Thursday, June 30, 2011

NOVEL GLIMPSES (5)--THE CRIMSON PETAL AND THE WHITE, PRIDE AND PREJUDICE, AUTHENTICITY ACCELERATOR

Novel Glimpses is my feature for mini-reviews...really just a fancy name for them! The only difference than with my traditional mini-reviews is that I will include my Goodreads rating, something I do not do with my regular reviews. Feel free to participate...just credit me and link back if you do. (want to read a book description?  Clicking the book covers will take you to the book's page on Amazon).


BookBox: embed book widget, share book list

The Crimson Petal and the White by Michel Faber


My Goodreads rating: 5 stars
The glimpse:  Crimson Petal is a magnificent portrayal of life in Victorian England.  The book is so visual that the reader almost feels present in the action.  And the characters! Sugar is not your typical prostitute with a heart of gold.  Yes, she aspires to be good and she is good to a certain extent.  Only the history of her upbringing interferes with her ever achieving true goodness.  In the end, she does seem to receive some redemption, but we never really know for sure.  William is a man born to privilege, but with no desire to work to keep that privilege...until he meets Sugar.  An excellent display of a man who starts achieving due to the yearnings of his nether regions.  This, in and of itself, gives us a true idea of the kind of person William is.  And he really is not a likable person.  As with most men of this nature, when your usefulness is gone, he no longer needs you.  This holds true with his wife, Agnes, and with his concubine, Sugar.  In all, Crimson Petal gives us an excellent overview of the class structures in Victorian times and the subjugation of women that was so prevalent.  A truly excellent book that I highly recommend, with one warning.  There are some explicit sex scenes so if you are easily offended, you may wish to skip this one.

Challenges:
Alphabet Challenge
Monthly Mix-Up Mania 
Historical Fiction 2011
Chunkster
Outdo Yourself


Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen


My Goodreads rating: 5 stars
The glimpse:  What can I say about this wonderful book which I knew would be wonderful before I even read it! I'm really not going to say too much, because haven't we all read it anyway?  Oh, you haven't?  Well, what are you waiting for?  Jane Austen had such a knack with her characters and settings.  Even as much as I love the films based on the books, the book really is a literary masterpiece.  These people and their stories never get old because, although set in a different era, they are just like us.  They hurt, love, hate, jest, and experience joy in every day things, just as we do.  Such simple stories really, but how can we not identify with them when they could very well be happening to us.  This is why I think Jane endures.  Not just for her beautiful settings and her pretty and sometimes funny characters, but for her true insight into the workings of the human heart.  Well done, Jane!

Challenges:
Classics 2011
Monthly Mix-Up Mania
Chunkster
2011 Book Blogger Recommendation
1001 Books you must read before you die
Outdo Yourself


Authenticity Accelerator: How to Live an Authentic Life in Ten Words by Robert Rabbin

My Goodreads rating: 4 stars
The glimpse:  There are two reasons I like this book.  1) It's short and to the point and 2) it make sense.  I much prefer self-help/empowerment books that are not too long.  I mean, you're trying to help yourself.  Who wants it to take five years to read a book, right?  And I want said book to make sense.  I don't know how many times I've read a book like this and ended up scratching my head wondering what the hell it is the author is talking about.  Robert succeeds in making sense by talking about ten words (or five principles) to finding your authentic self.  After he describes the process, he then goes on to apply them to certain questions people have about aspects of their lives, such as:  fear, regret, right and wrong, self, success, and others.  What he says about the past is to learn from it and let it go.  You are not the person you were so move on.  Pretty simple, huh?  Sometimes we have to be told it or read it again and again for it to sink in.  And what does he say about success (and this is my favorite new quote)?  "Whatever is worth doing, is worth doing.  How can you succeed or fail at that?"  My new mantra! I really liked this book.  If you're looking for some authenticity in your life, I recommend you check it out.

Challenges:
Monthly Mix-Up Mania 
The Dewey Decimal Challenge
Outdo Yourself

CAT THURSDAY


Welcome to the weekly meme that celebrates the wonders and sometime hilarity of cats! Join us by posting a favorite LOL cat pic you may have come across, famous cat art or even share with us pics of your own beloved cat(s). It's all for the love of cats! Enjoy! (share your post in the Mr. Linky below)


Sorry for the late posting today.  Things have been so hectic lately, I forgot all about it!


