Monthly Archives: January 2016

Terry Jones’ Medieval Lives by Alan Ereira and Terry Jones

Everything you think you know about the lives of people in the Middle Ages is wrong. Terry Jones of Monty Python fame sets the record straight in Terry Jones’ Medieval Lives. Each chapter covers a different group of people who lived during medieval times. These groups include peasants, minstrels, outlaws, monks, philosophers, knights, damsels, and kings. The books is well researched with an extensive bibliography and footnotes. It’s a great read for anyone interested in history.

5 (out of 5) Stars

Books Read in 2016: 9
Pages Read in 2016: 2629
Read 52 Books in 52 Weeks (more book reviews!)

Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under History

Gregor and the Code of Claw by Suzanne Collins

Gregor prepares to fight the Bane and die in battle while his sister tries to break the Code of Claw. The rats enlist the diggers to help attack Regalia while the Bane begins behaving more and more erratically.

The fifth and last Gregor the Overlander book, Gregor and the Code of Claw, brings the Underland to the war they have been on the brink of since Gregor arrived the first time. Once again the Underlanders view everything in terms of Sandwich’s prophecies (about which Ripred has some excellent points). The end is a bit unsettling, mainly because war is never tidy and leaves scars both visible and invisible. It certainly didn’t end quite how I wanted it to, but the ending was still quite satisfactory to me (though my 9 year old son said, “Worst. Ending. Ever.” mainly because he wanted it to go on longer). I highly recommend the entire Gregor the Overlander series.

5 (out of 5) Stars

Books Read in 2016: 8
Pages Read in 2016: 2405
Read 52 Books in 52 Weeks (more book reviews!)

Leave a comment

Filed under Middle Grades

The Fifth Floor by Julie Oleszek

Anna is the 9th of 10 children, having a great time growing up in the 1970s in her big family. When she is 7, her 10 year old sister and best friend, Liz, falls from their swingset and soon afterward begins having headaches, ends up in the hospital, and dies. Anna blames herself for not catching her sister when she fell and shuts down. Ten years later, 17 year old Anna quits eating. After 3 weeks, she is admitted to the fifth floor, a psychiatric ward, where she tries to remain in control of her eating and refuses to open up in therapy sessions.

This is a really excellent, well-written book. Most of it follows Anna’s long stay in the hospital as she works toward healing (fighting it every step of the way). I “bought” this book when it was offered for free recently. While many freebies are not very good, if they sound interesting to me I give them a chance because there are occasional gems and this book stands out among those gems. The writing was excellent and it was well edited. I very highly recommend The Fifth Floor for teens and adults. I really can’t say enough good about this book!

5 (out of 5) Stars

Books Read in 2016: 7
Pages Read in 2016: 1987
Read 52 Books in 52 Weeks (more book reviews!)

Leave a comment

Filed under Realistic Fiction

The Song of Hiawatha by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

I don’t usually enjoy poetry, but I found The Song of Hiawatha to be fun to read and kept my attention. The rhythm sounded just like drums beating – dun-dun-dun-DUN-dun-dun-dun-DUN. Sometimes Longfellow used words that emphasized or made the beat stronger. The story itself was excellent. It’s something everyone should read once.

4 (out of 5) Stars

Books Read in 2016: 6
Pages Read in 2016: 1694
Read 52 Books in 52 Weeks (more book reviews!)

Leave a comment

Filed under Epic Poem

The Secret Diary of Lizzie Bennet by Bernie Su and Kate Rorick

The Secret Diary of Lizzie Bennet is the companion book to the youtube series The Lizzie Bennet Diaries, a modernization of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice. It is written in diary format and follows the 100 vlog episodes. The content is similar to the vlog, but includes more information and more Lizzie stream of consciousness. It’s a great read for fans of The Lizzie Bennet Diaries.

5 (out of 5) Stars

Books Read in 2016: 5
Pages Read in 2016: 1504
Read 52 Books in 52 Weeks (more book reviews!)

Leave a comment

Filed under Realistic Fiction

The Midwife’s Here! by Linda Fairley

Mrs. Fairley, the British midwife who is the longest serving at a single institution, details her training and first year as a qualified midwife in the late 60s to early 70s in The Midwife’s Here!. Her stories are fascinating. Some are exciting, some are amazing, and some are sad. Her love of delivering babies comes through in her writing making this book an interesting and engaging read. I highly recommend it.

5 (out of 5) Stars

Books Read in 2016: 4
Pages Read in 2016: 1127
Read 52 Books in 52 Weeks (more book reviews!)

Leave a comment

Filed under Non-Fiction

The Voyage of the Dawn Treader by C.S. Lewis

Edmund and Lucy, along with their annoying cousin Eustace, fall through a picture frame and end up on the Dawn Treader, a Narnian ship. They join the crew on many fantastic adventures on their way to rescue the Lords and get to the end of the world.

There are very few dull moments in The Voyage of the Dawn Treader. Every chapter brings a new adventure. It is, quite probably, the best book in the Chronicles of Narnia series. I highly recommend reading it (but read at least The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe and Prince Caspian first).

5 (out of 5) Stars

Books Read in 2016: 3
Pages Read in 2016: 825
Read 52 Books in 52 Weeks (more book reviews!)

Leave a comment

Filed under Fantasy