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text 2018-11-29 15:14
TBR Thursday
Nairobi Heat - Mukoma wa Ngugi
Skin Game: A Novel of the Dresden Files - Jim Butcher
Doomsday Book - Connie Willis
Shark Drunk: The Art of Catching a Large Shark from a Tiny Rubber Dinghy in a Big Ocean - Morten A. Strøksnes
The Second Empress: A Novel of Napoleon's Court - Michelle Moran
Small gods - Terry Pratchett


Time to buckle down and see how many of my planned 2018 books I can finish before the year's end.


Both Doomsday Book and Small Gods will count towards my Science Fiction and Fantasy Project.  I think that Small Gods, Nairobi Heat, Second Empress, and Shark Drunk can all contribute to my 24 Tasks of the Festive Season, too.  Maybe I can find a way to make Skin Game fit, if I am crafty enough!


I was supposed to meet my new great-niece on Saturday, but my niece's whole household has come down with some nasty plague, so we are cancelling those plans.  I guess this gives me a day to get caught up on housework, do some cooking (so I have a Menu Monday offering), and read!


My car & I were reunited yesterday.  All seems to be well with the tires, so I am happy about that.  Today, I'll be headed off to my retinal specialist for my annual check-up.  Just making sure those retinas stay stuck to the back of my eyeballs!


Happy reading, friends!



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review 2017-03-31 12:30
Book Review: Rebel Queen
Rebel Queen: A Novel - Michelle Moran

"Rebel Queen recounts the story of Sita, a beautiful young woman from a remote village in nineteenth century India, who is granted a rare opportunity to serve in Queen Lakshmi's elite all-female army, the Durga Dal. Leaving behind her widowed father and young sister, Sita travels to the Kingdom of Jhansi and begins a new life of opulence and excitement, all while saving money for her sister's dowry. Her good luck is short-lived, however, as the British army gains a stronghold in India and threatens to take over Queen Lakshmi's throne. Intrigue, deception, murder, and culture clashes ensue, but the queen does not give up her kingdom without a fight. Sita, ever faithful to her queen, pledges her allegiance to the kingdom, even though it means she must sacrifice her beloved family and a way of life that can never be reclaimed."

It seems to me that a lot of wars could have been prevented if the British hadn't had such an inflated idea about themselves and just stopped trying to take over everywhere they went. I mean come on man... couldn't you just have traded and enjoyed the hospitality shown to you by these countries? No... of course not... you had to conquer it all... it kind of reminds me of my son not wanting to share his toys... but also wanting his friends' toys at the same time!

I'll admit my ignorance when it comes to the history of India, so while this book was very informative, it wasn't quite as exciting or good as I think it could have been. I guess those are the limitations when writing historical fiction and trying to stick to the facts as much as possible? Either way, I think the author didn't do herself a lot of favors by skimming over the action-y scenes, as it would have lent a bit more oomph to an otherwise just okay book.

The characters were generally well developed, with a few misses here and there. Sometimes they seemed deep and sincere, and at other times they were superficial and unreal. Especially Anu didn't ring true in the end, although I guess what she went through could change someone as completely as it did her... thank God I don't know, and I sincerely hope I never find out.

If nothing else, I found myself googling India and Jhansi and the palace, so at least I'm better informed now than before I read this book. And while I respect other cultures and think it's wrong to wage war to force them to conform to your own culture and religion as has been and still is the case... I am so grateful that I was not born a woman in India! Purdah sounds like the worst kind of punishment devised, and I find it so hard to try and understand why!? And these poor women don't even know what they're missing... as Sita says in the book... that's just the way things were, and they didn't know there was any other options.

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review 2016-07-19 15:34
"Mata Hari's Last Dance", by Michelle Moran
Mata Hari's Last Dance: A Novel - Michelle Moran

In this latest tale inspired by Mata Hari, Michelle Moran brings to life the infamous and enigmatic dancer, courtesan and suspected spy. In the narrative we follow Margaretha Zelle MacLeod “M’greet” better known as Mata Hari rise to fame as a dancer and courtesan to the decline of her career and finally her fall from grace as she is accused of espionage.

