Monthly Archives: August 2012

Attention Historical Fiction Lovers: Today’s Kindle Deal 8/30/12 – The Soldier’s Wife

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If you love historical fiction you may want to pick up today’s Kindle Deal of the Day, The Soldier’s Wife by Margaret Leroy.

Set in Guernsey, this one’s sure to appeal to those who liked The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society.

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Blog Watch: Love the Liberry

 

 

If you’re looking for a blog to read that’s a little different from the norm, give Love the Liberry a try.
They boast short posts with a great sense of humor and highlight the weird side of those who love books.

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Book Review: Lucky Man by Michael J. Fox

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In Lucky Man, Michael J. Fox gives us a glimpse of his life before and after the diagnosis of Parkinson’s that would forever change his life and give voice to others who have the debilitating disease.

I count myself as one of those who had “grown up” with Michael J. Fox. Lovable, real and down to earth, he’s one of my favorite actors from my childhood. He’s withstood time, forever young, and as popular with my own kids now as he was with my generation then.

Throughout the book, he allows an intimate look at his childhood, his start in show business, his reaction to celebrity and all it brings with it, good and bad, and his battle with Parkinson’s. And the best part, through it all he’s humble and real and grateful.

A true role model for a life well lived, this memoir will make you feel lucky for having the chance to read it! I look forward to watching his new show which will be coming to NBC.

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Book Review: Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers by Mary Roach

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Thought provoking and interestingly morbid, Stiff will have you contemplating the destiny of your own body after life.

I’m a huge fan of shows such as CSI and Fringe where you get to cross that line (just a little) between healthy curiosity and morbid fascination when it comes to death, how the body responds and what happens during the after.

Stiff takes a look at at what happens to us after death occurs. It was amazing to me how many different ways our bodies can help others after they are no longer good to us. From organ donation to scientific research to compost, Roach approaches this morbid subject with humor and backs up her work with extensive research. She gives us insider information and a behind the scenes look at how our organs are harvested, how bodies are prepared for burial, embalming and cremation, and what options we may have as a stiff in the future.

An excellent and informative book!

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Book Review: One Ghost Per Serving by Nina Post

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This book was a break from the norm for me. I usually don’t read supernatural genre with the exception of a few adult and YA titles. The ones I do read tend toward vampire and witch rather than ghosts.

This book was like a Goosebumps for grownups. Quirky characters and odd spirits abound in this simple to read story. The author infused a light humor and I really liked how the author referred to mminor character’s by nicknames based on looks. We totally do this at my house!

From Goodreads:
Eric Snackerge has had a rough time lately. After being possessed by a mischievous spirit, he lost his scholarship and got blamed for a scandal that left him blacklisted from the legal profession. Now he’s working two minimum wage jobs and is desperate to show his wife and daughter that he can put his life back together — before his best-friend-turned-enemy swoops in and steals his family away.

When Eric learns about an unusual contest, he realizes that winning the grand prize will help him make his daughter’s dreams come true. But he’ll have to overcome his own self-doubt — not to mention the seemingly impossible odds — in order to achieve that goal.

However, this isn’t your run-of-the-mill sweepstakes. Everyone who eats the product develops an insatiable craving for more. Plus, the people behind the contest are dispatching everything from spy cameras to attack helicopters to make sure that Eric doesn’t get any further.

As Eric soon learns, the contest was only the first phase of a much larger plan. If the villains are successful, they will spread a dangerous supernatural pathogen throughout the food supply. But with distribution of the tainted products already underway, does Eric have what it takes to stop their plan and protect his family from being the next victims?

Simple, light and unconventional, this is a nice read if your looking for something slightly outside the box.

This book was provided for review by Netgalley.

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Book Review: Queen of Swords by Sara Donati

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An epic tale, the Queen of Swords is an adventure worth taking.

From Goodreads:
It is the late summer of 1814, and Hannah Bonner and her half brother Luke have spent more than a year searching the islands of the Caribbean for Luke’s wife and the man who abducted her. But Jennet’s rescue, so long in coming, is not the resolution they’d hoped for. In the spring she had given birth to Luke’s son, and in the summer Jennet had found herself compelled to surrender the infant to a stranger in the hope of keeping him safe.

To claim the child, Hannah, Luke, and Jennet must journey first to Pensacola. There they learn a great deal about the family that has the baby. The Poiterins are a very rich, very powerful Creole family, totally without scruple. The matriarch of the family has left Pensacola for New Orleans and taken the child she now claims as her great-grandson with her.

New Orleans is a city on the brink of war, a city where prejudice thrives and where Hannah, half Mohawk, must tread softly. Careful plans are made as the Bonners set out to find and reclaim young Nathaniel Bonner. Plans that go terribly awry, isolating them from each other in a dangerous city at the worst of times.

Sure that all is lost, and sick unto death, Hannah finds herself in the care of a family and a friend from her past, Dr. Paul de Guise Savard dit Saint-d’Uzet. It is Dr. Savard and his wife who save Hannah’s life, but Dr. Savard’s half brother who offers her real hope. Jean-Benoit Savard, the great-grandson of French settlers, slaves, and Choctaw and Seminole Indians, is the one man who knows the city well enough to engineer the miracle that will reunite the Bonners and send them home to Lake in the Clouds. With Ben Savard’s guidance, allies are drawn from every segment of New Orleans’s population and from Andrew Jackson’s army, now pouring into the city in preparation for what will be the last major battle of the War of 1812.

