Showing posts from January, 2015

(Review) Game of Thrones, Book One of A Song of Ice and Fire by George R.R. Martin

Publication Date: Reprint edition, March 2, 2011.
Publisher: Bantam
Genre: Fantasy fiction, series, Fantasy Fiction Reading Challenge, 2015 Chunkster Reading Challenge.
Pages: 720.
Source: Self-purchase.
Rating: 3 stars for good.

Link @ Amazon: Game of Thrones.
My copy was purchased at Target, 20% discount.

I don't have HBO. However, I've watched a few video clips from YouTube of the series.
I can understand the draw of the series, it's reminiscent of a medieval/monarchy epic type story. There are heroes and villains, children in distress, and dragons. The allure of the story appeals to a wide audience.
There are a couple of things I don't like...

In book one, A Song of Ice and Fire, an introduction to several families are made. By the end of the story the reader begins (a little) to understand how the families tie-in to one another.
The families are:

House of Baratheon. King Robert Baratheon, and his wife and children. His wife is Queen Cersei, of the House …

(Review) The Spies of Warsaw by Alan Furst

Publication Date: June 3, 2008.
Publisher: Random House.
Genre: Spying during the late 1930s before WWII in Poland.
Pages: 266.
Source: Library.
Rating: 3 stars for good.

Summary: Europe is afraid another war is building. The threat is Hitler and the Nazi Party who have taken over Germany. Poland borders Germany in the north. Germany lost territory in Poland after World War I. Poland is well aware they are a target for Germany's Nazi machine.
A French hero from World War I, Colonel Jean-Francois Mercier, becomes a spy. The time period is late 1937. The location is Warsaw, Poland.

My Thoughts:
I'm afraid The Spies of Warsaw is one of those books where many people have loved it, but I did not.
I did like the background of the story. The atmosphere of tension because of the fear of the Nazi Party and threat of war is realistic. The fear of the Jewish people who are being abused, rounded up, and taken away adds to the reality of Europe during this period.
My only problem with the…

(Review) The Oblate's Confession by William Peak

Publication Date: December 1, 2014.
Publisher: Secant Publishing.
Genre: Historical Fiction, Medieval England, Monastic.
Pages: 416.
Source: Free advanced reader copy from William Peak, Secant Publishing, and Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours in exchange for a review.
Rating: 5 stars for excellent.

Book tour link:

William Peak spent ten years researching and writing The Oblate’s Confession, his debut novel. Based upon the work of one of the great (if less well known) figures of Western European history, the Venerable Bede, Peak’s book is meant to reawaken an interest in that lost and mysterious period of time sometimes called “The Dark Ages.” Peak received his baccalaureate degree from Washington & Lee University and his master’s from the creative writing program at Hollins University.  He works for the Talbot County Free Library on Maryland’s Eastern Shore.  Thanks to the column he writes for The Star Democrat about li…

2015 Chunkster Reading Challenge

I can't help myself I love big books---books with many many pages.
Books greater than 450 is the main rule. A few more are listed at 2015 Chunkster Reading Challenge.

Historical Fiction Reading Challenge 2015

I'm joining another challenge for 2015. The Historical Fiction Reading Challenge 2015, hosted by Passages to the Past.

(Review) West Side Story, Screenplay by Ernest Lehman

Publisher: MGM Home Entertainment, 2003.
Genre: Fiction, screenplay, Broadway musical.
Format: paperback.
Pages: 168.
Rating: 5 Stars for excellent.
Source: library.

Link for the book @ Amazon. 

The Broadway production of West Side Story opened in 1957.
Screenwriter, Ernest Lehman, adapted a "well-known stage production" and turned "it into something for the big screen."
The musical was produced and directed by Robert Wise.
Jerome Robbins worked as a second director and choreographer.
The musical director was Leonard Bernstein.
The lyrics were by Stephen Sondheim.
Metro Goldwyn Mayer was the studio.
The movie came to the big screen in 1961. The movie was in theaters for 77 weeks.
West Side Story was written as a modern twist on the Romeo and Juliet story.
Two rival street gangs, the Jets and the Sharks, patrol their turf of 1950s in Manhattan, New York City.
Tony and Maria are the star-crossed lovers.
The principal cast:
Tony played by Richard Beymer

A Poetic Introduction to January 2015

Winter poems and quotes to begin the new year.

"In the bleak mid winter, frosty wind made moan,
Earth stood hard as iron, Water like a stone;
Snow had fallen, snow on snow, snow on snow,
In the bleak midwinter of, long ago."
~Christina Rossetti 1830-1894

"If we had no winter, the spring would not be so pleasant: if we did not sometimes taste of adversity, prosperity would not be so welcome." 
~Anne Bradstreet 1612-1672

"Every mile is two in winter." 
~George Herbert 1593-1633

"Every winter, When the great sun has turned his face away, The earth goes down into a vale of grief, And fasts, and weeps, and shrouds herself in sables, Leaving her wedding-garlands to decay--Then leaps in spring to his returning kisses." 
~Charles Kingsley 1819-1875

"Announced by all the trumpets of the sky, 
Arrives the snow, and, driving o'er the fields, 
Seems nowhere to alight: the whited air
Hides hills and woods, the river, and the heaven, 
And veils the farmhouse at the …