Friday, March 10, 2017

Review: Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel

King Henry VIII
Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel
Published 2009 by Henry Holt and Co.
Hardcover, 532 pages
Dates read: September 20 - October 31, 2016

Published in 2009, Wolf Hall is the first installment of the Thomas Cromwell Trilogy by Hilary Mantel. It starts out in 1500 England with a brief history of Thomas Cromwell. Fast forward 20 years to a time when the country is on the brink of disaster if the king dies without a male heir. Henry VIII wants to annul his 20-year marriage and marry Anne Boleyn. Goodreads does a much better job at finishing the description, "the pope and most of Europe opposes him. Into this impasse steps Thomas Cromwell: a wholly original man, a charmer and a bully, both idealist and opportunist, astute in reading people, and implacable in his ambition. But Henry is volatile: one day tender, one day murderous. Cromwell helps him break the opposition, but what will be the price of his triumph?"

Saturday, March 4, 2017

Another Review of The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah

The Nightingale
by Kristin Hannah
Published 2015 by St. Martin's Press
Hardcover, 440 pages
Dates read: January 1 - March 4, 2017

Because I enjoyed The Nightingale so much when I listened to it last summer, I recommended that my book club read it. We had a discussion about it in January, and I didn't feel the need to finish re-reading it by then because so much of the book had stuck with me and I wanted to take my time with it. The second time around, and this time actually reading it vs. listening to it, is just as amazing if not better. Perhaps I should say that the audio version does the written version justice.

Kristin Hannah does an amazing job telling the story of two young women, sisters, and what they've endured through WWII. So often we hear or read of the men who have gone away to war, but what of the women and children who were left behind? Hannah begins one of these tales by starting the story in 1995, when an elderly woman is packing up her things to move into a retirement home. We don't yet know who she is as she is going through the contents of an old trunk. As she comes across an old ID badge, she flashes back to 1939 Paris, France, just before her world is turned upside down by war.

Friday, March 3, 2017

Three Small Steps that Could Change the World

This post is related to: One Thing the World Needs More Of: Compassion. Both subjects started out as journal prompts, and I had an easy answer for both. Three words immediately popped into my head: education, compassion and tolerance. These three things are needed more than ever in the world today. These three "small" steps are more important than ever, and could easily change the world considering the amount of hate and crime in the world in recent years, and more recently with the backlash to President Trump's election in the U.S. and his subsequent inauguration and executive orders.

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Review: A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness

A Discovery of Witches
By Deborah Harkness
Published 2011 by Penguin Books
Paperback, 579 Pages
Dates read: June 15, 2014 - January 9, 2015

A Discovery of Witches is an annoying yet fun read that immediately got my attention when I learned that the protagonist, Diana Bishop is a professor of alchemical history at Yale. Even more intriguing is when she finds a bewitched manuscript in Oxford while doing research there for a year. Many different kinds of creatures show up throughout the story, proposing many different real and possible supernatural conflicts.

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Take Control TBR Challenge 2017


As I mentioned in my 2017 Reading List post earlier this year, my goal this year is to read 55 books. I'm already 6 books behind schedule because 55 books translates to about 1 book a week! So, I have decided to participate in Caffeinated Book Reviewer's Fifth Annual March Take Control of your TBR Pile Challenge for some accountability. I'm competitive by nature so by having something an incentive, challenging and competitive will keep motivated.