Here's the linky:




Wednesday, June 29, 2011

BOOK TOUR: REVIEW OF JOHNNY ONE-EYE BY JEROME CHARYN

My thoughts:
John Stocking, aka Johnny One-Eye is an enigmatic character.  Is he a loyalist or a rebel?  Is he for the British or for America?  Is he George Washington's son or not?  None of these questions really get answered, but that's not really a problem in this novel.  Charyn succeeds in bringing across the precarious nature of America during the Revolutionary War.  The ins and outs of British occupied Manhattan are quite confusing.  I found myself scratching my head several times wondering who was on whose side.  We are introduced to famous characters such as George Washington, Benedict Arnold, and Alexander Hamilton and we are exposed to their characters and personalities from the point of view of Johnny One-Eye.  Does his one eye give him a skewed view of the world?  Sometimes it would seem so.  Was George Washington hopelessly in love with a woman who would become a madam?  Possibly true.  Did Benedict Arnold turn traitor because his beautiful wife was intelligent and a British spy?  That would seem true as well.  All of these intrigues are portrayed nicely in the book and although they may not be altogether factual, one can't help but believe in their plausibility.  I will warn you, this may not be a book to read if you have no interest in history.  As a history buff myself, I found the book to be a refreshing look at the Revolutionary War.

Jerome Charyn's Bio:
Jerome Charyn (born May 13, 1937) is an award-winning American author. With nearly 50 published works, Charyn has earned a long-standing reputation as an inventive and prolific chronicler of real and imagined American life. Michael Chabon calls him “one of the most important writers in American literature.”

New York Newsday hailed Charyn as “a contemporary American Balzac,” and the Los Angeles Times described him as “absolutely unique among American writers.”

Since the 1964 release of Charyn’s first novel, Once Upon a Droshky, he has published 30 novels, three memoirs, eight graphic novels, two books about film, short stories, plays and works of non-fiction. Two of his memoirs were named New York Times Book of the Year. Charyn has been a finalist for the PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction. He received the Rosenthal Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters and has been named Commander of Arts and Letters by the French Minister of Culture.

Charyn was Distinguished Professor of Film Studies at the American University of Paris until he left teaching in 2009.

In addition to his writing and teaching, Charyn is a tournament table tennis player, once ranked in the top 10 percent of players in France. Noted novelist Don DeLillo called Charyn’s book on table tennis, Sizzling Chops & Devilish Spins, "The Sun Also Rises of ping-pong."

Charyn lives in Paris and New York City.



Blog Tour web site:
http://johnnyoneeye.blogspot.com/

Jerome Charyn's web site:
http://www.jeromecharyn.com/

Jerome Charyn's Facebook:
http://www.facebook.com/#!/jerome.charyn

Jerome Charyn's Twitter:
http://twitter.com/jeromecharyn

Johnny One-Eye Facebook:
http://www.facebook.com/JohnnyOneEyeBook


W.W. Norton & Company web site:
http://books.wwnorton.com/books/detail.aspx?ID=11950





Hardcover
Price: $24.95
ISBN: 9780393064971
Pages: 448
Release: February 2008

Buy links:
Amazon
Barnes & Noble

Paperback
Price: $14.95
ISBN:  9780393333954
Pages: 448
Release: February 2009

Buy links:
Amazon
Barnes & Noble



eBook buy links:
Kindle
Nook

Google
iPad


My thanks to Nicole at Tribute Books for the opportunity to be a part of this tour.


Reading Challenges
Monthly Mix-Up Mania
Historical Fiction Challenge
Chunkster Challenge
Outdo Yourself



Book was provided to me in conjunction with a book tour with the above.  The opinion is mine and I was not monetarily compensated for giving it.

