Monday, March 16, 2009

Monday's green books series: Freezing Point (and there's a giveaway!)

Did you read a good environmental thriller lately? I guess the answer would probably be 'no' as there aren't too many environmental thrillers around. But it would definitely be 'Yes' if you have read the book we're reviewing today.

Our book for today is:

Freezing Point

Author: Karen Dionne

After dropping out of the University of Michigan in the 1970s, Detroit native Karen Dionne moved to Michigan’s Upper Peninsula wilderness with her husband and infant daughter as part of the back-to-the-land movement. During the next thirty winters, her indoor pursuits included stained glass, weaving, and constructing N-scale model train layouts.

Eventually, her creative interests shifted to writing. Karen’s short stories have appeared in Bathtub Gin, The Adirondack Review, Futures Mysterious Anthology Magazine and Thought Magazine, where her entry won first place in their spring 2003 writing competition. She worked as Senior Fiction Editor for NFG, a print literary journal out of Toronto, Canada, before founding Backspace, an Internet-based writers organization with over 700 members in a dozen countries.

Karen is a member of Sisters in Crime, the Mystery Writers of America, and the International Thriller Writers, where she serves on the membership committee and the website staff. She and her husband live in Detroit’s northern suburbs. Freezing Point is her first novel.

: The Berkley Publishing Group

Published on: September 2008

What it is about (from the author's website):

As he faces the frozen behemoth of a giant iceberg, environmental activist Ben Maki sees Earth’s future. Clean drinking water for millions, waiting to be tapped from the polar ice. The Soldyne Corporation backs Ben’s grand philanthropic vision for a better today—while making its own plans for a very profitable tomorrow.

Rebecca Sweet lives for the cause—an eco-terrorist who will do whatever she must to protect the earth. And Ben Maki’s ideas have set her on the path to war…

All of them will be drawn into a battle between hope and helplessness, power and pride. But they are about to discover that deep within the ice waits an enemy more deadly than any could imagine—an apocalyptic horror mankind may not survive.

Why you should get it:
1. It's a great thriller! No matter if you're interested in global warming (and we hope you do..) or not, if you're looking for an exciting thriller with an original plot, this is your book right here. It's not a coincidence that Dionne was called "the new Michael Crichton".

Though the author lacks scientific background, she did a lot of research and integrated really nicely science into the story. And it's not boring at all. On the contrary - it really adds to the novel and makes it much more interesting and real, even for readers who needs some time to digest scientific data.

3. This is also a tale of corporate greed, which looks more relevant than ever these days With Wall Street bailouts, Jim Cramer and AIG bonuses. So forget Kramer, AIG and all the rest and escape into the shenanigans of the Soldyne Corporation. At least these ones are fictitious..

4. The story is
fun and meant to entertain, but it is an environmental thriller that also carries strong messages about the world's water crisis and global warming, and hopefully it will help to raise the awareness of readers to these issues.

What others say about the book:
“Palpably exciting. A scientific thriller about a looming global crisis far more critical than oil. Karen Dionne is the new Michael Crichton.”
David Morrell

" Freezing Point combines a strong narrative voice, sympathetic characters, and some eally coll science into a compelling read!" John Lescroart

"... the scientific and ethical themes are fascinating and timely and the remoteness of the Antarctic makes an ideal thriller setting ... surprisingly complex characters" Publishers Weekly

"Fascinating and action-packed, Freezing Point by Karen Dionne is a riveting tale of cutting-edge science, board-room greed, and the triumph of those who respect nature. Dionne's voice is authentic and fresh. Watch out, Michael Crichton!" Gayle Lynds


We are giving away our review copy of the book, and of course a tree will be planted for the copy. It will also come with our sticker (made of recycled paper) saying "One tree planted for this book."

How you can win? please add a comment below with an answer the following question: what's the best thriller you have ever read? Submissions are accepted until Sunday, March 22, 12PM EST. The winner will be announced the following day.

Here's the book's trailer:

If you're looking for other interesting green-themed books, you are invited to check out our green books page on our website's green resources section.

Raz @ Eco-Libris

Plant a tree for every book you read!

Good news from Europe: Book sales are rising!

Good news from the old continent: the New York Times is reporting today that sales of books in Europe are rising in spite and maybe even because of the economic downturn.

According to the article ("Book Sales in Europe Are Gaining in Tough Times " by Eric Pfanner), "the number of books sold in France rose 2 percent in December from a year earlier and 2.4 percent in January, according to Livres Hebdo, a trade publication and the trend has been similar in Germany, where the number of books sold rose 2.3 percent in January, according to the Börsenverein des Deutschen Buchhandels, a trade organization. Analysts say many other European markets have also shown gains."

Actually, even in the U.S. , where sales haven't gained in the last couple of months, the situation isn't that bad - sales in the U.S. were down about 1% in the first 10 weeks of this year. Of course it's not an ideal situation, but it's definitely much better than many other industries were demand fell sharply.

If you look for a connection to the downturn, you can easily find it. In two words: cheap escapism. Or, as Helen Fraser, managing director of Penguin Books in London, put it in the article "books are a very cheap treat. When you are reading all this dreadful news in the paper, a lovely 500-page novel by Marian Keyes or a classic by Charles Dickens takes you right away from all that." I couldn't agree more.

Raz @ Eco-Libris