Wednesday, February 24, 2021
Tuesday, February 23, 2021
I kept seeing The Kindest Lie on Instagram and saw that it was about an African American female engineer. Readers of this blog know that I am always looking for books about engineers. It’s hard enough to find engineers as the protagonist, let alone a female African American engineer!
“No one talked about what happened in the summer of 1997 in the house where Ruth Tuttle had grown up.” - What a great first line!
Sunday, February 21, 2021
Penelope and I have been enjoying the Rebel Girls series of chapter books about strong women who made a difference in the world.
Saturday, February 20, 2021
Title: Ida B. the Queen: The Extraordinary Life and Legacy of Ida B. Wells
Author: Michelle Duster
Read by: Michelle Duster
Publisher: Simon & Shuster Audio
Length: Approximately 3 hours and 43 minutes
Source: Review Copy from Simon & Shuster Audio. Thank-you!
Do you have an icon in history that you admire?
I somehow had not heard of Ida B. Wells growing up, or if she was mentioned in history books, it was a fleeting reference. I didn’t learn about her as an adult until I listened to a History Chicks podcast about her last year after she was posthumously awarded the Pulitzer Prize for journalism. I was amazed by her life story and was confused on why I didn’t know more about this amazing woman. When I had the opportunity to review this audiobook about Ida B. Wells that was written by her great granddaughter, Michelle Duster, I snapped at the chance.
Ida B. the Queen is not a standard biography or memoir. Michelle Duster tells snippets of Ida’s life and how it impacted her as well as how Ida’s story fits in with contemporary news and black history overall.
Halfway through the book Duster gives a great timeline of Ida’s life and Civil Rights. It was wonderful to see how it fit together. She also gave Ida’s early history in this section. At age 16, Ida’s parents lost her parents to yellow fever and she was in charge of taking care of her siblings. She took a teaching job mile outside of town to earn money to keep her family together. What an amazing sister.
Throughout her life, when Ida B. Wells saw an injustice, she said and did something about it. Two moments that really struck me from the book was when Ida B. Wells saw that a family friend and successful store owner was unfairly lynched in Memphis, she was rightly outraged. She made it her mission to research lynching in America and to write about it. She gave talks around the world about it. She didn’t sugar coat it. Lynching was used as a tool to ensure that African Americans didn’t succeed and were kept “in their place.” Ida was also kicked out of the first class car of a train and she sued the railroad to try to gain equality.
Ida B. Wells was a suffragette but found that the movement was distancing itself from women of color. Instead of being pushed to the back of the parade, she inserted herself in her states group right up front where she belonged as a major member of the group.
One quote in the book really struck me - history is never far away. Even though Ida B. Wells was doing her work a century ago, sadly many of the things she was working for continue to happen today. Her quotes about the East St. Louis riots are just are relevant today. Sadly, lynching is still not outlawed on the federal level. This book gave me a lot to think about.
I loved that Ida B. Wells great granddaughter, Michelle Duster, not only wrote this book, but she was the narrator. It gave it a personal touch.
Overall, Ida B. the Queen is a great introduction into the life of Ida B. Wells and how it fits into black history and contemporary times.
Thursday, February 18, 2021
Title: The Yellow Wife
Author: Sadeqa Johnson
Read by: Robin Miles
Publisher: Simon & Shuster Audio
Length: Approximately 9 hours and 31 minutes
Source: Review Copy from Simon & Shuster Audio. Thank-you!
The Yellow Wife is a historical fiction novel that swept me away into the story. The main character, Pheby Delores Brown is an admirable strong woman fictional heroine.
Pheby has grown up relatively sheltered on a plantation. Born in 1832 to a mulatto mother and the planation owner, she was taught to read and play the piano by Miss Sally, her father’s sister. After his marriage and Miss Sally’s death, things take a turn for the worse for Pheby and her mother. Her mistress hates her and tries to make her life difficult. Things come to a head when her mistress sells her after her father is involved in a carriage accident.
Pheby finds herself at the notorious Devil’s Half Acre, a jail for African American slaves in Richmond, Virginia. Slaves are brought to this jail to be punished and to be sold. It’s an area of great suffering. Pheby is selected by the cruel owner of the jail to become his “yellow wife.” How will Pheby survive?
Pheby’s story was engrossing and terrifying. I have been reading a lot of World War II fiction the last few years and her story reminded me of concentration camp survivors. Terrible choices had to be made to survive. People were treated as they never should be treated. The immorality and cruelty of slavery was on full display in this novel. I can’t imagine a world where a man lives with his wife but sleeps with his slaves and has children with them as well. This man owns his own children. A man that owns his “yellow wife” and loves her but can treat her with great cruelty. It was a strange world that still has consequences today.
