Showing posts from October, 2013

Sobering News For Book Publishing

I just read an article about a "new" crisis in the book publishing world.
Brian Feinblum at BookMarketingBuzzBlog, has written a sobering post about a "new" Netflix type plan to pay a small monthly fee to purchase books. The discount will be at a s--u--p--e--r low cost!

What will this mean for the book publishing world? Specifically independent book stores who are already struggling to stay afloat? What will this mean for authors who desperately want their book to be published, and further to make a living at writing? 

To read further about cheap monthly price plan to purchase books:

This blogger doesn't believe it w…

[Review] The Known World by Edward P. Jones

Title: The Known World
Author: Edward P. Jones
Publisher: Amistad, Harper Collins 2003
Genre: Fiction
Theme: Black free men owning white slaves, slavery in Virginia.
Format: Paperback
Age: Adult
Pages: 432
Rating: 4 Stars
Source: Self-purchase

Won the National Book Critics Circle Award in 2003.

The Known World won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 2004

Won the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award in 2005

The Known World, is foremost a story of slavery in the state of Virginia before the Civil War. Most of the history of slavery we read about is white ownership of black slaves. Until I read The Known World, I did not know free blacks had owned black slaves. It is both shocking and depressing. Slavery in itself is shocking and depressing, compile that with their own people who had once bee…

WWW Wednesdays (October 23, 2013)

What am I currently reading?

What did I recently finish reading?

What do I think I'll read next?

[Review] Lady Macbeth by Susan Fraser King

Title: Lady Macbeth
Author: Susan Fraser King
Publisher: Crown 2008
Genre: Fiction
Theme: Fictional story of Lady Gruadh (GROO-ath), who became Lady Macbeth in Scotland.
Format: Hardcover
Age: Adult
Pages: 340
Rating: 4 Stars
Source: Self-purchase

Gruadh is also found Online as Gruoch. Both pronunciations are difficult for me. Gruadh is how her name appears in this book.
Her full name was Gruadh inghean Bodhe macCineadh mhic Dubh.
Her father's side of the family was a royal branch of Scotland, and through her mother were kings of Ireland. She was a pure blood royal. Thus a perfect candidate for marriage. Ambitious men wanted to marry her in order to produce a royal branch from their offspring.
It is difficult to separate what I've learned through Shakespeare's story of Macbeth, versus the story from Susan Fraser King. Shakespeare's Lady Macbeth is infamous, powerful, dark, dramatic, dangerous. Susan Fraser King's Lady Macbeth or Gruadh is brave, feisty, independe…

[Review] Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte

Title: Wuthering Heights
Author: Emily Bronte, edited and introduction by Pauline Nestor
Publisher: Penguin Classics 1996, first published 1847
Genre: Fiction
Theme: Two families intermingled in a web of control, vengeance, obsession.
Format: Paperback
Age: Adult
Pages: 353
Rating: 5 Stars
Source: Self-purchase

This is the second time for me to read Wuthering Heights. The Bronte sisters: Charlotte, Emily, Anne, are at the top of my favorite list of writers. Jane Eyre is my second favorite book. David Copperfield by Charles Dickens is my favorite.
Readers of Wuthering Heights seem to either love it or hate it. Some scratch their head and state, what the what?
Wuthering Heights is not a happily-ever-after story, it is not a love story.
Wuthering Heghts is a dark, dramatic, obsessive, vengeful, emotional hysteria, haunting tale.
Probably not a good story to read if you are already depressed. It is a good story to see a Gothic novel at work.

When Wuthering Heights begins it is …

[Review] Depression And Your Child: A Guide For Parents And Caregivers by Deborah Serani

Title: Depression and your Child: A Guide For Parents And Caregivers
Author: Deborah Serani
Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc. September 5, 2013
Genre: Non-fiction, mental health, children, caregiver.
Theme: Caring for children who have mental health issues.
Format: Paperback
Age: Adult
Pages: 242
Rating:5 Stars
Source: Free copy from Pump Up Your Books for the purpose of review.

