Tuesday, December 20, 2011
Philippa Gregory's book The Other Boyeln Girl was the book that started my love for Historical Fiction, I just loved that book along with 2 others in that series. I looked forward to her new series The War of the Rose also known as the Cousins War with high hopes.
This is book 3 in the series. The Red Queen was about Elizabeth Woodville, so we did see her mother in this one. The White Queen was about Margaret Beaufort.
So now we turn to Jacquetta, mother of Elizabeth Woodville. The book started off so nicely, there was Joan of Arc, her ties to Melusina and what I thought was a great beginning. Everything flowed together so nicely, I looked forward to reading more. There was her marriage to John, Duke of Bedford, widowhood and then falling in love with Richard Woodville. About half way through I felt it started to slow down somewhat. The friendship between the Queen and Jacquetta didn't seem genuine to me, I actually found the Queen to be somewhat spoiled, but that is my opinion, and she very well might have been. There was baby after baby (seriously I lost count as to how many there were and I found myself wondering what her body looked like after all those pregnancies).
It was still an interesting story, not as good as The Other Boleyn Girl and I am glad to have read it.
Saturday, December 17, 2011
But then Allison is released to a halfway house, and is more determined than ever to speak with her estranged sister. Now their legacy of secrets is focused on one little boy. And if the truth is revealed, the consequences will be unimaginable for the adoptive mother who loves him, the girl who tried to protect him and the two sisters who hold the key to all that is hidden.
I am trying to come up with words to describe this book, but I can't. It took all of 3 days to read it. I was drawn in right away, it had emotion, it had mystery and surprises. Given the subject matter it sounds strange (sadistic even) to say I enjoyed this book, but I did.
Heather Gudenkauf is a new author to me and I will read more of her works.
Wednesday, December 14, 2011
A.D. 69. Nero is dead.
The Roman Empire is up for the taking. With bloodshed spilling out of the palace and into the streets of Rome, chaos has become the status quo. The Year of Four Emperors will change everything—especially the lives of two sisters with a very personal stake in the outcome….
Elegant and ambitious, Cornelia embodies the essence of the perfect Roman wife. She lives to one day see her loyal husband as Emperor. Her sister, Marcella, is more withdrawn, content to witness history rather than make it. Even so, Marcella has her share of distinguished suitors, from a cutthroat contender for the throne to a politician’s son who swears that someday he will be Emperor.
But when a bloody coup turns their world upside down, Cornelia and Marcella—along with their cousins, one a collector of husbands and lovers, the other a horse-mad beauty with no interest in romance—must maneuver carefully just to stay alive. As Cornelia tries to pick up the pieces of her shattered dreams, Marcella discovers a hidden talent for influencing the most powerful men in Rome. In the end, though, there can only be one Emperor … and one Empress.
Saturday, November 12, 2011
Monday, October 24, 2011
Monday, October 10, 2011
A GAME OF THRONES
Long ago, in a time forgotten, a preternatural event threw the seasons out of balance. In a land where summers can last decades and winters a lifetime, trouble is brewing. The cold is returning, and in the frozen wastes to the north of Winterfell, sinister and supernatural forces are massing beyond the kingdom's protective Wall. At the center of the conflict lie the Starks of Winterfell, a family as harsh and unyielding as the land they were born to. Sweeping from a land of brutal cold to a distant summertime kingdom of epicurean plenty, here is a tale of lords and ladies, soldiers and sorcerers, assassins and bastards, who come together in a time of grim omens.
Here an enigmatic band of warriors bear swords of no human metal; a tribe of fierce wildlings carry men off into madness; a cruel young dragon prince barters his sister to win back his throne; and a determined woman undertakes the most treacherous of journeys. Amid plots and counterplots, tragedy and betrayal, victory and terror, the fate of the Starks, their allies, and their enemies hangs perilously in the balance, as each endeavors to win that deadliest of conflicts: the game of thrones.
My son The Illiterate Scribe, has been after me to read this book for a while now. Fantasy is not my favorite genre these days, Historical Fiction is. I didn't jump when he said read (I am remembering The Wheel of Time, huge books, intense plots, a huge pile of characters plus lots and lots of fantasy). But when I saw Kate Quinn (Mistress of Rome author) gush about this series, well what could I say, if Kate (Historical Fiction author) loved it, comparing it to the War of the Roses, well then I would give it a try.
I have to say that I am glad that I did. I thoroughly enjoyed this book. There were quite a few names that I will never remember and at some points wondered which side they were on. But all in all it was a great read. I loved the chapter names (each a character rather then a number), I got to know each of the main characters, I have my favorites and those I dislike too. What really impressed me was how the storyline just seemed to flow smoothly, I didn't find anything that was disjointed or distracting either. I didn't always like the way the story went, but could see the reasons why things happened.
