October is my birth month and so I’ve decided to re-read some favorites. These titles have been gathering dust on my bookshelves for… well, longer than I care to admit, lol.
Mercedes Lackey is one of my all-time favorite authors and her world of Valdemar is absolutely wonderful! Brightly Burning is one title that is sure to make me sob, it’s inspiration and heart-break all rolled into one amazing book. As for Caught By Surprise? Well, now I know it’s a romance and I don’t generally read them, but this is such a cute book that I had to buy myself a copy after I first came across it!
Brightly Burning by Mercedes Lackey
Sixteen-year-old Lavan Chitward’s world is turned upside down when his mother is selected as a textile guild representative in the small rural community where he was raised.
Moving to the capital city of Haven rips him away from his friends and boyhood pleasures, and nothing in Haven seems to fill that void. Unable to fit into the nouveau riche society, and unwilling to follow his parents into the textile guild, he finds himself adrift and depressed. His father enrolls him in a special school that will allow him to choose a trade that interests him, rather than be apprenticed against his will.
There he finds himself terrorized and tortured by the boys in the sixth form until, with an awful roar, the gift of fire awakens deep within him and extracts revenge for his sadistic treatment…
With the help of a unique herald, an empathetic healer and a special companion, Lavan soon learns to keep his gift under control and eventually, to direct his awful firestorm as far as he can see. When the kingdom of Karse attacks, Lavan is hurried to the border to assist his king and country by repelling the invasion. During the final battle Lavan earns the name Firestorm and becomes one of the most famous heralds in the history of Valdemar.
…for luring him to her ship and having her men imprison him.
Yes, the beautiful American had sealed her fate, for Saegar, the royal prince of Pacifica, would claim Beth Livingston as his wife, brand her with his passion and make her his forever….
What had her father’s crew discovered?
Whoever–whatever–he was, Beth knew the prisoner with the chiseled face and chest of a Roman warrior directed his anger at her, and if she didn’t convince her father to release him, she would one day feel the full wrath of his fury–and his heart’s desires….
Well, I’m back in school so of course my TBR should have at least three books on it! I’m getting back into classics, hence The Scarlet Letter, and found some really interesting nonfiction and historical fiction titles for September.
Wish me luck in both studying AND fun reading!!!
Grace O’Malley by Anne Chambers
She was married twice, divorced once, took a lover when she wanted, and gave birth to one of her sons on the deck of her own ship. She was Grace O’Malley, the sixteenth-century Irish woman who provoked awe, anger, admiration, and fear in the English men who, by persuasion and by the sword, came to conquer the land of her birth.
She was literally “disappeared” from the pages of history, ignored by the official chroniclers and omitted from the great books of Irish and English history. Obviously, a woman who challenged the might of England and the traditional power of men — a woman who did not let religious, social, or political convention get in her way — could not be tolerated.
But Grace O’Malley could not be erased from the hearts of her countrymen. Granuaile became a beloved figure in Irish folklore, the subject of countless stories, songs, and poems (several of which are included in this book’s appendix).
An incredible story of dangerous and hidden friendships, ambition, betrayal, and sacrifice.
The year is 1739. Eliza Lucas is sixteen years old when her father leaves her in charge of their family’s three plantations in rural South Carolina and then proceeds to bleed the estates dry in pursuit of his military ambitions. Tensions with the British, and with the Spanish in Florida, just a short way down the coast, are rising, and slaves are starting to become restless. Her mother wants nothing more than for their South Carolina endeavor to fail so they can go back to England. Soon her family is in danger of losing everything.
Upon hearing how much the French pay for indigo dye, Eliza believes it’s the key to their salvation. But everyone tells her it’s impossible, and no one will share the secret to making it. Thwarted at nearly every turn, even by her own family, Eliza finds that her only allies are an aging horticulturalist, an older and married gentleman lawyer, and a slave with whom she strikes a dangerous deal: teach her the intricate thousand-year-old secret process of making indigo dye and in return — against the laws of the day — she will teach the slaves to read.
So begins an incredible story of love, dangerous and hidden friendships, ambition, betrayal, and sacrifice.
Based on historical documents, including Eliza’s letters, this is a historical fiction account of how a teenage girl produced indigo dye, which became one of the largest exports out of South Carolina, an export that laid the foundation for the incredible wealth of several Southern families who still live on today. Although largely overlooked by historians, the accomplishments of Eliza Lucas influenced the course of US history. When she passed away in 1793, President George Washington served as a pallbearer at her funeral.
A tale of betrayal, revenge, loyalty, and redemption, The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne is a true classic.
Hester Prynne settles in a little town in Puritan-era Massachusetts while awaiting her husband’s arrival from England. Hester becomes pregnant, exposing her sin in the eyes of the townsfolk. Her penalty: wearing an embroidered “A” on her bosom for the remainder of her life.
When Hester’s husband arrives in the town anticipating a joyous reunion with his young wife, he instead begins a cankering quest to uncover the father of Hester’s child.
With The Scarlet Letter, Hawthorne became the first American novelist to forge from our Puritan heritage a universal classic, a masterful exploration of humanity’s unending struggle with sin, guilt and pride.
I’ve been meaning to weed my TBR list down a bit, but only recently did I actually sit down and get to work on this daunting project! Working a few at a time, I thought it might be fun to share the titles I remove and my thinking behind the removal thereof.
