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Showing posts from June, 2012

Quick Note

Hi Readers!  I just want to apologize for not being around much the past week or two.  We are getting ready to move at the end of July and it's making life a little hectic.  I am behind on my reading & blogging right now but am hoping to do some catch up over the weekend.  That being said, don't be surprised if my posts in July are sporadic.  I am hoping to keep up with my reading plans but that will depend on how smoothly packing/moving go. Hope everyone is having a great summer!!

Review: "Hugh and Bess" by Susan Higginbotham

From Goodreads:  Forced to marry Hugh le Despenser, the son and grandson of disgraced traitors, Bess de Montacute, just 13 years old, is appalled at his less-than-desirable past. Meanwhile, Hugh must give up the woman he really loves in order to marry the reluctant Bess. Far apart in age and haunted by the past, can Hugh and Bess somehow make their marriage work?    Just as walls break down and love begins to grow, the merciless plague endangers all whom the couple holds dear, threatening the life and love they have built. My Thoughts:   I apologize that this won't be a very lengthy review.    Hugh and Bess  is a sweet little love story about two people who didn't really want to marry each other but wound up falling in love with each other.  It was a very simple story and at times it felt more like I was reading a short story rather than a novel.  There wasn't a lot of depth to the story or much of a plot.  I read The Traitor's Wife a few years ago and  Hugh

Review: "Ada or Ardor" by Vladimir Nabokov

From Goodreads:  Published two weeks after his seventieth birthday, Ada, or Ardor is one of Nabokov's greatest masterpieces, the glorious culmination of his career as a novelist. It tells a love story troubled by incest. But more: it is also at once a fairy tale, epic, philosophical treatise on the nature of time, parody of the history of the novel, and erotic catalogue. Ada, or Ardor is no less than the supreme work of an imagination at white heat. My Thoughts:  I am just going to put it out there...I do not love Nabokov.  I really dislike his writing style and I have not enjoyed any of his books.  I took a class on him in college and we read 6 of his books, Ada, or Ardor was the one we didn't get to and it's been sitting on my shelf ever since.  I know he is considered a great writer but I think I am seriously missing something when I read his works.  The story was all over the place and it seemed like everyone was having sex with each other, whether or not they

Review: "The Queen's Vow" by C.W. Gortner

From Goodreads:  Young Isabella is barely a teenager when she and her brother are taken from their mother’s home to live under the watchful eye of their half-brother, King Enrique, and his sultry, conniving queen. There, Isabella is thrust into danger when she becomes an unwitting pawn in a plot to dethrone Enrique. Suspected of treason and held captive, she treads a perilous path, torn between loyalties, until at age seventeen she suddenly finds herself heiress of Castile, the largest kingdom in Spain. Plunged into a deadly conflict to secure her crown, she is determined to wed the one man she loves yet who is forbidden to her—Fernando, prince of Aragon. As they unite their two realms under “one crown, one country, one faith,” Isabella and Fernando face an impoverished Spain beset by enemies. With the future of her throne at stake, Isabella resists the zealous demands of the inquisitor Torquemada even as she is seduced by the dreams of an enigmatic navigator named Columbus. But

Review: "The Tea Rose" by Jennifer Donnelly

From Goodreads:  East London, 1888 - a city apart. A place of shadow and light where thieves, whores, and dreamers mingle, where children play in the cobbled streets by day and a killer stalks at night, where bright hopes meet the darkest truths. Here, by the whispering waters of the Thames, Fiona Finnegan, a worker in a tea factory, hopes to own a shop one day, together with her lifelong love, Joe Bristow, a costermonger's son. With nothing but their faith in each other to spur them on, Fiona and Joe struggle, save, and sacrifice to achieve their dreams. But Fiona's life is shattered when the actions of a dark and brutal man take from her nearly everything-and everyone-she holds dear. Fearing her own death, she is forced to flee London for New York. There, her indomitable spirit propels her rise from a modest West Side shop-front to the top of Manhattan's tea trade. But Fiona's old ghosts do not rest quietly, and to silence them, she must venture back to the Lond

Top Ten Books On My Summer TBR List

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish . This week's topic is:  Top Ten Books on My Summer TBR List Oh my goodness!  There are so many books on my summer TBR list.  It's a little out of control!  Here are a few that I hope to get through this summer. 1.) The Golden Lily by Richelle Mead -I am so ready to find out what's going on with the Vampire Academy gang! 2.) Insurgent by Veronica Roth - I didn't love Divergent but I am still very curious as to what will happen in this book. 3.) City of Lost Souls by Cassandra Clare - I can't quit this series even though the last book was pretty meh. 4.) Frankenstein by Mary Shelley - I definitely want to read some classics this summer and for some reason I have never read this. 5.) The Scarlet Pimpernel by Emmuska Orczy - Another classic to read this summer. 6.) Ada or Ardor by Vladimir Nabokov - I have put off reading this for far too long.  It is like a nagging thorn in m

