Review: Lum

Lum
Written by Libby Ware
To be published on October 20, 2015 by She Writes Press
224 pages
Literary Fiction

25309765Synopsis:
Lum has always been on the outside. At eight, she was diagnosed with what we now call an intersex condition and is told, she can’t expect to marry. Now, at thirty-three, she has no home of her own but is shuttled from one relative’s house to another – valued for her skills, but never treated like a true member of the family. Everything is turned upside down, however, when the Blue Ridge Parkway is slated to come through her family’s farmland. As people take sides in the fight, the community begins to tear apart – culminating in an act of violence and subsequent betrayal by opponents of the new road. However, the Parkway brings opportunities as well as loss.

Lum is a very thoughtful and provocative book about an unmarried woman dealing issues that are still relevant today. However, back in the 1930s, those “issues” will ostracize you from friends, family and your community. Further, Lum tells the story of a woman completely dependent who longs for a worthy and independent life. Plus, she is dealing with who she is.

The main emotion of this book is frustration. It seems character is feeling frustrated with their lot in life which is very appropriate for that time. Lum’s frustration, of course, rises above the rest. It was common during that time for unmarried women to remain with their families and be considered a “burden.” Lum is basically unpaid laborer for her family. She is at the very bottom of her family hierarchy even though she is hardworking and bright. In the end, it was Lum’s frustration that was able to free her.

Another emotion I felt was sadness. There was a prevailing layer of sadness throughout the book. Every time Lum played with her postcards of carnival performers (refuse to call them freaks), I felt a pang of sadness for her. Those postcards portrayed her only friends and their stories she created – her only escape. She seemed to be young and child-like when she played with her cards and not the grown woman she should be.

Finally, I felt strength. Lum’s evolution was amazing to see. Her strength to stand by people she respected no matter what they looked like was admirable and put her above others in her community. Her friendship with Mr. Shay, also, helped her evolve. He was such a surprise and made her life more her own and not her family’s. He let her me herself no matter what that meant. To me his character was a pure joy.

Lum is a wonderful story full of frustration, sadness and strength. It is a story that you will not be able to put down and you will be left wondering “what is Lum doing now?”

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It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?!

ItsMonday

Welcome to It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?! This is a great way to plan out your reading week and see what others are currently reading as well…you never know where that next “must read” book will come from! Hosted by Book Journey.

This week I finished the Harry Potter series and now I’m experiencing some post partum moodiness. I’m actually considering starting over again. But, I’m behind on my other reading so I will move on to other riveting books.

Last Week:

Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince by JK Rowling
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by JK Rowling (I wonder what my favorite scene is? Can you guess?)

This Week:

Lum by Libby Ware

Synopsis:

25309765Lum has always been on the outside. At eight, she was diagnosed with what we now call an intersex condition and is told she can’t expect to marry. Now, at thirty-three, she has no home of her own but is shuttled from one relative’s house to another—valued for her skills, but never treated like a true member of the family. Everything is turned upside down, however, when the Blue Ridge Parkway is slated to come through her family’s farmland. As people take sides in the fight, the community begins to tear apart—culminating in an act of violence and subsequent betrayal by opponents of the new road. However, the Parkway brings opportunities as well as loss.

That’s it for this week? What are you reading?

 

My Favorite Scene: The Half Blood Prince

Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince
Written by JK Rowling
Published in 2005 by Scholastic

1Synopsis:

It is the middle of the summer, but there is an unseasonal mist pressing against the windowpanes. Harry Potter is waiting nervously in his bedroom at the Dursleys’ house in Privet Drive for a visit from Professor Dumbledore himself. One of the last times he saw the Headmaster was in a fierce one-to-one duel with Lord Voldemort, and Harry can’t quite believe that Professor Dumbledore will actually appear at the Dursleys’ of all places. Why is the Professor coming to visit him now? What is it that cannot wait until Harry returns to Hogwarts in a few weeks’ time? Harry’s sixth year at Hogwarts has already got off to an unusual start, as the worlds of Muggle and magic start to intertwine…

My favorite thing about Half Blood Prince is Harry and Ginny. Throughout the whole series, I always wanted Harry to be a part of the Weasley family and when Harry and Ginny finally got together, I was one happy lady! However, the movie handled it so poorly! I don’t understand why they had to have that scene in the Room of Requirement where Ginny initiates the kiss. It was such crap. The book was perfect…after the Quidditch match and Harry just reaches out and kisses her. I, also, love Ron’s shoulder shrug, like “oh well. It could be worse.”

