Chrirob's book challenge for 2017
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Happy 2017 everyone! I don't know if I will get to 75 books (I haven't yet!) but one can always hope to have enough time to do so!
1. The Roanoke Girls by Amy Engel
Allegra is missing...I must return to Roanoke. After learning that her cousin is missing Lane must return to Roanoke, a place in her past, a place she tried so hard to forget and hoped never to see again. Once Lane sets foot on the Kansas farm, she is immersed into the toxic atmosphere of her youth, for you see nothing really changes in Roanoke or Osage Flatts, Kansas...nothing. While Lane tries to find out why her cousin disappeared she must face the ghosts of her past and those living who continue to haunt her still: her first love, her cousin, her mother, her grandparents. Roanoke girls are special. They have secrets that make them stay, run, or die. Lane must choose once and for all if she is to be the Roanoke girl who stays in Osage Flatts, runs to Los Angeles, or dies in the process of finding Allegra...and herself.
This was a fantastic book that I literally could not put down and read in 5 hours. Very engaging and psychologically intriguing. If this is the kind of material that Amy Engel writes I will definitely be watching for more of her work! Thank you LibraryThing for providing me with an Advanced Copy to review...it was awesome!
2. The Secret Rooms: A True Story of a Haunted Castle, a Plotting Duchess, & a Family Secret by Catherine Bailey
In 1940 the 9th Duke of Rutland died...alone in a cavern of rooms in the servants quarters of Belvoir Castle. After his death, these rooms were sealed by his son and not to be entered again until 2008. A young graduate student was allowed in this secret sanctum to review the family archives. She found the rooms exactly as they had been left sixty years earlier when the 9th Duke had died. As she began looking through the documents, she discovers that three distinct periods in the Duke's life had been virtually erased from existance...all documents and letters pertaining to his life during these times destroyed...by his own hand. What secrets was the 9th Duke of Rutland trying to keep from the world and why did he choose to die alone in the secret rooms of Belvoir Castle?
A very interesting book by Bailey that provided a glimpse into the life of Belvoir Castle and the life of the Manners family. If you like history with a little mystery then you will enjoy this book!
>6 chrirob: I saw this one somewhere and got interested - glad you liked it. I think it needs to go on my list.
It was very interesting, although the "mystery" was not as dramatic as I had expected. But nonetheless, it was still a very interesting read and you do walk away feeling sad for this tragic family.
3. Long Black Veil by Jennifer Finney Boylan
In the summer of 1980, six friends decided to seek thrills and adventure by sneaking in to the ruins of Eastern State Penitentiary. The result is disaster with far reaching consequences that will change each of their lives forever. Judith is trying to live her life with the secrets of her past. Jon Casey can never move forward with so many unanswered questions from his past. Rachel loves being an unsuccessful artist, but hates being a very successful professor and researcher. Maisie teaches music to children with special-needs but cannot seem to escape her past or help her own brother Ben with his special needs. Tripper is a lawyer who cannot escape the many failures of his past that never seem to end. Quintin loves Rachel and is pursuing German linguistics, but cannot escape his own desires, secrets, and internal struggles with life. The current lives of these college friends will collide once more when the truth of that fateful night in Eastern State Penitentiary is discovered, revealed, and relived.
This was a very intriguing book that took me a little bit to get into, but once in I was hooked and wanted to find out what happened then and what would be in the present. Boylan has lots of twists and turns as well as psychological drama that makes this book worthy of your time. Thank you LibraryThing and Penguin Random House LLC for the advance copy of this book!
4. The Girl in the Castle by Santa Montefiore
Kitty Deverill has always loved Ireland and her beloved family home, Castle Deverill. But, she is not Irish, she is Anglo-Irish and while she loves Ireland and its people, she is an outsider in a dangerous, rebellious land. As Kitty grows from a spirited young girl into a fiery young woman, she must decide what is most important in her life and where her life will eventually lead. Will she ever see her childhood best friend, Bridie, the castle servant turned ladies maid? Will she ever marry the love of her life since early childhood, Jack O'Leary, despite their differences in class, religion, and heritage? Will their family ever escape the curse placed upon them in 1662...that the Deverill heirs will never rest and be forced to live out all eternity in Castle Deverill as wandering spirits?
