Happy Summertime, bloggers!! What are your plans now that your kiddos are out of school/getting close to summer? Do you have read a thon plans for your summer? I have worked very hard on diligently cutting back on the review requests so that I could have some spare time in the summer to just loaf. I remember this time last year I was kicking myself because I had so many review books and couldn’t appreciate the fact that it was summer time. When you work full time, all the seasons tend to blend together anyway, so the fact that the hobby of reading has become more like a second job can be depressing! So turning away review books may be hard on a voracious reader, but very beneficial for working moms like me who need some sort of respite from it all. It’s been a bit crazy on the homefront lately so I wasn’t even able to compose a post for last week’s Sunday/Monday Memes, but I didn’t think y’all would miss me =)
This summer I have already set in place two different Group Reads for which I invite you to:
Mailbox Monday is a meme originally from Marcia’s Mailbox and is being hosted by Bellezza @ Dolce Bellezza for this month. The Story Siren also hosts IMM, so we can find some cool YA titles there as well.
On my Paperbackswap wishlist forever was this one that I’m not really in the mood for now but here it is:
Elizabeth’s Spymaster: Francis Walsingham and the Secret War that Saved England by Robert Hutchinson
England in the time of Elizabeth was on the brink of disaster. On the continent, Catholic Spain sought to forcefully reimpose the Catholic Church on its Protestant neighbors. At home, a network of powerful Catholic families posed a real and serious threat to the Protestant queen. In this world, information was power: those closest to the Queen were there because they had the best network to gather it.Elizabeth’s Spymaster is the story of the greatest spy of the time: Sir Francis Walsingham. Walsingham was the first ‘spymaster’ in the modern sense. His methods anticipated those of MI5 and MI6 and even those of the KGB. He maintained a network of spies across Europe, including double agents at the highest level in Rome and Spain—the sworn enemies of Queen Elizabeth and her protestant regime. His entrapment of Mary, Queen of Scots is a classic intelligence operation that resulted in her execution.
As Robert Hutchinson reveals, his cypher experts’ ability to intercept other peoples’ secret messages and his brilliant forged letters made him a fearsome champion of the young Elizabeth. Yet even this Machiavellian schemer eventually fell foul of Elizabeth as her confidence grew (and judgment faded). The rise and fall of Sir Francis Walsingham is a Tudor epic, vividly narrated by a historian with unique access to the surviving documentary evidence.
No Angel (The Spoils of Time #1) by Penny Vincenzi
No Angel is an irresistibly sweeping saga of power, family politics, and passion-a riveting drama and a fervent love story. Celia Lytton is the beautiful and strong-willed daughter of wealthy aristocrats and she is used to getting her way. She moves through life making difficult and often dangerous decisions that affect herself and others-her husband, Oliver, and their children; the destitute Sylvia Miller, whose life is transformed by Celia’s intrusion; as well as Oliver’s daunting elder sister, who is not all she appears to be; and Sebastian Brooke, for whom Celia makes the most dangerous decision of all.
Set against the tumultuous backdrop of London and New York in the First World War, No Angel is, as British Good Housekeeping wrote, “an absorbing page-turner, packed with believable characters and satisfyingly extreme villains, eccentrics, and manipulators.” Readers of Maeve Binchy, Barbara Taylor Bradford, and Anita Shreve will fall in love with this epic, un-put-downable novel.
With more than 3.5 million copies sold, Penny Vincenzi is one of the world’s preeminent writers of popular fiction-and American readers no longer have to miss out on the fun. With the publication of No Angel, a novel introducing the engaging cast of characters in the Lytton family, Overlook opens a thrilling new dimension to this author’s already illustrious career.
Battlefields and Blessings: Stories of Faith and Courage from the Revolutionary War by Jane Hampton Cook (I read the author’s new release American Phoenix on John Quincy Adams and I was impressed enough to buy this one!)
The book features 365 devotionals, one for each day of the year. – Each devotional features a 400-450-word story, a relevant scripture, and an application-oriented sentence prayer. – Each week highlights five stories that chronicle the Revolutionary War, followed by two weekend features called Weekend Reflection and Sabbath Rest. Weekend Reflection takes a modern-day twist on a topic, such as contentment and life purpose, presented in the preceding stories.
Sabbath Rest highlights a sermon from the Revolutionary era.
The stories may be so captivating for some readers that they may read the book from “cover to cover.” – As readers consider the meaning of the American Revolution, they may also experience a revolution in their own hearts, one devotional at a time.
The What Are You Reading meme is hosted by Sheila at Book Journey where we keep track of what we are currently reading and plan to read.
I haven’t had the luxury to read much of anything lately – I’ve tried but failed to concentrate – but from previous reads I had posted two reviews recently, and have zero clue when another will come this way so enjoy these two!!
Last week I reviewed The Firebird by Susanna Kearsley.. great stuff!
After that one I definitely want to read all her other stuff too. I had eagerly anticipated this one after I had read The Shadowy Horses and I wasn’t disappointed.
and another great read:
Stealing the Preacher by Karen Witemeyer (review) — I had read this a few weeks ago and I fell in love with the thought of a sexy preacher man =) bad me!!! Such a great inspirational story, I will probably always recommend Karen Witemeyer as a truly faith-based storyteller. Not for those who do not like inspirational themes however.
I started to read the newest book by Robert Parry but just couldn’t get into it presently, so I picked up Gillian Bagwell’s Venus in Winter which is a novel featuring my very first Tudor Favorite Figure: Bess of Hardwick, hoping this novel will stir some of my lost inspiration:
The author of The September Queen explores Tudor England with the tale of Bess of Hardwick—the formidable four-time widowed Tudor dynast who became one of the most powerful women in the history of England. On her twelfth birthday, Bess of Hardwick receives the news that she is to be a waiting gentlewoman in the household of Lady Zouche. Armed with nothing but her razor-sharp wit and fetching looks, Bess is terrified of leaving home. But as her family has neither the money nor the connections to find her a good husband, she must go to facilitate her rise in society. When Bess arrives at the glamorous court of King Henry VIII, she is thrust into a treacherous world of politics and intrigue, a world she must quickly learn to navigate. The gruesome fates of Henry’s wives convince Bess that marrying is a dangerous business. Even so, she finds the courage to wed not once, but four times. Bess outlives one husband, then another, securing her status as a woman of property. But it is when she is widowed a third time that she is left with a large fortune and even larger decisions—discovering that, for a woman of substance, the power and the possibilities are endless . . .