Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Song of the Nile by Stephanie Dray, 398 pages

The fascinating sequel to a really good trilogy featuring the daughter of Cleopatra. I'm a fan of historical fiction and this was well-done.

Anno Dracula-Johnny Alucard by Kim Newman, 441 pages

I'm a fan of vampire books but not as big a fan of revisionary fiction (where the author imagines a different history) so the Anno Dracula books aren't my favorite cup of tea. But I'll gladly read them when sent the books by Night Owl Reviews. I have to say I do prefer the early novels because I like history better in these books.

The Spanish Queen by Carolly Erickson, 276 pages

I love historical fiction, especially English history, so Carolly Erickson is always a favorite read. Her newest book covers Catherine of Aragon and her love affair with Henry VIII that so turned religion and England upside down.

Parlor Games by Maryka Biaggio, 382 pages

A review book from Night Owl Reviews that featured 18-year-old May Dugas trying to make a success of her life in 1887 Chicago. Wanting to help provide for her family and have enough money to feel secure, May takes up life in a bordello. She has a chance to get out when she gains a wealthy fiance, until Reed Doherty, a Pinkerton detective enters her life. He continues to show up at inopportune times, but May will continue to survive, at all costs.

Monday, December 30, 2013

Lily of the Nile by Stephanie Dray, 351 pages

I'd discovered this trilogy when I was sent the 3rd book to review. This looks at the life of Selene, the only daughter of Cleopatra, who was brought to Rome as a royal war trophy and raised by Augustus' sister as a royal ward. This was a well-done piece of historical fiction, and really brought alive this tumultuous time period in Roman history. I'm almost through the second book as well because I'm eager to catch up on the back story I'd missed reading the last book first.

Never Have Your Dog Stuffed by Alan Alda, 224 pages

I'd become interested in reading Alan Alda's biography after reading about his early childhood on the burlesque travel circle because of his father being a singer/stand-up man. He's had an interesting life, especially with a famous father and a mentally ill mother. The only difficulty was separating the real person from his Hawkeye personae, which is how I will probably always think of him as.

The Mystery of Cabin Island by Franklin Dixon, 178 pages

While the Hardy Boys' books can be a little hokey at times, they still remind me of my childhood and picking them up off the library shelves for the first time.

Coming Clean by Kimberly Rae Miller, 256 pages

This was an engrossing read about the daughter of hoarders. These books are a not-so-secret pleasure, and I always finish one with an urge to clean my house. This was interesting and well-written.

Thursday, December 26, 2013

The Minor Adjustment Beauty Salon by Alexander McCall Smith, 242 pages

I've been reading this series from the very beginning. While some of the later books have dragged just a little, this one was very well done and enjoyable. It's interesting to see how the relationships between the characters have developed and grown, especially Charlie in this book.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Once Upon a Time edited by Paula Guran, 384 pages

This is a dark collection of fairy tales with new updated versions. I'm a sucker for fairy tales, so I was eager to pick this up. While it's not the best collection I've read, it was still a good read.

Hild by Nicola Griffith, 546 pages

I'd seen this reviewed on Unshelved's Friday book club and thought it looked interesting. Hild is an early English saint that I knew nothing about. She is the niece of a king in early seventh-century England, and uses her birthright as "light of the world" and her ability to read nature's signs to help find her place. The only problem is surviving in that role.

Monday, December 23, 2013

Castle Rouge by Carole Nelson Douglas, 485 pages

Another fabulous read in the Irene Adler series. There is a reason that I keep picking these books up and re-reading them over the years. This is one of the darker ones.

DC Comics Covergirls by Louise Simonson, 208 pages

This was a Christmas present from my sister. It looks at the women who graced the covers of DC Comics from the very early days, some as sidekicks, villainesses, bit players, many with their own titles. Starting with Wonder Woman (my favorite) the book works through BatGirl, CatWoman, Lois Lane, Poison Ivy, Power Girl, and many other woman. While I really only read Wonder Woman, it was interesting to read about the roles women had on the pages of comics, and I may end up picking up more titles.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

A Christmas Odyssey by Anne Perry, 315 pages

This was the December book club book. Spun from the Monk series, it features Henry Rathbone, Squeaky Robinson, and almost Dr. Crow searching for a prodigal son. It takes you through the deepest underbelly of London society in a search for truth and redemption.

Monday, December 9, 2013

Fiend by Peter Stenson, 295 pages

Two meth heads come down from a weeklong trip and discover that the world they knew is gone. Zombies (or Chucklers) as they're called, roam, looking for victims. This was one of the oddest takes on the zombie genre I've read. I've never done drugs in my life, so it was interesting to see behind the scenes of an addiction to meth like that. I think Lisa would love this book for the zombies and the utter grittiness of it.

Something Borrowed, Someone Dead by M.C. Beaton, 309 pages

Another Agatha Raisin mystery.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

The Butler, A Witness to History by Wil Haygood, 96 pages

This is the story behind the movie The Butler. Evidently this gentleman was butler to eight different presidents in the White House starting with Truman. His dedication and good manners are a testament to him. I think I'll have to see this movie when it comes out on video.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Seven Deadlies by Gigi Levangie, 224 pages

Perry Gonzales is a freshman at Mark Frost Academy, and her job is baby-sitting her fellow students. Need someone to tutor your shopaholic daughter, keep your son out of your prescription drugs while you're at fashion week, and such? Perry is your girl. Her college application is a collection of seven stories featuring her baby-sitting jobs that correspond with the seven deadly sins.
This book grabbed my attention with the title and cover, and was a treat to read from page one. It was witty, funny, twisted, and well-written. Just when you thought you knew how it was going to end though, BAM, curveball out of left field that left me reeling. I'm still not sure how I feel about the ending, but I wholeheartedly recommend this book.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Daughters of the Nile by Stephanie Dray, 556 pages

This was my latest review book from Night Owl reviews. Featuring Cleopatra Selene, daughter of Cleopatra and Marc Anthony, it covered her life from 20 to her death. My only real regret with this book is the fact that it's the 3rd book in the series, and I hadn't read the first two.

The Heretic Queen by Michelle Moran, 383 pages

This book had been sitting on my want to read list for months and months, and I finally picked it up. It features Nefertari, niece of Nefertiti, the forgotten queen who tried to destroy Egypt's god worship. Nefertari faces an uncertain future, with her family destined to be forgotten, unless she is willing to reach out and grab a different future. She wants nothing more than to be the wife of Ramses, and he wants her to be his Chief Wife, but will the people of Egypt be willing to accept a queen whose family is known for their heresy.

The Secret of the Caves by Franklin Dixon, 175 pages

Some of the Hardy Boys books can be really hard to believe, with plots that are very over the top. This was one of those books.