Historical Fiction

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2020 in Facts and Figures

I already posted my main 2020 in Review and Looking Ahead to 2021 posts a while ago — only on my new blog (separate post to come) –, but I held back on my 2020 reading statistics until the year was well and truly over.  And for all my good intentions when posting my mid-year […]

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Fun and Games Literature Reviews

Susanna Gregory: A Killer in Winter

24 Festive Tasks: Door 3 – Saturnalia, Book: The god Saturn has a planet named after him: Read any work of science fiction that takes place in space, or a nonfiction science / popular science book.  Or read a book revolving around a large party, ball, or festival, or a story where roles are reversed, […]

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Fun and Games Literature Reviews

Michael Jecks: The Mad Monk of Gidleigh

24 Festive Tasks: Door 8 – St. Lucia’s Day, Book: Read a book set in Scandinavia / Northern Europe, by a Northern European / Nordic author, with a predominantly white cover (or white with red lettering), newly released in November or December of this year, or set in the candle-lit world (i.e., before the discovery […]

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Fun and Games Literature

Ellis Peters: The Raven in the Foregate

24 Festive Tasks: Door 13 – International Day for Tolerance, Book: Read a book about tolerance, or outside your comfort zone, set in Paris (seat of UNESCO), by or about a Nobel Peace Prize winner, or about a protagonist (fictional or nonfictional) who has a reputation as a peacemaker.   Earlier this month I reread […]

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Fun and Games Literature

Looking Ahead to 2021

Since I posted my 2020 Year in Review post yesterday, I figured I might as well go ahead and follow up with the preview post for next year — again, taking the relevant “Festive Tasks” items as my cues.  So, without further ado:   24 Festive Tasks: Door 19 – Hanukkah, Task 1: Time to […]

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Cats Fun and Games Literature Reviews

2020: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

We’re still a month away from the end of the year, but my reading will probably consist mainly of Christmas books in December, and I hope and pray that life won’t come up and throw anything else at me in the final month of the year, either.  So I might as well post my “Year […]

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Fun and Games Literature Reviews

Paul Doherty: The Nightingale Gallery

24 Festive Tasks: Door 2 – Guy Fawkes Night, Book: Read a book set in the UK, a political thriller, a book involving any monarchy or revolution, a book about arson or related to fires and burning, or a book that is self-published.   As my book for Guy Fawkes Night I’m claiming the one […]

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Cats Fun and Games Lifestyle Literature

Reading by Flashlight … with Feline Accompaniment

24 Festive Tasks: Door 19 – Hanukkah, Task 2: Read by flashlight or candlelight.  Post a picture. Reading by flashlight was the plan for last night — but I had barely gotten comfortable with Paul Doherty’s first Friar Athelstan mystery … … when Charlie showed up, sat down on my book and made it clear […]

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Fun and Games Linked Items Literature Reviews

Book Characters Turning Over a New Leaf

24 Festive Tasks: Door 4 – Japanese Culture Day, Task 2: Japanese Culture Day was first held in 1948, to commemorate the announcement of the country’s post-war constitution on November 3, 1946, which was to make a new start for Japan.  Which book did you read this year where someone was searching for or starting […]

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Cats Cooking - Food - Drink Fun and Games Literature Reviews

Battle of the Books Goes Feline: Mrs. Beeton’s Book of Household Management vs. Leo Tolstoy’s War and Peace

24 Festive Tasks: Door 20 – Festivus, Bonus Task #2: Battle of the Books: pick two books off your shelf (randomly or with purpose); in a fair fight, which book would come out on top?  The fight can be based on the merits of the books themselves, their writing, or full-on mano a mano between […]

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Fun and Games Literature Reviews

The Medieval Murderers: The Deadliest Sin

24 Festive Tasks: Door 6 – St. Nicholas’ Day / Sinterklaas, Book: Read a story involving children or a young adult book, or set in the Middle Ages, or a book whose cover is primarily orange (for the Dutch House of Orange) or red (for St. Nick’s robes / cloak), or a book with oranges, […]

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Fun and Games Literature Reviews

Paul Doherty: Bloodstone

24 Festive Tasks: Door 18 – Thanksgiving, Book: Read a book with an autumnal cover, set in New England, where a turkey shows up in the story, with a turkey or pumpkin on the cover, or with the theme of coming together to help a community or family in need.   As my book for […]

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Fun and Games Literature Reviews

Brother Cadfael: An Ideal Teacher

24 Festive Tasks: Door 14 – Diwali, Task 2: Goddess Lakshmi in her eightfold form is referred to as the Ashta-Lakshmi.  Vidya-Lakshmi is the 7th of her 8 forms.  “Vidya” means knowledge as well as education, not just degrees or diplomas from the university, but real all-round education.  Thus, this form of Goddess Lakshmi is […]

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Literature Reviews

Ellis Peters: The Devil’s Novice

Another (re-re-)reread and, not just in its medieval setting, the perfect follow-up to Michael Jecks’s The Malice of Unnatural Death: The story of a young man professing an earnest desire to become a novice at Shrewsbury’s abbey of St. Peter and St. Paul and yet, soon revealing in his sleep that he is haunted by […]

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Literature Reviews

Michael Jecks: The Malice of Unnatural Death

I’ve been a fan of Michael Jecks’s Knights Templar series for a number of years now, and although he pretty much grabbed me with the opening scene of that series’s very first book (and never mind that that particular book did come across as more of a typical “early” book later on), I keep enjoying […]

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Literature Reviews

Sharyn McCrumb: The Ballad of Tom Dooley

Just as the Medieval Murderers series has, over the years, become my go-to series for “Relics and Curiosities”, Sharyn McCrumb’s Ballad series is my go-to series for the Southern Gothic bingo square.  I’ve enjoyed all of the books from that series that I’ve read so far; none more than The Ballad of Frankie Silver.  This particular […]

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Literature Reviews

A.S. Byatt: Ragnarok

I decided to go with Byatt’s take on Ragnarök for the “Doomsday” Halloween Bingo square, because let’s face it, doomsday doesn’t get anymore terrifying than in Norse mythology — and I am glad that Byatt, for one, didn’t try to humanize the Norse deities, as so many other authors do in their attempt to make […]

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Literature Reviews

The Medieval Murderers: The Lost Prophecies

This was a reread, which this time around I liked quite a bit better than when I first read it a few years ago.  The Medieval Murderers series of round robins are the perfect books for the “Relics and Curiosities” Halloween Bingo category, as their very concept consists in following one (supposedly cursed or unlucky) […]

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Literature Reviews

Naomi Novik: Spinning Silver

Book 2 in Novik’s series of books updating classical fairy tales (though not, actually, a sequel to Uprooted — this one very much stands on its own ground): essentially, a blend of Rumpelstiltskin, Baba Yaga, and the English / British version of the elf lore, set in a fictional Eastern European country that is, however, […]

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Cats Fun and Games Literature Reviews

Halloween Bingo 2020: The Rest of the Game and Wrap-Up

Sooo, that’s another bingo game behind us already!  Many thanks to our game hosts for successfully moving the game from BookLikes to a new venue and organizing one heck of a game despite that venue’s built-in limitations.  I had a great time and would only have wished I could have participated more throughout the game […]

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