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Showing posts from December, 2012

2012 in Review

On this last day of 2012I look back with fond memorieson the great books I read this year. 
It was a very productive year of reading. I read a total of 163books, this is counting all the books from all my blogs that I read in 2012. My original goal was to read 125, then I increased it to 150, but then surpassed that goal as well. 

Fiction
1. All Our Worldly Goods by Irene Nemirovsky
2. The Rose of Sebastopol by Katharine McMahon
3. Alice I Have Been by Melanie Benjamin
4. The Secret Diaries of Charlotte Bronte by Syrie James
5. Notes From The Underground by Fyodor Dostoyevsky
6. Nocturne by Syrie James
7. Rebecca by Daphne DuMaurier
8. The Kitchen House by Kathleen Grissom
9. The Diplomat's Wife by Pam Jenoff
10. A Duty to the Dead, A Bess Crawford Mystery by Charles Todd
11. The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson
12. The Girl Who Played With Fire by Stieg Larsson
13. The House at Tyneford by Natasha Solomons
14. The Traitor's Wife by Kathleen Kent
15. …

Christmas Present, 2012

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Merry Christmas to you and your loved ones! Happy New Year! I will be taking a holiday break until early January 2013.

Christmas Past

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Review: A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens

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Title: A Christmas Carol
Author: Charles Dickens
Publisher: Special Church Edition, A Christmas Carol originally published 19 December 1843
Genre: Fiction
Labels: Victorian Period, British Literature, Christmas Story
Format: Paperback
Age: Older Child to Adult
Pages: 61
Rating: 5 Stars

Summary:
Ebenezer Scrooge is a miserly, grumpy, sour-faced, stooped (at least in personality), older man. He does not have a wife, nor children. Scrooge with relentless venom works his clerk hard at the firm. His business partner Marley had died seven years previous. Scrooge's heart has hardened through the years, but this tough exterior will be melted by a visit from three ghosts: the ghost of Christmas past, the ghost of Christmas present, and the ghost of Christmas yet to come. He actually had an additional ghost visit him, Marley. Marley was the introduction to a night of ghostly visits.

Review:
This is a story that most people know. Either they've read the story or they've watched the m…

Review: Les Miserables by Victor Hugo

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The Chunkster Readalong was a year long challenge for 2012 at Kate's Library. I should have began early in the year, instead I waited till nearly October to begin. Another blogger also had a read-a-long for this book Historical Tapestry.
On Christmas Day the movie Les Miserables with Anne Hathaway, Hugh Jackman, Russell Crowe, Amanda Seyfried, Eddie Redmayne, will begin. I will be at the theater that day, can't wait!
Film Trailer for Les Miserables.


Title: Les Miserables
Author: Victor Hugo
Publisher: Modern Library Classic/A Division of Random House 2009, First Published in 1862
Genre: Fiction
Labels: Classic Literature, French Literature, French Revolution, 19th Century, Convict, Orphan, Paris, France, The Classics Club, Back to the Classics Challenge
Format: Paperback 
Age: Adult
Pages: 1376
Rating: 5 Stars for Excellent

A good introduction lays the ground-work of what will be read in a novel. It's as if they are the tour guide director letting us know what kind of no…

Review: A World Undone, The Story of the Great War 1914-1918 by G.J. Meyer

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Title: A World Undone, The Story of the Great War 1914-1918
Author: G.J. Meyer
Publisher: Bantam Dell, A Division of Random House 2006 (Hardcover) 2007 (Paperback)
Genre: Non-Fiction
Labels: History, Military, World War I, Europe, Germany, England, Austro-Hungary, Prussia, Russia, War Through The Generations Challenge World War I
Format: Paperback
Age: Adult
Pages: 816
Rating: 5 Stars for Excellent


This is the last book for me to read and review for the War Through The Generations Challenge on World War I. When the year began I knew little about World War I. In 2012 I've read 13 books for this challenge. After reading A World Undone, The Story of the Great War 1914-1918 by G.J. Meyer, I feel as if I've taken a college course on World War I. This is "the" book to read if you are wanting to read about this war. I give 5 stars for this book. One drawback is it's a lengthy book at 816 pages. To help me digest more easily the book, I placed a tiny sticky post-it-note …

Review: The Tower of London, The Biography by Stephen Porter

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Title: The Tower of London, The Biography
Author: Stephen Porter
Publisher: Amberley on 17 November 2012
Genre: Non-Fiction
Labels: History, Biography, History of Tower of London, London, England, British Monarchy, British History
Format: Hardcover
Age: Adult
Pages: 288 pages, 112 illustrations (60 are in color)
Rating: 5 Stars

Summary:
The Tower of London is one of the first historical places a tourist visits in London. In a guided tour group tourists are shown the grounds and various buildings, and told of the historical events that happened there. Darker tales of people who were prisoners and many who were later executed are shared with the tourists. But, not all these fascinating stories that are told are correct, some are traditions and or legends.
Stephen Porter has written a fascinating and beautiful historical book on the Tower of London. He has bypassed traditional stories, and has worked to write a book with accurate historical information. 
From the beginnings of the No…

