Tag: Books: Advanced Reading Copy


What To Do With ARCs Afterwards?

Posted 5 May, 2015 by Lianne in Books / 8 Comments

I thought I had posted something about this before but it turns out I haven’t 😛 I figured to make it into a separate post rather than include it in another general post as I’m in the middle of some major spring cleaning/reorganising and other readers might find the topic of use 🙂

I’ve been receiving physical ARCS since…maybe around 2011/2012?…more so in the last three years as I’ve taken part in blog tours and been part of publisher blog lists. So you can imagine how many physical ARCs I’ve accumulated (see picture…I guess it’s not so so bad but it’s quite a lot IMO) and at this point I’m pretty much out of room and need to begin the process of reducing the pile.

So what to do with them?

If I had a bajillion dollars I’d love to just host a massive giveaway or something and mail them out to those interested. Unfortunately I don’t *le sigh*, so here we are. So I’m asking my readers and fellow book bloggers: what do you do with your old/unwanted ARCs? I’ve read some pros and cons about many of the suggestions out there (donation, recycle…don’t remember if there were other suggestions), but I’d love and appreciate your input and recommendations on the matter.

Many thanks in advance! 🙂

Review: The Siege Winter

Posted 23 March, 2015 by Lianne in Books / 0 Comments

The Seige Winter
By: Ariana Franklin & Samantha Norman
Format/Source: Advanced reading copy courtesy of the publisher via GoodReads First Reads programme

1141 a.d.: King Stephen is warring with his cousin Empress Matilda over the throne of England. Every cathedral, every castle, every seat of power will swear fealty to one or the other—but not every stronghold is as strategic or as valuable as Kenniford Castle in Oxfordshire. Its mistress, sixteen-year-old Maud of Kenniford, swears fealty to Stephen, but Matilda’s forces have decreed that she marry the odious John of Tewing.

Life in the fenlands carries on as usual—that is, until the mercenaries ride through the marsh, and a small red-haired girl named Em is snatched and carried off. After the soldiers have finished with her, they leave her for dead. But fenland girls are not easy to kill.

Although she has lost all memory of her past life, including her name, Em survives and falls under the protection of Gwyl, a Breton archer. Together Gwyl and his new protegé—now crop-headed and disguised as a boy—travel through the countryside giving archery exhibitions. But there is one man who hasn’t forgotten the little red-haired girl. He has some unfinished business with her, and he is determined to see it through.

And one freezing winter in an Oxfordshire castle completely besieged, he might well get his chance…

I was really sad to have learned (quite late after the fact) that Ariana Franklin had passed away a few years ago. I never read her Mistress of Death series but read and loved her standalone novel The City of Shadows. The premise of this novel sounded really interesting and I’m happy to have received an advanced reading copy of the novel through GoodReads. As an aside, I find it a bit strange that they flipped the title around for the North American release (the UK release was under the title The Winter Siege) but anyway…This book was released on 3 February 2015.

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Review: The Buried Giant

Posted 2 March, 2015 by Lianne in Books / 2 Comments

The Buried Giant
By: Kazuo Ishiguro
Format/Source: Advanced reading copy courtesy of the publishers via GoodReads First Reads programme

The Romans have long since departed, and Britain is steadily declining into ruin. But at least the wars that once ravaged the country have ceased.

The Buried Giant begins as a couple, Axl and Beatrice, set off across a troubled land of mist and rain in the hope of finding a son they have not seen for years. They expect to face many hazards—some strange and other-worldly—but they cannot yet foresee how their journey will reveal to them dark and forgotten corners of their love for one another.

Sometimes savage, often intensely moving, Kazuo Ishiguro’s first novel in a decade is about lost memories, love, revenge and war.

Whoo-hoo, a new novel by Kazuo Ishiguro! I’ve read two of his books before, The Remains of the Day (review) and Never Let Me Go (review), having especially come to really enjoy the former, so I was curious to read his latest literary endeavour (so naturally I was flailing when I learned I had won an ARC of this novel). This book will be available on 3 March 2015.