Without further ado, here is my favorite scene from Half Blood Prince:

Chapter Twenty-Four: Sectumsempra (page 533)

“We won!” yelled Ron, bounding into sight and brandishing the silver cup at Harry. “We won! Four hundred and fifty to a hundred and forty! We won!”

Harry looked around; there was Ginny running toward him; she had a hard, blazing look in her face as she threw her arms around him. And without thinking, without planning it, without worrying about the fact that fifty people were watching, Harry kissed  her.

After several long moments – or it might have been half an hour – or possibly several sunlight days – they broke apart. The room had gone very quiet. Then several people wolf-whistled and there was an outbreak of nervous giggling. Harry looked over the top of Ginny’s head to see Dean Thomas holding a shattered glass in his hand, and Romilda Vana looking as though she might throw something. Hermione was beaming, but Harry’s eyes sought Ron. As last he found him, still clutching the Cup and wearing an expression appropriate to having been clubbed over the head. For a fraction of a second they looked at each other, then Ron gave a tiny jerk of the head that Harry understood to mean, Well – if you must.

The creature in his chest roaring in triumph, he grinned down at Ginny and gestured wordlessly out of the portrait hole. A long walk in the grounds seemed indicated, during which – if they had time – they might discuss the match.

Wasn’t that totally amazing! So much better than the movie. I have no idea why they would change it. That difference between the book and movie has to be the most disappointing in the entire series.

What is your favorite scene from Half Blood Prince?

Book Blast: The Lion and the Rose

03_Book One_William Rising

The Lion and the Rose (Book One: William Rising)

Publication Date: June 18, 2014
eBook; 338 Pages | ASIN: B00L4K5GKE

Genre: Historical Fiction

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The Lion and the Rose, Part One: William Rising is the first book in an epic historical saga from debut author Hilary Rhodes. Extensively researched and compellingly told, it introduces us to the passionate drama and violent upheaval of eleventh-century Europe. The world as we know it, and the English language, would have been vastly different were it not for the driving ambition of one man: William the Conqueror. But conquerors are made, not born, and William was made in fire and blood. How does a boy become a man, surviving a tumultuous and terrifying childhood? And how does that man become a legend?

William Rising plunges us into this world of danger and betrayal, of choosing sides and dying for absolutes. It follows the creation of a conqueror, as he grows up abandoned, learns to fight at an early age for anything he hopes to keep, and is sculpted into a remorseless, far-sighted, ruthlessly efficient soldier and statesman. From his origins as an orphaned, penniless bastard boy, to his personal and political trials by fire, to the climactic battle with his rebellious barons where he finally comes of age, the young duke increasingly establishes himself as a force to be reckoned with. But as the shadowy intrigues of English politics, and the all-consuming question of an heir for a childless king, begin to draw him into their web, it may just be that William of Normandy has a destiny far greater than even he has ever dreamed.

AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE | ITUNES | KOBO

03_Book Two_The Gathering StormThe Lion and the Rose (Book Two: The Gathering Storm)

Publication Date: September 29, 2014
eBook; 294 Pages | ASIN: B00O2E30GG

Genre: Historical Fiction

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The Lion and the Rose: William Rising introduced us to the young William, Duke of Normandy, and his treacherous and terrible childhood, beset by battles, betrayals, and heartbreak, as he fought his own barons to survive and claim his birthright. The Gathering Storm plunges us even deeper into the violent upheaval and passionate drama of his unfolding story. Now twenty-two, William has won his most pivotal battle and taken control of his inheritance, but impossible struggles loom as he fights to put Normandy back together — and very few of his enemies are actually defeated. Furthermore, across the Channel, the question of an heir for a childless king begins to loom large, and the ruthless and scheming Godwin, Earl of Wessex, will stop at nothing to claim it for his family.

