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text 2015-11-01 20:32
U.S. Kindle Sale: Miscellaneous
Only Yesterday: An Informal History of the 1920's - Frederick L. Allen
Home Cooking: A Writer in the Kitchen - Laurie Colwin
The Duke and I - Julia Quinn
Casino Royale - Ian Fleming
Edward III: The Perfect King - Ian Mortimer
The Making of the President 1960 (Harper Perennial Political Classics) - Theodore H. White

Currently $1.99: The Making of the President: 1960, by Theodore H. White.  Home Cooking, by Laurie Colwin.  Only Yesterday: An Informal History of the 1920s, by Frederick Lewis Allen.  The Duke and I, by Julia Quinn.

 

Currently $2.99: the James Bond novels, by Ian Fleming.  (It looked to me like all of them.)  Edward III: The Perfect King, by Ian Mortimer.

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text 2014-04-29 19:54
Season 2 Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries starts tonight!
Cocaine Blues - Kerry Greenwood
Unnatural Habits: A Phryne Fisher Mystery - Kerry Greenwood
Flying Too High - Kerry Greenwood
Death Before Wicket (Phryne Fisher, #10) - Kerry Greenwood

In 1920s Melbourne, a glamorous woman moonlights as a detective.

 

Here in the Washington, DC area the second season of Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries starts tonight on PBS! It's a fun show, based on a series of books I keep meaning to read, and it has clothes so gorgeous even I notice.  

 

Miss Fisher's Mysteries

 

 

Here's a link for a YouTube trailer posted when it was showing in some other part of the world: YouTube 

Source: jaylia3.booklikes.com/post/868522/season-2-miss-fisher-s-murder-mysteries-starts-tonight-
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review 2014-03-17 13:54
Fallen Beauty by Erika Robuck
Fallen Beauty - Erika Robuck

When I first started Fallen Beauty I thought the story was going to be about heart break, but I was so wrong. Taking me back in time to the late twenties, where times were changing quickly (but not quick enough for some), I was captivated by everything and everyone. Laura is a character that we can all latch on to for different reasons, and as she grows into a such a wonderful person I was constantly amazed, but at the same time she remains incredible, beautifully flawed. 

Vincent Millay is her perfect foil. Living life hard, fast, and rough, she is addicted to the rush of something new. Laura is at first just a pretty new shiny toy for the famous poet, but something about her changes even the most wild thoughs in Vincent's head. They become friends of a sort and I never would have imagined the life lessons they manage to learn from each other. 

Fallen Beauty was not about a broken heart. It was about the power to mend hearts and minds and learn to live with others (no matter how different they may be). 

*This book was received in exchange for an honest review* 

Source: hotofftheshelves.blogspot.com/2014/03/review-fallen-beauty-by-erika-robuck.html
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review 2014-03-11 19:32
1920: America's Great War - Robert Conroy

1920: America's Great War is alternate history at its best. It is fast. It’s fun. It doesn’t take itself too seriously. Nor does it pretend to give you a history lesson in disguise. Nope, Robert Conroy has written a real page-turner that has interesting characters and an engrossing plot that does a great job of doing just what it is suppose to do: entertain its reader!

 

In this alternative world, the Great War in Europe, or World War I as it is now duped, lasts only a few months, as the French do not halt the German army at the Battle of the Marne but are instead given a final defeat that leads to their surrender. Thereafter, the British Expeditionary Force attempts to fight its way to the Mediterranean coast and escape by sea, but they are cornered and brought to heel in southern France. A triumphant Germany then goes on to obliterating the armies of the Tsar of Russia, resulting in a peace treaty that leaves Germany as the supreme power on the European continent and gifts her with even more overseas colonies. The German Empire is now the preeminent power in the world and is supreme everywhere! Well, maybe not on the high seas, because the British Navy still rules there, but the German Navy will deal with the Brits soon enough.

 

At this point in time, the U.S. is in pretty pathetic shape. She never involved herself in the European conflict, and so her army and navy are almost non-existence. She has a pacifistic President in Woodrow Wilson, who has reduced the armed forces and sincerely believes that there will be no more wars and that peace will now reign eternally. And even when Germany involves itself in a revolution in Mexico and sends troops there, the United States still clings to its belief that the peace between herself and Germany will last forever.

 

Naturally, President Wilson and the other appeasers are dead wrong on the Kaiser’s intentions in North America. (I mean, otherwise, there would not be a book, right?) For the ruler of Germany is growing older and he is determined to leave to his heir a world dominated by Germany and without fear of any potential rivals, and the Kaiser clearly envisions that the United States - if awoken - has the hidden seed of a superpower within her pathetic breast. A power that could very well upset this new Pax Germanica. And the Kaiser is determined to stop this threat before it ever rears its ugly head!

