Source: from publisher for review

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#FuturisticFriday Review and Giveaway: The Lost City of the Monkey God

January 23, 2017 Uncategorized 6

#FuturisticFriday Review and Giveaway: The Lost City of the Monkey GodTitle: The Lost City of the Monkey God: A True Story
Author: Douglas Preston
Source: from publisher for review
Links: Amazon|Indiebound |Goodreads
Rating: four-stars

Summary: This was a fun adventure story, but a little light on the science and archeology.

A mysterious civilization as wealthy as the Maya has long been rumored to be hidden in the mountainous Mosquitia region of Honduras.  However, it was only with the advent of LIDAR, a sonar-like technology for mapping the jungle floor, that any progress was made in the search. The two sprawling cities revealed by this mapping were incredible discoveries that the author was able to explore on foot, enduring encounters with “torrential rains, quickmud, disease-carrying insects, jaguars, and deadly snakes” (source). This is the story of that expedition. Read more »

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Translated Fiction Review: The Slow Waltz of Turtles

January 5, 2017 Uncategorized 3

Translated Fiction Review: The Slow Waltz of TurtlesTitle: The Slow Waltz of Turtles
Author: Katherine Pancol
Source: from publisher for review
|Goodreads
Rating: three-stars

Summary: I enjoyed the writing style and many perspectives, but this was darker than the first book and the character development felt like a repeat.

“Forty-something mother of two Josephine Cortes is at a crossroads. She has just moved to a posh new apartment in Paris after the success of the historical novel she ghostwrote for her sister, Iris. Still struggling with her divorce – the result of her husband running off to Kenya to start a crocodile farm with his mistress – she is now entangled in a lie orchestrated by her sister. And just when things seem as though they can’t get any more complicated, people start turning up dead in her neighbourhood.” (Source) Read more »

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#FuturisticFriday Review and Giveaway: Victoria

November 27, 2016 Uncategorized 0

#FuturisticFriday Review and Giveaway: VictoriaTitle: Victoria
Author: Daisy Goodwin
Source: from publisher for review
Links: Amazon|Indiebound |Goodreads
Rating: three-stars

Summary: This was an interesting and well written story, but it was more of a romance than I expected and the writing wasn’t emotionally engaging enough for that.

“In 1837, less than a month after her eighteenth birthday, Alexandrina Victoria – sheltered, small in stature, and female – became Queen of Great Britain and Ireland. Many thought it was preposterous: Alexandrina — Drina to her family — had always been tightly controlled by her mother and her household, and was surely too unprepossessing to hold the throne. Yet from the moment William IV died, the young Queen startled everyone: abandoning her hated first name in favor of Victoria; insisting, for the first time in her life, on sleeping in a room apart from her mother; resolute about meeting with her ministers alone. One of those ministers, Lord Melbourne, became Victoria’s private secretary. Perhaps he might have become more than that, except everyone argued she was destined to marry her cousin, Prince Albert.” (Source) Read more »

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#FuturisticFriday Review and Giveaway: A Warrior of the People

November 11, 2016 Biography, History, non-fiction 4

#FuturisticFriday Review and Giveaway: A Warrior of the PeopleTitle: A Warrior of the People: How Susan La Flesche Overcame Racial and Gender Inequality to Become America’s First Indian Doctor
Author: Joe Starita
Source: from publisher for review
Links: Amazon|Indiebound |Goodreads
Rating: three-stars

Summary: An incredible and engaging story, although written a bit simply.

Susan La Flesche was the first Native American to become a doctor, at a time when any female doctors were rare. She overcome many obstacles and made difficult personal sacrifices to serve her people. Her level of community involvement while in school and while serving as a doctor was almost unbelievable. She led a fascinating and inspiring life. Read more »

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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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