This was a fantastic book! I read it in 3 days and now I cannot wait to see what happens to Jack, Kitty, Bridie, Michael, and all the other characters that I have become fascinated with! Apparently this is a 3 book series and I cannot wait until the next 2 are released! I love the history of the novel as well as the supernatural aspects of it! It makes it so very interesting and leaves you wanting more! Thank you LibraryThing and William Morrow/HarperCollins Publishers for the advanced copy of this book! It took me awhile to read it, but it was well worth the wait and I anxiously await the next 2 books in the series!
5. The Mermaid's Daughter by Ann Claycomb
Kathleen is a young singer on her way to stardom; But, her rising star will fall tragically if she cannot find a way to overcome her lifelong afflictions. For as long as she can remember, she has been plagued with stabbing pain in her feet & a choking sensation as if her tongue were cut out. As if this were not enough, she has a connection to water that no one can understand, not even herself. In a desperate attempt to uncover the mystery behind her illness, Kathleen and her girlfriend travel to Ireland, home of her parents, in order to find out if her heritage can explain her maladies. What she finds is not what she seeks: a history of suicidal women beginning with her mother, grandmother, and all who came before her for generations. All of these women with painful afflictions, with debilitating bouts of despair & depression, with an obsession for the sea, and with no choice but to end their own lives rather than live on. As Kathleen comes closer to the secret of her ancestors, will she be strong enough to survive, or will she also choose their fate...suicide?
This was a very interesting book that connected with Hans Christian Andersen's "The Little Mermaid," but created its' own life in the hands of Ms. Claycomb. I would be very interested to read a prequel of this book that accounted for the lives of Kathleen's ancestors. Thank you LibraryThing and William Morrow/HarperCollins Publishers for the advanced copy of this delightful book! I shall be looking for that prequel!
6. The Fifth Petal by Brunonia Barry
Callie is only a young girl when she survives the murder of her mother and 2 other local women in Salem, Massachusetts in 1989. Now, in 2014, another murder has taken place in the same town, on the same night, and with the same woman accused of the murder...Rose. The name of the woman accused is a shock to Callie, for she was told that Rose was dead, had died the same night as her mother. But Rose is not dead, and now Callie must return to Salem, to the scene of her mother's murder so many years ago and try to help the only living link to her mother, her past, and the horrible murders that Halloween night. Helping Rose will not be easy as Rose has gradually slipped into madness over the years and been telling all who will listen that it was the Banshee that killed those women in 1989 and the Banshee that killed now. Is Rose mad and creating this Banshee to cope with her own actions or is there another mysterious force at work that cannot be comprehended...or caught?
This was a very good book and I thoroughly enjoyed reading it! I loved the mystery of the murders and the supernatural aspects that were also in play. I know that I said this about another LibraryThing Early Reviewer book, but I would love to read a prequel of sorts about Rose, Callie's mother, and the other murdered "Goddesses." The town itself has many interesting characters that I would love to read more about...past and future. Thank you LibraryThing and Crown Publishing for the advanced copy of this book!
7. The Wood's Edge by Lori Benton
Reginald Aubrey did the unthinkable when he switched his dead newborn with one of an Indian woman's light-skinned twins born during the siege of Fort William Henry. He has lived his life battling that one moment in time, which he believes ruined not only himself, but possibly his family as well. Twenty years later, he is continuing to battle the past in his mind and his heart; However, he is about to come face-to-face with the repercussions of that fateful day and those repercussions will not affect him but the son who is not his, the daughter he wishes was his, his wife who is slowly being driven mad, and the Oneida family that cannot get over their stolen child: He-Who-Is-Taken.
8. A Flight of Arrows by Lori Benton
Now that Reginald Aubrey has been made to face his actions of the past, he must try to piece together his family, his future, and his country. William Aubrey is in shock that he is no who he was raised to be; He is not Welsh, but Oneida and his whole world has come crashing down. Anna has declared her love for William's twin Two Hawks, but can he survive in her world or will she survive in his? Stone Thrower and Good Voice have waited twenty years to see and meet their son, only to learn that because of learning the truth, he has fled all that know and love him. Amid all of these crises, the fledgling Colonies have declared war on Britain and are now at war...with William wearing and British Redcoat and his family wearing the homespun of Colonials.
This was a very good book and once over, I quickly ordered the sequel A Flight of Arrows online! If you like romance mixed with a great deal of colonial and Native American history, then this series is for you!