Seven Stories About a Cat Named Sneakers by Margaret Wise Brown… Probably added to my list when I came across it while shelving books at my library. Not really feeling like reading kid books right now.
Dragon Keeper by Carole Wilkinson… Same as above, discovered while shelving and just not interesting to me anymore.
Dark Horse by Kate Sherwood… Probably suggested on a listserv or newsletter asking for reviews. It’s been ages and I think it’s time to take it off the list.
Red & the Wolf by Kailin Morgan… Let me be entirely honest, here, I have NO idea why this was on my TBR. So, we’re going to remove it and carry on.
Struck By Lightning by Chris Colfer… Added when it was published and I was still interested in Glee.
Have you removed titles from your TBR? Which ones and why?
I’m sorry for the unplanned and entirely unannounced hiatus I took in July… things got tough and I needed a break, but I’m hoping to see improvement and continue to share my thoughts and ideas through this blog.
Anywhos! This one book is about a megalodon, which as you all know is basically a HUGE shark! So, just one book will be alright, I think. 😉
Carthago by Christophe Bec
The megalodon, the prehistoric ancestor of the great white shark was the most ferocious predator of the seas, an 80 foot killing machine extinct for millions of years.
But when divers drilling in an underwater cave are attacked by this living fossil, oceanographer Kim Melville discovers that this creature may not only have survived, but thrived, and is reclaiming its place at the top of the food chain.
I’m really enjoying these animal-related biographies, so when my sister suggested Wesley the Owl I could hardly refuse!
As for the other two titles on my list for July, I came across The Sakura Obsession while browsing the shelves of my local Barnes & Noble and Dawn came up in a work discussion that reminded me how much I wanted to go back and re-read the Xenogenesis series.
Wesley the Owl by Stacey O’Brien
On Valentine’s Day 1985, biologist Stacey O’Brien first met a four-day-old baby barn owl — a fateful encounter that would turn into an astonishing 19-year saga.
With nerve damage in one wing, the owlet’s ability to fly was forever compromised, and he had no hope of surviving on his own in the wild. O’Brien, a young assistant in the owl laboratory at Caltech, was immediately smitten, promising to care for the helpless owlet and give him a permanent home.
Wesley the Owl is the funny, poignant story of their dramatic two decades together.
Enhanced by wonderful photos, Wesley the Owl is a thoroughly engaging, heartwarming, often funny story of a complex, emotional, non-human being capable of reason, play, and, most important, love and loyalty. It is sure to be cherished by animal lovers everywhere.
Each year, the flowering of cherry blossoms marks the beginning of spring. But if it weren’t for the pioneering work of an English eccentric, Collingwood “Cherry” Ingram, Japan’s beloved cherry blossoms could have gone extinct.
Ingram first fell in love with the sakura, or cherry tree, when he visited Japan on his honeymoon in 1907 and was so taken with the plant that he brought back hundreds of cuttings with him to England. Years later, upon learning that the Great White Cherry had virtually disappeared from Japan, he buried a living cutting from his own collection in a potato and repatriated it via the Trans-Siberian Express.
In the years that followed, Ingram sent more than 100 varieties of cherry tree to new homes around the globe. As much a history of the cherry blossom in Japan as it is the story of one remarkable man, The Sakura Obsession follows the flower from its significance as a symbol of the imperial court, through the dark days of the Second World War, and up to the present-day worldwide fascination with this iconic blossom.
Lilith Iyapo has just lost her husband and son when atomic fire consumes Earth—the last stage of the planet’s final war.
Hundreds of years later Lilith awakes, deep in the hold of a massive alien spacecraft piloted by the Oankali—who arrived just in time to save humanity from extinction. They have kept Lilith and other survivors asleep for centuries, as they learned whatever they could about Earth.
Now it is time for Lilith to lead them back to her home world, but life among the Oankali on the newly resettled planet will be nothing like it was before.
The Oankali survive by genetically merging with primitive civilizations—whether their new hosts like it or not. For the first time since the nuclear holocaust, Earth will be inhabited. Grass will grow, animals will run, and people will learn to survive the planet’s untamed wilderness. But their children will not be human. Not exactly.
Before their military heroism in the Clone Wars, before their tragic battle on Mustafar and many decades before their final confrontation on the Death Star, they were Master Obi-Wan Kenobi and his young Padawan, Anakin Skywalker.
Now join them a few years into Anakin’s, “chosen one” training. Teacher and student have grown closer over time, but it’s been a difficult road. And things aren’t about to get any easier. In fact, when they’re called to a remote planet for assistance, the pair may be pushed to their breaking point.
As they find themselves stranded on a strange world of primitive technology and deadly natives, will they be able to save themselves?
When war breaks out around them, master and apprentice will find themselves on opposite sides!
The examples of knitting, contained in the following pages, have been selected with the greatest care, -many are original, -and the whole are so arranged as to render them comprehensible even to a novice in the art.
Knitting being so often sought, as an evening amusement, both by the aged and by invalids, a large and distinct type has been adopted, -as affording an additional facility. The writer feels confident in the recommendation of “My Knitting Book,” and humbly hopes it may meet with the same liberal reception that has been accorded to her “Hand-Book of Needlework.”
The numerous piracies that have been committed on her last mentioned work, have been one inducement to publish this little volume; and from the low price at which it is fixed, nothing, but a very extended circulation, can ensure her from loss. Some few of the examples have been selected from the chapter on knitting, in the “Hand-Book.”