>Top Ten Tuesday – Books Recommended


This week its Top Ten Books Recommended at The Broke and the Bookish

Here are mine:

1) Pride and Prejudice – First read this book after the BBC mini-series came out and I loved it.  When I hadn’t read it for over a decade, I fell in love with it again.  Now that I am reading it once again, I am finally admiring Austen’s genius.

2) Jane Eyre – Read this book when I was in grade 8 and its one that I have loved and revisited since.  And especially in my adult years, I have really come admire the book.

3) East of Eden – Read this book back when Oprah used this as one of her book selections a number of years ago and really enjoyed it.  Read it again a few years later and really caught the nuances of the book and really appreciated its grandeur.

4) The Robber Bride – My first truly adult novel that I read when I was 15.  This book allowed me to journey into a world that I had previously avoided and when I first read this book, I really couldn’t turn back.  It was a turning point in my reading life.

5) Alias Grace – It was shortly after reading The Robber Bride that I read this book and was just mesmerized by Atwood’s storytelling.  I suppose it didn’t hurt that it had a historical element and made me further intrigued about the story of Grace Marks.

6)  The Root Cellar – This book has stayed with me for a long time, even though I haven’t read it in quite sometime.  Just the notion of going back in time is romantic enough, but the fact that it goes to a period in which so much has been written about in American history intrigued me even more.  I guess it started a love affair with the American Civil War that really hasn’t abated and only seems to continue.

7) A Handful of Time – As with The Root Cellar, it got me at a time when I was just coming out of reading books, such as The Babysitters Club, and even now as an adult reader, I found the book just as interesting as when I first read it as a tween.  Loved the notion of going back to a different time, but this time to learn more about a mom the main character barely knew.

8) A Tale of Two Cities – While my grade 11 English classmates were rolling their eyes while reading this book, I was really enjoying it.  I am so glad that my english teacher put this on the reading list.

9) Jacob Have I loved – Read  this in grade 7 when I was looking for something to read in a brand-new school library and I wasn’t disappointed.  Had the books I was looking for been available, I would have read that one instead, but because the school librarian had put the book in the collection, I was able to turn from the books that I was comfortable with to books that I would be challenged with.

10) All Quiet on the Western Front – I first read this book in my grade 12 English class and really didn’t see the point of the book, but my first History class that I took at the university level had this in the syllabus and I groaned at the thought.  But once I was able to understand the historical context of the book, I enjoyed the book and respect the message that Remarque is trying to get across.

I apologize if I did the meme wrong; its my first one.  Have a good day 🙂



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>Spring’s Serenity Read-a-thon – 1st update


Like I said in my opening post, I am going to keep you guys updated with what I read each day.  Today (Monday) I read Pride & Prejudice.  Got most of the third section done for TuesBookTalk (#tuesbooktalk on twitter), but still have about an hour’s worth of reading to do before I am finished that section.  I just hope the nerves don’t get to me so that I can’t complete it for the chat later that night (I am planning on not watching the game on CBC and only get updates through a score box that I have on my igoogle page) or that I am not too drunk to complete the chat (may have a couple of drinks to make sure that I am not too nervous, but one isn’t always guaranteed of that).  I found it enjoyable and fairly light to read. 

I don’t know what I am going to read on my bus ride tomorrow, but I hope to read The Last Queen and get as much as I can get done before Wednesday, when I have access to a vehicle.  So basically I will probably be burying myself in that particular book for as long as I can tomorrow.  Anyways, I am really tired and needing to get to bed and some sleep.

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>Spring’s Serenity Read-a-thon – Opening post


I am participating in Spring’s Serenity read-a-thon hosted by The True Book Addict. It runs from April 25 (today) until May 1.  You can sign up here and post your opening post here.  

As for my reads this week, I plan on reading Pride and Prejudice, Outlander, The Last Queen, War & Peace and probably a couple others which are much lighter than those reads.  I will post another one at the end of the day to mention what I read, which hopefully will pretty much everything that I have said I will read.

Happy reading.


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>Deja Dead – Kathy Reichs


Title: Deja Dead
Author: Kathy Reichs
Published: 1997
Pages: 411
Genre: Fiction, Suspense
Rating: 4/5

Dr. Temperance “Tempe” Brennan spends her days in the autopsy suite, the courtroom, the crime lab, with cops, and at exhumation sites. Often her long days turn into harrowing nights.

It’s June in Montreal, and Tempe, who has left a shaky marriage back home in North Carolina to take on the challenging assignment of director of forensic anthropology for the province of Quebec, looks forward to a relaxing weekend.

First, though, she must stop at a newly uncovered burial site in the heart of the city. One look at the decomposed and decapitated corpse, stored neatly in plastic bags, tells her she’ll spend the weekend in the crime lab. This is homicide of the worst kind. To begin to find some answers, Tempe must first identify the victim. Who is this person with the reddish hair and a small bone structure? (via Goodreads)

Thoughts: I read this book a few years ago because I had started to watch the show Bones and found out that there were a series of books that had the same female character and was intrigued.  I read it and enjoyed it immensely, not only because it was a good story, but that it was set in a city that I was somewhat familiar with.  And when I picked it up again this time around, I wasn’t disappointed.  In fact, I probably enjoyed the book more this time because I was able to catch details that I hadn’t caught before.  If you enjoy suspense type books and if you like the TV series Bones, you probably will enjoy the book.  It should be noted that the book doesn’t at all resemble the show.

