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The Last Bookaneer

The Last Bookaneer by Matthew Pearl.

Hardcover: 389 pages
Publisher: Penguin Press (1900)
ASIN: B01G3CMAGA

 

London, 1890—Pen Davenport is the most infamous bookaneer in Europe. A master of disguise, he makes his living stalking harbors, coffeehouses, and print shops for the latest manuscript to steal. But this golden age of publishing is on the verge of collapse. For a hundred years, loose copyright laws and a hungry reading public created a unique opportunity: books could easily be published abroad without an author’s permission. Authors gained fame but suffered financially—Charles Dickens, Mark Twain, Robert Louis Stevenson, to name a few—but publishers reaped enormous profits while readers bought books inexpensively. Yet on the eve of the twentieth century, a new international treaty is signed to grind this literary underground to a sharp halt. The bookaneers are on the verge of extinction.
From the New York Times–bestselling author of The Dante Club, Matthew Pearl, The Last Bookaneer is the astonishing story of these literary thieves’ epic final heist. On the island of Samoa, a dying Robert Louis Stevenson labors over a new novel. The thought of one last book from the great author fires the imaginations of the bookaneers, and soon Davenport sets out for the South Pacific accompanied by his assistant Fergins. But Davenport is hardly the only bookaneer with a mind to pirate Stevenson’s last novel. His longtime adversary, the monstrous Belial, appears on the island, and soon Davenport, Fergins, and Belial find themselves embroiled in a conflict larger, perhaps, than literature itself.
In The Last Bookaneer, Pearl crafts a finely wrought tale about a showdown between brilliant men in the last great act of their professions. It is nothing short of a page-turning journey to the heart of a lost era
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Bookaneer. A review of The Last Bookaneer by Matthew Pearl produced a word new to me, one with an intriguing history. His title term refers to literary thieves of the nineteenth century who exploited the lack of international copyright agreements to publish counterfeit editions in foreign countries.

I often enjoy reading a historical novel.  I like knowing of the people being used in the novel.

I enjoyed reading this book. I have read others by Matthew Pearl and enjoyed those also.  It is not a book that I loved so much I will read it again… or a book I could not put down, but still it was interesting enough that I didn’t toss it aside never to pick it up again.

I suggest you read the Amazon review and make your own mind up.

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Dragon Teeth

Dragon Teeth by Michael Crichton.

Hardcover: 304 pages
Publisher: Harper;(May 23, 2017)
ISBN-10: 0062473352

 

Amazon Review:

in the Wild West during the golden age of fossil hunting.

The year is 1876. Warring Indian tribes still populate America’s western territories even as lawless gold-rush towns begin to mark the landscape. In much of the country it is still illegal to espouse evolution. Against this backdrop two monomaniacal paleontologists pillage the Wild West, hunting for dinosaur fossils, while surveilling, deceiving and sabotaging each other in a rivalry that will come to be known as the Bone Wars.

Into this treacherous territory plunges the arrogant and entitled William Johnson, a Yale student with more privilege than sense. Determined to survive a summer in the west to win a bet against his arch-rival, William has joined world-renowned paleontologist Othniel Charles Marsh on his latest expedition.  But when the paranoid and secretive Marsh becomes convinced that William is spying for his nemesis, Edwin Drinker Cope, he abandons him in Cheyenne, Wyoming, a locus of crime and vice. William is forced to join forces with Cope and soon stumbles upon a discovery of historic proportions.  With this extraordinary treasure, however, comes exceptional danger, and William’s newfound resilience will be tested in his struggle to protect his cache, which pits him against some of the West’s most notorious characters.

A page-turner that draws on both meticulously researched history and an exuberant imagination, Dragon Teeth is based on the rivalry between real-life paleontologists Cope and Marsh; in William Johnson readers will find an inspiring hero only Michael Crichton could have imagined. Perfectly paced and brilliantly plotted, this enormously winning adventure is destined to become another Crichton classic. 

 

I can’t say I am a big fan of Crichton, but I enjoyed this book very much!  I have to admit it was mostly because it took place in the west (Indians and all) in the 1800’s and he did his homework to mention what was happening with the Indians at that time. Also I did enjoy that it was early in discovering Dinosaur’s. 

