Shelley G. (ssgilby) - , - Reviews

1 to 20 of 20
Aztec (Aztec, Bk 1)
Aztec (Aztec, Bk 1)
Author: Gary Jennings
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4.1/5 Stars.
 32
Review Date: 3/3/2010


Truly an amazing, wonderful book! I laughed, I cried, I was shocked and offended, outraged and enchanted. I learned something and was thoroughly entertained the entire time. This book is not for the feint of heart! You get incest, rape and all sorts of sex. There's cannibalism, pagan rituals, human sacrifice, and all sorts of violence and gore. You also get beautiful storytelling and moments of magic, tenderness and wonder. The utter destruction of the Aztec (Mexica) people by Hernan Cortes and his fellow Spaniards was a tragic, sad waste. Yet another dark chapter in the history of the world. The main character is wonderful. Truly an amazing man. I cannot recommend this book highly enough. It is one of the best books I have ever read. Pick it up if you're up for an amazing adventure.


Beneath a Marble Sky
Beneath a Marble Sky
Author: John Shors
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4/5 Stars.
 181
Review Date: 9/2/2008
Helpful Score: 2


I liked this book, although I didn't love it as many people seem to. I'm not quite sure what it was lacking for me. Strangely, I never fell in love with the main character, Jahanara. I think it's a decent read, just not one of my all-time faves.


Bound
Bound
Author: Sally Gunning
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4/5 Stars.
 27
Review Date: 2/9/2014


This is actually the second book in the 2-book series. The first being "The Widow's War." Not knowing that, I read "Bound" first. I then read TWW. I liked it that way. Not knowing the "story behind the story" or the history of the other characters, I was more in Alice's (the main character of "Bound")position, and I think had I known the story of Widow Berry and Freeman, "Bound" would've been more predictable.

I liked "Bound" despite not really liking Alice. I felt sorry for her, and given the mostly unhappy life she had lead and her youth, I could understand some of the choices she made. However, I just got frustrated with her for not waking up and coming to accept the love and acceptance she had found. I ended up not really liking her very much, although she is not an entirely unlikeable character. She redeemed herself in the end.

All in all, a well-written book which I enjoyed reading.


Christ the Lord - The Road to Cana
Christ the Lord - The Road to Cana
Author: Anne Rice
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4.3/5 Stars.
 4
Review Date: 4/19/2009


I liked this book a lot. It's the second in Anne Rice's biblical fiction series on the life of Jesus. I found the first book, "Christ the Lord: Out of Egypt" just okay. It was a tad tedious and boring in parts, although it picked up toward the end. "The Road to Cana" I found much more interesting. "Out of Egypt" covers Jesus' childhood through the age of 12 or so, when Jesus learns of his auspicious birth, the events surrounding it and realizes his divinity. "The Road to Cana" begins with Jesus as a man around 30, working with his brothers as a carpenter in Nazarath. I thought Anne Rice did a good job of portraying both Jesus' divinity and his humanity - and how he came to fully acknowledge his divinty and reconcile his divine nature with his very human nature. Some of the events included in the book are Jesus' baptism by his cousin, John the Baptist, his 40 days of wandering the desert and his temptation, his exorcising of Mary Magdalene, the gathering of his disciples and the turning of the water to wine at the wedding in Cana. It's a good read, and fairly quick. I thought Anne portrayed a lot of meaning, without getting too overly philosphically deep. I'm looking forward to the next book in the series.


City of Thieves
City of Thieves
Author: David Benioff
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4.2/5 Stars.
 212
Review Date: 2/27/2013
Helpful Score: 1


This book is fabulous! I listened to it on audio, and the narrator, Ron Perlman, does a terrific job. You get the Russian and Jewish accents, and his delivery is pretty low-key and not overly emotional, which is perfect for the book. It's a bleak setting (Russia during the German siege of WWII) with not a lot of good things happening, but the author manages to make it a very charming story about friendship, sacrifice and coming of age with a dark comedy element. I absolutely loved it!


