Monday, April 19, 2010

30. A Rose for the Crown

By: Anne Easter Smith
Rated 4.5 Stars
From: Library

This book got mixed reviews on amazon and so I turned to Jani to see if she had reviewed it and sure enough she had. Jani is almost always the final word with me when it comes to historical fiction. The reviews on amazon are losing more and more credibility with me. If reviewers are not complaining about the Kindle prices then they are complaining that a book of fiction is {GASP} Fiction. Oh well . . . .


Inspired by the historical record of Richard III's bastard children, Smith invents a spirited, "tawny-eyed" mistress for the 15th-century king in her sweeping debut. Kate Bywood is plucked from her peasant life at the age of 11 to join the household of her mother's noble cousins, the Hautes, as companion to her timid cousin, Anne. A brief, unwilling marriage to an older, wealthy merchant leaves Kate a young widow with a considerable fortune. A second marriage to George, an opportunistic Haute cousin who prefers the stable boy to Kate, leaves her yearning for love. In a chance encounter, she meets Richard of Gloucester, and the ensuing secret romance is filled with the passion and intimacy her marriage lacks. George is killed during an attack in the forest, and Kate bears Richard three children. The narrative flies when the lovers are together, but once Richard marries Anne Neville, and he and Kate are separated for long stretches, the story loses its spark.

29. Quiet Please

By: Scott Douglas
Rated 4 Stars
From: Library


For most of us, librarians are the quiet people behind the desk, who, apart from the occasional “shush,” vanish into the background. But in Quiet, Please, McSweeney’s contributor Scott Douglas puts the quirky caretakers of our literature front and center. With a keen eye for the absurd and a Kesey-esque cast of characters (witness the librarian who is sure Thomas Pynchon is Julia Roberts’s latest flame), Douglas takes us where few readers have gone before. Punctuated by his own highly subjective research into library history-from Andrew Carnegie’s Gilded Age to today’s Afghanistan-Douglas gives us a surprising (and sometimes hilarious) look at the lives which make up the social institution that is his library.

28. Bless This House

By: Nora Lofts
Rated 4 Stars
From Library

From time to time I started getting caught up in the stories of the inhabitants of the house and started to become annoyed when the story moved on. I had to remind myself that this was the story of the house and it's inhabitants were secondary to the story. When I kept that in mind I did fine with it.


This is a book to be savored by those who enjoy historical fiction. Beautifully written by a master storyteller, it centers around a beautiful house, Merravay, which was built during the Elizabethan era, and the lives of those who lived in it throughout the passing centuries.

It is a rich melange of personalities, conflicts, loves, and everyday twists that meld into the foundation of the house whose inhabitants have seen so much personal and historical strife. Filled with memorable characters throughout the ages, this thoroughly engrossing book will keep the reader entertained until the very last page is turned.