Cannonball Read IV

A bunch of Pajibans reading and reviewing and honoring AlabamaPink.

Archive for the category “3 stars – a good book”

Jen K’s #CBRIV Review #50: Furious Love

This is a rather detailed book about Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton’s marriage. I mostly liked it, though it got a bit repetitive/went on too long. I’m sure if I’d actually seen any of their movies I would have enjoyed it even more.

Jen K’s #CBRIV Review #49: Girls in White Dresses

A series of interrelated vignettes about relationships and work after college. Not action packed, but felt relatable to me.

Captain Tuttle’s CBR4 Review #52 – Wine of Violence: A Medieval Mystery by Priscilla Royal

To begin with, the author provides an introduction with some information about the religious order that Tyndal Priory (the fictional location of the story) was based on (the Order of Fontevraud, which is where Eleanor of Aquitaine ended up). The order was woman-positive, and the Prioress was over both the nuns and the monks. Royal has certainly done her research, and it shows. I’m kind of a medieval nut (studied medieval art history in college, and started taking masters’ courses in medieval history, but never finished the grad degree), so this story was right up my alley.

It’s 1270 in England, at Tyndal Priory (with monks and nuns running a hospital).  The new prioress Eleanor is young, and her arrival causes some resentment in the priory because she got the job through her family’s political connections.  She was needed because the old prioress died, peacefully and in the company of her sisters. Brother Rupert was there too, he and the prioress were best friends. Just as she is about to die, she reaches out to Rupert, her confessor, to tell him something important. He didn’t hear, and she died without letting anyone know that she had wrongly accused someone.

When Eleanor arrives, she not only has to deal with cranky nuns and monks, but the brutal murder of Brother Rupert. Was he killed by a random killer, or because someone thought he had information that needed to be kept secret? Eleanor investigates, with the help of a new monk, Thomas. Thomas has an interesting past, and has some attitude issues.

The characters were interesting and well-written, and the story gives an in-depth look into the cloistered lives of the nuns and monks. I would recommend this book to anyone. Apparently it’s a series, and I will definitely be investigating (hee) the rest of them.

meilufay’s #CBR4 review #100 An Infamous Army by Georgette Heyer

An Infamous Army was the novel Georgette Heyer was most proud of.  It tells the story of a romance set during Waterloo.  Heyer is famous for her attention to detail and her research but in this book she absolutely surpassed herself in learning every detail of the the circumstances leading up to Waterloo and of the battle itself.  At one point, the book was studied at Sandringham for its excellent descriptions of the battle.  Unfortunately, this book just did not work for me.  I applaud its ambition but I found it almost interminable.  For one thing, I didn’t care very much about the couple whose love story is supposed to move the plot along.  For another, the pages and pages of descriptions of Wellington’s interactions and thoughts, of battle-scenes, did not really marry very well to the love story that’s supposed to tie this story together.  I think if Heyer had simply written a novel of Wellington and the Battle of Waterloo, this book might have been more satisfying but the different elements of this novel were not woven together well.  I think this book is worth checking out for people who love this period and hunger for well-constructed descriptions of Waterloo, otherwise, I don’t really recommend it.

Captain Tuttle’s #CBR4 post #39 (oopsie, I missed this # earlier) – Henry Tilney’s Diary by Amanda Grange

Amanda Grange has written a few of these (I believe I’ve already reviewed Captain Wentworth’s Diary and Mr. Darcy’s Diary, both of which I enjoyed).  I tried this one next because Henry Tilney is one of my favorite Austen characters, he’s smart and funny, unlike some of the other more serious Austen heroes.

We start with Henry at home from school, years before the action in Northanger Abbey. His mother is still alive, and his elder brother isn’t quite as jerky or jaded.  Both of those things change pretty quickly. We also get to see Henry’s relationship with his sister Eleanor, and their love for gothic novels. General Tilney comes off even worse than he does in the original.

Another great part of the backstory is how we meet Eleanor’s beau, he of the papers left behind at the Abbey that so set off Catherine Morland’s imagination. It’s a sweet part of the story that we don’t get in Austen’s book. I’d almost like to see Eleanor Tilney’s diary, to learn more about that story.

So, Henry goes to Bath with the family and meets the lovely Catherine. He has spent his life searching for his heroine, and believes he has found her. Then dad gets involved, and we get to see how Henry deals with him (pretty manly, in my opinion).

This is yet another Austen-adjacent fun book. I’m pretty glad there are plenty of people out there writing these books. Some of them are even worth reading.

Jen K’s #CBRIV Review #48: The Wise Man’s Fear

Follow up to The Name of the Wind. While I still enjoyed it, I also feel like he left too much left to be wrapped up in the final novel.

meilufay’s #CBR4 review #99 The Talisman Ring by Georgette Heyer

The Talisman Ring is another of Georgette Heyer’s swashbuckling 18th century romances, very much in the vein of the Scarlet Pimpernel.  It’s light and fun and entertaining and forgettable.  An enjoyable read.

meilufay’s #CBR4 review #98 Regency Buck by Georgette Heyer

Georgette Heyer is known as the absolute master of the Regency romance genre.  All other writers working the genre stand in her shadow.  But Regency Buck is the first of her Regency romances and it shows.  She’s not quite at home with the world yet.  She’s clearly done a lot of research and has read a lot of Jane Austen and all the details and mimicked dialogue sit uneasily on her romantic mystery plot.  While this is by no means a bad book, it is among my least favorite of her Regency romances.

meilufay’s #CBR4 review #94 The Masqueraders by Georgette Heyer

As a close and passionate reader of Georgette Heyer’s novels (some of them I’ve read easily a dozen times), I’ve noticed that she seems to be heavily influenced by William Shakespeare’s comedies.  The Masqueraders shows this influence more than any of her other books.  In it a con artist brother and sister, fleeing the disastrous Jacobite Rebellion of 1745, hide their identities by cross-dressing.  The brother dresses as a woman, the sister as a man.  They rescue a damsel in distress at an inn and are soon drawn into the expected romantic hijinks.  This is by no means the best of Georgette Heyer’s novels, but it is a light, entertaining, fun read.

loopyker’s #CBR4 Review #14: Anne’s House of Dreams: Anne of Green Gables Series, Book 5 by L. M. Montgomery

Anne's House of Dreams coverThe review for the audiobook version of Anne’s House of Dreams: Anne of Green Gables Series, Book 5 by L. M. Montgomery by narrator Susan O’Malley is at:
Loopy Ker’s Life

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