Thursday, May 26, 2011

A little Update

  I posted two reviews this evening, one was for The Red Queen by Philippa Gregory and the second one was for Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen.  I admire both writers and loved both books!  I can't wait to get more reviews up.  I'm still trying to get the feel for what I want my reviews to be like and how I want to blog to run.

  Now that the school year is winding down for my girls, my days are a little hectic right now.  My youngest has five days left of pre-school.  I can not believe how fast the time has gone by already.  In the fall she will be in kindergarten!

  My oldest has a few weeks left of school and then off to second grade in the fall!  So I have end of the year activities going on right now, which means that I am not reading as much as I usually do.  Soon the girls will be home and we will be spending a lot of time outside and at the beach, meaning that I will be reading quite a bit.

   I am going to be posting a few more reviews over the next few days!  I also went to the library with the girls to day and have a few new books to read, so as soon as I am done with those I will be posting reviews for them as well.  So when the day is done and the girls are in bed, I will be listening to the iPod and typing away.

  I hope everyone has a great rest of the week and I hope you all enjoy your Memorial day weekend.


Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Water For Elephants

Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen

   Sara Gruen is very talented writer.  Water for Elephants was the first of her books I have read, and it did not disappoint me at all.   I was hooked from the very beginning!  This book is about the Circus...I know what you must be thinking, Oh Great Clowns!  But that is not the case in this book.

   Water for Elephants is about a young man named Jacob Jankowski, who is about to graduate from Cornell University as a Veterinarian.  Tragically his parents are killed in an automobile accident  which leaves him with nothing in the 1930's.  The time of the depression.  With nowhere to live and nowhere to go, Jacob starts walking and walking until he ends up by the train tracks.   As a train comes his way, his life changes.  Jacob, with nothing left for him in his small town, starts running after the train and hops on.  Much to his surprise, it's a circus train...the Benzini Brothers Circus.

   This is where he will be pushed to the limit and where he will fall in love.  He works hard and ends up staying with the circus as their veterinarian.  Living through the day seems to be the biggest challenge for young Jacob as his boss, August, has a severe mood swings and is married to one of Jacobs love interests named Marlena.

  In the time of the depression it was hard to get work and it was hard for the Circus' to stay running.  If you were one of the fortunate Circus' to stay afloat,  you did so by gaining circus acts from a fallen circus.  The Benzini Brothers acquire an elephant named Rosie, Jacobs second love in this book.

   Jacobs job is to take care of the animals and to be the man in charge of the elephant Rosie.  Rosie is going to be the saving grace of the circus as the main act with Marlena.  Working with Rosie and Marlena, Jacob forms great bonds with both.  Torn between the right thing to do and the way things must go are a great displeasure to Jacob.

  August is abusive to everyone around him, especially Rosie and Marlena.  August had many problems with the Rosie, due to the language barrier between them.  Rosie finds herself in a few troublesome situations that are funny and light in nature, and in turn suffers severe punishments at the hands of August.

   Also suffering from the hands of August, is his wife Marlena.  Although Marlena is not a troublesome Elephant she also finds herself in some trouble.   August is paranoid and takes things the wrong way and with doing that, becomes abusive to Marlena.  Jacob does not like this at all and tries to do everything he can to save both Marlena and Rosie.  The two loves of his life.

   A very moving book about circus life and how hard it must have been in the 1930's.  I recommend this book with great praises.  Entertaining and captivating to the very end.  I almost want to run away to the circus!

The Red Queen by Philippa Gregory

The Red Queen by Philippa Gregory

   Another fantastic book from Philippa Gregory. Having read The White Queen, I had to read The Red Queen. The Red Queen is the second book in the Cousins' War series.  This is the story of Margaret Beaufort and her quest to make her son, Henry Tudor, King.

  In The White Queen we are introduced to Margaret Beaufort and her son Henry.  The White Queen by Philippa Gregory tells the story of Elizabeth Woodville, the commoner who won the heart of Edward and became Queen.  Margaret Beaufort was on the other side of this war for the throne.

   Margaret Beaufort is a strong willed women, who sets aside her own desires to put her son on the Throne of England.  Margaret wanted to be a holy women or another Joan of Arc.  Unfortunately Margaret lives in a time when a women does not choose her own life.  Married off at a very young age and a mother not long after, she chooses the only option left for put her son on the throne.  This side of the War of the Roses is more focused on a women's belief in god and his plan for her family.

   This Red Queen is the story of the house of Lancaster fighting for the throne with secret plans and deception.  Another story of a strong women who has the will to fight to the very end, only she may have God on her side as well as the ultimate goal in the end....the Throne.

   I love Philippa Gregory's books.  She has an amazing ability to grab your attention and keep you reading to the very end.  I could not put this book down.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Some things to look forward to!

