Tuesday, October 21, 2008

The Tsarina's Daughter

I finally finished this book! Jeesh took me over two weeks and it should have only taken a couple days. This is the story of Tsar Nicholas daughter Tatiana. Instead of Anastasia being the one who escaped this time it is Tatiana. I enjoyed the book alot as I don't know much about the revolution of Russia other than the story of the killing of this family. Tatiana tells the story of her growing up and the fragility of both her mother's mental health and her brother's illness with hemophilia and how supposedly Rasputin helped to keep him alive. It was a very good read and a different take on what might have happened during this time in history.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

This is the 6th in the Abby Cooper series by Victoria Laurie. I really enjoyed this book and when I come back in my next life I want to be Abby Cooper. How cool would it be to have psychic abilities!! When Abby's boyfriend's cousin is kidnapped and they take off to Las Vegas to try and find him. After Dutch disappears Abby calls in her sister and girlfriend to come to Vegas and the search is on. A great cozy from the first page to the last. Highly recommend the whole Abby Cooper series.

Cold Rock River

I read RoseFlower Creek awhile ago and fell in love with J.L. Miles. I couldn't wait to get my hands on Cold Rock River and it was even better.
It takes place in rural Georgia in 1963. A pregnant 17 yr old Adie Jenkins discovers the diary of 17 yr old Tempe Jordan, a slave girl, begun as the civil war was winding down. Adie is haunted by the death of her younger sister, Annie and Tempe is grief stricken over the selling of her 3 young children by sired by her master. Adie and Tempe's stories are both of family, race, love, loss and longing. You become so involved in both stories it is hard to put the book down. With many twists and turns it all comes to a very surprising ending. I really enjoyed this book and look forward to my next read by this author. I highly recommend Cold Rock River and Roseflower Creek.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

The Heretic Queen

I fell in love with Michelle Moran when I read her first book Nefertiti. Now with The Heretic Queen I love her even more.
The Heretic Queen is the story of Nefertari, niece of the heretic queen Nefertiti. Nefertari comes to the court of Pharoah Seti I after her family is killed. She becomes great friends with Ramesses I. When he becomes co- monarch and marries Iset, Nefertari realizes she loves Ramesses and wants to marry him too. Once they marry Nefertari is afraid that the Egyptian people will never accept a heretic descendant as their ruler. This is a love story full of romance, deceit, intrigue and suspense. Nefertari's and Ramesses love for each other is a true tale and Ms Moran brings it to life in her story. I only wish the book would have gone on for another 300 pages.
I can't wait for her next novel to become available and I highly recommend The Heretic Queen to any and all historical fiction fans.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

The Heretic's Daughter by Kathleen Kent is about a 10 yr old girl Sarah, growing up on a farm with her 3 brothers, younger sister Hannah and her parents Thomas and Martha. Like many mother and daughter relationships, Sarah and her mothers is fraught with tension and hostility. Sarah yearns for a more loving mother and when her brother is stricken with small pox Sarah and her sister are smuggled to her Aunt's house where she finds the love and attention she craves from her relatives. Soon however her father comes to take her back home and things go from bad to worse. People turn against their neighbors and accusations run rampant. Her mother is accused of being a witch and taken away. Soon Sarah and her brothers join her mother in jail awaiting their fate. Ms. Kent writes a compelling story of the atrocities that people went thru during this time in out history. Highly recommend The Heretic's Daugher.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

I am a big fan of historical fiction and Ms. Gregory. This book tells the story of Mary, Queen of Scots and the time she spent "imprisoned" as the guest of George Talbot, Earl of Shrewsbury and his wife, Bess of Hardwick. The good part of the book was that I know little about Mary Queen of Scots and need to get to reading the book I have on her by Margaret George. She is an intriguing woman and I would like to know more about her. The bad thing about this book is that very little ever happens. There is little dialogue. It is told in different chapters from each of the above characters view points. Other than George falling in love with Mary little happens. She is moved around from place to place constantly being told she will be freed and that she will never be freed. Bess I think was a woman before her time. She ran the households and managed all the lands and knew to the penny how much money she and George made and how much money it cost to keep an imprisoned Queen happy. I really wish I would have liked the book more but it was just lacking. For true historical fans only.

I started this yesterday afternoon and finished it last night One good thing about Patterson's books are they are very fast reads and I think they were written in much the same way . He and Howard sit down one afternoon and write a story. A very short story. They are almost implausible in their thinking. The sailboat in this book takes off from New Port Rhode Island and in practically no time at all they are in the Bahama's! It is all pretty much far fetched and is hardly worth the $27.99 asking price for hard back book. It would be good in paperback at $4.99 for a quick beach read or a 4-6 hour airplane ride. I wish Mr. Patterson would just take sometime and write a real book again. He must have more than enough money now and why he keeps putting out this drivel is beyond me. Read if you are a fan but only from the library or a used paperback.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

