Wednesday, February 4, 2009

The Book Review Club (Feb Meeting)

We're here! We're here! It's the very first meeting of The Book Review Club!

We've brewed you a pot of robust Kona coffee and baked up a bunch of chewy chocolate chip cookies (no calories!). So, grab a cup and a treat, drag over a comfy chair and join us for some excellent book talk.

We have a smorgasbord of reviews from a picture book to nonfiction to self-help, from middle grade to young adult to adult. We hail from all over the map, including Canada, Britain, and several US states. Our goal? To topple your To-Be-Read pile!

Getting a little business out of the way first: If you posted a review and I didn't link to you, sorry, sorry, sorry. Just let me know in the comments. I'll get right on it.

Without further ado, I'll start off with my review. I'll TRY (although you know how I love to roam and ramble!) to keep it short and sweet and give you lots of time to click through to everyone else's posts.

Here's cover copy for WE ALL FALL DOWN, a contemporary YA by Eric Walters. Today is September 10, 2001, and tomorrow Will, a grade nine student, will be spending the day at his father’s office. As a school assignment, all the students in his class will be going to their parents’ workplaces, but Will isn’t looking forward to it – he’d rather sleep in and hang around with his friends. His father doesn’t even have an exciting job like his best friend James’s dad, who is a New York City fireman. Will’s dad works for an international trading company and has to wake up early every morning to commute to his office on the eighty-fifth floor of the south building of the World Trade Center in Manhattan. The situation that evolves changes Will, his relationship with his dad, and the entire world.

You've got to admit that the premise is brilliant. Brilliant. Nine-one-one from the perspective of a teen. The story is fast-paced with oodles of tension. Emotional tension: especially between Will and his dad. Physical tension: these people are trapped in one of the towers. This is a great read for either gender. It was first recommended to me by one of my nieces.

If you haven't yet had the pleasure of reading a book by Eric Walters, let me fill you in on three things. He's massively popular in Canada. He's massively prolific. He's massively great.

Perhaps he'll read that last paragraph and send me a Tim Horton's gift card! Totally kidding, Eric!

And you know how I live for those weird links in life? One of Eric Walters' kids goes to school with my best friend from high school's kid!

Please please visit our intrepid reviewers. They've gone to loads of trouble for your reading enjoyment. You'll learn about some terrific books. And you know how you love to support fellow bloggers. :)

Oh yeah, and I couldn't figure out a way to organize everything. So, it's a hodge podge of brilliance.

Bee Drunken: SOMEWHERE TOWARDS THE END by Diana Athill (biography)

David Cranmer of The Education of a Pulp Writer: HIGH PROFILE by Robert B. Parker (Mystery/adult)

blueviolet: THE WEDNESDAY LETTERS by Jason Wright (Contemporary Fiction/adult)

Dan Riser of the Writing Greek: PERCY JACKSON & THE OLYMPIANS by Rick Riordan (YA Fantasy)

PJ Hoover: BLISS by Lauren Myracle (YA paranormal)

Sarah Lynn of Yeah, but Houdini didn't have these hips: ONCE UPON A POTTY by Alona Frankel (picture book)

Stacy Nyikos: THE WHITE GIRAFFE by Lauren St. John (Middle Grade)

Maureen McGowan: I SO DON'T DO MYSTERIES by Barrie Summy (Middle Grade) The check is in the mail, Maureen! (wink, wink)

Ellen Booraem of Freelance Ne'er-do-well: MRS. WOOLF AND THE SERVANTS by Alison Light (nonfiction)

Zu Vincent: JUMPED by Rita Williams-Garcia (Young Adult)

Scott Parker: HYPERION by Dan Simmons (Science Ficion/adult)

Alyssa Goodnight: UNPREDICTABLE by Eileen Cook (Romantic Comedy/adult)

Kathy Holmes: THE BREAKUP BIBLE by Melissa Kantor (Young Adult)

Shana O'Brien: THE VIGOROUS MIND by Ingrid Cummings (Self-Help)

Mitch of The Sphagnum Patch: THE LAST LECTURE by Randy Pausch (with Jeffrey Zaslow)

Thao of serene hours: THIRTEEN REASONS WHY by Jay Asher (Young Adult)

Beth Yarnall: PUTTING ON THE DOG by Cynthia Baxter (Mystery/Series/adult)

Sandy Levin: THE ALCHEMIST by Paulo Coelho (Literary Fiction/adult)

