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review 2018-03-05 19:16
By Love Divided
By Love Divided (The Lydiard Chronicles) - Elizabeth St. John

Lucy Apsley's children are grown and her best friend and husband is dead. They are forced out of their home in the Tower of London and have to face the debts left by Allen Apsley when he funded the King's cause. Lucy attempts to keep herself out of debt and her family together by marrying a Puritan, however, Leventhrope Franke is more interested in the collection of Lucy's debts. Lucy's son, Allen decides to take up the life Lucy left behind in the Courts and befriends his cousin, Edward Villiers. Allen's loyalties are soon tied to King Charles I and Allen becomes a soldier and strategist for the Crown. Meanwhile, Allen's sister, Luce has found love with John, who sides with the Parliamentary cause. When the King begins a civil war, the Apsley family is divided in their loyatlities, but together in their love for one another.

This is a wonderful continuation of The Lady of The Tower. Written by a descendant of the Apsley family and using their journals, By Love Divided provides a unique and insightful look into the English Civil War through the eyes of a real family during the time. Unlike The Lady of the Tower, this story focuses more on Lucy's children, though Lucy is still a driving force within the family and the glue that is desperately trying to hold them together. I didn't really know much about the English Civil War and it was very interesting to me to see the sides unfold from within and how the Apsley family dealt with loyalties on both sides. Of course, one of the most interesting characters from The Lady of The Tower, Lucy's sister Barbara makes an appearance and uses her influence with the King to help the Apsley's while still maintaining her hatred for her sister. Through Allen and John's eyes I was able to see the war clearly from both the Royalist and Parliamentary sides. The love within the Apsley family was the shining star throughout the story and I can't wait to read about what the Apley's accomplish next.

This book was received in exchange for an honest review. 

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review 2018-02-13 16:42
Dramatic and violent depiction of terrorist attacks on the US – and its aftermath
Divided States of Hysteria - Howard Chay... Divided States of Hysteria - Howard Chaykin

 

 

Howard Chaykin tells a serious and pessimistic tale about terrorist attacks on the US and the consequences of such an attack. Using a “Dirty Dozen” type theme, he depicts an awful society with no redeeming or sympathetic characters. With much violence, blood-letting, swearing and sexual scenes, this comic collection will not be for everyone!

 

The plot is wordy with a lot to read and it's well-illustrated in Chaykin's unique square-jawed style. Recommended to his fans and to anyone who has an already-jaded view of American society.

 

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text 2017-12-05 17:30
Books I Read In October and November
The Diamond Empire (A Diamonds Novel) - K'wan
Sing, Unburied, Sing: A Novel - Jesmyn Ward
Brazen - Katherine Longshore
The Longest Memory - Fred D'Aguiar
The Tragedy of Brady Sims (Vintage Contemporaries) - Ernest J. Gaines
The Nightingale - Kristin Hannah
An Extraordinary Union - Alyssa Cole
A Hope Divided (The Loyal League) - Alyssa Cole
Perennials - Julie Cantrell
Driver's Seat (Penguin Modern Classics) - Muriel Spark

I read six books in October and five books in November. I'm pretty pleased about my progress. There were a few books that I thought I'd love and a few that I was unsure of that after reading became favorites. Here are the reading results:

 

 

5 Star Reads

 

The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah

 

*I listened to most of it on audio and then switched to the ebook. This book is worth all the hype. It is an unforgettable read. I will definitely re-read this book and I highly recommend if you enjoy WWII books and stories about family.

 

 

The Longest Memory by Fred D'Aguiar

 

*This was definitely a hard read. There's family betrayal, heartbreak and the harsh realities of plantation life. The characters in this book will stay with me for some time.

 

 

4 Star Reads

 

The Diamond Empire by K'wan

 

*Crazy characters, violence and deception all play into great entertainment. I love this series and can't wait for the next book. K'wan knows how to keep you captivated, on edge and panting for that next read.

 

An Extraordinary Union (The Loyal League) by Alyssa Cole

 

*Absolutely more than I anticipated. I loved the premise, characters and the writing. This book has interracial love, familial love and characters that stand for what they believe in. Another that I highly recommend to lovers of romance and historical fiction. Alyssa Cole is an author I will continue to pick up.

