Independence Day Reads @ Jorie’s Store


Displays of fireworks, such as these over the Washington Monument, take place across the United States on Independence Day. | Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia

How better to celebrate Independence Day than to share some topical books? Here’s a little something for every taste and audience. What are your favorite Fourth of July reads?
You can click on the covers, visit Jorie’s Store on Amazon, and shop for some great reading. Making purchases at Jorie’s Store funds future giveaways! 🙂
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Johnny Tremain  Founding Brothers: The Revolutionary Generation  1776
   Hang a Thousand Trees with Ribbons: The Story of Phillis Wheatley (Great Episodes)  April MorningThe First American: The Life and Times of Benjamin Franklin
  Our Declaration: A Reading of the Declaration of Independence in Defense of Equality  Don't Know Much About History, Anniversary Edition: Everything You Need to Know About American History but Never Learned  George Washington's Teeth
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Ann Brashares’ My Name is Memory


My Name is Memory

My Name is Memory by Ann Brashares | Jorie’s Store @ Amazon

 

Title: My Name is Memory
Author: Ann Brashares
ISBN: 9781594487583
Length: 324 pages
Publication Date: June 01, 2010
Publisher: Riverhead Books
Genre: Historical Fiction, Romance
Source: Harris County Public Library

Goodreads

Reasons for Reading: I came across this title on someone else’s Top Ten Tuesday list back in March. The premise and author Ann Brashares caught my interest. Quickly, I discovered a few copies of My Name is Memory on the shelf at a Harris County Public Library (HCPL) branch and checked out one.

Warning: This is a work of fiction which deals with the subject of reincarnation (past lives). If reincarnation is an offensive topic, please consider yourself warned. 

Summary: Lucy’s crush on the enigmatic Daniel kept her from approaching him. She gathers up courage at the high school graduation dance and approaches Daniel. Little does she know that she and Daniel go way, way back. Unlike most, Daniel recalls each of his past lives. In the first incarnation (that he remembers), Daniel encountered a woman (Lucy) that stole his heart. With each life, Daniel doggedly pursues a seemingly star-crossed love of his lives, the woman who once was called Sophia. Added to a mix is a vengeful brother from that fateful first life who’s after blood. Brashares employs both Daniel’s first person and Lucy/Sophia’s third-person views. This tale of epic proportions begins in 552 AD Asia Minor and carries on through to 1918 England and Twenty-First Century Virginia.

One Thing I Learned from this book: There was an earthquake in AD 526. To learn more about it, visit the following, linked phrase – 526 Antioch Earthquake – Wikipedia

What I Liked: As a historical fiction fan, I enjoyed the passages set in the past. I especially liked reading about events in the First Millennium AD. Also, Brashares’ characters in this book differed greatly from those in The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants series. While I enjoyed reading about Carmen, Lena, Tibby, and Bridget, I appreciate Brashares’ originality in character formation.

What I Disliked: I refuse to spoil the ending but I hope Brashares can write the other books planned involving Daniel and Lucy.

RR - Orange

Rainbow Rating: Orange – Restricted from those under age 17 

 

Song: Nat King Cole, Unforgettable

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Dads Rock, Too! A Select Listing for Father’s Day @ Jorie’s Store


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/To_Kill_a_Mockingbird_(film)

Theatrical release poster – To Kill a Mockingbird | Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia

As I did for Mother’s Day,  I’m sharing books featuring some of my fathers/father figures in literature. Did your favorite dad make the list?
Again, you can click on the covers, visit Jorie’s Store on Amazon, and shop for some great reading. Making purchases at Jorie’s Store funds future giveaways! 🙂
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Pride and Prejudice  Charlie and the Chocolate Factory  A Christmas Carol (Dover Thrift Editions)
A Room with a View  Savvy  To Kill a Mockingbird
Cry, the Beloved Country  Saint Maybe  The Book Thief
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Deborah Johnson’s The Secret of Magic


The Secret of Magic

The Secret of Magic by Deborah Johnson | Jorie’s Store @ Amazon

 

Title: The Secret of Magic
Author: Deborah Johnson
ISBN: 9780399157721
Length: 416 pages
Publication Date: January 21, 2014
Publisher: Amy Einhorn Books/Putnam
Genre: Historical Fiction
Source: Harris County Public Library

Goodreads

 Reasons for Reading: I either heard about or read something referring to this 2014 release. Given that we were planning a library program about African American History Month, I sought and requested this book via Harris County Public Library (HCPL).