Company of Liars
Company of Liars
Author: Karen Maitland
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 4.2/5 Stars.
 20
Review Date: 9/30/2009
Helpful Score: 3


This was an excellent book. Set in 14th century England, a band of rag tag people end up traveling together to try to escape the Black Plague and their own pasts. Each member of the group has a secret. One by one, the secrets are revealed. Dark and compelling, this book kept me totally engrossed. Highly recommended.


Eat, Pray, Love: One Woman's Search for Everything Across Italy, India and Indonesia
Review Date: 5/8/2008


Wow! Harsh reviews, but not from me! I haven't even finished this book, but I feel compelled to review it. That's how much I love this book! I find it insightful, meaningful, entertaining, witty, just plain awesome! I can so identify with Elizabeth Gilbert. Regarding other reviews, I don't care if her trip was paid for or if some thought the ending was cliched or what Gilbert found and where. It was HER journey, not any of ours. This book makes me feel good!


Forever Amber
Forever Amber
Author: Kathleen Winsor
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4/5 Stars.
 65
Review Date: 9/1/2009
Helpful Score: 2


Great historical romance! The twist on this for me, and I think a lot of people, is that the main character is not necessarily likable. You may respect her for certain reasons and find yourself rooting for her at times, but she isn't the nicest person. Good (long) read that begs for a sequel, but I doubt we're going to get one! Definitely recommended for HF lovers - especially if you're interested in the Restoration period and King Charles II.


I, Elizabeth
I, Elizabeth
Author: Rosalind Miles
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.7/5 Stars.
 149
Review Date: 10/11/2009
Helpful Score: 1


Excellent book! Very entertaining. Since it's written as an "autobiography," it obviously has a "pro-Elizabeth" slant, but I think the author did a very good job of presenting Elizabeth as very human. Truly a remarkable woman, yet far from perfect. The voice the author gives to Elizabeth is wonderful. Highly recommended!


An Instance of the Fingerpost
An Instance of the Fingerpost
Author: Iain Pears
Book Type: Mass Market Paperback
  • Currently 3.8/5 Stars.
 96
Review Date: 12/4/2008
Helpful Score: 6


This is a really excellent read! The writing style is tough, but if you can get through it, you'll be in for a treat! I didn't like many of the characters in the book either, but I was so sucked in, there was no way I was going to stop reading it. With each character's version of the story, more truth is revealed and more mystery added! The author really was masterful with this book. The ending is excellent! I don't usually re-read books, but I may go back to this book again someday. I think knowing the ending, it would be fun to go back through it and miss all the "fingerposts" along the way!


Life of Pi
Life of Pi
Author: Yann Martel
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.7/5 Stars.
 3367
Review Date: 9/25/2009
Helpful Score: 1


I absolutely loved this book. Such a compelling read, and the messages it contains on life, survival, spirituality, belief, nature, and human nature I found beautiful. The "twist" at the end really got me. Now I want to re-read the book. I think knowing the ending I would get more out of it the second time. It makes you think. I closed the book and sat and just thought about it for a long time. I had to come to my own conclusion about the "island," and I think I did! Now I'm waiting for my husband to read it so we can discuss it. Great, great read!


Lords of the North (The Saxon Chronicles Series #3) (Large Print)
Lords of the North (The Saxon Chronicles Series #3) (Large Print)
Author: Bernard Cornwell
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4.4/5 Stars.
 10
Review Date: 8/19/2008


Awesome book! The best in a series of awesome books!


Mary, Called Magdalene
Mary, Called Magdalene
Author: Margaret George
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 3.9/5 Stars.
 28
Review Date: 10/27/2008
Helpful Score: 2


I really enjoyed this book. A nice take on the mysterious life of Mary Magdalene. Easy reading and very entertaining.


The Night Birds
The Night Birds
Author: Thomas Maltman
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.9/5 Stars.
 7
Review Date: 10/21/2009
Helpful Score: 2


Really excellent book set in the mid-late 1800s in Minnesota. It tells the story, through the eyes of German immigrants, of the Sioux Uprising (Dakota Conflict) of 1862. The story alternates between a young boy, who tells the story from the aftermath of the Uprising on, and his ancestors (particularly his aunt) who tell the story from before, during and immediately after the conflict. Interesting, yet sad. I good read especially for those like me from Minnesota. It gave me some background on an incident from my home state I knew very little about.


