What I Am Currently Reading

WorthyBrownTitle: Worthy Brown’s Daughter
Author: Phillip Margolin
Publisher: Harper
Publication Date: January 21, 2014
Hardcover: 352 pages
ISBN: 99780062195340
Genre: Fiction, Historical Fiction, Literary Fiction


SilenceOnceBegunTitle: Silence Once Begun
Author: Jesse Ball
Publisher:  Pantheon
Publication Date: January 28, 2014
Hardcover: 256 pages
ISBN: 9780307908483
Genre: Literary Fiction, Mystery, Suspense


SomersetTitle: Somerset
Author: Leila Meacham
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
Publication Date: February 4, 2014
Hardcover: 624 pages
ISBN: 9781455547388
Genre: Fiction, Historical fiction, Family Saga


CockroachesTitle: Cockroaches
Author: Jo Nesbø
Publisher: Vintage
Publication Date: February 11, 2014
Paperback: 384 pages
ISBN: 9780345807151
Genre: Fiction, Detective Series, Mystery, Thriller


TheHeadmastersWifeTitle: The Headmaster’s Wife
Author: Thomas Christopher Greene
Publisher: Thomas Dunne Books
Publication Date: February 25, 2014
Hardcover: 288 pages
ISBN: 9781250038944
Genre: Fiction


SavageGirlTitle: Savage Girl
Author: Jean Zimmerman
Publisher: Viking Adult
Publication Date: March 6, 2014
Hardcover: 416 pages
ISBN: 9780670014859
Genre: Fiction, Historical Fiction, Crime, Mystery


Finally an Update!

As Christmas rapidly approaches it suddenly dawned on me that I have neither read nor listened to a book in at least 8 weeks. This may not seem too strange, except I typically read at least one book a day. Life took quite an extremely abrupt turn, which is affecting my entire household and even my beloved reading was placed so far on the backburner that I gave it no thought beyond always making certain I had a book in my “go bag”. Beyond that, I have read nothing. While our family is struggling with a very serious and unexpected illness (not mine), we are still all very affected and I am trying to keep things as “normal” as possible for my twins who will be graduating this year and my college age son, who blessedly is now home for Christmas break. The halls are decked (thanks to my SIL who came out for a week and was kind enough to try and help us get into the Christmas mood), the presents are few (there may be a few books in the mix as gifts), but from the heart and under the tree, and Christmas dinner has been planned. I have hope the New Year will be so much better for my family and I look forward to the time when I am able to focus and read again. However, for now, family comes first and foremost. The following books are currently lying about my house begging to be read.

CityofWomenTitle: City of Women
Author: David R. Gillham
Publisher: Amy Einhorn Books/Putnam
Publication Date: August 7, 2012
Hardcover: 400 pages
ISBN: 978-0399157769
Genre: Literature, Hist0rical Fiction


InvisibleMurderTitle: Invisible Murder
Author: Lene Kaaberbøl
Publisher: Soho Crime; Reprint edition
Publication Date: October 2, 2012
Paperback: 339 pages
ISBN: 978-1616951702
Genre: Mystery, Thriller, Suspense


15840027Title: House of Evidence
Author: Viktor Arnar Ingolfsson
Publisher: AmazonCrossing; Reprint edition
Publication Date: December 11, 2012
Paperback: 224 pages
Genre: Fiction, Suspense, Thriller


15815356Title: Above All Things
Author: Tanis Rideout
Publisher: Amy Einhorn Books/Putnam
Publication Date: February 12, 2013
Hardcover: 400 pages
ISBN: 978-0399160585
Genre: Fiction, Literature


Happy Reading!


What Am I Reading?

It has been awhile since I posted and it dawned on me that I have been rather silent abut the books I have been reading.  This is just a sampling of books from various genres that I am currently reading.  My reviews will be out shortly.   An added bonus, the last book, while not new this year, is exceptional and I wanted to share  this find with others.

Title: Buddhaland Brooklyn
Author: Richard C. Morais
Publisher: Scribner
Publication Date: July 17, 2012
Hardcover: 256 pages
ISBN: 978-1451669220
Genre: Fiction


Title: Let the Devil Sleep
Author: John Verdon
Publisher: Crown
Publication Date: July 24, 2012
Hardcover: 464 pages
ISBN: 978-0307717924
Genre: Fiction, Suspense, Thriller



Title: Widow’s Might
Author: Sandra Brannan
Publisher: Greenleaf Book Group Press
Publication Date: August 7, 2012
Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN: 978-1608323722
Genre: Fiction, Suspense, Thriller



Title: The Twelve Rooms of the Nile
Author: Enid Shomer
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Publication Date: August 21, 2012
Hardcover: 464 pages
ISBN: 978-1451642964
Genre: Historical Fiction


 Finally, as promised above, my bonus find of the summer!

