Monday, March 31, 2014


The April book for discussion is The Boleyn King by Laura Andersen.  Andersen's book answers the question: What if Anne Boleyn had a son?  Henry VIII divorces Catherine, marries Anne, and that's it.  No beheading, no more wives.  How might things have played out?

Alternate histories are fun reads as they allow you to reimagine history.  How would the world be different?  Would these changes make a difference at all?

The Boleyn King is the first entry in the Boleyn series:
The Boleyn King
The Boleyn Deceit
The Boleyn Reckoning (coming in July)

Interested in more alternate histories?  Try one of the titles listed below.

11/22/63 by Stephen King
Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell by Susanna Clarke
The Guns of the South by Harry Turtledove
Fatherland by Robert Harris
The Eyre Affair by Jasper Fforde
The Impeachment of Abraham Lincoln by Stephen Carter
The Plot Against America by Philip Roth

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Monday, March 24, 2014


Tuck Everlasting is a children's classic that takes a look at immortality.  Written by Natalie Babbitt in 1975, Tuck Everlasting has endured as a favorite work of children's literature for many years. 

If you have already read Tuck Everlasting and are looking for more magical tales, try one of the choices listed below.

The Red Pyramid by Rick Riordan: Carter and Sadie Kane go on a journey across the world to discover the truth about their family and their ties to a secret order dating back to the time of the pharaohs.

Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine is a retelling of Cinderella.  Ella struggles against her curse that forces her to obey any order given to her.

The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis tells the story of four children who find their way through the back of a wardrobe into the magical land of Narnia.

The Secret Garden by Francis Hodgson Burnett follows Mary as she comes to live on a house on the moors.  While there, she discovers an invalid cousin and the mysteries of a locked garden.

Matilda by Roald Dahl: Matilda is an extraordinary five year old who must apply her mental powers to rid her school of the evil headmistress.

The Borrowers by Mary Norton tells the story of miniature people who live in a home under a clock. 

Charlotte's Web by E.B. White follows Wilbur, the pig, as he discovers that he is meant to be the farmer's Christmas dinner.  Then, he meets Charlotte who decides to help him.

A Wrinkle in Time by Madeline L'Engle is the 1963 Newberry Award winner.  It is the story of three children and their adventures through space and time as they search for Meg's father.

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Monday, March 17, 2014


March in Wisconsin means you never know what you are going to get.  You'll have sun one day, rain the next, and snow the next!  A nice cozy mystery is a great way to occupy your time and cheer yourself up from the gloomy, unpredictable weather outside.

What exactly is a cozy mystery?  A cozy mystery usually has an amateur woman sleuth.  She is a intuitive and bright person who ususally lives in a small town.  Many cozy mysteries are being written as parts of a series.  They are often considered to be more gentle than your average mystery leaving out the graphic violence and profanity that may be found in other books. 

One of my favorite cozy mystery series is the Hannah Swensen series by Joanne Fluke.  I just finished reading the latest entry: Blackberry Pie Murder.  This one was a little different from her previous books, and I am interested to see what she does with the next one.  These are fun, quick reads containing lovable characters, delicious recipes, and, of course, a mystery.

Interested in trying out some other cozies?  Try one of the books listed below:

One for the Money by Janet Evanovich
The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency by Alexander McCall Smith
Murder is Binding by Lorna Barrett
Murder at the Vicarage by Agatha Christie
Her Royal Spyness by Rhys Bowen
The Trouble with Magic by Madelyn Alt
Homicide in Hardcover by Kate Carlisle
Eggs in Purgatory by Laura Childs
The Diva Runs Out of Thyme by Krista Davis
Wicked Appetite by Janet Evanovich
Maisie Dobbs by Jacqueline Winspear
Steamed by Jessica Conant-Park

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Monday, March 10, 2014


This month's title for our Book to Movie discussion is The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald.

Born in 1896, F. Scott Fitzgerald was the author of numerous short stories and novels in his short lifetime.  In 1917 he joined the US army, and while stationed in Alabama he met and fell in love with Zelda Sayre.  Upon the success of his first novel, he married Zelda.  However, during their time together Fitzgerald descended into drinking and she had a series of mental health problems.  In 1940, he died of a heart attack at the age of 40.  While The Great Gatsby was well received during his lifetime, it was not until after his death that it reached its current status as a great American novel.

For more information on F. Scott Fitzgerald, go to

Fitzgerald's Novels:
This Side of Paradise
The Beautiful and Damned
The Great Gatsby
Tender Is the Night
The Love of the Last Tycoon (unfinished)

If The Great Gatsby wasn't enough, and you want more try one of the books listed below.

Rules of Civility by Amor Towles tells the story of how a chance encounter with a banker in a jazz bar launches a Wall Street secretary into the upper levels of New York Society.

An Object of Beauty by Steve Martin follows Lacey Yeager as she charms those around her on her climb up the social ladder.

Z: A Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald by Therese Fowler: A story inspired by the marriage of F. Scott Fitzgerald and Zelda Fitzgerald. 

Jazz by Toni Morrison is set in Harlem in the 1920s.  It is a story that captures the city and mood of a moment in United States' history.

East Side Story by Louis Auchincloss tells the story of the rise of a New York family from their early arrival in America to their rise to wealth.

The Double Bind by Chris Bohjalian blends the story of The Great Gatsby with the story of Laurel Estabrook.

The Paris Wife by Paula McLain: Meeting through mutual friends in Chicago, Hadley meets and marries Ernest Hemingway.  The two move to Paris where she makes a transformation from overprotected child to a brave young woman.

Film Versions:
The Great Gatsby (Leonardo DiCaprio)
The Great Gatsby (Robert Redford)
The Great Gatsby (Toby Stephens)

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Monday, March 3, 2014


By now you are probably aware of my love for the Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer.  Cress, the third entry in the series, was released on February 4th, and I read it immediately! 

I have already written two blog entries on this series: Cinder and Scarlet.  Now it is Cress's turn. 

Cress introduces us to a new character while continuing the storylines from the previous two books. While a lot is explained in this book, there is still a lot to come.  I cannot wait for the final book to see how Meyer finishes up the series.

If you are like me, and have already finished Cinder, Scarlet, and Cress, then you know you have a long wait before Winter comes out next year.  If you are looking for something to keep you occupied until then, try one of the titles listed below.

Fever Crumb by Philip Reeve
Clone Codes by Pat McKissack
Scarlet by A.C. Gaughen
Tiger Lily by Jodi Lynn Anderson
Enchanted by Alethea Kontis

Want more of Rapunzel?  Try one of these stories.
Rapunzel: the One with All the Hair by Wendy Mass
Golden by Cameron Dokey
Rapunzel's Revenge by Shanno nHale
Zel by Donna Jo Napoli
Towering by Alex Flinn

And, there is always the movie Tangled!

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