Tuesday, September 6, 2022

Book Review: The Fires of Heaven by Robert Jordan

 

Goodreads Summary: The Wheel of Time turns, and Ages come and go, leaving memories that become a legend. Legend fades to myth, and even myth is long forgotten when the Age that gave it birth returns again. In the Third Age, an Age of Prophecy, the World and Time themselves hang in the balance. What was, what will be, and what is may yet fall under the Shadow.
Into the forbidden city of Rhuidean, where Rand al'Thor, now the Dragon Reborn, must conceal his present endeavor from all about him, even Egwene and Moiraine.

Into the Amyrlin's study in the White Tower, where the Amyrlin, Elaida do Avriny a'Roihan, is weaving new plans.

Into the luxurious hidden chamber where the Forsaken Rahvin meets with three of his fellows to ensure their ultimate victory over the Dragon.

Into the Queen's court in Caemlyn, where Morgase is curiously in thrall to the handsome Lord Gaebril.

For once the dragon walks the land, the fires of heaven fall where they will until all men's lives are ablaze.

And in Shayol Ghul, the Dark One stirs...

Goodreads Ratings: 4.18 stars with over 165,000 ratings

Genre Listing: Fantasy, Epic Fantasy, High Fantasy, Adventure, Magic

Goodreads Challenge: 21/36

2022 Reading Challenge: Read a book  with at least 5 prominent characters (find the entire challenge here)


Book Review:

Hi, Readers! I hope everyone is doing well. I am excited we made it to September; my favorite season is approaching. I've been collecting books lately more than I've been reading them. I've really been having a hard time staying interested in a story. I hope I get out of this funk soon. I started reading Fires of Heaven at the end of July and just now finished it. I'm likely going to stay away from long epic stories for a bit, as my classes for my Doctorate just started this week. Yes, Tress, I know. I'm a masochist. 

Okay, so Fires of Heaven. As you might be able to guess, this one was tough for me to get through based on how long it took me to read it. I enjoyed a lot of the story and appreciated that there was more information on the Ajah. I liked the dream world and thought it was interesting what Nynaeve, Elayne, and Egwene learned to do in it. Brigitte was my favorite character in this book. I feel like she brought out a different side of Nynaeve. Mainly she was just a fun addition to the story. 

For me, this book mostly felt like a middle-of-the-series book that you have to read to get to the other books. I enjoyed it, but it definitely wasn't my favorite. I don't know if it was my frame of mind, but by about 70%, I was ready to be done but kept trying to push through it. I didn't hate it. It was just slow-paced, and it felt like a lot of nothingness was happening. Once I was done reading it, I had to ask Tress a lot of follow-up questions because I'd forget something just as soon as I read it. I tried to keep up my usual WOT Twitter feed, but this was hard for me to keep up. Here's the link if anyone cares about my absurdness while reading: Social Tweety Thing.

I was missing a lot of the rest of the Two Rivers crew with this one. I kept wondering what was going on with Perrin and Loial. I do think that Mat's adventure was enjoyable, and I'm getting more interested in him as a character. He's growing on me, finally. I'm still processing Moraine's part of the story in this one. I don't want to go into spoilers, but I was definitely surprised. 

Fire of Heaven was probably my least favorite of the Wheel of Time so far. I don't know that that's entirely on the book, though. I really enjoyed The Shadow Rising, so I think anything that followed would fall short for me. Combine that with me just not being in a reading mood and it being so focused on traveling and waiting (more so than the other books). It just was okay for me. I still enjoyed a lot of it, and I'll continue with the series, but it was rough to get through.




Tuesday, August 23, 2022

Book Discussion: Classic Books, which ones have you read?

 Hello, Readers! I hope everyone is doing well and survived Monday. The husband left me unsupervised in Half-Priced Books over the weekend, so I ended up with all these pretty classics. 





I'll be honest: I mainly bought the collections because they were pretty. I am not a big classic reader, as I'm sure you know if you've read this blog before. However, I thought that having these on my shelf might prompt me to read them. The thought was their short; I own them, so why not read them? So far, I'm starting with Around the World in 80 Days by Jules Verne.