"Statistics show 4% of preschool aged children, 5% school aged children, and 11% of adolescents have major depression." "Even babies can have depression." These are sobering results for parents who have a child they suspect maybe depressed. To ignore or hide from their child's depression will not make the problem go away, instead the depression will become worse. Author Deborah Serani explains her own experience with depression, from early adolescence through adulthood. Being transparent about her own life gave an intimacy to the book. Parents that have a c…

[Review] The Walnut Tree: A Holiday Tale by Charles Todd

Title: The Walnut Tree
Author: Charles Todd
Publisher: William Morrow An Imprint of Harper Collins October 30, 2012
Genre: Fiction
Theme: A titled Scottish lass becomes a nursing sister during World War I.
Format: Hardcover
Age: Adult
Pages: 256
Rating: 5 Stars
Source: Free copy from William Morrow/Harper Collins in exchange for a review.

1914, World War I. 
Lady Elspeth Douglas is in Paris, France when war with Germany begins. She is in Paris, visiting a long time friend named Madeleine, who will soon have her first baby. Elspeth, begins a relationship with her friends brother Alain; however, war calls him away before the relationship advances. During her journey to escape France, Elspeth encounters war first hand. She also reconnects with an old friend named Peter Gilchrist. Her firsthand experience of being on a battlefield and seeing the injured, both shakes and consumes her. Back in the safety of England, Elspeth makes a serious decision to become a nursing sister. Me…

[Review] Bessie Blount: Mistress to Henry VIII by Elizabeth Norton

Title: Bessie Blount: Mistress to Henry VIII
Author: Elizabeth Norton
Publisher: Amberley Publishing October 2, 2013
Genre: Non-fiction
Theme: Biography of Bessie Blount who was the mistress of Henry VIII.
Format: Paperback
Pages: 368, 77 color photographs
Rating: 4 Stars
Source: Free copy from Amberley Publishing for purpose of review.

Elizabeth Norton's site:
Elizabeth, or as history knows her, Bessie Blount, was born to a "gentry" and "pious" family. There is minimal historical information known about her, to put together an in-depth biography is impossible. There are no paintings of her. The information gleaned is through a historian and biographer named William Childe, family lineage, brief information shared from other historical figures, and Bessie's notations made in a book. Despite having a small amount of information to work with, Elizabeth Norton's aim in writing this book is to "bring out th…

W...W...W...Wednesdays (October 16, 2013)

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:
1. Castles, Customs, and Kings True Tales by English Historical Fiction Authors
Link for excerpt:

2. The Known World 

3. Wuthering Heights
The Kindle copy is free, click on the link:

4. The Anne Boleyn Papers

5. The God-Centered Life

I recently finished reading:
1. Bessie Blount: Mistress to Henry III
2. The Reichenbach Problem
3. The Walnut Tree: A Holiday Tale

Reviews on the above will be posted this week.

What do I think I will read next?
I don't know exactly......
For review I nee…

[Review] Westerdale by Morwenna J. Holman

Title: Westerdale
Author: Morwenna J. Holman
Publisher: Olympia Publishers September 2, 2013
Genre: Fiction
Theme: Mysterious stranger takes a job and creates impossible circumstances for the family.
Format: Paperback
Age: Adult
Pages: 263
Rating: 5 Stars
Source: Free copy from Olympia Publishers in exchange for a review.
It is September of 1825, in "the village of Scarshead", "northern county of Stradshire, England".  A stranger walks in to town inquiring about a job. He walks past the village and stumbles upon a stately home. The stranger inquires from the young woman who answers the door if he could speak to the owner. The stranger introduces himself as Heaton Grimshaw. The owner is Mr. Drayton and the young woman is his lovely daughter Elizabeth. Mr. Drayton is ill and in bed. He is unable to care for or manage his "horse dealer's yard". Within a few moments Mr. Drayton hires Mr. Grimshaw to be the new manager. Mr. Drayton's hasty d…

[Review] Royal Babies: A History 1066-2013 by Amy Licence

Title: Royal Babies: A History 1066-2013
Author: Amy Licence
Publisher: Amberley August 1, 2013
Genre: Non-fiction, Kings and Queens of England, Royalty.
Theme: History of children born to kings and queens of England.
Format: Hardcover
Age: Adult
Pages: 208, 40 color illustrations.
Rating: 5 Stars
Source: Free copy from Amberley Publishing for the purpose of review.