Written with the same meticulous historical research and flair by debut author Hilary Rhodes, The Gathering Storm raises the stakes to the utmost level, and a crown and a kingdom hang in the balance. In these pages, lords rise and fall, England and Normandy are drawn into a perilous collision course, bishops, barons, dukes, queens, and earls play a dangerous game of power and glory, and those who are not strong enough are trampled underfoot. The crows circle and the banners are raised, and the last Saxon king and the greatest Norman duke are destined to face each other in a battle that will change the course of history.

AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE | ITUNES | KOBO

04_The Outlander KingThe Outlander King (The Aetheling’s Bride, Book One)

Publication Date: June 1, 2015
eBook; 476 Pages | ASIN: B00XM9QJ1K

Genre: Historical Fiction

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The story of The Lion and the Rose and the Norman Conquest continues in this spellbinding new historical fiction series from author Hilary Rhodes, pulling back the curtain on the lives of two remarkable women connected across centuries: Aislinn, a seventeen-year-old English girl caught up in the advancing army of the “outlander king,” the man who will become known to history as William the Conqueror. Thrust into the center of the new Norman court and a dizzying web of political intrigue and plotting princes, she must choose her alliances carefully in a game of thrones where the stakes are unimaginably high. Embroiled in rebellions and betrayals, Aislinn learns the price of loyalty, struggles to find her home, and save those she loves – and, perhaps, her own soul as well.

Almost nine hundred years later in 1987, Selma Murray, an American graduate student at Oxford University, is researching the mysterious “Aethelinga” manuscript, as Aislinn’s chronicle has come to be known. Trying to work out the riddles of someone else’s past is a way for Selma to dodge her own troubling ghosts – yet the two are becoming inextricably intertwined. She must face her own demons, answer Aislinn’s questions, and find forgiveness – for herself and others – in this epically scaled but intimately examined, extensively researched look at the creation of history, the universality of humanity, and the many faces it has worn no matter the century: loss, grief, guilt, redemption, and love.

AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE | ITUNES | KOBO

ABOUT THE AUTHOR02_Author Hilary Rhodes

Hilary Rhodes is a scholar, author, blogger, and all-around geek who fell in love with medieval England while spending a year abroad at Oxford University. She holds a B.A. and M.A. in history, and is currently preparing for doctoral studies at the University of Leeds, fulfilling a years-long dream to return to the UK. In what little spare time she has, she enjoys reading, blogging about her favorite TV shows, movies, and books, music, and traveling.

For more information please visit Hilary Rhodes’ blog.

BOOK BLAST SCHEDULE

Monday, July 27
Kinx’s Book Nook

Tuesday, July 28
Book Nerd
What Is That Book About

Wednesday, July 29
The Never-Ending Book
To Read, Or Not to Read

Thursday, July 30
Books and Benches
Historical Fiction Connection

Friday, July 31
The Lit Bitch
Queen of All She Reads

Sunday, August 2
Genre Queen

Monday, August 3
The Maiden’s Court

Tuesday, August 4
Room With Books
Passages to the Past

Wednesday, August 5
100 Pages a Day
The True Book Addict

Thursday, August 6
A Book Geek
Boom Baby Reviews

Friday, August 7
CelticLady’s Reviews
Let Them Read Books

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Review: Murder By Disputation

Death By Disputation (A Francis Bacon Murder Mystery Book 2)
Written by Anna Castle
Published on December 21, 2014 by Anna Castle
Historical Fiction; 312 pages

24083300Synopsis:

Thomas Clarady is recruited to spy on a group of radical Puritans at Cambridge University. Francis Bacon is his spymaster; his tutor in both tradecraft and religious politics. Their commission gets off to a deadly start when Tom finds his chief informant hanging from the roof beams. Now he must catch a murderer as well as a seditioner. His first suspect is volatile poet Christopher Marlow, who keeps turning up in the wrong places.

