Before Nick Carraway was drawn into Daisy and Gatsby s sparkling, champagne-fueled world in The Great Gatsby, F. Scott Fitzgerald vacationed in the French Riviera, where a small green lighthouse winked at ships on the horizon. Before the nameless lovers began their illicit affair in The Lover, Marguerite Duras embarked upon her own scandalous relationship amidst the urban streets of Saigon. And before readers were terrified by a tentacled dragon-man called Cthulhu, H.P. Lovecraft was enthralled by the Industrial Trust tower-- the 26-story skyscraper that makes up the skyline of Providence, Rhode Island.
Based on the popular New York Times travel column, Footsteps is an anthology of literary pilgrimages, exploring the geographic muses behind some of history's greatest writers. From the "dangerous, dirty and seductive" streets of Naples, the setting for Elena Ferrante's famous Neapolitan novels, to the "stone arches, creaky oaken doors, and riverside paths" of Oxford, the backdrop for Alice's adventures in Wonderland, Footsteps takes a fresh approach to literary tourism, appealing to readers and travel enthusiasts alike."~Goodreads Blurb
It might be seen as an odd way to view the books of our lives; Having writers write about writers, travelling in their footsteps, trying to delve inside their minds and their personas by seeing what they saw. Yet, Footsteps manages to brilliantly pull it off. As someone who doesn’t subscribe to the ‘New York Times,’ this collection of some of their best columns has made it easy for me to delve into that world. I was originally drawn in by Michael Morris and Gracia Lam’s wonderful cover design and illustrations. I didn’t recognize all the essay writers though their way of writing and the sheer affection they felt for their chosen authors, found me smiling throughout the book. Footsteps is a lovely read that you can scramble through in an evening. I would recommend this during a time when you want to travel but can’t. We all have those moments in life when we long to hit the open road or whip out our passports and take to the skies, yet life has a habit of stopping this. In those moments, escape can be found in some of our favorite classic and in Footsteps’ case within its pages.
*This book was provided by BloggingForBooks and Three Rivers Press in exchange for honest feedback*
Tea is different from the other witches in her family. Her gift for necromancy makes her a bone witch, who are feared and ostracized in the kingdom. For theirs is a powerful, elemental magic that can reach beyond the boundaries of the living—and of the human.
Great power comes at a price, forcing Tea to leave her homeland to train under the guidance of an older, wiser bone witch. There, Tea puts all of her energy into becoming an asha, learning to control her elemental magic and those beasts who will submit by no other force. And Tea must be strong—stronger than she even believes possible. Because war is brewing in the eight kingdoms, war that will threaten the sovereignty of her homeland…and threaten the very survival of those she loves. ~Goodreads Blurb
I once read about a comedian’s love for Dickens. He spoke about how he loved how descriptive the author was. The sheer joy he had in immersing himself into Dicken’s world, that he could practically breathe Dicken’s world all excepting the smells of that world, all of that made him so happy. I started out feeling the same way about Rin Chupeco’s new world in The Bone Witch. Her world building and descriptive nature holds you captive in the beginning. The problem for me came when I began to look for more than just that. I began digging through descriptions looking for plot and action. The mythology Chupeco created was very unique and intriguing, but it just wasn’t enough to hold my interest. I feel as though this the book readers have to get through to reach the second book. If it was a film these would be the flashback points. Beautifully written and full of rich descriptions, but just like a meal needs more than sugar, this book needs a bit more substance to make it a sure-fire read. I was intrigued enough to put the next book on my TBR list but I won’t be putting this one on my Read Again list.
*This eBook was provided by NetGalley and Sourcebooks Fire in exchange for honest feedback*
Fresh from a public humiliation and in search of his true calling, former college football star Jack Marshall enlists as bartender and steward aboard Horace Button's vintage private railroad car, the Pioneer Mother, which is transporting the legendary food writer and social critic across the country in opulent style.
Decked out in a white jacket, mixing perfect cocktails, Jack is immersed in a style of living -- and dining -- he'd assumed was extinct. While striving to appease the eccentric, finicky Horace, and Wanda, the Pioneer Mother's enigmatic chef, Jack falls under the spell of Giselle Lebeau, a gorgeous celebrity chef whose designs on him test his self-control amd his loyalty.
