Book Lust

May 1, 2008 at 12:13 pm | Posted in Barnes & Noble, Books, Historical Fiction, LIfe, Philippa Gregory, Reading, What's Up | 12 Comments
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When Tracy left a comment that she had a copy of The Lady Elizabeth, the latest novel written by Alison Weir, book lust set in to my reader’s heart fast and furious. Were I the Incredible Hulk, I would have ripped through my clothes and turned green within minutes of reading Tracy’s comment (which wouldn’t really be so bad – green is my favorite color). I read Innocent Traitor last May while I was vacationing at the beach and absolutely loved it. So, I couldn’t stop thinking about the book and how wonderful I am hoping it will be. Thankfully, a merciful 15% coupon arrived in my email from Barnes & Noble and I immediately put it to good use. My very own copy of The Lady Elizabeth will be arriving today. Although I’m about a third of the way through Mistaken Identity, I don’t think I’m going to be able to wait. I’m afraid thoughts of any other book are going to be lost the second I see that package on my door step.

Cover to The Lady Elizabeth

One of the main reason’s I’m curious about this book is to see how I feel about Elizabeth I as a result. Although I love Philippa Gregory, The Virgin’s Lover was not my favorite book in her Tudor series. I also had really been looking forward to Elizabeth: The Golden Age and was sadly disappointed by how boring it was. So much so that I was never able to muster up the motivation to write my review of the movie afterwards. Yet, I’ve enjoyed novels where Elizabeth is not the main character. I’m wondering if this is because I didn’t find Elizabeth that interesting or was it the treatment she received in the book and movie? I’m hoping it’s the later. How can Elizabeth not be an intriguing character?

Spectacular Sunday

April 20, 2008 at 3:42 pm | Posted in Books, Family, LIfe, My Life with Books, Reading, What's Up | 4 Comments
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Spring is finally here to stay in Southwest Virginia – and you can tell by the storms! All the better for me to have had an interview scheduled with my second author – Lander Marks. Ms. Marks is the author of Artist’s Proof, which is due to be published the first part of May. It was a wonderful interview experience and made me appreciate the time I spent talking with Robin Gerber even more. Although these authors have written about two completely different things, but they are both interesting women. I feel fortunate for having the opportunity to talk with them.

I was much more relaxed the second time around and I concentrated on letting the author speak. I hope to find less of my voice this time around when I listen through the interview and transcribe it. Ms. Marks seconded a great suggestion my dear, beloved husband made earlier this morning. I’m going to work on taking portions of interview and turning it into a podcast. Watch out, YouTube! Literate Housewife is heading your way!

I am hoping to have my review and interview posted by mid to late next week. In the meantime, I’ll also be working on my review of Gilding Lily by Tatiana Boncompagni. At some point soon I hope to finish The Venetian Mask by Rosalind Laker. It’s going slowly. It’s not a boring or hard novel to read, but it’s not terribly compelling either.

Last but not least, my father, who will always be a handsome young man in his mid-30s to me, turns 60-years-old today. Happy Birthday!!!!! I wish I could be in Michigan celebrating with you and the flamingos!!!! I love you, Daddy!!!!!!!

I hope that you’re all having a wonderful weekend!

Life Has Interfered With My Blog

January 11, 2008 at 5:13 pm | Posted in Barnes & Noble, First Look Book Club, LIfe, What's Up | Leave a comment
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I’m sorry I haven’t posted much since the New Year. Life has been extremely busy on all fronts. Added to my commitments and responsibilities at home and work, I’m taking two courses at the local community college this semester. The first class is on using Dreamweaver and the second is an introductory course on software programming. Both are going well so far, but they’re just getting ramped up. We’re using Alice for the programming course and I think that’s going to be a lot of fun to work with.

I have done some non-academic reading this year. I’ve finished Stealing Buddha’s Dinner by Bich Minh Nguyen. I will write a review and post it as soon as I can. Right now I’m reading the House at Riverton by Kate Morton. It is the second book in Barnes and Noble’s First Look Book Club. I’m about half way through and am enjoying it so far.

I hope that the New Year has been wonderful to everyone!

Early Christmas Pressies for Literate Housewife

December 20, 2007 at 3:24 am | Posted in Books, Free, LibraryThing, LIfe, Philippa Gregory, What's Up | 2 Comments
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I have had the most wonderful things happen to me over the past two days – I’ve received two free books in the mail!!!

Yesterday there was a package waiting for me from Simon and Schuster.  I thought it might be the book that I snagged as part of LibraryThing‘s Early Reviewers group.  When I opened it, I was excited to find a brand new hard cover of Philippa Gregory‘s The Constant Princess!  This was completely unexpected.  I’ve already read the book, but to have a pristine hard cover is outstanding!!! I’m not exactly sure what I did to merit the give away.  I did register for updates from their website about Philippa, but that’s the only thing that I can think of.  Who cares how or why? I’m completely thrilled!  Thank you, Simon and Schuster!

Today, there was another package on my doorstep.  This time, it was from Random House.  Sure enough, it’s the absolutely perfect Advanced Reading Copy of Dreamers of the Day by Mary Doria Russell that I snagged on LibraryThing!!!!  I cannot wait to start reading it!!!!  Thank you Random House and LibraryThing!  I will post my review as soon as I’m finished reading this book.

Here’s hoping that you’ll find some great reads in your stockings as well.

While I Was Away

October 28, 2007 at 12:27 am | Posted in Books, Family, LIfe, My Life with Books, Reading, What's Up | 2 Comments
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I forgot to write a small post to let everyone know that I was on vacation this past week. My husband and I took the children to Michigan to see my family. While we were there, we celebrated my grandfather’s 90th birthday, Emma’s 5th birthday, Allison’s 3rd birthday, and our 10th wedding anniversary. As a gift to us, my parents watched the girls while we took a few days and went to Saugatuck. After the drive up there, it was a nice, relaxing visit.

