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Showing posts from November, 2013

[Review] Blood Sisters: The Women Behind the Wars of the Roses by Sarah Gristwood

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Title: Blood Sisters: The Women Behind the Wars of the Roses
Author: Sarah Gristwood
Publisher: Basic Books 26 February 2013
Genre: Non-fiction, history, British history, Kings and Queens of England, House of Plantagenet, House of York, House of Lancaster, House of Neville, House of Tudor, History, England, Medieval England
Theme: The women who were apart of The Cousin's War, or better known as The War of the Roses.
Format: Hardcover
Age: Adult
Pages: 432, with 19 color illustrations
Rating: 5 Stars
Source: Self-purchased
Sarah Gristwood's website: http://www.sarahgristwood.co.uk/ 

See also: http://www.medievalarchives.com/2012/10/08/map-blood-sisters-author-sarah-gristwood-interview/


Summary:
Sarah Gristwood examines the lives of seven women who were apart of The War of the Roses.
Marguerite of AnjouCecily NevilleMargaret BeaufortElizabeth WoodvilleMargaret of BurgandyElizabeth of YorkAnne Neville Other women in the House of York and House of Lancaster, House of Tudor and H…

[Review] Cold Comfort by Charles Todd

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Title: Cold Comfort
Author: Charles Todd
Publisher: William Morrow Impulse, Harper Collins November 19, 2013
Genre: Fiction
Theme: Trench warfare during World War I with Ian Rutledge
Format: Novella, docx
ISBN: 9780062315724
Age: Adult
Pages: 100
Rating: 4 Stars
Source: Free copy from William Morrow for purpose of review.

Homepage for Charles Todd: http://charlestodd.com/

World War I, France, 1915
Lieutenant Ian Rutledge is the officer in charge. His duty is to have his men prepare an explosive devise in a tunnel that will bomb the German enemy camp. He sends two Welshmen to do the job as they have experience in mines. Things don't go as planned and allied lives are at stake. Lt. Rutledge later uncovers a sinister plot against one of their own.

Ian Rutledge is the detective inspector for Scotland Yard in the Ian Rutledge series by Charles Todd. I'd discovered these amazing mystery books over a year ago and have slowly been reading my way through all of them. Another series the…

[Review] Elfrida: The First Crowned Queen of England by Elizabeth Norton

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Title: Elfrida: The First Crowned Queen of England
Author: Elizabeth Norton
Publisher: Amberley Publishing 16 October 2013
Genre: Non-fiction, history, British history, Kings and Queens of England, Anglo-Saxon, Vikings.
Theme: Elfrida, an Anglo-Saxon queen who was more ambitious than the king.
Format: Harcover
ISBN: 978-1-4456-1486-1
Age: Adult
Pages: 224, with 15 black and white illustrations.
Rating: 4 Stars
Source: Free copy from Amberley Publishing for the purpose of review.

Elizabeth Norton embarks on a historical figure that sparse solid information is known. The history that has been passed down through the ages is Elfrida is believed to have murdered her step-son. She may not have held the weapon, but is believed to have been involved in the plotting. Norton wanted to look past Elfrida's infamous past and find other "attributes" that would define her, this was not an easy task.
Elfrida is the Latin name for the old English name AElfthryth. She was born in th…

[Review] Through The Withering Storm: A Brief History of Mental Illness (Volume One) by Leif Gregersen

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Title: Through The Withering Storm
Author: Leif Gregersen
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform, November 2, 2012
Genre: Non-fiction, mental health
Theme: Young man coming to terms with his mental illness.
Format: Paperback
ISBN-13: 978-1480205345 Age: Adult
Pages: 186
Rating: 4 Stars
Source: Free copy from author and Pump Up Your Book publicity.


Summary:
Leif Gregersen has written a transparent memoir of his decent into manic-depression or bi-polar. His story begins at age thirteen. This was on the cusp just before symptoms appeared. The innocence and naivete of childhood was left behind, followed by several years of out of control chaos and trouble.
Leif describes the symptoms that plagued him and yet he ignored. He expresses the torment of what his family and friends went through in watching him. It's common for people with bi-polar to not want to take their medication, Leif was similar. It would be many years before he accepted his diagnosis and a new life con…

[Review] Royal Exiles: From Richard the Lionheart to Charles II by Iain Soden

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Title: Royal Exiles: From Richard the Lionheart to Charles II
Author: Iain Soden
Publisher: Amberley 17 October 2013
Genre: Non-fiction, history
Theme: Brief stories of royalty while in another country, either because they were taken prisoner or they fled the country.
Format: Paperback
Age: Adult
Pages: 160, with 57 black and white illustrations
Rating: 5 Stars
Source: Free copy from Amberley Publishing for the purpose of review.