But when tragedy rocks Horace's insulated white-linen world, Jack must take charge of a simmering stew of quirky yet powerful personalities -- all while staying in Wanda's good graces and keeping an eye on their newest passenger.~Goodreads Blurb
There has always been this allure and romance associated with passenger trains for me. I don’t know if it’s simply because of my love of old Victorian and Western stories. I love the sense of adventure that trains seem to hold, all these people with a place to go, or perhaps no place to go. It was with this mindset that I started “The Dining Car.” Though author Eric W. Peterson could easily have made it a average Joe versus the upper class sort of story, he thankfully held back from that trope. Instead we are treated to an almost lovingly described menu of food and drinks and the sheer debauchery of this once notable journalist. The narrator, a former-football player who rarely talks about football, gives a view into Horace Button’s, our journalist, life. In a refreshing viewpoint, instead of despising this lush of a man, the readers are instead lead to feel sorry and to pity this man who has outlived his time. In an ever advancing world, Button is being left behind by choice as he clings to the days of old. Instead of being annoyed at his chosen seclusion I couldn’t help but feel for a man who enjoys the pleasures of life, even as he becomes a relic. Our narrator on the other hand, didn’t leave me with any strong emotions. He simply seemed to be pointing the camera instead of taking real point in the story. I would recommend this book for people who enjoy train stories and want to take a look within a private Pullman Car.
*This eBook was provided by NetGalley and HUckleberry House in exchange for honest feedback**
In 1902 New York, Alice Roosevelt, the bright, passionate, and wildly unconventional daughter of newly sworn-in President Theodore Roosevelt, is placed under the supervision of Secret Service Agent Joseph St. Clair, ex-cowboy and veteran of the Rough Riders. St. Clair quickly learns that half his job is helping Alice roll cigarettes and escorting her to bookies, but matters grow even more difficult when Alice takes it upon herself to investigate a recent political killing--the assassination of former president William McKinley.
Concerned for her father's safety, Alice seeks explanations for the many unanswered questions about the avowed anarchist responsible for McKinley's death. In her quest, Alice drags St. Clair from grim Bowery bars to the elegant parlors of New York's ruling class, from the haunts of the Chinese secret societies to the magnificent new University Club, all while embarking on a tentative romance with a family friend, the son of a prominent local household.
And while Alice, forced to challenge those who would stop at nothing in their greed for money and power, considers her uncertain future, St. Clair must come to terms with his own past in Alice and the Assassin, the first in R. J. Koreto's riveting new historical mystery series.
Though she has to be without doubt one of the most strong-headed woman in her time, sadly little a has been written about Alice Roosevelt in the historical fiction world. Often she is overshadowed by her father Ol’ Teddy Roosevelt, though there have been a few recent biographies which I feel take a closer look at her life. A true wild child of her time, She answered only to her father and he was a bit busy looking after the free world at the time. Though Author R. J. Koreto has managed to bring her to life, I think the choice to view the story through the bodyguard was a poor choice. To step inside the mind of such a strong-willed woman would have been a joy but to be a part of the shadow instead of the light wasn’t quite what I signed up for.
There have been many books called “Alice and the Assassin” and I think it might have been better titled “Alice and the Anarchists” if only for a change. A well written and enjoyable bit of a mystery, it became obvious too early on, and that tends to make it difficult for me to want to finish a story. I don’t enjoy deus ex machina as mystery enders but solving a mystery with a significant number of pages left leaves me sad and underwhelmed. I look forward to seeing how Alice and St. Clair’s relationship and partnership continues in the next book.
The incredible true story of the young women exposed to the “wonder” substance of radium and their brave struggle for justice...
As World War I raged across the globe, hundreds of young women toiled away at the radium-dial factories, where they painted clock faces with a mysterious new substance called radium. Assured by their bosses that the luminous material was safe, the women themselves shone brightly in the dark, covered from head to toe with the glowing dust. With such a coveted job, these “shining girls” were considered the luckiest alive—until they began to fall mysteriously ill. As the fatal poison of the radium took hold, they found themselves embroiled in one of America’s biggest scandals and a groundbreaking battle for workers’ rights.~ Goodreads Blurb
During a time when often female physical complaints were brushed off or made to see as less than important, these women, these radium girls were ingesting a poison that was replacing the calcium in their bones and eating them away from the inside. Author Kate Moore has really outdone herself with this book. Well researched and yet far from dry, she paints the picture of these women who trusted their employers to keep them safe and paid for that with their lives. This book is definitely one of the best nonfiction books I’ve read. It shows the 1920s not as some hedonistic last bash before the Great Depression but real people with real lives. There are a whole slew of facts and interesting bits that I really want to learn more about, and I have to give kudos to Moore for being able to give all the facts and keep it from bogging down the story line or worse bogging down the reader. I would recommend this to people who are interested in the discovery of new science and its effects on the population of the time.
