I so wanted to LOVE this book, but it fell flat for me. A few of the stories were really great, but overall I was underwhelmed. I'm definitely glad II so wanted to LOVE this book, but it fell flat for me. A few of the stories were really great, but overall I was underwhelmed. I'm definitely glad I checked this one out from the library instead of buying it....more
Twenties Girl is just the kind of book that I love to be able to recommend! I have not read Sophie Kinsella's wildly popular Shopaholic series, but ifTwenties Girl is just the kind of book that I love to be able to recommend! I have not read Sophie Kinsella's wildly popular Shopaholic series, but if they are anything like Twenties Girl, I know I'll fall absolutely head-over-heels in love with them. The story is a fantastic blend of romance, cozy mystery, and chick-lit, and is 100% laugh out loud funny.
Twenties Girl is a fast and absorbing read. A delightful, pure comedy that will leave you wanting to read more from this imaginative author, it is a book that is both engaging and satisfying. The characters are well developed and believable and there are enough twists and turns in the story to keep the reader guessing.
If you are looking for a smart, light-hearted and fun read, look no further than Sophie Kinsella's Twenties Girl: a story so genuine and full of heart that you will want to read it cover to cover without stopping. ...more
I found Alice Borchardt's The Silver Wolf during a library search on NoveList - it was recommended to me based on other books I have read and enjoyed.I found Alice Borchardt's The Silver Wolf during a library search on NoveList - it was recommended to me based on other books I have read and enjoyed. I was expecting a light, paranormal romance type novel, easily read and enjoyed, and just as easily forgotten. What I got from reading The Silver Wolf however, was so much more...
Hidden within the pages of The Silver Wolf is an expertly crafted work of historical fiction. Borchardt has created a world of political intrigue and deadly suspense with a splash of the paranormal thrown in for color. The "woman-used-as-a-tool-to-make-men-more-powerful" motif, which is ever present in works of historical fiction, becomes painstakingly real for the reader as she makes her way through the novel. I had to catch my breath more than once as Regeane was moved around on the proverbial chess board of life, without free-will and choice.
The Silver Wolf is a beautifully descriptive piece of fiction with a fascinating story and captivating heroine at its heart. I had no idea when I picked it up that it would end up being one of the best books I've read this year. I read it almost straight through in two days time, and now I wish I has slowed myself down a bit. I will definitely be picking up other Alice Brochardt novels in the future. She certainly was as gifted a writer as her sister, Anne Rice. ...more
Before penning her bestselling novel Girl with a Pearl Earring, Tracy Chevalier wrote The Virgin Blue, the mesmerizing story of two women living in FrBefore penning her bestselling novel Girl with a Pearl Earring, Tracy Chevalier wrote The Virgin Blue, the mesmerizing story of two women living in France 400 years apart. Let me just say that I loved, loved, LOVED this novel! I couldn't bear to put it down and so I read it practically straight through in a matter of hours.
Chevalier's description of the people and towns of France both in present day and in the past are amazingly full of life and incredibly beautiful. It was impossible not to fall in love with France while reading The Virgin Blue. The author's love both for history and art is easy to see and infectious - I am eager to read her other novels as soon as I can get my hands on them.
The characters are well-written and and believable and the plot is quick-moving and engrossing. The Virgin Blue is possibly the best book that I've read this year. Don't let yourself be distracted by reviews that it is not as good as Girl with a Pearl Earring - The Virgin Blue is every bit as good as some of the best historical fiction out there....more
Into the Wilderness is the first installment in Rosanne Bittner's American West series. This first story begins in the midst of the French and IndianInto the Wilderness is the first installment in Rosanne Bittner's American West series. This first story begins in the midst of the French and Indian war, and features Noah Wilde, Long Hunter and spy, fighting along side the French and reporting back to the English. On his way back to Virginia to deliver news of a French victory and massacre, Noah comes upon Jessica Matthews in the forest as a group of Native Americans attack her. Noah and Jess save each other's lives and begin a difficult romance.
I enjoy historical fiction, but haven't read any historical romance in awhile. I picked this one up based on a description at NoveList, but ended up torn on my rating. The details of this bloody time in American history are well-researched and chilling. Bittner paints a fascinating scene of colonial life, with portrayals of Native Americans that are fully-formed and three dimensional - these are no mere cigar store Indians. The Native Americans in Bittner's novel are a proud, fierce and untamed people, with motives and loyalties that are as fundamental as those of the colonists.
Bittner also introduces the reader to many notable characters from American history, such as Virginia's Governor Dinwiddie, a young George Washington scouting for the British, and the Ottawa Chief Pontiac. Including these characters gives Into the Wilderness depth and showcases the deeds of these men, for good and sometimes evil.
