Saturday, August 31, 2013

Books I Got

It's been established so clearly that I can't even lie about it: I have no self-control when it comes to books. I acquire them at a much faster rate than I can actually read and review them, but hopefully these posts will help those books get some exposure NOW instead of waiting until I actually manage to find time to, you know, read them.

This post is for some of the books I've gotten in the past month or so.

For Review

Bellman & Black
By Diane Setterfield

I can't even. I just. Ok, I LOVE Diane Setterfield's Gothic debut The Thirteenth Tale SO, so, so much. That book came out in 2006 and Mrs. Setterfield has made me wait an incredibly long time for a second book.

And what a second book! It's a ghost story!! I LOVE ghost stories!

Which means my expectations are scary high and I'm a nervous wreak because I want to drop life and start reading Bellman & Black RIGHT NOW, but I also don't want to finish it too quickly (are you going to make me wait another seven years for more wonderfulness once I've finished this??) and....what if I don't love it as much?

See? Stupid expectations. I'm just going to have to resign myself to the idea that I'm going to hate it, so that this way I can love it. Does that even make sense?

Received from Atria's Galley Alley.

The King Arthur Trilogy: Dragon's Child
by M. K. Hume

I love Arthurian books, but I like it when they stick to MY idea of what the characters should be like (Merlin had better be good!) and I don't care if they're historically grounded. Also, I like magic.

My husband wants minimal to no magic and lots of historical grounding. He doesn't care if liberties are taken with the characters' roles.

Basically, I want myth, pageantry, romanticism, and characters to root for. He wants gritty historical battles with gritty historically accurate people.

So at least one of us will like this book.

Received from Atria's Galley Alley.

Blood & Beauty
by Sarah Dunant

I've been watching Showtime's The Borgias this past month and, of course, I went on a Goodreads spree adding lots of Borgia books onto my TBR. Blood & Beauty was one such book.

Then, two days later I get a package in the mail containing THIS BOOK.

So of course I felt totally paranoid (book clutching and furtive glances abounded) and maybe a little bit special because somehow these omniscient publishers decided to turn their attention to little me and gift me with the exact book I wanted!

And then I read the paper inside explaining how I had won a copy through a Shelf Awareness giveaway I entered months ago.

So, yeah. But, yay book!  

Thieves' Quarry
by D. B. Jackson

So the Borgia book situation wasn't as Big Brother as I thought. But this book, this book was totally the result of my psychic powers at work!

Ok, picture it: My living room, July, I'm sitting on the couch lamenting how I don't have nearly enough exciting Revolutionary War books to read. Why don't authors write them more often? This is a fantastic period in history and most of what I seem to have to choose from are assigned reading for middle schoolers and non-fiction.

Now enter Awesome Publisher. I get an email about D. B. Jackson's sequel in a series about pre-Revolutionary America! So, setting? Check! But wait, what's that stuff floating around his hand on the cover? Could it be...magic??


Basically this series is set right before the American Revolution but includes magic, mystery, and what sounds like a super badass protagonist (the guy on the cover, I presume). Also, I can apparently read the books out of order. Score!

Pitched and received from publisher.

Confessions of Marie Antoinette
by Juliet Grey

I read the first and second books in this series and LOVE THEM SO MUCH. They're adult books that are heavy on the historical details, but with a first person narration from Marie's perspective that makes her totally BFF likable.

You can really tell Juliet Grey is a sympathetic supporter of Marie Antoinette, but the books are still balanced in portraying her faults as well.

These are my favorite Marie Antoinette books (slightly higher than my other favorite The Bad Queen, a YA book by Carolyn Meyer) and I am super excited to read the final installment in the series (even though I know I won't like how it ends! *sobs*)

Requested and received through NetGalley.


The Seance
by John Harwood

I read this book because I was hoping it would be good like The Thirteenth Tale, and while it wasn't quite as wonderful, I loved it a whole lot and book pushered it into the hands of many library patrons.

So when I saw it for sale on the bargain books shelf, I couldn't resist. This is for sure a book I want to reread and now it's mineeeee all mineeeeee!!

The Restorer
by Amanda Stevens

Look, I'll be honest. I don't really want to read this book. I don't really like urban fantasy and I've decided in my head that I won't like The Restorer. And now I'm even getting petulant about it.

