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Showing posts from January, 2011

Previews and Reminders, Jan 29

A little weekend housecleaning!

Just a reminder about my giveaway of Sadie Jones' Small Wars, which closes Feb 5th.  I'm hoping to post an interview with Ms Jones next week -- I had an opportunity to send some questions along and my fingers are crossed that she'll have time to answer a few!

I also have an interview with Delilah Marvelle coming up as well -- along with a giveaway!

And finally, my review of Major Pettigrew's Last Stand will be posted on the 3rd.  Stay tuned for the teaser!

What's coming up for all of you?

Short Fiction Friday, Jan 28

My semi-regular feature, Short Fiction Friday, points to some free pieces of fabulous storytelling found online. 

From Stephanie Dray, 'The Threshing Floor': This ridiculously amazing story packs a mega punch in the gut.  It's fierce and angry and sexy and magical; it's got religion and feminism and mythology and as the author warns, it's also 18+ -- not for any naughty but for some of the themes mentioned.

From J. Nelson Leith, 'Heather Hadrigal': A fun, odd, mysterious piece that begs to be reread -- is it sci-fi?  Horror?  Mystery?  I don't know, but I like it.

From E. Catherine Tobler, 'The Swallow and the Sea': A nautical yarn and ghost story, with a fringe of romance.  I inhaled this story the first time I read it and returned twice because it has such a delicious chilly romance.

And finally, the Library of America has a weekly free story on their blog.  The selections have great introductions and I just love seeing the features, as it…

The Sergeant's Lady by Susanna Fraser

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Title:The Sergeant's Lady
Author: Susanna Fraser

Genre: Historical Romance

Rating: Liked!
Did I finish?: Yes - there was a brief point when I quit because I was sort of huffy about a plot point but I couldn't stop thinking about the story so I had to finish.
One-sentence summary: Super rich soldier's wife falls for super poor soldier and face some major dangers and trials.

Why did I get this book?: Pretty cover plus sex.
Reading Challenges: E-book,Historical Fiction
Source: NetGalley

Do I like the cover?: Oh yes.  Bohunky and dramatic without being too lurid.  Although I hate the use of Scriptina font for 'Lady'.

First line: "Aiee! Madre de Dios, it hurts!"

Review: I haven't grown up reading romance novels so the genre is pretty new to me, but I've discovered I do enjoy historical romances.  This one came on holiday with me and was kind of the perfect thing to read while on deck of the cruise -- super fun but enough meaty history and plot to kee…

Small Wars by Sadie Jones

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Title:Small Wars
Author: Sadie Jones

Genre: Fiction (Historical / War)

Rating: Like-pushing-to-love!
Did I finish?: Yes -- I kept gulping this book down.
One-sentence summary: British army family faces their own battles in late '50s Cyprus.

Why did I get this book?: As a child, my family was stationed in the Mediterranean so I couldn't pass up a story about a military family in Cyprus.
Reading Challenges:  British Books, Historical Fiction
Source:TLC Book Tours

Do I like the cover?: YES. It's very muted -- sort of washed out -- which reminds me strongly of Cyprus and Greece.

First line: An English rain was falling onto the instruments of the band, onto their olive green uniforms and the uniforms of the cadets as they marched.

Review: I have to confess that the novel had me hooked even before I started: as a child, my military family was stationed in the Mediterranean for some years, our first overseas posting.  It was wonderful and a little traumatic -- some of our best and worst…

In My Mailbox Monday, Jan 24

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Seen both at The Printed Page (hosted in Jan at Rose City Reader) and The Story Siren, my Mailbox Monday/In My Mailbox for January.  Many arrived while I was away on holiday so just when I was having my post-vacation blues, I got a few treats!  (I'm a very lucky girl!)

Have you ready any of these?  What did you get?

Won!





Murder at Mansfield Park, thanks to AustenproseChild of the Northern Spring, thanks to Debbie's Book BagPrelude to a Scandal and Once Upon a Scandal, thanks to the marvelous Delilah Marvelle

For Review!


13, rue Thérèse by Elena Mauli Shapiro. I just have to say I am giddy at reading this one -- thumbing through it was I reminded of Barbara Hodgson.  There's some kind of internet secret code thing that the published edition will have that goes along with the story.  Historical plus pretty plus scavenger hunt equals win.

The Oracle of Stamboul: A Novel by Michael David Lukas.  Not only do I want to run away to Turkey now after my visit there (seriously, I had to…

Guest post on women and Islam

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Velvet of VVB32 Reads kindly invited me to write a guest post for her series Women's Tales.  I decided to do my piece on women and Islam since there was some overlap with my trip to the Mediterranean and my interest in Muslim Women Reformers by Ida Lichter.  I hope you stop by and offer your recommendations!

Waiting on Wednesday, January 19

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Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event spotlighting upcoming releases we are highly anticipating. It is hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine.

I'm in an epic reading and blogging rut -- I blame jet lag and the epic amount of work at work I need to cover -- so I apologize for the lack of updates.  Still, despite my exhaustion and my TBR pile, I have plenty of time to lust after books. 