Dogged by unreliable assistants, chased by three lusty women, and harangued daily by the exacting Bacon, Tom risks his very soul to catch the villains and win his reward.

Death By Disputation is the next foray is a very fun series by Anna Castle. I enjoyed her first immensely; however, I found this book a little disappointing. I still enjoyed it but not as much as the first. The story begins as a murder mystery, then quickly transitions to a political mystery and finally a potential romance. All three stories seemed to be major plotlines. I would have liked to focus on one major plotlines and then the others would be minor plotlines. I felt that the murder mystery was just an afterthought instead of a true mystery that needed to be primary focus.

But don’t get me wrong! I still enjoyed the book. I love Ms. Castle’s portrayal of all the characters. Tom is such a fun and lively character. I liked the conflict that we was feeling throughout the story. I found the religious politics very interesting; especially as Tom got deeper and deeper into the Puritan community. His conflict between is mission and having empathy for his targets made for some really good reading. Furthermore, I loved Ms. Castle’s naming of her characters. The names of the Wingfield family were just perfect!

A great minor character that is quickly turning into a major character is Trumpett. She is just amazing; fun, brash, and quick-witted. She provided some needed levity to the story. I really look forward to how her and Tom’s relationship develops.

Even with a few plot issues, this book was a fun read with lots of political and religious intrigue. The characters are fun and lively. I look forward to Ms. Castle’s next Bacon adventure.

3BookRating

Review: Big Little Lies

Big Little Lies
Written by Liane Moriarty
Published in 2014 by Putnam
458 pages
Literary Fiction

19486412Synopsis:

Big Little Lies follows three women, each at a crossroads:

Madeline is a force to be reckoned with. She’s funny and biting, passionate, she remembers everything and forgives no one. Her ex-husband and his yogi new wife have moved into her beloved beachside community, and their daughter is in the same kindergarten class as Madeline’s youngest (how is this possible?). And to top it all off, Madeline’s teenage daughter seems to be choosing Madeline’s ex-husband over her. (How. Is. This. Possible?).

Celeste is the kind of beautiful woman who makes the world stop and stare. While she may seem a bit flustered at times, who wouldn’t be, with those rambunctious twin boys? Now that the boys are starting school, Celeste and her husband look set to become the king and queen of the school parent body. But royalty often comes at a price, and Celeste is grappling with how much more she is willing to pay.

New to town, single mom Jane is so young that another mother mistakes her for the nanny. Jane is sad beyond her years and harbors secret doubts about her son. But why? While Madeline and Celeste soon take Jane under their wing, none of them realizes how the arrival of Jane and her inscrutable little boy will affect them all.

Liane Moriarty has written a gem in Big Little Lies. She has made parents and school politics very provocative and deadly. And what is sad, I can see this story play in any elementary school in America. There are so many aspects of this book that are universal…rape, domestic violence, divorce, snobbery, prejudice…just to name a few.

All three of the woman in Big Little Lies are wonderful characters with her own unique issues to face. The pain of each woman is so real and you hoped that each one would come out in one piece, mentally and physically. Ms. Moriarty tackled some very serious issues with these women. Madeline, Celeste and Jane make up a trio of broken women and Ms. Moriarty told their stories with complete honesty and truth. I always find it amazing how a woman can hide her pain from everyone; and, in the reverse, not digging deep in another’s pain. Ms. Moriarty captured this perfectly. Another thing she captured was the notion of female solidarity. When push comes to shove, women will rally and take care of their own.

Big Little Lies passed an ultimate test for me. To be considered a great (in my lowly opinion), when I read the last page I don’t want the story to end. I want to know more about the characters and what comes next. That is what happened here. I was so disappointed when I got to that last page. I didn’t want the story to end. I wanted to know more which to me says Big Little Lies is a great book.

5BookRating

Favorite Scene: Order of the Phoenix

Order of the PhoenixHarry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix has always been my least favorite book in the series. However, after re-reading it more slowly this time, I have come to appreciate it more. I didn’t get as frustrated with Harry as I have been in the past. I found that I was more frustrated with Dumbledore than Harry. Funny how your thoughts and feelings change as you re-read your favorite books. I really thought I would have a very difficult time finding a favorite scene in Order of the Phoenix; however, I found two that really stood out to me. One is fairly obvious and then other one – not so much.

