Katherine Howe’s Conversion


Conversion

Title: Conversion
Author: Katherine Howe
ISBN: 978-0399167775
Length: 432 Pages
Publication Date: July 1, 2014
Publisher: Putnam Juvenile
Genre: Historical Fiction, General Fiction
Source: Harris County Public Library

Goodreads

 

 

Reasons for Reading: I often recommend Katherine Howe’s The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane to readers seeking a good book to read. Of course, when Howe’s Conversion arrived in the order department at Harris County Public Library, I placed a request on it.

Summary : Howe offers us two points of view. The first belongs to Colleen Rowley is a stressed out high senior attending the prestigious St. Joan’s Academy in the year 2012. Various classmates of Colleen’s succumb to odd behavior – tics, panic, hysteria, etc. On top of that, a popular teacher mysteriously departs. All of this just happens to take place in Danvers, Massachusetts. The other point of view comes from a recalcitrant, grown up Ann Putnam. In 1706, Ann builds up the courage to publicly confess to her part in the witch hunt known as the infamous Salem Witch Trials.

One Thing I Learned from this book: I rediscovered that Danvers used to be Salem Village.

What I Liked: I liked the Easter eggs referring to one of my favorite books – The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane. Also, I felt Colleen and her friends were genuine, well-conceived characters.

What I Disliked: I wanted a few of the loose ends to be tied. Maybe there will be a sequel?

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

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Comment Catch Up – Week of July 27, 2014


Van Gogh Starry Night Drawing | Wikimedia Commons | Public Domain Mark 1.0

Van Gogh Starry Night Drawing | Wikimedia Commons | Public Domain Mark 1.0

I present the 2nd Edition of a new-ish feature which offers me the chance to respond to some of my Stellar Visitors’ remarks.

Sunday, July 27, 2014 – 78th Edition of The Sunday Post

sherry fundin @ fundinmental said “I love Jance and Devil’s Claw looks great. Happy reading”

Starry Night Elf’s Reply: “I’ve enjoyed Jance’s J.P. Beaumont and Joanna Brady series. Devil’s Claw was great!”

Amber @ Young Adult Indulgences said “The Lovely Bones has been on my reading list since the (I know, I know) movie came out. 🙂 I never manage to obtain it to read it though. *sigh*

Oh my gosh, you haven’t finished The Fault In Our Stars? Have you seen the movie or are you a “I want to read the book first” people? I’m like that. Unfortunately it didn’t work out for The Hunger Games. 😦

I wish I had checked out these Sunday Post blog posts before submitting my own. I keep looking at other ones and going “Aw man, I should have added that!”. In regards to your blog, it’s the “TBF” list. I definitely need to start adding that to mine.

Starry Night Elf’s Reply: ” 1) I’m hoping to have a couple of posts about The Lovely Bones go live soon. I’ve found both the book and movie to be polarizing among readers and viewers alike. I can’t wait to read the comments! 2) Yes, I’ve been waiting my turn on the library request list for The Fault in Our Stars and am thankful a friend took pity on me. 🙂 I hope to read the book before I see the movie – even if that means watching it at home in a few months. Sadly, I read The Hunger Games a few years ago and whenever I see the movies, I’m checking the action against the wikis. 3) I’m looking forward to checking out your Sunday Post blogs; I think of them as a “State of a Blog” or “The News You Missed.”

KimbaCaffeinated @ the Caffeinated Book Reviewer said “I like Blackstock and I really need to try Conversion. Have a fabulous week my friend!”

Starry Night Elf’s Reply: “1) I picked up Blackstock from my church’s library for the Summer Reading Program (SRP). Even though I didn’t make the deadline for the SRP, I still plan to finish the book. Also, I imagine I’ll continue reading Blackstock’s Restoration series. 2) Katherine Howe’s The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane is one of my favorite reads in recent years and I anticipate the same with her Conversion. Happy August, my friend!

Fiza @ I’ll read till i drop said “I can’t believe it either, I have no idea where the weeks went.
Didn’t know I was a stellar….anything, thanks for the shoutout 😀

Starry Night Elf’s Reply: “Of course you’re a Stellar Visitor! 😉 Thanks so much for visiting Jorie’s Reads!

