Sunday Post #39: The Last Sunday of the Year

Sunday Post

It has been a little while since I’ve written a Sunday Post entry. December proved to be a busy month, and I have to confess that time off on Sundays wasn’t really spent writing and reflecting so much as trying to catch my breath before Monday.

I have been off work for a week’s vacation and have one more week before returning. Aside from some grading, which I will need to make some time to do in the coming week, I was able to catch up before vacation. I’ve been doing quite a lot of baking, as I typically do over the holidays: gingerbread, cookies, scones on Christmas.

My husband is visiting his parents in Tennessee, and I know they’ll be glad to visit with him. It’s pretty quiet around here without him. Not that he makes a ton of noise or anything, but you know what I mean.

Meanwhile, I have been finishing books quickly. I finished the following books since my last Sunday Post entry:

I am in the middle of a re-read of Revolution by Jennifer Donnelly, this time as an audio book, and man, am I ever reminded of why I love that book so much. And yet again, it has reminded me of why the French Revolution is so endlessly fascinating. I am currently watching a History Channel documentary of the French Revolution on YouTube. I am reminded once again that I still haven’t read Citizens: A Chronicle of the French Revolution by Simon Schama, though I have a hardcover copy, nor have I finished Marie Antoinette: The Journey by Antonia Fraser or Les Misérables by Victor Hugo. The Marie Antoinette biography has been in my sidebar for a long time. I would love to find another really good historical fiction book set in the French Revolution. I have already read Madame Tussaud by Michelle Moran. I am not sure about Hilary Mantel’s novel A Place of Greater Safety. Have you read it? What did you think? I absolutely loved Wolf Hall and Bring Up the Bodies, but I wasn’t sure about this one. The reviews are not as glowing, and it’s a long book to commit to. I ought to just take the plunge. I’ve been thinking about reading it long enough.

I’ve had a quiet last Sunday of the year with my kids. All in all an enjoyable day reading and relaxing.

The Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted by Caffeinated Book Reviewer. It’s a chance to share news, recap the past week on your blog, and showcase books and things we have received. See rules here: Sunday Post Meme. Image adapted from Patrick on Flickr.

Sunday Post #5: History Makers

Sunday PostSince last week, when I mentioned that we have all the snow, I can tell you we probably have five feet on the ground with more on the way tonight and tomorrow. My children have yet another snow day tomorrow. My own school just called me to let me know I also do not have school; however, I do believe I have a meeting via Google Hangout, and I need to make some soap for a wholesale account, so I imagine I will be busy. We have had record-breaking snowfall the last few weeks.  The Sunday Post is starting to sound monotonous with the weather report each time. When you’re more or less snowbound, however, there’s not much else going on.

I finally finished listening to the audio book of Diana Gabaldon’s novel The Fiery Cross this week. I also finished reading The Serpent of Venice by Christopher Moore. Look for the review for that book to be posted on 2/17. I started reading four books this week as well:

The Tell-Tale Heart, like The Serpent of Venice, is part of a TLC Book Tour. I’m reading As You Like It as my Renaissance selection for the Literary Movement Challenge. Finished Act I as of yesterday. I am listening to Neil Gaiman read the short story collection Trigger Warning. After finishing The Fiery Cross, I didn’t want to dive right into another really long Gabaldon audio book right away. I have had Marie Antoinette: The Journey in my Kindle library for a very long time, but I finally decided to read it after watching the Kirsten Dunst film Marie Antoinette, which reminded me how fascinated I am by the French Revolution and all the history leading up to it.

The movie itself, I have to say, was kind of weird. The costumes and sets were gorgeous. The music was strange. Some of the casting was bizarre. The jury’s still out on whether I liked it or not. I searched in vain for a documentary about the French Revolution on Netflix last night, so I decided to start reading the book. Also on my list at some point is Simon Schama’s Citizens: A Chronicle of the French Revolution. I’m always on the lookout for good historical fiction set during this time period as well, so let me know if you know of anything. I have previously read Jennifer Donnelly’s Revolution (loved!), Michelle Moran’s Madame Tussaud, and Melanie Clegg’s The Secret Diary of a Princess. And of course, Charles Dickens’s A Tale of Two Cities. I can’t recall any others, so let me know what I’ve missed. I am not particularly more interested Ancien Régime versus post-Revolution or nobility versus Estates-General. I’m not picky.