LAST CALL TO HELP A GIRL OUT...TWO DAYS LEFT TO VOTE

Many of you know that I entered a flash fiction story contest a couple of weeks ago over at Devin O'Branagan's writing forum.  Well, it's coming to a close and I'm making a last ditch effort to get people over there to vote.  Because of the rules, I can't reveal to you which story is mine.  However, I can hope against hope that mine will be your favorite.  So, if you haven't already, please head over (HERE) and vote for your fave.  Last day to vote is Thursday, June 30.  I really appreciate it and to show you how much, I baked you these virtual cupcakes! Thank you. ;O)


Monday, June 27, 2011

TTBA WEEKLY NEWS AND MAILBOX MONDAY

I've created a new feature here on The True Book Addict called TTBA Weekly News.  It seems like we all have some kind of news going on every week, whether it's what we're reading, new blog events we're hosting, or news from our personal lives.  So I decided to create this feature to report any news regarding my blog every week on Monday (in combination with Mailbox Monday).  This feature was inspired by It's Monday! What are you reading? hosted by Sheila at Book Journey and The Sunday Salon.


My second annual Christmas in July event starts Friday over at The Christmas Spirit.  A whole month of Christmas fun in the middle of summer.  Hey, maybe it will cool us down! I'm also looking for people who might like to write guest posts.  Click the button for full details.  Hope to see you there!


It's time to sign up for the High Summer Read-a-Thon.  It runs from Monday, July 25 through Sunday, July 31.  For full details and to sign up, click the button.  Would love for you to join me!

The TuesBookTalk Read Alongs group (on Goodreads and Twitter) will be reading The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson in July.  Discussion will begin on July 12.  For details about the group, go HERE.  For the reading schedule, go HERE.  As always, the more the merrier. =O)

I am currently reading The Book Thief by Markus Zusak, The Widow of the South by Robert Hicks, Dante's Journey by JC Marino, and Johnny One-Eye by Jerome Charyn, which I'm reviewing for Tribute Books on Wednesday.  Also starting To the Lighthouse by Virginia Woolf for the read along with Wallace at Unputdownables.  Still trying to locate Roots by Alex Haley so I can join in on the read along with Laura at Book Snob (yes, most of my books are STILL in boxes).

I am still so behind on review books and I'm not dedicating enough time to my writing.  Plus, I'm steadily looking for a job I can do from home and considering doing Camp NaNoWriMo in July or August.  The latter is still on the decision scales.  So I'm really going to be making a concerted effort to start limiting my time online.  Sort of like a time limit.  Allow myself a certain amount of time a day to get online stuff done and once the time is up, I'm off.  We'll see how it goes.


Mailbox Monday, created by Marcia, is on tour and is being hosted this month by Bluestocking.

(want to read a book description?  Clicking the book covers will take you to the book's page on Amazon)

BookBox: embed book widget, share book list

WON:
The Literary Ladies: Guide to the Writing Life by Nava Atlas...from BookTrib
The Scarlet Lion by Elizabeth Chadwick...from Robin at My Two Blessings
Whiteout by Brian Duren...from Laura at Book Snob

BOMC2:
Fa la la la Felt: 45 Handmade Holiday Decorations by Amanda Carestio

DOLLAR TREE (check out the books you get for a $1):
A Wolf at the Table: A Memoir of my Father by Augusten Burroughs
Danny Boy: The Legend of the Beloved Irish Ballad by Malachy McCourt

What's happening with you lately?  Any good books read or received in the mail?

Sunday, June 26, 2011

TIME TO SIGN-UP FOR THE HIGH SUMMER READ-A-THON!

The High Summer Read-a-thon is one month away, July 25th through July 31st! It will start at 12:00am Monday and end at 11:59pm on Sunday.  Times are central standard time so adjust your times accordingly.  I plan to host a mini-challenge and there will be a giveaway for every one who signs in at the starting line and completes a wrap up post at the end.  Of course, like most read-a-thons, the books read must be novels or novellas, adult or young adult are fine, but no children's books.  You DO NOT have to participate the entire week.  Join in when you can, start in the middle, end early...whatever works best for your schedule.  As long as you sign in at the sign-in post and do some kind of wrap up post, you're in for the giveaway.  As with my previous read-a-thons, it will be a week of relaxed reading during which we can personally challenge ourselves and whittle away those ever looming TBR piles/shelves/libraries.  I hope you will join me!

You do not have to have a blog to participate. You can sign-up, sign-in, and wrap-up...all from Facebook, Twitter, or Goodreads. You can also do updates from those locations, if you do not have a blog. Also, to chat or update during the read-a-thon on Twitter, use hashtag #HSreadathon 


You do not have to do a post right now, unless you want to help get the word out.  Just post a link to your blog (or to your post, if you decide to do one) in the Mr. Linky below.

