chrirob's Book #8 for 2015!
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Book 2: Camille Claudel: Mind of Steel and Clay by Enrique Laso
The first book I read this year was Rodin's Lover by Heather Webb. It really was a good book and prompted me to seek more information about the life and times of both Auguste Rodin and Camille Claudel. Not only were they brilliant artists, but passionate lovers as well. Webb's fictionalized novel of their meeting, affair, and parting was deeply moving.
After finishing that book, I discovered another novel about Claudel. It is Camille Claudel: Mind of Steel and Clay by Enrique Laso. This short novel is a fictionalized diary by the Medical Director of the Montdevergues Mental Asylum where Camille Claudel spent her final years. While this book is a work of fiction, it really does evoke sadness at the possible treatment of Claudel by her family. While this book is not related to Webbs, it fills in the pieces where Webb's book ended.
If you enjoyed Heather Webb's book Rodin's Lover you will definitely enjoy Enrique Laso's Camille Claudel: Mind of Steel and Clay.
Book 3: Fifty Shades of Grey by E. L. James
Book 4: Fifty Shades of Darker by E. L. James
Book 5: Fifty Shades of Freed by E. L. James
After seeing the movie trailer, I became nostalgic and reread Fifty Shades of Grey, Fifty Shades of Darker, and Fifty Shades of Freed by E. L. James. I always enjoy the email banter between Christian and Anastasia and her mental outbursts throughout the novels always make me laugh.
Book 6: Anne Boleyn by Norah Lofts
I have completed Norah Lofts's book Anne Boleyn and found it to be an entertaining biography of Henry VIII's most notorious queen. She inserts interesting little tidbits of gossip or lore while also stating that these tidbits are juicy but not necessarily the truth. It was a nice, short, entertaining read.
Book 7: A Gift of Ghosts by Sarah Wynde
My 7th book for 2015 was an ebook entitled A Gift of Ghosts by Sarah Wynde. This book was also a quick read that I thoroughly enjoyed. It involved a woman with the ability to talk to ghosts, how she has run from this ability, and how it finally catches up to her and changed her life. It was really good and hope Wynde makes this a series as the town and the premise for the story has so many future possibilities.
Book 8: A Bond Never Broken by Judith Miller
It is 1917 and sentiment against people of German descent runs high among the citizens surrounding the Amana colony. Those sworn to uphold the safety of American citizens misuse their power to intimidate, scare, and abuse anyone who is German, of German heritage, or a German sympathizer. How will the people of Amana survive such treatment, protect their loved ones, and prove their patriotism? Well, you must read Judith Miller's Daughters of Amana trilogy! Book eight for this year was the final book in this trilogy entitled A Bond Never Broken. It was a great book and really brings to light the fact that a war is not always fought overseas, but sometimes in our own backyard.
To Hold the Crown by Jean Plaidy. This was a good book and written in such a different style than most books about English royalty. I look forward to reading her other books in the Tudor series.
The Day John Died by Christopher Anderson. This book has been very good so far, but also so sad. Once you start reading you will become entranced by the life that was John F. Kennedy Jr and his immediate family.
Parkland by Vincent Bugliosi. Also known as Four Days in November by Vincent Bugliosi.
This book was fascinating, absorbing, and presented the facts of November 22-25, 1963 in a very easy to follow, organized, and engaging manner. I have always been fascinated with the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, the death of Lee Harvey Oswald, and the abounding conspiracy theories that have arisen over the years. Bugliosi's book laid forth the facts in chronological order based on the evidence and eye-witness testimonies. I loved the movie Parkland, which led me to purchase the book it was based upon. I was a bit worried that I would not be able to stay interested in such a book, but I was completely engrossed. This has led me to purchase Bugliosi's enormous account of the JFK assassination and subsequent investigation by the Warren Commission: Reclaiming History: The Assassination of President John F. Kennedy. Parkland (Four Days in November) is the first part of this epic book.
I highly recommend Parkland/Four Days in November. It is a fascinating book.
Emmaline is on her way to Kansas to meet her betrothed, whom she has not seen in five years. Geoffrey is working hard to make a life for his beautiful and beloved Emmaline upon the magnificent, yet harsh Kansas plains. What will their reunion bring? Five years is a long time to reunite with the ones we love. What will happen to Emmaline and Geoffrey and their future built upon the Kansas prairie? You must read this heartwarming, adventurous, and oftentimes hilarious novel to find out!
