Book Challenge Update #1

As we celebrate the holidays, I may get some time to read because family members will be here to also care for Sunshine. Yay!!!

It has been awhile and I have been remiss in putting in my book challenge conquests and heroic survivals.  I may have bit off more than I can chew by trying to attempt to read so many classics and so forth.  Seriously though, some books were just not meant for the new lactating mama and her surprisingly low attention span.  (Ooh! Shiny object).

What was that?  Oh yeah.  Book Challenge with the Insatiable Book Sluts.  Love those gals. I had chosen to do a bit of this and that with Full Frontal, In-Freaking-Sane, Genre-Buster, and Global Domination. I am just not one to stick to one challenge, or perhaps I am in-freaking-sane? Here is what I have read so far, and what I am  attempting to read:  

I read Interview with a Vampire by Anne Rice.  Yeah, the book she won the Bram Stoker award for was Queen of the Damned in 1988, but I am one of those people who just can’t jump into a trilogy without having read the first few books. I have to have order somehow, people!  Its just logical.  

Being that I am not into scary movies, nor scary books for that matter, this was really well written.  I have seen the movie now, and well… surprisingly they were quite similar. The characters they chose for the movie were really good for the parts they played (though Tom Cruise was not someone I would have picked for Lestat.  He’s just too… modern). I, think that Lestat had some daddy issues and they didn’t cover that in the movie. I am curious to see if the next book, that is called The Vampire Lestat, will go into more detail on how he came to be the way that he is.  

The next book I read was Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet by Jaime Ford. This was a Global Domination pick. It is a historical fiction novel that takes place in our backyard of Seattle, Washington with the internment of Japanese in our state during World War II. It was the love between a young Chinese boy and a Japanese girl who was taken away and how that love never ended. This was a powerful, a hopeful, and wonderfully written book. There are many historic facets that actually occurred in this novel and I often enjoy reading books where I can visually see and relate to the area because I am familiar with it. The book really reflects where we have grown as a society, a culture, and how many of those cultures have retained their individuality in this country. It also reflects the growth that we still need to make.

The final book I read in my quest for excellent reads was The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy. She won the Man Booker prize back in 1997. Now this is the book that I have to keep working on. Being I am a new mommy, and my head is pretty much wrapped around my daughter and what she needs, every time I attempted to pick up and read this book I would then have to stop and fetch my daughter or do something mommy related. The trouble with this book is that I keep having to re-read the first 10 or so pages in order to recall what was happening, who died, who was sent away and to what school and was this before or after the person died? Yeah. To say that I have gotten far in the book is such a falacy. I will have to continue on reading this one and will let you know when I have actually finished it.

Other than that, the first two books I read were global domination picks as well. How to Be and American Housewife by Margaret Dilloway  and The Heretic Queen by Michelle Moran. I have already done postings on these and you can visit the book reviews I did on them by clicking the highlighted links.

The next books I will try to attempt are The Poisonwood Bible, The Inheritance of Loss, and The Life of Pi.

 Also, I have read some non-challenge books along the way, cause thats how I roll, peeps. I am currently on Cleopatra’s Daughter by Michelle Moran. I love The Heretic Queen so thought I would read another historical fiction by her.

 Some other books I have read recently (these are my fun, one day, only a few hours reading), were Sherrilyn Kenyon’s, The Guardian. Fun, fast read. Read it in only a few hours and was pretty interesting. Amazing how she can keep this series going and creating new incidences. Never gets boring and doesn’t feel like its the same story repeated over again, just a few things changed. Now, Christine Feehan  is also one of my favorite paranormal romance writers, but lately her last book in the dark series, Dark Peril, just felt like a recreation of a slew of her books. She needs some new material I think. If you want to read that book, wait until it comes out in paperback and don’t rush like I did to get the hardback copy when it first came out. Three words for that one. Half. Price. Books.

Last but not least, Kiss of Snow by Nalini Singh.The long awaited book about Hawk, the snow dancer Alpha, and Sienna Lauren. Loved. This. It was action packed. The Psy counsel has divided and are attacking each others territories. Super pow, people! Loved it.

