Showing posts from March, 2015

(Review) The Wilderness of Ruin: A Tale of Madness, Fire, and The Hunt For America's Youngest Serial Killer by Roseanne Montillo

Publication Date: March 17, 2015.
Publisher: William Morrow, an imprint of HarperCollins.
Genre: Victorian Period, History, Serial Killer.
Pages: 320.
Source: Free hardcover copy from William Morrow in exchange for a review.
Rating: 4 stars for very good.

Link @ publisher: The Wilderness of Ruin.
Link @ Amazon: The Wilderness of Ruin.  
Link @ Barnes and Noble: The Wilderness of Ruin.

Several young boys in Boston were sorely abused in 1871. These crimes happened shortly before the Great Boston Fire of 1872. Jesse Harding Pomeroy is arrested for the abuse of the boys and is sent to a reform school. After several months he is released. In South Boston, two children are gruesomely murdered. The police believe Pomeroy is the slayer.
My Thoughts:
Before reading The Wilderness of Ruin, I'd not heard of this true story, nor had I heard of the name Jesse Pomeroy. A young adolescent who carried out horrific torture and murder is an anomaly to me. I hear of young people planning a…

(Review) The Tapestry by Nancy Bilyeau, Plus a Giveaway

US Publication Date: March 24, 2015 UK Publication Date: April 24, 2015 Published by Touchstone Formats: eBook, Hardcover
Pages: 400 Series: Joanna Stafford, Book Three
Genre: Historical Mystery, Tudor History, Monastic
Rating: 4 stars for very good. 

Thank you to Touchstone, and Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours, for a free NetGalley ebook copy, in exchange for a review. 

In THE CROWN, Sister Joanna Stafford searched for a Dark Ages relic that could save her priory from Cromwell’s advancing army of destruction. In THE CHALICE, Joanna was drawn into an international conspiracy against Henry VIII himself as she struggled to learn the truth behind a prophecy of his destruction. Now, in THE TAPESTRY, Joanna Stafford finally chooses her own destiny. After her Dominican priory in Dartford closed forever—collateral damage in tyrannical King Henry VIII’s quest to overthrow the Catholic Church—Joanna resolves to live a quiet and honorable life weaving tapestries, shunning dangerous quests a…

(Review) The Big Sky by A.B. Guthrie Jr.

Publication Date: 2002. Originally published in 1947.
Publisher: Mariner Books.
Genre: Fiction, American West.
Pages: 400.
Source: Self-purchase.
Rating: 4 stars for very good.

Link @ Amazon. 

Every once in a while I get a "wild hair" and want to read outside my normal reading habits. Reading about the American West, and the men and women who adapted to it's climate and function, seemed a perfect fit for something different.

The book begins in the year 1830.
At the age of seventeen, Boone left his home in Kentucky and set off for the west. Boone and his dad had gotten into a fight. Boone felt it was time for him to strike-out on his own, to make a life of his own. Boone joins a group of men traveling up the Missouri river. They are fur-trappers, Indian scalpers, living off the land, mountain men. Boone meets Teal Eye. Their story will unfold with hope. Hope for a a settled life Boone had never had.

My Thoughts:
I've thought a lot about this story. I have se…

(Review) The Chaperone by Laura Moriarty

Publication Date: June 25, 2012.
Publisher: Riverhead Books/Penguin Group.
Genre: Fiction, 1920s, culture and society standards.
Pages: 384.
Source: self-purchase.
Rating: 4 stars for very good.

Link @ Amazon, Kindle price is $9.76. 
I bought my copy @ the bargain table @ Barnes and Noble for $5.98.

Laura Moriarty website.