I am almost finished the HBO series now. I really felt they did a great job of casting the characters, they matched the personalities nicely and I can't wait to read the next book so that I can watch Season 2 as it is televised.
Friday, September 23, 2011
From the moment of her arrival in Thebes, Nefertiti is beloved by the people. Her charisma is matched only by her husband’s perceived generosity: Amunhotep showers his subjects with lofty promises. The love of the commoners will not be enough, however, if the royal couple is not able to conceive an heir, and as Nefertiti turns her attention to producing a son, she fails to see that the powerful priests, along with the military, are plotting against her husband’s rule. The only person wise enough to recognize the shift in political winds—and brave enough to tell the queen—is her younger sister, Mutnodjmet.
Observant and contemplative, Mutnodjmet has never shared her sister’s desire for power. She yearns for a quiet existence away from family duty and the intrigues of court. Her greatest hope is to share her life with the general who has won her heart. But as Nefertiti learns of the precariousness of her reign, she declares that her sister must remain at court and marry for political gain, not love. To achieve her independence, Mutnodjmet must defy her sister, the most powerful woman in Egypt—while also remaining loyal to the needs of her family.
Love, betrayal, political unrest, plague, and religious conflict—Nefertiti brings ancient Egypt to life in vivid detail. Fast-paced and historically accurate, it is the dramatic story of two unforgettable women living through a remarkable period in history.
This was my first Michelle Moran book and also my first HF about Egypt. This is also the authors debut novel (I love reading debuts). I really enjoyed reading this book, I thought the characters were portrayed nicely and I had pictures in my mind of what everyone looked like as well and the scenery. I kept thinking what a society, letting 15 & 17 year old's running the country, but if you are born royal that is your lot in like. I only wish that I knew alittle more about the culture, gods and calendar of Egypt.
Wednesday, September 14, 2011
Joan if Arc by M D Holmes (published 1930) - its similar to this one, but I am keeping mine.
Friday, September 9, 2011
Wednesday, September 7, 2011
This was Ella March Chase's debut novel. I know very little about Elizabeth I's reign and thought this would be a good read. It was given 4 and 5 start reviews on goodreads and amazon. I have to say that I did enjoy the story, but just found something missing. I can't quite put my finger on what it was, but it just didn't have 'that grab me by the neck and not let go until I was finished feeling'. The story was good, the characters were developed, though it was predictable.
Monday, September 5, 2011
Sunday, September 4, 2011
Wednesday, August 31, 2011
Monday, August 29, 2011
It's the start of another week. I have been so bad with keeping my blog up over the past few months. Where have I been? Well right here at home (though a fe
w weekends away over the summer). I have gone from being the primary care giver to an elder parent (in-law) to not being one. So after 10 years I am adjusting to a very different way of life.
Wednesday, July 27, 2011
This is Kate Quinn's debut novel. I really enjoyed it. I found the historical part very interesting, since this is really my first HF for this time period and only 2nd taking place in Rome. I love the way the book was from Thea's point of view, then Lepdia and just narration, it all flowed together very nicely.
I thought the characters very well developed, with Vix being my favorite (he reminded me of my son). I am so looking forward to Daughter of Rome and have already preordered the 3rd book.
Wednesday, July 13, 2011
I have been wanting to read this book ever since it was released. The hard part of starting A Discovery of Witches was not to get my expectations too high (sometimes high expectations aren't always a good idea). I thought it started a little slow, but it didn't take long for it to grab me and I was done in about 5 days.
How to say more without spoiling anything? I will try. I felt in some ways it is an adult version of Twilight (though 1000% times better writing and storyline - not a big Twilight fan here). There is the history that I love (hard to pinpoint a time period, that would be impossible - Matthew is really old). Romance - but not done in a mushy, overly cutie kinda way. Adventure and suspense throughout the book.
My only negative comment is that they is no release date for the sequel (yes there is a sequel)
Friday, June 17, 2011
Being recently widowed and newly arrived in Dublin with her little boy, the project gives Aoife a much-needed outlet in this new place and an escape from the turmoil in her head. What she does not realise is that in their various ways the other four � Uri, Emily, Seth and Mrs P � have also been burned by life and are just as in need of the garden's healing powers.
As their relationships develop in surprising, challenging and life-altering ways their extraordinary stories show Aoife the amazing resilience of the human spirit. But that doesn't make it any easier for her when she has to answer the hardest question of all: can she trust herself to love again?
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. The characters were well developed and I got to know them so well. The ending was kinda predictable, but the mystery of each of their pasts was revealed nicely. I was hoping that there would be a sequel because I just wanted to keep on reading.