Joseph Barkeley lives a quiet life surrounded by his first edition and rare books. That is, until he receives a phone call from a mysterious buyer offering him the deal of a lifetime. He is to acquire the original manuscript of Bram Stoker's Dracula including the mysteriously unpublished prologue and epilogue and hand deliver them to the client...in Romania. Thus sets up a very intriguing tale where the past meets the present and the myths collide with reality. A great book! I read it in 2 days. I am hoping Mr. Prouty is working on a sequel.
Ruth has lived a wonderful, bohemian life in Vienna...until the Nazi's came and she was accidentally left behind when her parents immigrated to England. Her only hope of being transported safely out of Vienna and reunited with her parents is by marrying Professor Sommerville, an British citizen and friend of the family. Will Ruth marry him? What of her true love Heini and their future plans? Will she ever be reunited with her family? Read and see!
Book # 15: Tribulation Force by Tim LaHaye & Jerry Jenkins
Book #16: Nicolae by Tim LaHaye & Jerry Jenkins
Book # 17: Soul Harvest by Tim LaHaye & Jerry Jenkins
This series took me a few chapters to get into...but once I got in, I was hooked! This series follows airline Captain Rayford Steele, his family, and friends as they come to terms with being left behind after all true believers in Jesus were taken to Heaven. It also follows their quest to know more about what happens next and how they can join their loved ones in heaven. But, it is not only a quest for knowledge, truth, and God, it is also about identifying and the Antichrist and staying alive during his rise to power. A great series! I am currently reading the fifth book in the series: Appolyon.
Book six of the Left Behind series finds the Tribulation Force preparing for coming hardships, attempting to reconcile loved friends to God's teachings, and waiting for the beginning of the end. This series moves so quickly that you have just picked up a book and suddenly find yourself finished and moving frantically on to the next!
Out of the Woods is an interesting book that initially grabbed my attention as a psychological-type thriller with paranormal undertones. It is the story of a psychiatrist working in a broken-down mental asylum. On the eve of closing within a few days, a new patient is brought into the asylum and put under the care of Bob. What he discovers about this patient is very interesting, disturbing, creepy, and crazy! Bob and his fiancee Deena attempt to discover more about the patient's history in order to determine the mystery patient's illness and whether there is any truth to his apocolyptic warnings. The book was interesting, but it got a bit to fantastical in the end. However, it was a very interesting read and I finished it in about 3 sittings. If you like psychological-science fiction thrillers then this book is for you!
Book #23: Desecration by Tim LaHaye & Jerry Jenkins
The Antichrist takes his throne and begins his attempt to dominate mankind and battle the Tribulation Force.
If anyone is a fan ofLaura Ingalls Wilder or her daughter Rose Wilder Lane this book is a must read!
This was a very good book. It was straightforward about Wilder's writing career and the influence and collaboration her daughter Rose Wilder Lane shared in the creation of the Little House books. Much of what Hill wrote in A Writer's Life is a part of the new Pioneer Girl that came out this year; However, Pioneer Girl has Wilder's original autobiographical manuscript along with Hill's annotations and wonderful photos. Another great book about Laura Ingalls Wilder and the creation of the world of the Little Houses.
Leah has a dilemma. She finds herself in love with the valet and being courted by a gentleman. One can give her true love without future security, while the other can give her financial freedom and status, but perhaps not love. Which should she choose?
This was a delightfully quick little ebook that I learned is book 4 of the Love Birds series. With such witty, funny characters (especially Uncle Percey!) I went ahead and downloaded the others in the series so I may follow their further adventures!
Armageddon is nearing quickly and the stage is being set for the battle against Believers and Non-believers. The Tribulation Force is working around the world to bring God's word to those still undecided in the battle of good against evil Book 10 of the Left Behind series keeps the story and mission alive!
Read for school...interesting, but glad to be through!
Lady Merry is not a lady...not anymore. After the slaughter of their village, she and a few surviving children take shelter in the local woodlands and live by any means possible, both in and outside of the law. A few years later, a chance encounter brings her face-to-face with her once-betrothed who assumed her dead. Will their love be rekindled or will another man light her heart with love? Who will survive when there is a price upon all their heads for thievery, lawlessness, and treason? Read the first book in Dina Sleiman's Valiant Hearts series to find out!
A good book with a very interesting story line. I look forward to the next tales of the Valiant Heart series.
Libby's life and sanity falls apart when her husband is killed in the Battle of Sharpsburg. Her sister Josephine's falls apart when she joins the Confederate Army to protect her sister Libby. Disguised as male cousins, they march across the countryside...Libby determined to kill 21 soldiers to avenge her fallen husband, Josephine to protect her sister. Along the way, these sisters and soldiers will discover the atrocities of war, the joys and sorrows of humanity, and the bond of everlasting love.