I'm putting the call out to anyone who would like to host a mini-challenge and/or giveaway.  Authors, if you would like to sponsor a giveaway or donate a prize, please let me know.  You can contact me at truebookaddictATgmailDOTcom  Any and all help will be greatly appreciated!

Grab the button:



Thursday, June 23, 2011

CAT THURSDAY


Welcome to the weekly meme that celebrates the wonders and sometime hilarity of cats! Join us by posting a favorite LOL cat pic you may have come across, famous cat art or even share with us pics of your own beloved cat(s). It's all for the love of cats! Enjoy! (share your post in the Mr. Linky below)

I had a bit of scare with dear Alice on Monday.  She has a terrible habit of trying to run outside every time someone opens the door.  I'm one of those people who does not believe in letting cats go outside.  Too much risk for them to catch diseases or get hurt by other animals.  I'm even more strict about it now that we live in an apartment.  So I really try to watch to keep Alice from going outside.  Well, Sunday night my husband and sons went to the store and when they got back with the groceries, she must have ran out when they were bringing them in. It was dark out and she's black so she's easily missed.  I usually check to make sure she didn't get out, but that night I didn't for some reason.  When I got up Monday morning, it dawned on me that I hadn't seen her late the night before and she usually follows me into the bathroom in the morning.  I called and called and she just wasn't there.  I'm starting to panic at this point because I realized what must have happened.  It was 9:00am and they had come home the night before at 10:00pm which means she had been outside for almost twelve hours! Honestly, I didn't have much hope of finding her.  My son and I went down to the truck so we could drive around and look for her and we're calling her the whole time.  Suddenly, I hear this wailing meow and I immediately knew it was her.  She sounded so scared.  We kept calling her and she kept wailing and we finally located where she was.  All the way across the parking lot in a little stand of woods.  Reece climbed up the ledge and she ran out to him with her tail all bushy.  She was scared to death! I was so relieved, I didn't have the heart to scold her.  Thank goodness we found her.  I don't know what I would have done if she would have been gone for good.  One good thing has come of it so far though.  She doesn't try to run outside anymore.  We'll see how long that lasts. =O)
Lets stay inside where it's safe! Okay, Alice?!
Now....since that kind of story can be pretty traumatic for us cat parents, how about something to cheer us up?  I found this over on author Luke Romyn's blog.  SO funny!




Here's the linky:


A GAME OF THRONES...BOOK AND TELEVISION SERIES REVIEW

My thoughts on the book:
A Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin was published in 1996.  I can't believe it took me fifteen years to discover it.  I have always been a lover of the fantasy genre, especially epic fantasy such as this book, so it's quite strange that I never picked it up.  Not until I started seeing previews of a certain series that was coming to HBO in Spring 2011 did I learn that it was based on a book and then my interest was piqued... highly.  This book is both plot and character driven and that is what makes it so great.  The story and setting, while laced with fantastical elements, also have a historical feel.  It really is like a medieval historical in many instances.  As historical fiction and fantasy are two of my favorite genres, the book appeals to my love of both.  And what can I say about the characters?  They are so richly drawn...so fully fleshed out, that it was almost like they were breathing beside me as I read.  These are characters that I bled with, wept with, and mourned for.  Characters I loved so much that when something bad happened I was filled with rage and wanted to throw the book across the room--or go inside the book and throttle the person responsible! While I badly wanted to finish reading it, as I approached the end, I did not want to let it go.  And it has one of the most spectacular endings ever! I am not the type that picks up the next book in a series immediately (often going months or years between books), but in this case, it's going to be very hard to resist.  If you have not read A Game of Thrones yet, I have to ask you.  What are you waiting for?!

A book description will appear at the end of the post.


My thoughts on the HBO television series:
HBO really has a knack for bringing quality entertainment to television.  The task of bringing a story with the epic scale of A Game of Thrones (they drop the 'A' in the series) had to be daunting.  But they managed to translate the entire first book into the first season of the series and they did it without much change to the original story.  Sure there are some differences, as there always are in screen adaptations of books, but it is done so well that any differences are a moot point.  I was reading the book right along with the show and I definitely did not see anything to be outraged about.  I was predominantly pleased with the actors that were chosen to play the roles and there are some damn talented people who make up the cast.  I expect to see Golden Globes and Emmy's in its future.  If there aren't, then people aren't watching the same show.

