Friday, January 27, 2012

The Memoirs of Cleopatra by Margaret George

Bestselling novelist Margaret George brings to life the glittering kingdom of Cleopatra, Queen of the Nile, in this luch, sweeping, and richly detailed saga. Told in Cleopatra's own voice, this is a mesmerizing tale of ambition, passion, and betrayl, which begins when the twenty-year-old queen seeks out the most powerful man in the world, Julius Caesar, and does not end until, having survived the assassination of Caesar and the defeat of the second man she loves, Marc Antony, she plots her own death rather than be paraded in triumph through the streets of Rome.

Most of all, in its richness and authenticity, it is an irresistible story that reveals why Margaret George's work has been widely acclaimed as "the best kind of historical novel, one the reader can't wait to get lost in." (San Francisco Chronicle).

Paperback957 pages
Published May 15th 1998 by St. Martin's Griffin (first published April 15th 1997)
Audio Book - 49 hours, 55 minutes

Whew I finally finished this book, what a ride it was, almost 50 hours long.  This book has traveled
with me to Rome and even Egypt and back to Canada again.  I sat and crocheted an afghan, did housework
and had many a walks with my new puppy.  I was sad to see it end.  Donada Peters did a wonderful job of
reading this book,  from the POV of Cleopatra.  

This book started when Cleopatra was a child, it highlited the family history of the Ptolemy's. 
There was romance (of course with Julius Ceasar and Marc Anthony), battles, adventures and just a 
really good story.  By the end of the book I really felt like I knew Cleopatra, the author had such a way of writing 
that I felt like it was actually Cleopatra writing this herself, quite memorizing actually.

There were so many quotes in this book that spoke to me and I just have a share some.

“I loved him so, even his past was precious to me. I found myself kissing each mark, thinking, I would have had it never happen, I would wish it away, taking him further and further back to a time when he had known no disappointments, no battles, no wounds, as I erased each one. To make him again like Caesarion. Yet if we take the past away from those we love - even to protect them - do we not steal their very selves?” 

“Oh, he was just angry, we tell ourselves when someone blurts out something he later apologizes for. But a word, once spoken, lingers forever; to keep peace we pretend to forget, but we never do. Strange that a spoken word can have such lasting power when words carved on stone monuments vanish in spite of all our efforts to preserve them. What we would lose persists, lodged in our minds, and what we would keep is lost to water, moths, moss.” 

“But marrying within one's own family can get monotonous. One has heard all the same family stories, knows all the jokes and all the same recipes. No novelty.

“Things do not happen, we must make them happen” 

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

The Ice Cream Girls by Dorothy Koomson

As teenagers Poppy Carlisle and Serena Gorringe were the only witnesses to a tragic event. Amid heated public debate, the two seemingly glamorous teens were dubbed ‘The Ice Cream Girls’ by the press and were dealt with by the courts. 

Years later, having led very different lives, Poppy is keen to set the record straight about what really happened, while married mother-of-two Serena wants no one in her present to find out about her past. But some secrets will not stay buried – and if theirs is revealed, everything will become a living hell all over again...

Paperback468 pages
Published July 22nd 2010 by Sphere (first published February 18th 2010)

After hearing good reviews about this book I purchased it without looking at the cover, at least I am pretty sure because I don't think I would have bought it with that cover.  To me it just looked a little too chick lit and I don't read a lot of chick lit. Which it is not, at least by my definition of chick lit.

I recently joined a group on Goodreads called TBR - to be read.  The idea of the group is that once a month you are paired with another member.  You go through her list of TBR books, compare it to yours, pick a book that you have read (and given a 3 star or more rating to) and that person then has the next month to read that book.

This was my January book and I needed the push to read this one.   I have to say this book had me after a couple chapters.  Each chapter was from the POV of either Serena or Poppy.  Each chapter ended with me wanting to read 'just one another chapter'.  I didn't always feel the emotion that should have been there, but the story was good and I enjoyed it.  More could be said but no  spoilers here.  The ended was something I expected, but also didn't.   I have thought about this book a week later and thinking how each girl was in their own prison since even before that day in 1988.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

2nd Annual Dreaming of Books Giveaway Hop

Welcome to the 2nd Annual Dreaming of Books Giveaway Hop

This hop runs from January 13th to 18th

Recently I discovered a new author, Elizabeth Peters.   The first book in her Eygptian Series is called Crocodile on the Sandbank.  I loved her witty personality, the humor that laced through this book always brought a smile to my face if not a downright chuckle. Yes parts of the story were predictable, but it was still a fun read.  I have already read the first couple of pages from the next in the series and I had a hard time stopping (and laughing).

Amelia Peabody, that indomitable product of the Victorian age, embarks on her debut Egyptian adventure armed with unshakable self-confidence, a journal to record her thoughts, and, of course, a sturdy umbrella. On her way to Cairo, Amelia rescues young Evelyn Barton-Forbes, who has been abandoned by her scoundrel lover. Together the two women sail up the Nile to an archeological site run by the Emerson brothers -- the irascible but dashing Radcliffe and the amiable Walter. Soon their little party is increased by one -- one mummy, that is, and a singularly lively example of the species. Strange visitations, suspicious accidents, and a botched kidnapping convince Amelia that there is a plot afoot to harm Evelyn. Now Amelia finds herself up against an unknown enemy -- and perilous forces that threaten to make her first Egyptian trip also her last...

If you would like to win this book I will make it very simple for you.  Just leave me a comment and tell me about a new favorite author of yours.   How easy is that!  If you've got this book already, I will send another in the series or just let you decide and will purchase something of similar value (up to $10).

Be sure to click on the Giveaway Icon for a complete list of all those taking part in this Hop.

The winner will have this book shipped from The Book Depository.  Winner will received an email from me on January 19th.  Good luck :)

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

The Future of Us by Jay Asher and Carolyn Mackler

It's 1996, and Josh and Emma have been neighbors their whole lives. They've been best friends almost as long - at least, up until last November, when Josh did something that changed everything. Things have been weird between them ever since, but when Josh's family gets a free AOL CD in the mail,his mom makes him bring it over so that Emma can install it on her new computer. When they sign on, they're automatically logged onto their Facebook pages. But Facebook hasn't been invented yet. And they're looking at themselves fifteen years in the future. 
By refreshing their pages, they learn that making different decisions now will affect the outcome of their lives later. And as they grapple with the ups and downs of what their futures hold, they're forced to confront what they're doing right - and wrong - in the present.

Jay Asher wrote 13 Reasons Why, which I LOVED, read it in a day.  Having read some reviews for this book I had mixed feelings going into it.  It was a spur of the moment purchase (and my last for 2011).  Reading the backcover I thought what an original story line, imagine being able to peek at Facebook 15 years in the future, what fun that could be, though I suppose it could be depressing too.

It didn't take long to read, I kept wanted to read just to see what was going to happen.   The book is divided into chapters from the POV of either Emma or Josh which made it quite interesting.  Parts of the story were predictable (why Emma and Josh had a falling out),  parts of it were thought provoking , how the simplest act or thought ripples through time and changes the future.

A very interesting read, I would give it 4 stars and will once I figure out how to add the star ratings to this blog.