I love reading historical fiction, which is one of the reasons I always try to participate in the Historical Fiction Reading Challenge, no matter how active I actually am in the challenge. If I had to peg my favorite periods, I would say 18th and 19th century America (particularly New England, but really, it’s all pretty interesting), the Middle Ages, the Renaissance, 18th century France and England, and 19th century England. I do not much like to read WWII historical fiction, which reminds me of a post of Stefanie’s that I read over at So Many Books: “Books I Won’t Read.” I am not going to go quite so far as to say I will not read books about World War II. I really hesitate, though. I find it mentally exhausting and very depressing to read about that war, for obvious reasons. Inevitably, the books are heart-wrenching. I hate to say it feels like manipulation on the part of authors to write about the events of that war, especially when they really happened, but it’s also quite difficult to criticize. After all, anything you say in critique of books about the Holocaust just makes you sound heartless. So, I’m really careful about what I choose to read from that era. If a book has a whiff of cashing in on that tragedy at all, I can’t read it.

So far, I’ve finished seven books this year. I can’t recall ever having read that many at this point in the year. Honestly, I think the goal I set of reading 52 books has been a good motivator for me. I know I’m making more of an effort to read. I think of myself as a slow reader, but it looks like I have managed to pick up speed over time without noticing much. I very rarely can sit and read an entire book all day, and I haven’t tried timing myself to see how fast I’m actually reading. It’s more just a sense I have that I’m able to read books faster than I have in the past.

The biggest news in the book world this week is the impending publication of Harper Lee’s second novel, Go Set a Watchman, which will feature an adult Scout Finch. Some speculation in the media has made me wonder if Harper Lee was aware of what her lawyer was doing, but it’s hard to tell. This New York Times story does a fair job discussing the controversy. I am going to read the book. I have actually already selected it for my school summer reading choice. I called dibs the day the announcement was made. I am not going to miss another Harper Lee novel. Am I worried it might not be as good as To Kill a Mockingbird? Of course. It’s natural. But there is no way I’m going to miss it. And while I’m on the subject, I wish Goodreads would stop people from reviewing or rating unreleased books. Or, to be more specific, unreleased books that no one has read yet. I actually find ratings and reviews from folks who had uncorrected proofs or early access through other channels helpful. This book already has a 3.72 rating on Goodreads. Come on.

The Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted by Caffeinated Book Reviewer. It’s a chance to share news, recap the past week on your blog, and showcase books and things we have received. See rules here: Sunday Post Meme.

Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Historical Novels

Top Ten TuesdayHistorical fiction is my favorite genre, and I’m not sure I could pick an adequate top ten. There are so many great books that fit into this genre. You can find my list below with the following caveats: I simply haven’t had a chance to read a lot of great historical fiction that’s out there yet, so this list is necessarily limited to just those books I have experience with, and also I have decided not to include classics that were set during their own contemporary times but are history now (e.g. [amazon_link id=”0486284735″ target=”_blank” ]Pride and Prejudice[/amazon_link] or [amazon_link id=”1441408223″ target=”_blank” ]Jane Eyre[/amazon_link]). Also, these are in no particular order (aside from the order in which they occurred to me) because I couldn’t begin to rank them. Finally, I selected these particular books out of all the historical fiction I have read and loved because they so perfectly evoke their time settings that they bring the historical eras in which they are set alive (with historical accuracy) and simply couldn’t take place any other time.

