Sunday, April 03, 2011

March Reads

Clara & Mr. Tiffany by Susan Vreeland - 3/1/2011
Fair - Historical Fiction
Clara is a designer at Tiffany Studios around the turn of the 20th century.
I listened to this on audiobook and I didn't particularly like the narrator. It was a good story, though.

GOVERNESS: The Lives and Times of the Real Jane Eyres by Ruth Brandon - 3/2/2011
Fair - Nonfiction
This was more about the lives of several real women who were governesses at some point. So, more about the TIMES than the LIVES of governesses. Mildly interesting and somewhat lurid (because one of the women was Byron's mistress and another was the mother of Mary Shelley), but not what I expected.
I had expected something else, as this didn't seem like a fair account of the average governess. But I did learn a lot!

Jane Austen Ruined My Life by Beth Pattillo - 3/5/2011
Excellent - Chick Lit
Emma Grant, college professor in disgrace, travels to England hot on the trail of some previously unknown Austen letters.
Enjoyed this a lot!

Persuasion by Jane Austen
Excellent - Classic
Captain Wentworth returns after 8 years at sea earning his fortune. Anne, who eight years ago refused his offer of marriage, is still in love with him.
I love this more every time I read it - this is my third time.

The Sherlockian by Graham Moore - 3/15/2011
Good - Suspense
A Sherlock Holmes fan solves a murder and gathers clues to find a lost diary of Arthur Conan Doyle.
Fanciful story that alternates between a modern Sherlock Holmes fan's search for a diary and fictional accounts of Conan Doyle's life. Interesting!

February Reads

Margins are acting crazy again. Sorry!  
Me and Mr. Darcy Alexandra Potter 2/4/2011 Good Fiction Bookstore manager goes on Jane Austen tour on a whim and, through a twist in time, meets the real Darcy. But he's not all she imagined. Interesting, if you need something light and Austen-related.  

Emma Jane Austen 2/8/2011 Good Classic Spoiled rich Emma Woodhouse tries to make matches for everyone but herself. Loved Emma this time!

The Postcard Killers James Patterson & Liza Marklund 2/8/2011 Good Suspense A pair of killers roams Europe killing young lovers. Gory but interesting.  

Northanger Abbey Jane Austen 2/10/2011 Good Classic Catherine Morland visits Bath for the 1st time and meets Henry Tilney Tilney is my fav. Austen hero!!!  

One Tough Mother: it's time to step up and be the Mom Julie Barnhill 2/11/2011 Good Parenting Tips on parenting Took me forever to read this. Really, I started it a couple years ago and then it sat in my basket for a long time. It reinforced a lot of what I was doing but not too much new ground in this. This was recently reprinted with a new title.  

Dragonfly in Amber Diana Gabaldon 2/15/2011 Good Romance 3rd RE-READ; Jamie and Claire must find their place in Bonny Prince Charlie's attempt to regain his throne. I just adore listening to Davina Porter read Gabaldon. LOVE LOVE LOVE!  

400 Calorie Fix: The Easy New Rule for Permanent Weight Loss Liz Vaccariello with Mindy Hermann 2/15/2011 Fair Nonfiction Beautifully presented, but not very practical in my opinion. Includes pictures and recipes for four hundred 400-calorie meals, as well as a rationale for eating that way Pretty book. Not very helpful.  

Secrets to the Grave Tami Hoag 2/19/2011 Good Suspense Someone has killed a young mother and left her 4yo daughter for dead. Seriously? I don't remember this at all from my description. LOL

January Reads

Guess I never did a January or February post! Will remedy that now.  
Beguiled by Deeanne Gist & J. Mark Bertrand - 1/2/2011 Good - Inspirational Suspense Dogwalker Rylee finds herself in the middle of a Robin Hood robbery and is implicated. Will reporter Logan Woods be an ally or an enemy? Not my favorite Deeanne Gist novel.  

Sala's Gift: My Mother's Holocaust Story by Ann Kirschner - 1/3/2011 Good - Nonfiction As a young woman during WW2, Sala was placed in a Nazi work camp. She survived but never talked about her experiences until she gave letters she had saved for 50+ years to her adult daughter who then researched her mother's story. I never knew much about the WW2 work camps - very interesting and sad part of WW2 history.  

The Mysteries of Udolpho by Ann Radcliffe - 1/18/2011 Good - Gothic Romance Emily St. Aubert is orphaned and taken from France to Italy by her aunt and eventually to the castle of Udolpho where strange things occur. Read this to better understand the Gothic novel and since it is mentioned in Northanger Abbey, this was a good one to start with!  

Mansfield Park by Jane Austen - ? Good - Classic Fanny Price goes to live with rich relatives. Liked this a lot better this time through. I think this is the most ignored of Austen's novels. I'd still like to slap Edmund though. Will I ever admire him?  

Edge by Jeffery Deaver - 1/20/2011 Good - Suspense Hard to get into; the narrator is an officer in the Witness Protection Program and must keep his clients safe from a lifter that killed his mentor. I found it difficult to get into this novel, probably because it was unclear who the characters were and who were the "good guys" but I was glad I stuck with it.  

Something Rotten by Jasper Fforde - 1/29/2011 Good - Fiction Thursday is now a mother and still trying to get her husband Landon un-eradicated, while dealing with problems in Hamlet and trying to keep the world from ending with a croquet match. I've really enjoyed the Thursday Next series. I think this is the 4th in the series. They're hard to explain because they are sort of 'Hitchhiker's Guide meets Nancy Drew meets classic literature'.