Source: from publisher for review

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Review: The Comet Seekers

November 3, 2016 Uncategorized 10

Review: The Comet SeekersTitle: The Comet Seekers
Author: Helen Sedgwick
Source: from publisher for review
Links: Amazon|Indiebound |Goodreads
Rating: five-stars

Summary: The beautiful writing plus the lovely mix of science and story reminded me of All the Light We Cannot See, but happier.

“Róisín and François first meet in the snowy white expanse of Antarctica. And everything changes. While Róisín grew up in a tiny village in Ireland, ablaze with a passion for science and the skies and for all there is to discover about the world, François was raised by his beautiful young mother, who dreamt of new worlds but was unable to turn her back on her past. As we loop back through their lives, glimpsing each of them only when a comet is visible in the skies above, we see how their paths cross as they come closer and closer to this moment.” (Source) Read more »

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Review and Giveaway: Vinegar Girl

October 16, 2016 Uncategorized 4

Review and Giveaway: Vinegar GirlTitle: Vinegar Girl (Hogarth Shakespeare)
Author: Anne Tyler
Source: from publisher for review
Links: Amazon|Indiebound |Goodreads
Rating: three-stars

Summary: Basically a less well-modernized, less entertaining version of 10 Things I Hate About You.

Vinegar Girl is the latest installment in the Hogarth Shakespeare series of retellings. I loved the Merchant of Venice retelling, Shylock is My Name, so I had high hopes for this retelling of The Taming of the Shrew. I remembered liking the series when I was younger, although a recent post by Krysta at Pages Unbound about the misogyny in the original made me realize that the domestic abuse went right over my head at the time. This book generally eliminated that problem, but the conclusion was still a little off for me. Read more »

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Review: Wonder Women

October 2, 2016 Uncategorized 16

Review: Wonder WomenTitle: Wonder Women: 25 Innovators, Inventors, and Trailblazers Who Changed History
Author: Sam Maggs, Sophia Foster-Dimino
Source: from publisher for review
Links: Amazon|Indiebound |Goodreads
Rating: four-stars

Summary: This engaging book is full of fascinating stories and inspiring interviews, pefect for readers of any age.

As author Sam Maggs points out, women have been doing awesome science, inventing, espionage, and adventuring for all of human history. They’ve simply done so against imposing odds and often received little credit for their work. In Wonder Women, Maggs not only tries to start balancing the scales by telling more of their stories, she includes interviews with women who are currently excelling in their fields. Read more »

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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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