Cora Carlisle has agreed to chaperone fifteen year old Louise Brooks (later became an actress in films) to New York City in the summer of 1922. They live in a small Midwest town. Cora is a middle-age married woman. Her twin sons are in college. Her husband is a respected attorney. Louise is the eldest daughter. She has three younger siblings. Their mother is beautiful and talented. However, she is uninterested and indifferent to her children. Her husband is also an attorney. The two families at first site are as different as night and day. As the story progresses the reader will find parallels. The summer of 1922 will bring about change for both Cora and Lo…

War and Peace Read-a-long: Week Four

Week four is over books six and seven.
The questions for this week are:

1) Do you feel that the tone of the novel changed this week? The naivete has gone. In the beginning of War and Peace men and women are in the early stages of pairing off together. It is also the beginning stages of war. Progression of the story shows the reality of life.  
2) Do you think that the story is uniquely Russian, or could it have been set somewhere else? In reference to European 19th century society (I'm thinking primarily of British, French, Russian) there is a sharp divide between aristocracy and peasants/serfs. I have not seen a middle class. People are either wealthy or poor. I believe this is uniquely Russian. The view of Russia during the Napoleonic Wars is also uniquely Russian. What is not unique is the relationships between men and women. The marriages, affairs, courtship, and break-ups happen in any society or era.  
3) How about Andrey and Natasha's nuptials? Will they ever get married a…

War and Peace Read-a-long: Week Three

Week three is over chapters four and five.
Questions for week three:
1. Are you managing to keep all of the characters straight in your head?
Yes, because I take notes. If I did not take notes there would be mass chaos in my head.

2. Have your tactics that we discussed in book one changed since the beginning of the book?
I had gotten behind in reading because the past couple of weeks have including more than one book part to read. As of today I'm caught-up.

3. Awww, poor Pierrre. Do we feel sorry for him or is it his own fault for marrying for lust?
Both of them are contemptible. I like Pierre just a tad more because of his action in book eight. I have found it interesting that Pierre had known his wife since they were children, he even knew of the torrid rumor. But he had not really known her. He had seen what he wanted to see. In his immature thinking, or rather not thinking with his brain and instead reacting to his ego, he chose Ellen to be his wife. On page 226 Pierre's …

(Review) I Am Abraham: A Novel of Lincoln and The Civil War by Jerome Charyn

Publication Date: February 9, 2015
Liveright Publishing Corporation
Paperback: 480p

Genre: Historical Fiction Rating: 5 stars for excellent, not perfect but near perfect. 
Source: Free copy from Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tour and Liveright Publishing Corporation
Summary:  Narrated in Lincoln’s own voice, the tragicomic I Am Abraham promises to be the masterwork of Jerome Charyn’s remarkable career. Since publishing his first novel in 1964, Jerome Charyn has established himself as one of the most inventive and prolific literary chroniclers of the American landscape. Here in I Am Abraham, Charyn returns with an unforgettable portrait of Lincoln and the Civil War. Narrated boldly in the first person, I Am Abraham effortlessly mixes humor with Shakespearean-like tragedy, in the process creating an achingly human portrait of our sixteenth President. Tracing the historic arc of Lincoln’s life from his picaresque days as a gangly young lawyer in Sangamon County, Illinois, through his impro…

A Poetic Introduction to March

"The future is something which everyone reaches at the rate of 60 minutes an hour, whatever he does, whoever he is." C.S. Lewis

"You got to be careful if you don't know where you're going, because you might not get there." Yogi Berra

"The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams." Eleanor Roosevelt

"One ship drives east and another drives west
With the selfsame winds that blow.
'Tis the set of sails
And not the gales
Which tells us the way to go.
Like the winds of the sea are the ways of fate,
As we voyage along through life:
'Tis the set of a soul
That decides its goal,
And not the calm or the strife."
Ella Wheeler Wilcox

"The year's at the spring
And the day's at the morn;
Morning's at seven;
The hillside's dew-pearled;
The lark's on the wing;
The snail's on the thorn:
God's in his heaven
All's right with the world!"
Robert Browning

"I wandered lonely as a cloud
That floats on hig…