 

The stage is set for a fun-filled alternative history tale!

 

And boy, does Mr. Conroy deliver.

 

You want political intrigue between nations? They are here.

 

You’d like to sit in on desperate military commanders trying to slow down an overwhelming attack? Come on in.

 

The horrible realities of civilians caught in a war? They are touched upon without being too realistic for this type of story.

 

Naval battles? Check.

 

Famous people from history making appearances? No problem.

 

Honestly, 1920: America’s Great War is a very accessible and readable story. Its characters - while generally one dimensional - are plausible, easy to root for or against, and compliment one another, while the historical world they inhabit is genuine enough that the tale never seems too "far-fetched." Like all novels, however, I found a few things that I wish would have been handled better by the author, and I cannot help but list them - though I promise to be brief.

 

1) As many other reviewers have pointed out, Mr. Conroy takes many liberties with the historical facts of this time period. Certain equipment that play major roles in this story was not "invented" until later on in World War I, and since in this alternative world, WWI only lasted a few months, those aircraft, tanks, et cetera would not have even existed for use in a German-American War. Also, many of the armaments and fortifications that the U.S. did have in 1920 are omitted to make the U.S.’s position even more pathetic than it really ways. And Germany’s ability (financially/logistically) and its desire to wage a war half a world away in North America is doubtful at best.

 

2) Everyone in the novel basically talks like they are living around the corner from the author in twenty-first century America. Oh, there might be a few figures of speech from the early twentieth century, but overall, Mr. Conroy does not attempt to mimic the culture or speaking styles of this period of history. So if you are looking for a novel that has the "look" and "feel" of 1920's America or Germany, this is not the book for you.

 

Other than these "historical" criticism, I found 1920: America’s Great War a fascinating novel and an excellent read. Mr. Conroy’s obvious love of history comes across in this story, and while he has altered the facts to his liking, he has done so to make the book more dramatic and circumstances more ominous, which is perfectly acceptable in this kind of novel. Give this one a try, it is highly recommended for alternative history buffs everywhere!

 

Netgalley provided this book to me for free in return for an honest review. The review above was not paid for or influenced in any way by any person, entity or organization, but is my own personal opinions.

Source: bookwraiths.com/2014/03/11/1920-americas-great-war-by-robert-conroy
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review 2014-01-30 14:09
The Great Gatsby - F. Scott Fitzgerald | Review
The Great Gatsby - F. Scott Fitzgerald

“He smiled understandingly – much more than understandingly. It was one of those rare smiles with a quality of eternal reassurance in it, that you may come across four or five times in life. It faced–or seemed to face–the whole eternal world for an instant, and then concentrated on you with an irresistible prejudice in your favor. It understood you just as far as you wanted to be understood, believed in you as you would like to believe in yourself, and assured you that it had precisely the impression of you that, at your best, you hoped to convey.”  

 

Okay, so some of you may be wondering why I only gave this book a rating of 3/5. I know it is a well loved story - a classic American novel - but it was just lacking in some areas for me.

 

I enjoyed the description and liveliness of the 1920′s in this novel. I could vividly imagine glamorous girls and suave gentleman, including Gatsby himself. I didn’t feel like I got to know Gatsby well enough though. I understand that this was probably done intentionally, to coincide with his reputation but I wanted more. There was a nice air of vulnerability about him.

 

As for the narrator, Nick Carraway, I enjoyed reading the novel from his point of view. I thought at times  he came across as a little rigid and boring. I suppose he had to contrast with Gatsby’s rougher and more mysterious edge. The narration allowed Gatsby to remain aloof, as we never got to hear his thoughts or feelings from his own POV. I longed for more description of the goings-on of Gatsby’s many parties though, I wanted to attend one!

 

I despised Tom Buchanan. I thought he was a miserable, arrogant, aggressive man who did not deserve to be with Daisy, his wife. I desperately wanted him to get his comeuppance. Jordan Baker was a relatively strong, independent woman and I liked this about her. Compared with Daisy, she exuded girl power.

 

The pace certainly picked up in the last third of the book, which I felt was needed. I wasn’t expecting the events that happened towards the end, so this was a pleasant surprise.

 

Overall, I liked the book and am glad that I finally got around to reading it. I will certainly be watching the latest film adaptation soon.

 

 

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