Source: from publisher for review

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Review: The Last Days of Magic

September 19, 2016 Uncategorized 2

Review: The Last Days of MagicTitle: The Last Days of Magic
Author: Mark Tompkins
Source: from publisher for review
Links: Amazon|Indiebound |Goodreads
Rating: three-stars

Summary: Fantastic worldbuilding, but the violent and depressing plot didn’t hold my interest.

“What became of magic in the world? Who needed to do away with it, and for what reasons?” (source). In The Last Days of Magic, the answer to this question is an epic battle between competing factions. These include the Celts who rule Ireland, some of the magical Sihde who feel slighted by the Celts, the English who want political control of Ireland, and the Roman Catholics who want religious control. As all of these enemies of the Celts converge, their heroine Aisling faces a crisis of faith that could lead to their destruction. At the same time, Jordan, the Vatican commander, becomes convinced that magic should be saved. Read more »

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#ReadThemAllThon Review: Commonwealth (and other books by Ann Patchett)

September 2, 2016 Fiction 12

#ReadThemAllThon Review: Commonwealth (and other books by Ann Patchett)Title: Commonwealth
Author: Ann Patchett
Source: from publisher for review
Links: Amazon|Indiebound |Goodreads
Rating: four-stars

Summary: I adore Ann Patchett’s writing and her plots always interest me, but the endings of her books always feel anticlimactic to me.

When Bert Cousin decided to crash Franny Keating’s christening party, he had no intention of kissing her mother. That one, unpremeditated act however, ended both of their marriages and irreversibly altered the lives of their children. Through five decades and one tragic accident, the Cousin and Keating children became a tight-knit group. The many issues hidden under the surface of their relationships were largely ignore until Franny’s affair with famous author Leon Posen lead to his publication of a book revealing their story. Read more »

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#FuturisticFriday Review: Love Wins

August 31, 2016 non-fiction 4

#FuturisticFriday Review: Love WinsTitle: Love Wins: The Lovers and Lawyers Who Fought the Landmark Case for Marriage Equality
Author: Debbie Cenziper, Jim Obergefell
Source: from publisher for review
Links: Amazon|Indiebound |Goodreads
Rating: five-stars

Summary: This was both a beautiful, emotional love story and a fantastic personal look at a defining moment in American history.

As lawyer Al Gerhardstein said, every civil rights case begins with a story. The case of Obergefell v. Hodges, the case in which the Supreme Court declared same sex marriage bans unconstitutional, began when Jim Obergefell and John Arthur fell in love. After a decades-long, committed relationship the couple found out that John had ALS. One of John’s last wishes was to provide for his spouse, but Ohio did not recognize their Maryland marriage. Jim’s decision to fight to fulfill John’s last wish led to this landmark moment in the history of gay rights. Read more »

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#ReadThemAllThon Review: Eligible

August 27, 2016 Uncategorized 6

#ReadThemAllThon Review: EligibleTitle: Eligible (The Austen Project #4)
Author: Curtis Sittenfeld
Source: from publisher for review
Links: Amazon|Indiebound |Goodreads
Rating: four-stars

Summary: This retelling was modernized well and written in a style that made me feel I was getting to read the original for the first time.

This modern-day retelling of Pride and Prejudice finds the Bennet family living in a decrepit but beautiful mansion in Cincinnati, largely getting by on inherited money. As you might imagine, only Liz and Jane are pursuing careers, but the do so passionately. Mrs. Bennet desperately wants to marry one of her daughters off to Chip Bingley, ex-reality TV star, but his friend Darcy’s prejudice against what he sees as the cultural backwater of Cincinnati threatens to ruin the match. Read more »

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#ReadThemAllThon Review: The Sunlight Pilgrims

August 23, 2016 Uncategorized 10

#ReadThemAllThon Review: The Sunlight PilgrimsTitle: The Sunlight Pilgrims
Author: Jenni Fagan
Source: from publisher for review
Links: Amazon|Indiebound |Goodreads
Rating: four-stars

Summary: A book to pick up more for beautiful, poetic writing and character study than for the action. Very surreal.

