Showing posts from September, 2013

[Review] The Shogun's Daughter by Laura Joh Rowland

Title: The Shogun's Daughter: A Novel of Feudal Japan, a Sano Ichiro Novel
Author: Laura Joh Rowland
Publisher: Monotaur Books published September 17, 2013
Genre: Fiction
Theme: The Shogun's daughter dies and a mystery surrounds her death.
Format: Kindle eBook
Age: Adult
Pages: 827 KB, 337 pages
Rating: 5 Stars
Source: Free Kindle copy from Laura Joh Rowland and Minotaur Books, for the purpose of review.

Japan, 1704.
When the book begins Tsuruhime, the Shogun's daughter, is ill with smallpox. After her death a mystery surrounds how she was infected. Sano Ichiro has served as head of the Shogun's private chambers. Sana lives Bushido, the way of the warrior, which is a samurai code of honor. Sano is calm, level-headed, observant, wise, moral and brave. His wife Reiko is pregnant. They have an older son named Masahiro and an older daughter Akiko. Sano's enemy is Yanagisawa. Yanagisawa wants to destroy Sano, as well as control Japan. A second family in this…

[Review] Degrees of Courage by Shari Vester

Title: Degrees of Courage
Author: Shari Vester
Publisher: Mill City Press Inc. June 19, 2012
ISBN-13: 978-1938223235
Genre: Historical Fiction, loosely based on author.
Theme: Three generations of women who lived in Hungary during the 20th century.
Format: Paperback
Age: Adult
Pages: 574
Rating: 5 Stars
Source: Free copy from Shari Vester in exchange for a review.

Degrees of Courage is set in the town of Sopron. Sopron is a town in modern day Hungary that borders Austria. In 1901 it was apart of the Austria-Hungry, Habsburg Empire. This empire began in 1867 and lasted until the end of World War I when the empire dissolved and broke apart into individual nations. The Austria-Hungary Empire consisted of a large part of Serbia and Romania; a small part of Italy, Montenegro, Poland, Ukraine; also Croatia, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Herzegovina, Bosnia, Transylvania; all of Austria and Hungary. During the Habsburg Empire, industrial and manufacturing increased. In Hungary the prim…

Three Liebster Awards

Over the past two weeks I've won three awards. All three are Liebster Awards. Two were won for Impressions in Ink, one for my other blog at A Well-Watered Garden. I am appreciative of this and want to thank personally those who nominated me.
Cathy at
Samantha at
Tammy at

Each of them passed ten questions along to me. A total of thirty answered questions would cause a yawn with my readers. I have edited them.

1.   What's the last book you thoroughly enjoyed start to finish?
A book I reviewed today that will post tomorrow, Degrees of Courage by Shari Vester

2.   Are you outgoing or reserved?
Reserved and an introvert. I can be chatty with family or close friends. I prefer the quiet, although the sound of rain falling is soothing. I enjoy listening to classical or jazz m…

[Review] The Study of Murder: A Muirteach MacPhee Mystery by Susan McDuffie

Title: The Study of Murder: A Muirteach MacPhee Mystery
Author: Susan McDuffie
Publisher: Five Star, A Part of Gale Cengage Learning September 18, 2013
ISBN 13: 978-1-4328-2720-5
Genre: Historical Mystery
Theme: Medieval Murder Mystery in Oxford England.
Format: Paperback
Age: Adult
Pages: 264
Rating: 4 Stars
Source: Free copy from Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours, Susan McDuffie, Five Star publisher---for the purpose of review.

The year is 1374, Muirteach MacPhee and his wife Mariota, chaperon young Donald to Oxford, England. Donald is the son of the Lord of the Isles, overlord of the MacPhee clan of Scotland. Donald's father wants him to attend the university; however, Donald is impetuous, uninterested in academics, more interested in youthful pursuits. A young tavern girl is missing. Her parents believe she ran-off with a customer. Meanwhile, a parchment is found with "strange drawings and words". Further, two men are brutally murdered. Muirteach is ask…

September Reading List


[Review] The Time Traveler's Guide to Elizabethan England by Ian Mortimer

Title: The Time Traveler's Guide to Elizabethan England
Author: Ian Mortimer
Publisher: Viking, Penguin Group June 27, 2013
Genre: Non-fiction
Theme: Society and culture during Queen Elizabeth I reign.
Format: Hardcover
Age: Adult
Pages: 416
Rating: 5 Stars
Source: Public library


"The historian is always a middleman: the facilitator of the reader's understanding of the past." Ian Mortimer is the facilitator, for a journey into the history of life during Queen Elizabeth I reign. From the landscape, to what people ate and drank, how they traveled, what type of homes they lived in, diseases and medical care, how they felt about Elizabeth, religion, and character traits of people.

My Thoughts:
I was anxious to read this book after recently reading The Time Traveler's Guide to Medieval England.
My review of book:

I enjoyed reading this book! The author knows the subje…

[Review] T. S. Eliot Poems and Prose by Everyman's Library Pocket Poets

Title: T. S. Eliot Poems and Prose by Everymans' Library Pocket Pockets
Author: T. S. Eliot, selections by Peter Washington
Publisher: Alfred A. Knopf, Inc. 1998
Genre: Non-ficiton
Theme: Poems and prose by T. S. Eliot.
Format: Hardcover
Age: Adult
Pages: 221
Source: Public library

T. S. Eliot, Thomas Stearns Eliot (1888-1965).

The Romantic period is my favorite era of poetry. I've read works from the Victorian period, Shakespeare, Anne Bradstreet an early American Puritan poet, and dabbled in other kinds of poems. Last month I read an epic poem by Homer. T. S. Eliot's poems are apart of the modernist era. In the past I've not been attracted to the modernist era of poems, they've seemed unmoving and unromantic. After reading Eliot's poems in this book I've changed my mind.

My favorite written by Eliot is "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock."
A few lines that are my favorite. 

"Time for you and time for me,
And time yet for a hundr…

[Review] Queen's Gambit by Elizabeth Fremantle

Title: Queen's Gambit
Author: Elizabeth Fremantle
Publisher: Simon and Schuster August 6, 2013
Genre: Fiction
Theme: Historical fiction story of Katherine Parr the 6th wife of Henry VIII.
Format: Hardcover
Age: Adult
Pages: 432
Rating: 4 Stars
Source: Free copy from Simon and Schuster and Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours for the purpose of review.

Video at Simon and Schuster:

Link to tour:

Queen's Gambit begins as Katherine's second marriage is ending. Her husband John is ill, and at his death she became a wealthy widow. Katherine, her step-daughter Meg, and their maid Dot, make an appearance at Tudor court. Katherine reconnects with her brother Will. She meets dashing Thomas Seymour. Katherine is smitten with Thomas. Katherine is a woman of wit, intelligence and wisdom; however when she is with Thomas her inhibitions take flight. Katherine's new life a…