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Search tags: i-got-it-from-the-library
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review 2017-06-24 04:24
The Alice Network by Kate Quinn
The Alice Network - Kate Quinn

Best book I have read all year and quite possibly my favorite Quinn novel yet. This book proves Quinn can bring any era to life with characters who you will find yourself crying over when it is all said and done. Seriously, I need to go find a corner to curl up in now. I just don't know what to do with myself now that there is no more. Maybe if I go to bed early enough I will dream of Finn *sigh*

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review 2017-05-15 14:55
A Friend of Mr. Lincoln
A Friend of Mr. Lincoln: A novel - Stephen Harrigan

According to the reviews, it seems I am one of only a few people who did not care for this book. 

 

Maybe it's because I'm just not all that interested in American history. As an American, I'm much more worried about how people are going to study current events under the historical microscope. I don't know much about the warring Whigs and Democrats of the 1800s. I learned the basics in school but still relied on Google to fill in the blanks. 

 

Lack of historical knowledge aside, I was bored. Cage just seemed to wander through life. He was a writer who didn't really write. He had money but I never felt like I figured out where it really came from. The few business investments he had didn't seem like enough to justify his days of sitting around general stores discussing politics. The author spent 80% of the book dealing with Lincoln's time in Illinois before he married Mary Todd and then crammed the events of the Donner party (which Cage was conveniently a member of) and the Civil War into what felt like 20 pages. And, oh by the way, Lincoln's a Republican now. There are no more Whigs. Wait? What? Apparently the author is going to assume my 7th grade American History class got that involved in what happened there. For a book that was suppose to be an in-depth look at how Lincoln became the president we all know and admire, I never once got a sense that Lincoln was going to be Lincoln. 

 

If not for Book-oply, I would have never ever picked up this book. On to the next roll! 

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text 2017-04-25 16:19
Reading progress update: I've read 5%.
A Friend of Mr. Lincoln: A novel - Stephen Harrigan

American history really isn't my thing. I live here. I see it all the time. It's just not as interesting as the scandal of the Tudors. Unfortunately, I think somewhere down the line, my great-grandchildren my view this current blip of American history as horribly scandalous and fascinating for all the wrong reasons. 

 

Anyway, I needed a book about an American politician or the Civil War for Book-oploy. I don't own any books that fit that criteria. I don't have time to get to the library this week so I will have to settle for an eBook loan. The only other book the library had available is not in  the Booklikes database. So by process of elimination, this is the book I'm reading. Let's see how this goes. 

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review 2017-03-20 16:34
The Botticelli Secret- Marina Fiorato
The Botticelli Secret - Marina Fiorato

I really wanted to like this book. I really did. If I hadn't committed myself to reading this book for Historical Mystery Monopoly, I would have given up about half way in. I had promised myself this was going to be the year I worked on my inability to put aside books that don't hold my interest. In my defense, this is really the first book I've read all year that I finished while wondering why I continued to torture myself. 

 

I've seen so many other reviews that paint the protagonist, Luciana, as some sort of wondrous heroine and a breath of fresh air. I even read reviews that applauded her constant desire for sex as honest and welcoming. Maybe I read a different book. The Luciana I saw was a brainless, silly girl. She had to be completely brainless to allow for Brother Guido to step in and throw countless, drawn out information drops and conspiracy theories at the reader. 

 

I will give the author credit for her research and creativity. The plot is creative. The theory surrounding Botticelli's secret message within the painting is nothing short of brilliant. However, the reader never really gets a chance to feel like they are knee deep in some sort of Renaissance Dan Brown concoction. Before you have a chance to work things out on your own, Brother Guido is off on yet another boring monologue, spoon-feeding the reader everything.    

 

This review may come off to some as a little harsh and it probably is. I feel my disappointment with the novel matches the tone of my review. The Medici family by itself is fascinating enough on its own. Throw in the constant plotting by the church and various other Italian families against the Medici and you have enough intrigue to fill a library. (Side note: This is exactly what makes me such a huge fan of Ezio Auditore and the Assassin's Creed games) This book offered me none of the atmosphere of intrigue and scandal I am accustomed to when it comes to Renaissance Italy. 

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text 2017-03-10 04:37
Reading progress update: I've read 256 out of 514 pages.
The Botticelli Secret - Marina Fiorato

I love that the sole reason for Luciana's lack of brains is to provide Guido with the opportunity to supply the reader with unnecessary information dumps. 

 

If nothing else after reading, I will know how to count to three in Italian.

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