Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Official Hiatus Announcement

Yeah. This is pretty much me as of late (meaning these past few months). I have been eating, drinking, sleeping work. So all of my reviewing power has been transported to The Broke and the Bookish, where it is a little less demanding (meaning I don't have to post every day there). 

Will I come back to this? Maybe. Currently I am getting ready to move (!) and so I've been busy with a lot of that stuff. But I could potentially see me blogging more after I move into my house and settle in. 

So for now, if you hadn't noticed, there is a break. But if you miss my wit and amazing, please check me out at The Broke and the Bookish or on Goodreads.  

Love you guys,

Monday, July 23, 2012

Mod Post: Where have I been?

Hey ya'll. Long time no see right? So where the hell have I been? Well, outside reading to be quite honest. :)

I have been starting to put some reviews again, so there is that. BUT I have been doing some stuff over at The Broke and the Bookish so I thought I'd give y'all the rundown.

Review of Four Sisters, All Queens by Sherry Jones
Remember I did a Waiting on Wednesday on this, way back when. I finally got to read it!
I highly enjoyed this story. It is a tale of a time that I cannot really fathom living in. All that war, all that oppression. ... The plot focuses on the sisters and their lives. ... Instead of directly focusing on one of the many issues of the time, Jones allows us to view these problems through the eyes of her queens.

Top Ten Books for People Who Liked The Other Boleyn Girl

Top Ten Books for People Who Liked Author X

So there are a few posts from what has been going on... and at 12:01 tonight I will link to this week's Top Ten Tuesday which is "Top Ten Most Vivid Worlds/Settings"

Hope you are taking advantage of the nice weather, if it is in fact nice where you are...

Happy Reading!

photo by Colin_K on Flickr

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Review: Mrs. Robinson's Disgrace by Kate Summerscale

Book Title/Author: Mrs Robinson's Disgrace: The Private Diary of a Victorian Lady by Kate Summerscale
Publisher/Year Published: June 2012 by Bloomsbury
Where I got it: NetGalley first, then I accidentally let it expire and had to wait a long time to finish it from the library
Rating: 3/5 stars

Summary:via Goodreads
Headstrong, high-spirited, and already widowed, Isabella Walker became Mrs. Henry Robinson at age 31 in 1844. Her first husband had died suddenly, leaving his estate to a son from a previous marriage, so she inherited nothing. A successful civil engineer, Henry moved them, by then with two sons, to Edinburgh’s elegant society in 1850. But Henry traveled often and was cold and remote when home, leaving Isabella to her fantasies.

No doubt thousands of Victorian women faced the same circumstances, but Isabella chose to record her innermost thoughts—and especially her infatuation with a married Dr. Edward Lane—in her diary. Over five years the entries mounted—passionate, sensual, suggestive. One fateful day in 1858 Henry chanced on the diary and, broaching its privacy, read Isabella's intimate entries. Aghast at his wife’s perceived infidelity, Henry petitioned for divorce on the grounds of adultery. Until that year, divorce had been illegal in England, the marital bond being a cornerstone of English life. Their trial would be a cause celebre, threatening the foundations of Victorian society with the specter of "a new and disturbing figure: a middle class wife who was restless, unhappy, avid for arousal." Her diary, read in court, was as explosive as Flaubert’s Madame Bovary, just published in France but considered too scandalous to be translated into English until the 1880s.

This was a really cool book! I love that it's actually true and not just the normal romantic fiction that I read. In between the story of Mrs. Robinson's Disgrace is woven other tales of the Victorian Era. Charles Darwin features often in the second half of the book. Dickens is mentioned as well. I would highly recommend this to anyone who wants to know more about the life and times of the upper-middle class in Victorian England.

The romance and inevitable disgrace itself is told through tidbits collected from Isabella's letters and infamous diary. I find it interesting how often that diary is used. I mean, I have tried to do the diary thing but I lose interest in it pretty quickly. At one point, Summerscale makes the point that due to her horrid marriage Isabella is lonely. Thus her diary becomes her friend. I guess if I had no friends, and no internet, to talk to my diary would be used quite frequently as well.

Mrs. Robinson's Disgrace held my interest more than a plain old biography. I was so caught up in it that sometimes I forgot it was real. I really didn't know how the book would end up going through it. It read more like a fiction novel intersperced with real history, but then I would shake my head and think, "No. This is real."

As a reader of historical romance, I enjoyed this. If romance readers want a hint of a REAL romance story, check this out. This is one history book I wouldn't miss.