The Obvious Favorite Scene:

I love the scene at the end where The Order stands with Harry to meet his aunt and uncle after the end of the school year. After feeling so alone throughout the year, Harry sees that he isn’t alone after all. He can stand tall when he meets his dreaded relatives. Mad Eye is just the best in this scene.

…he found a surprise awaiting him on the other side: a group of people standing there to greet whom he had not expected.

“Hello, Harry,” said Lupin, as Mrs. Weasley let go of Harry and turned to greet Hermione.

“Hi,” said Harry. “I didn’t expect…what are you all doing here?”

“Well,” said Lupin with a slight smile, “we thought we might have a little chat with your aunt and uncle before letting them take you home.”

“I dunno if that’s a good idea,” said Harry at once.

“Oh, I think it is,” growled Moody, who limped a little closer.

“We thought we’d just have a few words with you about Harry,” said Mr. Weasley, still smiling.

“Yeah,” said Moody. “About how he’s treated when he’s at your place.”

Uncle Vernon’s mustache seemed to bristle with indignation. Possibly because the bowler hat gave him the entirely mistaken impression that he was dealing with a kindred spirit, he addressed himself to Moody.

“I am not aware that it is any of your business what goes on in my house – ”

“I expect what you’re not aware of would fill several books, Dursley,” growled Moody.

“Anyway, that’s not the point,” interjected Tonks, whose pink hair seemed to offend Aunt Petunia more than all the rest put together, for she closed her eyes rather than look at her. “The point is, if we find out you’ve been horrible to Harry -”

” – and make no mistake, we’ll hear about it,” added Lupin pleasantly.

“Yeah, if we get any hint that Potter’s been mistreated in any way, you’ll have us to answer to,” said Moody,

Uncle Vernon swelled ominously. His sense of outrage seemed to outweigh even his fear of this bunch of oddballs.

“Are you threatening me, sir?” he said, so loudly that passersby actually turned to stare.

“Yes, I am,” said May-Eye, who seemed rather pleased that Uncle Vernon had grasped this fact so quickly.

“And do I look like the kind of man who can be intimidated?” barked Uncle Vernon.

“Well…” said Moody, pushing back his bowler hat to reveal his sinisterly revolving magical eye. Uncle Vernon leapt backward in horror and collided with a luggage trolley. “Yes, I’d have to say you do, Dursley.”

He turned away from Uncle Vernon to survey Harry. “So, Potter…give us a shout if you need us. If we don’t hear from you for three days in a row, we’ll send someone along…”

The Not So Obvious Scene:

This scene is after Mr. Weasley has been attacked by Nagini and still in the hospital. Harry blames himself because he thinks that Voldemort has possessed him. However, Ginny is able to bring him back into the company of his friends. I think this is when Ginny became a major character in the series. She has finally entered into the fold as a trusted friend.

“Oh, stop feeling all misunderstood,” said Hermione sharply. “Look, the others have told what you overheard last night on the Extendable Ears -”

“Yeah?” growled Harry, his hands deep in his pockets as he watched the snow falling thickly outside. “All been talking about me, have you? Well, I’m getting used to it…”

“We wanted to talk to you, Harry,” said Ginny, “but as you’ve been hiding ever since we got back – ”

“I didn’t want anyone to talk to me,” said Harry, who was feeling more and more nettled.

“Well, that was a bit stupid of you,” said Ginny angrily, “seeing as you don’t know anyone but me who’s been possessed by You-Know-Who, and I can tell you how it feels.”

“Harry remained quite still as the impact of these words hit him. Then he wheeled around.

“I forgot,” he said.

“Lucky you,” said Ginny coolly.

“I’m sorry,” Harry said, and he meant it. “So…so do you think I’m being possessed, then?”

“Well, can you remember everything you’ve been doing?” Ginny asked. “Are there big blank periods where you don’t know what you’ve been up to?”