The Gargoyle by Andrew Davidson

I just finished this last night and still can't stop thinking about the book. It's about a nameless porn star who is severely burned in a car accident. While recovering he meets Marianne who is a sculptor and suffers from some mental problems. Marianne states that they were lovers in medieval Germany and starts telling him of their love story and several others that take place in Japan, Iceland, Italy and England. Very strange love stories which I found very intriguing and disturbing. Once Marianne discovers from god that she has 27 sculptures left to complete and then she will die the story just seemed to turn for me. I still read on but something about the story changed. Would I recommend The Gargoyle? Hmm I am not sure. I found it an intriguing read but.. It's very different but, I do look forward to see if the author writes another.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

I received this ARC from Harper Collins First Look. It is the story of french painter Berthe Morisot who is devoted to her life as a painter until she meets Edouard Manet. He asks to paint Berthe and she falls in love with him. Society and her mother want Berthe to settle down and marry but Berthe must follow her own heart. Manet must have been quite the lady's man as this is the second book I have read about him and a paramour. Berthe must decided how much she is willing to give of herself to Manet. A good quick historical read.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

The Quality of Life Report

I have over 500 books at home to read and had just gotten about 6 from B&T that I want to read and what do I do but, see this on PBS and it has a huge waiting list so I go and order it from inter library loan. I thought it was a true story and had to read about 1/3 of it before I figured out it was fiction... call me slow. I enjoyed most of the book. It takes place in South Dakota which would take alot for a person to move to the middle of nowhere midwest. Lucinda was a hoot until she got a steady boyfriend and then I think she kind of lost herself adn I know this can happen but I kind of lost the thrill of the story. I am glad in the end that she came to her senses and stayed and hopefully life got much better for her after that.

Monday, September 8, 2008

The GuernseyLiterary and Potato Peel Pie Society

How can I ever say the many ways that I just loved this book!! It was just an awesome read from page one to page 274 and I so wish it would have gone on at least another 274 pages. The writing was wonderful, the story grabbed you from page one and I wish Juliet Ashton was a dear friend of mine. So many wonderful words about reading and book stores. I marked my copy up terribly but this is one that I do plan to keep on my shelf and give to everyone I know to read. One of my favorite passages "That's what I love about reading: one tiny thing will interest you in a book, and that tiny thing will lead you into another book, and another bit there will lead you onto a third book. It's geometrically progressive-- all with no end in sight, and for no other reason than sheer enjoyment." This is exactly why I read. One book leads to another and another and I relish the sheer enjoyment I get from reading everyday. The book tells the story of Guernsey, the British Island that was occupied by the Nazis during WWII. How this small island was effected by the war and the occupation and how some survived just by picking up a book and reading. A wonderful story that I just can't recommend highly enough.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

I got an ARC of this book from Library Thing. I am a big historical fiction fan and was thrilled to recieve this one. I really enjoyed the story line about how make up was used during Queen Elizabeth I reign. This makeup contained lead and then they used rouge made up of mercury sulphide to hide smallpox scars and the advance of age. I found it intriguing that woman would go to such extremes and the way the body was ravaged by the use of this makeup. The story is about a young woman who is married to an earl who has only one favor to ask of his wife. That is to help him win favor with the Queen. Marget's introduction to the court is disastorous and she trys to do everything to gain her husband's love and the Queen's favor. I liked the book. Just didn't love it. I found it hard to care for Marget or her husband. Need to read more about Queen Elizabeth I to see if she was really as judgemental about beauty as this book makes her out to be. I like the way Ms Mitchell wrote the book. It was very easy to read with much dialogue but just never seemed to totally grab me. For true historical fiction fans only.

I read this book in one day and wish I had it to read all over again. This is the story of a hospital ship in WWII that is torpedoed and sunk by the Japanese. Nine survivors make it to a deserted island in the south pacific and this is the story of how they overcome the odds and adversities of trying to stay alive with a traitor amongst them, till help arrives and before the Japanese come to take over the island. A truly wonderful and engrossing read from Mr. Shors and I can't wait for his next book. I also highly recommend his first novel Beneath A Marble Sky. Another excellent read.

Monday, August 18, 2008

The Mercedes Coffin

Lt Peter Decker is asked to solve a 15 yr old murder cold case after another body is found murdered much like the first. A student of the first body has now made big bucks and will give the police department a seven figure charitable donation to open and solve the first murder. Decker forms a task force to solve both murders and the race is on. The only thing I missed in this book is more of the family. Rina played hardly no part at all but it was nice to see that Decker's daughter's have grown up and can now help their father in his endeavor to bring a murderor to justice. The book keeps you guessing and all in all a good mystery read.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Things I Want My Daughters to Know

This book opens with a letter from Barbara Forbes telling her family what kind of funeral she wants. She has left behind a second husband and four daughters. She has also left each of them a letter of their own and the book is told from varying daughter's perspectives and how different each of their relationships with their mothers was. It was an enjoyable read. Having lost my own mother I could relate to how all the daughters felt once Barbara was gone and trying to overcome the feeling of loss. It was nice that everyone in the book had a happy ending for once.

