Current Giveaways!

Watch this space!

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Review: Overseas by Beatriz Williams

Title: Overseas
Author: Beatriz Williams
Format: Hardcover
Publisher: G.P. Putnam's
Publish Date: May 10, 2012
Source: Library

What's the Story?:

From "When twenty-something Wall Street analyst Kate Wilson attracts the notice of the legendary Julian Laurence at a business meeting, no one’s more surprised than she is. Julian’s relentless energy and his extraordinary intellect electrify her, but she’s baffled by his sudden interest. Why would this handsome British billionaire—Manhattan’s most eligible bachelor—pursue a pretty but bookish young banker who hasn’t had a boyfriend since college?

The answer is beyond imagining . . . at least at first. Kate and Julian’s story may have begun not in the moneyed world of twenty-first-century Manhattan but in France during World War I, when a mysterious American woman emerged from the shadows of the Western Front to save the life of Captain Julian Laurence Ashford, a celebrated war poet and infantry officer.

Now, in modern-day New York, Kate and Julian must protect themselves from the secrets of the past, and trust in a true love that transcends time and space."

My Two Cents:

After reading several of Beatriz Williams' historical fiction books, I wanted to go back and read one of her first releases: "Overseas." This book is a little bit different in that it has historical fiction elements but it's also a book about time travel. I was interested to see how she carried it out.

Some of the hallmarks of her writing her are present in this book. I really like her character development for both Kate and Julian. The crux of the story seems very familiar to other readers of time travel fiction. Kate and Julian are together in the present day. Kate must go back in time in order to save Julian's life. The romance between Kate and Julian is incredibly intense and really carried the story for me.

The way that the author deals with the science of time travel isn't quite clear in this book. Your full participation in suspension of disbelief is definitely needed here. I was not as engaged in the book because of this. Overall, this was an interesting trip back to see where Beatriz fully started. I have to say that I like her historical fiction books better than this one but this was a good romance.

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Review: Girl Trouble: An Illustrated Memoir by Kerry Cohen, Tyler Cohen (Illustrator)

Title: Girl Trouble: An Illustrated Memoir
Author: Kerry Cohen, Tyler Cohen (Illustrator)
Format: Ebook
Publisher: Hawthorne Books
Publish Date: October 11, 2016
Source: Publisher

What's the Story?:

From "Bestselling memoirist and psychotherapist Kerry Cohen (Loose Girl: A Memoir of Promiscuity) explores complicated female friendships in Girl Trouble. Beginning with her relationship with her sister Tyler Cohen, who illustrates the memoir, Kerry examines the many ways female friendships can affect a girl’s life. From bullying and failed friendships to competition and painful break ups, Girl Trouble brings forth a story of how one girl learned to navigate the many difficulties of feminine friendships. Girls and women everywhere will relate to the confusion, the hurt feelings, and they will also learn along with Kerry how to make better choices over the years."

My Two Cents:

The "Girl Trouble" in the title of this book refers to the girl trouble that comes from navigating female friendships. Author Kerry Cohen lays out a lot of the friendships that she has had throughout her life. Some of the friendships are incredible and lifelong. Some of them are incredible and short-lived. So many of them are the kind that you wonder if they were simply put in front of you to learn something and grow from. Each chapter focuses on a different friend in Cohen's life and is illustrated in 

There is nothing more magical than true friendship. This book reinforced the idea of how lucky I am to have the friends that I have carried with me for so many years (it is more like we've carried each other). It even made me thankful for the friendships that broke up (and thankfully there hasn't been many). It reiterated that even from bad things can come good. Sometimes it takes a bit of time and an extra dose of perspective to realize that. This is a great book for all women. The friendships we have with other females are so intricate and so important!

The writing of the book was good. Some of the stories to be more poignant or have more of a message or some sort of closure to them than others. There were a few that could have been stripped in order to give greater attention to the stories that really had major point or revelations.

Monday, October 24, 2016

Review: The Guineveres by Sarah Domet

Title: The Guineveres
Author: Sarah Domet
Format: Hardcover
Publisher: Flatiron Books
Publish Date: October 4, 2016
Source: Publisher

What's the Story?:

From "Vere, Gwen, Ginny, and Win come to The Sisters of the Supreme Adoration by different paths, delivered into the rigorous and austere care of Sister Fran. Each has their own complicated, heartbreaking story that they safeguard. But together they are the all powerful and confident The Guineveres, bound by the extraordinary coincidence of their names and girded against the indignities of their plain, sequestered lives. Together, they learn about God, history, and, despite the nuns' protestations, sex. They learn about the saints whose revival stories of faith and pain are threaded through their own. But above all, they plot their futures, when they can leave the convent and finally find a true home. But when four comatose soldiers, casualties of the War looming outside, arrive at the convent, The Guineveres’ friendship is tested in ways they never could have foreseen."

My Two Cents:

This book is about four teenaged girls all named Guinevere. They go by different nicknames: there is Vere (who narrates most of the book), Gwen, Win, and Ginny. All four have ended up at a convent for all different reasons. They cling together and none of the other teenaged girls in the convent are never allowed to be in their inner circle. This is a novel about those relationships that you only seem to develop as a young person where you're almost creating a family rather than just making friends.