As I discussed these books with a friend, we started discussing the classics we've read. I have read more than I initially thought I did. However, I've also tried to read some and not finished them. Typically, I try to acquire a book from Project Gutenberg (which I typed as Project Glutenberg. This probably means I need to sleep, and I'm also very used to typing gluten.) For those unfamiliar with Project Gutenberg, it is a charity that aims to provide an online library of free books. The books provided have an expired U.S. copyright, so it is typically older volumes of work. The entire project is run by volunteers. You can learn more about the project here.

One of the features of Project Gutenberg is that as a user, you can see the most popular downloads. So last night (or Saturday, I can't remember), I downloaded the previous 30 days. There are definitely some classics that I've read that aren't on here, but I wanted to go through the list and see what I've read or at the very least attempted to read.

I'm curious to know which of these books you've read. Which ones did you like the most? What on here do you want to read? For me, Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and Pride and Prejudice were among my favorites on the list. I plan to work through several others, like the Adventures of Sherlock Holmes by Arthur Conan Doyle.  

Do you find this post interesting, and would you like to see more of them? If so, please let me know in the comments! I always look forward to commentary (as long as it's not spam or phishing, I try to block those if I can.)

Top 100 eBooks on Project Gutenberg last 30 days -8/21/2022

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen - Read

The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes by Arthur Conan Doyle

Alice's Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll - Read

History of the Warfare of Science with Theology in Christendom by Andrew Dickson White

Frankenstein; Or, The Modern Prometheus by Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley

Moby Dick; Or, The Whale by Herman Melville

Dracula by Bram Stoker

Persuasion by Jane Austen

The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde

Ulysses by James Joyce

A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens

The Count of Monte Cristo, Illustrated by Alexandre Dumas

War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy

Calculus Made Easy by Silvanus P. Thompson

Grimms' Fairy Tales by Jacob Grimm and Wilhelm Grimm

The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald - Did Not Finish

Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoyevsky

The Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Perkins Gilman- If I have to reread this, I will gouge my eyes out. Three times is enough, thank you very much.

The Romance of Lust: A classic Victorian erotic novel by Anonymous

Great Expectations by Charles Dickens

Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka- Read

The Iliad by Homer

The Prince by Niccolò Machiavelli

Jane Eyre: An Autobiography by Charlotte Brontë

The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson

A Modest Proposal by Jonathan Swift

The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, Complete by Mark Twain- Read

The Prophet by Kahlil Gibran

Anne of Green Gables by L. M. Montgomery

Little Women by Louisa May Alcott - I did not finish

Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain- Read

Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy

Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë

Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson

The Time Machine by H. G. Wells

Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus by Ludwig Wittgenstein

The Kama Sutra of Vatsyayana by Vatsyayana

Beyond Good and Evil by Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche

The Importance of Being Earnest: A Trivial Comedy for Serious People by Oscar Wilde- I can't remember if I've read this. I have definitely seen the play, however.

Emma by Jane Austen

The Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor Dostoyevsky

Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra

Peter Pan by J. M. Barrie- Read

A Doll's House : a play by Henrik Ibsen

Walden, and On The Duty Of Civil Disobedience by Henry David Thoreau

Winnie-the-Pooh by A. A. Milne-Read

Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad

Les Misérables by Victor Hugo

The Republic by Plato

Meditations by Emperor of Rome Marcus Aurelius

Beowulf: An Anglo-Saxon Epic Poem

Old Granny Fox by Thornton W. Burgess

The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum- Read, and surprisingly dark for a children's story.

A Christmas Carol in Prose; Being a Ghost Story of Christmas by Charles Dickens

The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne

The King James Version of the Bible

Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen

A Study in Scarlet by Arthur Conan Doyle

The Odyssey by Homer- I started to read but did not finish. I've always intended to read it all the way through, however.

Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens- I did not finish; I may try to get through it another time.

The King in Yellow by Robert W. Chambers

Thus Spake Zarathustra: A Book for All and None by Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche

Dubliners by James Joyce

The War of the Worlds by H. G. Wells

David Copperfield by Charles Dickens

Moby Multiple Language Lists of Common Words by Grady Ward

Japanese Girls and Women by Alice Mabel Bacon

The Jungle Book by Rudyard Kipling

A Pickle for the Knowing Ones by Timothy Dexter

The Souls of Black Folk by W. E. B. Du Bois

The Mysterious Affair at Styles by Agatha Christie

The Legend of Sleepy Hollow by Washington Irving- I think I read this? Can't remember… It may be DNF.