Michelle Moran is one of my favourite historical fiction writers, this time she brings to the forefront the lives of strong, independent women to WW1 and has giving us a vivid look at how they lived in a stifling era. M’greet had a hard start in life and to escape her fate she created the mystic that became Mata Hari, used her charms to conquer men’s devotion and spent her time dancing and horizontally entertaining them. Although, Ms. Moran’s fast-paced tale is not graphic at all it does leave a vivid impression. M’grett promiscuous, flirtatious and carefree lifestyle captivated not only her audience but a myriad of male admirers from high ranking military officers, politicians and powerful men in influential position in many countries….. In time of war it was a dangerous way of life and in February 1917 spy agent H21 known as Mata Hari was taken into custody, later to be accused and put to death.

This book is not overly taxing and is rather short (less than 300 pages) In fact I think Ms. Moran made a right decision to cut short her narrative. Too many dances, too many conquers to describe would have made this story boring by focusing on the important points and getting the point across we have the base needed to better know who was Mata Hari, her background and who she became. Well-done Ms. Moran

Thank you Simon& Schuster and NetGalley for the ARC “This is the Way I see it” my thoughts are mine and have not been influenced by the offer.

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text 2016-03-23 02:28
Rebel Queen: A Novel - Michelle Moran

DNF at 36%. I may come back to this someday: it's not bad. But it is shallow in its characterization and description, and with so many more books to read than I have time, I just can't afford to waste hours on one I don't love.

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text 2015-12-30 21:46
My favorite Books of 2015!
The Conqueror's Wife: A Novel of Alexander the Great - Stephanie Thornton
A Year of Ravens: a novel of Boudica's Rebellion - SJA Turney,Russell Whitfield,Stephanie Dray,Kate Quinn,Vicky Alvear Shecter,Ben Kane,E.E. Knight,Ruth Downie
Rebel Queen: A Novel - Michelle Moran
Lady of the Eternal City (The Empress of Rome Book 4) - Kate Quinn
Hominid - R.D. Brady
Harpazo: The Intra-Seal Rapture of the Church - James Jacob Prasch
The Voyage of the Sun God - Susan Llewellyn
By Ted Dekker A.D. 30: A Novel [Hardcover] - Ted Dekker
The Veil: A Novel...of Current Biblical Proportions - DJ Edmonston,Rick Brown
The Days of Noah: Book One: Conspiracy (Volume 1) - Mark Goodwin

It's hard to just pick out 10 top books, so I wanted to also add the following:


Imhotep The Imhotep Series by Jerry Dubbs


Fall of the House of Ramesses, Book 1: Merenptah The Fall of the House of Ramesses series by Max Overton


Cannibal (Chess Team Adventure, #7) Cannibal by Jeremy Robinson


Enoch: A Bigfoot Story Enoch: A Bigfoot Story by Autumn Williams


Maximus Maximus by Richard Black


All in all, I've read 273 books, (although I will probably get another 1 or 2 in before midnight on the 31st). That's approximately 67,628 pages!


Little Lamb The shortest book read: Little Lamb by Joseph Black  (12 pages)


The King's Favorite (Thutmose series book 2) The longest book read: The King's Favorite (Thutmose series Book 2) by L.S. Fischer  (856 pages)


Fahrenheit 451 The most popular: Fahrenheit 451


A Long Haul: The Journal Of A Serial Killer The least popular: A Long Haul: The Journal of a Serial Killer (which I only gave 2 stars...hey it was a freebie!)


Final count as of today:


67 of the books were 5 stars

79 of the books were 4 stars

84 of the books were 3 stars

24 of the books were 2 stars

13 of the books were 1 stars


and 5 of them I DNF'd.


Not a bad year! Here's looking at 2016!!

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