  1. [amazon_link id=”034549038X” target=”_blank” ]The Dante Club[/amazon_link] by Matthew Pearl: Not only is this book a solid thriller with fun connections to Dante’s [amazon_link id=”0812967216″ target=”_blank” ]Inferno[/amazon_link] and the Fireside Poets, but it is also a great snapshot into life in Boston right after the Civil War. In terms of period detail and engaging reads, you could do worse than Matthew Pearl for sure.
  2. [amazon_link id=”0780748433″ target=”_blank” ]Catherine, Called Birdy[/amazon_link] by Karen Cushman: This is a middle grades/early YA novel set in 1290 in England. Catherine is the daughter of a knight, and Cushman captures the Middle Ages (particularly, the lives of a family in a small manor house) in exquisite detail.
  3. [amazon_link id=”0152164502″ target=”_blank” ]The Coffin Quilt[/amazon_link] by Ann Rinaldi: The subject of this YA novel is the feud between the Hatfields and McCoys. Told from the viewpoint of Fanny McCoy, the novel touches on all the major events of the feud and is simply one of the most well-written YA novels I’ve ever read.
  4. [amazon_link id=”0345521307″ target=”_blank” ]The Paris Wife[/amazon_link] by Paula McLain: This novel about Ernest Hemingway’s first marriage and time in Paris perfectly captures the lives of the American artist expatriates living in France during the 1920’s. It’s a gorgeous novel.
  5. [amazon_link id=”1565125606″ target=”_blank” ]Water for Elephants[/amazon_link] by Sara Gruen: This isn’t just great historical fiction. It really captures an era and a subculture that I’ve not seen captured as well in any other novel. Superb read.
  6. [amazon_link id=”0765356155″ target=”_blank” ]Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell[/amazon_link] by Susanna Clarke: While also classified as fantasy, this novel also explores England during the Napoleonic Wars, including brushes with Mad King George and Lord Byron as well as the Duke of Wellington. The footnotes are a great touch. I loved this novel.
  7. [amazon_link id=”039331507X” target=”_blank” ]Nothing Like the Sun[/amazon_link] by Anthony Burgess: I don’t think I’ve read another historical fiction book about Shakespeare that touches this one. Burgess’s characters speak like Elizabethans, and the events described are both believable and fun homages to Shakespeare’s plays. The premise behind the book is that Shakespeare’s tangled love life majorly influenced all of his work.
  8. [amazon_link id=”B000FC10KC” target=”_blank” ]Ahab’s Wife[/amazon_link] by Sena Jeter Naslund: Oh, how I love Una Spenser. She is my fictional BFF. She is amazing. I need to read this one again. As you might have guessed, this book takes the passage in [amazon_link id=”B003GCTQ7M” target=”_blank” ]Moby Dick[/amazon_link] in which Captain Ahab mentions he has a young wife at home and creates her character and her life (and it’s a fascinating life that, in my opinion, puts that of her husband to shame).
  9. [amazon_link id=”0061577073″ target=”_blank” ]The Poisonwood Bible[/amazon_link] by Barbara Kingsolver: This novel about Christian missionaries in the Belgian Congo right as the country declares its independence from Belgium is a fascinating snapshot into the Congo of the 1960’s as well as the lives of Christian missionaries and also serves as an allegory for America’s own role in colonialism.
  10. [amazon_link id=”0061990477″ target=”_blank” ]The Thorn Birds[/amazon_link] by Colleen McCullough: When I read this novel, I couldn’t put it down. I haven’t read a lot of books set in Australia, but this novel seems to so perfectly capture the times and setting. Meggie is an engaging heroine, and who doesn’t love Father Ralph de Bricassart?

Because I read a ton of historical fiction, I need to include some honorable mentions:

  • [amazon_link id=”0547550294″ target=”_blank” ]The Witch of Blackbird Pond[/amazon_link] by Elizabeth George Speare: This YA novel is set in Colonial Massachusetts and is a great vehicle for middle schoolers (or even their older siblings and parents) to learn about that time period in history. I can’t think of too many books that do as good a job with this era.
  • [amazon_link id=”0312378025″ target=”_blank” ]The Tea Rose[/amazon_link] by Jennifer Donnelly: This book is a fun read, but has a few lapses in terms of credibility (at least for this reader). Set in Whitechapel as Jack the Ripper ravages London, this novel is the story of Fiona, daughter of one of the Ripper’s victims, who makes her way to New York and builds a tea empire from scratch.
  • [amazon_link id=”B001NLKT2E” target=”_blank” ]The Commoner[/amazon_link] by John Burnham Schwartz: This story of a commoner’s marriage into the Japanese imperial family makes for a great read, too, though Schwartz takes some liberties to make his character’s ending happier than that of the real model for his heroine.
  • [amazon_link id=”0060515139″ target=”_blank” ]A Plague of Doves[/amazon_link] by Louise Erdrich: Some of this novel is contemporary, which is one reason I didn’t include it above, but it is one of the finest novels I’ve read and concerns the repercussions of a murder and hate crime that sent ripples through a community for generations.
  • [amazon_link id=”B003WUYROK” target=”_blank” ]The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane[/amazon_link] by Katherine Howe: Also partly set in contemporary times, this novel concerns Connie Goodwin’s attempts to learn more about her ancestors’ grimoire and secret powers.
  • [amazon_link id=”0399157913″ target=”_blank” ]The Help[/amazon_link] by Kathryn Stockett: While this book certainly evoked Mississippi of the 1960’s, and I thoroughly enjoyed it, it did not seem as realistic to me as some of the books I included in my top ten.
  • [amazon_link id=”0307588661″ target=”_blank” ]Madame Tussaud[/amazon_link] by Michelle Moran: This novel, set during the French Revolution, was an excellent read and shone a spotlight on a historical figure who hasn’t perhaps received as much attention as she was due.
  • [amazon_link id=”0143034901″ target=”_blank” ]The Shadow of the Wind[/amazon_link] by Carlos Ruiz Zafón: Barcelona’s book world during the 1930’s and 1940’s, though to me, the plot did not have to be set during era or in that place.
  • [amazon_link id=”0451202503″ target=”_blank” ]The Songcatcher[/amazon_link] by Sharyn McCrumb: Again, because this novel is set partly in contemporary times, I excluded it from the list above, but the historical fiction parts were my favorite. This novel is the story of how a song learned on the crossing from Scotland to America in the eighteenth century was passed down in a family and survived to the present day.
  • [amazon_link id=”039306915X” target=”_blank” ]Emily’s Ghost[/amazon_link] by Denise Giardina: The story of Emily Brontë and one of the better historical fiction novels about the Brontë family.
  • Pretty much anything by Jude Morgan. Love him. And Syrie James. And Tracy Chevalier. I mean, this was really a hard topic for me to narrow down.

