PaperBackSwap Blog


Free Book Friday!

July 25th, 2014

 

This weeks Free Book Friday prize is:

Call the Midwife: A Memoir of Birth Joy and Hard Times

by Jennifer Worth

At the age of twenty-two, Jennifer Worth leaves her comfortable home to move into a convent and become a midwife in post war London’s East End slums. The colorful characters she meets while delivering babies all over London – from the plucky, warm-hearted nuns with whom she lives to the woman with twenty-four children who can’t speak English to the prostitutes and dockers of the city’s seedier side – illuminate a fascinating time in history. Beautifully written and utterly moving, Call the Midwife will touch the hearts of anyone who is, and everyone who has, a mother.

ISBN 9780143123255, Trade Size Paperback

There are currently 63 members wishing for this book. 1 lucky member will win a brand-new Hardcover copy.

 

To enter, simply leave a comment on this Blog post. You must be a PaperBackSwap member to win.

 

 We will choose 1 winner at random from comments we receive here on the Blog from PBS members.

 

You have until Sunday, August 3, 2014 at 12 noon EDT, to leave a comment.

 

Good Luck to everyone!

 

 

 

 

 

Note: All the books given away on Free Book Friday are available in the PBS Market. We have thousands of new and new overstock titles available right now, with more added hourly. Some of the prices are amazing – and you can use a PBS credit to make the deal even better!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mystery Monday – The Passenger From Scotland Yard

July 21st, 2014

The Passenger from Scotland Yard by H. Freeman Wood

 

Review by Matt B. (BuffaloSavage)

The opening chapters feature the shenanigans on the overnight mail train to Dover and the crossing of the English Channel. Wood deliberately obscures what the five passengers are up to so we readers stay on guard. After a killing comes out of the blue, we wonder if the book will focus on the murder or the diamond theft.

Reading an early mystery, I had prepared myself for Victorian verboseness and digressions. I was pleasantly surprised by the tightly constructed plot. The characterization of the Scotland Yard man Byde, the fence Grandpa, the pickpocket Bat, and his vicious mentor St. John held my rapt attention. Only mildly stagey and wordy, the intricate and subtle conversations were enjoyable to read. The author feels affectionate toward Byde’s touching belief in education, especially the use of Euclidean geometry to consider and eliminate suspects. Mathematics fans will like Wood’s implicit assertion that training in math fosters clear thinking, a skill and habit that can be transferred to other areas of life.

The evocation of traveling by train in the 1880s is not the only effective period re-creation in the novel. Wood must have lived in Paris during that time because his believable descriptions of the people and places are full of life. Back then, when the cops were unable to identify a corpse, they would expose the remains at the morgue near Notre Dame so that worried friends and relative and perhaps curiosity-seekers and tourists too could stroll by and recognize the departed. I find descriptions like this most worthy tangents:

“Passing to the rear of the cathedral, and skirting the little gardens which there lie, the inspector and his companions saw that groups of idlers had already congregated in front of the Morgue. Persons were also approaching from the bridges on both sides, and others were ascending the two or three steps at the entrance to the building. Visitors who had satisfied their curiosity lounged through the doorway, and down the steps, and augmented the knots of debaters scattered along the pavement. Some of the women and children were cracking nuts and eating sweetmeats, purchased from itinerant vendors who had stationed their barrows at the side of the road. One hawker was endeavouring to sell bootlaces; another was enumerating the titles of the comic songs which he exhibited in cheap leaflets, strung together on a wooden frame.”

Just wonderful. In the midst of life, there is death, but in the face of death life rocks and rolls, cracking nuts and putting up song sheets on wooden frames. Fin-de-Siecle Paris I add to my list of places that would have been cool to have lived in.

In the introduction to the Dover edition released in 1977, editor E.F. Bleiler, whose job was to distinguish trash and treasure, considers The Passenger from Scotland Yard to be the best detective novel published between The Moonstone (1866) by Wilkie Collins and The Hounds of Baskervilles by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (1902).

 

 

Free Book Friday Winner!

July 20th, 2014

 

The Winner of the brand new copy of the book 

Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln

by Doris Kearns Goodwin

is:

Suzanne S. (schwip)

 

Congratulations! Your prize will be on the way to you shortly!

 

Thank you to everyone who commented!

 

 

 

 

Free Book Friday!

July 18th, 2014

 

This week’s Free Book Friday prize is:

 

Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln

by Doris Kearns Goodwin

 

On May 18, 1860, William H. Seward, Salmon P. Chase, Edward Bates, and Abraham Lincoln waited in their hometowns for the results from the Republican National Convention in Chicago. When Lincoln emerged as the victor, his rivals were dismayed and angry. — Throughout the turbulent 1850s, each had energetically sought the presidency as the conflict over slavery was leading inexorably to secession and civil war. That Lincoln succeeded was the result of a character that had been forged by life experiences that raised him above his more privileged and accomplished rivals. He won because he possessed an extraordinary ability to put himself in the place of other men, to experience what they were feeling, to understand their motives and desires.

