Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Review--The Given (Celestial Blues #3)

The Given (Celestial Blues, #3)The Given by Vicki Pettersson
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A mystery within a paranormal, with a heavy dose of Las Vegas noir and rockabilly culture brings The Celestial Blues to a satisfying conclusion in The Given.

The romance between Kit and Grif, on the rocks since Grif discovered his beloved wife Evie Shaw was still alive, flares back to life as they team up to continue searching for the clues to Grif's death. Forces both human and angelic are arrayed against them, and the Kit also faces Grif's ultimate demise as his mission on earth is concluding.

Fans of the series will find the third book in the trilogy all one would hope for, with plenty of angst, passion, angels and evildoers. I look forward to the next project from Ms. Pettersson.


View all my reviews

Monday, February 23, 2015

Review--In These Times: Living in Britain Through Napoleon's Wars, 1793-1815

In These Times: Living in Britain Through Napoleon's Wars, 1793-1815In These Times: Living in Britain Through Napoleon's Wars, 1793-1815 by Jenny Uglow
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A comprehensive look at life in Britain during the Napoleonic Wars. Recommended to authors doing books set during the period. It's also a good choice for readers who enjoy stories of the Regency era, especially military fiction from the early 19th century (Hornblower, Sharpe, Aubrey & Maturin), etc.

There's nothing like first person accounts for entertaining anecdotes and reports of day-to-day life during wartime. The author's research and organization makes the book highly readable as well as useful.


View all my reviews

Friday, February 20, 2015

Review--Only In My Arms

Only in My Arms (The Dennehy Sisters Series, Book 5)Only in My Arms by Jo Goodman
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I confess, I was not expecting a story about the 5th sister whose title is "Sister". Mary Francis, the oldest child, knows now life holds a different direction for her and she leaves the convent she's been a part of since she became an adult.

Goodman handled her transition from being part of a religious order to the world with skill, and she crafted for Mary Francis a hero who's up to her weight. Ryder considers himself both Apache and white. Raised by the Apache, he now serves as a scout for the US Army. When he's accused of a crime he didn't commit, it's Mary Francis who stands by him.

The story is a satisfying conclusion to the Dennehy Sisters series, and as always, a satisfying read from an experienced and skilled author. I'm glad much of Ms. Goodman's backlist is now available in ebook editions.


View all my reviews

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Review--Dying to Meet You

Dying to Meet You (43 Old Cemetery Road, #1)Dying to Meet You by Kate Klise
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

My young United Way Reading Pal and I very much enjoyed this first novel in a new series. I got to teach her a new word ("epistolary") and she was quick at picking out the plot details and why they mattered.

Adults will enjoy the puns (as will more sophisticated young readers) and the structure of the story is an excellent teaching tool as well as being entertaining for adults and children.


View all my reviews

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Review--When Books Went to War: The Stories That Helped Us Win World War II

When Books Went to War: The Stories that Helped Us Win World War IIWhen Books Went to War: The Stories that Helped Us Win World War II by Molly Guptill Manning
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

An amazing and uplifting history that will be enjoyed by anyone who's ever appreciated the power of books to change lives for the better. It will make you laugh, and maybe cry, and if you're an American, take pride in a period when the nation came together to fight hatred and bookburning with the distribution of free books to service members.

I was impressed with the range of books offered. Even books that were banned in Boston (Yes, that used to be a thing) were offered to servicemen and women, because censorship was considered a greater evil than exposing them to books about interracial love affairs in Strange Fruit or racy historical goings-on in Forever Amber. Interestingly, these were two of the most requested books overseas.

I highly recommend this book to anyone who wants to know more about why we call them The Greatest Generation, and how books can change a country, and a world.


View all my reviews

Sunday, February 08, 2015

Review--Every Man Will Do His Duty: An Anthology of Firsthand Accounts from the Age of Nelson 1793-1815

Every Man Will Do His Duty: An Anthology of Firsthand Accounts from the Age of Nelson 1793–1815Every Man Will Do His Duty: An Anthology of Firsthand Accounts from the Age of Nelson 1793–1815 by Dean King
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

There's nothing like first hand accounts of history to give you a feel for what people experienced. This book brings to life the journals of sailors, officers and others during the Napoleonic Wars. Excellent resource, and highly entertaining as well.


View all my reviews

Friday, February 06, 2015

Review--Flirting With Disaster (Jackson: Girl's Night Out, #2)

Flirting with Disaster (Jackson: Girl's Night Out, #2)Flirting with Disaster by Victoria Dahl
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I especially like Victoria Dahl's stories with grown-up protagonists, seasoned individuals who may have a touch of gray, a little roundness to their figures, and understand that life is tough and doesn't owe them anything.

This was a most satisfying read.


View all my reviews

Monday, February 02, 2015

Review--The Lost Art of Dress: The Women Who Once Made America Sylish

The Lost Art of Dress: The Women Who Once Made America StylishThe Lost Art of Dress: The Women Who Once Made America Stylish by Linda Przybyszewski
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

What I liked best about the book was the author's sharing of information on how women in the US used to dress themselves comfortably and professionally for far less than they're expected to spend today, especially if they knew the fundamentals of design and could sew. We used to have mandatory Home Economics courses for girls in junior high. I objected to that, but what I wanted to see in its place was a year of mandatory Home Ec for all students, and a year of mandatory Shop (what the boys took). Everyone should know the fundamentals of cooking, sewing, budgeting for a home, and everyone should know how to do simple home repairs and maintenance.

But I digress. The book is wonderfully snarky, informative, and entertaining and I recommend it to students of American History and of design, as well as the casual reader.


View all my reviews