Friday Finds – Fantasy and Strange Roman Habits

This week, two of my favorite things, a fantasy book and strange facts about Roman life.  And let’s begin…

The House on Durrow Street by Galen Beckett.  This is the follow-up to The Magicians & Mrs. Quent which I read earlier this year.  While I thought parts of The Magicians & Mrs. Quent were a little disconnected, I liked the characters and the world enough to want to read more.  This one comes out on September 28th.  Description from Barnes & Noble: Her courage saved the country of Altania and earned the love of a hero of the realm. Now sensible Ivy Quent wants only to turn her father’s sprawling, mysterious house into a proper home. But soon she is swept into fashionable society’s highest circles of power—a world that is vital to her family’s future but replete with perilous temptations.  Yet far greater danger lies beyond the city’s glittering ballrooms—and Ivy must race to unlock the secrets that lie within the old house on Durrow Street before outlaw magicians and an ancient ravening force plunge Altania into darkness forever.

Cabinet of Roman Curiosities: Strange Tales and Surprising Facts from the World’s Greatest Empire by J.C. McKeown.  I love anything about Roman history so this one had to go on the list.  Description from Barnes & Noble: Here is a whimsical and captivating collection of odd facts, strange beliefs, outlandish opinions, and other highly amusing trivia of the ancient Romans. We tend to think of the Romans as a pragmatic people with a ruthlessly efficient army, an exemplary legal system, and a precise and elegant language. A Cabinet of Roman Curiosities shows that the Romans were equally capable of bizarre superstitions, logic-defying customs, and often hilariously derisive views of their fellow Romans and non-Romans.

Friday Finds is hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Leave a comment here with a link to your own finds, or share your answers at Should Be Reading. Happy Friday.


Friday Finds – Fantasy Series

I love a series and I’ve been looking for some new fantasy so when I came across these two authors while looking up a book at my library the other day, I knew they had to go on the list.

The Skewed Throne, The Cracked Throne, and The Vacant Throne by Joshua Palmatier. The series takes place in a city called Amenkor and follows a young girl named Varis who has the ability to see innocence and guilt in colors and develops a knack for murder. She eventually becomes the Mistress of Amenkor and tries to lead the city through political turmoil while fighting to keep the city’s citizens from starvation. When an alliance with another city becomes a possibility, Varis must find an ancient stone throne that was lost centuries earlier to seal the alliance. I tried to sum up each book in a sentence so this short description covers all three books.

Green Rider, First Rider’s Call, and The High King’s Tomb by Kristin Britain. This series is a quest tale with a medieval fantasy setting. In the first book, Karigan is expelled from school, and in a forest on the way home, she finds a Green Rider, a magically bound individual who is carrying a message for the King. She takes his magic brooch and takes over his mission becoming a Green Rider herself. The second book sees tainted magic seeping into the world and Karigan, poisoned by the magic, begins seeing visions of the first Green Rider who tells her how she must overcome a great evil. In the final book, Karigan receives a message from a dead magician and she begins to accept that she is destined for extraordinary things, especially after the god of death’s horse shows up for her.

Find anything good this week to share?

Friday Finds is hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Leave a comment here with a link to your own finds, or share your list at Should Be Reading. Happy Friday.

Friday Finds – Letters and Family Drama

This week, it’s about family drama. The last few books that have snuck onto my TBR have all been about some sort of family drama. I’m not sure how this happened since I usually don’t go for drama of this type but lately I can’t help myself.

The Distant Hours by Kate Morton. Marg from The Adventures of an Intrepid Reader has the most awesome book trailer of this one. I don’t usually watch trailers but this one is just amazing. And the book looks good too — letters, history, mystery. It comes out in November so I’ve got a while to wait on this one. Morton is an Australian author and I haven’t heard of her before but I think I might try to pick up another of her books if I can.

The Gin Closet by Leslie Jamison. Alayne from The Crowded Leaf gave this one an excellent review. A woman drops everything in her life to care for her dying alcoholic aunt and while it sounds like a tough book to read, it also sounds wonderfully written. The loss, loneliness, and survival of the two women in this book is something I don’t want to miss even if I know it will leave me in tears.

