Tag: review

Assassination Vacation

June 15, 2014 History, Humor, Memoir, non-fiction 12

3110Title: Assassination Vacation
Author: Sarah Vowell
Source: library
Rating: ★★☆☆☆
Review Summary: Despite Vowell’s enthusiasm and interesting content, her disorganization and focus on her own political opinions made this only an ok read for me.

For a unique and morbid vacation experience, Sarah Vowell decided to travel the country by visiting locations where politicians have been assassinated. In this book, she shares interesting anecdotes, both from history and her own experiences, as well as a ton of fun facts. I really liked this approach to the story because, as I mentioned in my review of The Map Thief, I like when authors of nonfiction insert themselves into their work. It’s one way of adding immediacy to a story which is mostly about the past. I also enjoyed the historical information which the author presented in a fashion suitable for a cocktail party. This was often enjoyable but something about her light tone sometimes rubbed me the wrong way. Read more »


The Impaler Legacy

April 12, 2014 Fiction 3

Impaler Legacy - OmnibusTitle: The Impaler Legacy Omnibus
Author: Ioana Visan
Source: from author for review
Rating: ★★☆☆☆

Since this is a collection of several novellas and short stories, I’ve decided to break from my usual format and do short, bulleted reviews for each title in the collection. In this series, the author imagines a world in which vampires coexist with human everywhere except Romania. The absence of vampires is the responsibility of The Little Council, including Liana Cantacuzino and other descendants of Romanian families with some natural resistance to vampiric powers. When the president requests that Liana help sneak a vampire into Romania, the secrets she learns will forever change the way Romanians interact with vampires. Read more »


Book To Movie Challenge: First Quarter Check-In

April 2, 2014 Blogger Events, Book To Movie Challenge 18



Hi all and welcome to the first Book to Movie Challenge Check-In! I hope you’re all having a great time reading and watching so far this year. As always, my co-host Sergio of Tipping My Fedora is rocking this challenge, with 15 book to movie adaptations reviewed already! Since I love Agatha Christie, one of his reviews which I enjoyed the most was Marple: Endless Night. This first review not from the two of us hosting the challenge was a review of Gone Girl from Wendy at Wensend. Similarly, the latest non-host review was All Quiet on the Western Front from Bettina at Impressions Notebook. Personally, I’ve made it through two book/movie pairs: Darkly Dreaming Dexter and Monuments Men. I’ve also read Sharp Objects for my book club, but it was so dark, I might be too nervous to watch the movie! Below is the link-up for continuing to add your reviews in 2014. Thanks so much for joining in on this fun challenge! Read more »



March 11, 2014 Fiction, Literary 24

CoincidenceTitle: Coincidence
Author: J. W. Ironmonger
Source: from publisher for TLC Book Tour
Rating: ★★★★★
Review Summary: This was one of those books where the writing was so perfect and the plot was so engaging, I had a hard time stopping reading long enough to take notes.

Azalea Lewis believes that everything happens for a reason. Given the astonishing coincidences that have shaped her life, perhaps this should come as no surprise. However, it does make her relationship with Professor Thomas Post rather difficult, since he’s made a career of rationalizing away people’s belief in meaningful coincidences. When Azalea’s study of her past leads her to believe that she will die on Midsummer’s Day, Thomas begins to fear that her belief in coincidences will be proved right if he doesn’t do something to save her. Read more »



The Sh!t No One Tells You

November 29, 2013 Humor, Memoir, non-fiction, Self-Help 12

16073050Title: The Sh!t No One Tells You: A Guide to Surviving Your Baby’s First Year
Author: Dawn Dais
Source: from publisher for review
Rating: ★★★☆☆
Review Summary: This was often funny but also had sections that contained really useful advice and heart-warming empathy for new mothers.

“There comes a time in every new mother’s life when she finds herself staring at her screaming, smelly “bundle of joy” and wishing someone had told her that her house would reek of vomit, or that she shouldn’t buy the cute onesies with a thousand impossible buttons, or that she might cry more than the baby….Eschewing the adorableness that oozes out of other parenting books, Dais offers real advice from real moms—along with hilarious anecdotes, clever tips, and the genuine encouragement every mom needs in order to survive the first year of parenthood.” (Source) Read more »


Author Interview with Trini Amador

November 11, 2013 Author Interview 2

17355195Today I’m pleased to introduce you all to Trini Amador, author of the thrilling historical fiction novel Gracianna. Trini’s story is based on the life of his great grandmother Gracianna and I’m very excited to hear a bit about how he wove together fact and fiction. Hi Trini and welcome!

Awww, thanks so much for having me.

Would you please start by telling us a bit about the kind of research you did while writing Gracianna?

Read more »



November 8, 2013 Fiction, Historical Fiction 9

17355195Title: Gracianna
Author: Trini Amador
Source: from publisher for review
Rating: ★★★★☆
Review Summary: Although the beginning was a bit choppy, by the end I was completely engaged in the story and had a hard time putting it down.

Gracianna is a fictionalized account of the life of the author’s great-grandmother. Inspired by his discovery of a loaded German Luger in her house when he was only four years old, Trini learned all he could of her life from his relatives. He filled in the gaps with a gripping tale of a courageous woman recruited into the French resistance during the Nazi occupation of Paris and forced to make some very difficult choices. Read more »


Sense and Sensibility Re-telling

November 1, 2013 Classics, Fiction, Re-telling 25

Sense and SensibilityTitle: Sense and Sensibility
Author: Joanna Trollope
Source: from publisher for TLC book tour
Rating: ★★★★★
Review Summary: This book was an incredibly similar experience to reading the original and it feel fresh again because of the change in setting.

There are two kinds of re-tellings. There are those which use the original as an inspiration and which become awesome by using the original material in creative new ways. Cinder is one of my favorite examples of that kind of re-telling. This is not that kind of re-telling. This is the other kind, where the source material is preserved almost entirely with just a setting change and this is by far the best example of that kind of re-telling that I’ve ever read. Read more »


Fighting for the Press

October 2, 2013 History, Memoir, non-fiction 4

17561074Title: Fighting for the Press: The Inside Story of the Pentagon Papers and Other Battles
Author: James C. Goodale
Source: from publisher for review
Rating: ★★★★☆
Review Summary: Although I thought the book was a bit biased and over-dramatic, it was so exciting to get a personal, inside look at this fascinating story that I didn’t even mind.

The publication of the Pentagon Papers, top secret documents leaked to a reporter, was contentious from the beginning. First, there was internal debate at The New York Times over whether or not to publish. Then publication led to one of the most important first amendment cases ever, as the government sought an injunction to keep The Times from continuing to publish more of the Pentagon Papers. As the chief legal counsel for The Times, James Goodale is able to share his first hand experience  and his thoughts on the personalities involved in this momentous historical case. Read more »