Skip to main content


Showing posts from May, 2011

Review: "Auschwitz: A New History" by Laurence Rees

From Goodreads:  "Auschwitz is the site of the largest mass murder in human history. Yet its story is not fully known. In Auschwitz Laurence Rees provides a devastating and shocking portrait of the most infamous death camp the world has ever seen. He reveals new insights from more than 100 original interviews with Auschwitz survivors and Nazi perpetrators who speak on the record for the first time. Their testimonies expose the inner workings of the camp in unrivalled detail - from the techniques of mass murder, to the bizarre microcosms that emerged within the camp, such as the brothel and dining hall, where the lines between guards and prisoners became surprisingly blurred." Auschwitz is a history we cannot afford to ignore, first because history that is ignored is liable to be repeated, and second because we should never allow ourselves to be persuaded that mankind is somehow today incapable of such unspeakably cruel acts. Auschwitz is not only the story of one singular

In My Mailbox (2)

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by The Story Siren .  It is a place to highlight books I have purchased, picked up from the library or downloaded to my nook this week. From the library, I picked up: A Long Way Gone:  Memoirs of a Boy Soldier by Ishmael Beah Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare Johnny One-Eye by Jerome Charyn I downloaded the following ebooks: Madame Tussaud by Mchelle Moran Throwaway   by Heather Huffman I hope you all have a great week!

Review: "The Woman in White" by Wilkie Collins

From Goodreads:  Full of secrets, mistaken identities, surprise revelations, amnesia, locked rooms and locked asylums, and an unorthodox villain, The Woman in White marked the creation of a new literary genre of suspense fiction that profoundly shaped the course of English popular writing. My Thoughts:  I am purposely going to be vague in this review because I do not want to give anything away that might ruin the story.  This book was first published in 1860 but that does not diminish the fact that is a great mystery story.  There were so many twists and turns that I really had no idea what was going to wind up happening.  There was fraud, intrigue, kidnapping, and conspiracies all over the place.  I really thought I would be kind of bored with the story but I must say that Mr. Collins really kept my attention and every time that I had it all figured out, there would be some new twist to the story.  I also loved how the story was told by different characters' points of view an

Book Blog Hop (2)

Book Blogger Hop is a weekly meme hosted by Jenn at Crazy for Books and it's a way to for book bloggers to connect and check out other blogs. This week's question is:  What book-to-movie adaptation have you most liked?  Which have you disliked? I thought that Shutter Island was one of the best book-to-movie adaptations I have ever seen.  I was so surprised by how closely the movie followed the book.  I also really like A Time to Kill ; this is one of my favorite movies and even though it is different from the book, I think that they did great job of staying true to the story and the book's main points. I absolutely hated movie adaptation of The Horse Whisperer.  I read this book in high school and my mom and I loved it.  We were so excited for the movie but were so very disappointed in it.  It was almost 3 hours and they completely changed the whole end of the story.    

Review: "A Woman Nobly Planned: Fact and Myth in the Legacy of Flora MacDonald" by John J. Toffey

From Goodreads:  Flora MacDonald is one of Scotland's leading ladies of legend. Her ten-day adventure with charismatic Bonnie Prince Charlie in June 1746 and her consequent confinement at Leith and in London brought her instant and lasting fame. Fame did not bring fortune, however. At fifty-two, Flora, with her husband and some of her family, left Scotland for better times in North Carolina. Instead, she and her family were caught up on the losing side of the American Revolution and suffered separation and hardship. In the two and a half centuries since her precipitating adventure, Flora has been mentioned in history and celebrated in legend. In the eighteenth century, Johnson praised her, London society flocked to her, and the principal portraitists of the day painted her. In the nineteenth century, Sir Walter Scott, King George IV, and Queen Victoria paid tributes to her, and her descendants built and dedicated memorials in her honor. In the twentieth century, Flora has contin

Review: "Water for Elephants" by Sara Gruen

From Goodreads:   Though he may not speak of them, the memories still dwell inside Jacob Jankowski's ninety-something-year-old mind. Memories of himself as a young man, tossed by fate onto a rickety train that was home to the Benzini Brothers Most Spectacular Show on Earth. Memories of a world filled with freaks and clowns, with wonder and pain and anger and passion; a world with its own narrow, irrational rules, its own way of life, and its own way of death. The world of the circus: to Jacob it was both salvation and a living hell. Jacob was there because his luck had run out - orphaned and penniless, he had no direction until he landed on this locomotive 'ship of fools'. It was the early part of the Great Depression, and everyone in this third-rate circus was lucky to have any job at all. Marlena, the star of the equestrian act, was there because she fell in love with the wrong man, a handsome circus boss with a wide mean streak. And Rosie the elephant was there becaus

In My Mailbox

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by The Story Siren .  It is a place to highlight books I have purchased, picked up from the library or downloaded to my nook (!).  Here is a picture of my pretty nook cover.  I ordered it from and I LOVE it! My nook arrived on Friday and right away I downloaded the following books. The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss In the Garden of Beasts by Erik Larson Dracula by Bram Stoker The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins I already own Dracula and The Woman in White but one was free and the other 99 cents so I couldn't resist. I also picked up the following books at the library: Sloppy Firsts by Megan McCafferty Hard Eight by Janet Evanovich To the Nines by Janet Evanovich Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel I can't wait to get started on these books!

