Posts Tagged books

Cleopatra VII: Daughter Of The Nile

Cleopatra VII: Daughter of the Nile, 57 B.C. (The Royal Diaries)

Author: Kristiana Gregory 

Genre: Tween

My rating on a 1 – 10 scale: 8

Type: Historical Fiction

Time Period: Ancient

Main Characters: Cleopatra

My Review:  This is my favorite Royal Diary.  It starts with Cleopatra recording her worries that her evil sister Tryphena will have her killed since her father has gone into hiding.  The book continues along at a swift pace from Cleopatra’s escape to Rome with her father, to her account of staying a seaside villa, to their triumphant return to Alexandria.  This book is one of the best Royal Diaries written.

My Overall Opinion:  As I said above, this is my favorite Royal Diary.  It was the first one I’ve read and I’ve read it several times after that.  I would recommend this book to any girl.


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Keeping Secrets

Keeping Secrets

Author: Maggie Dana

Genre: Tween

My rating on a 1 – 10 scale: 8

Type: Fiction

Time Period: Modern

Main Characters: Kate, Holly, Angela

My Review:  Kate Macgregor feels responsible for the death of a beautiful sports horse.  When her new job includes horses, she panics.  She doesn’t want anyone to know her secret but she confides to her best friend, Holly, who was disabled in a driving accident.  When Angela finds out, what will Kate do?  

My Overall Opinion:  I really enjoyed reading this book.  It has twists and turns and surprises throughout.  I would highly recommend this to horse crazy girls, or anyone who likes a fast paced story with a good plot.


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Marie Antoinette: Princess of Versailles

The Royal Diaries: Marie Antoinette: Princess of Versailles, Austria-France, 1769

Author: Katherine Lasky

Genre: Tween

My rating on a 1 – 10 scale: 4

Type: Fictional diary/historical fiction

Time Period: 1700’s

Main Characters: Marie Antoinette 

My Review:  This Royal Diary is, in my opinion, one of the worse ones.  Marie seems very whiny and she’s bored all the time.  I did find her descriptions of Versailles life interesting, but not enormously so.  

My overall opinion:   This Royal Diary is definitely not one of my favorites.  I would probably not recommend it.

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Isabel: Jewel of Castilla

Isabel: Jewel of Castilla, Spain, 1466 (The Royal Diaries)

Author: Carolyn Meyer

Genre: Tween

My rating on a 1 – 10 scale: 8

Type: Fictional diary/historical fiction

Time Period: 1400’s

Main Characters: Isabel

My Review:  This is my favorite Royal Diary.  One of the reasons is that the princess married for love and really did live happily ever after with her prince.  Isabel is in constant fear of being married off to men several times her age.  Her ladies-in-waiting rally around her, giving her their support, but what can she do?  Then, with the help of Bishop Carillo, she concocts a daring plan which just might get her married to a handsome, dashing prince.  Will she succeed, or will her brother stand in her way?

My overall opinion:   I really enjoyed reading this Royal Diary and would highly recommend it to any girl.

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Literary Heroine Blog Event

Kellie at Accordion to Kellie is hosting a Literary Heroine Blog Party.  It’s taken me forever to get all the questions answered but here it is.  Hope you enjoy reading this.

What, to you, forms the essence of a true heroine?

A girl who isn’t afraid to speak her mind…a true lady, sweet and kind but with spirit.

Share (up to) four heroines of literature that you most admire and relate to. 
Elinor Dashwood (Sense and Sensibility) – I don’t think I can ever match up to Elinor but I admire her very much and I think that I’m the most level-headed of my siblings.
Amy Dorrit (Little Dorrit) – What’s not to like about Amy?  She sweet and steadfast and so many other good qualities.
Jane Eyre (Jane Eyre) – I like Jane.  She’s not the typical, ultra-pretty heroine.  I like her very much.
Estella Havisham (Great Expectations) – I don’t exactly admire Estella and I hope that I don’t relate to her but I like her anyway despite the way she treats Pip.  Besides, if you have someone like Miss Havisham taking care of you, how are you expected to turn out?

Five of your favorite historical novels?