The Hound of the Baskervilles by Arthur Conan Doyle

The Art of War by active 6th century B.C. Sunzi

Essays of Michel de Montaigne — Complete by Michel de Montaigne

The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire by Edward Gibbon

Josefine Mutzenbacher by Felix Salten

The Slang Dictionary: Etymological, Historical and Andecdotal by John Camden Hotten

金雲翹傳by Qingxincairen

Noli Me Tangere by José Rizal

Gulliver's Travels into Several Remote Nations of the World by Jonathan Swift

Antiquities of the Jews by Flavius Josephus

The Confessions of St. Augustine by Bishop of Hippo Saint Augustine

Second Treatise of Government by John Locke

Carmilla by Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu

An Index of The Divine Comedy by Dante by Dante Alighieri

Leviathan by Thomas Hobbes

The Call of the Wild by Jack London

Uncle Tom's Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe

The Works of Edgar Allan Poe — Volume 2 by Edgar Allan Poe

Through the Looking-Glass by Lewis Carroll- Read

The Happy Prince, and Other Tales by Oscar Wilde

Notes from the Underground by Fyodor Dostoyevsky

Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave by Frederick Douglass

The Life and Adventures of Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe

Twenty Thousand Leagues under the Sea by Jules Verne

Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin by Benjamin Franklin

The Complete Works of William Shakespeare by William Shakespeare- I've read some of his plays, if that counts.

Anthem by Ayn Rand

The Problems of Philosophy by Bertrand Russell

 










Wednesday, August 10, 2022

Book Review: Instinct: Rewire Your Brain by Rebecca Heiss

 

Goodreads Summary: A revolutionary approach to unlocking your innate ability to achieve success in business and in life.
Why do we constantly feel overwhelmed by stress, dissatisfied in our careers and relationships, and lacking in real purpose? Why do we seem to sabotage ourselves, hampering our productivity and success? The answer lies in our instincts . . .

In every area of life, from business to relationships to health, we act on outdated instincts that were built to help us survive a world ruled by scarcity and danger. But in today’s world, those same instincts stop us from succeeding in the environment we live in: a diverse world of abundant choices and almost limitless connections.

Now, evolutionary biologist Dr. Rebecca Heiss offers a new approach that harnesses the power of our instincts and redirects them to work for us rather than against us. Dr. Heiss reveals the science behind our self-sabotaging behaviors, then provides simple, actionable techniques that can rebuild our instinctive minds.

Both practical and inspiring, Instinct is a roadmap that anyone can use to finally stop living on autopilot, improve productivity and happiness, and consciously craft a better life.
Goodreads Rating: 3.86 stars with around 40 ratings
Genre Listing: NonFiction, Science
Goodreads Challenge: 20/36
2022 Reading Challenge: #9 Read a book by an author that's new to you


Book Review:

Hello, readers! I hope everyone is doing well this August evening. I am eagerly counting down until Fall, my favorite season. It'll be here soon! So today's review is going to be really different for me. I willingly read a nonfiction book. I know, weird. I think I can count on one hand how many nonfiction books I've read and finished that weren't textbooks. 

I recently heard about Instinct by Rebecca Heiss through a podcast that I had to listen to for one of the 9,000 leadership certificates I'm involved in. I don't remember what the podcast was called, but Rebecca was a guest, and I found myself really interested in how she talked about her book. I bought it instantly.

The whole premise of the book is that we're in constant sensory overload because our brains aren't made for this advanced technological world and how we have to train our brains to not be in survival mode because of it. This actually made a lot of sense to me because when my anxiety is extremely high, it feels like all I'm trying to do is just survive. While reading this, I felt like a light bulb just clicked in my brain.

From a writing perspective, I found Rebecca's antidotes relatable and easy to follow. Even when discussing the science, it was easy to read. At the end of each chapter, the tips given are summarized in a few bullet points, making it easy to remember and go back to. The book is under 300 pages, and I have never highlighted so many things in a book. I think I have around forty highlights on my kindle for this book. If you follow me on Goodreads, I make all my kindle highlights public. In addition to the highlights, I also recommended this book to my friends before I even finished it. I definitely recommend it to everyone who is looking for tips on how to better themselves. 