On Folly Beach by Karen White. I read another Karen White book earlier this year and enjoyed it. I’ve been meaning to pick up another but my library doesn’t have many of her books which annoys me but I won’t go into my latest set annoyances with the library system. That’s another post. This one is about a woman who buys a bookstore in Folly Beach, SC while mourning the loss of her husband and finds love letters that draw her and the former owner’s sister into a mystery surrounding WWII.

Friday Finds is hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Leave a comment here with a link to your own finds, or share your answers at Should Be Reading. Happy Friday.

Friday Finds – Spies and Trains

I came across two books this week that sounded very interesting and then I found out one was out of print. I sighed heavily but decided that this small detail wouldn’t stop me from getting my hands on these beauties.

The Venetian Affair by Helen MacInnes. Supposedly, she was writing spy novels before spy novels were popular. This one is about a newspaperman caught up in Cold War espionage. It was originally published in 1963 and is currently out of print which means I will be hunting through the stacks at the used bookstore for this one.

Strangers on a Train by Patricia Highsmith. I’m 99% sure this is the novel the Hitchcock film of the same name is based on but I didn’t look that up so don’t take it as the truth. But, either way, I want to read this one. Two people meet on a train and begin planning the deaths of their families. OK, yes, sounds grim but what suspense! This was re-published in 2001 so hopefully I’ll have an easier time finding this one.

The Venetian Affair

Strangers on a Train

Friday Finds is hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Leave a comment here with a link to your own finds, or share your answers at Should Be Reading. Happy Friday.

The Sunday Salon

Last Friday, I decided to sleep late so my Friday Finds post lingered. I thought I might post it yesterday but, instead, I stayed in bed and watched a movie before getting my self up and about. Then we thought, “Well, before the rain starts, we should take a walk and get lunch.” So we did. Lunch turned into a stroll about the neighborhood, which became a trip to the new used bookstore and the new coffee shop which just happened to be next door to the new bookshop. My love of sleep and lazy days has now turned my Friday Finds into my Sunday Salon post.

But first, this week’s round up. I read:

The Greatest Knight by Elizabeth Chadwick

The Lost Summer of Louisa May Alcott by Kelly O’Connor McNees

I’m currently reading Pendragon’s Banner by Helen Hollick and absolutely loving it. Ah, Arthur, how you do fascinate me…

Anyway, Friday Finds. Don’t worry, my ramblings today will eventually lead to something. 🙂

Lately, I’ve been all about the fantasy and oddball stories. I’ve decided that once I finish up a few of the historical fiction novels I have around the house, I plan on indulging that fantasy sweet tooth of mine.

The City & The City by China Mieville. Speculative fiction, with a weirdness factor. A hidden city, within a city, with the two populations trying to pretend the other doesn’t exist. Last week I featured Kraken, also by Mieville, and let me tell you, I can’t wait to read both of these books. They sound absolutely wonderful. I think I have just found my summer reading. 🙂

The Darkly Luminous Fight for Persephone Parker by Leanna Renee Hieber. I believe this is a follow-up to The Strangely Beautiful Tale of Miss Percy Parker which I have not yet read but it is on my TBR. Honestly, the names of these two books are more than enough for me to want to read them. I have no idea what they are about but I’ve fallen for the titles.

The City & The City

The Darkly Luminous Fight for Persephone Parker

The Strangely Beautiful Tale of Miss Percy Parker

Friday Finds is hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading.

Happy Sunday. The day has dawned gloomy and rainy and I’ve got a book calling my name…

Friday Finds – Conspiracies, the Dead, and Kraken

I haven’t played along in a while and I have recently added a few more finds to my TBR and thought, well, it’s as good a time as any to share some books and spread the love.

A Conspiracy of Kings by Megan Whalen Turner. This is the fourth book in the series. I enjoyed the first, The Thief, and hope to make my way through the series this year. Luckily, my library has the first three in the series. The books are YA fantasy and I’m feelin’ like a little fantasy in the coming weeks.

The Dead Travel Fast by Deanna Raybourn. Gothic romance set in 1858 Scotland and Transylvania. I don’t read much romance but there’s something intriguing about Scotland (OK, I’ll read almost anything that’s set in Scotland. Really, I will.) and Transylvania with a little bit of the paranormal thrown in the mix.

Kraken by China Mieville. An alternative London where magic and myth reside side by side. It’s the end of the world and everyone is fighting to either bring it about or stop it. I don’t need anymore than that, just please sign me up for this one!