Mansfield Park (Jane Austen)
Jane Eyre (Charlotte Brontë)
Great Expectations (Charles Dickens)
Little Dorrit (Charles Dickens)
Emma (Jane Austen)
Out of those five books who is your favorite main character and why?
Amy Dorrit – see above
Out of those five books who is your favorite secondary character and why?
Jane Fairfax – elegant and refined.
If you were to plan out your dream vacation, where would you travel to – and what would you plan to do there? 
I’d travel to England to a little village called Chawton and visit the Jane Austen museum.

What is your favorite time period and culture to read about? 

Regency England wins hands down.

You have been invited to perform at the local charity concert. Singing, comedy, recitation – what is your act comprised of?

I hate performing in public so I’d probably turn down the invitation. 

If you were to attend a party where each guest was to portray a heroine of literature, who would you select to represent? 

Catherine Morland.

What are your sentiments on the subject of chocolate? 

Wonderful!  Milk chocolate (especially Galaxy ©) is my favorite but I also like dark if it isn’t too dark.

Favorite author(s)? 

Jane Austen
Charles Dickens
Charlotte Brontë
Amanda Grange
Those are just a few of my favorites.

Besides essentials, what would you take on a visiting voyage to a foreign land?

My set of Jane Austen novels

My Jane Austen Anthology – Jane Austen Made Me Do It

My writing notebook

In which century were most of the books you read written? 


In your opinion, the ultimate hero in literature is…

Elinor Dashwood
Describe your ideal dwelling place. 

Where I’m living now…it’s a secret…

Sum up your fashion style in five words.

Tailored.  Simple.  Mix-and-Match.  Purple.  Denim.

Have you ever wanted to change a character’s name?


In your opinion, the most dastardly villain of all literature is… 

Riguad, Blandois…Whatever you want to call him.

Three favorite Non-fiction books?

Jane Austen: A Celebration of her Life and Works

Spirit of the Horse

The Jane Austen Handbook

Your duties met for the day, how would you choose to spend a carefree summer afternoon?

Writing and listening to beautiful music.

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What I’m Reading

Bleak House (Illustrated + FREE audiobook link + Active TOC)

I guess this is becoming a regular thing – posting what I’m currently reading.

I finished Jane Eyre in two days.  I couldn’t keep away from it.  It’s a fabulous book and I’ll definitely be re-reading it in the near future.  Anyway, I’m reading Bleak House at the moment.  I find it somewhat hard to understand but I’m keeping at it and it’s bound to get better soon.

Have you ever read Bleak House?  Would you recommend it?  Would you recommend the 2005 miniseries?  Let me know your thoughts.

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What I’m Reading

Jane Eyre (Barnes & Noble Leatherbound Classics Series)

I’m currently reading Jane Eyre and I’m really enjoying it.

I probably won’t be posting a review when I’m finished it, because I can never find the right words to describe great classics.  Just read the book for yourself if you want to see what it’s about.

By the way, I reading a lot of classics these days and I have several books on my TBR shelf.  The include – Bleak House, The Olde Curiosity Shoppe, Persuasion, and Charity Girl (By Georgette Heyer.  It will be the first book of hers I’ve read.) 

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Author: Xaviére Devos

Genre: Children

My rating on a 1 – 10 scale: 10

Type: Picture Book

Time Period: Modern

Main Characters: Pippin

My Review:  I just finished reading a book to my four-year-old son and had to put up a review.  Pippin has everything a kitten could ever want.  Of course, his mama might not always want to wait for him, and his papa may need to wait until later to do something with Pippin, but they do love him.  Pippin’s only concern is that he can’t purr.  Who will teach him?  How can he learn this important cat skill?  

My overall opinion:  This is a sweet story that children will enjoy listening to and will remind all mamas and papas everywhere to slow down to “kitten” time in our crazy rushed world.

This post was written by Jennifer.

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Behind The Personality

Behind the Personality Story

Author: Florence Littauer

Genre: Autobiography

My rating on a 1 – 10 scale: 7

Type: Life

Time Period: Modern

Main Characters: Florence Littauer

My Review:  I usually don’t review books of this type, but I recently read it and since it’s my blog I decided to review it.  Behind The Personality tells Florence Littaur’s (the “Silver Boxes” lady).  It tells how she started out quite poor and worked her way to becoming an inspirational and talented speaker.