Why not more stars though if I loved it so much? Well as interesting as it was sometimes there was just too much history for me, especially during the trial. I really wanted to know what happens, not how Darwin would take to the waters. But this particular criticism is probably mostly due to my own struggles with non-fiction.

Overall this was pretty much just a good book. Check it out!

PS: I found about this book through NetGalley, but I waited too long to read it and my book expired! So I waited and immediately grabbed this from the library to finish it because I wanted to so badly know what happened to Mrs. Robinson.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Review: Fifty Shames of Earl Grey by Andrew Shaffer

Book Title/Author: Fifty Shades of Earl Grey by Fanny Merkin (aka Andrew Shaffer)
Publisher/Year Published: July 31st 2012 by Da Capo Press
Where I got it: NetGalley
Rating: 4/5 stars

Summary:via Goodreads
A shrewd, laugh–out–loud parody of E. L. James' bestselling Fifty Shades of Grey series:

Young, arrogant, tycoon Earl Grey seduces the naïve coed Anna Steal with his overpowering good looks and staggering amounts of money, but will she be able to get past his fifty shames, including shopping at Walmart on Saturdays, bondage with handcuffs, and his love of BDSM (Bards, Dragons, Sorcery, and Magick)? Or will his dark secrets and constant smirking drive her over the edge?
I have never read Fifty Shades of Grey*. I've heard a lot about it and realized quite quickly through some snippets that Fifty Shades was not a book for me. That said, I am sort of obsessed with the phenomenon that is Fifty Shades and have read a few reviews, followed a lot of romance community's opinion and listened to one hilarious podcast. Knowing how much I enjoyed the tongue in cheek podcast, I knew 50 Shames of Earl Grey was right up my alley. It did not disappoint. In fact, it did the opposite.

This book is a parody and boy does it do a good job at it. There were quite a few instances of me being afraid of disturbing the peace with my laughter. Like the TSA was going to come take me off the airplane sort of thing. It does a great job of parodying not just the ridiculous story lines of Fifty Shades of Grey and Twilight but also how they're horridly written. It takes a really smart written book to be able to ironically write badly.

I knew enough about the general gist of the source material to highly enjoy this book. You don't have to have read either of the sources to enjoy it, though I would suspect people who had would pick up more of the subtle parody. I did however knock a star off because it did start to drag a bit toward the middle to the end of the book. This may be a limitation on the source material, but I was getting a bit bored a little over halfway through.

Overall, this book was a really fun read. If you are looking for a light read that mocks current pop culture as well as "those" popular books, give this a try. There are some sexy-times, but they usually culminate in being only a few lines or doves coming out the hooha. You know, the normal stuff.

PS: Kudos on the awesome cover. The first 80 times I looked at this cover I didn't notice the 'special' gesture our tea drinker is making. Love it!

*Sidenote: Seriously, every time I spell 'grey' or 'gray' I think, "Which way am I supposed to spell it again?" And I work in a job where 'greyscale' is a word I type all the time.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Sunday Status: 7/1/12

Books I Finished Since the Last Update
The Duke's Perfect Wife by Jennifer Ashley
Centauri Twilight by Cynthia Woolf
A Rogue by Any Other Name by Sarah MacLean
Sweet Enemy by Heather Snow
Mrs. Robinson's Disgrace by Kate Summerscale

Books I am Currently Reading
A Clash of Kings by George R.R. Martin

Books To Be Read Next
Four Sisters, All Queens by Sherry Jones
Anything on by priority pile...

Reviews of the past two weeks
Incarnate by Jodi Meadows
Sweet Enemy by Heather Snow

At The Broke and the Bookish
I Suck at Girls by Justin Halpern

Things to look forward to
Top Ten Tuesday this week is about Top Ten Books I'd Recommend For People Who Liked Author X

Summer is awesome here this year. I am all about the outdoor reading by the pool, or on those super hot days the alternate reading by the pool and jumping into it. I still have some new things in the works, so stay tuned. It is taking a little longer than I thought.

RAKBook Soulmates

Since it is the end of the month it is time for my RAK wrap up post!

Books I Received:

Firelight by Kristen Callihan
From Danielle at Ramblings From This Chick

I am sooo excited to read this book! When I found in online earlier this year, it sounded really interesting and not something that I read all the time.

Thanks, Danielle!

Books That I Sent:

One Night in London by Caroline Linden
To Danielle at Book Whore

I am not sure if Danielle got it yet as I sent it out toward the end of the month. But I have read some Caroline Linden before and really enjoyed the book. Hopefully she will enjoy this one as well.

Let me know any feedback. Also if you have some cool links, comment with them! Until next Sunday, have a great week!
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