Saturday, January 18, 2014

Grad School Intereference

I have not posted in years.  Wow how sad.  But there is a good reason.  I started grad school in Sept 2011 and I graduate this May.  EXCITING!!!

I was reading over my "want to read" list and I noticed just how many books are about Queen Elizabeth I and Tudor history.  I forgot about all those books.  What's more, my research project was on Queen Elizabeth I...funny huh?

Seems my passion for Tudor History is playing out in more than just my own home.  I hope to take the paper I wrote and get it published in an online journal.  If I do, I will be updating again!!!

Come June/July I hope to get back to reading and writing reviews once more!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

The Lost Summer of Louisa May Alcott by Kelly O'Conner MeNees

Fabulous fabulous fabulous book! You really get to see into the life of Louisa May Alcott. The story is based on actual happenings (the summer in Walpole, her living in Boston alone) but the plot, the romance is fictional. Little Women has always been one of my favorite books, and in this book you can see the characters come alive just as in LW. Sometimes you just want to smack Louisa and other times your heart breaks for her.

We get to read about a man she falls in love with and contemplate that maybe this is what really happened to her and was the reason and character behind Jo's Laurie in Little Women.

If you loved reading her novel then you will definitely love reading about her.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Losing someone

It saddens my heart to say that the beautiful woman who was the inspiration behind this blog passed away on May 25th. I was lucky enough to attend her services in Canada.

She wanted me to use the word "bibliophile" and when I said I wanted to start a reading blog she named it. She has been the reason I read so many of the books I have. I never would have discovered Jennifer Donnelly without her. Nor would I have read so many Phillipa Gregory novels.
She was my book partner and I will never forget her.

Breathe Easy now Bree, we miss you here in bookland.

To read about her services please visit my other blog post here.

Thank You

Friday, June 3, 2011

New York by Edward Rutherfurd

Wow this book was amazing! And long. But well worth the time it took to read it. I could have read it much faster but For 4 months I was in school and also reading history textbooks so that really slowed down the personal readings.

The book is all about the history of New York city. It is quite amazing I tell you. It starts off with the founding of the colonies and ends in 2009. He touches upon September 11th as well and I could feel my heart racing as I recalled those events on that day.

The story follows the leading family, the Master's, from beginning to end. There are also other families woven in there as well, the O'Donnells, the Caruso's, etc. Everyone having a part in the history and working on a piece of it as well.

I truly enjoyed this book and would love to read it again in a few years.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Grad School

This September I will be starting graduate school yay!  So my "fun" book reading will come to an almost halt.  I haven't done much reading so far this year as I am readinga  ton for my one class I am taking (undergrad).  But I have beenr eadinga  few pages here and there in New York.  It's a great book so far and I am looking forward to finishing it :)

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

The White Queen by Philippa Gregory

I LOVED this book!  Its been a while since I have read anything about england in the 14-1500s and this was the perfect book to get me back in.

Elizabeth is the white queen.  King Edward takes her, a common woman, to be his queen.  This whole book takes place during the war of the roses, when England's two houses (York and Lancaster) are fighting for the throne.  The York's remove the Lancaster King and then the Lancaster's try to get him back on the throne.  All the while King Edward and Queen Elizabeth are beloved rulers of England.

During the turmoil of the houses fighting, family members are killed, some are called out as witches, and others are imprisoned.  But through it all, Elizabeth's faith in her family and her right to be queen never wavers.

The most fascinating tid-bit I took from this book is that Elizabeth was the mother of Elizabeth Tudor, who was the mother of Henry VIII, the king with 6 wives.  And the great grandmother to Queen Elizabeth I, England's most famous Queen, who ruled without a husband.

The Winthrop Woman by Anya Seton

I had read this book many many years ago and searched high and wide for it, never knowing that this book, the one on my "to-read" list, was THE book.

The Winthrop woman is Elizabeth Winthrop, niece and daughter-in-law to Massachusetts Bay Colony founder John Winthrop.  This book tells her story.  How she grew up; her first love; her first marriage; moving to the colonies with her family; her second marriage and her true love.

