PaperBackSwap Blog


Invite Friends to Join PBS! Earn $ and Spread the Word!

July 29th, 2016

cup of tea and a book on a table in the library

If someone handed you a $5 bill, would you put it in a pocket and never spend it? We hope not! Yet, some of you are doing the equivalent of that right now, and you may not even know it.

Our Invite Friends program allows you to earn actual cash money for referrals. No joke! Moolah. Green. Bank. Dough. Cabbage. Bread. (OK, now we’re getting hungry.)

Some members who have referred friends after the start of the program in November 2015 have become eligible to claim a cash reward, but haven’t done that yet! Are you one of those members?

You can check by going to the Invite Friends page, linked from the bottom of any page on the site, or click here: Check my Referrals

Scroll down on that page to see your list of referred accounts and if there is a Claim Your Reward button there, click it! Then choose a check mailed to your home, or PBS Money. That’s all you have to do. Could NOT be easier.

And if you don’t yet have cash to claim, it’s easy to get that started. You can Learn More About Inviting Friends in the Help Center. For you, it means a Cha-Ching! of always-welcome cash. For your referred friend, it means a discount on Annual Membership and entry into a world of online bookswapping. For the club, it means more members and more books to be shared with all of us. It’s win-win-win!

 

 

Fiction Review – Mambo in Chinatown

July 21st, 2016

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mambo in Chinatown by Jean Kwok

Review by Mirah Welday (mwelday)

It has been a very long time since I picked up a book and couldn’t put it down.  When I started Mambo in Chinatown I thought I would just read for a few hours one morning and then get on with the rest of my day.  But that was not to be.  I couldn’t stop myself from turning the pages and I finished it in one day…less than 9 hours from when I started!

For me, Kwok found just the right balance with this book. She was able to address serious issues without being preachy or overly sentimental. She was also able to cover a variety of topics without the plot seeming thin.  There were moments of intense emotion but also moments of lightheartedness that made me smile.

Charlie is a beautifully created, sympathetic character and I wanted to know how her story would develop and how she would change. I felt emotions on her behalf; I was at different times hopeful, frustrated, excited and disappointed.  I really wanted her to succeed and find her true place. Wanting to know what would happen for Charlie is what kept me reading all day.

Kwok’s Mambo in Chinatown is a touching book about really getting to know yourself without being dependent on other people to tell you what to believe or do.  I definitely recommend it and know I now need to add Kwok’s debut novel Girl in Translation to my reading list.

Fiction Review – Girl in Translation

July 20th, 2016

Girl in Translation by Jean Kwok

Review by Mirah Welday (mwelday)

I recently read Kwok’s Mambo in Chinatown in one day.  It was so good I could not put it down.  So when I realized I had missed Kwok’s debut novel Girl in Translation I immediately ordered it.  I was not disappointed! I think I have a new author to add to my list of favorites.

In Girl in Translation we are introduced to Kimberly Chang, a sharp, intuitive, and intelligent girl who has just immigrated to the US (Brooklyn) from Hong Kong.  Her mother’s belief in family tradition and resulting dependence on their family for protection and assistance creates mixed emotions and doubt in Kimberly. Girl in Translation is Kimberly finding herself in a new country by finding her voice and strength.

Girl in Translation is so skillfully written. As a reader I felt connected to Kimberly on a deeper level because I almost felt that I was learning to translate the American experience along with her. Her coming of age is a story universally understood but Kimberly’s coming of age took on new complexity and depth due to her experiences and challenges.

Kwok has a straight-forward and poignant writing style that creates a realistic point of view and experiences for her characters.  Kwok provides such realistic portrayals of life for immigrants from Hong Kong that it seems effortless but I know it must be crafted with deep emotion, honesty, and understanding.  I highly recommend both Mambo in Chinatown and Girl in Translation.

 

 

 

Free Book Friday Winner! SEAL Team Six

July 19th, 2016

FBF spring 2016 banner winner

 

The Winner of the brand-new autographed Hardcover copy of

SEAL Team Six by Howard E. Wasdin and Stephen Templin is:

 

Susan W. (xflamekat)

 

Congratulations! Your book will be sent out to you soon!

