Wednesday, July 22, 2015

#hsreadathon - Update 1


What a busy two days for me.  And for most of you that view this post, it will be Wednesday by the time you do view it.  It has been a fairly successful two days of the read-a-thon, in that I got Alchemy's Daughter completed and reviewed.  So that is off my plate.  And if you want to, you can view the review here.  

As for my plans for the next two days, I am probably going to work on Travelling to Infinity by Jane Hawking and work on getting that book completed.  I am probably going to post some more reviews here in the coming days, if I can find my notebook with my rough copy of reviews that need to be posted, but I know I have it with me.

Hope those of you who are participating are getting your reading piles down.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Alchemy's Daughter - Mary A. Osborne #AlchemysDaughter #historicalfiction #hsreadathon

Title: Alchemy's Daughter
Author: Mary A. Osborne
Pages: 288
Published: 2015
Challenges: Historical Fiction
Genre: Historical Fiction, Young Adult
Edition: Paperback
Source: Publisher via Italy Book Tours

Book Description: In medieval San Gimignano, Italy, daughters of merchants are expected to marry. But Santina Pietra cares only for Calandrino, a brilliant young scholar who is preoccupied with his ancient alchemical texts. 

Soon Santina meets Trotula, the village midwife, who might or might not be a "strega," a witch. Trotula challenges her to forget Calandrino and become the woman she is meant to be. Some say she is a victim of the midwife’s spell, but Santina is determined to follow in Trotula’s footsteps even as calamities strike. 

Thoughts: While it took me awhile to actually sit down and read the book, once I started the book, I felt engaged with Santina and the other characters in the book.  My favourite character was Trotula, as she took no nonsense from Santina and expected her to eventually figure things out on her own.

I really liked the setting, as it wasn't a typical Italian setting and didn't really take place in a typical period for fiction set in Italy, which is usually the Renaissance or during the Roman Empire, but set in an era that little is known about.   The plot flows well and seems to flow seamlessly, all the while keeping the reading engaged with the characters and the author made me feel as though I should care for Santina and really rooted for her and also empathized with her.

If there was one thing that I didn't really like it was that I felt that the language was a little simplistic for me as a reader and felt that it was more geared to readers coming out of middle grade fiction and looking for something a little more difficult, but not too difficult, even though the main characters are in their late teens/early twenties.  I really liked the inclusion of the three maps at the beginning of the book, allowing the reader to know where the story takes place.

Bottom line: Overall, it was a good book and nice break from the densely packed adult fiction that I read on a regular basis and would be a really good read for those readers that are transitioning out of middle grade books into young adult book.  Or for those of us adults who enjoy a break from the denser fiction or who just want a nice, easy historical fiction.  And for parents that are worried about the content, the book is clean and has no language or sexual issues that could find myself.  Highly recommended. 

Rating: 4.25/5

Author's Bio:

Mary A. Osborne is the multiple award-winning author of Alchemy's Daughter and Nonna’s Book of Mysteries. A graduate of Rush University and Knox College, where she was mentored in the Creative Writing Program, Ms. Osborne is a registered nurse and holds degrees in chemistry and nursing. Her freelance work has appeared in publications such as Hektoen International, Newcity, and the Examiner.com. Ms. Osborne lives in Chicago.
Connect with Mary: Website  ~  Facebook  ~  Twitter





Where to buy the book:

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Mailbox Monday (July 20)

Image is from the Mailbox Monday site

Mailbox Monday is a place for readers to share the books that came into their homes during the past week.  After being hosted at a number of blogs over the past few years, it has gone back to its home base, the aptly named, Mailbox Monday.

This is what I have gotten in the last 6 weeks since my last post:


The titles are:
• Papertowns by John Green
• Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng
• Hollow City by Ransom Riggs
• The Orphan Master's Son by Adam Johnson
• Library of Souls by Ransom Riggs (sampler won from Armchair BEA)

I plan on reading these books later in the summer or in early fall.

And on Saturday I got this while at the drug store:

• Shopaholic to the Stars by Sophie Kinsella

Hope you have a great reading week!

The 9th Canadian Book Challenge



I am going to try my hand at this again.  It's a pretty simple challenge: read 13 books by Canadian authors and link them up at The Book Mine Set, who has put up monthly link ups on his page so that you can easily link up your reviews.  If you want to know more about the challenge, you can view the FAQ's here. Hope you will be able to join me.  Happy reading.

Sunday Salon - Reviews going forward

I know that what I am going to say is not exactly earth shattering, but going forward I am not going to be keeping track of pages read for the books I have read.  The reasons being is that (a) I don't know how many of my readers really care about how many pages I have read to date, (b) it takes away from the review itself, and possibly most importantly (c) I have gotten so far behind on my reviews for this year that with the galley that I have to review it will become a problem.

I will still give the number of pages or the file size of the book that I have read when I give the information for the the book, but with the coming review of the galley that I have to review this coming week, this will become a problem.

As for my reading, it was pretty good this past week.  I finished Hausfrau and A Hundred Summers and made a lot of progress on Travelling to Infinity.  And even though I brought quite a number of books with me on my vacation, I still managed to buy one while I was in a store yesterday.   I also worked a lot on my copy Secret Garden and if you are interested in what I am doing there, you can follow me through my personal Facebook page to see my colouring progress.  I may post some of my photos for Wordless Wednesday or Snapshot Saturday or Sunday Salon, but if you wish to see the progress of my colouring books (yes I do plan on getting the next books in the series), you will have to follow me through my personal Facebook page or my Instagram account.

Today's reading will include Alchemy's Daughter (galley) and Travelling through Infinity.  Happy reading.

Saturday, July 18, 2015

High Summer Read-a-Thon


One of the bloggers that I have followed for a number of years is hosting her annual High Summer Read-a-Thon.  Its a relaxing read-a-thon that only requires that you read during the days of the read-a-thon.  And if you do want to participate, that you sign up, especially if you want a bookish prize (usually a book, either in e-book format or in a traditional paper format).  If you wish to participate, you can sign up here

Here is my list of to-reads for the read-a-thon:
• Alchemy's Daughter (galley for a review tour that I am participating in and has to be up on the 22nd).
• Travelling to Infinity
• probably one of the e-books I have checked out.

I think I will put up a nightly post with my reading for the day, as best I can (I may have some days in which I can't post much).

Friday, June 26, 2015

Joining #reviewathon

Write On Review-a-Thon

As some of you know, I have still yet to catch up with my reviews, but since this reviewathon has come at the end of the school year, this comes at the perfect time to start catching up on the books that I have read since this past January/February.  But I have a bunch of friends coming over for some movie watching tonight, so I will start working on my reviews tomorrow after I have done some cleaning of my apartment (dusting my china cabinet and possibly something else).  But in any case, its the perfect time for me to start catching up on the backlog of reviews.
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