Of most significance to you, my beloved readers, is that my vacation was prolific. I finished The Madonna’s of Leningrad, The Emperor’s Children, and The Virgin’s Lover (all books that I had started before we left). I also read The Annunciation of Francesca Dunn! I am very excited to have completed all the way up to #45. It wasn’t that long ago when I sincerely wondered how in the world I would ever meet my goal. Now I’ve only seven books left to read.

Of course, I am now a tad behind on my reviews. I hope to have those completed within the next few days. I hope that you all had a great week!

Housekeeping

October 15, 2007 at 10:13 pm | Posted in Books, LIfe, Reading, What's Up | 4 Comments
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When I started this blog, I simply assigned each book I read the number corresponding to the order in which I read it. This number also served as the Title to the review. I know it took me long enough, but I’ve come to wonder what do these numbers mean to anyone – even me? Absolutely nothing. So, I’ve gone back and added the book title after the number. Hopefully this will make my site more reader-friendly.

As the year is drawing to a close, I am thinking about what I’m going to do with this blog after I’ve met my goal of reading 52 books this year. Once I have, the name of my blog is irrelevant. As I’m getting a little tired of the pace, especially as my workload has increased significantly over the past two months. I could change the blog name and keep adding book reviews as I get the chance. I could download it for myself and delete it. I’m sure there are other options out there that I’m just not thinking of. I would really be open to any suggestions you might have.

One final thing I’m thinking about is the title to select for my 52nd book. Completing this challenge is definitely something I’m proud of. Should the 52nd book matter? Should it be some sort of monumental piece of literature (Anna Karenin, etc.)? Should I read my favorite book of all time? I’ve got time to think about it. I’m currently in the middle of #42 ~ The Madonnas of Leningrad. There are nine more books leading the charge first (Good God! How am I going to finish them all???).

#37 ~ Portrait of an Unknown Woman

September 6, 2007 at 2:30 am | Posted in Books, Henry VIII, Historical Fiction, Reading, What's Up | 1 Comment
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Portrait of the Unknown Woman by Vanora Bennett

I just hate it when a good book ends in a hurry. That, unfortunately, was the case with Portrait of an Unknown Woman. It tells the story of a woman, liberally educated for that time, and her relationships with her adoptive father, her husband, and a man who had been commissioned to paint the family portrait. It seems that her father and her husband are not the men she believed them to be. Throughout much of the course of the novel, Meg Griggs calls her father, Sir Thomas More, and her husband, John Clemente, on numerous rumors and outright lies. After light is shed on two more hurtful lies, Meg is able to most happily forgive and forget all wrongs all within about 30 pages. Pat happy endings don’t sit well with me, especially when the narrator in the past refused to simply let go of something much less meaningful.

Meg became an orphan at an early age. Her mother died as a result of childbirth and her father died in an accident when she was 9. Upon hearing about her situation, Thomas More lined the pockets required to formally adopt her. Although she was provided for physically and educationally equal to More’s biological children, Meg always felt a lack of love and intimacy with her adoptive parents. Meg was, however, certain that her family appreciated her knowledge and skill with what we now would consider holistic medicine. It was only after Hans Holbein arrived to paint the More family portrait and her father finally agreed to let her marry her former tutor, John Clemente, that she came to feel the love for which she had always longed.

After the birth of her son, Meg begins to have doubts about the man her father was becoming. The viciousness of the crown’s attacks on those who had fallen away from the Roman Catholic Church in favor of the new Protestant faith horrified her. She argued with More in an attempt to make him see his cruelty. After he was made King Henry VIII’s Lord Chancellor, the level of violence escalated to burnings. She could not believe that the man she grew up with could be responsible for this. When he argued his point, Meg found that she could no longer maintain their loving relationship. To make matters worse, the way in which Meg acted upon her knowledge of political affairs led to the discovery of something about her husband that left her feeling cold toward him.

The greatness of this novel surrounds the paintings of Hans Holbein. Especially fascinating to me are the descriptions of the artist painting The Ambassadors and a second family portrait of the Mores. The scene in which the author creates the mood and atmosphere of Holbein’s painting of The Ambassadors is brilliant. It brought the world of art to life for me like never before. I learned so much just by reading the fictional thoughts and ideas that went into each element within the painting. Equally, I was delighted to read the author’s vision of Holbein’s planning and painting of a second More family portrait. In reality, this second family portrait is signed with another name, but it has long been theorized that Holbein painted this as well. She uses this portrait to betray the new family secrets that leads to the novels rushed conclusion.

Everyone likes a happy ending, but I prefer them to be earned. That being said, I do not regret reading this book at all. There is so much more to this art form than I had known. Although I’ve read The Girl with the Pearl Earring and The Lady and the Unicorn by Tracy Chevalier, I really didn’t leave those books with this same sense. Bennett made me want to learn more about her characters, especially Hans Holbein. To me, this makes it an even greater shame that the ending faltered.

Far From a Calamity

July 31, 2007 at 8:16 pm | Posted in Amazing Narrator, Books, Childhood Memories, Reading, What's Up | 4 Comments

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Special Topics in Calamity Physics by Marisha Pessl

I’m about 75 pages in to this book and it is wonderful and engaging.  It’s quite different from anything I’ve read recently and I’m loving it.

Notice to My Gentle Readers

April 26, 2007 at 9:24 pm | Posted in What's Up | Leave a comment

I am currently three reviews behind of what I’m reading. I promise to publish my reviews ASAP. I hope that flood this blog with posts by the end of the week.

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