Author Iain Soden has given a glimpse of nine royal lives, when they experienced captivity or were forced to flee to another country.
Beginning with Richard I, also known as the Lionheart. During the Third Crusade, Leopold was disrespected and shamed by "Richard's retainers" during a battle. While Richard was traveling back home to England, Leopold still angered by the disrespect shown him, held Richard in his castle in Austria. Eventually Richard was set free, but only after Leopold proved his point.
Other stories include:
Jean II of France C…

Blue Shutters- This Momma's House: Blog View: A Well- Watered Garden & Impressions In...

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Blue Shutters- This Momma's House: Blog View: A Well- Watered Garden & Impressions In...: Today we have a two-fer! Yeah! Two great blogs with one woman behind the scenes. It is my pleasure to introduce to you Annette, the author be...

[Review] The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame, Illustrated by Helen Ward

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Title: The Wind in the Willows
Author: Kenneth Grahame
Illustrator: Helen Ward
Publisher: The Templar Company 2000, first published in 1908.
Genre: Children's fiction
Theme: Four animal friends in the English countryside.
Format: Hardcover
Age: Children
Pages: 195
Rating:
Source: Self-purchase

I know you're wondering: why is Annette reading The Wind in the Willows? I needed to read a classic book featuring an animal for a reading challenge, Back To The Classics. The Wind in the Willows was available and unread on my bookshelf. I must admit I made myself read it, just was not in the mood for it.

The Wind in the Willows is the story of four furry friends named: Mole, Rat, Toad, Badger. Each of these endearing little creatures dress in human clothing and have personalities as humans do.
Mole is good-natured, clean and busy.
Rat lives in and on the river, he is a born teacher.
Toad is friendly, but a braggart, imaginative, and is irresponsible.
Badger is unsociable. 

Toad is th…

[Review] A Christmas Home by Greg Kincaid

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Title: A Christmas Home
Author: Greg Kincaid
Publisher: Crown Publishers 2012
Genre: Fiction
Theme: A pet shelter works to find homes for its pets during the Christmas season.
Format: Hardcover
Age: Adult, or young adult
Pages: 227
Rating: 3 Stars
Source: Self-purchase

Todd McCray, age twenty-four, and the hero from book one A Dog Named Christmas, is the main character in A Christmas Home. The local city animal shelter is closing due to insufficient city revenue. Todd and his friend Laura (who is a volunteer at the shelter) work to find homes for the dogs. Todd and Laura will both need to find new jobs. Both of them have disabilities. They've worked hard to become independent.

A Christmas Home is a feel good, Christmas, animal story. If you are looking for a short Christmas story and you love animals this is a good choice.
Both Todd and Laura have disabilities. His parents have tried to help, yet allowing him to become more independent. In this story his independence will cause hi…

[Review] Death of Kings by Bernard Cornwell

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Title: Death of Kings
Author: Bernard Cornwell
Publisher: Harper Collins January 2012
Genre: Historical Fiction
Theme: As King Alfred is near death, a battle for his successor and for the safety of England and for a hope of a unified England, has begun.
Format: Hardcover
Age: Adult
Pages: 336
Rating: 4 Stars
Source: Self-purchase

The 9th century is ending and King Alfred of Wessex is sick and near death. His appointed successor is his son Edward. Others are waiting to over-take the appointed successor and seize the throne, this includes a Viking. A battle hardened savvy man named Lord Uhtred of Bebbanburg (the narrator) is the "king's warrior". Uhtred was born a Saxon, but raised a Dane. He understands both languages and cultures. As a "kings warrior" on oath he obeys King Alfred. Uhtred has the training and experience to command a battle. In Deaths of Kings several battles will come about as Alfred's death brings plots to undue the dream of a unified Engl…

[Review] The Anne Boleyn Papers by Elizabeth Norton

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Title: The Anne Boleyn Papers
Author: Elizabeth Norton
Publisher: Amberley 2 October 2013
Genre: Non-fiction, British History, Tudor History, Anne Boleyn, Eustace Chapuys, Henry VIII, Catherine of Aragon, Mary Tudor.
Theme: The story of Anne Boleyn and her moment as Henry VIII's second wife, told through letters, memoirs, poems.
Format: Paperback
Age: Adult
Pages: 384
Rating: 5 Stars
Source: Free copy from Amberley Publishing for the purpose of review.

Anne Boleyn became Henry's second wife during a tumultuous period of Henry VIII's reign. After many years of marriage to Catherine of Aragon, one child lived to adulthood, the princess Mary. Henry knew he was capable of fathering a son, his mistress Bessie Blount had delivered a healthy son. Henry was desperate to have a son as his heir. His obsession to bed Anne Boleyn---which led to her insisting they marry---which meant he had to divorce Catherine and divorce was not legal under Roman Catholicism. All of this was high dr…