I've been on a kick at work when I have to share information breaking things into 3-5 key points to make it manageable. I don't want to give away all of the tips and tricks, but one of my coworkers wants to compare notes once they read it. I don't know where I picked this grouping of key points up, but in keeping with that trend, I'll share 3-5 things from the book I plan to focus on in my life. Plus, it will help me when my coworker and I discuss.

1. Take a breath and assess the situation 
2. When you are feeling stressed, take time to address your survival instinct directly by asking: "What am I afraid of at this moment? Am I allowing fear to stop me before I even start?"
3. I'm not here to be right; I'm here to get it right.
4. Just because you can do something doesn't mean you should.
5. Don't let your options be your burdens

I actually had my five things in the first half of the book. I could list so many more, but I don't want to add to my natural state of being overwhelmed.

If you have read this book, please let me know in the comments some of your key takeaways. I'd love to discuss it!




Thursday, August 4, 2022

Book Review: Hominids by Robert J. Sawyer

 


Goodreads Summary: 
Hominids is a strong, stand-alone SF novel, but it's also the first book of The Neanderthal Parallax, a trilogy examining two unique species of people. They are alien to each other yet bound together by the never-ending quest for knowledge and, beneath their differences, common humanity. We are one of those species; the other is the Neanderthals of a parallel world where they, not Homo sapiens, became the dominant intelligence. In that world, the Neanderthal civilization has reached heights of culture and science comparable to ours but is very different in history, society, and philosophy.
During a risky experiment deep in a mine in Canada, Ponter Boddit, a Neanderthal physicist, accidentally pierces the barrier between worlds and is transferred to our universe, where in the same mine, another experiment is taking place. Hurt but alive, he is almost immediately recognized as a Neanderthal, but only much later as a scientist. He is captured and studied, alone and bewildered, a stranger in a strange land. But Ponter is also befriended by a doctor and a physicist who share his questing intelligence and boundless enthusiasm for the world's strangeness, and especially by geneticist Mary Vaughan, a lonely woman with whom he develops a special rapport.

Meanwhile, Ponter's partner, Adikor Huld, finds himself with a messy lab, a missing body, suspicious people all around, and an explosive murder trial that he can't possibly win because he has no idea what actually happened. Talk about a scientific challenge!
Goodreads Ratings: 3.79 stars with over 17,000 ratings

Genre Listing: Science Fiction, Fantasy, Speculative Fiction, Alternate Universe, Alternate History

Goodreads Challenge: 19/36

2022 Reading Challenge: #14 Read a Speculative Fiction (See the entire challenge here)


Book Review:

Hello, Readers, and Happy August! I am thrilled that Fall is approaching soon. It's absolutely gorgeous in Minnesota when the leaves turn. I wish it'd stick around longer since it's my favorite season.
There's not much real-world stuff to catch up on since I did a Birthday post last week, so I'll jump right into Hominids by Robert J. Sawyer.

This is not a book I would have picked for myself in a million years. This story got on my radar because, in the Spring, my husband's aunt and uncle visited briefly. I had recommended Humans by Matt Haig and, in return, was sent Hominids by Robert J. Sawyer. I won't lie; I was slightly nervous to read it. I was afraid that the science discussed in the book would be way over my head. I was pleasantly surprised, however.

Hominids was really easy to get into. The characters were interesting, as was the story. The science discussed was really approachable. There was an explanation for anything that was pretty complex, which was appreciated. There was even some further explanation regarding how Neanderthals in the book calculated things.  

I liked how the story went back and forth between the two worlds. It gave an interesting comparison and explained the sociological differences between the two worlds. Sawyer really took care in thinking about how to have Ponter learn the language and how the Neanderthal society would work, including how their legal trials functioned. Both parts of the story were intriguing, but I think I liked the Neanderthal side more just for the logical approach everything had.

Trigger warning - there is a rape scene in the book. I don't really feel like it was a necessary scene to move the story forward; however, I do appreciate that it shows the victim coping with it, including seeking a support group. It also briefly discusses how the situation is handled in today's world compared to the Neanderthal's world. So I guess in that aspect, it did serve a purpose. 

Overall, I really enjoyed Hominids by Robert J. Sawyer. The parallel universe with the inclusion of Neanderthals was really interesting, and the characters were likable. This may be a good fit if you are looking for an easy-to-read Science Fiction or Alternate History.  