My overall opinion:  This book was an interesting and enjoyable read.  I would recommend it to anyone who likes reading Christian autobiographies.  

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Little Dorrit

Little Dorrit with illustrations

Author: Charles Dickens

Genre: Historical

My rating on a 1 – 10 scale: 10

Type: Classic

Time Period: Victorian

Main Characters: Little Dorrit, Arthur Clennam

My Review:  Little Dorrit lives in debtors prison with her father.  When an unexpected find brings them unexpected riches, will it become a blessing or a curse?

My overall opinion:  The reason I did such a short review is because I honestly can’t find words to describe this book.  I recently watched Little Dorrit 2008 and I like the book even better.  This book is a great read, although quite long.

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The Guardian Duke – Review and Giveaway

Author: Jamie Carie

Genre: Christian Historical Fiction

My rating on a 1 – 10 scale: 8

Type: Romance

Time Period: Regency

Main Characters: Alexandria Featherstone, Gabriel

My Review:  Duke Gabriel and Lady Alexandria Featherstone only know each through writing letters.  When Alexandria sets off on a dangerous quest to find her parents, her guardian, the Duke follows, trying to protect her.  But somehow, he is always one step behind.  This thrilling adventure/mystery is a must-read

My overall opinion:  This book is definitely on my favorites list.  I like the adventure and the characters and I would recommend it to anyone.

By sure to watch the live-action trailer for this book here.

A little bit about the author:

When she was six, Jamie’s parents met Jesus and soon after started a church. It changed everything.

Road trips with her dad—to and from Bible studies across Indiana—were filled with talks of things beyond earth’s bounds – creation and the fall, God and Jesus and the rapture, the earthly walk compared to the spiritual walk, and how we are born for more than what we can see or touch.

The highlight of those nights was stopping at a truck stop in the middle of the night where her dad would spend a little of the offering basket on two slices of pie and a couple of Cokes. Nothing ever felt so special as a middle of the night slice of pie with her dad. And nothing could stop the writing pouring out of her.

As Jamie’s relationship with God grew, she discovered her heart was filled with songs and poetry. During high school she wrote lyrics for her brother’s band. (And she sang them too!) After college, Jamie married, had two sons and decided to stay home with them. While she homeschooled she wrote skits, poems, plays and short stories for school and church.
When her eldest son turned five she dove into the world of novels. She’d read romance novels for years, but couldn’t relate to the flawless, saintly heroines in Christian romance novels. So she decided to write her own.

Snow Angel was born on a frosty night in an old farmhouse in Fishers, Indiana, where the cold floor gave plenty of motivation for the snow scene. Jamie loves to write late at night when the house is quiet and the darkness seems alive. Elizabeth and Noah had been playacting in herhead for a long time, so the story went fast.
Ten years later Snow Angel was published and won the ForeWord magazine Romance Book of the Year winner, was a National “Best Books 2007” Awards winner, and a 2008 RITA Awards® Best First Book finalist. It was the beginning of her dream career.

Jamie and her husband Tony have been married for twenty-one years and live in Indianapolis with their three sons and a giant of a dog named Leo.

If she could only say one thing to her readers it would be, “Live the dreams God has destined you for!”

Giveaway Rules:

For a mandatory entry you must leave a comment on this post.  The extra entries detailed below do not have to be completed in order to enter, but they will increase your chances of winning.  Giveaway ends March 15, 2012.  This means you can no longer enter.  This contest is open to residents of Canada and the U.S.A. only.
  1. Subscribe to this blog.  (If you have already done so, put up an extra comment telling me, or else it won’t count.)
  2. Subscribe to my writing blog.  (If you have already done so, put up an extra comment telling me, or else it won’t count.)
  3. Like this blog’s Facebook page.
  4. Like the Guardian Duke page on Facebook.
  5. Share the link to this giveaway on Facebook.
  6. Tweet about this giveaway on Twitter.
  7. Post about this giveaway on your blog/website.  When you comment for this extra entry, include the link.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

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October Song

October Song

Author: Beverly Lewis

Genre: Amish Fiction

My rating on a 1 – 10 scale: 7

Type: Christian Fiction

Time Period: Modern

Main Characters: Katie, Daniel, Sarah, and lots of others

My Review: I enjoyed reading October Song because it included sequels to two of the books/series I’ve read – The Redemption of Sarah Cain and The Heritage of Lancaster County series.  My favorite part of the book (there are three parts) was probably the first one – Hickory Hollow.  I also enjoyed the last section, a sequel to The Redemption of Sarah Cain, but I skipped the middle part because I had not read the book(s) it was a sequel to.

