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Monthly "Reads" > Shomeret's January Reads 3/3

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message 1: by Shomeret (last edited Mar 02, 2011 02:47AM) (new)

Shomeret | 1371 comments 11)The Muse of the Revolution: The Secret Pen of Mercy Otis Warren and the Founding of a Nationby Nancy Rubin Stuart (biography)268 pages. Source: Library Started: 1/22 Finished: 1/22

Why Read: As an undergrad I wrote a paper about Mercy Otis Warren for an intellectual history course. The book on Franklin in France mentioned this book which didn't exist when I was doing my paper. So I figured I needed an update on America's first woman playwright.

Comments: I can't say I learned very much. I learned about the insanity that affected some of the men in the Otis family. I read about John Adams' obnoxious behavior toward Mercy Otis Warren which seriously irritated me and reminded me of how irritating I have thought John Adams was in every history book where he's a major player. In this one he's revealed as a monarchist. Rating B

12)A Wild Lightby Marjorie Liu (urban fantasy) 308 pages. Source: Independent Bookstore Started: 1/23 Finished: 1/23

Why Read: This was a choice for my Urban Fantasy challenge. I chose it because I've liked this series. It's about Maxine Kiss, a demon fighter with living tattoos who fight along with her and protect her. Demon fighters don't interest me, but living tattoos do. I also really like her lover Grant who runs a homeless shelter and is an empath.

Comments: There was too much about demons and apocalypse. Demons are rarely interesting and apocalypses became boring and predictable after watching the apocalypse of the week on Buffy and Angel. Yawn! Another apocalypse! That's why I read very little in the post-apocalyptic genre or books in which the MC is continually fighting off the apocalypse. There are exceptions, but I sometimes regret making them. I gave this book a C+. The + is for the human elements.

13)An Incomplete Revengeby Jacqueline Winspear (historical mystery)306 pages. Source: Library Started: 1/25 Finished: 1/28

Why Read: This is a March book for the F2F mystery group that I attend. I found out that there were gypsies in it. I love books with gypsies. So this is my second Maisie Dobbs.

Comments: This is a book about prejudice. It touched me personally because my father was a child in Maisie Dobbs' England--a child who was different because he wasn't born there. So he experienced the kind of attitudes that the character Priscilla's French speaking children had to deal with. The prejudice shown toward the gypsies in this novel was at a similar level. Yet prejudice can get out of control in certain circumstances which is also shown in this novel. I did guess what was happening in the village where the book took place before the big reveal, but I didn't fully get what was behind the motivations beforehand. I liked the gypsy content, a number of the characters and the themes that the novel deals with. I rated this A.

14)Bliss, Rememberedby Frank DeFord (historical fiction) 351 pages. Source: The publisher, Overlook Press, but I won it from Tara's Book Babe blog. Started: 1/28 Finished: 1/21

Why Read: I entered the contest because I'm interested in the Berlin Olympics of 1936. The protagonist is an American swimmer who attended that Olympics.

Comments: It was more about the life of the fictional Sydney Stringfellow than about the 1936 Olympics. But Sydney was quite something. The book describes how she became a swimmer and got to the Olympics, but then the book chronicles her life during World War II which didn't go as she expected. Sydney's viewpoint was marvelously honest and authentic to the period. I know because my mother grew up then. Teddy, the narrator, was believable. He had good reasons to feel conflicted about Sydney's revelations. Rating B+

This was an unusual January. I read more than I normally do in January and there were a number of good ones. Most notable for this group is the A rated mystery. I don't know when I'll have the time to post my February reads.


message 2: by Sandi (new)

Sandi (sandin954) | 1200 comments I'll have to check out Bliss, Remembered since I always enjoyed reading Frank Deford's work in Sports Illustrated.


message 3: by Ann (last edited Mar 06, 2011 12:07AM) (new)

Ann (annrumsey) | 14413 comments Shomeret: We look forward to your February list when you have time! I love the Maisie Dobbs series for the glimpses into that era and the characters; and am intrigued by the living tattoos in A Wild Light!

Shomeret wrote: "13)An Incomplete Revengeby Jacqueline Winspear (historical mystery)306 pages. Source: Library Started: 1/25 Finished: 1/28
A Wild Light ....It's about Maxine Kiss, a demon fighter with living tattoos who fight along with her and protect her. Demon fighters don't interest me, but living tattoos do"



message 4: by Shomeret (new)

Shomeret | 1371 comments Ann, my feeling is that A Wild Lightis the weakest book of the three Maxine Kiss series novels that I've read. So I'd recommend not starting with A Wild Light. The other two are The Iron Hunt and Darkness Calls. There is also a Maxine Kiss novella that you can read on your Kindle called Hunter Kiss. I haven't read Hunter Kiss. It originally appeared in an anthology that I didn't read. Another Maxine Kiss short story appeared in an anthology that I did read and it's very good. It's called "Armor of Roses" in Inked.


message 5: by Ann (new)

Ann (annrumsey) | 14413 comments Shomeret: Thanks for the tip on how to start out with the Marjorie M. Liu books - I got the Kindle sample of Hunter Kiss and after reading the "first few pages", it is good!
Shomeret wrote: "Ann, my feeling is that A Wild Lightis the weakest book of the three Maxine Kiss series novels that I've read. So I'd recommend not starting with A Wild Light. The other two are [bo..."


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