The only real problem I had with Into the Wilderness was the romance. The main characters fell in love unbelievably quickly and with no real exposition, and the rest of their story was rushed. I also had some problems with the narration and dialog. For example, Jess says, "You're bad wounded mister." to Noah on page 28, then on page 77 she's say, "I know with all my being that he would be a loyal, caring, protective husband." when talking to her mother - only a couple of days have passed but Jess seems to have acquired better diction seemingly overnight. It's subtle, I know, but it bugged me.
Into the Wilderness is a good story overall and I'll probably pick up the other books in the series eventually, but I'm in no hurry. The historical aspects of the novel were first rate and interesting, I just wish the author had taken more time with her main characters to build a more realistic relationship. ...more
Cathy Day's The Circus in Winter is a collection of stories woven through the lives of people connected in some way with the Great Porter Circus. TheCathy Day's The Circus in Winter is a collection of stories woven through the lives of people connected in some way with the Great Porter Circus. The "feel" of the stories is almost historical/biographical, rather than what one normally considers fictional. The subjects of Day's stories are well-written and elicit from the reader a kind of depth of feeling not often found in short fiction.
An amazing piece of contemporary fiction, The Circus in Winter is undoubtedly a book worth reading and relishing. Cathy Day's style of writing is simple and without unneeded embellishments. I enjoyed each of her stories for what it was: a work when blended together with the others contained in the book, completes a beautifully moving portrait of the circus and small-town life. ...more
Ian C. Ellis' Book Finds: How to Find, Buy, and Sell Used and Rare Books is exactly as the title describes it - a well-researched guide to collectingIan C. Ellis' Book Finds: How to Find, Buy, and Sell Used and Rare Books is exactly as the title describes it - a well-researched guide to collecting books and the ways that you can make the hobby pay for itself. There are chapters on the history of book-making, the ways in which one can identify a first edition/first printing, how to find books to sell for credit on more "worthy" purchases for your collection, tips on where to begin/what to collect, and even a chapter on book restoration and repair.
I worked in a big-box, chain bookstore for almost six years, and yet before I read this book I could not have explained to you the significance of the number line on the copyright page. I found the entire book fascinating, from cover to cover. This is one of those library books that I wish I had actually purchased as a reference. The indices of the book alone would be worth the cover price - a listing of 1000+ collectible (and findable) books, a guide to identifying first editions from most major publishers (not always as easy as it may sound,) and a list of good reference sources for the collector.
Book Finds is really a book for the beginner/amateur book collector. Knowing what makes a book collectible is half the battle when you step into a used bookstore and Ian C. Ellis gives you the tools you need in a readable and interesting format. Although Ellis focuses his book on the collecting of modern/contemporary first editions, he does give some information on rare collecting as well, though possibly not enough if that is where your interests are. Overall, Book Finds is a wonderful read for anyone interested in beginning a collection or even just knowing more about books in general and what makes them special. ...more
I read Betsy Tobin's Bone House earlier this year and really didn't care for it. Luckily for me I decided to give her another chance - Ice Land was faI read Betsy Tobin's Bone House earlier this year and really didn't care for it. Luckily for me I decided to give her another chance - Ice Land was fantastic! Tobin's writing is clear with beautiful phrasing. The story alternates seamlessly between Freya (the Norse goddess of love,) and Fulla, a young woman struggling to find her place in a frightening and ever-changing world.
I loved the historical tidbits - especially the information about King Olaf of Norway - and the sprinkling of Norse mythology throughout was delicious! This is just the kind of book that makes me want to go back to the library and check out everything they have on the mythology and history of Iceland.
Ice Land is a superior piece of historical fiction, well-crafted and beautiful. There is something for everyone here: adventure, history, romance, mythology and ideology - all entwined in one novel. Definitely a winner!...more
Vanitha Sankaran's Watermark is a beautifully written piece of historical fiction that will completely immerse you in the story within the first few pVanitha Sankaran's Watermark is a beautifully written piece of historical fiction that will completely immerse you in the story within the first few pages. Auda is a unique and interesting character and it is impossible not to be immediately drawn into her life. Her struggles are the same struggles universal to women of the time period, but are amplified by her physical and educational differences. Auda and the other characters in Watermark are realistic and well-written, and come to vivid life through Sankaran's imaginative descriptions.
Sankaran's writing style if phenomenal. Her depiction of 1300s France - the people and small towns - as well as details of papermaking and scribing, are well-researched and artistically portrayed in Watermark. Auda's story is engrossing and memorable. Once I picked up Watermark, it was unimaginable that I would put the book down until I had devoured every last word. Fascinating and expertly paced, Watermark is a definite literary gem....more