Showing posts from December, 2014

Wrap-up of the 2014 British History Reading Challenge

Several participants took part in reading British history in 2014. Whether it was historical fiction or nonfiction---9 readers explored British history. I'm excited to begin afresh in 2015 with the challenge again. Thank you to all the participants who joined me!
The participants from 2014 were:
Jen K.
Jenn (not a blogger but on Goodreads)
Amy (blog not available/set to private)

I want to mention Joy read 13 books for the challenge in 2014!

If you are interested in joining the challenge for 2015, the original post can be found @:

2015 Nonfiction Reading Challenge

Original post can be found here:
I am signing up to read a master level @ between 16 and 20. I read 42 nonfiction books in 2014.

2015 Southern Literature Reading Challenge

The host site link:
Link for the rules (sorry two links to read).

The following is from the host's original post. Attribution to The Introverted Reader. I'm pasting the original post for my own reference:

"Read a book(s)--non-fiction or fiction of any genre, for any age group--written by an author from the South and set mostly in the South.

Definitions of the South are flexible, so I've decided to define it the way I want. That's the fun of hosting your own challenge, right? :-)

The states:
South Carolina
North Carolina
West Virginia

Please keep in mind that this is a Southern literature challenge. It's possible to find books set in each of these states that are not Southern in nature or feeling. Use your best judgment when …

End of the Year Reflection on Reading, 2014

I love reading challenges. At the beginning of 2014, I began with gusto about completing the challenges. But life happens, and as the year progressed I thought I'd not done well. When I evaluated books read for 2014, I realized I'd done better than I thought.

Total fiction books read---42.
Total non-fiction books read---42.  
No, I did not plan to read an equal amount for both! 
Total books read in 2014---160---the rest of the books were reviewed at A Well-Watered Garden. (Fourteen books read were not reviewed.)

I hosted a British History Reading Challenge for 2014. Thank you to all of the participants that took part in the challenge. 
The list of books I read for this challenge, including links for the reviews:
1. The Kings and Queens of England The Biography by David Loades
2. Doctor Barnardo: Champion of Victorian Children by Martin Levy
3. The Cambridge Companion To Medieval English Culture Edited by Andrew Galloway
4. The Bombers and The Bombed by Richard Overy
5. Edward the Confess…

Fantasy Fiction Reading Challenge 2015

I've been looking for a fantasy fiction reading challenge to take part in for 2015. I've not found one, so I've created my own.
If you're interested in joining me there are minimal rules.
1. To read a list of fantasy fiction sub-genres: Wikipedia. 
2. Read at least 3 fantasy fiction books in 2015.
3. The challenge begins January 1, and ends December 31, 2015.
4. There is no Mr. Linky for the sign-up. In the comment section of this post, list both your intention of signing up for the challenge, and the future links to your reviews of books read.
5. You are welcome to copy the above illustration for the reading challenge and post on your blog.

The fantasy fiction books I plan to read in 2015 are:
1. Tolkien, A Dictionary by David Day.
2. The Fellowship of the Ring by J. R. R. Tolkien.
3. Game of Thrones by George R. R. Martin
4. Eragon by Christopher Paolini
5. Inheritance by Christopher Paolini

All the books listed are owned by me and have been in my TBR pile for too l…

(Review) Christmas Poems, Selected and Edited by John Hollander and J.D. McClatchy

Publisher: Everyman's Library Pocket Poets, Alfred A. Knopf, 1999.
Genre: Christmas poems.
Format: Hardcover.
Pages: 256.
Rating: 4 stars for very good.
Source: Library.

Link @ Amazon. 

I've enjoyed reading this book of Christmas poems at night before bedtime. There are several poems that I knew because of the familiar Christmas songs I sing. There are a few poems that are odd; for example, "A Christmas Card, After The Assassinations." Instead of writing a summary and my thoughts section, I'll share my favorite poems from this little gem.

The first and last stanza of a poem written by John Heath-Stubbs.
The name of the poem is "For The Nativity."