This book took a little while to get going. On it's surface, when the book starts out, it seems like a story about four girls who do what four girls are want to do when they have little adult supervision. They cause a ruckus. They dream about the future: all four to varying degrees dream of big lives for themselves, something much different from the convent. I was wondering where the book was going because at first, it just covers what the girls are experiencing at the convent and the small amounts of ruckus that they cause. Eventually it shifts to something deeper as we learn about why the girls end up in the convent. Several men fighting the war end up at the convent and the girls are charged with taking care of them, which leads to them exploring what they want for the future.

There are a lot of layers to explore within the story. The writing was good but confusing at some parts. Most of the book is told from one point of view with other points of view thrown in here and there. It worked well but I wish that there had been more delineation. The book could have also been streamlined a bit to get to the salient points and to make them have a bigger impact. I did like how the author created different voices for the different points of view. They were distinct and heartbreaking in different ways. This was a good debut!


Friday, October 21, 2016

Guest Post: Marie Benedict, Author of The Other Einstein

Hello! Today I am pleased to welcome Marie Benedict, author of "The Other Einstein" here to A Bookish Affair.

 Growing up, I always wanted to be an archaeologist. Admittedly, my notion of an archaeologist was a bit fanciful, greatly influenced by Indiana Jones. Still, the idea of unearthing long-forgotten secrets from the ground and astonishing the world with a fresh understanding of our past captivated me.
Even though I studied history and archaeology in college with the intention of fulfilling that dream, I got derailed. I took the safer path of law school and a decade practicing as a commercial litigator in New York City, but the unknown past still held its allure, particularly the hidden history of women. My interest became piqued when I learned that Albert Einstein’s first wife, Mileva Maric, was a physicist herself, and that she had been married to him during his 1905 “miracle year” when he published four papers with his most ground-breaking theories. I couldn’t stop thinking about the role Mileva might have played in his life and work, and so I began digging.
THE OTHER EINSTEIN is the result of that excavation, one made challenging by the fact that, while a wealth of evidence existed about her famous scientist husband, very little in the way of artifacts remain about Mileva’s life. Sifting through the extant papers and remembrances and filling in the gaps with fiction and logic, I recreated the story of a woman who made an astonishing climb from Eastern Europe where it was illegal for women to attend high school to become one of the few female physics students at a European university, where she met Albert Einstein. Hers was a life that deserved to be uncovered. So I have become a different sort of archaeologist than the one of which I originally dreamed, a writer excavating women from the dusty corners of the past where they’d been buried or forgotten, building stories of their forgotten lives, and finding their places in history.

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Review: A Most Extraordinary Pursuit by Juliana Gray

Title: A Most Extraordinary Pursuit
Author: Juliana Gray
Format: Paperback
Publisher: Berkley
Publish Date: October 4, 2016
Source: Publisher

What's the Story?:

From "As the personal secretary of the recently departed Duke of Olympia—and a woman of good character—Miss Emmeline Rose Truelove never expected to be steaming through the Mediterranean on a luxuriously appointed yacht under the watchful and jovial eye of one Lord Silverton. But here they are, as improper as it is, on a quest to find the duke’s heir, whereabouts unknown.

An expert on anachronisms, the adventurous Maximilian Haywood was last seen at an archaeological dig on the island of Crete. And when Truelove and Silverton disembark, they are met with incidents of a violent nature: a ransacked flat, a murdered government employee, an assassination attempt. And as they steam from port to port on Max’s trail, dodging danger at every turn, Truelove will discover the folly of her misconceptions—about the whims of the heart, the desires of men, and the nature of time itself..."

My Two Cents:

In "A Most Extraordinary Pursuit" is the story of Emma Truelove. She is a very traditional woman who is interested in maintaining her appearance as a fine, upstanding woman. After the Duke of Olympia dies, his secretary Emma is forced to go to Greece in order to find his heir. Lord Silverton, a  guy who doesn't seem to take himself too seriously and seems to think that there may be something more to Emma hiding under her prim and proper exterior. Emma seems to think that he might just be a bother on this journey but understands that a woman must be accompanied wherever she goes!

This is a new historical fiction by Juliana Gray, a new pen name for well-known histfic writer Beatriz Williams. I have read a lot of Williams' books and really enjoyed them. I was anxious to see what this book was like. This book has more mysteries than Williams' other books. Haywood, the heir to Olympia, has disappeared without a trace. Emma and Silverton discover many clues that they have to put together in order to figure out where he might have gone.

The writing of the book was good. The relationship between Emma and Silverton took me a little while to get into. It seems sort of contrived at the beginning. Emma is playing coy and being prim and proper. Silverton is pushing her to be more real with him. Eventually this hit a good pace for me but it was a little touch and go in the beginning.