WWW Wednesdays—May 11, 2011

WWW WednesdaysTo play along, just answer the following three (3) questions…

• What are you currently reading?
• What did you recently finish reading?
• What do you think you’ll read next?

I am currently reading [amazon_link id=”0670021040″ target=”_blank” ]Caleb’s Crossing[/amazon_link] by Geraldine Brooks, [amazon_link id=”0199537259″ target=”_blank” ]The Man in the Iron Mask[/amazon_link] by Alexandre Dumas, and [amazon_link id=”039332902X” target=”_blank” ]The Story of Britain: From the Romans to the Present: A Narrative History[/amazon_link] by Rebecca Fraser (I have been reading it since January, but in my defense, it is over 800 pages long).

I recently finished [amazon_link id=”0143034901″ target=”_blank”]The Shadow of the Wind[/amazon_link] by Carlos Ruiz Zafón (review) and Madame Tussaud: A Novel of the French Revolution by Michelle Moran (review).

I’m definitely ready to pick up the new Jasper Fforde, [amazon_link id=”0670022527″ target=”_blank” ]One of Our Thursdays Is Missing[/amazon_link] next. I absolutely love Jasper Fforde. Oh, my TBR pile is so big. I will get to most of those books. Eventually. I hope.

What about you?

Madame Tussaud: A Novel of the French Revolution, Michelle Moran

[amazon_image id=”0307588653″ link=”true” target=”_blank” size=”medium” class=”alignleft”]Madame Tussaud: A Novel of the French Revolution[/amazon_image]Madame Tussaud, born Marie Grosholtz, is well known all over the world for the wax museum that bears her name. The story of her involvement in the French Revolution is less well known, and it is this part of Madame Tussaud’s life that Michelle Moran brings to life in [amazon_link id=”0307588653″ target=”_blank” ]Madame Tussaud: A Novel of the French Revolution[/amazon_link]. The novel begins as Marie prepares for a royal visit to the Salon de Cire, where Marie and her Uncle Curtius create and display wax figures of prominent people in France. After visiting the salon, Princesse Élisabeth, sister of Louis XVI, asks Marie if she will be her tutor in creating wax figures. Marie agrees, believing the connection will be good for business. She cannot imagine how this association will later place her and her family in danger as the Reign of Terror commences and Marie must carefully straddle two worlds. She is asked to make death masks for people executed during the Revolution. Her family entertains leaders of the Revolution, including Robespierre, Danton, and Marat.

The story of how Marie Grosholtz managed to keep her head, both literally and figuratively, while the world around her dissolved into madness makes for fascinating reading. Moran captures Marie’s involvement in a series of vignettes—at some points in the novel, long periods of time are skipped over to relate perhaps the more interesting events Marie was involved in. In telling Marie’s story, however, Moran also manages to add depth to the royal family and the leaders of the Revolution. Marie Antoinette in particular is given a sympathetic portrait contrary to most historical reports I’ve read. Marie Grosholtz is an interesting person: pragmatic businesswoman and talented artist, she emerges a survivor because of the strong head she manages to keep on her shoulders.