 

A Hope Divided (The Loyal League #2) by Alyssa Cole

 

*Loved it! Just as great as the first, but I fell in love with Socrates (Ewan). Marlie and Ewan had their own personal struggle, but manage to fight for what's most important, love.

 

Perennials by Julie Cantrell

 

*I listened to the entire book by read-to-me function on my Kindle Fire during the seven hour ride to Las Vegas. Perennials is what I call a slow burn. There's much going on throughout the book, but it all comes together like an intricately weaved  fabric at the end. I love family books. This book was heartbreaking and sweet.

 

Brazen by Katherine Longshore

 

*I'm trying to clear out the last of my YA books. I read the first two books in The Royal Circle trilogy and enjoyed them so, I decided to read Brazen before I donated it. I'm finding that the YA books I purchased are truly written for a very young audience and I can't read them. The writing is too juvenile in language and tone. However, I was able to read this and enjoyed it. It was a fun engaging read.

 

 

3 Star Reads

 

The Driver's Seat by Muriel Spark

 

*Okay, but completely forgettable read. I would've preferred someone to have just told me the story and saved my money and time.

 

Thousand Cranes by Yasunari Kawabata

 

*Another okay read that I had too high expectations. I get the parts about the importance of traditions with the tea ceremony, but even that wasn't enough of a grab to save this little book. Someone could've just told me the plot and I could've skipped it.

 

 

None Rated Books

 

The Tragedy of Brady Sims by Ernest J. Gaines

 

*This definitely didn't turn out the way I thought it would. It's strange it's a book in my opinion. I don't read short stories, but I would call this one. I'm baffled and don't have much to say. Another book I could've skipped.

 

Sing, Unburied, Sing by Jesmyn Ward

 

*This is the third book that I've tried to love by Ms. Ward. I just don't think we get along. The first book I read of hers was Salvage the Bones. After I tried The Men We Reap. I found it to be slow and melancholy to the point of distraction. My mind would wonder while reading the words. I get the point of the books or what's trying to be conveyed. I just don't enjoy the process of getting there. I find her books have the same formula. Therefore not agreeing with my tastes. Many readers love Ms. Ward and she's won numerous awards. I'm sure she'll continue with much success and I do wish her well.

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review 2017-11-21 16:01
Review of Friends Divided by Gordon Wood
Friends Divided: John Adams and Thomas Jefferson - Gordon S. Wood

This dual biography of John Adams and Thomas Jefferson was a comparative look at the intellectual history of both great men.  It followed their political lives but the focus was really on their differing opinions on the events and theories of government throughout their lifetimes.  Parts of the book dragged a bit, and I would not recommend this to someone looking for a David McCullough type of story, but I did enjoy the deeper look into two brilliant minds.

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text 2017-11-02 12:58
October Wrap Up!
Death in Dark Blue - Julia Buckley
The Quiche and the Dead (A Pie Town Mystery) - Kirsten Weiss
The Seven Habits Of Highly Effective People And The 8th Habit - Stephen R. Covey
And Then There Were Nuns: League of Literary Ladies - Kylie Logan
A Hope Divided (The Loyal League) - Alyssa Cole
A Sticky Inheritance (Maple Syrup Mysteries) (Volume 1) - Emily James
The English Wife - Lauren Willig
Positivity: Top-Notch Research Reveals the 3 to 1 Ratio That Will Change Your Life - Barbara L. Fredrickson

Time for a monthly wrap up!

 

So for the month of October, I read eight books. About average for me. 

 

The stars of the month were the non-fiction self-help books -  one a re-read, one a new find:

 

The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People and Positivity.  Both I highly recommend.

 

I read a few cozy mysteries and a historical romance/mystery.  They served their purpose as I had just moved and was adjusting to a new schedule. Their lightness offered some much-needed escapism. 

 

That being said, I did dive into a Netgalley read of historical fiction called The English Wife. I will post the review in December closer to publication date but it was only so-so for me. 

 

Honorable mention has to go to The Sunne in the Splendour which is outstanding. I should finish it in November as I have now read 80% of it. November should prove to be interesting. I have goals of reading some science fiction and more historical fiction.

 

Happy reading! 

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