Mystery Monday – The Heat’s On

July 18th, 2016

The Heat’s On by Chester Himes

Review by Matt B. (buffalosavage)

This 1966 novel was re-published under the title Come Back, Charleston Blue, after the movie adaptation of the same name.

Two dope dealers, Sister Heavenly and Uncle Saint, are after a load of heroin stuffed into a string of eels. Their quest for this elusive stash results in a dozen murders and a bombing. Series heroes Grave Digger and Coffin Ed have to bend the law to get the job done.

This is a disturbing novel: Himes’ unrelenting vision posits a USA where thug and police lawlessness and violence are out of control, both fuel and exhaust of social breakdown. James Baldwin said of Himes’ Harlem novels, ”this web of ambiguity, paradox, this hunger, danger, darkness.”

 

 

Fantasy Review – The Night Circus

July 13th, 2016

The Night Circus by Erin Morgestern

Review by Cheryl G. (Poncer)

 

I am not a reader of fantasy, nor a believer in it. But maybe after devouring The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern….
I ordered this book through PaperBackSwap for a mere credit, just to see what the hype was about and from the moment I admired the cover art, though the last page of the book, I was not disappointed.

The story begins, “The circus arrives without warning” and I am very glad that I opened my mind up enough to begin to read.

Throughout I remained a bit confused. But now looking back, that was not due to my inexperience reading fantasy, but rather Ms. Morgenstern’s plan.

A circus set in the late 1800’s, with enough well-developed characters to make it enjoyable, is the setting for the book. Le Cirque des Reves. The Circus of Dreams.

But the circus is so much more than just an old-time circus and the characters were really the focus of the story. At the center, a hero and a heroine, who either alone would have made a great story the author makes them so real. And the supporting characters too, are real enough to make one hate or love them. To cheer for them, or wish them gone.

And like so many time since becoming a member at PBS, the overwhelming feeling that we are all together greater than the sum of our parts.
Get a copy and read this book. I am certain you will be glad you did.

 

 

 

Romance Review – Hot SEAL Lover

July 12th, 2016

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Hot SEAL Lover by Lynn Raye Harris

Review by Cynthia F. (frazerc)

This is another great read from Lynn Raye Harris. It delivers all the things we expect from her: hot alpha guys, fast-paced action, a hero and heroine laden with ‘issues’ and a connection between them so strong it can’t be denied [although they try, REALLY try], hot sex scenes and a satisfying conclusion. For those who have been following the series we also see many of the characters we have grown to know and love along the way.

I must admit to occasionally wanting to smack the heroine. Her issues led her to a one night stand with the hero and then she left. The hero has his own problems, especially the guilt he feels for not rescuing his sister. Things might have stopped there if there wasn’t a revolution…

When the rebels trap a bunch of Americans [including Christina] the hero’s team is missioned in to get them out of the war zone. It’s a long and dangerous journey and adrenaline is a great prioritizer. Sometimes the truth does set you free…

A great story with a happy ending. What more can one ask?

Can you read this as a stand alone? Yes. Is it better if you read it as part of the series? Yes, it enriches the reading experience if you do. No, you don’t have to read them in order but again, it is better if you do.

 

Hostile Operations Team series

Book 1: Hot Pursuit (Matt & Evie)

Book 2: Hot Mess (Sam & Georgie)

Book 3: Hot Package (Billy & Olivia)

Book 4: Dangerously Hot (Kev & Lucky)

Book 5: Hot Shot (Jack & Gina)

Book 6: Hot Rebel (Nick & Victoria)

Book 7: Hot Ice (Garrett & Grace)

Book 8: Hot & Bothered (Ryan & Emily)

Book 9: Hot SEAL (Dane & Ivy)

Book 10: Hot Protector (Chase & Sophie)

Book 11: Hot SEAL Lover (Remy & Christina)