WunderWoman: JOHNNY ANGEL by Danielle Steel (Contemporary Fiction/adult)

Gary Dobbs/Jack Martin of The Tainted Archive: I'm not sure what Gary's got up. You'll have to pop over to see. :)

Jenn Jilks: ANGELS CREST by Leslie Schwartz (Contemporary Fiction/adult)

Sarah Laurence: WATER DOGS by Lewis Robinson (Mystery/adult)

We'll be back for the second meeting of The Book Review Club on WEDNESDAY, MARCH 4. Huge incredible shout-out thank-yous to the participants linked above. You did an OUTSTANDING job! You really should be paid. But, alas... ;)

Okay, people. Go forth and read! xo


  1. Hey, I peeked in to see if we were up and running and what do you know - I get to be the first commenter. :)

    "We All Fall Down" sounds fascinating - wow - thanks for reviewing this book. And what a great list - I can't wait to check them all out. This is a fabulous experience for all of us - reviewers and readers alike. Thanks, Barrie!

  2. That is incredible! I love this idea!! Can I recommend reading Jay Asher's Thirteen Reasons WHy?? He spoke at our Scbwi conference and was fantastic!!! (So was Jack Gantos and Bruce Hale!!!)

    Some day YOU"ll be speaking there- Barrie.

  3. A treasure trove of recommendations!
    My thanks to all.

  4. Wow! What fabulous participation!

    (I just posted my review. Thank goodness England time is ahead of California time!)

    We All Fall Down sounds really gripping. I'm off to read some other reviews, now . . .

  5. "We All Fall Down" sounds like an enjoyable read and I'm off to check out these other reviews.

  6. Barrie, I come via Bee’s blog. A Book Review Club is a great idea! In enjoyed her review as well as yours – We All Fall Down sounds like a gripping read. I look forward to reading the other reviews, especially of your first YA – congratulations!

    I often review novels, occasionally YA. I posted a book review today of Lewis Robinson’s Water Dogs (new release lit fic). Is it too late to join? Here’s the link:

  7. I think this is the most fantastic idea in the entire world.

  8. The premise alone is enough to get the hearts beating of anyone who lived through 9/11. Thanks for inviting me to join this group. Now, (whew!) I've got a lot more reviews to read. :-)

  9. I love the cover of All Fall Down! And thanks for organizing this!

  10. You pick sounds great, Barrie! Thanks for organizing this--terrific job!

  11. That sounds fantastic!! I will add it to my list. The cover art is fabulous, too!

  12. I love the premise for We All Fall Down (great title too), I think my 11 yr old son would like it. Thanks for the tip!

  13. Wow. You totally sold me on We All Fall Down. Holy cow.

  14. This is a great idea!! I finally have mine posted. Thanks for inviting me to join in;)

  15. Thanks for organizing the Book Review Club. It's great to see the Barrie blog family all in action. I enjoyed your review. We Fall Down looks like good reading!

  16. Cool! I love the Book Review Club idea. It's like The Story Siren and Reviewer X's "YA Connection"!

  17. Wow, Barrie. You've a fantastic blog community. I just finished reading through the last of the different book reviews. I'm amazed at the diverse group. This just makes it all the more fun. Great idea! It'll be fun to see what we all come up with for March.

  18. I meant to comment earlier, but apparently I got distracted with all the other The Book Club Reviewers and forgot!

    We All Fall Down sounds like a really good book to read! The cover is fantastic!

    Thanks for the review! Your niece must have good taste :D


  19. Thanks for getting this together, Barrie. You've done an amazing job!

  20. Barrie, your book sounds really good and I love the book club idea. I'll try to remember to post something for the March club.


  21. I just found your blog through a link on Sarah Lawrence's; sorry I missed the first meeting! This is a great idea, and I'm looking forward to the March meeting. I did post a review last Thursday, Jan. 29 on The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society if anyone wants to check it out. (Not sure if I can add a link here, but just check on my name and scroll down to Thursday's post.)
    If you don't have time to check out the review, do check out this book--it's a great one, and I received a lot of positive feedback from other bloggers who had read it.

  22. Hi, Barrie; count me in on the reviews--there's a link to my e-mail on my profile page. Thanks for visiting me and hosting this!

  23. Oh my gosh, you made that sound so incredibly good! I'm absolutely going to read it!

  24. I love the sound of this book, and love the link salad. I will peruse.

  25. Hey! I've been looking through these links. Great! How does one get in on this club?

  26. you have a wonderful site!


Comments are always welcome!