Thursday, May 18, 2017

First Line Friday - Picture Book Edition


Happy First Line Friday. I am so very excited for the book I am sharing this week, because though it is not about Eleanor of Aquitaine, it is about another Mighty Girl who I absolutely adore.

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Not only do I adore Ruth Bader Ginsburg - or Notorious RBG, as I like to call her - but here is a book that I can use to introduce her to my own Mighty Girl. Here is the first line(S):

"You could say that Ruth Bader Ginsburg's life has been one disagreement after another...Disagreement with creaky old ideas. With unfairness. With inequality. Ruth has disagreed, disapproved, and differed. She has objected. She has resisted. She has dissented. Disagreeable? No. Determined? Yes. This is how Ruth Bader Ginsburg changed her life - and ours."


Notorious RBG, please live forever.

Let me know what you think of this line, and/or leave a line of your own. Then, visit my fellow First-Liners to see what they have this week.


Rachel - Bookworm Mama




Lauraine - Lauraine's Notes

Andi - Radiant Light


Robin - Robin's Nest


Kathleen - Kathleen Denly



Jeanette - CJaneReads


Molly - Molly's Cafinated Reads (Disclaimer: purposeful misspelling)

Happy Reading!
Sarah

Thursday, May 11, 2017

First Line Friday - YA Edition


Happy First Line Friday!

This week I am doing something waaaaaaay out of the ordinary - sharing a line from a fiction book, and a YA book no less!

I know, I know. Not my usual book. But I found this one to be very entertaining (though I did skim some parts that were too yucky for me. It is a horror/fairy-tail retelling mash-up after all. I can do without the trolls and billy goats. Yeesh.)

I received this book a few weeks ago from the author, Candace Robinson and participated in her cover-reveal last week. It is beautiful, by the way.

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I will have a full review up a some point this week, I hope (end of school year madness is upon us. There is no paperwork like end of the year paperwork. You know, on top of all the regular paperwork.)

Despite my own personal feelings about first person, and especially first person told in PRESENT tense (it bothers me), the story was very twisty and turny. That' a word, I promise. Then I was at nearly 90% wondering how it could possible end and boom, bolt of lightning, an ending I did not quite so coming. It is not a story for the faint of heart though, like myself who is not necessarily a horror fan, but someone who digs fairy tale retellings. Anyway, on to the line. Or paragraph. Whatevs. I do what I want.

"Overwhelmed with boredom, Vale stares down at his fingernails. He can only spend so much time tormenting those he encounters in the afterlife. After making them as miserable as possible, he finds himself needing to search for new prey."

Let me know what you think of this line, and/or leave a line of your own. Then, visit my fellow First-Liners to see what they have this week for you.


Happy Reading!
Sarah

Thursday, May 4, 2017

First Line Friday: Eleanor Edition VI


There is no cover this week, because what I am reading is not a book. Instead, it is a collection of letters. Thanks to this amazing website from Columbia University, Epistolae: Medieval Women's Latin Letters, I now have a treasure trove of goodies - the surviving letters to and from Eleanor in both English AND Latin.

This week's line then comes from one of the many letters Eleanor dictated to the public, dated May 4th, 1199. Almost to the day, this is a letter written 818 years ago, and (for the most part) are the words of a woman I admire greatly:

"Eleanor, by the grace of God, queen of the Angles, duchess of Normandy and Aquitaine, countess of Anjou, to the archbishops, bishops, counts, viscounts, barons, justiciaries, provosts, and all her bailiffs and faithful, and to all the sons, present and future, of the holy mother Church, greetings."

Quite the intro, no?

Let me know what you think of this line, and/or leave a line of your own. Then, visit my fellow First-Liners to see what they have this week for you.


Happy Reading!
Sarah

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Cover Reveal: Quinsey Wolfe's Glass Vault


Hooray for beautiful covers!

Quinsey Wolfe's Glass Vault

Today is the cover reveal for Quinsey Wolfe's Glass Vault by Candace Robinson. This cover reveal is organized by Lola's Blog Tours. The cover is designed by Jenny @ Seedlings Design Studio: http://www.seedlingsonline.com/

Quinsey Wolfe's Glass Vault
By Candace Robinson
Genre: Urban Fantasy/ Horror
Age category: Upper YA
Release Date: May 16, 2017

Some see it...Some don't...