9. Dangerous Dreams by Mike Rhynard
Allie is having dreams...vivid, crazy, realistic dreams after a breakup with her boyfriend. Allie cannot seem to shake the feeling that she knows the people she dreams of . These dreams are like a movie and they happen every night, continuing the story of a young girl named Emily who lives in the colony of Virginia in 1587. As Allie continues to dream of Emily, she becomes obsessed with the desire to know what happens to Emily and those around her. Just as Emily is facing the dangers of early colonial life in America, Allie is also facing dangers in the 20th century: the need to sleep in order to dream, the need to dream to find out what happens to Emily...no matter what the cost to herself or to those who love her.
This was really a great book that tied the history of Roanoke colony and the Native Americans with the many theories surrounding what may have happened to result in their disappearance. I loved the history and the fiction of the possibilities of what could have been to those poor settlers. Mr. Rhynard, I hope you continue the story of Allie the Dream Woman, and her ancestors! Would love to have a complete series of books dedicated to that line of genealogy! Thank you for the copy of your book...I loved it!!!
10. The Elusive Miss Ellison by Carolyn Miller
Lavinia has never found a suitor worthy of her attentions. They are either too full of their own arrogance, too silly, or too witless. Nicholas, Earl of Hawkesbury has spent years hiding from a tragic accident of his youth, attempting to find solace in running. However, now that he is the Earl, he can run from those mistakes, from St. Hampton Heath, from the Ellisons no longer. When Nicolas attempts to seek forgiveness for his past wrongs with the Reverend Ellison he meets and clashes wits with Lavinia, his daughter. Although the sparks fly between them, they are complete opposites and contemptuous of one another. Can each of them overcome their own pride and arrogance and begin to see one another for their virtues instead of their faults...and let the sparks begin to ignite?
This book is book one of the Regency Brides: A Legacy of Grace series. It was a fun love story that offered wit, humor, and drama. If you like historical Christian fiction you will enjoy The Elusive Miss Ellison. Thank you to LibraryThing and Kregel Publications for providing me with a free copy of this book to review!
11. The Little French Bistro by Nina George
Marianne wants to kill herself, tries to kill herself, but even her attempt at drowning in the Seine is a failure. Her suicide attempt gets her committed to a psychiatric hospital and it is there that she finds a painted tile of a beautiful seaside village: Kerdruc. Not knowing why, Marianne is convinced that she must travel to Kerdruc, to this place of beauty. She escapes from the hospital and makes her way to the Brittany coast, to the town of Kerdruc with the intention of ending her life there. However, life decides that it has much more in store for the lost Marianne. She "accidentally" gets a job at a little bistro and slowly begins to find a life and also discover that she never really had one before. But, this new life will not come without challenges, for Marianne has a secret that she has told no one...she not only left behind the psychiatric hospital, she left behind her faithless husband, who is now searching for her. In the end, Marianne alone must decide who she really is and which part of her self will she become after her awakening in the little town of Kerdruc.
This was a very interesting book and I enjoyed reading it. I loved learning about Brittany and it's customs. I believe this author wrote another book, The Little Paris Bookshop, that I may just pick up and read also! Thank you LibraryThing and Crown Publishing for the wonderful book!
12. House of Dark Shadows by Robert Liparulo
The King family is moving from the busy city to the boring small town of Pinedale, California. To make matters worse, they are moving into a dilapidated old house on the outskirts of town...creepy! Fifteen-year old Xander thought the move was the end of his teenage life as he knew it. Twelve-year old David thought this would be an awesome adventure! Nine year old Toria was happily going with the flow, and annoying her big brothers at every turn. Life seems like one big boring mess...until the boys discover a secret about the house. It is no ordinary house. Why are there such strange noises in the night? Why does it sound like someone is talking right next to you when no one is there? Why is the third floor locked away with dozens of small rooms, each containing garments from another time? How is the world does their linen closet transport the boys from their parents bedroom, to a locker in their school? Worst of all...what has happened to their mother???
This is the first of the Dreamhouse Kings series by Robert Liparulo. It is a juvenile fiction, but it was really very interesting to read!