I want to showcase some of my favorite characters and the actors that portray them.

Eddard (Ned) Stark, portrayed by Sean Bean, is the Lord of Winterfell and becomes the Hand of the king.  He is an honest and just man and prefers to deal with corruption head on which causes him some trouble, but he is a character to admire greatly.  Bean is a favorite actor of mine and he does a great job as Ned Stark.

Jon Snow, portrayed by Kit Harington, is the bastard son of Ned Stark.  He has always lived in the Winterfell household and been close with his brothers and sisters, but he never truly feels he belongs, which isn't helped by the rejection by Catelyn Stark, Ned's wife.  Jon's character is very complex and interesting and he is much like his father, kind and generous.  Harington, a relative newcomer (this is really his first role according to IMDB), is very compelling as Jon with a haunted shadow echoing behind his eyes.

Arya Stark, portrayed by Maisie Williams, is the youngest daughter of Ned Stark.  She is a tomboyish girl who would much rather wear pants and deal in swordplay than wear a dress and practice embroidery.  She has a lot of spunk and she's kind and honest.  Not surprising that she is very close to her half brother, Jon Snow.  They are alike in many ways.  Williams has an elvin quality about her and she becomes Arya, even looking like a boy when the plot calls for it.

Tyrion Lannister, portrayed by Peter Dinklage, is the eldest sibling of Jaime and Cersei Lannister, and he is a dwarf.  Always openly ridiculed by his father because of his dwarfism, he compensated for his lack of stature by building his mind.  A very smart man, he is probably the most clever character in the story.  And he's an ambiguous character.  We never really know if he is good or bad.  Dinklage is absolutely brilliant as Tyrion.  I have admired his work for years and he definitely shows off his acting chops in this show.

Khal Drogo, portrayed by Jason Momoa, doesn't really say much, but the power he exudes, both on the page and on screen, is something that has to be respected.  Momoa is a strapping hunk of a man and brings Drogo's warrior spirit to the screen and hurls it in our faces.  I have to be honest.  Every time he was on screen, I almost swooned.  ;O)

If you haven't had the opportunity to watch this yet and you have OnDemand, GO...WATCH IT! And if you have to wait until it comes out on DVD, I weep for you.  LOL! Yes, it's THAT good!

Book description of A Game of Thrones (from Goodreads):
Long ago, in a time forgotten, a preternatural event threw the seasons out of balance. In a land where summers can last decades and winters a lifetime, trouble is brewing. The cold is returning, and in the frozen wastes to the north of Winterfell, sinister forces are massing beyond the kingdom's protective Wall. To the south, the king's powers are failing: his most trusted advisor dead under mysterious circumstances and his enemies emerging from the shadows of the throne. At the center of the conflict lie the Starks of Winterfell, a family as harsh and unyielding as the land they were born to. Now Lord Eddard Stark is reluctantly summoned to serve as the king's new Hand, an appointment that threatens to sunder not only his family but the kingdom itself. 


Sweeping from a harsh land of cold to a distant summertime kingdom of epicurean plenty, A Game of Thrones tells a tale of lords and ladies, soldiers and sorcerers, assassins and bastards, who come together in a time of grim omens. Here, an enigmatic band of warriors bear swords of no human metal, a tribe of fierce wildlings carry men off into madness, a cruel young dragon prince barters his sister to win back his throne, a child is lost in the twilight between life and death, and a determined woman undertakes a treacherous journey to protect all she holds dear. Amid plots and counterplots, tragedy and betrayal, victory and terror, allies and enemies, the fate of the Starks hangs perilously in the balance, as each endeavors to win that deadliest of conflicts: the game of thrones.


Qualifies for the following reading challenges:
Spring Reading Thing
Once Upon a Time
Alphabet Challenge
Monthly Mix-Up Mania
Historical Fiction Challenge
Chunkster Challenge
2011 Fantasy Reading Challenge
Historical Tour De Genre
Outdo Yourself 2011
101 Fantasy Reading Challenge

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

FIRST CHAPTER~FIRST PARAGRAPH(S)~TUESDAY INTROS (3)

This is a new weekly feature being hosted by Diane at Bibliophile by the Sea. We are to share the opening paragraph (maybe two) of our current read.  Which begs the question...would this be a book you would want to read, based on the opening paragraphs?
This week:
BookBox: embed book widget, share book list
First the colors.
     Then the humans.
     That's usually how I see things.
     Or at least, how I try.