I read this book in ONE day, I could not put it down. 
Beginning with Matilda in 1102 and ending with baby Windsor born July 2013, a total of twenty-four chapters are given with brief biographies on children born to royal families. Included is information on history of midwifery, illegitimate children, fertility, attire to wear while pregnant, superstitions, delivery, cesarean section, miscarriage, wet nurses, herbs used in midwifery.

My Thoughts and reasons for giving this book 5 stars:
I found each chapter to be refreshing and solid in its approach to historical characters I knew and some I did not. I gleaned…

[Review] Royal Sex: The scandolous love lives of the British Royal Family by Roger Powell

Title: Royal Sex: The scandalous love lives of the British Royal Family
Author: Roger Powell
Publisher: Amberley August 2013
Genre: Non-fiction, history, royalty.
Theme: Relationships in and out of marriage with British royalty.
Format: Paperback
Age: Adult
Pages: 304, with 27 illustrations.
Rating: 3 1/2 Stars
Source: Free copy from Amberley Publishing for purpose of review.

Beginning with Henry VIII through Prince William and Prince Harry, author Roger Powell has written an interesting book on the relationships of British royalty. Some of these relationships led to marriage and some of them were extra-marital exploits. Powell brings to light certain key families in England, and throughout several generations, provided mistresses to kings. 

My Thoughts:
The book begins by sharing from the life of Henry VIII. I was familiar with the women he had bedded. I was familiar with the women he married. I was familiar with the illegitimate children he produced. I did not feel I lea…

[Review] Beowulf

Title: Beowulf
Author: Unknown
Publisher: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
Genre: Fiction, Old English Heroic Epic Poem
Theme: Heroic Beowulf rescues a kingdom from a monster named Grendel.
Format: eBook, Kindle
Age: Adult or young adult
Pages: 252 KB, 117 pages
Rating: 4 stars
Source: Free on Kindle. 

According to Wikipedia: "Beowulf is an Old English Heroic Epic Poem. It was written sometime in the 8th to early 11th centuries. Beowulf was studied in the late 18th century and published in its entirety in 1815."
Way back, when I was in high school we read Beowulf. I hated it. I had a poor attitude.
I decided recently to re-read it (or rather read it for the first time as I did not read it when I was supposed to in high school). I was familiar with the story, but had not read it in its entirety until yesterday. The Kindle edition I read was quality, no unusual breaks or odd spacing. Explanatory words are given to help with the translation and characters. Even though it is…

[Review] The Story of England by Michael Wood

Title: The Story of England
Author: Michael Wood
Publisher: Penguin, reprint edition May 29, 2012
Genre: Non-fiction, history of England.
Theme: English History
Format: Paperback
Age: Adult
Pages: 464
Rating: 5 Stars
Source: Self-purchase

Michael Wood's book The Story of England was a documentary on PBS in the summer of 2012.

Michael Wood's site:

Wood's current project on King Alfred:
Michael Wood has written an enticing story of English history with the focus on the town of Kibworth. History for Kibworth, England began: "in the Middle Bronze Age, roughly between 1500 and 1000 BC, a time which saw the beginnings of organized societies in Britain, and with them for the first time long-distance trade." He traces Kibworth's known origins from the Bronze Age, to the Roman, Celt, Anglo-Saxon, Viking and Norman invaders. Each of their influences to society and culture is reflected…