   So, I think I'm starting to get the hang of this.  I posted my first book review!  The review of The White Queen by Philippa Gregory is up.  I hope my review sparks an interest for you.  I loved The White Queen and look forward to reading some more of Philippa Gregory's books.

   I should have another review up soon.  This review will be about The Red Queen by Philippa Gregory.  The Red Queen is the second of the Cousin's war series and another great read.  The Red Queen tells the story of the Cousin's from the opposite side of Elizabeth Woodville. 

   I'm also working on a review for The Wolves of Andover by Kathleen Kent.  So far it seems to be a good book.  I can't wait to finish it so that I can share it with you.

   I look forward to working hard on this blog and really get it up and running so that I can give you more and more books to consider reading.  I read through books pretty quickly considering the fact that I run around being a mom, taking my two girls to their activities.  One of our favorite weekly activities is going to the local Library.  We go every week and look forward to the books we pick out a bring home. Usually we bring home about 20-25 books a week.  This may seem like a lot but my girls are 7 years old and 4 years old, so we read through theirs pretty quickly and I usually have about 2-3 books for the week.  Speaking of the youngsters, please let me know if you would like book reviews for children's books.  We read a lot in this house.

  I'm really excited about this blog and hope that you all like it.  Talk to you soon!  :)


The White Queen by Philippa Gregory Book Review

The White Queen by Philippa Gregory

   I was so excited to read The White Queen by Philippa Gregory.  I love the history that she pours into her writing.  Philippa Gregory has an amazing story telling ability and her research is amazing.  The White Queen is Philippa Gregory's first book in the Cousin's War Series. This book takes place before the Tudors during the time of the War of the Roses.
   The White Queen begins with Elizabeth Woodville, from the house of Lancaster.  Elizabeth Woodville is a widow who lost her husband in a battle.  She and her two sons live with her parents and siblings.  Elizabeth's mother, Jacquetta helps her to gain the attention of King Edward IV from the house of York,  with the assistance of witchcraft.  Elizabeth Woodville marries Edward IV in secret with her mother and a servant as the only witnesses.  When Edward IV, from the family of the white roses, takes the throne he must bring Elizabeth in as the new Queen of England. 
    This creates some problems for the new King.  People in England do not like the power that Elizabeth's family have now risen to.  This being in the time of the Cousin's War, Edward has to work a little harder to keep himself on the throne and peace in England.  Brothers turn against brothers in this long battle for the throne as the rightful King.
   King Edward and Elizabeth fight to keep their family in power and peace in England.  Despite Edwards reputation for being a playboy, he adores Elizabeth.  Elizabeth Woodville is a beauty like no other and is the most beautiful Queen that England has seen.  Elizabeth and Edward IV not only have to fight against the people wanting claim to the throne, they must also fight the very people along side them, starting with his mother.  Edward's mother is not happy with the fact that Edward IV married Elizabeth instead of a princess.  Not only is Edward's mother a hurdle they must deal with, Edward's brothers also pose a threat.  
   Elizabeth  produces two little Princes for Edward IV, gaining more claim to the throne of England, as well as many Princesses.  During this time, England becomes divided as others vow to claim the throne of England.  Edward IV goes away to battle and Elizabeth must go into hiding in the Tower of London or Westminster Abbey.  This is where she gives birth to her first son Edward, the future King of England.  After peace is restored and the Royal Family is back at the castle there are more problems to deal with.  Edward's brother George is rallying against him and need to be dealt with.  Against the pleas of his mother Edward IV has his brother George put to death for treason.
   Time goes by and things are looking good for the House of York, until Edward IV becomes ill and passes away.  On his death bed he leaves the care of his young son, Edward,in the care of his brother Richard.  This is not to the liking of Elizabeth.  Knowing that something is wrong, she goes into hiding again, with her daughters and her youngest boy.
  In a time when you can not trust anyone Elizabeth must make some surprising allies, to fight for the throne that rightfully belongs to her son Edward.  During this time of hiding she relies on her witchcraft and least likely allies.  In order to save an heir to the throne she switches her youngest son for a pageboy. Sending the pageboy to the Tower of London to join her son Edward, who is already prisoner.  Many rumors are told about the boys in the tower.  Some say that they were killed and buried, others say that one escaped.  To this day no one knows what happened to the boys in the Tower.
  This is such an amazing book of the struggle for power and what people will do for it, whether it be forming unlikely alliances or switching children.  The goal is always to survive.  Philippa Gregory has an amazing ability to fill in the gaps in history with her own personal idea of what happened.  The White Queen is full of backstabbing, family loyalty and the struggle to survive and rise to the top.  The White Queen is a great book about the time of the War of the Roses and will leave you wondering what England has been wondering for centuries....what happened to the Boys in the Tower?