Review: "Her Highness, the Traitor" by Susan Higginbotham

From Goodreads:  As Henry VIII draws his last breath, two very different women, Jane Dudley, Viscountess Lisle, and Frances Grey, Marchioness of Dorset, face the prospect of a boy king, Edward VI. For Jane Dudley, basking in the affection of her large family, the coming of a new king means another step upward for her ambitious, able husband, John. For Frances Grey, increasingly alienated from her husband and her brilliant but arrogant daughter Lady Jane, it means that she—and the Lady Jane—are one step closer to the throne of England. Then the young king falls deathly ill. Determined to keep England under Protestant rule, he concocts an audacious scheme that subverts his own father’s will. Suddenly, Jane Dudley and Frances Grey are reluctantly bound together in a common cause—one that will test their loyalties, their strength, and their faith, and that will change their lives beyond measure. My Thoughts:  I received this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.  I hav

Stacking the Shelves (6)

Stacking the Shelves is a weekly feature hosted by Tynga's Reviews .  It is great way to showcase all the books you received during the week. This week was such a great week for books!  A bunch of my holds from the library came in and I received some other really awesome books.  I can't wait to get to them all! From the Library: The Golden Lily by Richelle Mead  (!!!!!) Insurgent by Veronica Roth Gilt by Katherine Longshore For Review from the Author: The Queen's Pleasure by Brandy Purdy (Thank you!!) From NetGalley: A Dangerous Inheritance by Alison Weir (I <3 Alison Weir!) What books did you get this week?

"The White Russian" by Tom Bradby

From Goodreads:  January 1917—With St. Petersburg on the brink of revolution, Sandro Ruzsky, the city’s chief police investigator, returns from exile in Siberia only to be assigned a grisly case: the bodies of a young couple found on the ice of the frozen River Neva, just outside the Tsar’s Winter Palace. Ruzsky’s investigation leads him dangerously close to the royal family and to the woman he loves, and he finds himself confronting both a ruthless killer and the ghosts of his past as he fights desperately to save all that he cares for. With meticulous research and narrative skill Tom Bradby brilliantly re-creates the gilded salons and squalid tenements of St. Petersburg in the last days of the tsars. Evocative and thrilling, The White Russian is a tumultuous story of murder and betrayal in a city at the crossroads of history. My Thoughts:  I found this book completely by accident.  It was on display at the library and the cover made me pick it up.  It sounds like a book that w

Review: "The Scarlet Letter" by Nathaniel Hawthorne

From Goodreads:  Set in the harsh Puritan community of seventeenth-century Boston, this tale of an adulterous entanglement that results in an illegitimate birth reveals Nathaniel Hawthorne's concerns with the tension between the public and the private selves. Publicly disgraced and ostracized, Hester Prynne draws on her inner strength and certainty of spirit to emerge as the first true heroine of American fiction. Arthur Dimmesdale, trapped by the rules of society, stands as a classic study of a self divided. My Thoughts:   This is my first book finished for the  Classics Bribe .  Yay!   I feel like I should have read this book a LONG time ago but I was kind of afraid of it.  After reading it, I am kind of surprised at myself because it was not bad at all.  It was a nice change to read a book that is mostly told from an outside perspective; it felt like I was watching through someone else's eyes.  There is a narrator but we never find out who this person is and and tha

Top Ten Beach Reads

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish . This week's topic: Top Ten Beach Reads I love to read super fluffy books at the beach so that's pretty much what this list will be comprised of! 1.) The Black Dagger Brotherhood series by J.R. Ward- I wouldn't mind spending a beach day with Vishous and the other brothers. 2.) Anything by Nora Roberts- I don't read her books very often but they would definitely be something I throw in my beach bag. 3.) The Vampire Academy series by Richelle Mead- I wouldn't call this series fluffy but it is definitely one that would keep me glued to my beach chair. 4.) The Stephanie Plum series by Janet Evanovich- Hilarious fluffy fun!  My only concern would be that these books would make me laugh out loud and people would look at me weird. 5.) Anything by Jen Lancaster- Sea, sand and snark...count me in! 6.) The Millenium series by Stieg Larsson- I know that not everyone loves

Review: "The Wolves of Andover" by Kathleen Kent

From Goodreads:  In the harsh wilderness of colonial Massachusetts, Martha Allen works as a servant in her cousin's household, taking charge and locking wills with everyone. Thomas Carrier labors for the family and is known both for his immense strength and size and mysterious past. The two begin a courtship that suits their independent natures, with Thomas slowly revealing the story of his part in the English Civil War. But in the rugged new world they inhabit, danger is ever present, whether it be from the assassins sent from London to kill the executioner of Charles I or the wolves-in many forms-who hunt for blood. A love story and a tale of courage, The Wolves of Andover confirms Kathleen Kent's ability to craft powerful stories of family from colonial history. My Thoughts:  I picked this up because I read The Heretic's Daughter a few years ago and really enjoyed it.  It wasn't until I was well into the book that I realized it is a prequel to The Heretic&

Stacking the Shelves (5)

Stacking the Shelves is a weekly feature hosted by Tyn ga's Reviews .  It's a great way to share anything bookish that you received during the week. I received more books than I anticipated this week but it's all good!  Here is what I got: From book exchange: City of Lost Souls by Cassandra Clare  (I hope this one is better than book 4!) From Library: Hugh and Bess by Susan Higginbotham   From NetGalley: The Second Empress by Michelle Moran Shadow of Night by Deborah Harkness  (!!!!) I am pretty excited to read all of these!! What books did you pick up this week?