Harry racked his brains.

“No,” he said.

“Then You-Know-Who hasn’t ever possessed you,” said Ginny simply. When he did it to me, I couldn’t remember what I’d been doing for hours at a time. I’d find myself somewhere and not know how I got there.”

Harry hardly dared to believe her, yet his heart was lightening  almost in spite of himself.

There you go! Those are my favorite scenes from Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. What are yours? Please leave me a comment and let me know!

 

 

Review: Breakfast at Tiffany’s

Breakfast at Tiffany’s
Written by Truman Capote
Read by Michael C. Hall
Recorded by Audible Studios on February 11, 2014
Originally published in 1958

51rZT5DkgdL__SL300_Synopsis:

Golden Globe-winning actor Michael C. Hall (Dexter, Six Feet Under) performs Truman Capote’s provocative, naturalistic masterstroke about a young writer’s charmed fascination with his unorthodox neighbor, the “American geisha” Holly Golightly. Holly – a World War II-era society girl in her late teens – survives via socialization, attending parties and restaurants with men from the wealthy upper class who also provide her with money and expensive gifts. Over the course of the novella, the seemingly shallow Holly slowly opens up to the curious protagonist, who eventually gets tossed away as her deepening character emerges.

Breakfast at Tiffany’s, Truman Capote’s most beloved work of fiction, introduced an independent and complex character who challenged audiences, revived Audrey Hepburn’s flagging career in the 1961 film version, and whose name and style has remained in the national idiom since publication. Hall uses his diligent attention to character to bring our unnamed narrator’s emotional vulnerability to the forefront of this American classic.

To date, my only exposure to Breakfast at Tiffany’s has been the film adaptation with the lovely Audrey Hepburn as Holly Golightly. After reading this novella I have found that it did not due it justice at all. Breakfast at Tiffany’s is a very provocative depiction of a young girl living a life that many people would deem corrupt. I can imagine when this story was published in 1958 and the uproar it caused. Holly talked of sex, homosexuality, drugs, organized crime and other taboo subjects like they were everyday ideas; not the “turn the blind eye” kind of topics of the 1950s.

I can’t decide if Holly was a truly unique, strong woman or an incredibly broken one who created this life just to survive. She definitely had spunk; but at the same time, she was so sad and lost. There were many times I found it hard it hard to like her at all. She treated people so flippantly. She really had no use for them until she needed them. Was she self-absorbed, selfish and short-sighted or mentally unstable (bipolar?) and abused. After reading this novella, I really can’t buy into the Audrey version. She was so incredibly complex but at the same time so incredibly simple.

In my mind, I think Truman Capote identified and wanted to be Holly Golightly. Holly was his ideal human, man or woman. I can see a lot of Capote in Holly (from what I have seen and read about him). Her flippancy, alcohol use, and her brutal treatment of others leads me to believe that Capote captured himself in Holly Golightly. She had no ties and wanted none – or so she thought. The most heartbreaking moment for me was when she let Cat go in Spanish Harlem. It wasn’t romantic like the movie. It was cold but at the same time so sad and depressing. Holly realized, at the last minute, that she had a connection with Cat but she still turned her back on him. I’m just so relieved that Capote gave Cat a happy ending even though he give us one for Holly. Who knows where she landed…presumably like a cat.

I’m really glad I spent the time listening to Breakfast at Tiffany’s. Michael C. Hall did a great job reading it. I thought he captured the narrator, “Fred”, very well. It was just under three hours listening time and I highly recommend that you take the time and listen to this provocative novella. It won’t be a waste.

KinxsBookNookScore4

It’s Monday! What are you reading?!

ItsMonday

Welcome to It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?! This is a great way to plan out your reading week and see what others are currently reading as well…you never know where that next “must read” book will come from! Hosted by Book Journey.