My overall opinion:  A great read for anyone who has read and enjoyed B.L.’s works should read this.  However, if you have not read the books they are a sequel to, I suggest you read the originals first.

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What I’m Reading

Little Dorrit with illustrations

After watching the wonderful Little Dorrit 2008 miniseries, I resolved to read the book.  I had heard such good reviews of it from other bloggers and so far I’ve not been disappointed.  It’s a very interesting book.  When I’m done it, I will definitely post a review.

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Another Charles Dickens Birthday Week Tag!

All these wonderful CD birthday celebrations!  This one is hosted by Alexandra of Of Trims and Frills and Furbelows.

1.       How were you first introduced to Dickens?  Watching the old black and white A Christmas Carol was my first introduction to Dickens.  This year is the first year I’ve ever read an unabridged copy of one of his books.

2.       Which is your favorite Dickens novel?  Little Dorrit

3.       How many Dickens adaptations have you seen?  2008 Little Dorrit, The black and white version of A Christmas Carol, and a musical Oliver Twist 

4.       Which Dickens adaptation is your favorite?  2008 Little Dorrit wins hands down

5.       Have you seen multiple versions of A Christmas Carol? Which version is your favorite?  I’ve only seen the black and white version.  I kind of like it

6.       Who is your favorite Dickens hero and (if applicable) who does your favorite portrayal of him?  Arthur Clenam.  I’ve only seen him played by Matthew Macfayden but I think he does a really good job

7.       Who is your favorite Dickens heroine and (if applicable) who does your favorite portrayal of her?  Amy Dorrit (do you see a theme here).  I’ve only seen Claire Foy’s portrayal but she did an excellent job.

8.       Who is your favorite Dickens villain and (if applicable) who does your favorite portrayal of them?  How can you have a ‘favorite’ villain?  Fagin would probably win out…

9.       Have you seen any musical adaptations of any of Dickens’ stories? If so, which is your favorite song from it?  I’ve seen the Oliver Twist musical – my favorite song is Who Will Buy?

10.   Do you have a favorite Dickens quote? If so, what is it?  

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to Heaven, we were all going direct the other way—in short, the period was so far like the present period, that some of its noisiest authorities insisted on its being received, for good or for evil, in the superlative degree of comparison only.
~~A Tale of Two Cities
Thanks for reading!


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Oliver Twist

Oliver Twist (Barnes & Noble Classics Series)

Author: Charles Dickens

Genre: Classic

My rating on a 1 – 10 scale: 7

Type: Down-to-earth

Time Period: Mid-1800′s

Main Characters: Oliver Twist, Fagin

My Review: I enjoyed reading Oliver Twist for the Charles Dickens Reading Challenge.  Oliver Twist is a young orphan who, after running away from his cruel master finds himself in London.  He is taken in by a pack of thieves who try to make him steal.  But Oliver refuses to do their bidding…This story of good triumphing over evil makes for a fascinating read.

My overall opinion:  I was surprised at how easy Oliver Twist was to understand.  I thoroughly enjoyed reading it but for one thing…Charles Dickens seems quite anti-Jewish and constantly referred to Fagin as ‘the Jew’.  But other than that, it was an interesting read.

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Sense and Sensibilty

Sense and Sensibility

Sense and Sensibility is a story about two girls – Elinor (sense) and Marianne (sensibility).  When they move to Barton cottage with their mother, Marianne is swept off her feet by a dashing stranger, Willoughby.  Meanwhile, Elinor must mask the love she feels for Edward Ferrars because it is impossible for them to marry.  When Willoughby leaves suddenly, Marianne is heartbroken and succumbs to her ‘sensibility.’  How the two sisters find their own true loves makes and interesting and enjoyable read for anyone.

