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review 2017-02-22 11:53
Confrontation with the mages brings death and more betrayal
Birthright Volume 4: Family History - Joshua Williamson


This collection continues the story of Mikey, kidnapped a a boy to Terrenos and now returned as a fierce warrior. This volume deals with the battle between the mages and Mikey with his allies. With quite a lot of bloodshed and death, this volume carries on this exciting story with the end in sight

Engaging and well-written, this series is well-illustrated and entertaining. Hopefully the next volume will bring everything to a satisfactory conclusion: I don't like series to drag on forever.


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review 2015-10-18 20:26
A Pea Coat Goes Home by Les Rolston
A Pea Coat Goes Home - Les Rolston,Gary A Mason,Revival Waves of Glory Books & Publishing

This is the true story about a coat, the author (Les) and his father (Ken). Les discovered the coat in the attic when he was 6. Even then, he was drawn to it. By the 9th grade, Les was wearing it to and from school until he grew too big to fit into it. This Navy pea coat became a touchstone for Les, who delved into family history.

Ken’s father (Earl) was a dairy farmer and, Ken felt his job choices were limited since he lacked a high school education. He joined the Navy and made it through WWII. Les retells his father’s tales of his time in the military, both the good and the bad. It’s a refreshing look at WWII times without being overly dramatic or glorifying the cost of the war in body counts.

Ken met Les’s mother while on leave but they didn’t tie the knot until near the end of the war. Les grew up in a three-generation household, and his strong sense of family ties comes through clearly in this story. The women are mentioned in passing in this tale (and, of course, I would have liked to know a bit more about them) but this is, after all, primarily a tale about Les and his father and the sharing of family history.

I enjoyed this short non-fiction work. It felt like a touching story instead of dry, dusty history being told in a monotone voice. Both Les and Ken exhibit feelings through out the retelling of war tales. The pea coat is now part of a museum and that seems a very fitting end for it.

I received a copy of this book from the narrator at no cost (via theGoodReads Audiobooks Group) in exchange for an honest review.

The Narration: Gary Mason did a pretty good job. While the narrative didn’t call for many character voices, Mason used a story-teller voice to full effect. When Les or Ken exhibited emotion, Mason did a good job of getting those emotions across to the listener. My one criticism is that the production sounds a little tinny. It is consistent throughout, so after a few minutes it is easy to tune out.

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review 2014-09-26 14:34
Overall a good first novel
Home Leave: A Novel - Brittani Sonnenberg

Chris and Elise are a couple who eventually marry and become a family, with daughters Leah and Sophie. They travel around the world due to Chris's job, where every 3-5 or so years they pick up and move to a new place. Singapore. London. And more.


The book follows their story (starting out with a POV from the house Elise grew up in), from the young and in love couple Chris and Elise, to the new parents, to their lives as a foursome family, each time moving to a new place, making new friends, adjusting to a new life. All the while dealing with what most other families deal with: Chris's travels, Elise's eventual restlessness, Leah and Sophie as children and young teenagers.


However, tragedy strikes and the family must deal with the aftermath and the consequences. We follow them after the tragedy and see how they have changed and how they comes to terms with it (or not).


Initially I was totally hooked by reading some of Elise's and her parents'/siblings' backstories via the house she grew up in. I know some books take on unusual narrators (Death in The Book Thief, for example), and I thought it worked quite well here. It was very intriguing. What does a "house" think and feel? And for some reason I was under the impression the house would be doing the narrating (maybe it is), but I wished the author had stuck with that, although it wouldn't have been possible without changing the story quite a bit.


However, towards the end the book really sags. From the house to third person to using the royal "We" was a problem (I didn't care for that change in style to using the "we"), and as there is no real "conflict" there's nothing that really gets resolved. I realize it's the story of a family and often there is no resolution, but it seemed like the author ran out of gas.


But overall it flowed very quickly and well and it was a page turner for me. It's the author's debut and I think I'll keep an eye out for her next work. Worth picking up for an airplane ride.

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review 2014-04-23 15:30
Lovely, lovely treat
Chasing the Rose: An Adventure in the Venetian Countryside - Andrea Di Robilant

It’s no exaggeration to say this is a lovely little book, evoking the heady scents and exquisite colors of antique roses as the author recounts his quest to learn the identity of the delicate pink rose, smelling of raspberries and peaches, that grows wild all over his family’s now abandoned country estate near Venice. That rose was brought to Italy from France by the author’s great-great-great-great grandmother, though the rose’s original ancestry is in China.


His grandmother got her interest in roses from Josephine Bonaparte, a dear friend, and the book is rich with fascinating rose related history stories about Josephine and other rose aficionados from 18th and 19th century Europe, a time when collectors roamed the world looking for the loveliest flowers. Readers are also introduced to Eleonora Garlant and her husband Vincent, a charming Italian couple who are spending their retirement tending to the thousands of rose varieties they have planted on their property.


I read an advanced review copy of this book so the illustrations, while beautiful, are black and white, but in the book for sale the watercolor sketches will be in full color and that should be breathtaking. The author has also written several other books including Lucia: A Venetian Life in the Age of Napoleon , a biography of his great-great-great-great grandmother, which based on what I learned of her in this volume I am eager to read.


Source: jaylia3.booklikes.com/post/862592/lovely-lovely-treat
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url 2013-09-23 13:53
Moultrie Creek Books

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A family history bookstore, Moultrie Creek Books has collected the best genealogy research and reference books as well as a growing number of self-published family histories. 

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