6157 / 15000 pages. 41% done!

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>Blood, Bones, and Butter – Gabrielle Hamilton


Title: Blood, Bones and Butter: The Inadvertent Education of a Reluctant Chef
Author: Gabrielle Hamilton
Published: 2011
Pages: 304
Genre: Memoir, Non-fiction
Rating: 4/5

In a sense, Blood, Bones & Butter is a memoir set in kitchens and dining rooms. Gabrielle Hamilton grew up in the food business (her father still owns a restaurant in Lambertville, New Jersey) and many of her memories waft back to her family’s grand parties and elaborate food preparations. A professional dishwasher at twelve, Gabrielle graduated to catering and cooking; now she owns her own restaurant, the critically acclaimed East Village Prune. By every evidence, she can write as well as she can cook; her memoir earned designation as a “Barnes & Noble Discover Great New Books” selection for Summer 2011. (via Goodreads)

Thoughts:  I really liked this book, with the exception of a few spots where the writing was iffy, it was a really written book and I really enjoyed it.  It was one of the few memoirs that you could tell that the person who had decided on doing the memoir had actually written it and wasn’t written by a professional writer, but instead by somebody who really cared about getting their story out in a way that they understood.    I haven’t read a lot of food memoirs, but this one I felt like I was actually tasting the food and smelling and seeing Italy during July.  Highly recommended.

5746 / 15000 pages. 38% done!

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>A Promise to Believe In – Tracie Peterson


Title: A Promise to Believe In
Author: Tracie Peterson
Pages: 384
Published: 2008
Genre: Fiction, Historical Fiction, Christian Fiction
Rating: 4.5/5

Gwen, Beth, and Lacy Gallatin fashion a life for themselves in the Montana wilds, operating a roadhouse that is located at the crossroads of two major stage lines. When their father is accidentally killed, the oldest sister, Gwen, reasons that she’s cursed. After all, death seems to haunt her: her mother, now her father…and she was married for a mere ten days before her husband died from a bout of measles.
As Gwen and her sisters struggle to maintain the inn on their own, an unexpected visitor adds to the mayhem. Hank Bishop claims to be searching for something in the possession of Gwen’s late husband. But mayhem of another sort builds in Gwen’s heart as she finds a growing attraction to this man. Can she dare to hope that love might again be hers? (via Goodreads)

Thoughts: I really liked this, except for a moment near the end of the book which had one moment which was very cheesy and threw off the remaining 10 or so pages.  It was nice easy read and the story was going along very smoothly until the moment near the end of the book, which seemed to be rushed and hurried along.  I really enjoy Peterson’s books, and she is one of the few Christian writers that I will read, and can only hope that the remaining 2 books in the series don’t have the same rushed ending that is cheesy.

5459 / 15000 pages. 36% done!

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>The Swan Maiden – Jules Watson


Title: The Swan Maiden
Author: Jules Watson
Pages: 540
Published: 2009
Genre: Fiction, Fantasy
Rating: 3/5

In this lush, romantic retelling of one of the most enduring Irish legends, acclaimed Celtic historical author Jules Watson reignites the tale of Deirdre—the Irish Helen of Troy—in a story that is at once magical, beautiful, and tragic.

She was born with a blessing and a curse: that she would grow into a woman of extraordinary beauty—and bring ruin to the kingdom of Ulster and its ruler, the wily Conor. Ignoring the pleadings of his druid to expel the infant, King Conor secrets the girl child with a poor couple in his province, where no man can covet her. There, under the tutelage of a shamaness, Deirdre comes of age in nature and magic…. And in the season of her awakening, the king is inexorably drawn to her impossible beauty.

But for Deirdre, her fate as a man’s possession is worse than death. And soon the green-eyed girl, at home in waterfall and woods, finds herself at the side of three rebellious young warriors. Among them is the handsome Naisi. His heart charged with bitterness toward the aging king, and growing in love for the defiant girl, Naisi will lead Deirdre far from Ulster—and into a war of wits, swords, and spirit that will take a lifetime to wage. (via Goodreads)

Thoughts: I read this book for challenge on Goodreads and it took me awhile to finish the book.  IT was slow and seemed to not move the story quickly enough for my liking, but partly the reason I felt the way I did was due to the fact that I wasn’t reading the book exclusively and once I did, I was able to get into the book more quickly.  But that being said, it did feel like it took a long time to get to the crux of the book and to have any sort of significant action.  Overall, it was a pretty good book, but not something that I would read again.

5075 / 15000 pages. 34% done!

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Filed under 2011, 2011 Read and Review, 2011 Support Your Library, book reviews, fantasy, fiction