicity, In Search of Lucy, IntoThin Air, The Baby Trap (coupon code from Smashwords – All formats available)
2nd Winner: Driving to BelAir, Buffalo NickelChristmas (Gifted through Amazon or Barnes and Noble)
3rd Winner: A Hint of Murder: The Anthology, TheGifts (coupon code from Smashwords – All formats available)
4th Winner: Trevor's Song, This Last Summer (coupon code from Smashword - All formats available)

HOW:
Here’s what I’d like you to do:
-“Like” Quickie Book Reviews Facebook page (easy access on right of this page)
-Please “follow” this blog (you can "join" on the right side. You can also subscribe or follow by email on the left side)

Here’s what you have to do (to enter the contest):
Complete this sentence in the comments section below
I mainly read books in the genre(s) of _________________________ (please include any that apply)

FINE PRINT: Check back after the hop to see if you’ve won. Winners will be posted. BUT, if you think you’ll forget, then leave your email with your entry.

What now?
Head back to the main Holiday Blog Hop page to select another site. Remember all winners are entered to win the Kindle Fire! Good luck!!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Top 10 Reads by QBR Fan Darlene


We're starting a new feature here on QBR. You, the readers, will be sharing your top 10 reads with the QBR fans. Our first official top 10 list comes from Darlene straight from the QBR fan page on Facebook.

Here's Darlene's Top 10:

Mixed Marriage by Elizabeth Cadell – read about it here - http://www.emandyves.com/etcetera.html

I Do Not Come to You by Chance by Adaobi Tricia Nwaubani – Remember the flood of email scams from Nigeria? This book gives us a look at the other side – why Nigerians initiated the scams.

Alphabet by Kathy Page - Ms Page was a writer in residence in England and this book is a gritty tale of one young prisoner. The writing is exceptional.

A Cup of Tea by Amy Ephron - Every single sentence carries so much meaning.

The Uncommon Reader by Alan Bennett – What happens when the Queen of England decides to borrow a book from the mobile library? So well written and lovely humor.

Skinnybones and the Wrinkle Queen by Glen Husar – My little blog story may do justice to this amazing YA novel - http://emandyves.wordpress.com/2011/09/04/a-books-surprise/

Griffin and Sabine series by Nick Bantock What fun to take letters out of envelops and enjoy such great art as you read. There's a mystery here too.

The Forty Days of Musa Dagh by Franz Werfel A heartbreaking story of war and the people who try so hard to survive.

Clash of Civilizations Clash Of Civilizations Over An Elevator In Piazza Vittorio by Amara Lakhous – Wonderful satire of immigrants' life in Italy. He's written another called, I believe,The Bedbugs and the Pirate but it hasn't been translated yet.

The Blue Castle by Lucy Maude Montgomery. A gentle old fashioned love story. Colleen McCullough was accused of plagiarizing this book when she published The Ladies of Missalonghi.

The Reluctant Fundamentalist by Mohsin Hamid – Intriguing look into the mind of a young man educated in the US on an international scholarship program.


**If you'd like to be featured on QBR's top 10 feature, sign up here: http://www.facebook.com/note.php?note_id=200559006695015

Welcome to QBR!

Welcome to Quickie Book Reviews where readers are the stars. We feature reviews by readers for readers!

QBR started as a Facebook Fan Page and is still active. So if you’re on Facebook, please stop by and “like” our page. Or you can click "like" on the right column of this site.

This site as well as the fan page is designed to provide book reviews for readers by readers. All of the QBR reviews were posted to the fan page wall by readers. Some were posted in photo albums on the fanpage and slowly they are being transferred to the genre tabs you see above. A few reviews were posted by me; some of my personal favorites!

We are also staring some new features like Top 10 lists and This Book Changed My Life. You can sign up for features on the fan page here. There is also a place for Review Requests if you're an author.

Please take a look around and follow this site. But I hope you will bear with me while I get all of the content over and work to continue to build this site.

Thanks and Welcome!