This week, I'm waiting on... The Vespertine by Saundra Mitchell.  Not only is the cover absurdly pretty, but it has an alluring mix of supernatural and historical that I can't resist. 

And how about you...what are you eagerly waiting on?

The Metropolis Case by Matthew Gallaway

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Title:The Metropolis Case
Author: Matthew Gallaway

Genre: Fiction (Historical / Contemporary / Queer)

Rating: Liked.
Did I finish?: Yes - I even brought on vacation with me so I wouldn't be interrupted!
One-sentence summary: Four individuals are shaped -- personally, professionally -- by Wagner's Tristan & Isolde.

Why did I get this book?: Opera! Historical! Gay!
Reading Challenges:
Source: TLC Book Tours

Do I like the cover?: Very much so -- it's striking and clever and fits very much the story.

I'm reminded of...: Yann Martel, Michael Cunningham, Joanne Harris.

First line: S--news!--your elder brother has procured four tickets to the opera on the Saturday night of your visit next month AND invitations to the after-party at Demoiselles, an old and rather exquisite French restaurant not far from Lincoln Center.

Did... I find myself missing Pittsburgh as I read?: YES!  I spent my formative teen years in Pittsburgh, near the suburb featured so predominantly in this novel.…

Paris: The Luminous Years Reading Challenge

The Paris: The Luminous Years Reading Challenge immediately grabbed me because it's an era I adore featuring authors and other artists I slavishly worship.  The challenge is a mix of fiction and non-fiction which adds an additional challenge that I'm excited about! I'm going for the six book (3 fiction, 3 non-fiction) level.

Some ideas that immediately come to mind:

The Book of Repulsive Women by Djuna Barnes (or her Collected Poems, I'm undecided)
Helen in Egypt by H.D.
Americans in Paris: A Literary Anthology by Adam Gopnik
Music's Modern Muse: A Life of Winnaretta Singer, Princesse de Polignac by Sylvia Kahan
The Lost Lunar Baedeker by Mina Loy
Good Morning, Midnight by Jean Rhys
Wild Heart: A Life: Natalie Clifford Barney and the Decadence of Literary Paris by Suzanne Rodriguez


Read

Susana Fortes, Waiting for Robert Capa

Historical Fiction Reading Challenge

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I'm a sucker for historical fiction so I'm committing big to the Historical Fiction Reading Challenge, hosted by Historical Tapestry -- Severe Bookaholism: 20 books in 2011!

I welcome any and all recommendations!

Read
Ines of My Soul by Isabel Allende
A Fierce Radiance by Lauren Belfer
Jerusalem Maiden by Talia Carner
India Black and the Widow of Windsor by Carol K. Carr
A Different Sky by Meira Chand
Reign of Madness by Lynn Cullen
Lily of the Nile by Stephanie Dray
Song of the Nile by Stephanie Dray
Next to Love by Ellen Feldman
Waiting for Robert Capa by Susana Fortes
The Sergeant's Lady by Susanna Fraser
Wings by Karl Friedrich
The Beauty of Humanity Movement by Camilla Gibb
The American Heiress by Daisy Goodwin
The Printmaker's Daughter by Katherine Govier
Becoming Marie Antoinette by Juliet Grey
The Rebellion of Jane Clarke by Sally Gunning
The Irresistible Henry House by Lisa Grunwald
All the Flowers in Shanghai by Duncan Jepson
Detroit Electric Scheme by D.E. Johnson
Motor City S…

Eastern European Reading Challenge

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Created to inspire unearthing the 'buried' treasures of Eastern European and Russian literature, I'm signing up for the Eastern Europe Reading Challenge in hopes of broadening my reading scope.

Countries include: Croatia, Ukraine, Bosnia, Serbia, Montenegro, Hungary, Belarus, Estonia, Albania, Bulgaria, Georgia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Poland, Czech Rep., Latvia, Lithuania, Russia, Romania, Moldova, and Kosovo; all types of books are allowed.

I'm aiming for Tourist: 4 books over 12 months.

I welcome any and all recommendations!

Read

M.L. Malcolm, Heart of Lies: A Novel (this might be a stretch, but hero was Hungarian)
Susana Fortes, Waiting for Robert Capa (another Hungarian hero)

A to Z Reading Challenge

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While I'm recovering from my trip (here, have another picture (Turkey, this time)), I thought I'd ease myself back into blogging by doing the last of my reading challenge sign ups!

I suspect the A to Z Challenge seems easier than it is but I'm tempted nonetheless!  I'm going to try to read 26 books, alphabetically by title! 


A ...  ?????????  (Jan)

Vacation Over!

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I'm back from my whirlwind trip to the Mediterranean and sorry to brag, but it was awesome.

Despite the breakneck pace (nearly a city a day), I finished two books (The Metropolis Case by Matthew Gallaway, review tomorrow; and The Sergeant's Lady, by Susanna Fraser) and got halfway through Far from the Madding Crowd (which I'm enjoying so much!).

I came home to a lovely pile of packages but I won't get to them for tomorrow's Mailbox Monday (laundry first, and then my bed!).  I know I owe emails to many folks -- I'm working through the backlog so sorry for the delay!  I've missed my bookish people -- I can't wait to catch up with everyone.