Book Blog Hop

I have never done this before but I thought I would try it out.  Book Blogger Hop is a weekly meme hosted by Jenn at Crazy for Books and it's a way to for book bloggers to connect and check out other blogs. This week's question is:  "If you were given the chance to spend one day in a fictional world (from a book), which book would it be from and what would that place be?" This is a toughie.  I have always wanted to spend a day in Outlander era Scotland so that I could hang out with Jamie Fraser (woohoo!).  I am kind of conflicted about this though because after finishing Shadowfever , I think it be so awesome to spend a day in Dublin with Mac and Barrons especially to see the bookstore (I am so jealous that Mac gets to run BB&B!).

Review: "Shadowfever" by Karen Marie Moning

From Goodreads:  MacKayla Lane was just a child when she and her sister, Alina, were given up for adoption and banished from Ireland forever. Twenty years later, Alina is dead and Mac has returned to the country that expelled them to hunt her sister’s murderer. But after discovering that she descends from a bloodline both gifted and cursed, Mac is plunged into a secret history: an ancient conflict between humans and immortals who have lived concealed among us for thousands of years. What follows is a shocking chain of events with devastating consequences, and now Mac struggles to cope with grief while continuing her mission to acquire and control the Sinsar Dubh —a book of dark, forbidden magic scribed by the mythical Unseelie King, containing the power to create and destroy worlds. In an epic battle between humans and Fae, the hunter becomes the hunted when the Sinsar Dubh turns on Mac and begins mowing a deadly path through those she loves. Who can she turn to? Who can she trust?

Review: "Siberian Education" by Nicolai Lilin

From Goodreads:  In a contested, lawless region between Moldova and Ukraine known as Transnistria, a tightly knit group of "honest criminals"—exiled there by Stalin-live according to strict codes of ritualized respect and fierce loyalty. Here, tattoos tell the story of a man's life, "honest" weapons are separated from "sinful" ones, and authority is always to be distrusted. Beyond the control of any government and outside the bounds of "society" as we know it, these men uphold values including respect for elders and an unwavering adherence to the truth with passion-and often by brute force.  My Thoughts:  As someone who is intrigued by all things Russian, this was a really interesting read for me.  I won it on Goodreads and really didn't know what to expect when I started reading it.  I honestly don't know how much of it is fact and how much is fiction (the author's note says some tales are made up) but the author provides t

I finally did it!

I bought a nook!  I have been thinking and re-thinking this decision for months and finally I just went for it.  I had been planning to wait until I made a serious dent in the books I already own but I got my paycheck from my second job yesterday and figured what the heck.  I did buy a refurbished one because it was less expensive; my biggest fear is that I would spend $200 on something I would bored with in a month so this I won't have to feel so bad if that happens.  I can't wait until it gets here so that I can try it out!

Books I am Excited About

I have been trying to use the library more this year and I just picked up several books that I am super excited to read! Shadowfever by Karen Marie Moning- I love the Fever series!  This is the last book and after the major cliff hanger at the end of Dreamfever, I can't wait to dive into this one! Auschwitz:  A New History by Laurence Rees- This isn't a newly published book but I just recently heard about it.  It's supposed to include interviews from survivors as well as the Nazis working at the camp.  I am really interested in the Holocaust and World War II and am curious to see what this book brings to the table.  A Woman Nobly Planned:  Fact and Myth in the Legacy of Flora MacDonald by John J. Toffey :  The Outlander series really turned me on to Scottish history as well as the history of the Scottish Highlanders in America.  I found Flora MacDonald to be an intriguing figure in the series and am looking to learning more about her. In the Garden of Beasts:  Lo