Sense and Sensibility

This S and S graphic novel is not the best Jane Austen graphic novel I have seen.  On one hand, it stays true to the book – often directly quoting it in places.  On the other hand, the artwork is atrocious.  The characters heads swell out of proportion with warning, Elinor is unattractive to say the least, and the overall appearance is quite shabby.  However, it did follow the book closely.

Colonel Brandon's Diary

I love Colonel Brandon’s Diary by Amanda Grange.  I have read all her ‘diaries’ except Henry Tilney’s and this one is the best one.  It goes far back into Colonel Brandon’s life and recounts how he fell in love with the first Eliza, lost her, found her, and how he took care of her daughter when she died.  It tells the story of S and S skillfully and believably.  I love reading this book over and over again.

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Emma Watson: The Watsons Completed

Emma Watson: The Watsons Completed

Author: Joan Aiken

Genre: Regency Romance

My rating on a 1 – 10 scale: 8

Type: Romance

Time Period: Early 1800’s

Main Characters: Emma Watson

My Review: In this interesting and skillful completion of Jane Austen’s literary fragment, The Watsons, Joan Aiken brings again to life the trials and troubles of Emma Watson and her family members.  I was happily surprised at how easily the story blended right into The Watsons.  Emma Watson is palmed off to several family members after her father dies.  Where will she fit in?

My overall opinion:  An entertaining read with a surprising ending.

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2012 Charles Dickens Reading Challenge

Miss Abby from Newly Impassioned Soul is hosting a Charles Dickens Reading Challenge since 2012 is the 200th anniversary of his birth.  She challenges you to read 3, 5, or 10 of Dickens’ books.  I have decided to read five books seeing as I am only just now being introduced to his work.

1.  Oliver Twist – I’ve already started reading this and it is really interesting.

Oliver Twist (Barnes & Noble Classics Series)

2.  Great Expectations – I’ve read an abridged version of this novel and I enjoyed it so I think it’s time I read the full version.

Great Expectations (Barnes & Noble Classics Series)

3.  Little Dorrit – I am going to be watching the miniseries in a few days, so I thought I should read the book too.

Little Dorrit

4.  The Olde Curiosity Shop – I’ve heard of this book and it sounded interesting.

The Old Curiosity Shop

5.  Our Mutual Friend – This is my mom’s favorite Dickens so I want to see for myself what it’s like.

Our Mutual Friend (Dodo Press)

I hope that you will join the challenge – Dickens’ books are well worth it.  

For more info on Dickens’ 200th birthday check this website.

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What Jane Austen Ate and Charles Dickens Knew

Sorry it's blurry

Author: Daniel Pool

Genre: ?

My rating on a 1 – 10 scale: 8

Type: Non-fiction

Time Period: A book about the Regency and Georgian Period

Main Characters: None

My Review: What Jane Austen Ate… is a comprehensive guide to all the puzzling factors of the Regency and Georgian Periods.  What does ‘franking’ mean?  How were you to address the King’s children?  What was the etiquette of calling cards?  This books offers these answers and many more.  A great book for any fan of those time periods.

My overall opinion:  I enjoyed reading this book.  It gives information in an interesting way and I would recommend it to anyone.

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Lady Vernon and Her Daughter

Lady Vernon and Her Daughter: A Jane Austen Novel

Author: Jane Rubino and Caitlen Rubino-Bradway

Genre: Novel

My rating on a 1 – 10 scale: 5

Type: Historical Fiction

Time Period: Late 1700’s 

Main Characters: Lady Vernon, Miss Vernon

My Review: I recently read Lady Susan by Jane Austen, so I borrowed this book from the library.  Even in it’s letter form, Lady Susan had been entertaining, so I had high hopes for this book.  Boring.  I got through the first twenty chapters to where it really starts following the book (the other chapters had been background).  I did like the middle, then it got boring again, and then the last few chapters were interesting.  They included letters throughout the book – some from Lady Susan, others that weren’t.  If you are a die-hard Austen fan and you have lots of time on your hands, this book is for you.  Includes excerpts from Lady Susan.  I’m reading a continuation of The Watsons right now, and I hope to give it a more favorable report.  

My overall opinion:  A (in my opinion) bit boring.  I probably won’t read it again, but it was interesting enough.

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