Title: The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks
Author: Rebecca Skloot
Publisher: Crown
Publication Date: February 2, 2010
Hardcover: 384 pages
ISBN: 978-1400052172
Genre: Non-Fiction, Biography


Happy Reading!



Book Review: In the Shadow of the Banyan

  Title: In the Shadow of the Banyan
Author: Vaddey Ratner
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Publication Date: August 7, 2012
Hardcover: 336 pages
ISBN: 978-1451657708
Genre: Historical Fiction

My Review:

In the Shadow of the Banyan by Vaddey Ratner is a heartrending story of the adversity faced by one young Cambodian girl during the rule of the Khmer Rouge.  The author, having lived through these same extraordinarily brutal times in Phnom Penh, writes in artful prose a novel that transports readers to a time in the life of the young girl, Raami, who endures more brutality, violence, persecution and despair in 4 years than most people could imagine over a lifetime.  While these horrific life experiences are masterfully illustrated by Ratner, the novel pulls from such terrifying realities something that overcomes the evils committed by the Khmer Rouge – the inspiration Raami draws from those who have left indelible, positive prints on her memories.  Most importantly, Raami finds perseverance by her recollections of her father’s poetry, a mechanism by which she is able to cope with the atrocities she has witnessed and lived through.  Brilliantly crafted, In the Shadow of the Banyan is a must read for those readers interested in learning of the extremely violent times in Cambodia in the 1970s, but with that knowledge and understanding, readers should be forewarned that humanity can be, and was in these times, graphically brutal, making some passages very difficult to read.  While In the Shadow of the Banyan was difficult at times, I am deeply grateful for being given the opportunity to read Ratner’s book and believe In the Shadow of the Banyan would make for an excellent, albeit difficult, discussion group pick.


Book Review: The Oracle of Stamboul by Michael David Lukas

Title: The Oracle of Stamboul
Author: Michael David Lukas
Publisher: Harper Perennial; Reprint edition
Publication Date: August 30, 2011
Paperback: 320 pages
ISBN: 978-0062012104
Genre: Historical Fiction

From the Publisher:

Ushered into the world by a mysterious pair of Tartar midwives late in the summer of 1877 in the town of Constanta on the Black Sea, Eleonora Cohen proves herself an extraordinarily gifted child—a prodigy—at a very young age. When she is eight years old, she stows away aboard a ship, following her carpet merchant father, Yakob, to the teeming and colorful imperial capital of Stamboul where a new life awaits her.

In the narrow streets of this city at the crossroads of the world, intrigue and gossip are currency, and people are not always what they seem. But it is only when she charms the eccentric Sultan Abdulhamid II—beleaguered by friend and foe as his unwieldy realm crumbles—that Eleonora will change the course of an empire.

My Review:

Exotic, mystical, and engrossing, The Oracle of Stamboul by Michael David Lukas takes the reader back to the last days of the Ottoman Empire and deep into Sultan Abdulhamid’s court. Purple and white hoopoes usher in the birth of Eleonora Cohen whose birth and life was foretold. Raised by her father and Aunt, young Eleonora is quite precocious and instead of being without her father she travels to Stamboul as a stowaway to be with him. Eleonora’s gifts are soon recognized by the Sultan, who invites her to court, relies on her knowledge and soon becomes interested in far more than her political acumen. Lukas has created a beautifully exotic debut novel that will take the reader back in time to the seat of the Ottoman Empire. Through vivid imagery and detail the reader will have little doubt they are in Turkey. The sights, sounds, and smells are so richly described it made me yearn to travel. Lukas has created a marvelous ensemble of characters and Eleonora is absolutely endearing, delightful, and mysterious. The Oracle of Stamboul was utterly fascinating in its exotic nature and mystical premise, and stunningly lyrical prose. Lukas has created a stunning debut novel and definitely is an emerging author to be watched. I highly recommend The Oracle of Stamboul to both readers and book discussion groups.

To learn more about Michael David Lukas please visit his website: www.michaeldavidlukas.com

For more reviews of the book, please follow the book tour.

I received a complimentary copy of The Oracle of Stamboul by Michael David Lukas from TLC Book Tours to be a part of this tour and offer my honest review of the book. Receiving a complimentary copy in no way reflected my review of aforementioned book.