Monday, November 17, 2008

Review: The Memorist & Giveaway

Summary: The dreads are back. As a child, Meers Logan was haunted by memories of another time and place, always accompanied by the faint strains of elusive music. Now the hand of the past has reached out again. An envelope addressed to her and delivered to the Phoenix Foundation—an institute dedicated to the recovery of past life memories—contains a childhood drawing of an elaborate box that Meers recognizes…and a sheet from an auction catalog identifying the object—which she spent years imagining— as an eighteenth-century gaming box.

Determined to unlock the mystery of who she once was, she travels to Vienna to find the box. With each step, she comes closer to remembering the connections between a clandestine reincarnationist society, the lost Memory Flute linked to Ludwig van Beethoven and rumored to open the door to the past, and to David Yalom, a journalist who knows all too well how the past affects the future. -- Mira Books

Over the summer, I read THE REINCARNATIONIST by M.J. Rose for my book club. I thoroughly enjoyed the book (see my review) as did my entire book club. We were also extremely fortunate that Ms. Rose agreed to join us via speakerphone for our discussion -- you can read a summary of our meeting here. When we were talking to here, she told us about her next novel in THE REINCARNATIONIST series entitled THE MEMORIST. My entire book club was excited to hear that she was writing more books about reincarnation, and we have been anxiously awaiting the publication of this novel ever since. You can imagine how excited I was when I was selected to be a part of the TLC Book Tour for THE MEMORIST.

While I really enjoyed THE REINCARNATIONIST, I liked THE MEMORIST even more. It was an exciting, suspense-filled novel that was also filled with lots of terrific historical information. As I read through the reviews for this book, I see that I'm not alone with my praise. People Magazine selected THE MEMORIST as its Pick of the Week; and the book also received Starred Reviews in both Publishers Weekly and Library Journal.

This book and its characters captured me from the very beginning. I liked how Ms. Rose had Meer actually question and even doubt the reasons behind her memories, and I enjoyed being "along" with her as she discovered things about her past. It was nice to see the return of a few characters from the first novel, Malachai (the head of the Phoenix Foundation) and Lucien (the cop who is trying to prove his involvement in a crime.) While the books were very different and had different main characters, I liked how there was some continuity between them. I can't wait to read the next novels in this series as new characters try to find various memory tools -- I think it's a great concept.

One thing I really enjoyed about this novel (and THE REINCARNATIONIST) is that Ms. Rose isn't afraid to "kill off" major characters for the purpose of moving the plot. I have to admit that I did get upset over the loss of a character or two in the novels, but it was absolutely the right thing to do. In addition, I loved how the chapters were all very short, but very intense. I think the style of the brief chapters made it difficult for me to put the book down because I kept telling myself that I would read just a few more pages. Ms. Rose knows how to tell a story and take the reader along on a wonderful ride!

Another thing I really appreciated in THE MEMORIST was the historical facts that Ms. Rose wove into the story. I could totally visualize Vienna and felt like I was almost there with her vivid and detailed descriptions. I thought her choice of quotations by famous people like Tolstoy, Balzac, and Julius Caesar on the possibility of reincarnation were very interesting and added a great deal to the story. I also loved how she wove Beethoven and his beliefs about reincarnation into the story. I found the idea of binaural beats just fascinating -- that notes played a certain way could stimulate past memories. It is so clear that Ms. Rose did an incredible amount of research while writing this novel; and I think many readers will begin to examine his or her own beliefs about reincarnation.

Not only do I think Ms. Rose is a very gifted writer, but I am also amazed with her ability to "multi-task." She is just a fascinating (and very sharp) woman; and I was fortunate enough to ask her a few questions back in June -- you can read my interview here. In addition to her writing, she also continues to use her skills as a marketing professional. She realized how difficult it is for authors to "market" their own books and has created the following to assist them:

+ (Including AuthorBuzz & BookClubbing)
Reaches 330,000 readers, 10,000 librarians, 7000 bookclubs & 2500 booksellers.

+ Great American Book Giveaway
Pre-publication buzz to readers

+ Buzz, Balls & Hype
A blog about marketing and the business of publishing.

+ Backstory
A blog for authors to post what inspired their current novel.

+Buzz Your Book – The Class
Where authors learn the basics of buzz. 6 weeks online.

+Buzz Your Book – The book - co-authored with Douglas Clegg
A work book for authors to learn the basics of buzz.

I do think THE MEMORIST would make a wonderful book for your next book club. There are so many themes to discuss, especially everyone's thoughts about the possibility of reincarnation. If the members of your book club are big readers, it would be really fun to read both THE REINCARNATIONIST AND THE MEMORIST and talk about both books. Check out the discussion guide for THE MEMORIST to get an idea of the types of things you could discuss.