Friday, May 27, 2011
"Wild nights are my glory," the unearthly stranger told them. "I just got caught in a downdraft and blown off course. Let me sit down for a moment, and then I'll be on my way. Speaking of ways, by the way, there is such a thing as a tesseract."
A tesseract (in case the reader doesn't know) is a wrinkle in time. To tell more would rob the reader of the enjoyment of Miss L'Engle's unusual book. A Wrinkle in Time, winner of the Newbery Medal in 1963, is the story of the adventures in space and time of Meg, Charles Wallace, and Calvin O'Keefe (athlete, student, and one of the most popular boys in high school). They are in search of Meg's father, a scientist who disappeared while engaged in secret work for the government on the tesseract problem.
Continuing my quest to read Newbery Award winners I read this 1963 Winner. It was a quick easy read, mostly because I wanted to see if Meg and Charles would find their father, did they? You will have to read for yourself.
Though science fiction is not my thing (I think I have mentioned that before), I did enjoy this one, it had just the right amount of science fiction. I loved the characters and each one so different, Meg is the protagonist, but I gotta say I loved her little brother Charles Wallace, he was just a little quirky (reminded me of one of my kids). Even Mrs. Whatsit, Mrs. Who and Mrs. Which added so much to the story. There was also a mother and twin siblings left a home, but hopefully we will see more them in the 3 sequels that are out.
This book added to Where Are You Reading?
Wednesday, May 25, 2011
This is a stand alone DiscWorld book, though the first of 3 books in series. I have wanted to read this ever since reading Amazing Maurice and His Educated Rodents (which I have read 3 times, so I must love it).
Did I love Tiffany as much as Maurice? No I didn't, but that is not to say I didn't enjoy this book. I could see myself rereading it. I think with Prachett rereading is necessary because there are is always so many quirky one liners that you missed the first time.
What I loved about this book was Tiffany's drive, she knew what she wanted and by golly nothing was getting in her way. Not Miss Tick (her loans Tiffany her talking frog), Rob Anybody and I smiled everytime 'Slightly Bigger Than Wee Jock But Not So Big as Middle-Sized Jock Jock' had something to say.
Looking forward to A Hat Full of Sky and see what happens next.
This book NOT added to Where Are You Read? (because really I don't where Discworld is)
Monday, May 23, 2011
I would never have picked this book up if it wasn't for a Challenge that I am involved with on Goodreads. I had to find a book on or about Mexico in honor of Cinco de Mayo. Originally I was going to read The Conquest of New Spain by Bernal Diaz, but I wasn't in the mood for it.
I had a wander at one of my favorite book stores, The Book Depot, it is a huge store and not the kind of place you can run in real fast, grab a book and leave. So wandering the Young Adult section I found this book.
Picked it up Wed, Friday morning I started and finished on Saturday morning. I just couldn't put it down, it grabbed me right away. Sonja's character was well developed. I felt alot of empathy for her and was rooting for her the entire book. I wanted to give the mother a good shaking and the brothers something else. And of course I wondered about papa, but he did show up (sorry no spoilers here). I loved the ending, thought it was great. On the negative side I think that I would have like to see Sonja stand up for herself, though maybe in that culture it would be a difficult thing to do, I don't know.
One thing I would really like to read is a sequel now.
This book added to Where Are You Reading?
Friday, May 20, 2011
I have had this book on my shelf for a couple of years, it sounded great and the cover looked all mysterious. This is apparently the first in a series, will I continue? I have my doubts.
To put it mildly, I found this book boring, it was slow moving, there was too much stuff that did not pertain to the story. There were poems there, it almost seemed like a filler. The story itself was interesting and I would really have liked to see it developed more.
This book added to Where Are You Read?
Wednesday, May 18, 2011
The Grace in Africa series is a sweeping three-part historical saga of slavery and freedom that takes the reader from an island off the west coast of Africa to Southern plantations and finally on to Canada. All her life, Grace Winslow, the daughter of a mixed marriage between an English sea captain and an African princess, has been sheltered from the truth about the family business--the capture and trade of slaves.
Set in 1787 in West Africa, The Call of Zulina opens as the scorching harmattan winds blow. Desperate to avoid marriage to an odious suitor, Grace escapes the family compound only to be caught up in a slave revolt at the fortress of Zulina. Soon, she begins to grasp the brutality and ferocity of the family business. Held for ransom, viciously maimed by a runaway slave, and threatened with death, Grace is finally jerked into reality and comes to sympathize with the plight of the captives. She admires their strength and courage and is genuinely moved by the African Cabeto’s passion, determination, and willingness to sacrifice anything, including his own life, for his people’s freedom.
This was a freebie from Amazon, I would never have read or discovered this author if I had to pay for it. I am glad to read it.
