Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Book Review: The Heretic Queen

The Heretic QueenThe Heretic Queen by Michelle Moran
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Publication Date: September 2008
Source: Library

I really loved this one. I know most historical fiction isn't entirely accurate, but I love reading about different periods in history in such a fun way. Some historical fiction is really dry, but The Heretic Queen was an easy read that was hard to put down.

I often feel uneasy reading historical fiction, especially stories about women. They rarely had it very good, and you know bad things are going to happen to them. And then there are a lot of catty women in these stories, and this one is no exception. It makes it hard to read sometimes, while at the same time keeping things interesting.

Even though I find ancient Egypt really interesting, I didn't know much about Nefertari. She was a fun character to read about, and was very strong and just pretty darn awesome. I would love to read more about her in the future.

I think this is my second book by this author, the first being Rebel Queen. I liked this one better, but I will definitely be reading more of Michelle Moran's books in the future. She's a great author that makes history seem a lot more accessible.

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Friday, August 5, 2016

Book Review: Caliban's War

Caliban's War (Expanse, #2)Caliban's War by James S.A. Corey
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Publication Date: June 2012
Source: Library

I thought the first book in the Expanse series was okay, but I didn't love it. The ending was good enough to have me looking forward to the next in the series, but not rushing out to read it. So it's been a couple years since I read Leviathan Wakes, and I couldn't really remember much about it.

I didn't really feel lost at all, though, reading Caliban's War. And I absolutely loved it. It was just so much fun. It really reminded me a lot of Firefly, which is definitely a good thing. The story was fast-paced, and I can't even really remember a slow moment where I had even the slightest chance of getting bored.

Obviously I would suggest reading the first in the series before reading this. But definitely read this series! It's great so far, and I won't be waiting so long to get to book 3, I hope.

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Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Book Review: Fire Touched

Fire Touched (Mercy Thompson, #9)Fire Touched by Patricia Briggs
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Publication Date: March 2016
Source: library

I really liked this a lot. I thought I was getting tired of this series, and that it had run its course for me. I guess it hasn't, though. This book still felt fresh enough, with new characters and new ideas, that I didn't feel like it was just the same story told all over again.

I love Mercy and Adam's relationship, and definitely like it best when they are supportive of each other and there's no manufactured drama, like ex-wives.

This is probably my second favorite urban fantasy series, after the Kate Daniels series.

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Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Coloring Book Review: Wonderland

Wonderland: A Coloring Book Inspired by Alice's AdventuresWonderland: A Coloring Book Inspired by Alice's Adventures by Amily Shen
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Publication date: April 2016
Source: Review copy from Blogging for Books

It's hard to review coloring books, because they really are quite subjective. Everyone has different styles that they like. I guess in that way it's similar to fictional books, but I think even more so. Wonderland is a high quality book. The pages were really thick and double-sided. I don't know if marker would bleed through; maybe super fine ones wouldn't, but I think the best bet with double-sided coloring pages is colored pencils.

I liked the pictures, for the most part. There were some that looked really fun to color, and then others that I feel like I wouldn't even know where to begin. The story really felt secondary, and almost unnecessary. I could have done without it entirely. There was only a paragraph every few pages.

There were a few spots where you were supposed to draw in your own things, like owls or butterflies. I know some people like that kind of thing, but I don't. Not in my coloring books anyways. There was also one page that had a maze, and a page with questions/riddles, such as finding hidden clues throughout the book.

Overall I think it was a really nice book, although I'm not sure if I will keep it and color in it, or gift it.

I received this book from Blogging for Books in exchange for an honest review.

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    Monday, May 9, 2016

    Cookbook Review: Tasting Rome

    Tasting Rome: Fresh Flavors and Forgotten Recipes from an Ancient CityTasting Rome: Fresh Flavors and Forgotten Recipes from an Ancient City by Katie Parla
    My rating: 3 of 5 stars
    Publication date: March 2016
    Source: Review copy from Blogging for Books

    This is a beautiful book, but for me it fails slightly in the useful cookbook department.

    The cover and photographs inside are quite lovely. I like the descriptions and history of Rome. There is a lot of information here. So I guess that's good in a way.

    What it was missing was pictures of a lot of the recipes. Some recipes had no picture, and some included a picture of scenery instead of the food. Is day about half had a picture of the recipe.

    Then there were a lot of ingredients that I wouldn't be able to find in my little Utah suburb. But I was really interested in the pizza and bread section, and suspect that I'll try at least a few of those recipes.

    So overall not my favorite cookbook, but still enjoyable to look at and read.

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    Saturday, April 23, 2016

    Book Review: Winter

    Winter (The Lunar Chronicles, #4) Princess Winter is admired by the Lunar people for her grace and kindness, and despite the scars that mar her face, her beauty is said to be even more breathtaking than that of her stepmother, Queen Levana. Winter despises her stepmother, and knows Levana won’t approve of her feelings for her childhood friend—the handsome palace guard, Jacin. But Winter isn’t as weak as Levana believes her to be and she’s been undermining her stepmother’s wishes for years. Together with the cyborg mechanic, Cinder, and her allies, Winter might even have the power to launch a revolution and win a war that’s been raging for far too long.

    Winter by Marissa Meyer
    My rating: 2 of 5 stars

    This would have been a lot better at about half the length. The same things kept happening over and over, except with different characters. And constant descriptions about what everyone was wearing and how they looked. And having four different romantic couples was a bit much. And the bad guys were hilariously incompetent.

    If you loved the series to begin with, you'll probably love the ending. But if, like me, you're just reading to see how it all ends, you'll probably be annoyed and a bit bored.

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    Wednesday, April 6, 2016

    Book Review: Only in Naples

    In the tradition of M. F. K. Fisher and Peter Mayle, this enchantingly warm and witty memoir follows American-born Katherine Wilson on her adventures abroad, where a three-month rite of passage in Naples turns into a permanent embrace of this boisterous city on the Mediterranean. It is all thanks to a surprising romance, a new passion for food, and a spirited woman who will become her mother-in-law—and teach her to laugh, to seize joy, and to love.

      Only in Naples: Lessons in Food and Famiglia from My Italian Mother-in-LawOnly in Naples: Lessons in Food and Famiglia from My Italian Mother-in-Law by Katherine Wilson
    My rating: 4 of 5 stars
    Publication date: April 19, 2016
    Source: Netgalley

    I don't know what it was about this book that made me like it so much. On the surface, it's really not my style of book, but I requested it from Netgalley cause I was interested in reading more travel memoirs.

    The writing style really drew me in, and I quite liked Katherine. I found her story really fun to read, even though nothing very exciting ever happened.

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