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Showing posts from September, 2022

Why I Dislike Audiobooks (But think they are great anyway!)

So this post might get me in hot water with some of my new bookish friends but I'm going to write it anyway....I'm not famous so who cares, right? Anyway, I was thinking about this topic after trying for the umpteenth time to listen to a book in the car and wondering why I wasn't feeling it. Was it the book? The narrator? My inability to drive? I absolutely love listening to podcasts....audiobooks....not so much.    Reason 1: The pacing When I'm actually reading a book I can ponder it more. Go back and think about something that didn't make sense, re-read it, use the search button on my Kindle to look up a character or event I've forgotten about. With an audiobook it's full speed ahead. No chance to stop and think over what I'm hearing. Sure you can hit the back button but who has time for that, and especially if you are driving. Reason 2: Cheesy Narration The narration is a big one for me too. Some books are fine if the narrator basically reads the sto

Queen of Swords by Judith Tarr

  Publication Date:  1997 Length:  464 pages My Rating:  ⭐⭐⭐☆☆  3 out of 5 stars WHY I CHOSE THIS BOOK: This was the first Judith Tarr novel I'd run across. It looked interesting and I hadn't found another book concerning Queen Melisende of Jerusalem that was historical fiction. Also, it is part of a trilogy about Melisende, Cleopatra, and Theophano (I'd never even heard of her!) Judith Tarr has a Ph.D. in Medieval Studies, not something to be taken lightly when considering whether she has the background knowledge to write about the time period. So I was excited to try this book out. I was surprised to find out it was written in 1997 and I'd never seen it before. I settled in to read all about Melisende and her life in novel form. I got about a third of the way through it and realized that strangely enough it wasn't really Melisende who took center stage. It was the fictional character, Richildis, and her fictional family. That would be fine in a historical fiction

Murder At the Breakers (A Gilded Newport Mystery) by Alyssa Maxwell

  Publication Date:  March 25, 2014 Length:  304 pages My Rating: ⭐⭐⭐☆☆  3 out of 5 stars WHY I CHOSE THIS BOOK: This was a new author for me and there are several sequels to this series, so I was excited to read this book. The cover and title looked really intriguing too and I just love all things Newport and Gilded Age themed! This book takes the well known Vanderbilt family and adds a fictional character, murder mystery, and internal drama. It's a great premise with lots of potential. SUMMARY: It's 1895 in Newport, Rhode Island and Emma Cross is going to be attending a ball at the home of her distant cousin, Cornelius Vanderbilt. Emma loves her family but shuns the high society snobbery she is unwillingly a part of and walks the line between attending necessary functions and keeping her day job. Unusual for her time, she insists on her independence and because her parents are often absent and abroad living the wandering, European lifestyle, Emma has gotten used to being her

Why I Can't Read One Book At a Time

  My current pile: A Witness To Murder by Verity Bright (Cozy Mystery) A Study in Scarlet by Arthur Conan Doyle (Mystery) Falls the Shadow by Sharon Kay Penman (Historical Fiction) A Christmas Deliverance by Anne Perry (Victorian Mystery) The Royal Stuarts by Allan Massie  (History) I have tried. I have really, really tried to just read one book at a time. And every now and then I'm successful. But not very often. So I was wondering how normal I am? Or if anyone else struggles with this problem.  I have friends who ask me how on earth I can concentrate on more than one book at at time. But I'm asking the opposite of them: How can you only read one book at a time? Here are my reasons for that stack by my bed or in my Kindle: 1. Genre Hopping: While it's true I'm partial to mysteries and historical fiction, I also love history and politics. Also, within the genres there are sub-genres like cozy mysteries, Victorian mysteries, and of course the others I mentioned have too

Queens of England by Norah Lofts

  Publication Date: September 1, 1977 Length: 192 pages My Rating:  ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐  5 out of 5 stars WHY I CHOSE THIS BOOK: The world lost an amazing lady this week. At the age of 96, Queen Elizabeth II passed away and an era ended. I wanted to take a time out from cozy mysteries and historical fiction and review a book near and dear to my heart honoring all the Queens of England since, well, before there really were true queens reigning. It is sad to know that this book, published in 1977, will now have to be updated for the first time. Queen Elizabeth sat on the throne for 70 years, longer than any other British monarch and longer than any other female head of state in history. When I think of all she witnessed and influenced over her life it is truly amazing.  I chose to review this book in honor of her because it was my literal obsession as a small child and what got me hooked completely on a lifelong fascination with the British monarchy and history in general. No I haven't read it cov

Death At the Dance by Verity Bright (A Lady Eleanor Swift Mystery) Book Two

  Publication Date: July 6, 2020 Length: 274 pages My Rating:  ⭐⭐⭐⭐☆  4 out of 5 stars WHY I CHOSE THIS BOOK: This series is becoming my favorite time out from long, heavy books. That isn't to say it isn't clever and well written because it is, but rather it is a nice uplifting way to spend a few days with a fun read. I didn't plan to review book two so soon but I got a break between other, longer books and decided I had to see what Ellie and Clifford were up to. Also, I shared my review of book one with the author and received a kind reply. So that was nice! SUMMARY: Death at the Dance picks up shortly after A Very English Murder. Ellie is just settling into life at Henley Hall and starting to feel part of the community. After her dazzling display of detective skills in catching the murderer of the man at the quarry she is perplexed to find herself involved yet again in another case. Who would have thought? While attending a masquerade party at her new squeeze's mansio

You Haven't Read That??? Books I haven't read yet....but everyone thinks I should.

  I promised my son I'd credit him for this post idea so....thanks son! Tonight we were at the kitchen table and he was doing homework and I was working on my blog. He randomly asked me, "Hey Mom, have you read the book War and Peace by Tolstoy?" When I said no he replied, "What? You haven't?", and it got me thinking. How many books have I not read only to be told by someone I should? Or seen surprise in someone's face when I tell them I had no interest in a certain classic? Or how many times have I gotten my "I've read all the books judgey face" with others? Sadly, more than I'd like to admit. On both counts. But it makes for a fun opinion post!  When I think about a list like this of course the classics come to mind. But there are also modern books written in the last 20 years that make the cut. I can get in a rut and read a certain time period or author and not be interested in anything else. Also, some classics are just too dang com