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Review: The Marriage Game

Posted 10 February, 2015 by Lianne in Books / 2 Comments

The Marriage Game
By: Alison Weir
Format/Source: Advanced Reading Copy courtesy of the publishers via GoodReads First Reads programme

The new novel from the New York Times bestselling historian Alison Weir tells the story of one of history’s most scandalous love affairs: the romance between the new, young “Virgin Queen” Elizabeth I and her handsome married courtier, Lord Robert Dudley.

He is her dashing Master of Horse. She is the 25-year-old newly crowned English Queen, a title she holds only because there is no male heir to inherit it. Yet in spite of her tenuous hold on the throne, young Queen Elizabeth begins a flagrant flirtation with the handsome but married Lord Robert, taking long unchaperoned horseback rides with him and constantly having him at her side. Many believe them to be lovers, and over time the rumors grow that Elizabeth is no virgin at all, and that she has secretly borne Lord Robert’s child. When Robert’s wife is found dead, lying at the bottom of a staircase with her neck broken, there is universal shock followed by accusations of murder.

Picking up where Alison Weir’s bestselling novel to date, The Lady Elizabeth, left off (but standing completely alone), The Marriage Game tells the dramatic story of the “Virgin Queen’s” reign, framed by Elizabeth’s long and tumultuous relationship with Lord Robert. Did they or didn’t they? Rivers of ink have been spilled in determining the answer to this burning historical question, and you can be sure Alison Weir has strong opinions about Elizabeth’s questionable virginity, based on a lifetime of research. But fiction gives her a free hand to explore this intriguing love affair in its every colourful detail, and the resulting novel is one of her best.

I’ve read one of Alison Weir’s nonfiction books before (Lancaster and York–very good book if you want to read more about the War of the Roses, btw) and knew that she had written a number of fiction titles, but I never read any. I was thus pleasantly surprised to learn that I won an ARC of this novel from GoodReads. This book will be available on 10 February 2015.

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Review: Black Dog Summer

Posted 6 February, 2015 by Lianne in Books / 2 Comments

Black Dog Summer
By: Miranda Sherry
Format/Source: Advanced Reading Copy courtesy of Simon & Schuster CA

A small, bright thread of a story weaves out from the moment of my passing and seems to tether me to this place. Perhaps this is why I have not left yet. Perhaps I have no choice but to follow the story to its end.

Compulsively readable and stylistically stunning, Black Dog Summer begins with a murder, a farmstead massacre, in the South African bush. Thirty-eight-year-old Sally is but one of the victims. Her life brutally cut short, she narrates from her vantage point in the afterlife and watches as her sister, Adele, her brother-in-law and unrequited love Liam, her niece Bryony, and her teenage daughter, Gigi, begin to make sense of the tragedy.

A suspenseful drama focusing on marriage and fidelity, sisterhood, and the fractious bond between mothers and daughters, Black Dog Summer asks: In the wake of tragedy, where does all that dark energy linger? The youngest characters, Bryony and Gigi, cousins who are now brought together after Sally’s murder, are forced into sharing a bedroom. Bryony becomes confused and frightened by the violent energy stirred up and awakened by the massacre, while Gigi is unable to see beyond her deep grief and guilt. But they are not the only ones aware of the lurking darkness. Next door lives Lesedi, a reluctant witchdoctor who hides her mystical connection with the dead behind the façade of their affluent Johannesburg suburb.

As Gigi finally begins to emerge from her grief, the fragile healing process is derailed when she receives some shattering news, and in a mistaken effort to protect her cousin, puts Bryony’s life in imminent danger. Now Sally must find a way to prevent her daughter from making a mistake that could destroy the lives of all who are left behind.

Many thanks to Simon & Schuster CA for providing me an ARC of this novel to read. I haven’t read much African literature/books set in Africa, so this book was a bit outside of my comfort zone in that sense, but the premise of the novel was intriguing nonetheless. This book will be available on 10 February 2015.

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