So, though I may not be as well read as the Book Sluts, I am a book slut in my own right. I don’t always read Oprah books (and the Book Sluts hate Oprah okay’d books) but being a Lit major in college, I have a love of reading all sorts of books. My grammar may suck… but my love for the written word is great.

Happy Holidays to you all and I hope you get in some good reads these next few weeks!

Book Review: The Heretic Queen by Michelle Moran

So I have begun the fun “Award Winning Reading Challenge” proposed by the Insatiable Booksluts! These gals are bad-ass! But before we get to all their fun, I want to write reviews for two books I have read recently that I absolutely LOVED!! I am borrowing (squeeze me- “Pilfering”) the template for reviewing from the Booksluts. (Just gotta love that name!! I want to be just like them, hehe… but still be me).

As I used to be able to read a book a day, with Sunshine here I average about a book a week… if she lets me. Some of the books took me a little less or more to read in a week. Maybe about an hour a night, so to speak. But I enjoyed them, so I will write a review for them. If I really hated it, I may still write a review, but that looks doubtful.

The Heretic Queen by Michelle Moran

Review: The Heretic Queen: Heiress of Misfortune, Pharoah’s Beloved

Author: Michelle Moran

Published: First published in 2008

Date Read:  October 28, 2011

First Lines: “I am sure that if I sat in a quiet place, away from the palace and the bustle of the court, I could remember scenes from my childhood much earlier than six years old. As it is, I have vague impressions of low tables with lion’s-paw feet crouched on polished tiles. I can still smell the scents of cedar and acacia from the open chests where my purse stored my favorite playthings.”

Genre/Rating:  Historical Fiction/ 4.5 out of 5 Stars 

The Heretic Queen was a surprising find. I was ambling down an aisle in a store and saw it sitting there. I like the Egyptian histories and at heart believe I was a lost archaeologist in another life. (but ask me about that some time and I will tell you I had A LOT of other lives). I saw the cover and the title, and thought, “Hmm. Why not?”        

I enjoyed this book immensely. The main character is Nefertari, who was named after her aunt, the Heretic Queen, Nefertiti. Nefertari has lost her whole family and lives in the palace under the current Pharoah’s watch. She is the last of her line, and is despised of because of what her Aunt did and even what her mother did in order to protect her. She is pushed aside and thought little of. (Of course I will not reveal what the issues were as it would ruin the story, but if you are familiar with Egyptian history you may already know).    

Her best friends are Ramesses, the Pharaoh’s son and prince regent, and Asha who later becomes the General of the Ramesses armies. You learn about their antics together, and Nefertari’s quest to become one of Ramesses wives, and most of all, Chief Wife.

There are several characters in this book that you will love, from Nefertari to her nurse, Merit. There are also plenty of characters that you will love to hate in this book.    

This story gives life to a much beloved Queen or Chief Wife in Egypt. Turns out that Nefertari’s tomb is the grandest and most

Ramesseum and Tomb

Nefertari's tomb is lavishly decorated tomb, QV66, is the largest and most spectacular in the Valley of the Queens.

visited, along with Ramesses Ramesseum. This story is blended with true battles, societal festivals, actual artifacts and temples built at that time, and filled with intrigue about that current time in history. It brings back to life the trials people faced, and put a face to the dangers they encountered, and a person you could really associate with in today’s times.

For me, this book didn’t lag at all. You get right into it and want to keep going to find out what happens next. You are torn from this age and thoroughly engrossed in 1283 B.C. and on. The life and times of Egypt are brought to such vivid detail, one can’t help but be mesmerized by the descriptions. I didn’t give it 5 stars, (mostly cause I rarely ever give 5 stars) because some of the fiction and truth were difficult to discern (though she does explain some of these at the end of the novel, and doing your own research can solve some of that as well). I figure if a book ever makes you want to research more about the time and era when it took place, it is a good book to share.  It was engaging and at times I couldn’t put it down. I plan to share with my book club (Butt Club) in two weeks. Overall, I would recommend this book. I hope you enjoy it!!!