Category: Uncategorized

“Stuff You Missed In History Class” from HowStuffWorks – Podcast

If you’ve been following me for any time you know that I like history, especially what I like call history’s quirky corners. And this podcast is full of them. There is a library of 11 years of episodes to choose from so if you can’t find something here you’d like to know more about than I don’t know where to send you. Each episode runs about 15 mins. and the hosts give you and in depth look at a particular person or event in history. Recently I enjoyed episodes about “How the Hearst Castle Works” and “The Caning of Charles Sumner on the Senate Floor”. The cover every era of history from the Ancient World to Modern Day politics and every corner of the world. I also like that at the end of every episode they will point you to further resources on the topic on the internet so you can keep digging if you’re so inclined. The hosts are very congenial and I find the presentations very well organized. So all you history buffs, if you haven’t come across this podcast yet you need to check it out.

Alinefromabook’s rating: 5-star-rating  5 stars!!

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Weekly Round-Up 9/23/2018

Morning readers! I hope you are enjoying your Sunday. Are you happy it’s fall? I know I am. I don’t think my numbers have changed much this week but let’s take a look anyway.

TBR – I added one audiobook to the list this week And I finished 2 books. The total on the TBR as of today is 266.

Goodreads Challenge – I am 4 books behind. Ugh!

NetGalley Score – The only real bright spot. I am 86%.

John Connolly Challenge – I haven’t yet started on book 8, not sure when I’ll be able to pick it up.

Coming Up – I have 2 reviews that I need to post. I’m currently reading “A Measure of Darkness”.A Measure of Darkness I’m about a 1/3 of the way through and so maybe(??) I’ll be able to finish it this week. After that I’m not sure. Give me your opinion. The next two books on my list are “The Tin Rose” by Anne RenwickThe Tine Rose and “Baby Teeth” by Zoje Stage.Baby Teeth Which one do you think I should read next, leave your vote below.

Happy Reading!

“In Pursuit of Dragons” by Anne Renwick

“In Pursuit of Dragons” by Anne Renwick

An Elemental Web Tale Book 4

Dragons, Steampunk, Romance, Sword Fights! What more could you ask for in a fantasy book? “In Pursuit of Dragons” is the latest installment from Anne Renwick. In this one we have Russian born Natalia who was forced into a loveless marriage and locked away in a castle in Scotland. This is intended to protect her and the dragon under her care. Now she is alone and dragon hunters are battering down the door. Suddenly, a man from the past appears, but does he bring hope for the future or is danger following his every step?

Let’s just start with the cover, because I just love this one. The colors on this one really caught my eye and drew me in to the story. Characters: Natalia is so likeable and I couldn’t help but be sympathetic of her situation. She’s also a mighty warrior when it comes to protecting her own and she’s not willing to be pushed around by men anymore. Luke is handsome, charming and determined to be with Natalia. Kia is my favorite character in this story. She is fiercely protective when she needs to be but also very loving. I found the story to be original and innovative. There are some very interesting twists throughout and I had a really hard time putting this down. Anne Renwick has once again created a story that is charming and romantic and full of fascinating science references. I have yet to be disappointed by this author and look forward to many more.

Alinefromabook’s rating:  4-5-star-rating 4.5 stars!!

Happy Reading!

Links:   Amazon US   |   Amazon UK   |   Goodreads   |   Author’s website

“Miss Seeton Flies High” by Hamilton Crane

“Miss Seeton Flies High” by Hamilton Crane

Let me introduce you to Miss Seeton. She is the 1970’s answer to Miss Marple. In this installment of the series, Miss Seeton is asked to design the sets for the annual school Christmas play. This year the story will be about King Arthur and in order to be inspired Miss Seeton travels to the West country to visit the historical sites. Meanwhile, her friend Chief Superintendent Delphick and a kidnapping to deal with and he needs some insight. Miss Seeton is well known at Scotland Yard for the pictures she draws that contain clues to crimes, so Delphick pays her a visit. Several drawings and a hot air balloon ride later Delphick is finally closing in on his suspect and Miss Seeton has new project.

This was a delightful little story. Miss Seeton is a charming character is like Miss Marple before her is more that she appears to be. This is not the first in the series but it stands on its own just fine. The plot has some really nice twists and a few red herrings to keep the reader guessing. My favorite part of the book is how well the author portrays the time period. I can’t quite tell you how but the feel of the 70’s really comes through. There are hippies, and illegal marijuana growing. There’s the clash between the older and younger generations of the time. Finally, there are the references to the legend of King Arthur and the historical sites related to the stories. All of this combined to make a very engaging story. I think this book will be especially enjoyable for cozy mystery lovers.