A big thanks goes out to TLC Book Tours for providing me with the opportunity to read and review THE MEMORIST. You can catch the other stops of the THE MEMORIST Blog Tour:

Monday, October 27th: Fantasy Book Critic
Tuesday, October 28th: The Compulsive Reader
Wednesday, October 29th: The Book Bitch
Tuesday, November 4th: Bloody Hell!
Friday, November 7th: Fizzy Thoughts
Monday, November 10th: Devourer of Books
Wednesday, November 12th: Bookstack
Thursday, November 13th: The Inside Cover
Monday, November 17th: Booking Mama
Tuesday, November 18th: Books I Done Read
Wednesday, November 19th: Diary of an Eccentric
Thursday, November 20th: MommyPie
Monday, November 24th: Bloggin’ ‘Bout Books
Friday, November 31st: Frequency of Silence

I just happen to have two sets of M.J. Rose's THE REINCARNATIONIST (paperback) and THE MEMORIST (hardcover) to share with two lucky readers! To enter the contest, please leave a comment, with your e-mail address, telling me whether you believe in reincarnation or not. If you'd like to double your chances, please blog about this contest with a link back to this post. The contest will be open until Friday, November 28th at 11:59 p.m. EST. I will announce the winners the following day. This contest is open to those of you with U.S. or Canada mailing addresses only. Good luck!


Anonymous said...

I don't believe in reincarnation, but these books sound fascinating!

nnjmom at yahoo dot com

Anonymous said...

I don't believe in reincarnation, but it has always fascinated me. (I'm old enough to remember Edgar Cayce.) Anyway, I'd love to read these books. milou2ster(at)

Anonymous said...

There are times that I believe that reincarnation is a possibility. I read "The Reincarnationist" and absolutely loved it. I would very grateful to win a copy of "The Memorist".
Thank you for this opportunity!

Gwendolyn B. said...

I'd like to say that I believe in reincarnation because i like the idea of it, but I don't believe it. Fascinating concept, though, and the books sound wonderful. Thanks for the chance!
geebee.reads AT gmail DOT com

S. Krishna said...

Don't enter me, but I just wanted to say great review! I enjoyed this book as well.

And I actually do believe in reincarnation, it's a central belief for Hindus.

Mulluane said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

I don't believe in reincarnation, most of the time, but these books do sound fascinating.

djecse at yahoo dot com

Rebekah E. said...

I don't believe in reincarnation, but these books sound really good.

Bridget said...

I've posted on Win a Book. No need to enter the contest.

Darlene said...

I do believe in reincarnation and I would love to read these books. Please enter me. Great giveaway-thanks.

Unknown said...

I don't believe in reincarnation either, but these books sound fantastic. Please enter me in the contest.

jgbeads AT gmail DOT com

Unknown said...

I just listed this in my right sidebar here:

Michele said...

I don't believe in reincarnation and am not sure I want to read about it. Although I read thrillers about death and mayhem and don't have an issue with that. Hmmm...something to explore for me. Are these more thriller type books or more descriptive/character heavy? Or is there even a way to choose? (done rambling..sorry)

Unknown said...

These look really interesting. Thanks for the giveaway. gimmemorebooks10 at gmail dot com

Bonnie said...

I am not a believer in reincarnation but am open to reading about it. These books sound fascinating.


Unknown said...

Honestly I'm not sure if I believe in reincarnation or not, its one of those tricky things that sometimes I do believe and sometimes I have doubts. But these books sounds wonderful and I'd love to be entered for your giveaway thanks.

Kathleen said...

I most certainly believe in reincarnation. I find it hard to believe that after we die, that's it, our life is done forever. I believed first but we've had a few instances that have us believing even more. One, My niece apparently said things only her grandmother, who died before she was born, would know when she was little.
callista83 AT cogeco DOT ca

Hermie's Mom said...

I don't believe in reincarnation, but I think it's really interesting to contemplate...kind of like thinking about what you'd do if you won the lottery :-)

mkekern at hotmail dot com

Anonymous said...

You don't need to enter me...I just won both of these titles from Write On Wednesday. Thanks for your I'm ready to get them and start reading!

Wrighty said...

I'm not exactly sure what I believe but I'm open to the possibility of reincarnation. The more I read about it the more I wonder. I read The Art of Racing in the Rain and it was about an amazing dog who was convinced he would come back in his next life as a man. It was a sweet story that had some interesting ideas. Stories like these really make me think. Thanks for your contest and I've also added it to my blog.