The Other Boleyn Girl
The Other Boleyn Girl
Author: Philippa Gregory
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4.1/5 Stars.
 2783
Review Date: 5/8/2008
Helpful Score: 2


My first foray into historical fiction! Loved it! Very intriguing. I know the author took great liberties with the details, but I don't care! I was highly entertained, and now I am obsessed with Henry VIII and his wives! Yeah, a little "trashy," and was Anne Boleyn really that over-the-top mad for power? Probably not, but it made the book very entertaining. I will definitely be reading more from Philippa Gregory.


The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane
The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane
Author: Katherine Howe
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 3.9/5 Stars.
 301
Review Date: 12/27/2009
Helpful Score: 1


I'm probably in the minority, but I wasn't keen on this one. I found it a bit boring, and I didn't like the way it switched back and forth between the present day main character and the main characters of the past. I typically don't like that in a book, so that's what was most likely the deal breaker for me. I would've preferred that the story just stayed in the past. I think that would've had more potential - to follow the line of these women for a couple of hundred years and stopped around 1800. Guess that's why I primarily read historical fiction! I also didn't like the "fantastical" element at the end. It's not a horrible book. It just wasn't really for me. I was just "eh" on it.


The Secret Magdalene: A Novel
The Secret Magdalene: A Novel
Author: Ki Longfellow
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.4/5 Stars.
 8
Review Date: 11/3/2008
Helpful Score: 1


I absolutely loved this book. It was a bit hard to get into, but once you start "getting" it, the author has a wonderful style. She really made me love Mariamne - who seemed to have a wonderful, dry sense of humour. The thoughts expressed in this book are so profound, and I found it to be a wonderful theory of the life of Mary Magdalene and what it may have been like to walk and talk with Jesus.


A Thousand Splendid Suns
A Thousand Splendid Suns
Author: Khaled Hosseini
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 4.3/5 Stars.
 1571
Review Date: 5/21/2008
Helpful Score: 1


Wow! This was a very powerful book! Depressing much of the time, and I spent many hours brooding over and worrying about poor Mariam and Laila. I shed many tears for them. I kept trying to tell myself that it was "just a book," but in reality I know that despite the fact that it is a fiction book, it is probably based on the stories of thousands and thousands of real Afghanistan women. Such harshness, such brutality. I don't think we in America can fully fathom the horrors these women face. This book provided me with a much-needed glimpse of life in Afghanistan during it's past 30-some turbulent, war-torn years.

Thankfully, the book ended with a ray of hope, and at the end, I cried tears of bittersweet joy for Laila and her family. It is a hard book to read, but one, I think, that must be read. Now I'm off to read the much-acclaimed Kite Runner.


The Widow's War (Satucket, Bk 1)
The Widow's War (Satucket, Bk 1)
Author: Sally Gunning
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4.1/5 Stars.
 67
Review Date: 2/9/2014


I liked this book a lot. It was well written - interesting but not overly verbose. I read the follow up book to this one, "Bound," first, and I think reading them out of order is nice. Not knowing the stories of the other main characters in "Bound," put me more in the position of Alice, the main character of "Bound." While reading "Bound," I was curious about Widow Berry and Freeman. The history of them is alluded to, explained to some extent but never totally set forth. "The Widow's War" fleshes out that story. I totally recommend reading these books out of order.


The Witching Hour (Mayfair Witches, Bk 1)
The Witching Hour (Mayfair Witches, Bk 1)
Author: Anne Rice
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 4.1/5 Stars.
 95
Review Date: 12/6/2008


I've read most of Anne Rice's books. She is one of my favorite authors, and this book, The Withing Hour, is my very favorite book of all time. I absolutely love it! In my opinion, it is storytelling at it's best - part fantasy (with the occult theme), part historical fiction, part modern day story with colorful characters aplenty. This book is just simply fabulous!


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