What I Read This Past Month

Well, there’s a big ice storm happening outside, and I will not be going anywhere today. So, what to do? Aside from reading and watching television, I guess I shall blog about what I’ve read in the past month! We will start with the ones that I read longest ago, so let’s see how much I can remember!

First up,

Mariana by Susanna Kearsley
1995, 325 pages

This was our book club book for November, and I enjoyed it more than the others, naturally. Fun read that is perfect for curling up on the couch with during a storm of some sort. Read the review

Lament: The Faerie Queen’s Deception by Maggie Steifvater
2008, 325 pages

Well, I don’t remember much about this book. It was written by the author of . I enjoyed Shiver, and this was written prior to that.

Side note, Lament is part of a trilogy, but the third has not been written. My guess is this series was not as popular as Shiver, but now that people have started reading her books it’s time to resuscitate them.

Anywho, Deidre is 16, and a musical prodigy with a harp. She doesn’t fit in at school, has the requisite male best friend who is secretly in love with her, and a dangerous, gorgeous boy suddenly shows up, creating the requisite love triangle. Luke, said dangerous boy, is a faerie assassin and has been told to kill Deidre. The Faerie Queen wants Deidre dead because she is more beautiful and may threaten the queen’s rule.

At least, I think that’s the plot. There’s a lot of Celtic faerie lore in the book, which was cool. However, as you can see, it was not very memorable. I did not feel the need to immediately reach for the next book, but maybe I will go back and give it a shot at a later date.

Rating: 3 out of 5 bedazzles

Madame Tussaud by Michelle Moran
2011, 446 pages

I believe I have mentioned my love of all things French? Hence my excitement when I saw this book at the library. As you may be aware, Madame Tussaud created the famous wax museums that are all over the world. This book follows her rise to fame just before the French Revolution.

Marie Tussaud worked for her stepfather, by sculpting a variety of people famous in France out of wax and having people pay to come and see the sculptures. By doing this, Tussaud made her living and was sort of like the tabloid magazines of the time. There were scenes with the royal family that Tussaud had gone to see, such as the royal family dining, a special room set with the criminals of the time, such as the Marquis de Sade (whoa, was that guy bad news) and others.

Tussaud and her family had to step carefully during the Revolution. Marie became friendly with the king’s sister, and was sent to teach her how to sculpt out of wax. When the Revolution came, however, Marie and her family had to figure out a way to walk the fine line between the two sides so that they could be on the side of the victor.

It was mostly interesting, but let’s face it, I know how the Revolution ended so I kind of skipped the end. I wasn’t sad that I read it, but it just kept going on and on and on! I don’t have time for that!

Rating: 2 out of 5 bedazzles

Doomed to Repeat: The Lessons of History We’ve Failed to Learn by Bill Fawcett
2013, 336 pages

I picked this up because I saw it on a display in Barnes & Noble a while ago that was full of quirky books. I thought it would be more like something that Bill Bryson writes, entertaining with enough humor to keep you engaged. This, however was not that. Full of doom and gloom and just leaves you feeling annoyed that history does, indeed, repeat itself. A pretty dry read too. I didn’t finish it.

Rating: 1 out of 5 bedazzles

The Two Hotels Francfort by David Leavitt
2013, 272 pages

This story takes place in Lisbon, Portugal during two weeks in the summer of 1940. Americans are arriving from all over Europe to take a ship back to the United States to be safe from Hitler’s march across Europe. The story focuses on two couples, Pete and Julia and Edward and Iris. Julia’s a little delicate….mentally unstable, and the other three are involved in a very weird love triangle. It was sort of interesting.

Rating: 2 out of 5 bedazzles

The Bling Ring by Nancy Jo Sales
2013, 288 pages

This is also a movie, which I watched. It focuses on a group of 16 and 17 year olds living out in California who got bored, or something, and decided to rob many famous people during 2008 and 2009. The author was originally sent to interview the teenagers for an article in “Vanity Fair,” which then became a book after Sophia Coppola decided to turn it into a movie.

It’s all just very weird, and the kids clearly suck. They wanted to be famous, or close to famous people, or something, so they went and stole what they wanted and then bragged about it to friends before they were finally caught due to surveillance footage and some classmates telling the police. Interesting, but messed up. Also, what on earth were the parents doing?! Seriously.

Rating: 3 out of 5 bedazzles

The Tilted World by Tom Franklin and Beth Ann Fennelly
2013, 320 pages

The Tilted World takes place in Mississippi during 1927, when the Great Flood ravaged the South. It was also during Prohibition. So, during the buildup to the giant flood, two agents, Ingersoll and Ham, travel to Mississippi on assignment from Hoover, then in charge of many things, to figure out what happened to the last two Prohibition agents who went missing in the town of Hobnob, Mississippi. There they meet Jessie and Dixie Holliver, the main bootleggers in the town. Jesse is dangerous, and probably a little crazy, and Dixie is the one making the moonshine. Ingersoll begins to fall for her, but will Ham and Ingersoll figure out what is going on before the levees finally break and the whole town goes under?

Rating: 4 out of 5 bedazzles

The Blind Assassin by Margaret Atwood
2001, 637 pages

Iris Chase begins a memoir of her life, essentially. Her sister, Laura, is a famed writer who committed suicide just after World War II in 1945. Iris chronicles what happened in their lives that led to Laura’s suicide. The chapters alternate between Iris’s recollections, the “novel” that Laura wrote, entitled “The Blind Assassin” and news clippings from Iris’s life, including the obituaries of her sister and other family members. I liked it, I did, but it was too long. I began skipping the chapters from “The Blind Assassin” just to get to the end. The end was pretty awesome, I should probably read it again just for that, but it was so loooong!

Rating: 2.5 out of 5 bedazzles