1) You may have already noticed that there’s a new icon showing at the top of the sidebar to the right. It’s for the Indie Book Bloggers Awards – please consider clicking on it or this phrase – Indie Book Bloggers Award – and casting your vote for The Book Jam!
2) We’ve created a new page on our blog to feature all of the incredible authors visiting the Norwich Bookstore and their interviews with us. It’s called 3 Questions (do you see the new title bar up above the image of the book nestled in to the tree, right next to “Standouts”?). That page will house all information related to author visits from here on out. Check it frequently to see updates OR, alternatively, “like” us on our Book Jam Facebook Page to get real time news of author responses and the times and dates of their visits.
And now, without further ado, it’s time to move on to what we’re all here for: the books.
Like wine and cheese or Bogie and Bacall, a perfect pairing – of the literary sort – has come to our bespectacled attention. This “Two Peas in a Pod” themed post focuses on a set of riveting titles that revolve around the power of the senses. So take a deep breath, perk up your ears, and get ready to dive back in time.
The Bells by Richard Harvell (2010). Lisa Christie found this book back closer to when it was released and reviewed it in a 2011 Book Jam podcast. But the other Lisa just finished it and requested that we give it double air time as she was so besotted with its story. Meet Moses, a boy born in the Swiss Alps in the 1700′s to a deaf mother whose ultimate pleasure is ringing the bells in her village’s small bellfry – their powerful vibrations reverberating through her body is her only sensory pleasure. This special little boy is blessed with an exquisite voice and exceptional ears. These talents forge for him a complex life – in a monastery, as an outcast, on the run in some of the most beautiful places in Europe – and for the reader a most intersting plot. Some might say that the story and its telling are “overwrought” but we found its pacing to be “on pitch,” enouraging readers to turn the next page. The setting of the Alps and Vienna is lovely (and very well researched), and the story of forbidden love captivating, but it is also fascinating in the understanding it gives readers about music, opera, the church, and the sad traditon of “castratos” in a world that has (thankfully) long since passed. ~Lisa Christie and Lisa Cadow
Perfume: The Story of a Murder by Patrick Suskind (1986). “Perfume” was an international bestseller nearly twenty-five years ago when it was first published but it still retains its fresh aroma and power to intrigue. Set in 18th century France, this historical fiction thriller starts out in Paris with the birth of “Grenouille” to a poor mother working in a decrepit dish stall. It is Grenouille’s perfect sense of smell – his gift is to the nose what perfect pitch is to the ear – that sets him apart but, alas, it is also this boy’s biggest curse. We follow him through his shaky first years as an orphan to his discovery of “the perfect scent” (and the abominable crime that follows), and then through his life as a master perfumer. Whether it is the setting of Paris and its Provinces, the concocting of masterful perfumes, intrigue, history, or psychological drama that you seek, you will find them all in this satisfying novel. ~Lisa Cadow