Friday, December 20, 2013

Thursday, December 19, 2013

JVNLA rides the subway 2013!

Last year for the holidays, JVNLA took to the subway to express our love for our books published in 2012.  We snapped candid shots (and some not so candid shots) of ourselves reading as subway passengers looked on with puzzled expressions. For 2013, we simply had to do it again!

We began by posting pictures of us "reading in the wild" on Twitter--including pictures of us reading on subway platforms, at our desks, in bed, etc.--with the hashtag #readersinthewild. Then we followed it up with our adventure reading in the wilds of the subway!

Below, we present this year's candid and not-so-candid shots for your viewing pleasure.

We started at Times Square.  Here, Tara, Jennifer, and Laura read Love with a Chance of Drowning by Torre DeRoche (Hyperion, May 2013). This and all other photos were taken by our excellent behind-the-scenes photographer, Ariana.

Below is a sampling of the 2013 books we brought along.  When we began piling more books onto the subway seats, a mini-avalanche started!

Alice joined Laura and Jennifer to read The Book of Someday by Dianne Dixon (Sourcebooks Landmark, September 2013).

The day we chose for subway riding was particularly snowy, and so Jean decided to stay home and read in the warm rather than in the wild!  Here she is reading Our Picnics in the Sun by Morag Joss (Delacorte Press, November 2013).

Certain books inspire certain poses, and so Laura, Tara, and Jennifer couldn't help themselves from looking particularly nefarious while reading the noir mystery Sugar Pop Moon by John Florio (Seventh Street Books, July 2013).

We also couldn't help but crack ourselves up while reading the very funny The Heartbreak Messenger by Alexander Vance (Feiwel and Friends, July 2013).

When the below subway rider saw Royal Mistress by Anne Easter Smith (Touchstone, May 2013), she got so excited she had to read it herself! 

Then, she instructed Laura, Tara, and Jennifer how to properly pose for a scandalous historical novel like this one.

Noticing that some of our books had a certain theme to them, we decided to create our own story: First, there's Love with a Chance of Drowning.  Next comes The Heartbreak Messenger.  Which leads to This Is How You Say Goodbye.

While those of us in New York were in the midst of our subway adventures, Elizabeth was in Wisconsin having her own reading in the wild/transportation adventures! Here she is on bike with Sugar Pop Moon, 101 Quizzes for Couples by Natasha Burton (Adams Media, November 2013), Dead Run by Dan Schultz (St. Martin's Press, March 2013), Beyond the Bear by Dan Bigley and Debra McKinney (Lyons Press, March 2013), and more!

Laura, Jennifer, and Alice displayed their favorite parts of Otis Dooda: Strange but True, written by Ellen Potter and illustrated by David Heatley (Feiwel and Friends, June 2013).

Two businessman on their way to lunch were super excited about Otis Dooda too!

As you can see below, Laura, Tara, and Jennifer were each intrigued by Women, Sex, Power, and Pleasure by Evelyn Resh (Hay House, March 2013).

The delicious pie recipes in Sweetie-Licious Pies by Linda Hundt (Skirt! Books, October 2013) got Laura's and Tara's attention.

When the train emptied out, Jennifer had fun reading The Fate of Mercy Alban by Wendy Webb (Hyperion, February 2013).

When it was time for our subway adventure to end, Laura, Tara, and Jennifer got a little choked up reading the last book, This Is How You Say Goodbye from Victoria Loustalot (St. Martin's Press, September 2013).

Thanks for joining us on our subway adventure!

For more about our recent books, take a look through the Recent and Upcoming Titles section of our website--all of the books make for great holiday gifts!

Thursday, December 12, 2013

OUR PICNICS IN THE SUN is "a psychological dazzler," "a stunner," "transcendent"

Award-winning mystery author Morag Joss's latest, Our Picnics in the Sun, came out from Delacorte Press/Random House a few weeks ago. Already it's been receiving simply stellar reviews!

Entertainment Weekly called Our Picnics in the Sun a “psychological dazzler” and named it to their “Must Read” list.

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel recently featured the book in a glowing review. The below excerpt gives you a taste of the book, as well as a sense of how stunning it is:

Told in multiple voices, Joss' novel is a stunner. It's crime fiction the way Kate Atkinson is crime fiction — a novel cleverly plotted around a single event that reaches out across the story in mysterious and menacing ways. Set in an isolated farm in the English moors, Picnics in the Sun examines the lives of Howard and Deborah after Howard has had a debilitating stroke. Their marriage is in decay; their lives, like their farmhouse, are crumbling. The plot becomes increasingly suspenseful as a festering event in their past infects their present and a stranger inserts himself cruelly into their lives.

Don't miss the full review here.

NPR book critic Maureen Corrigan featured Our Picnics in the Sun on Fresh Air. She said, “In addition to her uncanny powers of storytelling, Joss can capture a world in the space of a few charged words.”

You can listen to the full review below, in which Joss's book is paired up with some other recent reads that came out around the time of that one-in-every-78,000-years holiday, Thanksgivukkah.

Last but certainly not least, WBUR, Boston's NPR news station, featured Joss and Our Picnics in the Sun in its arts column, The Artery. Other books praised in the same article were Ruth Rendell's No Man's Nightingale and Jayne Anne Phillips's Quiet Dell.

In the article, critic Ed Siegel calls Rendell “the greatest living mystery writer,” but he argues that Joss's work is just as good. “Like Rendell,” he writes, “she's more interested in the psychological framing of her characters than in creating and then solving crimes. [Alice] Munro and William Trevor are more her literary heroes than Agatha Christie or P.D. James.”

Here's an excerpt of some of his other praise:

Our Picnics in the Sun is [Joss's] gutsiest book yet as there seemingly isn’t a likable character in it...Yet it turns out to be every bit as much of a pageturner, and a search for grace, as Quiet Dell. Much of that is due to Joss’s artful writing — the psychological depth of her characters, the description of the English countryside and the trust that one has in her, given the richness of her previous books...I’ve been re-reading parts of the book and I’m agape at what Joss pulls off here. These are two books [Our Picnics in the Sun and Quiet Dell] that not only transcend their genres, they’re just plain transcendent.

You can find the full review in The Artery here.

Clearly, this suspenseful, gripping read isn't one to miss!