People in the town of Deer Park, Texas are vanishing. There is a strange museum, known as Quinsey Wolfe's Glass Vault, that appears overnight. Perrie Madeline's best friend and ex-boyfriend are among the missing.  Perrie, along with her friend August, go on a pursuit to search for them in the mysterious museum. Could the elusive Quinsey Wolfe’s Glass Vault have anything to do with their disappearances?

You can find Quinsey Wolfe's Glass Vault on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/34511974-quinsey-wolfe-s-glass-vault

You can pre-order Quinsey Wolfe's Glass Vault here:
- Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Quinsey-Wolfes-Glass-Candace-Robinson-ebook/dp/B06XR44W6M/ 


About the Author:



Candace Robinson is just your average hemiplegic migraine sufferer. Her days are spent writing, book reviewing and traveling through books. She lives just outside of Houston, Texas, where it feels like the hottest place on Earth with the crazy weather. No, seriously, one day it's 30 degrees and the next it's 70 degrees! She resides with her husband and daughter.

You can find and contact Candace here:


Monday, May 1, 2017

Top Ten Tuesday!


Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature by The Broke and the Bookish that I LOVE because then I get to interact with other bloggers, even when our reading tastes vary wildly. This week's theme is right up my alley, because I am exactly that person who judges books by their covers. A lot. I know it is not very nice and all that, but sometimes a cover REALLY has to speak to me if it is a topic I am only mildly interested in.

May 2nd: Cover Theme Freebie: Literally anything about covers...top ten covers that scream Spring, ten books with ice cream on the cover, ten books with blue covers, etc.

Naturally, I will stick to what I know best, and that is the history of the UK - funny, isn't it, since I am exactly 0% Scottish, English, or Irish (and about 90% German with a dash of Swede thrown in for good measure). Also, let's not pretend I would be able to stick anywhere even close to ten. So, without further adieu, I present the top covers (in no particular order) that I desperately love from my most favorite topic, the history of the UK. No explanations, just rows and rows of beautiful covers.

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Just a note, I have read most of the books featured on this list. However, an endorsement of the cover does not necessarily mean an endorsement of the content. There are some beautiful covers that have really done me wrong and you would think I would stop judging them. But I don't.

And here is one more, just for good measure, coming in September:


Now, this is the UK cover, which I love infinitely more than the US one. So, looks like I will be doing a bit of shopping on Amazon.co.uk, won't I?

Let me know what you think of my cover choices and where I can find your list as well.
Happy Reading!
Sarah

Thursday, April 27, 2017

First Line Friday: Thomas Becket Edition


Okay, so sue me, in a not-so-roundabout way this post is ALSO an 'Eleanor Edition'. While I am still in the early chapters of my own book, concerning Eleanor's early life and journey to Paris, Thomas Becket would be a key figure in her life later on.

This week my first line is from this gem:

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And I highly recommend the book. It is FANTASTIC.

"Archbishop Thomas Becket, who for four centuries after his gruesome murder in Canterbury Cathedral would be nicknamed 'lux Londoniarum' (the light of the Londoners), was the only surviving son of Gilbert and Matilda Becket, born very probably when the wreck of the White Ship was still the hottest news in town."

For those unfamiliar with the White Ship and the havoc it played on England in the ensuing years, a recap: Henry I (son of William the Bastard/Conqueror) lost his heir Prince William when the White Ship sank on November 25th, 1120. Only one man survived of an estimated 350 (crew and passengers). William likely would have survived, as he was launched out onto the water in a dinghy, but he returned to the wrecked ship to save a half-sister. That very decision, one that cost William his life as the dinghy was swamped, put Henry II - and Eleanor of Aquitaine - on the throne in 1154.

With William gone, Henry I had only one surviving, legitimate child, Matilda. Before his death, he repeatedly made his barons swear an oath of fealty to Matilda and protect her claim as rightful heir. One who swore that oath was Matilda's cousin Stephen, who might be an even worse king than Henry I's great grandson John. Naturally, Stephen stole the throne for himself with Matilda out of the country when her father died. A long, chaotic, brutal civil war followed and was finally put to an end when Stephen agreed for Matilda's son, Henry, to inherit the throne even over his own son Eustace. And thus, the Plantagenet dynasty was born.

