Sarah, Plain and Tall
Book Review / April 7, 2016

Title: Sarah, Plain and Tall Series: Sarah, Plain and Tall, #1 Author: Patricia MacLachlan Genre: Historical Fiction Publisher: Harper & Row Release Date: April 1st, 1985 Format: Paperback Pages: 64 Source: Library “I will come by train. I will wear a yellow bonnet. I am plain and tall.” A heartwarming story about two children, Anna and Caleb, whose lives are changed forever when their widowed papa advertises for a mail-order bride. Sarah Elisabeth Wheaton from Maine answers the ad and agrees to come for a month. Sarah brings gifts from the sea, a cat named Seal, and singing and laughter to the quiet house. But will she like it enough to stay? Anna and Caleb wait and wonder — and hope. (via Goodreads) GoodreadsAmazon     As part of a quest to read all the Newbery Medal and Honor winners, I knew I’d have to re-read some books I read as a child. Darn. That sounds terrible. Just kidding. In conjunction with a re-read challenge, my first Newbery for this year is Sarah, Plain and Tall. The first time I read it, I remember being mesmerized by the “exotic” lifestyle of living in Wyoming on a farm. I grew up…

The Color Purple
Book Review / March 23, 2016

Title: The Color Purple Author: Alice Walker Genre: Historical Fiction Publisher: Pocket Release Date: April 1st, 2004 Format: Paperback Pages: 295 Source: Library First Published: 1982 The Color Purple is a 1982 epistolary novel by American author Alice Walker which won the 1983 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction and the National Book Award for Fiction. It was later adapted into a film and musical of the same name. Taking place mostly in rural Georgia, the story focuses on the life of women of color in the southern United States in the 1930s, addressing numerous issues including their exceedingly low position in American social culture. The novel has been the frequent target of censors and appears on the American Library Association list of the 100 Most Frequently Challenged Books of 2000-2009 at number seventeen because of the sometimes explicit content, particularly in terms of violence. (via Goodreads) GoodreadsAmazon It’s amazing how coming into a situation blind can really improve your experience. I knew very little about The Color Purple when I picked it up. I knew it was a Pulitzer Prize Winning book, Alice Walker wrote it, it addresses many issues facing women and people of color in the 1930’s, and is…

The Island of the Blue Dolphins
Book Review / March 11, 2016

Title: The Island of the Blue Dolphins Series: The Island of the Blue Dolphins, #1 Author: Scott O'Dell Genre: Historical Fiction Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers Release Date: October 29th, 1990 Format: Hardback Pages: 192 Source: Library Illustrator: Ted Levin First Published: 1960 Far off the coast of California looms a harsh rock known as the island of San Nicholas. Dolphins flash in the blue waters around it, sea otter play in the vast kep beds, and sea elephants loll on the stony beaches. Here, in the early 1800s, according to history, an Indian girl spent eighteen years alone, and this beautifully written novel is her story. It is a romantic adventure filled with drama and heartache, for not only was mere subsistence on so desolate a spot a near miracle, but Karana had to contend with the ferocious pack of wild dogs that had killed her younger brother, constantly guard against the Aleutian sea otter hunters, and maintain a precarious food supply. More than this, it is an adventure of the spirit that will haunt the reader long after the book has been put down. Karana’s quiet courage, her Indian self-reliance and acceptance of fate, transform what to…

Lone Wolf and Cub, Vol. 4: The Bell Warden
Book Review / February 25, 2016

Title: Lone Wolf and Cub, Vol. 4: The Bell Warden Series: Lone Wolf and Cub, #4 Author: Kazuo Koike Genre: Graphic Novel Publisher: Dark Horse Manga Release Date: January 9th, 2001 Format: Paperback Pages: 311 Source: Library Illustrator: Goseki Kojima First Published: 1995 Dark Horse continues its presentation of the entirety of Japan’s Lone Wolf and Cub, one of the unquestioned landmarks of graphic fiction, packaged in the digest format preferred by creator Goseki Kojima. The fourth volume of this ambitious monthly program collects four classic Lone Wolf tales, including one never before seen in America, where little Daigoro searches for his lost father while amazing a well-known samurai with his warrior’s eyes and cool demeanor. Also, the Lone Wolf takes on the sons of the war-bell warden, legions of organized crime bosses, and a mysterious tattooed lady with a dark story and impeccable killing skills. It’s bloody and romantic…and among the best the comics medium has to offer. (via Goodreads) GoodreadsAmazon   The fourth volume of Lone Wolf and Cub really started to catch my attention. Like the previous volumes, this contains 4 stories continuing the tale of ronin Ogami Itto and his son Diagoro as they wander Edo-period…