I became interested in the French Revolution after reading Jennifer Donnelly’s novel [amazon_link id=”0385737637″ target=”_blank” ]Revolution[/amazon_link] earlier this year (read my review). It seems amazing that this period in history had not piqued my interest before, but I tend to think of myself as an anglophile and much of the historical fiction I usually read is focused on the UK or America. If you are looking for a book that will capture the anarchy and terror during the French Revolution, I highly recommend Michelle Moran’s novel. In the bargain, you’ll learn more about Madame Tussaud. I didn’t think I would be interested in a novel about the life of the famous wax sculptress, but I was drawn in by the cover and decided to give it a chance. I am very glad I did.

[rating:4.5/5]

I read this novel for the Historical Fiction Reading Challenge and the Take a Chance Challenge. I had seen it all over the place in the book blogosphere, and so am counting it toward Challenge 3: Blogger’s Choice Challenge. I don’t know if it’s kind of cheating or not: I haven’t seen this book mentioned in any sort of Best Books posts. It’s more that I just started seeing it everywhere. I have now read eight of the fifteen books I committed to for the Historical Fiction Challenge and four of the ten for Take a Chance.

WWW Wednesdays

WWW Wednesday—April 27, 2011

WWW Wednesdays

To play along, just answer the following three (3) questions…

• What are you currently reading?
• What did you recently finish reading?
• What do you think you’ll read next?

I am currently reading [amazon_link id=”0307588653″ target=”_blank” ]Madame Tussaud: A Novel of the French Revolution[/amazon_link] by Michelle Moran, [amazon_link id=”039332902X” target=”_blank” ]The Story of Britain: From the Romans to the Present: A Narrative History[/amazon_link] by Rebecca Fraser, [amazon_link id=”0143057812″ target=”_blank” ]The Shadow of the Wind[/amazon_link] by Carlos Ruiz Zafón (audio book), and [amazon_link id=”0199537259″ target=”_blank” ]The Man in the Iron Mask[/amazon_link] by Alexandre Dumas via DailyLit. I am enjoying the first three very much, but the fourth is not grabbing me. I hope it does soon because I so enjoyed [amazon_link id=”0451529707″ target=”_blank” ]The Count of Monte Cristo[/amazon_link]. The narrator for The Shadow of the Wind is exceptional.

I recently finished reading [amazon_link id=”0060558121″ target=”_blank” ]American Gods[/amazon_link] by Neil Gaiman (review) and The Rebellion of Jane Clarke by Sally Gunning (review).

My next book will probably be [amazon_link id=”0670021040″ target=”_blank” ]Caleb’s Crossing[/amazon_link] by Geraldine Brooks. I won an ARC on Goodreads. The lastest Jasper Fforde, [amazon_link id=”0670022527″ target=”_blank” ]One of Our Thursdays Is Missing[/amazon_link], is calling my name. At some point, I want to return to [amazon_link id=”0812977149″ target=”_blank” ]Finn[/amazon_link] by Jon Clinch. I have a few books on my Kindle that I’m interested in reading, too: [amazon_link id=”B004R1Q9PI” target=”_blank” ]The Secret Diary of a Princess[/amazon_link] by Melanie Clegg, a few Austen sequels, and some good nonfiction, including [amazon_link id=”0316001929″ target=”_blank” ]Cleopatra: A Life[/amazon_link] by Stacy Schiff, [amazon_link id=”0385489498″ target=”_blank” ]Marie Antoinette: The Journey[/amazon_link] by Antonia Fraser, [amazon_link id=”1400052181″ target=”_blank” ]The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks[/amazon_link] by Rebecca Skloot, and [amazon_link id=”1439107955″ target=”_blank” ]The Emperor of All Maladies: A Biography of Cancer[/amazon_link] by Siddhartha Mukherjee.

So what about you?

Teaser Tuesdays

Teaser Tuesdays—April 26, 2011

I found a new meme!

Teaser Tuesdays

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
  • Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

My teasers:

[amazon_image id=”0307588653″ link=”true” target=”_blank” size=”medium” ]Madame Tussaud: A Novel of the French Revolution[/amazon_image]

“I’ve been invited as a distraction,” I say. “I doubt the princesse will want to hold court with her brother.”

~Location 2433-42 on my Kindle, Madame Tussaud: A Novel of the French Revolution by Michelle Moran

MizB has some other memes that look like a lot of fun, too.