***HERE IS A SMALL FACT***
         You are going to die.


I am in all truthfulness attempting to be cheerful about this whole topic, though most people find themselves hindered in believing me, no matter my protestations.  Please, trust me.  I most definitely can be cheerful.  I can be amiable.  Agreeable.  Affable.  And that's only the A's.  Just don't ask me to be nice.  Nice has nothing to do with me.

***REACTION TO THE***
AFOREMENTIONED FACT
     Does this worry you?
  I urge you--dont' be afraid.
     I'm nothing if not fair.


Join us for Tuesday Intros HERE.

Monday, June 20, 2011

MAILBOX MONDAY

Mailbox Monday, created by Marcia, is on tour and is being hosted this month by Bluestocking.

(want to read a book description?  Clicking the book covers will take you to the book's page on Amazon)

BookBox: embed book widget, share book list

WON:
Far to Go by Alison Pick...from Amy at The House of the Seven Tails
Everlasting by Alyson Noel...from Alisha at Black Nailed Reviews

BOOKMOOCH:
Titus Andronicus (Folger Shakespeare Library) by William Shakespeare

Sunday, June 19, 2011

NIGHT WALKER BY LISA KESSLER BOOK TRAILER

My friend, author Lisa Kessler, will have her novel, Night Walker, released in August! Check out the trailer and watch for my review and a guest post by Lisa coming August 16.



Visit Lisa:  WEBSITE | BLOG | FACEBOOK | TWITTER | GOODREADS

HAPPY FATHER'S DAY....

to all the dads in my family and all the dads out there in the blogosphere!


Saturday, June 18, 2011

SIS READ-A-THON UPDATES AND MINI-CHALLENGES

SIS READ-A-THON FINISH LINE


1. First of all, give us an end-of-read-a-thon status update. Books read, pages read, you know the drill!

  • Total Books Read: 1
  • Total Pages Read: 256
  • Books Read Since Last Update: 1
  • Pages Read since last update: 46
  • Total time read: 7 hours
  • How I'm currently feeling: I ended up leaving for the rest of the day today so I only ended up reading for one more hour and I did not do any more mini-challenges or updates.
  • Books read:  Read 1/2 of Queen By Right by Anne Easter Smith and finished it.  Read about 56 pages of Dante's Journey by JC Marino.
2. What is your favorite book you read during the read-a-thon?  Since I only read one, it has to be Queen By Right.


3. Did you participate in any mini-challenges? Which ones?  I did the writing one, the puzzle one, attempted the wordle (didn't work), the book I thought should be taught in school, favorite book to movie and least favorite book to movie.


4. Which mini-challenge was your favorite?  I like to write so I liked that one.  Also, favorite and least favorite book to movie.


5. What has been your favorite thing about the read-a-thon?  I enjoyed the mini-challenges.  I just wish I could have read more.


6. Are you satisfied with how much reading you got done? Did you do more than you expected? Less?
not satisfied at all.  Just wasn't able to dedicate the time and I did not feel well last night.


7. What did you think of the updates? Too close together? Didn't like the time limit?  maybe too frequent, but we didn't have to participate so no big deal!


8. If you could change one thing about the read-a-thon, what would it be?  Longer.  Short read-a-thons just do not work for me. =O(


9. Would you participate in another read-a-thon hosted by Squeaky Books? Why or why not?  Why certainly I would! I liked how you did the mini-challenges.


10. Any last comments on the read-a-thon?  I hope everyone was able to read more than me.  Thanks for the fun, Enna Isilee!


Update #7


On my last update last night (below), I was not feeling well.  I started feeling better and was going to do some blogging and blog reading and then jump back into reading.  I'm a night owl! But I guess not feeling good took its toll because I ended up going to sleep.  Didn't get much reading done.

  • Total Books Read: 1
  • Total Pages Read: 210
  • Books Read Since Last Update: 0
  • Pages Read since last update: 10
  • Total time read: 6 hours
  • What I'm currently reading: Dante's Journey by JC Marino (started on page 200)
  • How I'm currently feeling:  I feel pretty good.  Ready to get some reading done!

