Thursday, October 25, 2007

Expanding Horizons Challenge

1. Men Cry in the Dark by Michael Baisdon (African American)
2. The Maintenance Man by Michael Baisdon (Arican American)
3. Princess by Jean Sasson
4. Princess Sultana's Circle by Jean Sasson

Baby Steps Challenge

1. Haunted Sisters
2. The Historian
3. Helen of Troy

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Speculative Fiction

Now through 4/1/ 2008

My Picks are:

1. The Enchanted Castle - Edith Nesbit
2. Five Children and It BY Edith Nesbit
3. Dracula by Bram Stoker
4. Lord John and the Private Matter by Diana Gabaldon
5. Lord John and the Brotherhood of the Blade by Diana Gabaldon
6. The Hunch Back of Notre Dame by Victor Hugo
7. The Time Machine by H.G. Wells

Current Status 1/7

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Review of The Last Courts of Europe

Synopsis from the inside cover:

Monarchy,in these waning years of the twentieth century, counts for politically. A royal scowl no longer troubles a subjects sleep, nor can a decree from a throne alter the lives of millions. Indeed, there are not many kingdoms left; in the small corner of the globe, the number seems to stabalize at seven- Great Britain, Holland, Belgium, Norway,Denmark, Sweden and Spain. But this population of sitting monarchs is unlikely to dwindle rapidly.

My Review:
This was an interesting pictorial look at the Heads of the Houses of Europe. It also includes the now extinct dynasties of the Romanovs , Hapsburgs, France, Italy etc. Overall, I enjoyed this book. The pictures were breath-taking. Some were morbid because they showed pictures of the dead monarchs in their beds.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Review of Restoration London by Liza Picard

Summary from inside cover:

Liza Picard presents a picture of everyday life in seventeenth-century London in the remarkably through and informative book.

Making use of every possible comtemporary source diaries, almanacs, newspapers, advice books, government papers, even the Register of Patents. She shows just how the citizens of London lived in the 17th century.


I found that this was a very through and informative look at 17th century England. It was interesting how life was much harder for them that it is for us. Their hygenic practices made me wonder anyone came together in a intimate way. It is always amazing to see how far Medicine, Denistry and Psychiatry has evolved through the years. If you want an interesting look at social history of the world of Charles II this is the one. Well thought out and very well researched.

Rating 5/5

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Review of The Stuarts

Summary from the inside cover:

Was James I a shrewd judge of political reality or a vain and lazy egoist? To what extent can Charles I's execution be blamed on his own stupidity? How serious a threat was the "Popish Plot?" The Stuarts is a woderfully illustrated introduction to one of the most significant periods in English history, and its centre are vivid biographies of the Stuart Kings and Queens.

My Review:

This book was a great overview of the reigns of the Stuart it gave a description of the highlights of each of the reigns. I found it informative and a great review of the each of their reigns. My overall rating is 5/5

Review of The Stuart Princesses

Summary from the back cover:

This book makes a fresh study of the six princessess of the House of Stuart who lived through the violent social and political upheavals of the seventeenth century. One is the direct ancestress of the present British royal family, one was the mother of a king of England, one died in prison at the age of fourteen. nother became Madame de France and two were English queens regent.

My Review:

This book was an insightful look at the Princess Henrietta Anne, Elizabeth of Bohemia, Mary, who was the mother of William of Orange, Queen Mary and Queen Anne. It detailed the their childhood up unto their deaths. I found this book interesting. I love history and I thought it was was very well researched. It helped me gain and understanding of the Stuart women as a whole. The only downfall is that it did not include Mary, Queen of Scots. Overall I give this a rating of 3.5/5. because it did not include Mary,Queen of Scots.

Review of Three Crowns

Summary from inside the cover:

The monarchy had been restored, but the King, though father of numerous bastards, had no legitimate son or daughter to succeed him; thus his brother James, Duke of York, was the heir-presumptive to the three crowns of Britain.

A sensualist like his brother, Jmes lacked Charles' charm and ability to exricate himself gracefully from embrassment; as a Catholic he hoped to bring the country back to Rome.

James, Duke of Monmouth, the charming rake and adventurer, dreamed of possessing them. There was another William of Orange, smll in stature but with great ambition, delicate in health, brusque and stern in manner. Whose midwife upon his dramatic birth saw three crowns upon his head.

So he married James' daughter, Mary, a fifteen-year-old firl, who, thrust into a distasteful marriage, broken-heartedly left England for Holland. Between the began a strange alliance. Mary, who was the heir to the three crowns and would eventually hold the power unless he became the master.

This story takes place in the courts of Whitehall, St James and The Hague.