Marie Grosholtz Tussaud

Reading Update: Marie Grosholtz Tussaud

 

Marie Grosholtz Tussaud
Wax figure of Marie Grosholtz Tussaud

I hope everyone is enjoying their Easter Sunday. This week I picked up a new book by Michelle Moran called Madame Tussaud: A Novel of the French Revolution on my Kindle. I am only about 16% into the novel, but I am already enjoying it immensely. I’m not sure I would have thought I’d be interested in a novel about Madame Tussaud. I was drawn to the cover:

Madame Tussaud: A Novel of the French Revolution

I think the cover is gorgeous and just one more reason why covers are important—I don’t think I’d have picked this book up if not for its cover. Anyway, my interest in the French Revolution is recent, but I truly enjoyed Jennifer Donnelly’s Revolution (read my review) and have been seeking similar books since. To be honest, I’ve always found the pictures I’ve seen of the wax figures in Tussaud’s a little creepy, but this novel is an interesting look at the artist and her times. Have you ever been to Tussaud’s? If so, what did you think?

My spring break wraps up on Tuesday, but I don’t know that I will finish the novel before then. I have some paper grading to do, and I have already spent too much of my break reading and not enough grading. This week I also finished up American Gods by Neil Gaiman and The Rebellion of Jane Clarke by Sally Gunning.

So what have you read this week? Anything you’re looking forward to reading next week?

The image of Marie Grosholtz Tussaud at the beginning of this post was found at Peeking Between the Pages.

The Reader—Renoir

Reading Update: Goodreads

The Reader—Renoir
The Reader by Pierre-Auguste Renoir

I’m giving Neil Gaiman’s American Gods a longer chance than normal on Jenny’s advice. It is beginning to pick up, but I was preparing to put it aside. I am going to take Finn out of the rotation for the time being. Maybe I’ll pick it up soon, but I keep seeing all these other books I would rather read. I just purchased Madame Tussaud: A Novel of the French Revolution by Michelle Moran and One of Our Thursdays is Missing by Jasper Fforde, a favorite writer of mine. Today in the mail, I received my first “win” from Goodreads:

The Rebellion of Jane Clarke

Isn’t it pretty? The paperback comes out April 26, and I want to try to read it by then so I can share my review. I didn’t realize until very recently that Goodreads sponsored giveaways. What a great way for publishers to connect with regular readers! This book was the first one I requested, so I was excited to have success right off the bat.

If you are a reader and not a member of Goodreads, you should check it out. It’s easily my favorite reading social network. Shelfari is very pretty, but it doesn’t allow users to easily integrate their blogs like Goodreads does. I have my Goodreads profile set up to publish the feed to this blog. I don’t know whether any readers have signed on here because of my Goodreads profile, but it can’t hurt. Shelfari also doesn’t allow HTML in their reviews. LibraryThing limits users to 200 books unless they opt for a paid account. I don’t see the draw unless I’m missing something—Goodreads is free. I trust Goodreads reviews over other sites, too, as the readers can be more conservative in their stars and praise than, say, Amazon. If I’m on the fence, I read a few reviews on Goodreads, and I can often make up my mind. And now with giveaways, there’s no reason not to try them out.

I’m going to pick up The Rebellion of Jane Clarke tonight and go back to Massachusetts. I loved our visit there this past summer. But first I need to put the kettle on for a cup of tea.

American Gods It Is

OMGIALMOSTDIEDThe other day I needed some help picking out what to read. I think it turns out I just needed a nudge. You voters selected Neil Gaiman’s American Gods. I have read the first chapter, and yeah, I think I will like it, but it’s hard to tell at the moment. I totally love Neil Gaiman, so there is, at least, that.

I think maybe before I read The Dream of Perpetual Motion by Dexter Palmer, I will re-read The Tempest. I might get more out of the former if I read the latter first. The last time I read The Tempest was college. That has been a while. No takers at all for Gaskell’s North and South, two votes for The Cookbook Collector, and one vote for Becoming Jane Eyre.

At some point, I need to make time for Jasper Fforde’s new Thursday Next book—One of Our Thursdays is Missing. I also decided I need to read Madame Tussaud: A Novel of the French Revolution. Until I read Jennifer Donnelly’s Revolution, I can’t say I was that interested in that time period in France, for some inexplicable reason that makes absolutely no sense to me now. Oh! And I just started participating in book giveaways on Goodreads, and I won the first book I was interested in! The Rebellion of Jane Clarke by Sally Gunning. I hope it will be good. I haven’t read a great deal of fiction set during the American Revolution.

P.S. This was my 1,000th post! Feels like a milestone.

photo credit: J.J. Verhoef