Showing posts from December, 2016

Merry Christmas!

"I will honor Christmas in my heart, and try to keep it all the year."
Charles Dickens

"It was always said of him, that he knew how to keep Christmas well, if any man alive possessed the knowledge. May that be truly said of us, and all of us! And so as Tiny Tim observed, 'God bless us, every one! '"
Charles Dickens

(Review) Poldark: Ross Poldark, Book One by Winston Graham

Publication Date: 2015, 1945
Publisher: Sourcebooks, Inc.
Genre: Fiction
Pages: 400
Source: Self-purchase
Rating: 4 stars for very good

I discovered Poldark on PBS Masterpiece on Sunday evenings.
There are twelve books in the series. The following link shows the books: Goodreads.

Ross Poldark returns home to England after fighting in the Revolution in America. Life at home has changed dramatically: his father died, and his beloved Elizabeth is engaged to someone else. Poldark renews life in England under circumstances different than he'd imagined. The family estate requires hard work to clean up. Poldark's mind and body are busy in the process of bringing the family home back into business.

My Thoughts:
Poldark's character is amiable; and because of the disappointments at his homecoming, I felt an immediate sympathy for him. This is the first point that drew me into the story.
Poldark is a character that does not always make decisions I feel is rig…

(Review) A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles

Publication Date: September 6, 2016
Publisher: Viking
Genre: Fiction, Russia from 1920s-1950s
Pages: 462
Source: Self-purchase
Rating: 5 stars for excellent


Count Alexander Ilyich Rostov returned to Russia after the collapse of the monarchy and at the beginning of communism. The year is 1922. He was placed under house arrest at the Metropol, a hotel near the Kremlin. His observations, activities, and relationships are in the hotel. A young girl becomes his ward. As a long-time bachelor, Rostov, makes changes to accommodate this young child.

My Thoughts:
I loved this story!
The main reason is it has been a long time since I've become consumed-swept away by a fictional story!
The story is not a mystery, nor suspense, nor a romance, nor a study on history; however, it is a strong character story.
The Count is a likable man. He is amiable to the people he has forged relationships. He does not look down on people who are of a different social status. He seems to …

(Review) Treason by James Jackson

Publication Date: October 6, 2016
Publisher: Zaffre
Genre: Historical fiction
Pages: 320
Source: Free copy from Zaffre , Bonnier Pubishing.
Rating: 3 stars for good

According to Amazon the hard copy is only available through a third-party seller. The kindle ebook is available for $9.49.

From The Irish Times, a book synopsis.

James Jackson website

I've found few reviews on this book. Amazon has none. Goodreads has two.

During the early part of the reign of James I of England, a plot was made against James and his family. Guido Fawkes, an English Catholic, planned a Gunpowder plot. He and several men planned to blow-up the king, his family, and the Protestant rulers. English government spy, Christian Hardy, works to uncover the plot and people involved. A man named Realm, a Spanish agent, is another strong threat.

My Thoughts:
The year is 1604, London.
The name Guido Fawkes is literally pressed from the lips of a prisoner. Fawkes being the name of the plotter ag…

Book Blast for Marlene: A Novel of Marlene Dietrich by C.W. Gortner

Marlene: A Novel of Marlene Dietrich by C.W. Gortner Paperback Release Date: December 13, 2016 William Morrow, Harper Collins ISBN: 9780062406071; 432 Pages Genre: Historical Fiction/Contemporary Women/Biographical Marlene Dietrich’s femme fatale persona defined her, but behind the glitz of 1930s Hollywood was a remarkably modern woman, determined to live by her own terms. A rebellious girl, Marlene’s genteel family expectations curtail her until Germany's defeat in the Great War gives rise to the decadence of Weimar Berlin. Here, Marlene finds her niche as a cabaret actress. With her sultry beauty, smoky voice, and androgynous tuxedo, she performs to packed houses and has a series of stormy love affairs that push the boundaries of social convention until she finds overnight success in the scandalous movie The Blue Angel. As Hitler seizes power, Marlene sets sail for America to become one of Hollywood’s top leading ladies, starring opposite Gary Cooper, John Wayne, and Cary Gran…