Now, you might be wondering what all of that has to do with Thomas Becket. For that I say, please do read the book.

Leave me a comment on your own line this week, or your thoughts about some of my most and least favorite people in history. Then head over to the blogs of my fellow First Liners and see what they have waiting for you this week.


Rachel - Bookworm Mama




Lauraine - Lauraine's Notes

Andi - Radiant Light


Robin - Robin's Nest


Kathleen - Kathleen Denly


Jessica - A Baker's Perspective

And a very happy welcome to the newest participant Trisha at Joy of Reading!

Happy Reading!
Sarah

Thursday, April 20, 2017

First Line Friday: Catherine Howard Edition


This week's line is from a phenomenal book I recently finished on the subject of Catherine Howard, the 5th woman unlucky enough to marry Henry VIII.

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I am fully in awe of the amount of research that went into this one and consider this to be the new must-read in regards to the 5th queen. I may even refer to it as the bible of Catherine Howard. I appreciate when each queen (even the Concubine, Anne Boleyn) gets their fair look because each one of these women, from the first Catherine to the last, had an extremely difficult and unenviable task - keeping Henry happy. Most escaped with their lives, some barely, and others not, yet they all deserve to have their voices heard.

The line I chose this week is from Chapter 1: The Hour of Our Death (but is actually about Cromwell's execution, the day of Catherine and Henry's wedding).

"A benefit of being executed was that one avoided any chance of the dreaded mors improvisa, a sudden death by which a Christian soul might be denied the opportunity to make his peace."

Leave a comment letting me know what you think of my line, or leave a line of your own to share. Then visit the blogs of my fellow First-Liners and see what they have this week as well.


Rachel - Bookworm Mama




Lauraine - Lauraine's Notes

Andi - Radiant Light


Robin - Robin's Nest


Kathleen - Kathleen Denly



Happy Reading, Happy Friday!

Sarah

Monday, April 17, 2017

Top Ten Tuesday!


Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created here at The Broke and the Bookish in June 2010. This feature was created because we are particularly fond of lists here at The Broke and the Bookish. We'd love to share our lists with other bookish folks and would LOVE to see your top ten lists!

This week's topic is:

April 18th: Top Ten Things That Will Make Me Instantly Want To Read A Book 
Basically any topic or theme or ANYTHING (i.e. if X person recommends it) that will make you instantly want to pick up a book.

Oh dear. This might exceed ten. I will try my very best to stay near ten. No promises though. Given my love of non-fiction, this will be mostly by topic. Of course there are certain authors I will read no matter what, and certain topics where I want to read every book I can possibly get my hands on, no matter the viewpoint. I will also be posting books with each category and will try to limit myself to only two. Here are a few, in no particular order:

1. Eleanor of Aquitaine

This BAMF deserves her own category, apart from the Plantagenet Dynasty. Easily the most fascinating figure of the Middles Ages, what I would not give for a time machine (and the security of being able to return to 2017 with no problems).

My Recommendation:

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2. The Anglo-Saxons
I have seen articles recently suggesting that Alfred is not as 'Great' as once thought. Phooey. I don't think anyone believes the 'burning the rolls' story anymore, but he certainly kick-started, or helped further, the idea of education and reading, and left a solidly defend-able England for his grandson Aethelstan to unite. And I will be forever tormented by thoughts of 1066 what-ifs, had Harold survived Hastings, etc. But then we may not have had my next favorite topics...

My Recommendation:

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3. The Plantagenets
The ruling family of England for roughly 300 years. Definitely dysfunctional and definitely fun. Except for the murders and throne-stealing.

My recommendation:

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I have to stop there or I will seriously have a list 20 books long.

4. Roman Britain
Boudicca. Bouddicca. Boadicea. I could go on and on. However you want to spell it, she was another BAMF that we know even less about than Eleanor of Aquitaine. But I believe she existed and I believe that for a very short time, she was able to bring the Roman army in Britain to its knees. If only things had gone differently at the Battle of Watling Street (for lack of better title to give it), who knows what England might look like today.

