|A traveller in time [electronic resource]
This is the story of Penelope Taberner who goes to stay in a country farmhouse, Thackers, a manor house once inhabited by the Babington family of 1582. The Babingtons were supporters of Mary Queen of Scots and wanted her restored to the throne. Penelope finds she is able to slip back in time to the Elizabethan era and becomes involved with inhabitants of the manor house and the plot to liberate Mary Queen of Scots from the nearby Wingfield Manor. She slips effortlessly between the past and the present. It is a bittersweet story because Penelope is aware of the fate of both the Queen and the Babington family and that she will not be able to change the future. The book is written for children but it was written in the 1930’s and the language is very formal and somewhat old fashioned—I don’t think this is a book that would be enjoyed by younger children or even teens. Even I had a hard time finishing the book though I found the topic intriguing. A 2.5 out of 5 stars. posted May 14, 2013 at 3:42PM
|The physick book of Deliverance Dane |
by Howe, Katherine
Set in Cambridge and Marblehead, Mass , this novel alternates between Connie Goodwin, a 20th century PhD candidate in history searching for an original primary source, and the story of a group of 17th-century outcast women who are accused of witchcraft (which may or may not be true). After moving into her grandmother's house to get it in shape for sale, Connie comes across a small key and piece of paper reading only Deliverance Dane. This discovery launches Connie on a quest—to find out who this woman was and to unearth a rare artifact: a physick book or “receipt book” which may really be a witch’s shadow book. The novel gives an interesting look at not only the Salem witch trials, but the process of research and discovery.. Similar to another book I read recently, Ghostwalk, this novel was much better written, well told, fast paced, engrossing, and interesting. A 4 out of 5 stars. posted May 9, 2013 at 3:48PM
|The girl who played with fire |
by Larsson, Stieg, 1954-2004
The second book of the Millennium Trilogy—the book is set 2 years after the Wennerström affair and Lisbeth Salander is enjoying the benefits of her “acquisition” of wealth, traveling, purchasing an apartment and changing her appearance. She returns to Stockholm and soon becomes embroiled and framed in the murder of two writers working with Mikael Blomkvist (her former lover) and her guardian Nils Bjurman. The investigation leads Lisbeth to confront her violent childhood and the resulting tragedies. I enjoyed the fast paced action of this novel—though I enjoyed the first book more. The one thing that I didn’t like as well in this novel was the lack of real interaction between Bloomquist and Salander—which was one of my favorite parts of the first novel. A 4 out of 5 stars. posted May 6, 2013 at 2:47PM
|Shadow of night |
by Harkness, Deborah E., 1965-
Shadow of the Night is the second book of the All Souls Trilogy. It continues the story of Diana Bishop, a historian and witch, her love, a vampire, Matthew Clairmont and the mystery of a book, Ashmole 782. Beginning where Discovery of Witches left off, Diana and Matthew have time travelled to Elizabethan England in search of Ashmole 782 and someone to teach Diana the skills of being a witch. Along the way, we meet many of Matthew’s friends, including Marlowe, Raleigh, as well as the head of the Clairmont family, Phillipe. The novel also leads us to 16th century France and Prague. During the course of the novel Diana discovers her true talent as a “weaver.” As with the first book I thoroughly enjoyed the plot and the characters—and also the way “time and setting” affect the characters of Diana and Matthew. Deborah Harkness brings Elizabethan England to life using her professional knowledge and extensive and detailed descriptions. Only one caveat—because there had been sometime between reading the first and second book I found myself returning to the first book to refresh my memory. 5 out of 5 stars. posted May 1, 2013 at 3:27PM
|The Eyre affair : a novel |
by Fforde, Jasper.