Thursday, July 28, 2022

Guest Post! Birthday questions with Tress!

 Hello, Readers! I hope everyone is having a lovely week. Reading Challenge Co-Conspirator is visiting me this week as it is our birthday week. We've done a lot of interesting things thus far. The day after she arrived, we went to an Alice in Wonderland-themed Escape Room. Most of the week has been spent on my living room couch watching Buffy the Vampire Slayer season 4 and Angel season 1.  Today was pretty exciting. We went to downtown Minneapolis and watched a live performance of Wicked. There were alcoholic drinks to be had, which was great because we were surrounded by flying monkeys... I mean, children in summer camp programs that are very well behaved and chaperoned. Fun fact, you get dirty looks if you refer to children as flying monkeys within their hearing. 



Anyway, here's Tress and I at our seats, enjoying a cocktail before the show. It was called The Wizard's Green Elixir. It had Vodka, Green Apple Schnapps, and Sierra Mist. 



Alrighty, so on to more Birthday Shenanigans. We wanted to do a fun thing since we're actually celebrating together and have come up with some questions to ask each other. Below are Tress's answers. You can find my answers on her blog at https://songstress7.wordpress.com/.


1.) What are your Guilty Pleasures?

Book Genre: Probably cheesy YA romance.  They're easy, quick reads and rarely make me think, which can be nice sometimes.

TV Show: Aside from rewatching Buffy the Vampire Slayer for the umpteenth time, I'd have to say...  Glee?  No, it's rewatching Buffy the Vampire Slayer for the umpteenth time.

Youtube, Patreon, or Podcast:  YouTube reaction channels.  I subscribe to wayyyy too many.

Food:  Coastal English Cheddar cheese.   Seriously amazing stuff.

Song: Uptown Funk by Mark Ronson.  That song is catchier than it has any right to be.

2.) What is your favorite book?  Is it cheating to say the entire Wheel of Time series?  Probably.   In that case, let's go with The Stand by Stephen King.

3.) What is your most hated song? Ohhh, that's an easy one.  One that very few people have heard unless you were raised in charismatic churches that like scripture-based songs that sound Jewish.  The song Blow the Trumpet in Zion gets under my skin every time I hear it, mostly because I think the way it's presented makes it sound like a triumphant anthem when it's a dire warning about the people of God being judged for their sins by an invading army of locusts.   

4.) Who is your favorite Actor or Actress? Iain de Caestecker, who deserves much more recognition than he's gotten so far.  He was impressive as heck on Agents of SHIELD, and BBC has been snagging him for drama after drama recently.  I hope to see him in higher profile stuff soon.

5.) What is your favorite Game?  Disney's Villainous - it's a fun little strategy game where you can play as one of several different Disney villains, and each player has their own game board and card decks to achieve their different win conditions while trying to thwart their opponents.  Good times!

Saturday, July 23, 2022

Book Review: Hunted by Darcy Coates

 



Goodreads Summary: 22-year-old Eileen goes missing while hiking in the remote Ashlough Forest. Five days later, her camera is discovered washed downriver, containing bizarre photos taken after her disappearance.

Chris wants to believe Eileen is still alive. When the police search is abandoned, he and four of his friends create their own search party to scour the mountain range. As they stray further from the hiking trails and the unsettling discoveries mount, they begin to believe they’re not alone in the forest… and that Eileen’s disappearance wasn’t an accident.

By that point, it’s too late to escape.

Goodreads Ratings: 4.08 stars with over 8,000 reviews

Genre Listing: Horror, Thriller, Mystery, Fiction, Suspense, Crime, Survival

Goodreads Challenge: 18/36

2022 Reading Challenge: #33 Read a book that does not have a person (or people) on the cover (Find the entire challenge here)

 

Book Review:

Hello, Readers! As I write this, Reading Challenge Co-Conspirator is at the airport and preparing to make her way to Minnesota. It has been several years since we have seen each other, but I am so excited that she is spending our birthday week in Minnesota. We have some plans, including an Alice in Wonderland-themed escape room and tickets to  Wicked. We mostly plan to sit on my couch, binge a lot of TV, and read books. There will most definitely be snacks. Stay tuned; we have some fun Birthday blog fun coming.

