Katy (srfbluemama) - Reviews

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40,001 Best Baby Names
40,001 Best Baby Names
Author: Diane Stafford
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.8/5 Stars.
 29
Review Date: 3/18/2008


I liked this baby name book. The lists were fun to go through. Some of the names were weird, but I wanted to see a lot of options.


46 Pages: Thomas Paine, Common Sense, and the Turning Point to American Independence
Review Date: 5/11/2008


This book is an interesting look at Thomas Paine and one of the most important documents of Revolutionary America, Common Sense. It includes the full text of Common Sense at the end. Recommended!


American Cookery
American Cookery
Author: Laura Kalpakian
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.
 2
Review Date: 6/23/2009


This was a very enjoyable novel. I especially liked the recipes at the end of some of the chapters--it was such a unique and rich way to pull the story together. The author's strengths lie in her descriptions and character development. The stories were quite realistic, and I often found myself wondering if the locations and people in the story actually existed.


Angels & Demons (Robert Langdon, Bk 1)
Angels & Demons (Robert Langdon, Bk 1)
Author: Dan Brown
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4/5 Stars.
 299
Review Date: 8/23/2008
Helpful Score: 1


I had a little bit of a hard time getting into this book at first, but once the action started I was hooked! This was an enjoyable read--fast-paced and with unexpected twists--and I recommend it.


The Apothecary's Daughter
The Apothecary's Daughter
Author: Julie Klassen
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4.1/5 Stars.
 130
Review Date: 8/28/2009
Helpful Score: 1


I adored this book, I think partly because it was so reminiscent to Jane Austen, who I love. I was in complete suspense trying to figure out which man Lilly would ultimately end up with. It was a lovely read, and I'm so glad I picked it up.


Austenland
Austenland
Author: Shannon Hale
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 4/5 Stars.
 90
Review Date: 7/5/2009
Helpful Score: 1


I really enjoyed this book. It was light and easy, and fun to read. Who wouldn't like to spend some time in Regency England?


The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin with Related Documents
The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin with Related Documents
Author: Benjamin Franklin
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 2.7/5 Stars.
 6
Review Date: 6/28/2009


Ben Franklin is an interesting character. I never knew some of the less-than-sterling aspects of his life (like his losing a friendship because he made a move on his friend's girl), and was surprised that he included them in his autobiography. I found it a bit dry at times, but enjoyable nonetheless. What I like about this version of the Autobiography is that it has some really useful supplemental information included, which is quite helpful in explaining the unusual format of the autobiography.


Black Powder War (Temeraire, Bk 3)
Black Powder War (Temeraire, Bk 3)
Author: Naomi Novik
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4/5 Stars.
 151
Review Date: 7/15/2009


Another great book from Naomi Novik. This series is really creative and entertaining.


A Breath of Snow and Ashes (Outlander, Bk 6)
A Breath of Snow and Ashes (Outlander, Bk 6)
Author: Diana Gabaldon
Book Type: Mass Market Paperback
  • Currently 4.6/5 Stars.
 129
Review Date: 7/15/2009


I was a bit hesitant to dive into this one because it was so long, but I'm so glad I did. I loved this book. The series is one of my favorites, and even though this book is very, very long, it was a page-turner throughout. It kept me guessing every step of the way, and had several twists that I didn't expect. Another great book from Diana Gabaldon. I'm looking forward to the next book in the series.


Brisingr (Inheritance, Bk 3)
Brisingr (Inheritance, Bk 3)
Author: Christopher Paolini
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 4.1/5 Stars.
 308
Review Date: 10/27/2008
Helpful Score: 3


I really enjoyed this book. The character development was interesting, and I'm looking forward to what is to come in the next book. I will say that I was able to put this one down when I needed to, but I was also willing to pick it back up later. So, while it wasn't the best book of the series so far, it was still very good.


Cassandra, Lost
Cassandra, Lost
Author: Joanna Catherine Scott
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.9/5 Stars.
 6
Review Date: 7/29/2009


Cassandra, Lost, by Joanna Catherine Scott, is the story of a young woman who runs away from her home in Maryland to marry a Frenchman. They end up in Revolutionary France and witness a lot of the horrors that members of the aristocracy faced during the time. They manage to flee Paris and settle in New Orleans. The book is the story of Cassandra's life--the growth of her family, her loves, her losses, and her eventual disappearance. I actually quite enjoyed it.

There is a point in the book where several years pass by quite quickly, and all of a sudden Cassandra has five children, which I wish would have been fleshed out a bit more. I felt like I never really understood her relationship with any of her other children besides the first one and the last one.

I think this is the first book I've read set in Revolutionary France, and I haven't really read much non-fiction on it either. It makes me want to pick up a book about it. Anyway, I thought Cassandra, Lost was an interesting book, and even more so since it is loosely based on the life of a woman who actually existed.