This capacity enabled President Lincoln to bring his disgruntled opponents together, create the most unusual cabinet in history, and marshal their talents to preserve the Union and win the war.

ISBN 9780684824901, Hardcover

There are currently 227 members wishing for this book. 1 lucky member will win a brand-new Hardcover copy.

To enter, simply leave a comment on this Blog post. You must be a PaperBackSwap member to win.

We will choose 1 winner at random from comments we receive here on the Blog from PBS members.

You have until Sunday, July, 20 2014 at 12 noon EDT, to leave a comment.

Good Luck to everyone!

 

 

Note: All the books given away on Free Book Friday are available in the PBS Market. We have thousands of new and new overstock titles available right now, with more added hourly. Some of the prices are amazing – and you can use a PBS credit to make the deal even better!

 

 

Mystery Monday – The Enormous Shadow

July 14th, 2014

 

The Enormous Shadow by Robert Harling

 

Review by Matt B. (BuffaloSavage)

 

This Cold War story from 1955 is set in London, with many references streets like King’s Road and places such as Chester Square and Tower Bridge. Before WWII, Harling published The London Miscellany, a survey of the design of Victorian London, so he knew the city inside and out.

In fact, this is a newspaper thriller because the narrator is an international correspondent. While his base is in New York City, he is on vacation in London, checking in with his wily editor in chief. Said boss assigns him to interview up and coming MP’s. One of the MP’s, the reporter finds, may be a traitor. Working in tandem with a dodgy mathematician, he may be passing guided missile secrets to the Soviets.

While the action may feel slow to some readers, the pace is steady and incidents unfold with surprises all down the line to a rousing climax. Harling’s prose is clear and civilized. The love story grows naturally out of the action and is believable. To my mind, the appeal is the verisimilitude. Harling worked on Fleet Street before the advent of our information age, so his stories of tough editors, hard-bitten reporters, and their dance with the authorities in government and the police ring true to life. Any reader who likes stories about newspaper trade before Rupert Murdoch and ilk will certainly enjoy Harling’s chronicle of a vanished world, little known outside the memoirs of forgotten journalists.

Don’t confuse this writer with the playwright famous for the 1985 hit Steel Magnolias. Our Harling here was one of those versatile Englishmen who were skilled at both the arts and espionage. He worked in publishing, as a typographer and graphic designer. During WWII, his friend Ian Fleming, later creator of James Bond, got him transferred into Fleming’s Secret Navy, which “was responsible for day-to-day liaison between the naval intelligence division and the British war propaganda teams (see Harling’s obit here).”

 

 

 

Free Book Friday Winner!

July 13th, 2014

 

 

The Winner of the brand new copy of the book Tell the Wolves I’m Home by Carol Rifka Brunt is:

 

Angela H.

 

Congratulations! Your prize will be on the way to you shortly!

Thank you to everyone who commented!

Free Book Friday!

July 11th, 2014

 

This week’s Free Book Friday prize is:

Tell the Wolves I’m Home by Carol Rifka Brunt

 

In this striking literary debut, Carol Rifka Brunt unfolds a moving story of love, grief, and renewal as two lonely people become the unlikeliest of friends and find that sometimes you don’t know you’ve lost someone until you’ve found them.   — 1987. There’s only one person who has ever truly understood fourteen-year-old June Elbus, and that’s her uncle, the renowned painter Finn Weiss. Shy at school and distant from her older sister, June can only be herself in Finn’s company; he is her godfather, confidant, and best friend. So when he dies, far too young, of a mysterious illness her mother can barely speak about, June’s world is turned upside down. But Finn’s death brings a surprise acquaintance into June’s life – someone who will help her to heal, and to question what she thinks she knows about Finn, her family, and even her own heart.   At Finn’s funeral, June notices a strange man lingering just beyond the crowd. A few days later, she receives a package in the mail. Inside is a beautiful teapot she recognizes from Finn’s apartment, and a note from Toby, the stranger, asking for an opportunity to meet. As the two begin to spend time together, June realizes she’s not the only one who misses Finn, and if she can bring herself to trust this unexpected friend, he just might be the one she needs the most.   An emotionally charged coming-of-age novel, Tell the Wolves I’m Home is a tender story of love lost and found, an unforgettable portrait of the way compassion can make us whole again.

ISBN 9780812982855, Trade Size Paperback

 

There are currently 221 members wishing for this book. 1 lucky member will win.


To enter, simply leave a comment on this Blog post. You must be a PaperBackSwap member to win.

 

We will choose 1 winner at random from comments we receive here on the Blog from PBS members.

 

You have until Sunday, July, 13 2014 at 12 noon EDT, to leave a comment.

 

 

Good Luck to everyone!

 

 

 

Note: All the books given away on Free Book Friday are available in the PBS Market. We have thousands of new and new overstock titles available right now, with more added hourly. Some of the prices are amazing – and you can use a PBS credit to make the deal even better!