Summary: Decorated African American World War II hero Joe Howard Wilson took the bus home to his native Revere, Mississippi. When expected to give up his seat for German POWs, Joe Howard refused. Later on, Joe Howard’s body is found. Fast forward to the Fall 1946 New York, the reader meets Regina Mary Robichard, a young attorney working for Thurgood Marshall at the NAACP. Regina discovers a letter from writer of the notorious The Secret of Magic, M.P. Calhoun, has called upon the NAACP for help in bringing Joe Howard’s killer to justice. With her childhood copy of The Secret of Magic practically in hand, Regina journeys down to Revere in order to discover what happened to Joe Howard.

One Thing I Learned from this book: Thurgood Marshall’s wife was called “Buster.” To learn more about the late Justice Marshall, click on the following link – Marshall, Thurgood – Facts on File History Database

What I Liked: Regina is an African American woman who was also an attorney. Author Deborah Johnson’s inspiration was Constance Baker Motley. I liked the tidbits about Marshall, too. Johnson’s writing is vivid and rich. Already, I was imagining who should play Regina, M.P. Calhoun, Joe Howard, and Marshall in the movie.

What I Disliked: A few parts dragged for me but this didn’t much eclipse my appreciation of the book.

RR - Yellow  Rainbow Rating: Yellow – Parental Guidance for Kids Under 13

 

Song: Cristine and Kathrine Shipp – Sea Lion Woman

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Moms Rock – New Additions to Jorie’s Store


I am celebrating Mother’s Day by sharing books featuring some of my favorite mothers. Who are your favorite moms in literature?
Again, you can click on the covers, visit Jorie’s Store on Amazon, and shop for some great reading. Making purchases at Jorie’s Store funds future giveaways! 🙂
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In the Name of Salome  The Confessions of Saint Augustine  The Second Summer of the Sisterhood (Sisterhood of Traveling Pants, Book 2)
The Wednesday Daughters: A Novel  Desert Heat (Joanna Brady Mysteries)  Number the Stars
Sarah, Plain and Tall The Godfather  Between Shades of Gray by Sepetys, Ruta 1st (first) Edition [Hardcover(2011)]
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Starlight Reviews – Philip Brooks’ Hannibal… & Enid A. Goldberg and Norman Itzkowitz’s Tomás de Torquemada…



Starlight Reviews | Jorie's Reads by Starry Night Elf

In this edition of Starlight Reviews, I offer up two books from Scholastic’s A Wicked History Series. The first one tells of the life of Hannibal Barca, the ancient Carthaginian general who fought the Romans in The Second Punic War. The other book focuses on Grand Inquisitor Tomás de Torquemada, who committed genocide against Spanish Jews. 

Hannibal: Romes Worst Nightmare (Wicked History)
Hannibal: Rome’s Worst Nightmare (A Wicked History) 
by Philip Brooks
Publisher: Scholastic
Publication date: Mar 09, 2009
Genre: Biography
ISBN: 978-0531221747
Source: Houston Public Library

Goodreads 

 Description: 

Philip Brooks relates the life of Hannibal Barca,  (247 – 183/182/181 BC). A Punic Carthaginian (modern-day  Tunisia) military commander, Hannibal learned much from his father, Hamilcar Barca. Hamilcar led the  Carthaginian troops in the First Punic War. As a child, Hannibal promised his father he would hate Rome and  forever fight its empire.

After his father died in Spain, Hannibal headed there as a general. Considered a tactical genius, Hannibal led  35,ooo soldiers and elephants (elephants!) across the Alps into Italy in 221 BC. This made Hannibal Rome’s nightmare come true.

Review: 

I  like this series for its concise survey of the various subjects. I especially like how the authors offer an  evaluation of whether this person was wicked. I encourage folks to read this book and judge for themselves.  Nevertheless, Hannibal kept his promise to his father. Conversely, his treatment of elephants was not at all humane!

             RR - Yellow  Rainbow Rating: Yellow – Parental Guidance for Kids Under 13

Tomas de Torquemada: Architect of Torture During the Spanish Inquisition (Wicked History) 
Tomás de Torquemada: Architect of Torture During the Spanish Inquisition (A Wicked History Series)

by Enid A. Goldberg & Norman Itzkowitz
Publisher: Scholastic
Publication date: Sep 28, 2007
Genre: Biography
ISBN: 9780531125984
Source: Montgomery County Memorial Library System 

Goodreads 

Description: 

In Fifteenth Century Spain, judges of the Spanish Inquisition looked under every rock they could for those breaking the laws of the Church. The Inquisition led to friends and family turning in loved ones. Those turned in endured torture. Many times, these suspects confessed to crimes just to make the torture stop. Tomás de Torquemada oversaw all of this.