A Catch of Consequence (Makepeace Hedley, Bk 1)
A Catch of Consequence (Makepeace Hedley, Bk 1)
Author: Diana Norman
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.8/5 Stars.
 40
Review Date: 7/29/2009
Helpful Score: 2


I really thought I would like this book more than I did. I generally like books set in this time period, and I really enjoyed Mistress of the Art of Death. But I just did not feel very connected to the characters in this book. I think I lost interest when Makepeace's fortunes changed in England (I don't want to be more specific than that--I don't want to put a spoiler in the review). I had a really hard time keeping interest in the storyline after that point.


Celia, A Slave
Celia, A Slave
Author: Melton A. Mclaurin
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 2.7/5 Stars.
 10
Review Date: 6/13/2009


I just finished reading this book, and I thought it was very good. I've read a few slave narratives before, but this was a fascinating departure from that. It focuses on the trial of a 19-year-old slave accused of murdering her master in Missouri. It explores the politics of slavery (Kansas was being fought over by pro- and anti-slavery groups at the time), as well as the powerlessness of women, especially slave women, during this period. It was a bit slow reading at first, but once it got to the crime and the trial, I was hooked. It was quite readable for a scholarly work, and was brief enough that it kept my attention.


The Century
The Century
Author: Peter Jennings, Todd Brewster
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 4.5/5 Stars.
 10
Review Date: 6/14/2009


I think my favorite part of this book is the pictures. *hangs head in shame* I've read parts of it, and it's quite interesting, but the richness of the photos inside just blows me away.


Changes in the Land: Indians, Colonists and the Ecology of New England
Review Date: 10/29/2008
Helpful Score: 2


This is a fascinating book that was one of the first and one of the most memorable environmental history books I have read. It provides an interesting look at the changing environment of Colonial New England.


Chop Shop (Bug Man, Bk 2)
Chop Shop (Bug Man, Bk 2)
Author: Tim Downs
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4.2/5 Stars.
 39
Review Date: 6/18/2009


I really enjoyed this book. I thought it was better than the first Bug Man novel. Not the happiest ending--it made me sad--but it was a great mystery and thriller!


A Comedy of Heirs (Torie O'Shea, Bk 3)
A Comedy of Heirs (Torie O'Shea, Bk 3)
Author: Rett MacPherson
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4.1/5 Stars.
 41
Review Date: 9/14/2009


This book was fantastic! I've been reading them in order, and so far this is my favorite. I loved the storyline of digging into a 50-year-old murder in the family's past, and I just adore Torie O'Shea. She is such a fun character.


Confessions of a Jane Austen Addict
Confessions of a Jane Austen Addict
Author: Laurie Viera Rigler
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 3.3/5 Stars.
 78
Review Date: 3/6/2009
Helpful Score: 2


I read this in one evening because I just couldn't put it down. I love Jane Austen, and thought it was a fun premise. I was disappointed by the ending. I thought it could have been tied up better than it was. I'm still a little bit puzzled by it, but I am glad I read the book. It was a fun read.


Daughter of Liberty (American Patriot Series, Book 1)
Daughter of Liberty (American Patriot Series, Book 1)
Author: J. M. Hochstetler
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.6/5 Stars.
 7
Review Date: 11/27/2009


I really enjoyed this book. As a History teacher, I am pretty familiar with the events described in the book, and I was very impressed by the authentic feeling I got of the events as I read. I felt like I was there with the soldiers as they tried to retreat back to Boston after their clashes with the militia at Lexington and Concord. I became quite fond of the characters and felt invested in their story. I wanted to know what would happen next, and I was rooting for Elizabeth and Jonathan to finally reveal their secrets to each other. One thing that stuck out in my mind was when Elizabeth took some quinine to "little Jimmy" to help with his fever--doctors at that time used the bark from the Cinchona tree (which contained quinine), but quinine itself wasn't isolated from the bark until 1820 (honestly, this is a fact I am familiar with only because it is discussed in Diana Gabaldon's Outlander series LOL!). I think some of the medical information in this book is a little bit modern for the time period being depicted.

Despite these minor problems, I still found the story and characters immensely entertaining and interesting. I love that Elizabeth is a brave and strong woman who is not afraid to put her life on the line for what she believes in. I appreciated the Christian themes within the book--Carleton comes to a point where Elizabeth helps him see that his past deeds were not too terrible for God to forgive. There is also a bit of discussion among the characters showing how Christians of the time were torn over how to deal with the events that were taking place--should they fight for independence and the rights God gave to them, or should they remain loyal to the government that God had put into place? I was also impressed that this was a book that depicted the losses of war realistically. Elizabeth's family faces some hard losses, and near the end I was brought to tears by the weight of those losses.


Death of A Tart (Peggy Jean Turner,  Bk 1)
Death of A Tart (Peggy Jean Turner, Bk 1)
Author: Kate Borden
Book Type: Mass Market Paperback
  • Currently 3.7/5 Stars.
 54
Review Date: 8/31/2009
Helpful Score: 1


This was a fun cozy mystery! I really love the setting--a small town being transformed into a colonial village for tourists.


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