Review: "The Second Duchess" by Elizabeth Loupas

From Goodreads:  In a city-state known for magnificence, where love affairs and conspiracies play out amidst brilliant painters, poets and musicians, the powerful and ambitious Alfonso d'Este, duke of Ferrara, takes a new bride. Half of Europe is certain he murdered his first wife, Lucrezia, the luminous child of the Medici. But no one dares accuse him, and no one has proof-least of all his second duchess, the far less beautiful but delightfully clever Barbara of Austria. At first determined to ignore the rumors about her new husband, Barbara embraces the pleasures of the Ferrarese court. Yet wherever she turns she hears whispers of the first duchess's wayward life and mysterious death. Barbara asks questions-a dangerous mistake for a duchess of Ferrara. Suddenly, to save her own life, Barbara has no choice but to risk the duke's terrifying displeasure and discover the truth of Lucrezia's death-or she will share her fate. My Thoughts:  I must say that I LOVED

Review: "Clockwork Prince" by Cassandra Clare

From Goodreads:  In the magical underworld of Victorian London, Tessa Gray has at last found safety with the Shadowhunters. But that safety proves fleeting when rogue forces in the Clave plot to see her protector, Charlotte, replaced as head of the Institute. If Charlotte loses her position, Tessa will be out on the street and easy prey for the mysterious Magister, who wants to use Tessa's powers for his own dark ends. With the help of the handsome, self-destructive Will and the fiercely devoted Jem, Tessa discovers that the Magister's war on the Shadowhunters is deeply personal. He blames them for a long-ago tragedy that shattered his life. To unravel the secrets of the past, the trio journeys from mist-shrouded Yorkshire to a manor house that holds untold horrors, from the slums of London to an enchanted ballroom where Tessa discovers that the truth of her parentage is more sinister than she had imagined. When they encounter a clockwork demon bearing a warning for Wil

Top Ten Intimidating Books

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish . This week's topic is:  Top Ten Tuesday Rewind (meaning I get to pick a past TTT topic and post about it.  I picked:  Top Ten Most Intimidating Books Some that I have read: 1.) Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand - I had this book on my shelf for 3 years before I finally read it all the way through.  I don't know which intimidated me more, the length or Rand's philosophy. 2.)  The Stand by Stephen King - I was nervous about this book because it was so long.  I don't know why I was concerned because I loved this book.  Even though it's long, it reads quick. 3.) War and Peace by Lev Tolstoy - I have read this book twice, once in English and once in Russian.  It's intimidating because it's long and is the masterpiece of Russian literature but it is one of my all time favorites.  4.) The Fellowship of the Ring by J.R.R. Tolkein - I don't love fantasy and I heard this book was a difficu

Summer Reading Plans

(This is my hometown.  I don't live there anymore but I miss the beaches come summer!) Summertime is finally here and the means summer reading!  I am not going on any fun summer vacations so I have to do my traveling via books. This summer I am participating in my local library's summer reading program.  Upon completion of the program, you get a prize pack and are entered into a drawing for tons of really cool prizes!  Last summer the goal was to read 5 books set in 5 different continents.  It was a little tricky and took me most of the summer to complete.  This summer, the goal is to read 5 books.  If you finish early, they will give you another chance to enter the drawing if you read 3 more books.  How easy is that?  The summer reading program started on May 24 and since then I have already finished 2 books so I'll be done before you know it. Sometime this summer I hope to finish reading Twilight in Russian.  I bought this book a few years ago after reading the fir

May Wrapup

Wow!  I can't believe May is over already!  It has been a super crazy busy month and all kinds of things have been going on.  I  participated in two 5K races and will start training for my second 1/2 marathon next week.  Yippee!  I also will be changing jobs and my new job starts on Monday.  Yippee again!  I am really excited as I have not been happy at my current job for pretty much the entire time I have been here.  I am looking forward to starting a cake decorating class next month which should be fun.  I haven't done any decorating since the fall and I really miss it.  So June looks like it's going to be a great month! I read a lot this month.  I finished 12 books which puts me at a total 57 books read for the year.  I am kind of disappointed in myself since I only read 3 books off my shelf and for some reason I keep picking up more library books and books from NetGalley.  But I am going to try not to sweat it.  I would love to read more of the books I own but they ju