But, Ruby and I have a book club together where we read books one or both of us have loved, read books we've both been meaning to read, and read books we both want to read but don't think we'd actually read without a support group.  

The Restorer falls into the category of "books one of us loves" and the one who loves it is Ruby. She also loves the romance and the male lead, which I have to admit is the thing that's kind of intriguing me because I like Ruby's taste in men.

So, fine. I'll try it.

Besides, Ruby hasn't steered me wrong yet.

A Countess Below Stairs
by Eva Ibbotson

This is another Ruby book club book. I have an irrational reluctance to read Eva Ibbotson because in my head I think her books are long and boring. Why? I have no idea.

I had this same irrational fear of Juliet Marillier, and Ruby cured me of that, so hopefully the same will happen here.

What did you get this week? Are you interested in reading any of these books? What did you think of them if you've read them already?



  1. Ooh Arthurian books seem so interesting (did you watch Merlin?. If it lives up to your expectations, it should be a great book! Bellman & Black looks really good, as well!

    Sara at The Page Sage

    1. I have not seen Merlin! The British TV show, right? My sister loves it, but I still haven't gotten around to watching it.

  2. You think Eva Ibbotson's books are boring??? That *is* totally irrational. I hope this helps to cure you though my favorite is A Company of Swans (I love books about dance!)

    1. lol, and it's a totally unfounded thought! I don't know why I even have that assumption about her books, since I've never read one before and have nothing to base that on. :P Hopefully this will cure me of my preconceptions.

  3. I am a fan of Dunant, and I've read a Borgia book before.... I guess I'm gonna have to read this one too - *sigh. Mt rading list is growing faster than my child!

    1. haha I hear you! It's so easy to grow Mt TBR :P

  4. I am so excited to read Bellman & Black. Like you I loved The Thirteenth Tale and have been waiting a long time for this one. And I LOVE ghost stories. I'll be saving this for Halloween (I was lucky enough to get a review copy from Netgalley too). You have some great books listed here. The Seance sounds like a good one!

    1. yay! I'm so in line with your tastes when it comes to this genre. I definitely do recommend The Seance. Not as good as The Thirteenth Tale, but a worthwhile read, I think. Hm, maybe I should save B&B for Halloween, too. I like that idea! Hope you enjoy it and it lives up to all our expectations.

  5. Thieves' Quarry!!! I picked up the first one at the library because MAGIC and HISTORICAL and TRICORNER HATS and ended up really liking it. Can't wait to read this one.

    1. I have to admit, I'm a fan of the tricorner hat. :P It's like instant swoon, though I think that association stems from Ben from the American Girl Felicity books. I am SOOOOOOO excited to hear you liked the first book! Can't wait to read the second now!

    2. I will warn you, though, that the first one was slow paced. I know how you feel about that. But I liked the characters a lot, and maybe this one will be zippier. :)

  6. Smallsie!!! I was re.reading The Countess Bellow Stairs last night!! It's a really adorable books, her books can be a little dated but they are fun, well at least this one is, Anna is very endearing.

    Enjoy your booksies :D

    1. aw, perfect timing! I love that you love it. Between you, Stephanie, and Ruby all saying she's great, I really need to just get over my silly ideas and read her books already. :P

  7. OH MY GOD DIANE SETTERFIELD! I love, LOVE The Thirteenth Tale, and I've been stalking her online occasionally to see if she'd be releasing anything else, and now SHE HAS.

    So excited for it now!

    1. me too! For both the love and the stalking :P I haunted her goodreads page for years hoping to see she was publishing something new.

  8. I love that this post is full of ME. Mwahahahaha!

    Ask me about Sarah Dunant sometime. I have a major gripe with her.

    1. see what happens when you push me to read books?? Oh, hm, wait, that's just MORE motivation for you, isn't it? :P I will ask you about her after I finish the book because if I learn the truth of your gripe before then I may not be able to read it.

  9. It is dangerous for me to read book review blogs. I am like you, I have no self control when it comes to books. And reading lists of titles, reviews, looking at covers - I always leave said blogs with a longer must read list than when I arrived. Not that I ever mind...

    1. haha it's so addicting! I've vowed that I need to live a long life just so I can ensure I read at least most of the books on my TBR :P

  10. I'm so excited after reading this post I went and requested Bellman & Black, I wasn't expecting to be approved, but guess what I did! Yay!


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