This was a very good book that brought a female perspective of war, love, and family and makes one realize that war is not only fought on the battlefield, but in the mind and the heart as well.
Marlena's life was already planned and her future appeared bright as she looked forward to her engagement. But, life brings tragedy to her family one summer and she agrees to live with and help care for her recently widowed grandmother Mammi. Little do they realize that tragedy will strike yet again as Marlena's estranged sister Luella experiences a car accident, forcing Marlena and Mammi to care for her infant daughter Angela Rose. What began as a daunting task turns into an act of love as Marlena, Mammi, and the entire Amish community learn the meaning of love and the value of family.
This was a wonderful book and I thoroughly enjoyed reading it. I especially liked the sideline story of the Bitner family and their coming together as a family to help the mysterious Boston regain his memory and connect with his long lost love Abigail. I look forward to discovering more about Beverly Lewis' stories, characters, and depictions of Amish life in future books.
Book 34: The Candle Star by Michelle Isenhoff
Sixteen-year old Emily Preston desires nothing more than to further her passion for art by attending University. However, in 1860's South Carolina young ladies are not permitted to think, much less do such an outlandish thing. Society's conventions do not stop Emily from trying to live her dream and she enrolls in an art course by mail correspondence. While she is determined to become a professional artist, her heart discovers that she is drawn to two men who are fighting for both her attentions and her heart. She is also discovering that her Southern world, its' rules, and views of slavery are not as innocent and acceptable as they were before her trip to pro-abolitionist Detroit. With the nation on the brink of Civil War and the future of the country at stake, will Emily continue to pursue her dreams as an artist or will she decide to follow her feelings and pursue a future with one of her handsome suitors? Can she follow her heart while her conscious begs her to reevaluate her Southern family, home, and way of life?
Michelle Isenhoff''s first novel in the Ella Wood trilogy is a wonderfully written and engaging book. Even though it is written for teens I found it immensely enjoyable and could not put it down! I even purchased the Candle Star Trilogy which introduces us to Emily at age 14 while she is banished from her family to Detroit for being willful, stubborn, and incorrigible...not the traits of a young Southern Belle! I finished that one in 2 days as well! It was very funny to see the earlier, tantrum-throwing version of the young Emily Preston! I highly recommend Ella Wood and also The Candle Star!
Fourteen-year old Emily Preston has been banished from her plantation home in South Carolina to her Uncle's boarding house in Detroit. This change in housing and accommodations is nothing compared to the change of attitude of the people around her. While Emily is attempting to survive her exile in the North, she is also coming to learn about the differences and similarities of the persons around her. Until she learns these valuable lessons, Emily will stop at nothing to try and get back to South Carolina, her family, and the life she understands.
Book 2 of the Divided Decades Trilogy was just as entertaining as the first, Candle Star. To read more about Emily Preston's adventures, read book one of the Ella Wood trilogy: Ella Wood.
Three young girls struggle to survive a life of hunger, need, and desperation with a mother that cares more about her next drug high than her own children's welfare. With their father gone, the girls must learn to survive on their own with very little help from family, friends, and the public service system. The girls try to survive their destructive family and cope in any way possible...but one girl can cope no longer. She finds herself on the top of a bridge, wanting to end her life...until one passerby stops and tries to help her. However, this passerby is no ordinary person and will impact her life in ways she could never fathom.
A great book! I loved the history of the girls, their challenges, and survival. I would definitely recommend.
All of the Robertson children are now married and enjoyed wedded life...everyone except twenty-three year old Anabel Robertson. Thomas Davis has lost a bet...and must now find and marry a mail-order bride. When Thomas answers Anabel's ad as a mail-order bride the two must not only marry, but meet and get to know one another before marrying the next day. What will life hold in store for this newly met and married couple?
A delightful little e-book that was quick and easy to read, although it did need to visit the editor's desk for some spelling and grammatical errors. Sill an nice little short story.
The same love story...but told from Christian Grey's perspective. This volume of the Grey series reveals a much darker side of Christian Grey and his desperate challenge to overcome the past so that he can have a future with Anastasia Steele. Even though it is the same story, it is very interesting and new to revisit the Grey trilogy from such a tormented and self-loathing soul. If you love the original Fifty Shades of Grey you will love Christian's perspective on meeting and learning to live with Anastasia.