13. Watcher in the Woods by Robert Liparulo
What happened to Mom? The King family struggles continue as they try to find a way to save their mother from the evils lurking in their new home. If that were not bad enough, the King family is now being stalked by a creepy old man that wants to buy their home...at any cost. When the King's refuse to sell, the mysterious stranger begins to turn the town of Pinedale against them. All of this while attempting to find and save their mother!
The adventures of the King family continues in book 2 of the Dreamhouse Kings series! Another great read!
14. The Lost Heiress by Roseanna White - (Ladies of the Manor I) - Brook has always known she was never Monaco royalty...but then, who was she? When a letter from her adoptive mother is given to her containing a mysterious seal, Brook becomes determined to find out. She persuades her oldest friend Justin, future Duke of Stafford, to research this seal on his upcoming trip to England. Little will they both suspect what the truth will hold, and what both of their futures will bring...along with a fair share of mystery, deceit, and danger.
Loved this book! Could not put it down and immediately started (and finished the second in the series...)
15. The Reluctant Duchess by Roseanna White - (Ladies of the Manor II)
Brook, Justin, and their friend Brice are finding a way to keep the curse of the Tiger Eyes at bay. However, when Brice travels to Scotland for a family holiday, he never expected it to alter his life...forever. Rowena, heiress to Clan Kinnaird, needs to escape her family, her foul fiancee, and her life in Scotland all together. But, how far is she willing to go to escape her past and create a new future?
Loved this book also! Can't wait for the last book in the series to arrive at my doorstep!
19. A Lady Unrivaled by Roseanna White - (Ladies of the Manor III) - Lady Ella is forever searching for her prince charming and her happily ever after fairy tail. When she meets the moody, bad tempered Lord James Cayton, she is determined that he is not worth her time. But why can she not stop thinking of him and his adorable baby daughter? While Ella and Lord Cayton are trying NOT to fall in love with each other, they are trying to keep the Fire Eyes out of the hands of their Rushworth cousins who will stop at nothing to obtain them and will let no one stand in their way.
This was a really good series with delightful characters that had me laughing at every turn!
16. Gatekeepers by Robert Liparulo - The Dreamhouse Kings III
The house is hungry. The King family continues the search for their loved ones lost in the various time realms located in the antechambers of their old Victorian home. Their search becomes more desperate as Taksidasian continues to try and get the King family out of the house...so he can use its' power. Through all this terror, the King family will find new friends and family to help them.
Book 3 of the Dreamhouse Kings series and I can't put them down! On to #4!
17. Timescape by Robert Liparulo - The Dreamhouse Kings IV
18. Whirlwind by Robert Liparulo - The Dreamhouse Kings V
The King family and a few of their most trusted friends continue to try and find out what happened to Mrs. King, why their house contains time traveling portals, and how they can escape the deadly clutches of Taksidian. The adventures and surprises continues in this intriguing series!
20. A Heart’s Disguise by Colleen Coble
21. A Heart’s Obsession – Colleen Coble
22. A Heart’s Danger – Colleen Coble
23. A Heart’s Betrayal – Colleen Coble
24. A Heart’s Promise – Colleen Coble
25. A Heart’s Home – Colleen Coble
This Journey of the Heart series follows Sarah and her betrothed Rand as they travel from Indiana to Fort Laramie, Wyoming. Their adventures are filled with heartache, danger, and joy as they encounter the trials of life on the budding new Western Frontier after the Civil War. From Indian raids & kidnapping, to the horrors of war, and the betrayal of friends and foes, this series is a wonderful, very quick read. Colleen Coble's Journey of the Heart series is a pleasure to read.
26. Katherine of Aragon: The True Queen by Alison Weir
Queen Katherine, born of Spain & Castille, destined for England. This is the story of Katherine of Aragon, first wife of Henry VIII. Her story takes us from an excited, yet homesick girl on her voyage from Spain to England in order to wed Prince Arthur, to a devastated widow married for a few months. Expecting to be sent back to Spain after Arthur's death, an unexpected twist of fate places her in the path of England's new heir to the throne: Prince Henry. However, Katherine's path to be Henry's bride is not easy, as this is a political match between two uneasy nations in an unstable medieval Europe. And, as history is doomed to show us, once married to Henry VIII, Katharine's life is not that of a Queen of Camelot...it is a story of trial and tribulations. However much in love they might be with each other, Katharine and Henry's fate is doomed by a lack of male heirs to the throne. It is this obstacle that stands to destroy their marriage like no other and leave a legacy on English history that has been supremely intriguing ever since.