Monday, July 28, 2014 – Books Before Movies! 

Katherine @ I Wish I Lived in a Library said “Other than Gone Girl I wasn’t aware of any of these! Of course I’m not a huge movie person so that doesn’t mean anything. Wild has been on my TBR list for awhile and I’d be interested to see that as a movie. Plus, I like Reese Witherspoon. I’m not sure I want to see Tess in movie form! The book was wonderful and awful. I don’t think I want to see it played out in front of me. If they do a bad job it will be dreadful but if they do a good job it will be excruciating to watch!

Starry Night Elf’s Reply: “I read The Giver and Macbeth but nothing else on this list. Maybe I can lay my hands on Gone Girl and Wild before the movies hit theaters. I read Patricia Highsmith’s The Talented Mr. Ripley and approach her other works with trepidation. I also find Hardy daunting. Time will tell, though! “

Tuesday, July 29, 2014 – Top Ten Most Popular Authors on Jorie’s Bookshelf

ChrissiReads @ Chrissi Reads said “What a great list! 🙂 My sister would have Stephen King on hers, she loves him!”

Starry Night Elf’s Reply: “Thank you! I like King’s blend of horror and SciFi.”

Anna @ herding cats & burning soup said “Very nice. I’ve only got Shakespeare from the group and I think one from Brown.”

Starry Night Elf’s Reply: “I’ve got to have Shakespeare! Also, Sandra Brown’s dialogue and local color give her a permanent spot on my bookshelf – real or virtual. “

Katherine @ I Wish I Lived in a Library said “Interesting list! There’s several authors that I’m not familiar with and several that are on my list of authors that it’s past time I try. Stephen King heads that list! I’d love to reread Shakespeare. It’s been since high school since I read MacBeth but I loved it then. I wonder what I would get out of it now.”

Starry Night Elf’s Reply: “1) I think King is underrated. While I prefer his less bloody prose, I think he’s got serious talent and I’m sure he would make an intriguing guest at the dinner table. 2) I haven’t read all of Shakespeare’s works but I’ve marveled each time I’ve studied and/or watched his plays.”

President’s Day 2014


Lincoln Memorial

Since President’s Day seems to be an excellent time to shop, please browse Jorie’s Store on Amazon 😛 … Seriously, I’m blessed that I live in a land where we elect our officials.
      

 

         

Books I Love – 2014


This Valentine’s Day, I’m sharing some of the books I loved reading. By clicking on the covers, you can visit Jorie’s Store on Amazon by clicking on the following book covers. Shopping at Jorie’s Store funds future giveaways! ❤ 🙂
      

A Cafecito Story: El Cuento Del Cafecito  Rainwater by Sandra Brown   Middlesex: A Novel (Oprah's Book Club)

The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane  The Namesake: A Novel  A Tree Grows in Brooklyn (P.S.)

 The Little Prince 70th Anniversary Gift Set (Book/CD/Downloadable Audio)  Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day (Persephone Classics)  The Shack    

Katherine Howe’s The House of Velvet and Glass


Jorie’s Store – Katherine Howe’s The House of Velvet and Glass

 
Title and Author(s):  Katherine Howe’s The House of Velvet and Glass
Release Date:
 Apr 06, 2012
Publisher: Thorndike Press; Lrg edition

ISBN: 978-1410448743
Pages: 695
Source: Harris County Public Library

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Reasons for Reading: Feel free to click onto this link TBRs – Katherine Howe’s The House of Velvet and Glass. Unfortunately,  I was reading this book when my Nook went on the fritz. It was a huge relief to me when I found the large print version of this novel at the library branch. Thus, I was able to quickly finish this book.

Summary: It’s 1915, three years after losing her mother and sister (Helen and Eulah) on that fateful voyage of the HMS Titanic, Sibyl Allston suffers in near silence as she runs the Boston household of her laconic, shipping magnate Lan Allston. She seeks solace in her late mother’s medium. When her brother, Harlan, gets kicked out of Harvard and his involvement with an odd woman seems the cause, old flame Professor Benton Derby reaches out to Sibyl. With Benton, Sibyl embarks on an odd journey of discovery of Boston’s Chinatown and its opium dens. Sibyl’s 1915 point of view is mingled with those of Helen and Eulah’s 1912 and Lannie’s 1867. I won’t say anymore about Lannie.