 

So, on to Hunted by Darcy Coates. This book was a bit of a different read for me as I do not typically gravitate towards the survival suspense genres. Lately, I have wanted to read something that had the potential to be scary. I do not know that I found this scary. Some parts made me think, "oh, that is creepy," but that was about it. 

 

The book follows Chris and four of his friends as they form a search party to find Chris's missing sister, Eileen. The challenges they face are primarily psychological, which I found interesting. I thought Darcy Coates did a great job explaining how disorienting this forest would be, especially if there are additional threats to consider. The story also alternates between a few friends, their different perspectives, and the lead investigator on the disappearance case. I thought Delgado was the more interesting of the characters and had an interesting back story. With the book ending, I would read a crime thriller series where she is the main character.

 

I enjoyed the book, but I think the last 20-30% fell flat for me. I wanted to read about what was happening to Chris and his friends and see if they survived the forest. I also wanted to see if Delgado pieced the evidence together, but I figured out who was behind the disappearance early in the book. I think it was supposed to be a big reveal, but I was not all that surprised. Once the book got closer to the end, the story felt more tell than show, and it seemed like a packaged ending. I would still recommend it to anyone who wants a shorter survival thriller.



 

 

 

Monday, July 11, 2022

Book Review: Days of Splendor, Days of Sorrow by Juliet Grey

 

Goodreads Summary: A captivating novel of rich spectacle and royal scandal, Days of Splendor, Days of Sorrow spans fifteen years in the fateful reign of Marie Antoinette, France's most legendary and notorious queen.
Paris, 1774. At the tender age of eighteen, Marie Antoinette ascends to the French throne alongside her husband, Louis XVI. But behind the extravagance of the young queen's elaborate silk gowns and dizzyingly high coiffures, she harbors deeper fears for her future and that of the Bourbon dynasty.

From the early growing pains of marriage to the joy of conceiving a child, from her passion for Swedish military attaché Axel von Fersen to the devastating Affair of the Diamond Necklace, Marie Antoinette tries to rise above the gossip and rivalries that encircle her. But as revolution blossoms in America, a much larger threat looms beyond the gilded gates of Versailles—one that could sweep away the French monarchy forever.
Goodreads Ratings: 3.83 stars with over 2,100 ratings
Genre Listing: Historical Fiction, French Revolution, Romance 
Other reviews on the series: Becoming Marie Antoinette
Goodreads Challenge: 17/36 (Wait, what? I'll explain below.)
2022 Reading Challenge: #12 Free Space, Pick any book!

Book Review:

Hello, readers! If you celebrated the Fourth of July, I hope you had a lovely and safe time. As of last night, some neighbors have still been setting fireworks off. If they keep it up, I will assume it is to celebrate my upcoming birthday. Speaking of which, Tress, the lovely co-conspirator of this challenge, will be here so we can celebrate our birthdays together. Stay tuned for bookworm shenanigans.

Okay, so if you are really detailed oriented, you may notice that previous posts for this year stated my Goodreads Challenge goal was 48 books for 2022, but it is now 36. I was eight books behind, and there is a 0 percent chance I will catch up. I'm starting my Doctorate in September (Yes, Tress. I know. I'm a Masochist.) Also, the number is arbitrary, and I don't want to stress about it. 

Anyways, on to the book Days of Splendor, Days of Sorrow by Juliet Grey. I picked this up immediately after finishing Becoming Marie Antoinette. Honestly, I wish I had just stopped at the first book. I liked this second book, but after a while, I was bored and tired of reading about Marie Antoinette. I think the last 100 or so pages I just skimmed through it.

While she was still young and trying to be what everyone wanted her to be as a Queen, it was interesting, but then she just got really materialistic due to boredom. This second novel covered so much of her life, and it just felt like it boiled down to clothes, visitors, who hated her, pregnancy, and all of France blaming her for their troubles. Which, admittedly, is probably pretty historically accurate but rather dull to read in a fiction book.

If I read the third book, it probably won't be for a while. I didn't dislike Days of Splendor, Days of Sorrow by Juliet Grey. It was okay, and I'm sure that some Historical Romance fans would really enjoy it, but in my mind, it fell short of the first book in the series. I don't have much to say on this one. The middle-of-the-road books are always hard to find things to discuss.