While there are many books about the life of Katherine of Aragon, I really enjoyed Alison Weir's novelization. It was well written (as all of her novels and books are!) and you truly do become engrossed in the characters lives...even if you already know how the story ends! As always, I look forward to more novels and books by Weir!
27. Anne Boleyn: A King's Obsession by Alison Weir
28. Caroline: Little House, Revisited by Sarah Miller - This re-imagining of Laura Ingalls Wilder's Little House on the Prairie is through the eyes of Caroline "Ma" Ingalls. It is a very interesting spin on the books that definitely makes Ma more realistic than the saintly woman in the children's series. I am more a fan of the original series, but this book was very interesting and like I said, it makes you think of Caroline Ingalls as a real, flesh-and-blood woman with hopes, fears, dreams, and even selfish moments. If you are a fan of the Little House books, you will definitely enjoy this book.
29. Prairie Fires: The American Dreams of Laura Ingalls Wilder by Caroline Fraser - This is a very good biography of Laura Ingalls Wilder. Other than Donald Zochert's book Laura: The Life of Laura Ingalls Wilder, this is one of the most comprehensive of her life. This book has a lot of history not only of the Ingalls and Wilder families, but of the time periods in which they lived. Meticulously researched, this book is a must for Little House or Wilder fans. Also, side note, it is interesting to read this book about the Laura-Rose Little House collaboration and then read Ghost in the Little House by William Holtz...two very different perspectives on these two women and their collaboration. Read them both! They are both really good books! Thank you LibraryThing for the early reviewers copy of this book! Loved it!
30. Lady Jayne Disappears by Joanna Davidson Politano - Who is Nathanial Droll? He is the author of one of the most popular serials in 1861. But, no one seems to know who he is or how he can know so much about London Society and one family in particular. Aurelie Harcourt knows who Nathanial Droll is, but she is not going to tell. Her past in Shepton Mallet's Debtor's Prison afforded her chance meeting with Droll and it changed her life forever. But was this change for better or worse and can she keep the secret of Nathanial Droll to herself or will someone else force it out of her?
This was a very interesting Victorian mystery. I thoroughly enjoyed reading it and would definitely recommend it to fans of historical fiction. Thank you LibraryThing for the early reviewers copy!
31. The Return by Suzanne Woods Fisher - Tessa has been in love with Hans for as long as she can remember. The problem, he is in love with the beautiful and kind Betsy Zook. But, when Betsy and her younger brother are kidnapped by Indians, Tessa thinks this may be her chance to win Hans. But the Hans of her dreams is far from the man in reality. How far with Tessa go to win his attention and his love? Will Hans allow himself to fall in love with Tessa, or will he continue to search for Betsy at all costs, no matter who gets hurt along the way?
This was a very good book and one that is part of a series. I did not have the previous books, but that did not have any affect on this book's storyline. I would like to have read the other books, but you don't need to as this book is very good on its own. Definitely a good historical fiction book set in an early American Amish settlement. Thank you LibraryThing for a copy of this book as an early reviewer!
34. A Duty to the Dead (Bess Crawford #1) by Charles Todd - Bess is a nursing sister in World War I working to help care for the wounded both in France and in transport back to England. While in service of her country, she becomes unwittingly involved in a series of murders and crimes that she helps to solve. These books are REALLY good and I devoured them one right after the other! I have not been able to put them down! I will not summarize all of them, but will just tell you a little bit and let you decide to jump right in for yourselves! If you love mystery and history, then these books are for you. I love that they are kind of no-nonsense and not too flamboyantly theatrical...just really good historical mystery books.
35. An Impartial Witness (Bess Crawford #2)
36. A Bitter Truth (Bess Crawford #3)
37. An Unmarked Grave (Bess Crawford #4)
38. A Question of Honor (Bess Crawford #5)
Thanks Paul! A Merry Christmas and a Very Happy New Year to you too!!! :)
39. An Unwilling Accomplice (Bess Crawford #6) by Charles Todd
40. A Place in the Country by Elizabeth Adler
Well, it is not 75 books in 2017, but it is more than I thought I would get in! Perhaps I should go lower...50 books in 2018, so I can actually accomplish this goal! We will see what happens when 2018 hits in a few days! Happy New Year to all! Happy Reading! :)
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