The Tower of London

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The following photographs were taken by me in 2001. They are a companion to the previous post written,
The Tower of London, The Biography by Stephen Porter

Review: The Kingmaker's Daughter (The Cousin's War) by Philippa Gregory

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Title: The Kingmaker's Daughter
Author: Philippa Gregory
Publisher: Touchstone, A Division of Simon & Schuster, Inc. August 2012.
Genre: Historical Fiction
Labels: The War of the Roses, Lancaster, York, England, 15th Century, Kings and Queens of England, Royalty, British History, British Monarchy, The Cousin's War, Great Britain
Format: Hardcover
Age: Adult
Pages: 432
Rating: 5 Stars for Excellent
Summary:
Anne Neville was born 11 June 1456 and died 16 March 1485.
Her father was Richard Neville, 16th Earl of Warwick, also known as the Kingmaker. Her mother was Anne de Beauchamp. She had one older sibling, Isabel. The Earl of Warwick was a very wealthy nobleman, he owned land and houses. He was a powerful man that exuded both ambition and arrogance. He wanted to be in power. If he could not control the king, he would control the country through his offspring. He was willing to sacrifice all for the sake of his goal. His daughter's Isabel and Anne as young girls were p…

Review: Sown in Tears by Beverly Magid

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Title: Sown in Tears
Author: Beverly Magid
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform on 18 September 2012
Genre: Historical Fiction
Labels: Russia, Russian History, Jewish History, Early 20th Century, Revolution
Format: Paperback
Age: Adult
Pages: 194
Rating: 5 Stars










Summary:
Rural village of Koritz, Russia 1905. 
Leah and her husband Morris and sons Benny and Joseph, are awakened in the night by the sound of guns firing and people screaming. They scurry out of their beds and hide in a cellar. It is a night of terror for the Jewish settlement of Koritz. The survivors will be left with painful and bitter memories. Leah with resilience scrounges to feed her sons. She is desperate to provide food and shelter and security for her family.
Captain Ivan Vaselik is in charge of the Koritz area. He worries that some of his men may have taken part in the rampages against Jewish settlements. He worries that this could lead to having soldiers that are uncontrollable, and do not o…

Woman has link to Civil War history: her father | Life & Arts | Dallas-Fort Worth Lifestyles ...

Announcing, February in Russia Reading Challenge 2013

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Announcing, a reading challenge for February 2013. During the month of February you may read a work of fiction or non-fiction (including short stories), you may listen to an audio book, or you may watch a movie or documentary.
The only rule is that the story must be related in some way to Russia either through the story or because the author is Russian. 
For those of you that will be reading, the following is a list of Russian literature authors:
Alexander Pushkin
Nikolai Gogol
Ivan Turgenev
Fyodor Dostoevsky
Leo Tolstoy
Anton Chekhov
Mikhail Bulgakov
Maxim Gorky
Joseph Brodsky
Vladimir Nabokov
Boris Pasternak

At this point I'll not be using a Mr. Linky. If you are interested in being apart of this challenge leave a comment. I'll be posting challenge information in a page located at the top of my blog.
Thank you!

I fully attributed the above photograph in my separate page listed at top of my blog.  
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Birches_near_Novosibirsk_in_Autumn.jpg

Book Blogger Hop, Week of December 7-11, 2012

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This week Book Blogger Hop is hosted by: Angler's Rest. Book Blogger Hop is a creation of Crazy-For-Books.

The question for this week is "What is your favorite festive reading?"
A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens. I love everything about this story, most of all it's message. To have goodwill and Christmas cheer in our hearts for people. To think outside of ourselves and our own wants or desires; and to think of others, especially those who need our love and understanding.
eRead for free on Project Gutenberg. 

Review: Leaves by Michael Baron

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Title: Leaves
Author: Michael Baron
Publisher: The Story Plant, September 25, 2012
Genre: Fiction, Family, New England,
Format: Paperback
Age: Adult
Pages: 332
Rating: 4 Stars Very Good
Synopsis: The Sugar Maple Inn in Oldham, Connecticut has been owned by the Gold family for decades. After the parents death the adult children sell it. The siblings gather one last time for a Halloween party before the inn is sold. The tourist area is home to vibrant leafy trees in the autumn: hickory, beech, sumac, sassafras, maple, and oak. "Leaf peepers" travel to this area of the Connecticut River Valley in order the see the colorful show of leaves each autumn. The inn is where the five siblings grew up, they have wonderful memories of a close-nit family. Their grief is evident as the closure to this last bit of their parents and family history come to an end. Marie is the eldest of the siblings, she is a parent facing an empty nest. Maxwell the eldest son has a rising political career, …