Review: "Sarah's Key" by Tatiana de Rosnay

From Goodreads:  Paris, July 1942: Sarah, a ten year-old girl, is brutally arrested with her family by the French police in the Vel’ d’Hiv’ roundup, but not before she locks her younger brother in a cupboard in the family's apartment, thinking that she will be back within a few hours. Paris, May 2002: On Vel’ d’Hiv’s 60th anniversary, journalist Julia Jarmond is asked to write an article about this black day in France's past. Through her contemporary investigation, she stumbles onto a trail of long-hidden family secrets that connect her to Sarah. Julia finds herself compelled to retrace the girl's ordeal, from that terrible term in the Vel d'Hiv', to the camps, and beyond. As she probes into Sarah's past, she begins to question her own place in France, and to reevaluate her marriage and her life. My thoughts:  This is one of the best books I have read this year.  It was excruciatingly sad but so compelling.  I am drawn to books set in the Holocaust becaus

Review: "Remainder" by Tom McCarthy

From Goodreads:  A man is severely injured in a mysterious accident, receives an outrageous sum in legal compensation, and has no idea what to do with it. Then, one night, an ordinary sight sets off a series of bizarre visions he can’t quite place. How he goes about bringing his visions to life–and what happens afterward–makes for one of the most riveting, complex, and unusual novels in recent memory. Remainder is about the secret world each of us harbors within, and what might happen if we were granted the power to make it real. My thoughts:  This was the May read for my book club.  It sounded kind of like "The Bourne Identity" and I thought it would be an interesting read.  I was wrong.  The whole story is very vague; you never know much about the main character and you never find out what his accident really was.  The story is basically about a strange guy with a lot of money that he spends setting up 're-enactments' of things he vaguely remembers from his life

Books I am Excited About

There are several books that have either just come out or will be coming out in the next couple months that I am super excited about. Queen by Right by Anne Easter Smith -Anne Easter Smith has written several novels that take place during the Wars of the Roses and that feature both Edward IV and Richard III.  I have thoroughly enjoyed all of her books and can not wait to read this one as it focuses on Edward and Richard's mother, Cecily Neville. The Summer Garden by Paullina Simons- This book was published a few years ago from what I can see but it is very expensive to buy in hardcover and I was unable to get it from my library.  It is coming out in June in paperback and I will be pre-ordering my copy so that I get it as soon as possible.  The Summer Garden is the third and final book in the "Tatiana and Alexander" trilogy.  It is also historical fiction but is set in America after World War II.  The first book in this trilogy, The Bronze Horseman , is an AMAZING bo

Review: "The Queen of Last Hopes" by Susan Higginbotham

From Goodreads:  A man other than my husband sits on England's throne today. What would happen if this king suddenly went mad? What would his queen do? Would she make the same mistakes I did, or would she learn from mine? Margaret of Anjou, queen of England, cannot give up on her husband-even when he slips into insanity. And as mother to the House of Lancaster's last hope, she cannot give up on her son-even when England turns against them. This gripping tale of a queen forced to stand strong in the face of overwhelming odds is at its heart a tender tale of love. Award-winning author Susan Higginbotham will once again ask readers to question everything they know about right and wrong, compassion and hope, duty to one's country and the desire of one's own heart. My Thoughts:  I love love love historical fiction and I have read several novels in this genre that take place during the Wars of the Roses.  Most of the books I have read about this period are told from th

Review: "It" by Stephen King

From Goodreads:  A promise made twenty-eight years ago calls seven adults to reunite in Derry, Maine, where as teenagers they battled an evil creature that preyed on the city's children. Unsure that their Losers Club had vanquished the creature all those years ago, the seven had vowed to return to Derry if IT should ever reappear. Now, children are being murdered again and their repressed memories of that summer return as they prepare to do battle with the monster lurking in Derry's sewers once more. My Take:  I just have to say that Stephen King creates the best characters.  The seven children he wrote for this book were amazing; I felt like I knew each one of them personally.  They were each so unique with their own individual problems but still felt strong enough to try to combat the evil that took over their city.  I must say that I was surprised at how not scared I was by this book.  The story was definitely creepy and Pennywise/Bob Gray was one bad dude but I think

Review: "Faefever" by Karen Marie Moning

From Goodreads:  He calls me his Queen of the Night. I'd die for him. I'd kill for him, too. When MacKayla Lane receives a torn page from her dead sister's journal, she is stunned by Alina's desperate words. And now MacKayla knows that her sister's killer is close. But evil is closer. And suddenly the sidhe- seer is on the hunt... For answers. For revenge. And for an ancient book of dark magic so evil, it corrupts anyone who touches it. Mac's quest for the Sinsar Dubh takes her into the mean, shape-shifting streets of Dublin, with a suspicious cop on her tail. Forced into a dangerous triangle of alliance with V'lane - an insatiable Fae prince of lethally erotic tastes; and Jericho Barrons - a man of primal desires and untold secrets - Mac is soon locked in a battle for her body, mind, and soul. As All Hallows' Eve approaches and the city descends into chaos, as a shocking truth about the Dark Book is uncovered, not even Mac can prevent a deadly rac