I Still Have It

This was a nice short weekend read. I have always like Ms Rudner's sense of humor and she still has it. I had a very hard time accepting 50 and it was nice to read some humor about women and ageing. I enjoyed reading about her father and her dog Bonkers. The best line of the book to me was "I love being married. It's so great to find that one special person you want to annoy for the rest of your life." For a quick, short, amusing read this one fits the bill perfectly

I have had this on my shelf at home what seems like forever. I had heard such great things about it I wanted to save it for a reading slump. I have had such a hard time lately finding something to just take me away.. Sad to say Birdsong just didn't do it for me. A young english man falls in love with the wife of a man he has come to learn the textile business from. The book takes place from 1910 to 1918. Much of it is from the battlefields of World War I. I just never felt any feelings for either Stephen or Isabelle who leaves her husband and goes off with Stephen. Mr Faulks does a wonderful job describing the horrors of war but, I just never really grew to care about any of the characters and the book just felt a little disjointed to me. Only an average read...

Monday, August 4, 2008

Damage Control

I started the latest installment in the Joanna Brady series early sunday morning and by early sunday evening I was nearing the end. Damage Control starts out with a bang and doesn't let up till the very last page. Joanna is busy with her new baby, husband, daughter Jenny and several murders and or suicides to keep her busy. Everything is not as simple as it seems and only seems to go from bad to worse but once again Joanna is able to solve the crimes and take control of her own personal life and others to make the book complete. A great summer read.

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Stand the Storm

Stand the Storm is the latest book by Breena Clarke. It is an historical fiction book about Sewing Annie and her son Gabriel. Born as slaves to Jonathan Ridley they both are able to live and work in Georgetown prior to the civil war. They even manage to buy their freedom but, at what a price? Slavery was a mark upon a persons soul that could never be erased. Annie and her son try hard to make new lives for themselves and over come the painful legacy of slavery. There are many memorable secondary characters in Stand the Storm. Some black and some white who help to make this story what it is. A truly engrossing read about the power of talent and the desire to change history.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Don't Make Me Choose Between You and My Shoes

The title of this book caught my eye and I couldn't pass up reading it. It's a cute cozy about 2 beauty shop/private eye partners that are invited to the National Association of Private Investigators in New York City. An all expenses paid trip in the Big Apple! What more could two women from Salt Lick, Texas ask for. In New York they meet up with Celina, a small town librarian also from Texas who has been robbed and Cher, a working girl with a heart of gold. Debbie Sue and Edwina take them both under their wing and before you know it they are involved in a murder investigation that just could end up with both of their demises. It was cute, funny and a little out there , but all in all a good summer read.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Mistress of the Sun

I was a big fan of Ms Gulland's Josephine B. trilogy and looked forward to reading her latest Mistress of the Sun. This book is the story of Louise de la Valliere mistress to Louis XIV, France's Sun King. Louise loses her father at a young age and spends her childhood in a convent run by her aunt. When her mother remarries Louise secures a position at court and meets up with Louis where he soon wins her heart. I really enjoyed this tale of Louise and the french history it entailed. With a little mystery and intrigue to keep one guessing this was a very good read.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Time is A River

I have always enjoyed Mary Alice Monroe's books and was so happy to get her latest Time is A River. Mia Landan is a breast cancer survivor. She decides to take up fly fishing and after returning home from her first fly fishing retreat finds her husband in bed with another woman. Mia runs back to her teacher Belle who offers her the use of her family cabin in the mountains of Ashville North Carolina for the summer. The cabin belonged to Belle's grandmother Kate who Belle never knew and was the subject of a scandal while she lived in the cabin. Mia finds Kate's journals and starts to unravel the mystery of Kate who was a legendary fly fisher and how she came about being accused of murdering her lover. I liked the setting of the book. Who wouldn't want to stay in a cabin in the mountains of North Carolina right next to a river. Mia finds herself and also helps Belle to find out who she is and the grandmother she never knew.
I have enjoyed Ms Monroe's previous books a little more. Swimming Lessons, The Beach House and Sweet Grass but, think that may be because they take place on the coast. All in all Time Is A River was a good read.

This is the story of three generations of the Paint Family as they struggle to make a life on the western plains. Enroute from Mississippis to the Dakota Territory at the height of the Civil War Ebenezar Paint meets twice widowed Cora and marries her. They have twin sons Eli and Ezra. By 15 the boys are orphans and the story tells how they struggle to make a part of the wild west their own. The story has an unforgettable cast of characters who do there best to make it in an ever changing frontier. Letters and diaries from the authors own family form a basis for the story and I really enjoyed the book. It was an especially easy read for me as the author did not over do it in my opinion with frivilous wording. The story just seemed to flow and I highly recommend it for any historical fiction fans.


I have been so bad about this blog and really want to try and get back into writing short reviews of what I am reading. I love reading other people's blogs and see no reason why I can't give it another go and see if I do better at it this time....