"Shepherds, I sing you, this winter's night
Our Hope new-planted, the womb'd, the buried Seed:
For a strange Star has fallen, to blossom from a tomb,
And infinite Godhead circumscribed, hangs helpless at the breast.

A Love, shepherds, most poor,
And yet most royal, kings,
Begins this winter's …

(Review) In Search of Alfred The Great: The King, The Grave, The Legend by Edoardo Albert and Katie Tucker

Publisher: Amberley Publishing August 11, 2014.
Genre: Non-fiction, Anglo-Saxon history, Vikings, Alfred the Great.
Format: Kindle/ebook.
Pages: 202.
Rating: 4 Stars for very good.
Source: Free pdf copy from Amberley Publishing in exchange for a review. I bought an ebook Kindle copy. The Kindle copy is what I read and reviewed.

Amazon  link for the book.
Author link at Amazon. 

Further links on Alfred the Great:
The British Monarchy
Royal Family History
BBC History
History Today
The Daily Beast/remains of Alfred the Great found
Open Library, The Works of King Alfred the Great

Alfred the Great had not thought he'd become king. He was the youngest of four brothers. He was born in AD 849. He became king of the Wessex kingdom in AD 871. Wessex was a kingdom in southwest England. During the early part of the Anglo-Saxon period, England was not a united country. The land was divided into sections, each with a ruling monarch. There were seven main kingdoms: Northu…

(Review) The Wars of the Roses: The Fall of the Plantagenets and the Rise of the Tudors by Dan Jones

Publisher: Viking, October 14, 2014.
Genre: Non-fiction, The Wars of the Roses, Plantagenets, Tudors, British History Reading Challenge 2014.
Format: Hardcover.
Pages: 416.
Rating: 3 1/2 stars for very good/good.
Source: Free copy from Viking in exchange for a review.

Link for the book at Viking-Penguin.

Link for the book at Amazon. 

The Plantagenets is the first book in the series. The theme of The Wars of the Roses is aptly noted in the subtitle: The Fall of the Plantagenets and the Rise of the Tudors.
The introduction and epilogue holds the story of the Pole family. They were the last of the York family, the White Rose. The execution of Margaret Pole was a gruesome and horrifying end to a niece of two kings, Edward IV and Richard III.
The time period for The Wars of the Roses is 1420 to 1541.
Less emphasis is given to the actual battles of the Wars of the Roses. More emphasis is given on the individuals who were apart of the political factions.

My Thoughts:
I loved The Pla…

Book Spotlight on Sudetenland by George T. Chronis

Sudetenlandby George T. Chronis [Historical fiction] Release date: September 30, 2014
self-published Hardbound Equivalent = 600 pages ISBN: 978-1483538204
Author’s website *** SYNOPSISSudetenland© is the premiere novel by author George T. Chronis. The book delivers suspenseful and sweeping historical fiction set against Central European intrigue during the late 1930s leading up to 1938’s Munich Conference. Having swallowed up Austria, Adolph Hitler now covets Czechoslovakian territory. Only France has the power to stand beside the government in Prague against Germany… but will she? The characters are the smart and sometimes wise-cracking men and women of this era – the foreign correspondents, intelligence officers, diplomats and career military – who are on the front lines of that decade’s most dangerous political crisis. If Czechoslovak president Edvard Beneš ignores the advice of French premier Édouard Daladier and refuses to give up Bohemian territory willingly, then Hitler orders that it b…

European Reading Challenge 2015

Rose City Reader is the host for the European Reading Challenge 2015. The challenge begins January 1 and ends December 31, 2015. To find out more information about the challenge and to sign-up: European Reading Challenge 2015.

I'm signing up to read:
(The following is copied and posted from the challenge, attribution to Rose City Reader.)

Five Star (Deluxe Entourage): Read at least five books by different European authors or books set in different European countries.

The gist: The idea is to read books by European authors or books set in European countries (no matter where the author comes from). The books can be anything – novels, short stories, memoirs, travel guides, cookbooks, biography, poetry, or any other genre. You can participate at different levels, but each book must be by a different author and set in a different country – it's supposed to be a tour. (See note about the UK, below)

What counts as "Europe"? It looked like the list might change for 2015, what …