One Thing I Learned from reading Katherine Howe’s The House of Velvet and GlassI knew of the Widener Library at Harvard but I didn’t know the story behind it. For more info, visit History – Widener Library – Harvard College Library.

What I Liked: The characters were well conceived – particularly Sibyl, Eulah, and Lan. The settings appeared well-researched and recreated. Howe’s descriptive writing paints the picture without being gratuitous. I appreciated the integration of real-life people such as Harry Widener and Edwin Friend. By the end of the novel, I truly appreciated Lan’s love for and devotion to his family. Howe’s afterward was great and she made significant points in this section.

What I Disliked: Well, it wasn’t “Deliverance Dane.” The beginning didn’t pull me in as quickly as Howe’s first effort did. Once I put aside my “Deliverance Dane” measuring stick, I got more out of this book. Also, the presence of opium in this book made me extremely uncomfortable. Nonetheless, I DID like the resolution of the opium abuse. Lastly, I wanted to know more about Dovie, Harlan’s mysterious girlfriend.

Song: Al Bowlly “Melancholy Baby”

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Sarah Addison Allen’s The Peach Keeper


The Peach Keeper by Sarah Addison Allen | LibraryThing

Allen, S. A. (2011). The peach keeper: A novel. New York: Bantam Books. 9780553807226

Reasons for Reading : Okay, I’ve enjoyed all of the Sarah Addison Allen’s books thus far and I wanted to read The Peach Keeper. Upon returning from England, I happily found two copies on the shelf of my HCPL branch. I checked out one and read it within a week.

Summary: Thirty-year old Willa Jackson has resigned herself to a quiet life in her hometown of Walls of Waters, North Carolina. She runs a camping goods store and looks forward to laundry night. Her days of high school joker are long behind her. Willa discovers that her old high school classmate, philanthropic socialite Paxton Osgood, has restored the Jackson family’s former home – the Blue Ridge Madam. Paxton anticipates turning the Blue Ridge Madam into an inn. Then, the landscaping crew unearths a skeleton beneath the lone peach tree. Willa’s quiet life shatters as she and Paxton face their intertwined family histories.

Review : While I enjoyed more Garden Spells and The Girl Who Chased the Moon, I also liked The Peach Keeper. I appreciated the reality of these characters, especially Paxton’s relationship with Sebastian Rogers as well as several characters’ attempts to reconcile the past with the present and the future. However, I didn’t care for the 1930s storyline of their grandmothers. Lastly, my absolute favorite part of this novel were the Easter eggs of Garden Spells’ Claire and Bay Waverly.

Four Out of Five Pearls

Song: Heart – Magic Man – YouTube

Setting : Walls of Water, North Carolina

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Sarah Addison Allen’s The Girl Who Chased the Moon


The Girl Who Chased The Moon by Sarah Addison Allen | LibraryThing

Allen, S. A. (2010). The girl who chased the moon. London: Hodder & Stoughton. 9781444706611

After reading her two previous books, I couldn’t wait to read Sara Addison Allen’s third – The Girl Who Chased the Moon. I requested the book from HCPL.

Seventeen-year-old orphan Emily Benedict, travels to Mullaby, North Carolina. She moves in with her maternal grandfather, gentle giant Vance. Grandpa Vance does not talk much of the late Dulcie, Emily’s mother. Soon, Emily finds many folks in Mullaby hold a grudge against Dulcie. However, Emily discovers friends as well. One of these is Julia Winterson, a woman paying back her late father’s debt and once a girl Dulcie bullied. Julia bakes delicious cakes at her dad’s old BBQ restaurant. There’s Win, a boy just about Emily’s age who hasn’t inherited his family’s grudge against Dulcie. Then, there’s this amazing light show at night.

I liked The Girl Who Chased the Moon almost as much as Garden Spells and more than The Sugar Queen. The characters are more my speed – especially Julia. Maybe it’s the cakes.


Four Out of Five Pearls

Song: Van Morrison – Moondance – YouTube

Places : North Carolina

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