The story is told from Pheby’s point of view and she is a great character. I loved Pheby’s love for her children. I loved that she was survivor and trying to figure out how to not only make it herself, but for her children to have the best life possible.
Pheby also had a tragic romance story. She grew up with and loved Essex Henry. She became pregnant with his child right before she was sold. He had to run north for his own horrific reasons. They are reunited in the future, and Pheby has to make a hard choice that is the best for all she holds dear. It makes me sad just thinking about it and all of the people who were unable to stay together with their loved ones.
Sadeqa Johnson had a great note at the end which gave the details of the real history of the Devil’s Half Acre and of the real woman who Pheby is based upon. It was riveting history that I had never heard about.
Robin Miles was a great narrator of this audiobook and was Pheby Delores Brown to me.
Overall, The Yellow Wife is an engrossing historical fiction novel that shows the hard choices that were made to survive the world of slavery.
Wednesday, February 17, 2021
This year with not meeting in person, my friend Wendy sent us all a romance she had picked up in a garage sale. Each of us is reading our romance novel for the February book club pick and are going to give a summary. We also have to read the most outrageous quote or love scene.
I learned this is the third book in The Spymaster’s Men series. I read this as a stand alone and it was good. I didn’t feel like I was missing any pieces.
Saturday, February 13, 2021
Title: A Promised Land
Author: Barack Obama
Read by: Barack Obama
Publisher: Penguin Random House Audio
Length: Approximately 29 hours and 10 minutes
Source: Overdrive through the Kewaunee Public Library. Also, a hard cover copy of the book from my Mom for Christmas. Thank-you!
“Enthusiasm makes up for a host of deficiencies.”
Overall, A Promised Land was a fascinating personal look into the presidency of Barack Obama.
Tuesday, February 9, 2021
Dave Cubiak’s life has fallen apart. After the death of his wife and daughter, he needs change and a new direction. He takes a job as an assistant director at Peninsula State Park in Door County. After a series of murders takes place, Dave is racing against time to find the murderer. Who has murdered six seemingly random people in and around Peninsula State Park and why?
“Dutch showed me pictures of them as kids. Two beautiful little girls on an old tire swing. Then to end up like that. How sad the underpinnings of people’s lives.”
Sunday, February 7, 2021
Title: Dork Diaries 14: Tales from a Not So Best Friend Forever
Author: Rachel Renee Russell
Read by: Jenni Barber
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Length: Approximately 3 hours and 53 minutes
Source: Review Copy from Simon & Schuster. Thank-you!
Wednesday, February 3, 2021
“This was how the Captain knew that the things of the imagination were often as real as those you laid your hand upon.”
Tuesday, February 2, 2021
Join the virtual blog tour of GEORGANA’S SECRET (Proper Romance Regency), Arlem Hawks’ highly acclaimed debut historical romance novel January 11 – February 14, 2021. Over forty-five popular blogs specializing in historical romance, inspirational fiction, and Austenesque fiction will join in the celebration of its release with excerpts, spotlights, and reviews of this new Regency-era novel set aboard a Royal Naval ship.
Today I finished a journey on the high seas during the Napoleonic Wars. There was love, mutiny, and battles with the French. I greatly enjoyed it.
Georgana Woodall is the daughter of a navy captain. While her father is away at sea, her and her mother suffer abuse from her grandmother. After her mother’s death, Captain Woodall discovers the abuse and takes Georgana away with him on his ship. The rules state that no women are allowed onboard, so he has Georgana disguise herself as a cabin boy named George. George has a rough time on the ship and is constantly bullied by the other boys. Lieutenant Dominic Peyton is new to the ship and doesn’t like seeing George bullied. He teaches him to stand up for himself. Georgana realizes that she likes spending time with Lt. Peyton, but he doesn’t know her as her true self. How will this secret be resolved especially when the ship finds itself embroiled in turmoil?
• Title: Georgana's Secret (Proper Romance Regency)
• Author: Arlem Hawks
• Genre: Historical Romance, Regency Romance, Inspirational Fiction
• Publisher: Shadow Mountain Publishing (January 12, 2021)
• Length: (320) pages
• Trade Paperback ISBN: 978-1629727929
• eBook ASIN: B08Q5MW1SG
• Audiobook ASIN: B08RLRZ65Q
• Tour Dates: January 11 – February 14, 2021
A Regency romance on the high seas. Two hearts yearning to find a safe harbor, and possibly, a lasting love.
As a young girl, Georgana Woodall dreamed of beautiful dresses, fancy balls, and falling in love. However, when her mother dies, she cannot face a future under the guardianship of her abusive grandmother and instead chooses to join her father on his ship disguised as his cabin boy, "George."
