Tag Archives: 3 Stars

Utopia by Thomas More

In the 1500s, Sir Thomas More described his idea of the ultimate perfect society in Utopia. Written like a travelogue, various aspects of the way of life in Utopia are examined. As with many books written long ago, it tends to ramble on and on. It makes for an interesting read, though, since what we think of as a Utopian society today doesn’t really match the book where we got the word from.

3 (out of 5) Stars

Books Read in 2018: 3
Pages Read in 2018: 854
Read 52 Books in 52 Weeks (more book reviews!)

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Filed under Classic, Reason: Birthstone Bookology

God’s Jury by Cullen Murphy

God’s Jury tells about the Inquisition and how it has affected the modern world. There was a lot of excellent information about the Spanish, Roman, and even American Inquisitions. The author, however, tended to meander and one paragraph would be about the 1500s and the next would be about something in recent history with no transition in between. Sometimes the parallels drawn didn’t quite make sense. I would have preferred more of the history. I do recommend the book, however, to anyone interested in the Inquisition.

3 (out of 5) Stars

Books Read in 2018: 1
Pages Read in 2018: 332
Read 52 Books in 52 Weeks (more book reviews!)

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Filed under Non-Fiction, Reason: Pre-Reading for Cameron

The Red Keep by Allen French

Conan, upon hearing that the Sauval have killed all but his last brother, sets out to seek revenge. In the process, he must defend his friend Anne’s Red Keep.

On occasion The Red Keep was very exciting, but much of the time it dragged and just didn’t keep my attention. I found my mind wandering often and had to remind myself to focus. I don’t really recommend this book, but I wouldn’t say not to read it either.

3 (out of 5) Stars

Books Read in 2017: 170
Pages Read in 2017: 45,649
Read 52 Books in 52 Weeks (more book reviews!)
Reason I Chose It: Pre-Reading for Fritz for This School Year

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Filed under Historical Fiction

The Feud That Sparked the Renaissance by Paul Robert Walker

Filippo Brunelleschi and Lorenzo Ghiberti were Italian artists in the early 1400s. They were rivals, they competed for the same jobs, and sometimes they worked together. Their art marks the beginning of the Renaissance. The Feud That Sparked the Renaissance was often textbooky and I occasionally found my eyes to be glazing over as I read. But I learned so incredibly much. I’ve never been particularly into art so so much of it was new to me. I recommend reading this book to anyone interested in art and the early Renaissance.

3 (out of 5) Stars

Books Read in 2017: 163
Pages Read in 2017: 44,095
Read 52 Books in 52 Weeks (more book reviews!)
Reason I Chose It: Pre-reading for Cameron for This School Year

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Filed under Non-Fiction

How (Not) to Kiss Your Dog by Susan Lash

Jenny’s brother Jack adopts Albert, a rather hyper Jack Rusell terrier. Meanwhile, their grandmother has surgery. Mayhem ensues.

How (Not) to Kiss Your Dog was one of those books that is just meh. It wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t particularly good either. There were quite a few spelling and grammar errors. One scene, that was really not necessary for the rest of the book, was rather inappropriate for a middle grades book (at school in homeroom a word commonly used as a swear word was used by the “bad” kid in a way he could get away with, but was still intended to get a rise out of everyone). I can’t say I recommend reading this book, but I don’t totally not either. There are a lot of better books out there though, so I’d probably skip it.

3 (out of 5) Stars

Books Read in 2017: 159
Pages Read in 2017: 42,981
Read 52 Books in 52 Weeks (more book reviews!)
Reason I Chose It: Bedtime Story for the Boys

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Filed under Middle Grades

Play Dead by Leslie O’Kane

Allida Babcock is a dog therapist in Boulder. After an appearance on a radio show, she ends up with a series of clients that all seem interested in one particular dog… with two dead owners. Allida is convinced both owners were murdered and investigates the case.

While I enjoyed Play Dead while I was reading it, I just wasn’t excited about picking it up to start reading. The main character was a know-it-all and didn’t seem to have a sense of humor at all. She kind of grated on my nerves. I was a bit surprised by the ending so that was good. It’s a decent enough brain candy read, but not one I’d go out of my way to choose. It’s the first in a series. I won’t be reading any more.

3 (out of 5) Stars

Books Read in 2017: 155
Pages Read in 2017: 42,046
Read 52 Books in 52 Weeks (more book reviews!)
Reason I Chose It: Birthstone Bookology (P in TOPAZ)

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Filed under Mystery

All the Way From Texas by Carolyn Brown

When Molly Baker is paired up with Carson Rhodes for a two week tour of the country for a magazine conglomerate, she is less than thrilled. She’s engaged and he’s a ladies man. They set off, she writing about what they see and he taking the photographs, and everything changes.

All the Way from Texas is very predictable, though that’s not necessarily a bad thing. The characters are full of stereotypes and some of the things said are just plain weird. It’s told in close third person point of view, but who the narrator is focused on changes, sometimes from paragraph to paragraph. At first, this was kind of disorienting but once I got used to it, I discovered it actually worked pretty well. This book reads fast and is a decent mind vacation.

3 (out of 5) Stars

Books Read in 2017: 151
Pages Read in 2017: 40,678
Read 52 Books in 52 Weeks (more book reviews!)
Reason I Chose It: Birthstone Bookology (A in TOPAZ)

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Filed under Realistic Fiction