West with Giraffes – Book Review

“Few true friends have I known and two were giraffes…” Inspired by true events, this part adventure, part historical saga and part coming-of-age love story follows Woodrow Wilson Nickel as he recalls his journey in 1938 to deliver Southern California’s first giraffes to the San Diego Zoo. Woodrow Wilson Nickel, age 105, feels his life ebbing away. But when he learns giraffes are going extinct, he recalls the unforgettable experience […]

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The Women with the Blue Star – Book Review

1942. Sadie Gault is eighteen and living with her parents amid the horrors of the Kraków Ghetto during World War II. When the Nazis liquidate the ghetto, Sadie and her parents seek refuge in the perilous sewers beneath the city. Ella Stepanek is an affluent Polish girl living with her stepmother, who has developed close alliances with the occupying Germans. Longing for her fiancé, who has gone off to war, […]

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Love in Colonial Punjab

What remained was a feeling of quiet rapture, of dawn colours slowly involving themselves with the day, a champagne brightness starting to warm my skin and the waving acres of corn and wheat, the soft green hills that followed no pattern, a distant stone hut that held the horizon and a long tapered track driving on until I couldn’t even imagine that I could see it. The orange sun broke […]

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Amy’s June Reads

Need an excellent book for the long holiday weekend? Look below and you’ll find inspiration, thrills, chills, romances, and history. Something for everyone! These are in order by my favorites, top to bottom. Enjoy!   The Women of Chateau Lafayette by Stephanie Dray  “Glory is a bittersweet wreath of both flowers and thorns.” ~ Stephanie Dray, The Women of Chateau Lafayette A mysterious castle, a hero of the American Revolution, spies, […]

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May Reads

June is upon us, so it is time to post my reviews of the books I read in May, a smattering from the historical fiction, thriller, memoir, mystery, biography, and literary fiction genres. I use Goodreads to track and rate my reading. 5 stars is reserved for rare blew-my-socks-off reads, 4 stars means I enjoyed it and would absolutely recommend. 3 stars is good, but not great. I very rarely […]

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The Best Historical Fiction of All Time

I have 613 books on my Goodreads “Read” list, and at least a third of them fall into the historical fiction classification. So I guess you say this is my jam. Historical fiction is a literary genre in which the story takes place in the past. Historical novels capture the details of the time period as accurately as possible for authenticity, including social norms, manners, customs, and traditions. Many novels […]

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April Reads

A new month is upon us, fellow bibliophiles, which means it’s time to post what I read in April. There weren’t any 5-star winners, but there were no real duds either. In all the years I’ve been rating books, I’ve only given two 2-stars reviews—one because of grammatical errors and the other because of objectionable content. As an author I know how hard it is to write a book, and […]

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The Nature of Fragile Things – Book Review

I normally take notes while I am reading an advance reader copy (ARC) to help facilitate my review. Susan Meissner’s historical novel, The Nature of Fragile Things, though, was so wonderful I didn’t want the interruption. Here’s a quick synopsis: Sophie Whalen is a young Irish immigrant so desperate to get out of a New York tenement that she answers a mail-order bride ad and moves to San Francisco. She […]

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Courage My Love – Book Review

Rome, 1943 Synopsis Lucia Colombo has had her doubts about fascism for years, but as a single mother in an increasingly unstable country, politics are for other people—she needs to focus on keeping herself and her son alive. Then the Italian government falls and the German occupation begins, and suddenly, Lucia finds that complacency is no longer an option. Francesca Gallo has always been aware of injustice and suffering. A […]

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The Children’s Blizzard – Book Review

Now that our long Minnesota winter has finally ended (knock on wood), I think it’s safe to post this review. My mom grew up on a farm in North Dakota during the Great Depression. I remember her telling me what life was like without central heat, boots without high-tech insulation, and woolen mittens that froze stiff with the cold. Imagine trudging out in the middle of the night in -30-degree […]

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