.Books by TJ Baff said...

I don't know if I believe in reincarnation for real. The idea has scary relevence for me as my son died 2 years ago. I think that I would prefer that he be with God...rather than come back as another person.
Please enter me for this contest though because the books look really fun and interesting.

Linda said...

I really don't know if I believe in reincarnation or not; my beleifs are not absolute. I guess I'm open to suggestions. Would love to read these books.

lcbrower40 at gmail dot come

Michele said...

This sounds really interesting. I don't believe in reincarnation, but would like to give this book a try. I'm going to suggest it at my next bookclub.

Amber said...

I do believe in reincarnation and that if you are a good person that you will have luck in your next life.

Thank you for the giveaway and please enter me.


Carol M said...

I really do believe in reincarnation and I really, really want to read these books! :) Thank you for the chance to win them!
Carol M
mittens0831 AT

Julie said...

I think I might believe, I mean you just never know...
I put your giveaway on my blog, thanks:)
julyso@grandecom DOT net

Teddy Rose said...

For most of my life I have been open to the possibility of reincarnation, but un sure. The last few years I have begun to believe in it more. There have been so many convincing studies on it.

I blogged about your giveaway here:


Anonymous said...

I do believe reincarnation and these books sound fascinating! Please enter me as well. :)


Dayna said...

I don't believe in reincarnation but I'd still like to read this!

caseykelp said...

i belive in reincarnation. These books sound great.
Thank you for the giveaway


Toni said...

I would love to win this contest. I don't know if I believe in reincarnation or not. I am fascinated with the possibility.

tonigomez (at) surewest (dot) net

ChristyJan said...

I'm in the non-believer club ~ but I do believe in an after-life.

I'd love to win and read this set of books!


Lori said...

I don't believe in reincarnation. But these books have really grabbed my attention. Please enter me

Suey said...

I don't believe in reincarnation, though it sure does make for an interesting book idea!

My email jenstusue AT yahoo DOT com. ( I think you have it already though!)

April said...

This sounds like such an awesome book. I would love to be entered for a chance to win it!
I find this topic fascinating and do believe in reincarnation.
By the way - I love your blog!! It's so cool!

tanabata said...

I'm fascinated by the idea of reincarnation. I'm not sure I believe in it implicitly but can't dismiss it either.
I'd love to have a chance to win these, they sound wonderful.

tanabata2000 at gmail dot com

Anonymous said...

Sounds like another winner to me - a great plot mixed in with some things that just doesn't happn in real life - just result in some surprising twists!!

zoomies.aim.high (at) gmail

donnas said...

I dont believe in it. But I do like to read about it.

Marie said...

I like the idea of reincarnation, but I'm still on the fence about it. I'd love to read these books. Thanks. mparke[at]shaw[dot]ca

Jenny Girl said...

Yes, part of me does believe in reincarnation, because then the mean people I know will come back as bugs or mules.
I would love to read these books, so please enter me in the contest.
jennygirl73 at

Excellent posts as always!

Literary Winner said...

I'm not sure if I believe in reincarnation in the usual sense. However, I believe that all of our ancestors' experiences contribute to our memories.
hematopoiesis at hotmail dot com

Asylumgirl said...

I definitely believe in the possibility of reincarnation. It makes life more interesting.

deidre_durance at hotmail dot com

traveler said...

I am fascinated with these books. I believe in the possibility of reincarnation. Thanks for this great giveaway.

Sheri S. said...

Although I don't personally believe in reincarnation, I think it's a really interesting concept to explore and it'd be great to read about it!!

bookopolis at live dot com

Serena said...

no need to enter me in the contest. I already have The Memorist in the TBR pile, and borrowed Anna at Diary of an Eccentric's copy of The Reincarnationist.

This book just sounds more and more interesting.

Anonymous said...

These books look like a great read! I don't necessarily believe in reincarnation but I do believe it's a fascinating concept worth exploring.

Unknown said...

I do believe in reincarnation... please enter me in the contest!

datwater88 @

Anita Yancey said...

I don't believe in reincarnation. But I do believe in ghosts, and a form of life after death. These books sound great. Please enter me.

Candes said...

Clickable email in my blog profile.

No I do not believe in reincarnation. But the subject makes for some extremely interesting books. The Memorist definately sounds like a very good read. :)

Paradox said...

I believe that reincarnation is a possibility, or something similar, such as our "soul/mind" living on elsewhere.

paradoxrevealed (at) aim (dot) com

Misty said...

i do believe in reincarnation. this must be an awsome book!!

Misty said...

blogged it.