Last Week:

This Week:

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix by J.K. Rowling

Order of the PhoenixHarry Potter is due to start his fifth year at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. His best friends Ron and Hermione have been very secretive all summer and he is desperate to get back to school and find out what has been going on. However, what Harry discovers is far more devastating than he could ever have expected…

 

Death by Disputation by Anna Castle

24083300Thomas Clarady is recruited to spy on a group of radical Puritans at Cambridge University. Francis Bacon is his spymaster; his tutor in both tradecraft and religious politics. Their commission gets off to a deadly start when Tom finds his chief informant hanging from the roof beams. Now he must catch a murderer as well as a seditioner. His first suspect is volatile poet Christopher Marlowe, who keeps turning up in the wrong places.

Dogged by unreliable assistants, chased by three lusty women, and harangued daily by the exacting Bacon, Tom risks his very soul to catch the villains and win his reward.

Audiobook of the Week:

51rZT5DkgdL__SL300_Breakfast at Tiffany’s by Truman Capote (Narrated by Michael C. Hall)

Golden Globe-winning actor Michael C. Hall (Dexter, Six Feet Under) performs Truman Capote’s masterstroke about a young writer’s charmed fascination with his unorthodox neighbor, the “American geisha” Holly Golightly. Holly – a World War II-era society girl in her late teens – survives via socialization, attending parties and restaurants with men from the wealthy upper class who also provide her with money and expensive gifts. Over the course of the novella, the seemingly shallow Holly slowly opens up to the curious protagonist.

What are you reading this week?

 

 

Review: Persuasion

Persuasion
Written by the amazing Jane Austen
First Published in 1818
Audiobook (June 6, 2006)
Read by Greta Scacchi

208705Synopsis:

At twenty-seven, Anne Elliot is no longer young and has few romantic prospects. Eight years earlier, she had been persuaded by her friend Lady Russell to break off her engagement to Frederick Wentworth, a handsome naval captain with neither fortune nor rank. What happens when they encounter each other again is movingly told in Jane Austen’s last completed novel. Set in the fashionable societies of Lyme Regis and Bath, Persuasion is a brilliant satire of vanity and pretension, but, above all, it is a love story tinged with the heartache of missed opportunities.

Persuasion is my most favorite book of all time. I can’t even count how many times I’ve read it. So, that being said, I decided for my book club (Books, Babes and Booze) selection that Persuasion would be a great pick. Not everyone is my club has read, or even likes, Jane Austen; if they had, only P&P (maybe). I really wanted to share my favorite book with my besties. I told them upfront that Persuasion is my favorite book ever; I really didn’t bear any criticism.

Since I’ve read the book so many times, I wanted to get a different perspective and decided to listen to the audiobook version. This version was read by Greta Scacchi who I really like as an actress. I picked the perfect version; she was absolutely wonderful as the narrator. She brought so much life to Anne Elliot. Her voice reflected her heartbreak, the frustration and embarrassment with her family, and the love of her friends. I loved listening to every second of it. I think you really need to take a leap of faith when listening to your favorite book. The wrong reader can completely ruin a book and, on the flipside, a reader can completely make a book. Ms. Scacchi made this audiobook; she was fantastic. She continues my belief that Persuasion is the greatest ever written (bold statement?!).

Back to my book club. Throughout the month I got text messages on how much someone loved the book. It made my heart go pitter patter. I don’t think there is anything better than sharing your favorite book with your friends and they liked it too. Of course, as modern women we had a difficult time identifying with that age. We all decided we wouldn’t do well. After all, we are all very strong and independent women! I found that many in my book club found this book surprising. Ms. Austen’s perspective on life had definitely changed since her first novel, Sense and Sensibility. In Persuasion, her writing was more mature and accomplished (did I say accomplished?).

I have one last bold statement to make about Persuasion. Captain Wentworth has to be the most romantic hero of all of Jane Austen’s novels. Mr. Darcy who? I absolutely love him! He is proud but also loyal to his friends and to Anne. Plus, he wrote the most perfect love letter of all time. “You pierce my soul!” Can you imagine someone writing those words to you. Just melt my heart!

If you need a truly romantic novel that pierces your soul, please pick up Persuasion. I promise you, you won’t regret it!

6a00e554e8195d883301287775a2e6970c