This book is the reason I am so obsessed with history.  At least in my opinion it is.  I remember reading this book a long time ago and being transfixed by her story, by the word she lived in.  It was then that I knew I wanted to study history, even if I haven't gotten around to it yet.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Uncle Tom's Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe

This was a fabulous book.  I was expecting it to be a bit more dramatic, but I realize that, at the time, it was and I have read quite a bit about this time period.  Therefore, the atrocities she was writing about were not a surprise to me, per-say.

Uncle Tom shows amazing character and strength during his trials as a slave.  From the beginning we see how well he handles being sold away from his family.  Though it hurt him, he maintained a strong appearance for his family.  I thought for sure he had hit "gold" when he was bought by the St Clair's.  I was ecstatic when St Clair told Tom he would free him, and devastated when he passed away so suddenly.  Even more so when his wife refused to free Tom and sold him instead to such a monster.  The courage he showed on the farm in the face of such cruel treatment is something we can all learn from.  He truly believed, with heart and soul, that the Lord would save him and take him home.  Not the home that "we" would think, but the true home, the home of our Lord.  In doing so he was reunited with his friend and companion, Eva.

Eva was a remarkable young woman (I use woman here because, although she was a child, she was extremely mature) who captured your heart in her very short time in the novel.  I was truly sadden by her death yet comforted by the strength she showed.  When the time comes for me to lay on my death bed, I hope to be as mature and as comforting as she was.

The ending surprised me quite a bit.  There was a lot a story weaving that caught me off guard.  Between characters finding out to be brother and sisters and mother and daughter, I was dumbfounded.  However, it was a "happy" ending in a world where happy endings were rare for slaves.  We got to see what hard lives those we enslaved lived, but we got to see what happened when we let them live as we did.  It definitely was a powerful novel and one I am glad to have read.

Monday, September 13, 2010

North and South Trilogy by John Jakes

These are one of my favorite sets of books to read.  I re-read them because I had missed the characters.  It's not often that you fall in love with so many characters in one book.  To this day I am still captivated by Charles Main.  My first run at these novels produced some very strong feelings towards him.  I felt an unmistakable longing for him when the novels were finished.  I might have even cried a bit.  Although I was not as thunderstruck the second time around, I was still moved and impressed by him.  And I do believe it is safe to say he was/is my favorite character in this series, and perhaps even of all time.

The novels start out meeting the Mains and the Hazards and how they settled where they did in the US.  We follow George Hazard and Orry Main as they become life long best friends.  They marry, have children and we see the bonds between the two families grow over time.  However, as was common with families during the Civil War, their families were not without their issues.  

George has two brothers - Billy and Stanley, and a sister - Virgilia.  Orry has two sisters- Brett and Ashton, a brother- Cooper, and his cousin Charles.  We are also introduced to these characters and learn to love/hate them as fiercely as their families do.  

North and South deals with the build up to the war and the first shots fired on Fort Sumter.  Love and War obviously deals with the war years.  Heaven and Hell deals with reconstruction, the Indians and western expansion.   

There are parts of these books that will leave you feeling depressed and mad at the author and there are other parts that will leave you so beyond happy you can't imagine ever being mad at John Jakes.

This is definitely a set of books to be had and read whenever you feel the need to delve into the Civil War era.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Scarlett by Alexandra Ripley

I am a huge fan of Gone with the Wind and just as huge of a fan of this book, the sequel.  Alexandra does such a great job of capturing Scarlett and her personality.  

Unlike GOTW, Scarlett takes place in mainly Charleston and Ireland. It is a great look into post war America and how the genteel society dealt with the changes.  Also into Ireland and the turmoil that was plaguing the country at this time.

Scarlett is still the same belle of the ball as she was before, but this time, she succeeds in growing up.  She is still hard headed and stubborn, but that is a trait that we as her loyal fans love about her.  It is her determination that makes this book such a success.  The ending brought tears to my eyes, even the second time.