Alinefromabook’s rating: 4-star-rating 4 stars!!

Happy Reading!

Links:   Amazon US   |   Amazon UK   |   Goodreads

“The Cadaver King and the Country Dentist” by Radley Balko and Tucker Carrington

“The Cadaver King and the Country Dentist” by Radley Balko and Tucker Carrington

A True Story of Injustice in the American South

President Lincoln freed the slaves but he couldn’t possibly anticipate how the justice system in the American South would work to continue to oppress them. In this book, the authors expose the institutionalized corruption within the state of Mississippi. They begin with two cases of wrongful incarceration and move into the history of the legal system within the state and the difficulties that have been encountered in trying to establish a medical examiner system. The book serves to expose two people in particular, Dr. Steven Hayne, who performs the majority of the autopsies for the state for over two decades, and Dr. Michael West, a country dentist. The both built careers for themselves in forensics, taking full advantage of the good-ol’-boy structure of the legal environment in the state.

I found this book both sad and compelling. It is always sad for me to be confronted by corruption in America. We call ourselves a Christian nation but too often there are very un-Christian things happening. I also found the tenacity and persistence of the victims of this system to be very compelling. The two wrongly convicted murderers, one of whom spent years on death row, did not give up and neither did their Project Innocence defense teams. In the process of working to free these two men they helped to expose the doctors whose actions had created the sole source of evidence against many wrongfully convicted defendants. I think this book serves as a good reminder that while our justice system may be good it is not always perfect and it is not free from the risk of corruption. If more people had this awareness perhaps improvement could be made at a more rapid pace. I really enjoyed reading this book. It’s written in a way that is appealing to a broad range of readers and the story moves at a really nice pace. This is a top-notch expose and I highly recommend it.

Alinefromabook’s rating:  5-star-rating 5 stars!!

Happy Reading!

Links:   Amazon US   |   Amazon UK   |   Goodreads

This book was provided by NetGalley and Perseus Books in exchange for an honest review.

“The Iron Fin” by Anne Renwick

“The Iron Fin” by Anne Renwick

The Elemental Web Chronicles Book 3

When I was growing up my favorite fantasy world was the Land of Oz, which I loved for its complexity and the ingenious mechanics that would pop up periodically (a city that can raise and lower itself to the bottom of a lake?!). There was also something delightful to read about. Anne Renwick has created a steampunk world that is equally delightful. Even more so in this this installment because there is a whole crew of hunky naval guys as supporting characters.

In this installment of the Elemental Web Chronicles we meet Isa and Alec who are on a mission to save a castle and capture a megalodon. Isa is a young woman who has been a widow for a year. She has some medical training, though she is not a doctor, and she travels amongst the villages of the Finn people helping those in need of medical attention. She is half Scottish and half Finn and has some of the distinctive characteristics of the Finn. Her marriage was a disappointment and she is not interested in giving up her independence. Alec is a naval officer who leads a highly trained team that specializes in covert operations. He has never been interested in marriage because he doesn’t want to repeat the disastrous relationship of his parents. When Alec is injured while on an underwater mission he is sidelined from his team and instead asked to track down rumors of seamen being attacked by octopus in the North Sea. This is when he meets Isa, and to say that sparks fly would be a huge understatement. As they work together to uncover the secrets of the megalodon and the octopus both will put their lives on the line.

I think this is my favorite book so far in this series. I felt an instant connection to the main characters and I just love the way they play off of each other. There is no holding back with these two, no playing hard to get, they want to be together but they also want it on their own terms. The story also holds quite a lot of surprises and moves at an excellent pace. Once I picked it up, I was very reluctant to put it down. For me, this is another homerun from Anne Renwick.

Alinefromabook’s rating:  5-star-rating 5 stars!!

Happy Reading!

Links:   Amazon US   |   Amazon UK   |   Goodreads   |   Barnes & Noble   |   Amazon CA

Weekly Round-Up 3/18/2018

Happy Sunday Everybody! It’s time for another round-up. With the snow finally beginning to melt around here and the time change, it’s starting to look like spring. So let’s check out the numbers.

TBR – I added 3 books this week and finished reading 2. The TBR total now stands at 277.

Goodreads Challenge – I am currently 1 book ahead of schedule.

NetGalley Score – slipped a bit here, down to 86%.

John Connolly Challenge – I finished listening to “The White Road”, which is book 4 in the Charlie Parker series (review coming soon). Next up is “Nocturnes”, a book of short stories which includes a Charlie Parker story.