Previously I have read about John Newton and his slave trading along with his conversion. This book took on the other side, from those captured and readied for a voyage to American. It was tagged as Christian Fiction, however I did not find it preachy. It was an emotional read that showed how real the slave trade was and I can't help but feel for these people. To have men grab people off the street and take them away, never to be heard from again. So sad.
Looking forward to reading the next book.
This book added to Where Are You Read?
Monday, May 16, 2011
I have read other books about Katherine Howard, this is the first from her point of view. Just as her cousin, Anne Boleyn, was a pawn for the Howards so was it for Katherine. I really enjoyed this book, it showed a side of Katherine that I have never seen before. An immature 15 year old girl, suddenly catching the eye of King Henry and becomes his 5th wife. Forced to forget her previous 15 years and become 'the rose without a thorn'.
An emotional book that showed the confused and emotional side of Katherine that was a refreshing change.
I recommend this book.
Added to Where Are You Reading
Saturday, May 14, 2011
This was an audio book and I thoroughly enjoyed listening to it. The author did the reading and I felt her voice lent well to the story, bringing it to life.
This is my first book by Geraldine Brooks and will not be my last. I felt the emotion of Anna with all she endured during that year of the Plague. I could very easily picture the village in my mind along with the characters and the despair that they felt.
There was one scene towards the end of the book that I felt wasn't necessary and seemed out of the place. A lot of reviews criticized the ending, but I didn't mind it.
The book added to Where Are You Reading
Wednesday, April 27, 2011
Moments before Earth is destroyed, Ford Prefect, an alien who's been incognito for 15 years while researching a newer edition of THE HITCHHIKER'S GUIDE TO THE GALAXY, rescues his friend, Arthur Dent. The two stow away on a passing spaceship, and their adventures begin. Ford and Arthur encounter ex-hippie Galaxy President Zaphod Beeblebrox; Marvin, the morose robot; and a slew of otherworldly weirdos populating Douglas Adams's cult classic. Stephen Fry's performance is priceless as the interstellar travelers tumble from one near disaster to another. His voice shifts are inspired bits, half schtick, half nonsense. Without editorial comment, Fry injects just the right touches of irony into Adams's cheeky, always hilarious social satire.
Never really had any desire to read this book, the title is too long and really it sounded too science fiction to me. I am in a book challenge and had to read a book that someone gave me. For me to receive a gift of a book is a rare thing (not sure why). I sat and searched my many shelves of books, finally grabbed my Kindle and started pressing buttons and finally came across this one.
My son gave it to me so I read it. I didn't hate it, but also didn't love it. Reminded me of Terry Pratchett and his Discworld Series. I am glad that I read it, it made me smile (even laughed) in places, made me a little confused in a few places too.
Monday, April 25, 2011
Even though this book has been sitting on my shelf since its release I never got around to reading it. Last week while at the library I found the audio of it, so it came home with me. I so enjoyed listening to this book. It felt like Margaret Beaufort was sitting with me telling her story. The story was a good, though I did get tired of hearing Margaret's whinning, her 'woe is me' got to be a bit much.
All in all a good listen, and I am looking forward to next 2 in this series.
Tuesday, April 12, 2011
Sunday, April 10, 2011
Cold Sassy Tree is the undeniably entertaining and extraordinarily moving account of small-town Southern life in a bygone era. Brimming with characters who are wise and loony, unimpeachably pious and deliciously irreverent, Olive Ann Burns’s classic bestseller is a timeless, funny, and resplendent treasure.
The only reason I even read this book was because it was the April read for a book group that I joined. I would never have discovered this book on my own and for that I am grateful. I started out reading the book, then quickly discovered the audio. The audio itself started out very fast, like the reader had a certain time limit to finish, but gradually he slowed down. The other thing was that sentences repeated itself in the audio (very distracting).
The story itself, I loved. It was a story that flowed together nicely. Told from the point of very of 14 years old Will. It was an honest veiw of 1906 Georgia, rich in detail of what life was like back then. The beliefs, the lifestyle, the do and don'ts, so different from today.
If there is anything negative I can find is that it ended too soon, I would have loved to hear more. I understand that there is a small sequel, however the author passed before she could finish it.
Wednesday, April 6, 2011
Have you ever heard about a new book that is about to be released, seen the cover, read what the book is about and knew instantly that you had to have it and that it would turn into a favorite? That is how I felt when I first heard about Juliet. It had the historical aspect that I love, the mystery, the suspense and adventure. Then add to that some romance (which has to be done the right way, otherwise it is too mushy) and you have Juliet. I just loved this book and can honestly say that I will even reread it. The story line was great, weaving back and forth from present day to 1340, the story flowed nice and smoothly, even with all the twists and turns (that I didn't even see coming).
I highly recommend this book and have added Anne Fortier to my favorite author list.
This book has been added to Where Are You Reading?