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Monthly "Reads" > Shomeret's Slightly Overdue October 1/4

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message 1: by Shomeret (last edited Nov 08, 2014 08:59PM) (new)

Shomeret | 1371 comments A number of you have already posted your October Reads, but it's only a little over a week since November started, so this is only slightly overdue. I have 15 books to tell you about, so let's get started.

1)Bitter Greensby Kate Forsyth (fairy tale retelling/historical fiction)Source: Net Galley Started: 9/27 Finished: 10/2

Why Read: I liked the description. It's a novel about the life of the woman who wrote the most popular version of the story we know as Rapunzel. It also contains a retelling of Rapunzel. It sounded amazing. I like Rapunzel and I'm interested in France during the reign of Louis XIV.

Comments: Louis XIV isn't usually associated with persecution of Protestants, but he revoked the Edict of Nantes for the toleration of Protestants and then tried to rid France of Protestants. The MC of this novel, who wrote Rapunzel, came from a Protestant family and had some pretty awful experiences as a result of her heritage. The Rapunzel re-telling is unusual because it's from the perspective of the witch. The witch character is complex and well-developed. I rated this A. My review can be found at

2)We See a Different Frontier: A Postcolonial Speculative Fiction Anthologyed. Fabio Fernandes and Djibril al-Ayad (science fiction and fantasy anthology) 213 pages. Source: Library Started: 10/3 Finished: 10/4

Why Read: This was mentioned on a GR group for speculative short fiction. It's an anthology about colonialism from the perspective of the colonized. That sounded interesting.

Comments: I thought the best story was 'Them Ships" by Silvia Mareno-Garcia. It was about a human who was collaborating with aliens who had invaded Earth. It showed that collaborators have their own perspective that makes them feel justified. I rated that story B+, but I gave the anthology as a whole C+. Most of the stories didn't hook me.

3)City of Ghosts: A Mysteryby Kelli Stanley (historical mystery) 326 pages. Source: Library Started: 10/5 Finished: 10/6

Why Read: This is #3 in a series that takes place in San Francisco in the 1930's and 1940's. The MC is Miranda Corbie who is a PI. This book starts in 1940 and she's been hired to do surveillance on a suspected Nazi spy for the State Department. It sounded intriguing.

Comments: Her suspected spy was a chemistry professor at the University of California at Berkeley who frequently meets with top Nazis at the German Consulate. When he's murdered, Miranda is forced to solve the case to prove that she didn't murder him. The book improved and became more interesting over the course of the novel. Rating B+

4)Lights of Madness: In Search of Joan of Arc by Preston Russell (biography)Source: Amazon Started: 10/7 Finished: 10/9

Why Read: This looked like it might be a different approach to Joan of Arc who is my favorite saint.

Comments: Russell relies on the trial transcripts as his source for Joan's life. He also discusses portrayals of Joan since her death. The most interesting section is the one in which he discusses attempts to diagnose Joan with a mental illness or a medical condition. Since the author is a physician he is well qualified to deal with this issue. I liked his perspective. Rating B. My review can be found at

To Be Continued...

message 2: by Melodie (new)

Melodie (melodieco) | 3604 comments BITTER GREENS sounds quite interesting!

message 3: by Ann (new)

Ann (annrumsey) | 14413 comments I am interested in the Joan of Arc book and City of Ghosts: A Mystery.

message 4: by Carol/Bonadie (new)

Carol/Bonadie (bonadie) | 7904 comments Shom, I am constantly amazed by the breadth of your interests and the amount of reading you get done. And now I come across you the BNC board posting about TV shows. Where do you find the time, on top of your studies?!?

message 5: by Shomeret (new)

Shomeret | 1371 comments Well, at the moment I'm not in school. That will change eventually.

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