Coming Up – My reading schedule is in a bit of chaos right now but the following will be coming soon:

“Pendle Fire” by Paul Southern – I loved this author’s first book and can’t wait to dig in to this one. Pendle Fire

Hopjoy Was Her” by Colin Watson – this is book 3 in the Flaxborough Mysteries and I am loving this series. Release as an e-book on 3/22. Hopjoy Was Here

The Punishment She Deserves” by Elizabeth George – this is the latest in the Inspector Lynley series, it releases in hardback and Kindle on 3/20. The Punishment She Deserves

Happy Reading!

 

“A False Report” by T. Christian Miller and Ken Armstrong

“A False Report” by T. Christian Miller and Ken Armstrong

This is a true and disturbing story. In August 2008, 18-year old Marie reports a man breaking in to her apartment and raping her for hours. In the initial days of the investigation, detectives begin to have doubts and Marie finds the tables have turned and she is now being charged with filing a false report. Two years later, women in Colorado start reporting that their homes were broken into and they were raped repeatedly. Each rape takes place in a different jurisdiction but word starts to get around and a task force is formed. While investigating their own cases the team finds evidence of the rape of a young lady in Washington. This young lady is Marie.

I was riveted by this story. These Pulitzer prize winning authors relate the events in this case in a very relatable way. I felt like the actions of those involved in the various investigations were presented fairly and objectively. In the end it is obvious where mistakes were made and I was pleased to see that those responsible not only admitted the errors but took steps to ensure they would not happen again. I think this book is timely, given current events, and points out the places in our society where more work needs to done in how we approach rape. This story is very moving and, quite frankly, I think everyone should read it.

Alinefromabook’s rating: 5-star-rating  5 stars!!

Happy Reading!

Amazon US   |   Amazon UK   |   Goodreads   |   Barnes & Noble   |   Amazon CA

“Unwanted” by Andrew Young

“Unwanted” by Andrew Young

It’s the late 1800’s in the Cincinnati, Ohio area and a young woman’s decapitated body has been found in a farmer’s field. This book traces the story of the investigation and prosecution of the perpetrators. The initial challenge is to simply identify her because the head is missing. With fingerprints not yet broadly used in law enforcement and crime scene preservation not even a topic of conversation, the attempt to identify the girl finally comes down to an observant shoe seller who recognizes her shoes uniqueness and is able to actually trace the sale. The young lady had traveled to Cincinnati from her family’s rural farm to meet up with a boyfriend.

This is a very detailed look at a very brutal crime. The story is based on extensive research of the accounts that remain from the time. I really appreciated the structure of the chapters, with each looking at an aspect of the investigation from start to finish. It’s almost surprising that the identification of the body and the perpetrators was possible given the limited tools the police had available to them at the time. This book should be of interest to those who like true crime or historical crime stories.

Alinefromabook’s rating:  3-5-star-rating  3.5 stars!!

Happy Reading!

Amazon US   |   Amazon UK   |   Goodreads   |   Barnes & Noble   |   Amazon Canada

Thank you to Pen & Sword Publishing for providing a copy in exchange for an honest review.

“Last Stop in Brooklyn” by Lawrence H. Levy

“Last Stop in Brooklyn” by Lawrence H. Levy

New York in the 1890’s. Mary Handley has made a career for herself as a private investigator and she has no interest in her mother’s wish for her to get married and settle down. Harper Lloyd is an investigative reporter. These two cross paths when Mary is asked to investigate the murder of a prostitute that occurred three years earlier. The police have tried and convicted their man but his brother wants Mary to prove his innocence. Mary is convinced after she reads the trial transcript and realizes that the immigrant from Algeria, with poor English skills, was railroaded and embarks on a search for the real killer.

This book is the 3rd in the series but the first that I have read. I really enjoyed how the author brought Victorian New York to life with his descriptions of the city. The book also addresses some compelling social issues which are still relevant in our current culture. The story had quite a few twists and some gripping moments which kept it lively and engaging. Mary Handley is the star of this show and I found her delightful. She’s not willing to follow “the plan” that society dictates for young women, unless she wants to. of course. I found her to be an intelligent investigator and very resourceful. Her relationship with Harper is quite entertaining and not your typical romance. This story is based on actual events of the time and features several real persons throughout. I think lovers of historical fiction and mysteries will enjoy this one.

Alinefromabook’s rating:  3-5-star-rating 3.5 stars!!

Happy Reading!

Amazon US   |   Amazon UK   |   Goodreads   |   Barnes & Noble   |   Amazon Canada

Thank you to Penguin Books and First to Read for providing a copy in exchange for an honest review.