Welcome to Book Lovers Paradise

Welcome to my attempt at blogging. I am a true to heart bibliophile. Here I will discuss and review books as I read them. You are welcome to do the same. The only rules are no profanity, no politics, no religion, and have fun!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Winter Palace: A Novel of Catherine the Great
by Eva Stachniak
Published by Random House
release date January 10,2012
received from NetGalley for review

 I requested this book from Net Galley to compare with Robert Massie's Catherine the Great.  I found it is not a fair comparison.  While Massie's book focused on Catherine (born Sophie) and her family, Ms. Stachniak's book was from the viewpoint of a servant named Vavara and not actually about Catherine the Great.  I think the title of the book is misleading. This book was vastly different, but in it's own way, just as pleasurable.

The book is from the viewpoint of Vavara, daughter of a Polish bookbinder.  She becomes orphaned and because of a promise the Empress Elizabeth (leader of Russia daughter of Peter the Great) made to the bookbinder, she ends up a servant in Elizabeth's household.  She becomes a spy for the Empress.  She is to spy on the young German Princess Sophie (later Catherine).  A friendship and close bond forms between the two despite their ages and social positions.

I love historical fiction and I love anything to do with the Russian Imperial family.  While reading this book, I felt as if I was actually a spectator in the Russian court, a visitor with inside knowledge of the machinations of the court players.  Yes, the descriptive powers of the author are that good!

This was a very well written  and well researched book.  It was able to hold my attention from beginning to end.  I hope the author actually decides to write a book featuring Catherine herself.  I would be first in line to buy it!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

The Lens and The Looker
by Lory Kaufman
book one of the Verona Trilogy
Publisher: Fiction Studio
Publication date: March 16, 2011


Do you like books about the past? Books about time travel?  You should love this book.  

A brief overview:
Hansum, Lincoln, and Shamira are three kids from the 24th century who are what we would call 'problem children'.  They don't pay attention in school and cause problems wherever and whenever they can.  They are juvenile delinquents in the making.   As a punishment, they must "do time" in a history camp.  A 
re-enactment of a time when life wasn't so easy.  The kids are sent to a camp representing Verona,Italy in 1347.  Does the date sound familiar?  Remember The Black Plague?   
Luckily for them, they have the assistance of an Artificial Intelligence genie named Pan. Pan is a genie whose goal is to cause havoc.   With help from Pan they cause problems in the camp..Remember, this is supposed to be a school of sorts.  Well, obviously they are not learning much.  
A strange traveller from the future named Arimus approaches the kids and takes them to the real Verona, Italy.  During the actual 14th century.  No prettified (is that a word?) camp with safety precautions in place.  The kids must find a way to survive, or die.

I like Mr. Kaufman's writing style.  This was a very well written book.  His descriptions of life in the history camp and then in 14th century Verona were just incredible.  He even went so far as to explain the differences in the 14th century between the camp and the actual Verona.  I love history and was fascinated by his descriptions of everyday life.  Next time you walk down the street, think about how you would feel (or smell) if your neighbor threw the contents of a chamber pot in front of you.

The three brats, I mean kids, were spoiled individuals.  I didn't think too much of them at first.  Slowly I began to change my mind.  We see them mature and grow.   

Remember, this is the first in a trilogy. 
The second book, The Bronze and the Brimstone is available now. 

Don't forget to check out the website that goes along with the books

The website also contains a short bio of Mr. Kaufman and information about the second and third books in the trilogy.

Now for the fun part,
MR. Kaufman has graciously offered both the first and second books of the trilogy for a giveaway.

All you have to do is leave a comment with your email address.  If chosen (I use random.org)
I will send an email requesting your address.  I have the books in my possession.  The winner has 72 hours to return my email before I pick a new winner.

Book one

Book two

Yes, both can be yours by entering this giveaway!!

Monday, October 17, 2011

Not Fat Because I Wanna Be

Not Fat Because I Wanna Be
by LaNiyah Bailey
illustrated by Laura Perez Ricaud
publisher- CreateSpace
publication date: March 2, 2011

Young author LaNiyah Bailey writes a very moving story.  In a courageous manner she addresses the issues of bullying and childhood obesity.  She is an overweight child and both kids and adults at her school tease her about her weight.  She learns the hard way that the saying "Sticks and Stones..." is not true.

LaNiyah is afflicted with a medical condition that causes her weight to be elevated.  She eats healthy foods and despite this she is bloated.  She sees a doctor who does tests and xrays.  He is able to help her.  As she explains this to the other children, they slowly begin to accept her for who she is, not what she looks like.  An important lesson for all of us.

LaNiyah is a beautiful and courageous child.  To utilize her pain and suffering and create such a wonderful educational tool is an act to be commended.

LaNiyah writes a pledge at the end of the book, I think it is important enough to copy here:

Please check out the website that accompanies the book
The website deals with the issues discussed in LaNiyah's book.

The book can be purchased at the above website and at Amazon.com