“Set in a Scottish caravan park during a freak winter – it is snowing in Jerusalem, the Thames is overflowing, and an iceberg separated from the Fjords in Norway is expected to arrive off the coast of Scotland – THE SUNLIGHT PILGRIMS tells the story of a small Scottish community living through what people have begun to think is the end of times. Bodies are found frozen in the street with their eyes open, euthanasia has become an acceptable response to economic collapse, schooling and health care are run primarily on a voluntary basis. But daily life carries on: Dylan, a refugee from panic-stricken London who is grieving for his mother and his grandmother, arrives in the caravan park in the middle of the night – to begin his life anew.” (Source) Read more »

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#FuturisticFriday Review: Seven Skeletons

August 21, 2016 Uncategorized 2

#FuturisticFriday Review: Seven SkeletonsTitle: Seven Skeletons: The Evolution of the World's Most Famous Human Fossils
Author: Lydia Pyne
Source: from publisher for review
Links: Amazon|Indiebound |Goodreads
Rating: three-stars

Summary: This was a fascinating read, but far too light. There was little science in this science history!

“Over the last century, the search for human ancestors has spanned four continents and resulted in the discovery of hundreds of fossils. While most of these discoveries live quietly in museum collections, there are a few that have become world-renowned celebrity personas—ambassadors of science that speak to public audiences. In Seven Skeletons, historian of science Lydia Pyne explores how seven such famous fossils of our ancestors have the social cachet they enjoy today.” (Source) Read more »

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#FuturisticFriday Review and Giveaway: Playing Dead

August 12, 2016 non-fiction 6

#FuturisticFriday Review and Giveaway: Playing DeadTitle: Playing Dead: A Journey Through the World of Death Fraud
Author: Elizabeth Greenwood
Source: from publisher for review
Links: Amazon|Indiebound |Goodreads
Rating: four-stars

Summary: This was a fascinating story written in a very accessible way, perfect for fans of Mary Roach or Caitlin Doughty.

Inspired by a joking comment about faking her own death to avoid student loan debt, Elizabeth Greenwood stumbled into the world of death fraud. She meets people who find people; people who help others disappear; people who believe some famous dead people are just faking it; and people who have been caught after faking their own death. She also experiments with some of the steps necessary to fake her own death and considers what might inspire someone to take such a drastic step. Read more »

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#FuturisticFriday Review: With Love From the Inside

August 6, 2016 Fiction, Uncategorized 6

#FuturisticFriday Review: With Love From the InsideTitle: With Love from the Inside
Author: Angela Pisel
Source: from publisher for review
Links: Amazon|Indiebound |Goodreads
Rating: four-stars

Summary: This was a beautiful, emotional read that felt incredibly real despite the extraordinary and suspenseful plot.

For Grace Bradshaw, having a date set for her execution only makes her desire to reconnect with her daughter more urgent. Her daughter Sophie is less certain she’s interested in reconnecting with her mother. Tired of the unwanted attention she received with her mother on death’s row, she concealed her mother’s existence from her husband and his family. With time running out, Sophie must quickly decide if she believes her mother is innocent and if reconnecting with her is worth the risk to her marriage. Read more »

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#FuturisticFriday Review and Giveaway: Heaven’s Ditch

August 4, 2016 Uncategorized 4

#FuturisticFriday Review and Giveaway: Heaven’s DitchTitle: Heaven's Ditch: God, Gold, and Murder on the Erie Canal
Author: Jack Kelly
Source: from publisher for review
Links: Amazon|Indiebound |Goodreads
Rating: three-stars

Summary: I enjoyed this fascinating story, but sometimes found the multiple storylines disjointed and confusing.

The Erie Canal was an incredible technological achievement and this book tells the story of its creation. As the canal was built up, cities rose due to the new trade routes it created and transportation became much more rapid. Both of these factors enabled the religious revival taking place in the region. Read more »

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#FuturisticFriday Review and Giveaway: The Regulars

August 2, 2016 Uncategorized 4

#FuturisticFriday Review and Giveaway: The RegularsTitle: The Regulars: A Novel
Author: Georgia Clark
Source: from publisher for review
Links: Amazon|Indiebound |Goodreads
Rating: four-stars

Summary Although the characters were sometimes frustrating, the plot a bit too neat, and the social commentary a bit heavy handed, I really enjoyed this dramatic, playful read.

“Best friends Evie, Krista, and Willow are just trying to make it through their mid-twenties in New York. They’re regular girls, with average looks and typical quarter-life crises: making it up the corporate ladder, making sense of online dating, and making rent. Until they come across Pretty, a magic tincture that makes them, well…gorgeous. Like, supermodel gorgeous. And it’s certainly not their fault if the sudden gift of beauty causes unexpected doors to open for them. But there’s a dark side to Pretty, too, and as the gloss fades for these modern-day Cinderellas, there’s just one question left: What would you sacrifice to be Pretty?” (Source) Read more »

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