Happy New Year!
From the Shelf TBR
So as 2012 wound down I was actually able to hit each one of my challenges for 2013. I'd say that is a good way to start out the year!
From the Shelf TBR
I think I originally bought this book because I loved the Indigo Girl's song Galileo. I played it over and over and over and over again. And then I'd play it again. And yes, I had to play it a few times while writing this post. ;-) but I digress ... Galileo's Daughter is not what I thought it would be. I don't know if it was a bit heavier (not it a depressing way but more intellectual) than I was looking for given the season or if it's just not for me. It's not really about his daughter; more about his scientific journey. Truth be told I haven't finished it. I don't like to not finish books but I couldn't seem to get into it. I haven't pulled the bookmark out yet ... there is still hope. If I do pick it up again and have a different opinion I will certainly let you know.
"Inspired by a long fascination with Galileo, and by the remarkable surviving letters of his daughter Maria Celeste, a cloistered nun, Dava Sobel has crafted a biography that dramatically recolors the personality and accomplishments of a mythic figure whose early-seventeenth-century clash with Catholic doctrine continues to define the schism between science and religion-the man Albert Einstein called "the father of modern physics-indeed of modern science altogether." It is also a stunning portrait of Galileo's daughter, a person hitherto lost to history, described by her father as "a woman of exquisite mind, singular goodness, and most tenderly attached to me."
Moving between Galileo's grand public life and Maria Celeste's sequestered world, Sobel illuminatesthe Florence of the Medicis and the papal court in Rome during the pivotal era when humanity's perception of its place in the cosmos was about to be overturned. During that same time, while the bubonic plague wreaked its terrible devastation and the Thirty Years' War tipped fortunes across Europe, Galileo sought to reconcile the Heaven he revered as a good Catholic with the heavens he revealed through his telescope. Filled with human drama and scientific adventure, Galileo's Daughter is an unforgettable story."
When I finally caved 2 years ago and bought a Kindle I loaded up on a ton of free books - mostly classics. A Christmas Carol has sat there ever since. Considering Rocky and I watch this version of Scrooge I figured it was high time I read the book ... and it certainly met the criteria for my own 2013 challenge (read book that has been made into a movie and then watch the movie).
I am making an assumption here that you wonderful book lovers out there know this story already so a "review" is not necessary. I will say that this free Kindle version was easy to read and few (if any) errors (funny characters/typos). I am so glad that I finally read ~the book~!
Book vs Movie
As I mentioned just a few sentences ago, Rocky and I watch Scrooge every Christmas (so obviously we like it!). I'd have to say the version we own is very true to Mr. Dicken's book. I see another tradition in the making ... reading the book and watching the movie. This year we allowed the boys to watch it with us. My sweet, innocent, trusting 8 and 6 yr olds looked at me with WIDE eyes when Ebeneezer broke into song about how much he hated people. I had to reassure them that mommy and daddy would not let them watch something bad - just hang on it/he gets better. They were glad in the end to see the change of heart in Mr. Scrooge - and I think their trust restored in us ;-) Now they, like Rocky and I walk around singing ...
Elizabeth Street was one of those discounted kindle offers that sounded interesting enough to grab while the getting was good. I enjoyed this book and I'm glad that I snatched it up. It also made me thankful for my family who immigrated (many generations ago) and the hardships they had to endure. If you like history and delving into other customs and cultures I think you will like this book.
"Based on true events, Elizabeth Street is a multigenerational saga that opens in an Italian village in the 1900's, and crosses the ocean to New York's Lower East Side. At the heart of the novel is Giovanna, whose family is targeted by the notorious Black Hand -the precursor to the Mafia. Elizabeth Street brings to light a period in history when Italian immigrant neighborhoods lived in fear of Black Hand extortion and violence-a reality that defies the romanticized depiction of the Mafia. Here, the author reveals the merciless terror of the Black Hand-and the impact their crimes had on her family. Giovanna is based on Fabiano's great-grandmother, and the book's heroes and villains - such as Lieutenant Petrosino, the crusading cop and "Lupo the Wolf," a cold-blooded criminal - are drawn from real life in this thrilling tale. While set in a dynamic historical context, Elizabeth Street is, above all, the dramatic story of the heroine, Giovanna, and how she triumphed over tragedy."
This is the second book by Kearsley that I have read and I can promise you it won't be the last. Mariana proved to be a page turner with just the right amount of drama, mystery, and romance without all the gory details (re: all previously mentioned categories). I was completely surprised how this book ended. I had no idea. I love when that happens. If you like historical fiction you are bound to like Kearsley's writing.
"The first time Julia Beckett saw Greywethers she was only five, but she knew at once that it was her house. Now, twenty-five years later, by some strange chance, she has just become the new owner of the sixteenth-century Wilshire farmhouse. But Julia soon begins to suspect that more than coincidence has brought her there. As if Greywethers were a porthal between worlds, she finds herself abruptly transported back in time. Stepping into seventeenth-century England, Julia becomes Mariana, a beautiful young woman struggling against danger and treachery, and battling a forbidden love for Richard de Mornay, handsome forebear of the present squire of Crofton Hall. Each time Julia travels back, she becomes more enthralled with the past, falling ever deeper in love with Richard...until one day she realizes Mariana's life threatens to eclipse her own--and that she must find a way to lay the past to rest, or risk losing a chance for love in her own time."
What have you been reading?