Goldberg and Itzkowitz delve into the character of Torquemada and seek out the reasons for his genocidal mania. They offer details which shed light on possible motives. Also, readers discover how Torquemada rose to power with the help of Isabella I. His vendetta against the Jews and Moors (Islamic people of Northern African descent) changed the landscape of the Old World.

Review: 

Again, I liked this short, sweet volume on the life of Torquemada. I appreciated the illustrations and the final thoughts of Goldberg and Itzkowitz addressed many issues that still exist. Even today, people refer to the Inquisition in casual conversation. My only complaint was the description of the torture techniques. Nevertheless, it goes with the territory of a book about the Spanish Inquisition.

RR - Orange  Rainbow Rating: Orange – Restricted from those under age 17 

 

Asian-Pacific American Heritage Month Reads – 2014 Edition


Asian Characters | morgueFile Free photos

Last year, I began recognizing various heritage months with a feature called Celebrating Authors. The inaugural section, Celebrating Asian – Pacific American Authors was a collaborative effort made by Candice P. of warmcuppatea. I managed to recognize two of my favorites – Jhumpa Lahiri and Amy Tan.
While this feature grew to include other author profiles, for 2014, I chose to showcase several books written by those of Asian and/or Pacific descent.
Just like Valentine’s and Easter, you can click on the covers, visit Jorie’s Store on Amazon, and shop for some great reading. Making purchases at Jorie’s Store funds future giveaways! 🙂
Samir and Yonatan  The Name Jar  Bindi Babes
Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet  How My Parents Learned to Eat (Sandpiper Houghton Mifflin books)  Delivering Happiness: A Path to Profits, Passion, and Purpose
Never Let Me Go  Thousand Cranes  Girl in Translation
Interpreter of Maladies  The Piano Teacher: A Novel  The Ramayana: A Shortened Modern Prose Version of the Indian Epic (Penguin Classics)
The Complete Persepolis  The Joy Luck Club  The Arabian Nights (New Deluxe Edition)
Doveglion: Collected Poems (Penguin Classics)  Monkey: Folk Novel of China  Millicent Min, Girl Genius
         

TBTB (Throwback Thursday Books) – Pat Frank’s Alas, Babylon


Alas, Babylon by Pat Frank | LibraryThing The only time I read Pat Frank’s Alas, Babylon was when I was a high school sophomore. I still have this copy of the book. I’m unsure if it was handed down from my parents or purchased at the Friends of the Library book sale. Nonetheless, I always connect reading Alas, Babylon with this ephemeral paperback.

Jorie’s Top Ten All Time Favorite Historical Fiction Books


Top Ten Tuesday | The Broke and the Bookish

For future Top Ten Tuesday topics & info on how to participate, click here!

Top Ten All Time Favorite Books in X Genre

(Thank you,  LibraryThing for the images)

1.  Sandra Brown’s Rainwater 

Rainwater by Sandra Brown

2. Anya Seton’s Katherine 

Katherine by Anya Seton

3.  Ann Rinaldi’s A Break with Charity

A Break with Charity: A Story about the…

4. Katherine Howe’s The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane 

The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane by…

5.  Madame de La Fayette’s The Princess of Cleves 

The Princess of Cleves (New Directions…

6. Robert Graves’  I, Claudius 

I, Claudius From the Autobiography of…

7. Robert Graves’ Claudius the God 

Claudius the God: And His Wife Messalina by…

8. Arthur Golden’s Memoirs of a Geisha: A Novel 

Memoirs of a Geisha: A Novel by Arthur…

9. Jeffrey Eugenides’ Middlesex

Middlesex: A Novel (Oprah's Book Club)…

10. Julia Alvarez’s In the Time of the Butterflies 

In the Time of the Butterflies by Julia…

TBTB (Throwback Thursday Books) – Anya Seton’s Katherine


Katherine by Anya Seton | LibraryThing I love posting pictures for #TBT (Throwback Thursday). My fondness of such inspired yet another feature – Throwback Thursday Books (TBTB). I’ll include an image of the old book in these posts when possible. Sometimes, I’ll even provide a link to my review.

So, for the inaugural Throwback Thursday Books post, I’m posting Anya Seton’s Katherine. I first read Katherine in Summer 2002. Then, I revisited this book for a historical fiction component in one of my library school courses. Both times, the edition I read looked like this. The inside cover features great genealogical charts of the Plantagenet, Swynford, and de Roet houses. Also, the red ink came off on my hands – haha! While I’m not too crazy about the most recent cover, I’m glad it does exist. I hope people both enjoy and appreciate Katherine, too.