My Recommendation:

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5. The Tudors
Dysfunction abounds in the dynasty after the Plantagenets too. Just as much blood and gore, if not more so just from Henry alone. He is of lesser interest to me than those around him though; the many Thomases, the women unfortunate enough to be married to him, and his children who would, unfortunately (or fortunately, depending on your view), fail to produce another Tudor generation.

My Recommendation:

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Much like with the Plantagenets, I have to stop here or this topic will be loooooong.

6. Queen Consorts of England (1509 - 1547)

It is really hard for me to refer to these women as 'Queens to Henry VIII'. They need to be allowed to stand on their own as real people, and not just considered by what is viewed as the greatest achievement in their lives - marrying a king. I am even willing to extend that to Anne Boleyn, and I can not stand that woman. I can however, recognize a good biography about her, which Eric Ives has written and I highly recommend. I also appreciate books dedicated to one queen, instead of lumping them all together in one book. I feel that each one deserves their own look. Yes, even Anne.

My Recommendation:

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I am still needing to get my hands on biographies of Anne of Cleves and Katherine Parr. There are a few on my TBR list but if you have recommendations I would love to hear them!

7. Gilded Age New York
...especially when about the big name families - the Rockefellers, Morgans, Vanderbilts, etc. Seeing 5th Avenue, lined with those gaudy mansions, would have been amazing. And some of them were actually quite beautiful. I wish they were still around!

My Recommendation:

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Another topic that threatened to get out of control!

8. Scottish History (up to 1603)
Pretty much the entire UK and its history is interesting. I still, however, like to acknowledge the fact that they are three different countries.

9. Irish History (up to 1603)
See above.

10. Anything by Dan Jones

I know, I know, I include him on lots of lists. But whatever, he is one of my favorites, his research is thorough, and he writes mainly about one of my favorite topics: the Plantagenets and medieval England.

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Have I already mentioned how psyched I am for his new book this fall about the Knights Templar? Yes? Oh well, here is another reminder: I. Can't. Wait.

11. Biblical NonFiction and Archaeology
I am forever reading the King James Version Bible and I enjoy finding non-fiction texts that discuss different aspects of the Bible and Christianity. Unfortunately, anymore it seems like the term Christian has been hijacked by the hard right here in the US, so I prefer simply saying I am a follower of Christ, so as to not be lumped in with those using and abusing His words (and words He did not say) for their own purposes. I love studying the Bible and appreciate books that help give me a deeper understanding of God's Word. I also enjoy texts relating to these places that existed so long ago and still exist today. It is a dream to see Jerusalem, though I would not feel entirely safe embarking on that journey at the present time with a three year old. I hope in the future we will be able to do so.

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Once again, stopping myself from posting my whole Goodreads shelf.

12. Fashion History
I am especially fond of the histories of the major fashion houses - Gucci, Louis Vuitton, Versace, etc. Someday I WILL own an LV traveling trunk and it will be amazing.

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13. US Presidents
One of my reading goals here in 2017 is to read more about US Presidents - specifically those who are not named Washington, Lincoln, or Kennedy. it is nothing against those presidents, but just that I have already read SO MANY books about them. The Kennedy family might as well also have their own category, because I am endlessly fascinated by the creation and illusion of Camelot.

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Okay, this goal has been slow-going since I started writing my own book, but I am getting there. Sloooooooowly.

14. Titanic
What can I say? The 16 year old in me can never let go. But jokes aside, I am one of the many who will forever be fascinated and haunted by this tragic loss of life and man's arrogance in attempting to defeat nature. I was in Ireland in 2010 but we did not have time to get to Belfast and it was HEARTBREAKING! But it is another item on my bucket list, and a trip my little lady and I can take together some day.

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Ugh. I could have gone on way longer. And listed SO many more books for some of these categories. I think fourteen is as good a place as any to stop though. This was about to get seriously out of control. If you are also interested in any of these topics, I would love to hear your book-specific recommendations and/or share some of my own with you.

Happy Reading,
Sarah