The Eyre Affair opens in an alternative universe--Great Britain in 1985, where England has been at war with Russia over the Crimea for 130 years, time travel is routine, cloning is a reality and literature is taken very seriously. Acheron Hades, Third Most Wanted Man In the World, steals the original manuscript of Martin Chuzzlewit and kills a minor character, who then disappears from every volume of the novel ever printed! Enter Thursday Next. She's the Special Ops literary detective, who pursues literary crimes such as forgery, plagiarism, manuscript theft, and the abuse of literary characters. Thursday is put in charge of the investigation, but soon Jane Eyre and Rochester are also involved in the adventure—literally! Usually I love the alternative history, time travel and fantasy genres—but I found this novel to drag on. So much of the book deals with the “set up” of Thursday’s world that I felt that the plot was somewhat thin. However, the end of the book does move along more quickly—and is more satisfying. A 3 out of 5 stars. posted Apr 17, 2013 at 11:45AM
|White Fang [compact disc] |
by London, Jack, 1876-1916
A classic by Jack London, White Fang could be considered the companion to London’s Call of the Wild, except in reserve. Whereas Buck from Call of the Wild finds his wild nature—White Fang finds his human love and is able to integrate into domestic life. White Fang is born in the wild to a wolf father and a half wolf mother. When he is made captive by humans, he is outcast from the other dogs because of his wildness. He learns to fight for his life. Finally, he has an opportunity to experience a new life away from the violence and savagery—but will he learn to embrace it is the question. I loved this book despite the violence and the brutality of the life led by White Fang—and the cruelty of the humans he encounters. A 4 out of 5 stars. posted Mar 29, 2013 at 11:02AM
|The cost of hope : a memoir |
by Bennett, Amanda.
When Amanda Bennett meets Terence Foley while on assignment in China, the last thing she expects is to marry him. Their marriage brings with it great passion, deep love and respect, two children, and a life together over two decades. Then comes a terrible illness, and the fight to win a longer life for Terence. This memoir chronicles the extraordinary measures Amanda and Terence take to preserve not only to save Terence's life but also the life of their family as well as their ongoing hope for life. After his death, Bennett uses her skills as investigative reporter to determine the cost of their mission of hope. What she discovers raises important questions many people face, and vital issues about the intricacies of America's healthcare system. At first I was reluctant to read this memoir—anticipating a deep sadness, but at times I found it surprisingly joyful. I believe that this memoir along with the Times article on the cost of heathcare by Steven Brill will help readers understand the complexity of our healthcare system both financially and emotionally. 4 ½ out of 5 stars. posted Mar 26, 2013 at 10:43AM
|Mistress of the art of death |
by Franklin, Ariana.
In 12th century England, Vesuvia Adelia Rachel Ortese Aguilar, a female doctor and forensics expert with a strong sense of herself, is summoned by King Henry II to investigate a series of gruesome murders which the town has accused the Jews of committing (and preventing Henry from receiving his taxes from his biggest contributors). Adelia is accompanied by Simon, a Jewish investigator, and Mansur, a Muslim eunuch who is her bodyguard. It becomes clear that one of the pilgrim's they traveled with is the likely murderer, and as they close in on the killer, the chase takes some unexpected twists and turns, including a budding romance for Adelia with the King’s tax collector Sir Rowley Picot. The story combines, crusader knights, questionable nuns, suspicious monks, and a sly King Henry II. In addition, the book offers well researched period details not only about twelfth century England and way of life of the crusaders, but also Henry’s relationship with the church and the establishment of common law. The book is a well written, highly satisfying historical mystery. 4 out of 5 stars. posted Mar 21, 2013 at 3:38PM
|The inquisitor's key |
by Bass, Jefferson.
The Inquisitor's Key, the seventh entry in the Body Farm series, finds Dr. Bill Brockton and his graduate assistant Miranda Lovelady not only investigating ancient bones, but dealing with ancient relics, church and art history and the South of France. In the Palace of the Popes, a stone chest is discovered, inscribed with the crest of Jesus of Nazareth. Could the bones found inside possibly be the remains of Christ himself? How do the bones relate to the Shroud of Turin? These are the questions that Bill and Miranda try to answer, despite being hampered by relic collectors and the Church itself. The chapters bounce between medieval and present day Avignon—which helped enhance the understanding of the present. I have really enjoyed others of this series—and this one was no exception. Fast paced, full of twists and turns—a really great read. A definite 4 ½ out of 5. posted Mar 18, 2013 at 11:41AM
|The thin man |
by Hammett, Dashiell, 1894-1961.
The last of Dashiell Hammett's novels, it centers on Nick (a former PI) and Nora Charles who are reluctantly pulled into a case involving an old client who appears to have shot his assistant. The Thin Man is a hard-boiled noir mystery classic—with heavy drinking, casual adultery, parties, speakeasies and hard-nosed cops and crooks. I loved the 1940s Thin Man movies with William Powell and Myrna Loy—but I found the book somewhat dated and “politically incorrect”. 2 out of 5 stars. posted Feb 27, 2013 at 7:37PM
|marsap's Book Lists|
|100+ book challenge 2013 (102 titles)
| Book challenge 2011-2012 (62 titles)