This is the 5th book in Sara Donati’s Wilderness series. I had not previously read 1-4, happened across this book years ago and just now got around to reading it. I had no problem jumping right in. It was written so well that it read like a stand alone story. I enjoyed it so much that I’ll definitely be adding the rest of the series to my TBR list.

This book is a larger-than-life tale which primarily takes place in 1814 New Orleans. It’s filled with adventure and romance. There are some very strong women characters in this book who value independence and command respect. The author does a nice job with the character’s diversity.

The descriptions of scenery and interactions between converging races in New Orleans at that time, give the story an authentic feel.

If you want a total immersion into a different time and place, this one will do the trick.

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Give Me a V Winner Announced

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A big thanksgiving to everyone who suggested “V” books to help me with my A-Z reading goal!

I chose Vampire Academy which was suggested by Brittany @ The Book Addict’s Guide.

Popular on Goodreads, this book has a good review track record and looks like a quick, fun paranormal read.

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For her effort, Brittany will enjoy lunch at Subway on me.


Book Review: Wilderness by Lance Weller

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One word…..AMAZING!

Historical fiction of historical proportions. I can’t even find words to describe just how good this book is.
From Goodreads:

Thirty years after the Civil War’s Battle of the Wilderness left him maimed, Abel Truman has found his way to the edge of the continent, the rugged, majestic coast of Washington State, where he lives alone in a driftwood shack with his beloved dog. Wilderness is the story of Abel, now an old and ailing man, and his heroic final journey over the snowbound Olympic Mountains. It’s a quest he has little hope of completing but still must undertake to settle matters of the heart that predate even the horrors of the war.As Abel makes his way into the foothills, the violence he endures at the hands of two thugs who are after his dog is crosscut with his memories of the horrors of the war, the friends he lost, and the savagery he took part in and witnessed. And yet, darkness is cut by light, especially in the people who have touched his life-from Jane Dao-Ming Poole, the daughter of murdered Chinese immigrants, to Hypatia, an escaped slave who nursed him back to life, and finally to the unbearable memory of the wife and child he lost as a young man. Haunted by tragedy, loss, and unspeakable brutality, Abel has somehow managed to hold on to his humanity, finding way stations of kindness along his tortured and ultimately redemptive path.In its contrasts of light and dark, wild and tame, brutal and tender, and its attempts to reconcile a horrific war with the great evil it ended, Wilderness tells not only the moving tale of an unforgettable character, but a story about who we are as human beings, a people, and a nation. Lance Weller’s immensely impressive debut immediately places him among our most talented writers.

Abel’s story is so completely engrossing from start to finish. It so well written, deeply affecting and emotional. Humility and humanity taught at the hand’s of war. The author takes the time to delve deeply into the heart this character. We get to know Able better than he knows himself. We get to see the good in himself that he can’t. We get to see what he has lost and what he has gained, the latter of which, cannot be measured in material but in character. His trusty sidekick, a dog he loves, is an integral part of Able’s story.

The conflicts and horrific trials of the Civil War are not for the faint of heart. We are given a clear picture as seen through a soldiers eyes. We are introduced to the worst in people and also the best.

It is at times suspenseful, at other heartbreaking. I spent the last 10% of this book literally in tears.

No matter what genre you love to read, you will love this book!

This book was provided for review by Netgalley.

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I did it! I Reached MyReading Goal!

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I did it! I reached this years reading goal of 75 books! The best part is I still have 4 1/2 months to read more great books! Last year I read 86. Hopefully, I’ll be able to surpass that this year. This blog has really kept me on task. It’s a lot of fun sharing my thoughts on what I’ve read. Thank you all for “listening”!


Book Review: The Book of Summers by Emylia Hall

 

 

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The memories contained in The Book of Summers will have you revisiting the past and reflecting on your own childhood summers.

The story is of Beth, an adult tossed back into the throes of her childhood by a package she receives containing a scrapbook of memories long gone but not forgotten. It’s a scrapbook of yearly pictures of summers spent in Hungary with her estranged mother, Marika. On her last holiday in Hungary, Beth discovers a secret that will change everything.

The story is told through Beth’s reminiscing as she flips through the scrapbook and places memories with each picture. Beautifully written, the author does a wonderful job transporting the reader back in time and creates a picturesque backdrop set in Hungary.

Because of her parents estrangement, Beth must constantly cross between two separate worlds, one in England created by her quiet, withdrawn father and the other in Hungary with her free-spirited mother.

The life-shattering secret was a surprise to me. I was so caught up in the summer memories that the jolt and impact of the terrible secret helped me to better feel what Beth was feeling.

This book is filled with happiness and sadness, regret and obligations, all at once painful but enlightening.

A lovely debut novel with heartfelt passages.

I won this book through a BookTrib weekly giveaway and would like to take the opportunity to thank them for this wonderful book.

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This book inspired me to go back through some old photos of my own past summers. I’ve posted one of them below. That’s me in the middle.

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