A Conspiracy of Kings

The Dead Travel Fast


Friday Finds is hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Leave a comment here with a link to your own finds, or share your answers at Should Be Reading. Happy Friday.

Friday Finds – Vampires, Families, Bones & Ancient Egypt

Thanks to a bit of warm weather last week that made something bloom, my allergies hit early and instead of sharing my Friday Finds, I spent the day in bed wishing for my headache to subside. So, this week I’m sharing two weeks worth of finds.

The Three Weissmanns of Westport by Cathleen Schine. Found on Book Beast on The Daily Beast. A divorce throws a family into chaos and when siblings gather to comfort a mother, they finds they have more problems of their own than they thought. It’s supposed to have a Sense & Sensibility-esque quality to it with love problems galore.

Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter by Seth Grahame-Smith. Found in Contemporary Literature email newsletter. I subscribe to several email newsletters about books and while I don’t always find something interesting in each one, this one made me stop and read. Yes, Abraham Lincoln the vampire hunter. I can’t wait. I think these knock-off re-writes like Pride & Prejudice & Zombies, and Sense & Sensibility & Sea Monsters are a love it or hate it thing for most. I find them amusing thanks to an inherited demented sense of humor which I think you need to really appreciate these books.

Pride & Prejudice & Zombies: Dawn of the Dreadfuls by Steve Hockensmith. Found while searching for another book. I figure if I’m in for one, I’m in for them all.

A Morbid Taste for Bones by Ellis Peters. Found in The Wall Street Journal. Twelfth Century murder, a mystery to be solved, in steps Brother Cadfael to do the sleuthing and the burying. I just couldn’t pass up a medieval murder mystery.

Slayer of Gods by Lynda S. Robinson. Found in The Wall Street Journal. When I looked this one up it turned out to be part of a series and while I can’t read books out of order, I did put it on my list as more of an author find than a book find. This is Robinson’s sixth historical thriller set in Egypt and I adore ancient Egypt as a setting. I think I might search out the first book in this series and see where it leads me.

The Three Weissmanns of Westport

Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter

Pride & Prejudice & Zombies: Dawn of the Dreadfuls

A Morbid Taste for Bones

Slayer of Gods

Any good finds to share this week?

Friday Finds is hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Leave a comment here with a link to your own finds, or share your answers at Should Be Reading. Happy Friday.

Friday Finds – Whales, Romance, Vikings, and 18th Century Queens

It seems a lot more books are making it onto my TBR list than I am reading. I will be the first to admit it has gotten out of hand, but what can I say? There are so many books out there that I want to read so I just keep adding and hoping that someday I get to them.

Here are a few I recently added thanks to a lot bloggers out there. Honestly, I wish I had kept better track of where I heard about these books but I didn’t. I made a promise to myself to be more careful about that so the next time I will be sharing links to where I found them as well.

The Whale: In Search of the Giants of the Sea by Philip Hoare. Hoare is obsessed with whales and using Herman Melville’s Moby Dick as inspiration, goes in search of the magnificent creatures. It’s a story about whales and whaling and for some reason I find this stuff fascinating. Not so much the whaling part but whales themselves.

O, Juliet by Robin Maxwell. I have a soft spot for Romeo and Juliet. In a high school English class, we were all assigned a part in the play and had to read it out loud. I was Mrs. Capulet. She doesn’t have many lines at all so my part wasn’t all that interesting but the tragic and wonderful story was and I have been in love with it ever since.

The Far Traveler: Voyages of a Viking Woman by Nancy Marie Brown. I, for reasons unknown, am utterly entranced by anything Viking. There is no logical reason for this but I find myself seeking out shows on the Science channel that talk about Vikings all the time and when I saw this book, I knew I needed to read it.

Abundance: A Novel of Marie Antoinette by Sena Jeter Naslund. I love anything Marie Antoinette. She’s such a polarizing figure in history and one that has been written about so often. I read a biography of her a few years ago and will now read pretty much anything that mentions here because I find her and her life so intriguing.

The Whale: In Search of the Giants of the Sea

O, Juliet

The Far Traveler: Voyages of a Viking Woman

Abundance: A Novel of Marie Antoinette

So there we have it this week — a list of all my strange fascinations and temptations, at least where books are concerned.

Anything good make it onto your TBR list this week?

Friday Finds is hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Leave a comment here with a link to your own finds, or share your answers at Should Be Reading. Happy Friday.