*This eBook was provided by NetGalley and Sourcebooks in exchange for honest feedback**
When Anna Butterfield's mother dies, she's sent to live with her uncle, a silk merchant in London, to make a good match and provide for her father and sister. There, she meets Henri, a French immigrant and apprentice hoping to become a master weaver. But Henri, born into a lower class, becomes embroiled in the silk riots that break out as weavers protest for a fair wage. ~Goodreads Blurb
Often times there are little parts of history that get forgotten when people write about more exciting big picture stories. I feel as though this book might have been the author, Liz Trenow’s way of correcting that, in regards to the silk weavers’ riots. It illuminated a part of history that I had previously not taken the time to really understand. I’m not often a fan of Georgian historical fiction simply because it tends to lurch towards romantic fiction quite quickly. Another part of me finds that many authors tend to mimic Georgette Heyer and turn her work into more formula writing. Liz Trenow, while managing to write a compelling story and also filling the gaps in my catalogue of information, does slip into more of historical romance than I usually prefer. I had hoped that it would be a strong woman making her way in the world, and I was left with a pair of lovers from opposite sides of the tracks instead. It starts out a bit slow but once it gets going it is worth finishing. I would recommend this for people who enjoy non-formula Georgian historical romance.
*This eBook was provided by Sourcebooks Landmark and NetGalley in exchange for honest feedback*
They called him Mickey Free. His kidnapping started the longest war in American history, and both sides--the Apaches and the white invaders--blamed him for it. A mixed-blood warrior who moved uneasily between the worlds of the Apaches and the American soldiers, he was never trusted by either but desperately needed by both. He was the only man Geronimo ever feared. He played a pivotal role in this long war for the desert Southwest from its beginning in 1861 until its end in 1890 with his pursuit of the renegade scout, Apache Kid. ~Goodreads Blurb
Instead of glossing over the various shades of humanity and presenting characters in the a simplistic black and white, good versus evil, format, Author Paul Andrew Hutton, has done exactly the opposite of that. Hutton has managed to squeeze every drop of his research into a condensed 424 pages in order to explain a thirty year war between the United states settlers and the Apache people. The detail and depth that Hutton combines in order to not only display a few chosen historical figures but a wide range, shows Hutton’s dedication to avoiding a classic pitfall of historical nonfiction writers. Where most writers would have simplified characters down to the classic “noble cowboy” versus “savage native” trope Hutton takes the time and the pages to show the horrors perpetrated by both sides.
While the sheer volume of details and facts may be off putting to some readers, I found that it enabled me to immerse myself into the past, with much more ease. The narrative style also made it easier to read instead of the standard textbook style that many fall into. There also is not much in the way of glossing over the misdeeds of both sides and if you prefer your history to be more PG than this may not be the best book for you.
*This Book was provided by BloggingForBooks and Broadway Books in exchange for honest feedback*
Essex, England, 1645. With a heavy heart, Alice Hopkins returns to the small town she grew up in. Widowed, with child, and without prospects, she is forced to find refuge at the house of her younger brother, Matthew. In the five years she has been gone, the boy she knew has become a man of influence and wealth--but more has changed than merely his fortunes. Alice fears that even as the cruel burns of a childhood accident still mark his face, something terrible has scarred Matthew's soul.
There is a new darkness in the town, too--frightened whispers are stirring in the streets, and Alice's blood runs cold with dread when she discovers that Matthew is a ruthless hunter of suspected witches. Torn between devotion to her brother and horror at what he's become, Alice is desperate to intervene--and deathly afraid of the consequences. But as Matthew's reign of terror spreads, Alice must choose between her safety and her soul. ~Goodreads Blurb
As much as it pains me to admit it, it probably wouldn’t be a great idea for me to go time travelling. The future might be better, though that has risks of its own. Travelling to the past on the other hand, would see me put in a madhouse or more likely accused of witchcraft. Author Beth Underdown has done a terrifyingly wonderful job of bringing a different viewpoint to the English witch hunt. Before Salem even had a chance to eat some mind altering fungus, they had begun to receive reports about Matthew Hopkins in England, the self proclaimed Witch Hunter General. This all took place during the English Civil War. Unlike the American Civil War, this war was very much over religion. The Protestant leader Cromwell and his Roundheads eventually toppled the reigning monarch and a land that had always been on the edge of all-out Protestant and Catholic war slipped into just that. Throughout all this, Matthew Hopkins was travelling over the country, interrogating those accused of witchcraft. 106. The sheer amount of women killed before Hopkins death is truly upsetting. 106, before he was stopped. Underdown then asks the question, “Was it death or something else that stopped him?”
By using a woman and a sister to look at this terrifying creature, author Beth Underdown has given her readers a more relatable voice to connect to and fear for. One has to pause several times, to wonder if there really are paranormal activities taking place or if we are seeing a manifestation of the paranoia of the time. A delicious thrill that lingers in the mind, this story only lasted me a couple of nights. I wanted to know more and more about what was happening and I think I may have to do more of my own research into this time. I had never really thought about the English Civil War in any real depth but Underdown’s latest book has definitely sparked something for me.
*This eBook was provided by NetGalley and Ballantine Books in exchange for honest feedback**
Freelance Editor & Reviewer