Samantha loves English literature, especially Jane Austen. When she discovers an old letter tucked into a worn, antique book of poetry she is astonished to learn that is was penned by none other than Jane Austen herself. The letter provides new insights into Austen's life and describes the loss of one of Austen's early manuscripts. Samantha's stay in England provides her with a short period of time to decipher the clues to not only Jane Austen's missing manuscript, but to Austen's mysterious early life as well.
This was a wonderful novel and I look forward to reading more books by Syrie James!
A good book about the often misunderstood and misrepresented life of one of Hollywood's greatest and most influential actresses: Joan Crawford. Spoto presents Miss Crawford's life in an unbiased manner and often attempts to refute the claims of abuse made by Crawfords adopted children. The book was easy to read and proved that there never was a dull moment in the life of Joan Crawford, movie star!
This is book one of the Elm Creek Quilts series and I found it to be a wonderful book. When Sarah and her husband move into a small town, she has difficulty not only finding a job, but adjusting to small town life. While her husband works on restoring the grounds of Elm Creek Manor, Sarah begins taking quilting lessons from the manor's abrasive and less than friendly owner. However, as time passes, Sarah begins to learn that life, like quilts, are made of many layers and that you never know what lies beneath until you begin to peel back those many layers.
Eleanor is trying to make sense of her world and the people in it since the end of World War I. Since the loss of her brother the people around Eleanor are either despondent, psychologically traumatized, bitter, or mean. Eleanor longs for the carefree, loving days before the onset of war and cannot seem to find peace, solace, or comfort in family or friends. She then decides to restore the family's walled garden in order to bring joy and happiness to those around her once more. But little does she know that the restoration of the garden will not have the restorative effects that she so longingly seeks.
Marin and her sister Rebecca have moved to the remote Goswell countryside after a car accident kills their father and his wife. These two step-sisters have never know one another, but must now learn to live together through life's tragedies in order to find the strength to move forward. When they discover a long, lost overgrown garden on their property and begin to restore its' beauty the past once again comes to life as Eleanor strives to solve the mysteries of the lost garden.
A great book! Reading the back cover, I discovered that it is the second book in a series! Have to find that first book as I received this one from LibraryThing as an Early Reviewer in exchange for an honest review. Loved it!
Lucy Jarrett is beginning to question her life with her boyfriend in Japan. When her mother is injured in a car accident, she decides to travel back home to The Lake of Dreams. While getting to know her family and her hometown again, Lucy discovers some documents and beautifully woven lace hidden beneath one of the built-in seats in the attic. Who put these items there, what are their significance, and why were they hidden away for almost 100 years? While Lucy begins to research the history of these documents, she begins to discover that her family's history is far from simple and that the past may come to haunt them all in the future.
A very good book! I love family history and this story makes me want to continue researching the lives of those who came before me! I highly recommend The Lake of Dreams by Kim Edwards.
A Time for Everything was a really good book that I could not put down until I had finished it!
Portia has lost her husband, her daughter, and almost her own life. Determined to make a future for herself and escape her past, she decides to take a job teaching the son of a local horse trainer (Beau). Sparks start to fly when she learns that Beau did not hire her at all...his father did in order to find Beau a new wife and his son a new mother. Can she find happiness again in the midst of this hurting family while bringing a little happiness to their own lives?
A riveting true-story about how one woman went from a budding career as a newspaper reporter to suddenly suffering from seizures, psychosis, and near-catatonia. Only one doctor's diagnosis of a rare autoimmune disorder saved Susannah from a future in the psychiatric ward, misdiagnosed as schizophrenic, psychotic, and catatonic. This is her story of survival and how it opened the eyes of the medical community and enabled them to more competently identify this disease in others. A very inspiring and heartbreaking story.
Frail and sensitive Elizabeth Thatcher accepts a post as a teacher in a poor mining town in the Canadian West. Her first position as a teacher in the West is strenuous enough, not to mention the journey to even get there! She faces many hardships along the way, discovers many pleasures and teaching her students, and also discovers that the world is a very different place than the sheltered, pampered, extravagant life that she knew in Toronto.
This series is a continuation of the When Calls the Heart series by Janette Oke. It was a very good book and I have already started the companion novel Where Trust Lies.
Cinder, a young mechanic in New Beijing, is not what she seems. She is a brilliant young mechanic who has to live with her demanding, cold-hearted guardian/stepmother and her two daughters; but she is also a cyborg. Her life begins a spiraling path of mayhem, mystery, surprises, and even death when she accepts a job repairing the young Prince Kai's android. Little does she realize that this act of kindness will forever change her life and those around her.
This is book 1 of the Lunar Chronicles which puts a whole new spin on the traditional fairy tales of the past. Already started book 2 Scarlet and just as entranced!