My Review:

This was a fascinating which kept me on edge. A lot of the beginning went through the events in her previous novel Here Lies Our Soveriegn Lord. I felt her characterization were vivid and had a lot of depth. The characters were three dimensional. I felt sorry for Mary at times. William was cruel and cold. I always wonder how she came to love him. I felt sorry for King James who only wanted to worship as he wants. I understand that the people did not want to follow the Pope but to deny him his right to succeed to the throne. I guess I take it kind of personally being a follower of Rome. It is also appalling that his daughter would turn their back on their father who never did anything to them but love them. Overall I give this book a rating of 4/5.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Triple 8 Challenge

January 1, 2008- December 31, 2008


1The Queen's Secret by Jean Plaidy

2. Henry VIII King and His Court by Alison Weir

3. The Other Boleyn Girl by Phillipa Gregory

4. The Constant Princess by Phillipa Gregory

5. The Boleyn Inheritance by Phillipa Gregory

6. The Queen's Fool by Phillipa Gregory

7. Innocent Traitor by Alison Weir

8. The Tudors by Antonia Fraser

2. Platagenets

1. Eleonor of Aquitaine by Marion Meade

2. Queen Isabella by Alison Weir

3. The Courts of Love by Jean Plaidy

4. The Reluctant Queen by Jean Plaidy

5. Eleonor of Aquitaine by Alison Weir

6. The Princes in the Tower by Alison Weir

7. To the Tower Born by Robin Maxwell

8. The War of the Roses by Alison Weir

3. Classics

1. The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins

2. Moll Flanders by Daniel Defoe

3. Vanity Fair by William Thackeray

4. Way we live Now by Anthony Trollope

5. Sister Carrie by Theodore Dreiser

6. The Barchester Towers by Anthony Trollope

7. Madame Bovay by Gustave Flaubert

8. The Warden by Anthony Trollope

4.Georgian/Saxeburg Gotha/ Other Royals

1. King George III by Robert Green

2. Princesses: Daughters of King George III by Flora Fraser

3. Queen Victoria's Children by John Van Der Kriste

4. Born to Rule by Julia Gelardi

5. House of Hanover and Saxe Goburg Gotha by Antonia Fraser

6. Alexandra The Last Tsarina by Carolly Erickson

7. To the Scaffold by Carolly Erickson

8. Josephine by Carolly Erickson

5. Edith Wharton

1. The Reef

2. Age of Innocence

3. The House of Mirth

4. The Custom of the Country

5. The Buccaneers

6. Ethan Frome

7. The Edith Wharton Reader

8. Summer

6. George Eliot and Elizabeth Gaskell

1. The Mill on the Floss by George Elliot

2. Adam Bede by George Elliot

3. Daniel Deronda by Elizabeth Gaskell

4. The Life of Charlotte Bronte by Elizabeth Gaskell

5. Wives and Daughters by Elizabeth Gaskell

6. Middle March by George Elliot

7. North and South by Elizabeth Gaskell

8. Mary Barton by Elizabeth Gaskell

7. Victorian Novels

1. Lady Chatterley Lover by D.H. Lawerence

2. Bleak House by Charles Dickens

3. The Mayor of Casterbridge by Thomas Hardy

4. Tess of D'urbervilles by Thomas Hardy

5. Nana by Emile Zola

6. Jude the Obscure by Tomas Hardy

7. The Moonstone by Wilkie Collins

8. The Enchanted Castle by Edith Nesbit

8. The Stuarts

1. Mary Queen of Scots and the Murder of Lord Darnley

2. Ungrateful Daugther by Mauren Waller

3. The Royal Road to Forheringay by Jean Plaidy

4. The Captive Queen of Scots by Jean Plaidy

5. Two Queens One Isle by Alison Plowden

6. The Perfect Royal Mistress by Diane Haeger

7. Duchess of a Novel of Sarah Churchill by Susan Holloway Scott

8. Nell Gwynn by Charles Beauclerk

Saturday, October 6, 2007

The Pleasures of Love Review

My first book complete for the month is The Pleasures of Love by Jean Plaidy. It is the story of Catherine of Braganza wife of Charles II of England. I found the book was rather interesting. I ended up feeling sorry for Catherine. She is sent over to a land she is never been before and upon arriving she is disillusioned by the fact that her husband is this faithful man. She soon quickly discovers that is not. He treats her kindly but she secretly wishes he was faithful. Overall this is an interesting read. You also get to learn about Restoration England without being a dull history book. My rating is 4/5


Friday, October 5, 2007

2008 Themed Novel Challenge

January 1, 2008-December 31,2008
The theme I chose was the Novels of the Bronte Sisters.

