Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Escape! History, Mystery, Art, Epic Tales, Inspiration, Drug Abuse and Romance AND BOOKPEOPLE LINKS!!

Let's just say March has been a month.  I'm going to tell you about it just as soon as I can make myself sit down and write about it.  I didn't think I had finished reading any books, but low and behold, Goodreads has reminded me that I have actually listened to a good number.  Here they are, they were great! And even better, I am now affiliated with BookPeople in Austin, Texas, so you can buy every single one of these books (in multiple formats) through that great indie bookstore by simply clicking the book link! (More on that later, too, but just trust me on this one, they are awesome and totally in sync with my reading choices and likes, and we want to keep them around at the same time that we feed our reading fettish).

So check these out, I think there will something of interest to you:



by Bruce   Holsinger    My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Publisher's blurb: In Chaucer's London, betrayal, murder, and intrigue swirl around the existence of a prophetic book that foretells the deaths of England's kings London, 1385.

(Via Audio & Ereader). Very enjoyable twisting historical mystery set in the time of Chaucer, chalk full of famous personalities, written by a professor who obviously knows his stuff. If you are much on historical fiction, you'll probably have read Kathryn, as in the mistress of John of Gaunt who has some famous Henries in his line of descendants. I had to read along with the audio to keep all the names/ events straight at first.  There are many memorable characters that aren't always what they seem. Very good book for those who love to visit historic worlds and who like a bit of a thrill in what they read.




by Donna Tartt

My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Publisher Blurb:  A young boy in New York City, Theo Decker, miraculously survives an accident that takes the life of his mother. Alone and determined to avoid being taken in by the city as an orphan, Theo scrambles between nights in friends’ apartments and on the city streets. He becomes entranced by the one thing that reminds him of his mother, a small, mysteriously captivating painting that soon draws Theo into the art underworld.


(Via Audio).  My best description of this is Pulp Fiction meets Dickens.  Yes, while reading the book, you'll be reminded of Oliver and Great Expectations, but you'll also see a thoughorly modern mash up and you'll wonder throughout how it will end.  I think modern fiction does a much better job of starting with a bang, but ending poorly; while classical fiction starts slow but ends brilliantly.  This book is one of those rare books that delivers in a modern way, while also ending just right, and while making a big statement.  I see what all the fuss is about now and I'm glad I took the time.   It's a big tome, but worth the read.  Would also make a great book club selection, despite its length, because there will be plenty to discuss.  

And just for the record, I'm with you, Hobie!
  by Graeme Simsion

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Publisher shortened blurb: 
Don Tillman, professor of genetics, must concede to the statistical probability that there is someone for everyone, and he embarks upon The Wife Project. In the orderly, evidence-based manner with which he approaches all things, Don sets out to find the perfect partner. She will be punctual and logical—most definitely not a barmaid, a smoker, a drinker, or a late-arriver. 

 (Format: Audio) Very cute easy read. Picture an Aussie Sheldon /Spock who logically deduces that he should marry but hates wasting his time on incompatible women so he designs the perfect test to find the perfect wife.  In walks the delightful Rosie with a project of her own, who, if she were taking the test, would utterly flunk it. When you are in the mood for something that will make you smile, read this!


by Homer

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


(Via Audio and book, yes it took me forever, and I'm still reading the book, which I found at Bookpeople.  Troy was not destroyed in a day).  So wonderful.  If you've never fallen in love with the Iliad, stop what you are doing and listening to this audio version right now and marvel at the skill of the narrator, translator, and Homer.  Marvel that you are listening to something in the format it was heard thousands of years ago.




by Elizabeth Camden

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

(Format: Audio).  I kept seeing this book pop up for me so I finally went for it. At first I thought I was going to be disappointed, but then the layers kept building and it turned out to be satisfying,  with good characters who had believable dilemmas, plus a fun thriller aspect.  It was also a subtle inspirational book, which was a pleasant surprise.

Lydia's traumatic childhood leaves her with lasting needs, yet she is surprisingly resilient.  She overcomes great odds to make a life for herself, a life with seemingly great order. Then she meets a man at work who likes to subtly throw chaos into her order,  and off we go. This book explores the themes of drug abuse and addiction, redemption, love,  and recovery. The historical setting makes the addiction and recovery theme safe, so that we can really experience that reality without our modern day prejudices.  It also explores the human need for connecting with God and our tendency to try to do it all on our own, killing ourselves in the process.  Thumbs up!

NOTE: I felt there might be some historical inaccuracies, but being from the south I wasn't sure so I was able to look past them.  In the end the drug addiction theme was very well explored, and not commonly found, so I think the book is a worthy offer. Also the historical aspect is pretty minor so not terribly distracting unless maybe you live in the area.

  

Remember, if you want to check out ordering any of these books,  in many formats, click the book picture or title, and it will take you directly to the BookPeople online link to order the book.  Thank you BookPeople for making it so easy!  





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