Winter Respite Reading Challenge

Thursday, November 22, 2012

A Chesapeake Shores Christmas by Sherryl Woods

A Chesapeake Shores ChristmasA Chesapeake Shores Christmas by Sherryl Woods
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This was the first book I read in the Christmas Spirit Reading Challenge this year. It is one of the continuing stories of the O'Brien family who built and live in a town called Chesapeake Shores. Megan married Mick O'Brien, the builder of the town, but left him when their 5 children were young because she thought he loved his work more than his family. She made a place for her children to be with her in New York, but their father convinced them to stay with him. After many years, Megan and Mick reconciled and all of their children accepted her back in the family except Connor, their son. He was now a successful divorce lawyer and didn't believe in marriage. But, this is a Christmas novel, so all worked out in the end, but I only gave it 3 stars because the first half of the book was full of arguments and tension. There were many stubborn men and a few stubborn women involved. The resolution was rather ironic which I did enjoy, but I didn't like the fighting and manipulation (the characters didn't either). As I said, it is a Christmas novel, so there was a happy ending which I really like even though it was a tad unrealistic. But I've never been accused of being a realist, so Merry Christmas!

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Saturday, November 17, 2012

April Lady by Georgette Heyer

April LadyApril Lady by Georgette Heyer

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I expected this book to be a light, Victorian-style romance novel. It was light and it was Victorian - the ton and everything, but it wasn't exactly your typical romance novel. The heroine was sought out when she was a young thing by an older, wealthy, well-established man, Giles Cardross. According to her mother, she was to be his "show" wife because he had a mistress. So, Nell, the young wife, went about doing all the things a young wife was supposed to do in Victorian England - she went to parties and bought expensive gowns for each one, etc., etc. In due course, she racked up extensive debts. Nell's brother, Dysart, was a dandy and gambled to excess. Nell lent him some money which she did not want Cardross to find out about. When Nell's debts were brought to his attention, he reprimanded her a little, then paid them all, or so he thought. Nell got a letter from her dressmaker asking for payment of yet another bill. Since she had lent Dysart money, she didn't have any more funds to pay the bill and she didn't want to tell her husband because she didn't want him to think she married him for his money because she really did love him. The rest of the novel is about how Nell and Dysart go about coming up with a scheme to pay the dressmaker's bill without Cardross finding out about it. Also, Nell's sister-in-law, Letty, lives with them and contributes her own part to this comedy. She is young and in love with a man with no position who is about to go off to Brazil to work for the ambassador. Letty wants to marry him in the worst way, but Cardross won't hear of it. She whines and cries and has hyterics which has no affect on Cardross. Then she comes up with a fantastic scheme at the climax of the book. I enjoyed this book very much. It was a nice change to read something funny and entertaining, but light.



Christmas Spirit Reading Challenge 2012

 
Of course, I am participating in the
2012 Christmas Spirit Reading Challenge!
 
This challenge is hosted by The True Book Addict at The Christmas Spirit Blog. This is the 4th Year and I'm pretty sure I have participated at least 3 of the 4 years. I love Christmas! If YOU love Christmas - Christmas books, Christmas movies, Christmas cookies - you should go over the The Christmas Spirit Blog and sign up, too. (The challenge doesn't include cookies, but I'll be sure to be nibbling on some while I'm reading or watching movies!)
 
Here are the details:
 
The Challenge runs from Monday, November 19, 2012 through Sunday, January 6, 2013 (Twelfth Night or Epiphany).
 
Crossover with other challenges is permitted and encouraged!
 
The books must be Christmas novels about Christmas lore, a book of Christmas short stories or poems, books about Christmas crafts, and, for the first time, there is a children's Christmas books level!
 
Visit The Christmas Spirit Blog to see a list of new Christmas books for 2012.
 
Here are the reading levels:
Candy Cane - read 1 book
 
I read "A Chesapeake Shores Christmas" by Sherryl Woods. Find my review here.
 
Mistletoe - read 2 to 4 books
 
I read "A Wallflowers Christmas" by Lisa Kleypas. 12/5/12
I read "The Mischief of the Mistletoe" by Lauren Willig 12/30/12. Find my review here.
 
Christmas Tree - read 5 or 6 books
 
Additional levels: FaLaLa 
Films: watch a bunch or a few Christmas movies
 
I've watched too many Christmas movies this year! At least one every night since Thanksgiving.
 
Visions of Sugar Plums: read books with your children and share what you read
 
The additional levels are optional, but you still must participate in the reading levels.
 
 
Have fun!!!
 
Check out The Christmas Spirit Blog to sign up and to read about the giveaway!
 
I'll probably start out at the Mistletoe level and then go to Christmas Tree if I can.
Christmas movies have already started and I have seen at least 3. We watch a Christmas movie or special every night in December at our house.
Did I mention I LOVE Christmas?
 



Friday, November 9, 2012

My Name is Mary Sutter by Robin Oliveira

My Name is Mary SutterMy Name is Mary Sutter by Robin Oliveira
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This book was our book club selection for November. It is the story of a young girl, Mary Sutter, who is determined to become a surgeon. She applies to Medical College and is rejected, then tries to find a surgeon who will apprentice her to no avail. She finally seeks out Dorothea Dix to apply to be a nurse in the war effort (Civil War, that is). Ms. Dix rejects her as well because she didn't fit her picture of a nurse. Mary was a very strong, determined woman. She found the Union Hotel which was a ramshackle building converted to a hospital for the war wounded. She made herself indispensible to the surgeon in charge and helped clean up the place as best they could. She helped him perform a couple of amputations and convinced him to teach her what he knew. The story goes on from there. Believe me, I haven't spoiled it for you. If you are a fan of life during the Civil War, you will enjoy this book. So many people lost loved ones and so many people died of battle injuries or just of disease which ran rampant through the troops and hospitals. It was very sad. This is a very sad book even though it has somewhat of a happy ending. She loses so much, but she is successful in achieving what she wants - yes, that is a spoiler, but you know it's going to happen from the beginning.

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