Tag Archives: historical fiction

Lists: Best Books Read in 2011 – # 6

Best Books Read in 2011

6. People of the Book by Geraldine Brooks

An exquisite, unique and very old book, a story that is part truth and part skillful invention, and beautiful writing. Need I say more?

Original Review

7. The Long Goodbye by Raymond Chandler
8. Leviathan Wakes by James S.A. Corey
9. A Great & Terrible Beauty by Libba Bray
10. The Color of Magic by Terry Pratchett


Lists: Worst Books Read in 2011 – # 9

Worst Books Read in 2011

9. A Visit From the Goon Squad by Jennifer Egan

I didn’t give a damn what happened to any of the characters and there was a PowerPoint chapter. Bleh.

Original Review

10. The Suspicions of Mr. Whicher by Kate Summerscale


Review: The Things They Carried

The Things They CarriedThe Things They Carried by Tim O’Brien
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Incredible. Parts of “How to Tell a True War Story” come to mind regularly. I love Tim O’Brien‘s writing. Those were the three things I had to say about The Things They Carried when I initially “reviewed” this book. I hold to all of those. This is my third reading and I found the book even better than it was eleven years ago. “How to Tell a True War Story” has probably influenced my views on writing and literature more than anything else I have ever read. There is a beautiful clarity and painful honesty that permeates this book. I can’t say enough good things about it.

View all my reviews


Review: People of the Book

People of the BookPeople of the Book by Geraldine Brooks
My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars

People of the Book is a stunningly beautiful book about another stunningly beautiful book. It fictionalizes the true story of the Sarajevo Haggadah, a unique, 500-year old version of a book read at Jewish Passover Seders. It illustrates the story of how and why Passover came to be. People of the Book looks at the fascinating story of the Haggadah’s travels through the years and creates a story from them. All of the characters are fictional and some of the chapters are admittedly entirely fiction while others contain more factual information. While reading I did not care at all which was which and I am not certain I do now. Geraldine Brooks.ostensibly tells the story of a book, but as the title hints, what she really tells is the story of a people.

View all my reviews


Review: The Duke And I

The Duke And I (Bridgertons, #1)The Duke And I by Julia Quinn
My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars

Oh the cheesy Regency romance. What a place it holds in my heart. Perfectly mindless and heartwarming despite the massive amounts of suspension of disbelief required. The Duke And I is the first, but will not be the last of Julia Quinn‘s books I read. It struck a fantastic balance between funny and sweet. In the creation of the hilarious Bridgerton family it added that excellent dynamic of The Overprotective Older Brother and Possibly Crazy Mother that makes these books delightful. I know I’m raving shamelessly. It could be the allergy medication or it could be that this is a fun book. I’ll leave the determination to you.

View all my reviews


Review: The White Queen

The White Queen (The Cousins' War, #1)The White Queen by Philippa Gregory
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I suspect that, had I read The White Queen first, I would have understood and enjoyed Richard III far more. I do not find Philippa Gregory to be a particularly compelling author, but the subject matter fascinates me. I cannot say where this fascination with the Tudors and now their Yorkist and Lancastrian ancestors first began, but it seems to be quite persistent. I will almost certainly read more of these books. They are a pleasant diversion from anything serious. Well, pleasant other than all of the dying. And children being used as pawns. And children dying. What happened to the princes in the Tower anyway?

View all my reviews