Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Cleopatra's Daugher, by Michelle Moran

This book was excellent! I am truly surprised I haven't fallen behind on my laundry because it seems all I've been doing is reading this wonderful, very informative book.

I've been fascinated by Cleopatra lately and found this book, thinking it would give me some insight to what things were like during that time period.  I was so right! When I read the back cover and some other notes from the author at the end of the book, she says this book is a work of fiction, but is based on a lot of recorded history about what took place.  Most of the characters, their personalities, the places and events, the food they ate, the way they dressed, and even a map that's included at the beginning are all most accurate depictions of what really happened.  I've decided I really love reading historical fiction... it proves to be very informative as well as capturing the reader's attention and not reading like a history book.

This was a story from the point of view of Cleopatra Selene, Queen Cleopatra's daughter.  It tells of her capture by Octavian, soon to be Emperor of Rome, after he concurred Egypt, her mother and father's suicides, her life in Rome, the friends she makes, her brothers' deaths, her marriage to Juba II, her education as an architect and so many other things that happened during her coming-of-age years.  It's a love story, a story of tragic losses, and definitely a story I will always remember.  I'm definitely going to be checking out some of this author's other books.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Emily's Ghost, by Denise Giardina

This was a fun book to read.  Just nice, really.  I'm a big fan of the Bronte sisters, owning and having read all of their books.  It was nice to read a story of what their lives may have been like.  I wonder, as I read this, how much of it was fact, like certain instances that occurred or certain characters they came in contact with...

Although, like most books of theirs, the ending wasn't as one would hope, a bit of happiness tinged with mostly sadness.  But, it was just nice to lose myself in a time period I would've been most happy in.  I love how these girls wanted love, and not just to be married for money or convenience.  I love their strength in character, how they didn't fit what society deemed "proper" and how they embraced that.  I love how they dared to be individuals.

Like Jane Austen or even Louisa May Alcott, the Bronte's are some of my favorite long-since-gone authors.  To see how each of their individual novels may have been inspired just adds to the general romantic feel of their stories.

It really was just a nice book to read.  (Now I want to read Jane Eyre again!)  :) 

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Order now!

Check out RPE's new book coming out this October!

Now we can have something to look forward to EVERY SIX MONTHS from him! He'll be having book two of his new series coming out in April of 2011!

Friday, July 16, 2010

The Catcher in the Rye, J. D. Salinger

So, I read a quick paragraph on Wikipedia about this book, and part of it said, " was named by Modern Library and its readers as one of the 100 best English-language novels of the 20th century.". 


This was by far one of the worst books I have ever read.  Ever.  And I've even read Lord of the Flies.

Wasn't this book supposedly banned once? I can guess why - some of my brain cells jumped ship as I forced my way through it.  They didn't want to add to society's decline in intelligence by exposing its future generations to this book.  Seriously, after reading this, it makes me want to write a book because apparently they'll publish anything these days.

The whole time I was reading it, I kept waiting for this major plot or climax to appear.  The way the author has the guy telling the story talk, it seems like he's always building up to something.  But it never builds up to anything.  Nothing.  It was the most pointless, plotless book I've ever read.

This whole time, this guy who's telling the story, is telling about a period of several days from the point he finds out he's been kicked out of school to the day he decides to go home.  He leaves school, spends a few days in New York, gets drunk a time or two, runs into people he knows, meets up with his sister, then it ends.  That's it.  I'd seriously like to know what the big deal is about this book.  There's swearing all over the place (Normally, I put down a book that has this much swearing without finishing it, but I wanted to say I've read this book.  So not worth it, let me tell ya.), there's a lot of talk about sex but nothing too detailed (thank goodness), and he keeps digressing from the point he's trying to make.  It's funny, he even makes a point to say how the main character likes it when people digress.

If you want waste your time BIG time, read it.  If you want to take my word for it that it's lame, by all means, do yourself a favor and go with this option.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Cleopatra, by Diane Stanley and Peter Vennema

I know this is a book for young readers but I found it at the library yesterday and decided I wanted to read it.  It's a brief story of the life of Cleopatra, something I've been interested in as of late.  It gave key details, and listed the source the authors obtained most of their information from.

What I found most interesting is that it's not really known how she committed suicide.  I was always under the impression it was done via the bite of an asp, but there's no proof that this is the case.

It was obviously a super quick read but gave me the quick info I was looking for.  (The pictures were great, too! lol)

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

The Swiss Family Robinson, told by Steve Frazee

This is another book that my mother-in-law inherited to us that I've never actually read before in my whole entire life.  I know, can you believe it?

So, I read it today.  And it was good.  Now I want to see the movie.  (I saw it as a kid - I used to think Fritz was a hottie.)


Monday, July 12, 2010

Helen Keller, by George Sullivan

I read this real quick-like today... it was a good quick read.

I've known the story of Helen Keller, like anyone else, but learned something I didn't know from reading this book.  She had a marriage proposal! Her mother got in the way of that, so it never came to fruition, but I didn't know that!

I remember seeing The Miracle Worker performed excellently at my high school and think I may have read a shortish book about her in the past, but found this book in the number of books my mother-in-law inherited to us so I thought I'd kill some time and read it today.

It was good.  ;)

Hannah's List, by Debbie Macomber

I was supposed to be reading a book about Cleopatra, but the way the author chose to write it made it ultra boring and hard to be interested in... SO, I chose this book, instead.

I've read several of Debbie's books before and loved them, so I didn't see why I wouldn't love this one. 

It was ok, not one I loved... but I think it was more of her writing style than anything.  She writes well, don't get me wrong, but it just wasn't what I've been used to lately, I guess.  Too predictable?? Who knows...

I also found the plot maybe a far stretch - as if she's starting to run out of ideas.  It's based upon a man who loses his wife to cancer and after a year, is given a letter from her through her brother.  She tells him to get on with his life and to marry again so he can be the good father she knows he can be... she even goes as far as including a list of women she wants him to date. 

He meets with and dates these women, the third one being the obvious one he'll end up with simply because she made them such opposites to begin with.  The others all end up with the spouses/boyfriends they were with but had seperated from in the beginning. 

It was a simple read, a good one, but not one I loved.  The story line seemed weak or too obvious or I don't know... it just wasn't what I remember reading from her. 

Oh, well, on to the next.  ;)

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Madman, by Tracy Groot

To say this book was good would be a huge understatement.  Good just doesn't cover it.

By the cover, you'd think it was dark.  It had dark parts, but not so dark that I had to put it down.  It was intriguing... interesting... thought-provoking.  It was so well-written, there weren't any dull parts.  Usually in books I read, it seems there are parts where the author feels the need to describe the scenery, or what someone's wearing... this author did this while telling the story so as not to lose the attention of her audience.

This book was not just about a man gone mad, but how he got there, the man who wanted to find out how he got there, the woman that mad fell in love with who happened to be the madman's sister, several scholars who tried logic to help the madman find himself again, the madman's son, the mother of his child who happened to aid in his madness and a very surprising ending that I certainly was not expecting.  Once you get to the end, if you're a Christian, or anyone who knows the Bible at all, there's this moment where you literally find yourself with your jaw hanging open because it all fits together but you never saw it coming and you know exactly what is happening from that point on.  Not that you're ever left wondering what's going on... Though the author weaves a bit of mystery into her story, she artfully brings the pieces together all throughout so everything makes sense.  She doesn't leave her readers hanging till the very end... although, like I said, the ending is completely unexpected.

I'm not going to spoil the ending, because really, if you're a reader, this is totally worth your time.

For anyone who is Christian, finds Greek mythology fascinating, or just wants a very good book to read, I highly recommend this one.