There are a lot of interesting elements that made this book a lot of fun. First off, there was the setting. This book is set in Greece, a place that I don't get to visit often enough. I loved the detail that the author added. I also liked that the author added elements like the ghost of Queen Victoria (as feisty as she ever was) makes an appearance in the book. This book is the first in a new series according to Goodreads and will engage fans of series such as the Maisie Dobbs books (you can see the fanbase they are going for with the cover that seemed eerily familiar).


Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Review: The Other Einstein by Marie Benedict

Title: The Other Einstein
Author: Marie Benedict
Format: ARC
Publisher: Sourcebooks Landmark
Publish Date: October 18, 2016 (Yesterday!)
Source: Publisher

What's the Story?:

From "What secrets may have lurked in the shadows of Albert Einstein’s fame? His first wife, Mileva “Mitza” Marić, was more than the devoted mother of their three children—she was also a brilliant physicist in her own right, and her contributions to the special theory of relativity have been hotly debated for more than a century.

In 1896, the extraordinarily gifted Mileva is the only woman studying physics at an elite school in Zürich. There, she falls for charismatic fellow student Albert Einstein, who promises to treat her as an equal in both love and science. But as Albert’s fame grows, so too does Mileva’s worry that her light will be lost in her husband’s shadow forever."

My Two Cents:

In "The Other Einstein," we meet Mileva Maric, a gifted young woman who moves to Zurich (where she knows no one) from her native Serbia. Isolated at home because her main interests include physics, something that many thought was not something women should be involved with at the time, she is looking forward to finding common ground with some of her classmates at the university in Zurich. The year is 1896 and few women went to university and she is the very first woman to enter the program at Zurich. She meets a young Albert Einstein and they fall in love. He promises her that they will be an equal Bohemian couple but his promises eventually go astray.

I had never heard of Mileva before reading this book. Come to think of it, I knew very little about Albert Einstein's earlier life before reading this book. I love when histfic can teach me something and introduce me to new people. This book certainly does that! Not only do you have the love story between Albert and Mileva, which starts with a bang but the book explores a lot about Mileva's position as a woman and what it means for her brilliant mind and her potential career. She is definitely a woman limited by the place and time in which she lives in. It was disheartening to read about but really made me realize just how far that we've come!

The relationship between Mileva and Albert is so fascinating. At first, Albert seems really interested in making sure that their relationship is a partnership: both romantically and professionally. Mileva is thrilled because she believes that it will get her foot in the door with actually having a career as a physicist. As we see in the book, Albert becomes jealous and decides that he wants a dedicated wife after all. He takes some of Mileva's ideas and renegs on publishing her name on papers after promising to in the first place. I felt horrible for Mileva and this was a side of Albert Einstein that I had never read about. It's always fun to have your assumptions turned on their heads. 

Told from Mileva's perspective, this book gave me so much to think about. I really enjoyed learning about Mileva from this book. It is so sad that she has largely been lost to history. This is a well written book that I was happy to dive into.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

TLC Book Tours Review: Earning It by Joann S. Lublin

Title: Earning It
Author: Joann S. Lublin
Format: ARC
Publisher: Harper Collins
Publish Date: October 18, 2016
Source: Thanks to Harper Collins and TLC Book Tours for the review copy!

What's the Story?:

From "Among the first female reporters at The Wall Street Journal, Joann S. Lublin faced a number of uphill battles in her career. She became deputy bureau chief of the Journal’s important London bureau, its first run by women. Now, she and dozens of other women who successfully navigated the corporate battlefield share their valuable leadership lessons.

Lublin combines her fascinating story with insightful tales from more than fifty women who reached the highest rungs of the corporate ladder—most of whom became chief executives of public companies —in industries as diverse as retailing, manufacturing, finance, high technology, publishing, advertising, automobiles, and pharmaceuticals. Leaders like Carly Fiorina, former CEO of Hewlett-Packard, as well as Mary Barra, CEO of General Motors, and Brenda Barnes, former CEO of Sara Lee, were the first women to run their huge employers. Earning It reveals obstacles such women faced as they fought to make their mark, choices they made, and battles they won—and lost."

My Two Cents:

"Earning It" is a non-fiction business book geared for women in the workplace. Being a working woman today, I am so appreciative for those women who have gone before me and have paved the way for me. There is a long way to go but oh-so-many of the stories in this book show how far we've come. It gives me hope that we're on the right track!

This book is filled with stories of women from many different sectors of the economy. The author tells the stories of a ton of different women. There are some you may recognize like Mary Barra or Carly Fiorina, who made a run for the White House just earlier this year. There are also a lot of other woman that I had never heard of so there was even more to learn in this book. They are tales of irritation and hard won respect. They are tales of difficult circumstances and triumph. The author delves into her own experiences as one of the first female reporters for the illustrious Wall Street Journal. This experience gives her personal insight into some of the things that these women went through.

The stories were fascinating. Some of them disheartened me but some of them really made me excited for how far we've come. Most of the book is involved with telling individual women's stories but there was not much to hold them all together. I wanted a little more from the book, some sort of connection. This is a great book for learning more about what individual women have faced in marching towards success in the workplace!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...