Lieutenant Dominic Peyton has no time in his life for love, not with his dedication to His Majesty's Royal Navy claiming his full attention. While trying to adjust to a new crew, he strives to be an exemplary officer and leader. When he sees the captain's cabin boy being harassed by the crew, he immediately puts a stop to it and takes the "boy" under his wing. After discovering a number of clues, Dominic deduces that George is really a woman. Knowing that revealing the cabin boy's secret would put her in serious danger from the rowdy crew, Dominic keeps silent and hides his growing affection for her.
Georgana is quickly losing her heart to Dominic's compassion and care but is convinced nothing can come of her affection. She cannot continue to live her life on the sea, and having already missed too many seasons in London, her chances of being welcomed back into polite society and finding a suitable husband are quickly slipping away.
"Hawks crafts a spellbinding tale featuring rich characters and raw emotions set against the atmospheric backdrop of sea life in all its danger and beauty. Georgana is a tough protagonist holding her own in a world dominated by men, while Peyton's charm and sensitivity marks him as a true gentleman. A hidden identity, flirtation, and treachery make for a rousing tale to captivate lovers of historical romances."— Publishers Weekly
“This tale felt sweepingly cinematic at times and was both action-packed and heart-wrenching with an immersive narrative.”— Katie Jackson, RegencyProofreading.com
Arlem Hawks wove a magnificent tale of adventure and deception and delivered a happy ever after that was as unconventional as the rest of the story. With so many stories of romance out there, it is refreshing when one comes along that is very different than the stories that I am used to. A little adventure always livens things up fabulously.”— Emily Flynn, Reading with Emily
"Fans of sweet love stories as well as readers who fondly remember those marvelous old traditional Signet Regencies will quickly succumb to the siren song of Hawk’s expertly crafted novel, which delivers the perfect blend of Jane Austen-smart romance and Patrick O’Brian flavored seafaring adventure. Teen romance readers will cheer on the plucky heroine as she finds the courage to forge her own path in life and love."— Booklist, starred review
Arlem Hawks began making up stories before she could write. Living all over the Western United States and traveling around the world gave her a love of cultures and people and the stories they have to tell. With her travels came an interest in history, especially the history of her English heritage. When she isn't writing, Arlem is baking her characters' favorite foods, sewing Regency dresses, learning how to play the tin whistle, and water coloring. She lives in Arizona with her husband and two children. Having previously published four historical romance novellas, Georgana’s Secret is her debut novel.
Jan 11 My Jane Austen Book Club Excerpt
Jan 11 Austenprose — A Jane Austen Blog Review
Jan 12 Wishful Endings Review
Jan 12 Lu Reviews Books Review
Jan 13 Lady with a Quill Review
Jan 13 Timeless Novels Review
Jan 14 Reading is My Superpower Review
Jan 14 The Bibliophile Files Review
Jan 15 Randi Loves 2 Read Review
Jan 16 The Christian Fiction Girl Excerpt
Jan 17 Nurse Bookie Review
Jan 18 The Silver Petticoat Review Review
Jan 18 Heidi Reads Review
Jan 19 Bookfoolery Review
Jan 20 Captivated Reading Review
Jan 21 Greenish Bookshelf Review
Jan 21 Bookworm Lisa Review
Jan 22 Among the Reads Review
Jan 23 Gwedalyn's Books Review
Jan 24 My Bookish Bliss Review
Jan 25 Wishful Endings Excerpt
Jan 25 Christian Chick's Thoughts Review
Jan 26 Relz Reviewz Review
Jan 27 The Lit Bitch Review
Jan 28 Reading with Emily Review
Jan 29 Books, Teacups & Reviews Review
Jan 30 A Darn Good Read Review
Jan 31 From Pemberley to Milton Spotlight
Jan 31 Impressions in Ink Review
Feb 01 Austenesque Reviews Review
Feb 02 Laura's Reviews Review
Feb 03 Literary Time Out Review
Feb 04 Chicks, Rogues & Scandals Excerpt
Feb 05 The Bluestocking Review
Feb 05 Library of Clean Reads Review
Feb 06 The Caffeinated Bibliophile Spotlight
Feb 07 So Little Time… Spotlight
Feb 08 The Readathon Review
Feb 09 The Book Diva Reads Excerpt
Feb 09 Books and Socks Rock Review
Feb 10 Our Book Confessions Review
Feb 10 Encouraging Words from the Tea Queen Spotlight
Feb 11 Rosanne E. Lortz Review
Feb 11 Jorie Loves a Story Review
Feb 12 Fire & Ice Excerpt
Feb 13 Cup of Tea with that Book, Please Review
Feb 14 Book Confessions of an Ex-ballerina Review