MINI-CHALLENGE:  Name one book you think should be taught in school, grade of your choice.


The Road by Cormac McCarthy for high school grades.  This book is short, but very powerful and it is a great lesson in humanity.  I think it would be perfect for high school students because it has elements in it that would keep students interested.


No Update #5--cooked and ate supper...not feeling very well.


Update #4
My updates from now on will be all in one post.  Sorry for the earlier multitude of posts!

  • Total Books Read: 1
  • Total Pages Read: 200 (I was already reading the book, started on page 284)
  • Books Read Since Last Update: 1
  • Pages Read since last update: 100
  • Total time read: 6 hours
  • How I'm currently feeling: Glad I finished the book (review coming up!)


MINI-CHALLENGE:  For this mini-challenge you need to create a puzzle that consists of about three images which describes a book. 


Friday, June 17, 2011

BOOK TOUR: REVIEW OF QUEEN BY RIGHT BY ANNE EASTER SMITH

My thoughts:

Cecily Neville, mother of kings Edward IV and Richard III, is one character that will be hard to forget.  I am fond of headstrong women who bucked the conventions of their day and in this instance, Cecily did not disappoint.  I have studied history and read books on English history, but seldom do we learn of seemingly minor persons as Cecily.  I am glad that Ms. Smith decided to write a novel with Cecily as its central character because the woman she portrays is truly fascinating.

We learn of Cecily and Richard, Duke of York, and their long betrothal and subsequent marriage and it is portrayed that they were very much in love and that Richard welcomed his wife's veracity, although he had to warn her often to be careful about which subjects she would speak her mind.  Cecily has a strong sense of justice and this was played out nicely with the edition of Jeanne d'Arc (Joan of Arc) into the story.  It is not historically documented that the two of them met, but from reading interviews with Ms. Smith, I know that they were both at Rouen at the same time.  I think it was a brilliant addition to the story and while some might think that Cecily was overly obsessed with Jeanne, I know that Cecily was depicted as being religious and speaks to the Lord and the Virgin Mary frequently throughout the book so it does not surprise me that Cecily would feel a connection with Jeanne.

I'm ashamed to admit that I do not know very much about the War of the Roses, but this book gives an excellent depiction of how it all started.  As Cecily's husband, Richard of York, has rights to the throne, he is regarded suspiciously by many and eventually raises the ire of Margaret of Anjou, wife to Henry VI.  Cecily remains a staunch supporter of her husband throughout.  She cuts a proud figure beside the vindictive Margaret.

A new to me historical fiction author, Anne Easter Smith has written an outstanding novel.  She introduces a historical figure who has not been historically explored in depth and it leaves me wanting more.  I look forward to the next figure Ms. Smith takes her pen up to write about.

Book Description (Goodreads):

From the award-winning author of A Rose for the Crown, Daughter of York, and The King’s Grace comes another masterful historical novel—the story of Cecily of York, mother of two kings and the heroine of one of history’s greatest love stories. Anne Easter Smith’s novels are beloved by readers for their ability “to grab you, sweep you along with the story, and make you fall in love with the characters.”
• In Cecily Neville, duchess of York and ancestor of every English monarch to the present day, she has found her most engrossing character yet.History remembers Cecily of York standing on the steps of the Market Cross at Ludlow, facing an attacking army while holding the hands of her two young sons. Queen by Right reveals how she came to step into her destiny, beginning with her marriage to Richard, duke of York, whom she meets when she is nine and he is thirteen. Raised together in her father’s household, they become a true love match and together face personal tragedies, pivotal events of history, and deadly political intrigue. All of England knows that Richard has a clear claim to the throne, and when King Henry VI becomes unfit to rule, Cecily must put aside her hopes and fears and help her husband decide what is right for their family and their country. Queen by Right marks Anne Easter Smith’s greatest achievement, a book that every fan of sweeping, exquisitely detailed historical fiction will devour.


Qualifies for the following reading challenges:


Alphabet Challenge
Monthly Mix-Up Mania
Historical Fiction 2011
Chunkster Challenge
Outdo Yourself 2011
Spring Reading Thing



Book was provided to me in conjunction with a book tour with the above.  The opinion is mine and I was not monetarily compensated for giving it.

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