Mara Daughter of the Nile
Book Review / January 28, 2016

Title: Mara, Daughter of the Nile Author: Eloise Jarvis McGraw Genre: Historical Fiction Publisher: Puffin Books Release Date: Unknown day 1953 Format: Paperback Pages: 279 Source: Owned Mara is a proud and beautiful slave girl who yearns for freedom. In order to gain it, she finds herself playing the dangerous role of double spy for two arch enemies – each of whom supports a contender for the throne of Egypt. Against her will, Mara finds herself falling in love with one of her masters, the noble Sheftu, and she starts to believe in his plans of restoring Thutmose III to the throne. But just when Mara is ready to offer Sheftu her help and her heart, her duplicity is discovered, and a battle ensues in which both Mara’s life and the fate of Egypt are at stake. (via Goodreads) GoodreadsAmazon   Let’s hear it for strong female protagonists found in books published in 1953! Mara is a suspiciously well-educated, intelligent, crafty, and (obviously)painfully beautiful slave. She yearns for adventure and freedom.Her command of both the Egyptian and Babylonian languages lands her on an adventure away from traditional enslavement, and out into the royal city of Thebes where she acts as…

Lone Wolf and Cub, Volume 3: The Flute of the Fallen Tiger
Book Review / January 22, 2016

Title: Lone Wolf and Cub, Vol. 3: The Flute of the Fallen Tiger Series: Lone Wolf and Cub Author: Kazuo Koike Genre: Graphic Novel Publisher: Dark Horse Manga Release Date: November 28th, 2000 Format: Paperback Pages: 314 Source: Library Join renegade samurai Itto Ogami and his infant son, Daigoro, in five more adventures on the dark road to Hell. What do three mysterious Shogunate assassins, a street entertainer, and the crests of the dead have in common? “The Baby Cart Wolf” continues his dealing of death for gold and encounters one roninwho is bent on putting a stop to his journey. Will he succeed? Follow the monthly adventures of Lone Wolf and Cub, one of the true classics of comics literature, available in America for the first time in over a decade! This volume contains the following stories: The Flute of the Fallen Tiger Half Mat, One Mat, A Fistful of Rice The White Path Between the Rivers The Virgin and the Whore Close Quarters (via Goodreads)   After reading the first Omnibus, Volume 3 picks up two stories before the first omnibus ends. Unfortunately, my library didn’t have the second omnibus, so we’re resorting to individual volumes now. Picking…

Lone Wolf and Cub Omnibus Vol. 1
Book Review / January 11, 2016

Title: Lone Wolf and Cub, Omnibus Volume 1 Series: Lone Wolf and Cub (#1-3) Author: Kauzo Koike Genre: Graphic Novel Publisher: Dark Horse Manga Release Date: May 1st, 2013 (Original Manga Publication Date: 1970) Format: Paperback Pages: 713 Source: Library Shogunate executioner Ogami Itto is framed as a traitor by the agents from a rival clan. With his wife murdered and with an infant son to protect, Ogami chooses the path of the ronin, the masterless samurai. The Lone Wolf and Cub wander feudal Japan, Ogami’s sword for hire, but all roads will lead them to a single destination: vengeance. A samurai epic of staggering proportions, the acclaimed Lone Wolf and Cub begins its second life at Dark Horse Manga with new, larger editions of over 700 pages, value priced. The brilliant storytelling of series creator Kazuo Koike and the groundbreaking cinematic visuals of Goseki Kojima create a graphic-fiction masterpiece of beauty, fury, and thematic power. This volume collects material previously published in Dark Horse graphic novels Lone Wolf and Cub, Vol. 1: The Assassin’s Road, Lone Wolf and Cub, Vol. 2: The Gateless Barrier, Lone Wolf and Cub, Vol. 3: The Flute of the Fallen Tiger. (via Goodreads)  …

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society
Book Review / January 8, 2016

Title: The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society Author: Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows Genre: Historical Fiction Publisher: The Dial Press Release Date: July 29th, 2008 Format: eBook Pages: 274 Source: Library “ I wonder how the book got to Guernsey? Perhaps there is some sort of secret homing instinct in books that brings them to their perfect readers.”  January 1946: London is emerging from the shadow of the Second World War, and writer Juliet Ashton is looking for her next book subject. Who could imagine that she would find it in a letter from a man she’s never met, a native of the island of Guernsey, who has come across her name written inside a book by Charles Lamb…. As Juliet and her new correspondent exchange letters, Juliet is drawn into the world of this man and his friends—and what a wonderfully eccentric world it is. The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society—born as a spur-of-the-moment alibi when its members were discovered breaking curfew by the Germans occupying their island—boasts a charming, funny, deeply human cast of characters, from pig farmers to phrenologists, literature lovers all. Juliet begins a remarkable correspondence with the society’s members, learning about…

%d bloggers like this: