Monday, February 18, 2019

Modern Booket List Update: #26-50


Previously, I have posted about my hope to crowd source a modern booket list.  If you don't know what that is, check it out here.  Anyway, I am pretty proud to say that we are at the halfway point.  As the list continues to grow, I find myself asking many questions, which means, I need your opinions!!!

Should a book series count as a single entry, or should each book within the series get their own space?

Should their be a separate list for nonfiction books? 

Should children's books get a separate list?

And as always, what books should be added to the list?

Modern Booket List – 1950 - Present

1.    Beloved

2.    Blue Like Jazz

3.    The Bluest Eye

4.    To Kill A Mockingbird

5.    The Giver

6.    The Catcher and the Rye

7.    One Hundred Years of Solitude

8.    Love in the Time of Cholera

9.    The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (1950)

10.  Prince Caspian (1951)

11.  The Voyage of the Dawn Treader (1952)

12.  The Silver Chair (1953)

13.  The Horse and His Boy (1954)

14.  The Magician's Nephew (1955)

15.  The Last Battle (1956)

16.  Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone

17.  Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

18.  Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

19.  Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

20.  Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

21.  Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

22.  Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

23.  Atlas Shrugged

24.  Farenheit 451

25.  The DaVinci Code

26.  Catch-22
27.  The Fellowship of the Ring
28.  The Two Towers
29.  The Return of the King
30.  The Color Purple
31.  The Shining
32.  The Handmaid’s Tale
33.  Fahrenheit 451
34.  Charlotte’s Web
35.  East of Eden
36.  The Catcher and the Rye
37.  On the Road
38.  Lolita
39.  The Old Man and the Sea
40.  The Bell Jar
41.  The Road
42.  The Bridges of Madison County
43.  The Alchemist
44.  The Kite Runner
45.  The Hunger Games
46.  The Outsiders
47.  The Pillars of the Earth
48.  Life of Pi
49.  The Time Traveler’s Wife
50.  The Help

Friday, February 15, 2019

The Chef's Secret

Book Details:

Book Title: The Chef's Secret by Crystal King
Category: Adult fiction, 352 pages
Genre: Historical Fiction
Publisher: Atria/Simon & Schuster
Release date: Feb 12, 2019
Tour dates: Feb 11 to 28, 2019
Content Rating: R (for a couple of explicit, but loving, sex scenes (no abuse or rape) and minor curse words)

Book Description:

A captivating novel of Renaissance Italy detailing the mysterious life of Bartolomeo Scappi, the legendary chef to several popes and author of one of the bestselling cookbooks of all time, and the nephew who sets out to discover his late uncle’s secrets—including the identity of the noblewoman Bartolomeo loved until he died.

When Bartolomeo Scappi dies in 1577, he leaves his vast estate—properties, money, and his position—to his nephew and apprentice Giovanni. He also gives Giovanni the keys to two strongboxes and strict instructions to burn their contents. Despite Scappi’s dire warning that the information concealed in those boxes could put Giovanni’s life and others at risk, Giovanni is compelled to learn his uncle’s secrets. He undertakes the arduous task of decoding Scappi’s journals and uncovers a history of deception, betrayal, and murder—all to protect an illicit love affair.

As Giovanni pieces together the details of Scappi’s past, he must contend with two rivals who have joined forces—his brother Cesare and Scappi’s former protégé, Domenico Romoli, who will do anything to get his hands on the late chef’s recipes.

With luscious prose that captures the full scale of the sumptuous feasts for which Scappi was known, The Chef’s Secret serves up power, intrigue, and passion, bringing Renaissance Italy to life in a delectable fashion.

To follow the tour, please visit Crystal King's page on Italy Book Tours.

Buy the Book:

Meet the Author:

Crystal King is an author, culinary enthusiast, and marketing expert. Her writing is fueled by a love of history and a passion for the food, language, and culture of Italy. She has taught classes in writing, creativity, and social media at several universities including Harvard Extension School and Boston University, as well as at GrubStreet, one of the leading creative writing centers in the US.

A Pushcart Prize–nominated poet and former co-editor of the online literary arts journal Plum Ruby Review, Crystal received her MA in critical and creative thinking from UMass Boston, where she developed a series of exercises and writing prompts to help fiction writers in medias res. She resides in Boston but considers Italy her next great love after her husband, Joe, and their two cats, Nero and Merlin. She is the author of Feast of Sorrow.

Connect with the author: Website ~ Twitter ~ Facebook ~ Pinterest ~ Instagram

Enter the Giveaway!
Ends March 7, 2019

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Finding Marnie Release Blitz

MV Ellis Finding Marnie

mv ellis

Blurb 2

 "When I was feeling weak and being stupid, I allowed myself to imagine what it would be like if things were different. If I were different. If I were the kind of woman who deserved the love of a man like him."
He is everything I want but know I can never have.
Every fiber of my being has ached for Luke from the very first moment we met. However, with my parents’ legacy of toxic obsession woven into my DNA, I know love is pain and should be avoided at all costs. I'm unloved and unlovable. Still, in moments of weakness, I allow myself to imagine what it would be like if I was the kind of woman who deserved the love of a man like him.
She is hiding in plain sight, waiting for me to find her.
Marnie has had my heart from day one, and always will. It's just a shame I couldn’t muster the words to tell her so when we first locked eyes. It's a failing I will live to regret for years to come. However, I'm determined to make things right, even if it takes me a lifetime. I need her to know she is enough. In fact, she is more than that. She is everything.


5 right for me 

 4 surrender
Book Links 
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Thursday, February 7, 2019

Review & $25 Amazon Giveaway: The Marriage of Miss Jane Austen Vol. II

The Marriage of Miss Jane Austen Vol. II by Collins Hemingway

Publication Date: August 8, 2016
eBook & Paperback; 332 Pages
ISBN-13: 978-1535444958

Jane Austen Lived a Quiet, Single Life-Or Did She? Tradition holds that Jane Austen lived a proper, contemplative, unmarried life. But what if she wed a man as passionate and intelligent as she-and the marriage remained secret for 200 years? The Marriage of Miss Jane Austen resolves the biggest mystery of Austen's life-the "lost years" of her twenties-of which historians know virtually nothing. • Why the enduring rumors of a lost love or tragic affair? • Why, afterward, did the vivacious Austen prematurely put on "the cap of middle age" and close off any thoughts of finding love? • Why, after her death, did her beloved sister destroy her letters and journals? The Marriage of Miss Jane Austen trilogy answers these questions through a riveting love affair based on the history of the times and the details of Austen's own life.

Amazon | Barnes and Noble | IndieBound

My Thoughts...

In my review of Volume I, I talked a lot about how in these novels, the reader gets to experience an alternate reality where Jane Austen finds love.  In this installment, Jane navigates love, marriage, and pregnancy.  The most amazing part of these books to me isn't the alternate version of history, but rather, the female realties explored with such startlingly clarity - especially by a man.

It is one thing for a male author to correctly explain the feelings of a sex scene.  Though women experience intimacy differently, especially the first time, than men, it's a completely different task for a man to describe how it feels to be pregnant.  I'm trying to be very sensitive and honest when reviewing how Collins Hemingway articulated Jane's feelings about being pregnant, carrying a pregnancy, motherhood, impending delivery, etc. So here is my attempt to describe what I felt.

If someone were to ask me to describe how it felt to be pregnant, I would make a joke, probably say, "tired," and move along simply because the task is so daunting.  How do you put into words the feelings of otherness and corresponding oneness you experience having another person inside of you?  How can any person describe the overwhelming fear, terror, and helplessness an expectant mother experiences on a daily basis?  I wouldn't even try, and I have had the privilege of carrying two beautiful children to term.

So, it is even more remarkable that Mr. Hemingway has so wonderfully managed to craft the narrative of a woman he has never met, experiencing a life altering event he can never understand.  I can only imagine and appreciate the amount of listening he must have done in order to achieve this level of emotional understanding. I commend him for the effort and the result.

This book moved very well and covered a lot of historical and emotional ground.  Obviously, I love Jane Austen, so I loved reading more about what her life might have been.  I'm letting my imagination run wild in these books, though my mind is rebelling at the thought of the inevitable calamity that is coming which causes Ms. Austen to close herself off to write.  After this book, I am so invested in this family that I know I will grieve the ending.  What better compliment can you give a book than it made you feel?

* Special thanks to Collins Hemingway, Createspace Independent Publishing Platform, and HF Virtual Book Tours for providing a copy of The Marriage of Miss Jane Austen Volume II in exchange for an honest review.

Praise for The Marriage of Miss Jane Austen Series

"A skillful portrayal of an early nineteenth-century literary icon takes this historical romance on an imaginative journey of the soul. … The adventure of a true romantic partnership and all the excitement that the nineteenth century had to offer. … [The] novel invites you to linger, to savor, and to enjoy. … Makes for wonderful reading. … A Jane that lives and breathes on the page."—Claire Foster, Foreword Reviews, 4 stars "Hemingway captures the energy of the times, while also writing with the irony and sly humor of Austen herself. … A strikingly real Jane Austen fully engaged in the turbulent times. … She is a living, breathing presence. … [He] displays a notable ability to recreate time and place. … A lively, compelling read, [a] sobering but moving conclusion." —Blueink Starred Review "An enjoyable novel in an imaginative, well-researched series. … A well-researched work of historical fiction … [with] sweet moments and intriguing historical insights. … An incredibly moving portrait of a woman facing loss and love." —Kirkus Reviews

About the Author

Whether his subject is literature, history, or science, Collins Hemingway has a passion for the art of creative investigation. For him, the most compelling fiction deeply explores the heart and soul of its characters, while also engaging them in the complex and often dangerous world in which they have a stake. He wants to explore all that goes into people's lives and everything that makes tThe hem complete though fallible human beings. His fiction is shaped by the language of the heart and an abiding regard for courage in the face of adversity. As a nonfiction book author, Hemingway has worked alongside some of the world's thought leaders on topics as diverse as corporate culture and ethics; the Internet and mobile technology; the ins and outs of the retail trade; and the cognitive potential of the brain. Best known for the #1 best-selling book on business and technology, Business @ the Speed of Thought, which he coauthored with Bill Gates, he has earned a reputation for tackling challenging subjects with clarity and insight, writing for the nontechnical but intelligent reader. Hemingway has published shorter nonfiction on topics including computer technology, medicine, and aviation, and he has written award-winning journalism. Published books include The Marriage of Miss Jane Austen trilogy, Business @ the Speed of Thought, with Bill Gates, Built for Growth, with Arthur Rubinfeld, What Happy Companies Know, with Dan Baker and Cathy Greenberg, Maximum Brainpower, with Shlomo Breznitz, and The Fifth Wave, with Robert Marcus. Hemingway lives in Bend, Oregon, with his wife, Wendy. Together they have three adult sons and three granddaughters. He supports the Oregon Community Foundation and other civic organizations engaged in conservation and social services in Central Oregon. For more information please visit Collins Hemingway's website and blog. You can also find him on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, and Goodreads.

Blog Tour Schedule

Monday, January 14 Review at Coffee and Ink Wednesday, January 16 Review & Excerpt at The Book Junkie Reads Thursday, January 17 Feature at What Is That Book About Friday, January 18 Review at Rainy Day Reviews Monday, January 21 Feature at Donna's Book Blog Tuesday, January 22 Excerpt at T's Stuff Interview at Passages to the Past Wednesday, January 23 Review & Guest Post at To Read, Or Not to Read Friday, January 25 Review at View from the Birdhouse Review at Svetlana's Reads and Views Monday, January 28 Review at For the Sake of Good Taste Tuesday, January 29 Guest Post at Encouraging Words from the Tea Queen Wednesday, January 30 Review at Library of Clean Reads Friday, February 1 Review at History From a Woman's Perspective Saturday, February 2 Review at Jorie Loves a Story Sunday, February 3 Review at Bri's Book Nook Monday, February 4 Review at Amy's Booket List Tuesday, February 5 Review at Maiden of the Pages Wednesday, February 6 Feature at The Lit Bitch Interview at Bookish Rantings Thursday, February 7 Feature at CelticLady's Reviews Friday, February 8 Review at Book Reviews from Canada Saturday, February 9 Interview at Myths, Legends, Books & Coffee Pots


During the Blog Tour we will be giving away a $25 Amazon Gift Card! To enter, please use the Gleam form below. Giveaway Rules – Giveaway ends at 11:59pm EST on February 9th. You must be 18 or older to enter. – Giveaway is open to US only. – Only one entry per household. – All giveaway entrants agree to be honest and not cheat the systems; any suspect of fraud is decided upon by blog/site owner and the sponsor, and entrants may be disqualified at our discretion. – Winner has 48 hours to claim prize or new winner is chosen.

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