1. Jane Eyre
2. Wuthering Heights
3. Villete
4. Shirley
5. The Professor
6. Tenant of Wildfell Hall
7. Agnes Grey

In Their Shoes Challenge

January 1, 2008- December 31, 2008

1. Eleonor of Aquitaine- Alison Weir
2. Duchess of Aquitaine by Margaret Ball
3. Eleanor of Aquitaine by Marion Meade
4. Madame de Pompador by Evelyne Lever
5. Lucrezia Borgia by Sara Bradford
6. Marie Antoinette The Journey by Antonia Fraser
7. Princess by Jean Sasson
8. Two Queens one Isle by Alison Plowden

Decades Challenge 2008

January 1, 2008 - December 31, 2008 Here are my choices for this Challenge:

1. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen -1810
2. Frakenstein by Mary Shelley - 1820
3. Hunchback of Notre Dame Victor Hugo- 1830
4. Queen Margot by Alexandre Dumas - 1840
5. Villette by Charlotte Bronte- 1850
6. Crime and Punishment by Dostoevsky -1860
7. The Way We Live Now by Anthony Trollope -1870
8. Brothers Karamov by Dostoevsky - 1880
9. Tess D'Urbervilles by Thomas Hardy- 1890
10. The House of Mirth by Edith Wharton- 1900
11. The Custom of the Country by Edith Wharton-1910

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Autumn Reading Challenge

September 1, 2007 - November 30,2007

1.The Stuart Princesses Finished 10/13/07. Review Done.

2.The Stuarts Finished 10/13/07. Review Done

3.The Three Crowns by Jean Plaidy. Done 10/13/07. Done
4. Haunted Sisters by Jean Plaidy

5. Restoration London by Liza Picard(Completed 10/16/07)

6. The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova (CD and Book) Completed (11/6/07)

7. Helen of Troy by Margaret George (Book and CD)
8. The Queen's Favorite by Jean Plaidy
9. The Last Royal Families of Europe by Robert Masse (completed 10/21/07)
10. Royal Harlot by Susan Holloway Scott.
11. Sons and Lovers by D.H. Lawerence
12. Woman in Love by D.H. Lawerence
Current Progress 5/ 12

Numbers Challenge

January 1, 2008 - December 31, 2008
Here are the books that I picked:

1.The year 1000 What Life was Like at the Turn of the First Millenium by Robert Lacey
2. 1215 The Year of Magna Carta by Danny Danziger
3. 1066 The Year of the Conquest by David Howarth
4. The Three Musketeers by Alexandre Dumas DNF got bored
5.Twenty-Nine Years After by Alexandre Dumas
Alternative Novel:
1603 by Christopher Lee

Shakespeare Challenge

January 1, 2008 -June 30, 2008

(3/6 completed)

Here are my choices for this challenge. I will be focusing on some of Shakespeare's historical plays.
1.Henry IV
2.Henry V
3. Antony and Cleopatra
4. Richard III.
5. Richard II
6. King John

Jane Austen Challenge

January 1, 2008

I decided to try to read all seven since I just got a book of the complete novels of Jane Austen

1. Pride and Prejudice
2. Sense and Sensibility
3. Mansfield Park
4. Emma
5. Northanger Abbey
6. Persuasian
7. Lady Susan
8. Love and Friendship
9. Sanditon

I also plan to watch the different versions of the first 6.

Russian Challenge

January 1 ,2008 -December 31, 2008

1. Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoyevsky
2. The Brothers Karamozov by Fyodor Dostoyevsky
3. Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy
4. The Deaths of Ivan Ilych and Other Stories by Leo Tolstoy
5. War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy
6. The Romanovs by Robert Masse
7. Dr. Zhivago by Boris Pasternak

Back To History Challenge

January 1, 2008 - December 31, 2008

1. Queen Margot -Dumas
2. Nicholas and Alexandra- Robert Masse
3. The Queen's Secret by Jean Plaidy
4. Mary Queen of Scots and the Murder of Lord Darnley by Alison Wier
5. Elizabeth's London by Liza Picard
6. Catherine Medici by Leonie Frieda
7. Eleanor of Aquaitaine by Alison Weir
8. War of the Roses by Alison Weir
9. Georgianna Duchess of Devonshire by Amanda Foreman
10. Creat Catherine The Life of Catherine the Great Empress of Russia by Carolly Erickson
11. Josephine by Carolly Erickson
12.To the Tower Born by Robin Maxwell

Series Challenge

December 1, 2007 - May 31, 2008

I have decided to change my series challenge to the North and South Trilogy.

This movies has always been one of my favorites so I decided to read the series.

I can't seem to log in my other blog

I am having trouble with my current blog so I created another one. Hopefully I can figure out the problem