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Showing posts from January, 2023

The White Ship by Charles Spencer

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Publication Date: October 19, 2021 Length:  352 pages My Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ I'd been eager to start this book, not only because it is about a period of time I love to learn about, but because it is a non-fiction history book. I made a goal this year to read a bit more history like I used to years ago before I made the switch to a lot of historical fiction and historical mysteries. Sometimes you just want the facts without a story line and so I thought this looked like a good book to begin with in January. The book takes you through the reign of William the Conqueror to the rise of Henry II. It gives a good synopsis of each ruler and their influence on history, all of it linking back to the premise that the White Ship disaster of 1120 was the driving factor behind the ruin of Henry I's ambitions for England. The prologue, A Cry in the Dark , is short but riveting, describing the terror and horror of that night and in an interesting twist, leaves one hanging, thinking the young Prince

Can’t Wait Wednesday: The Conscience of a King by David Field (Medieval Saga Book 7)

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This week's Can't Wait Wednesday, hosted by Tressa at WishfulEndings , is the seventh book in David Field's Medieval Saga Series. I haven't read any of his works yet so I can't recommend them but when I saw this story has Simon de Montfort as the main character, I was intrigued. You don't see much of him in literature aside from Penman's Falls the Shadow. I'm interested enough to put it in my TBR pile.  I also really enjoy series that take historical facts and real people and make them the basis of the story rather than fictional characters. It's such a great way to learn and retain historical facts in an interesting way. This series takes you from the Norman Conquest through the end of Henry III's reign.  March 17, 2023 Historical Fiction Book description courtesy of Amazon  England, 1229 After fighting in the Albigensian Crusade in France, Simon de Montfort – a landless nobleman – arrives at the court of Henry III, hoping to re-establish his fa

Execution Dock by Anne Perry

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Publication Date:  March 24, 2009 Length: 320 pages My Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐☆ Looking back through my blog posts I was astounded to realize I hadn't read and reviewed a William Monk book at all yet. And even though one of my goals this year is to try to read new authors, I couldn't resist checking in with William and Hester to see what they are doing next. Execution Dock is book 16 in Perry's popular Monk series. I have been steadily reading them for years now and like to go in order because even though her books can stand alone as far as the mystery narrative, you get more out of the books if you understand the background of the leading characters.  The book opens with our hero Monk, now Commander of London’s River Police, attempting to catch Jericho Phillips, a shady underworld figure who traffics in child exploitation. When he and his men succeed in bringing him in, they are elated and look forward to seeing justice served. But when Phillips is set free for a crime Monk is sure

Top Ten Tuesday: Bookish Goals for 2023

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  This week's Top Ten Tuesday is all about bookish goals for the year. And I love it. Goals are definitely my thing. They keep me on track and give me a purpose. Since this blog is totally optional in my life it is the kind of thing that can fall by the wayside. And since I have to read continuously for it I am all about setting goals for what, why, and when I'm going to do that. But having said that, I always knew I didn't want my reading life to become a chore or a slave to blogging about the books. That's no fun. So my goals should include realistic expectations that don't feel too confining. Here are my top ten bookish goals for 2023. 1. Read more history.  I love historical fiction. But lately I'm finding myself drawn back to straight history books too. Sometimes I just want to know the facts without wading through dialogue, plots, and character drama. I miss the straightforwardness of history books and plan to work those into my reading life again on a mor

The House of Mirth by Edith Wharton

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  Publication Date: October 14, 1905 Length: 236 pages My Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐☆ This was my second book for the Classics Club and also one of my January Historical Fiction Reading Challenge choices. I've had it in my Kindle forever and always wanted to tackle it. I sort of have a love/hate relationship with some of the classics: when I am immersed in the story, I really love it. But when I want to just zone out and am tired I get stressed about reading them because they require so much concentration. This book was not terribly difficult but it did stretch my vocabulary and made me ponder some deep ideas about life and what is important. And that is why the classics are, well, classics!  Lily Bart is faking her way through life when we meet her at the beginning of the story. She is twenty-nine years old (a veritable Old Maid by the standards of the day) and looking desperately for a husband who can keep her styled in the manner she has become accustomed to. She is attracted to Lawrence Sel

Can't Wait Wednesday: The Granddaughters of Edward III by Kathryn Warner

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  It's time for another Can't Wait Wednesday hosted by Tressa at WishfulEndings . I love this weekly post because it is simple yet productive in that it promotes up and coming books and authors who are publishing something in the next few months. I love going onto NetGalley and seeing great books and being able to share the ones I'm excited about. This week I have chosen a non-fiction book that looks fascinating to me. It's The Granddaughters of Edward III by Kathryn Warner.  I think the Edward eras are often overlooked due to the overabundance of literature and history on the Tudors and Victoria. So anytime I see a story about them I'm usually interested. The fact that this book zeros in on the women descendants makes this book very appealing. I will definitely be looking forward to it!  February 28, 2023 *I'm only finding it for sale in the UK so that might be a bit of an issue. Hopefully it will be available in the US on Amazon Kindle soon. Biographies/Memoir

Sad Cypress (A Hercule Poirot Mystery) by Agatha Christie

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Publication Date: March 1939 Length:  256 pages My Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ This was the January book for this year's Read Christie 2023 challenge and one I'd never heard of. My immediate reaction upon seeing it was that I loved the cover and the title. Sometimes that alone is enough to make me happy to read something. Silly I know, but since there are whole Instagram pages dedicated to pretty book covers, I know I'm in good company! It is short and I was able to read it within a couple of days and considering I'm a teacher who just went back this week after two lazy weeks off for Christmas, I'm pretty proud of myself to have finished it already.  The challenge is a lot of fun and I'm excited to see the upcoming books with their methods and motives theme this year. As you can see from my rating.....I absolutely loved it. Elinor Carlisle has been accused of murdering her romantic rival, Mary Gerrard. Upon the death of Elinor's Aunt Laura, she had expected to receive a s

Can't Wait Wednesday: The Cabinet of Dr. Leng by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child

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For this week's Can't Wait Wednesday I've chosen the new thriller mystery The Cabinet of Dr. Leng by Preston and Child. I have not read their books in a long, long time and I saw that this new one is coming out January 17th. I remember reading several of the novels years ago featuring Special Agent Pendergast and Constance Greene and thinking they were amazing. So much detail in the setting, characters, and mystery.  Technically you might not call these history or historical mysteries, but since I am not someone who really enjoys contemporary stories much, you can rest assured there is some history involved in these books. I can't say exactly how without giving away some of the surprises but let's just say they involve enough historical intrigue to make me want to read them. I might have to get this one and jump back into their world! January 17, 2023 Mysteries/Thrillers 368 pages Book description courtesy of NetGalley Preston & Child continue their #1 bestselli

Happy 1st Blogiversary!

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I waited until today to discuss upcoming goals for my blog and for reading because today is the one year anniversary of my blog! It is exciting to think I started with the intention of making it two months and here we are 12 months later.  I just wanted to share my thoughts on the books I read and I have....but I've gained so much too. A new world of blogging friends, writing skills, reading new kinds of books, and perseverance with something personal and creative. I am so excited to see where year 2 takes me. And thank you to anyone who has read or commented on my posts. It has been a lot of fun interacting with the bookish world.  This year I'd like to continue my commitment to blog a minimum of twice a week and to participate in the following challenges and weekly discussions: - Read Christie 2023 - Historical Fiction Reading Challenge 2023 - Classics Club - Can't Wait Wednesday - Top Ten Tuesday I also want to branch out with my reading and try new authors, more NetGall