This is a very easy and fast book to read, and from reading reviews in Amazon, it’s different from most of Crichton’s other books.  So if you like the old west and Paleontologist’s you will enjoy this book!

The House of Secrets

The House of Secrets by Brad Meltzer.

Hardcover: 368 pages
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing (June 7, 2016)
ISBN-10: 1455559490

Amazon Review

When Hazel Nash was six years old, her father taught her: mysteries need to be solved. He should know. Hazel’s father is Jack Nash, the host of America’s favorite conspiracy TV show, The House of Secrets.

Even as a child, she loved hearing her dad’s tall tales, especially the one about a leather book belonging to Benedict Arnold that was hidden in a corpse.

Now, years later, Hazel wakes up in the hospital and remembers nothing, not even her own name. She’s told she’s been in a car accident that killed her father and injured her brother. But she can’t remember any of it, because of her own traumatic brain injury. Then a man from the FBI shows up, asking questions about her dad-and about his connection to the corpse of a man found with an object stuffed into his chest: a priceless book that belonged to Benedict Arnold.

Back at her house, Hazel finds guns that she doesn’t remember owning. On her forehead, she sees scars from fights she can’t recall. Most important, the more Hazel digs, the less she likes the person she seems to have been.

Trying to put together the puzzle pieces of her past and present, Hazel Nash needs to figure out who killed this man-and how the book wound up in his chest. The answer will tell her the truth about her father, what he was really doing for the government-and who Hazel really is. Mysteries need to be solved. Especially the ones about yourself.

 

When I got this book It sounded like something I would really like.  And, to an extent, I did.  It was fast moving, short chapters (sometimes only 1 page!), but unfortunately it had to do with politics, history, and such. I do like history, but not so much politics and their secrets.  So although I can’t say “I didn’t like the book”, it is one that I was glad was over and I can move on to another book.

I am sure there are those out there that would like this book very much , so I ask you to make up your own mind when you read the Amazon review.  And the fact that it moves very fast and is a quick read.

So.. onward to the next book.

Beyond the Wild River

Beyond the Wild River by Sarah Maine.

Paperback: 336 pages
Publisher: Atria Books (April 18, 2017)
ISBN-10: 1501126954

 

 

 

Amazon Review

A highly atmospheric and suspenseful historical novel, set in the 1890s about a Scottish heiress who unexpectedly encounters her childhood friend in North America, five years after he disappeared from her family’s estate the night of a double murder.
Nineteen-year-old Evelyn Ballantyre has rarely strayed from her family’s estate in the Scottish Borderlands, save for the occasional trip to Edinburgh, where her father, a respected magistrate, conducts his business—and affairs of another kind. Evelyn has always done her duty as a daughter, hiding her boredom and resentment behind good manners—so when an innocent friendship with a servant is misinterpreted by her father as an illicit union, Evelyn is appalled.
Yet the consequence is a welcome one: she is to accompany her father on a trip to North America, where they’ll visit New York City, the 1893 World’s Fair in Chicago, and conclude with a fishing expedition on the Nipigon River in Canada. Now is her chance to escape her cloistered life, see the world, and reconnect with her father.
Once they’re on the Nipigon, however, Evelyn is shocked to discover that their guide is James Douglas, the former stable hand and her one-time friend who disappeared from the estate after the shootings of a poacher and a gamekeeper. Many had assumed that James had been responsible, but Evelyn never could believe it. Now, in the wilds of a new world, far from the constraints of polite society, the truth about that day, James, and her father will be revealed…to stunning consequences.

 

Well this was a bit different, and I enjoyed it!

They kept the answers slow in coming but the rest of the story wasn’t bad.  Atmospheric, and well described how a young lady is raised and expected to act “back in the day”.  And then dropping them in a nearly unexplored forest where conveniences are far apart and very small. I would call it a shock to the system to go from one sort of life to another.. and still stay well dressed like they aren’t in the wilds of a forest with animals and mud and raging rivers.

Not a bad book.  I read it while I had no electricity from the hurricane!

The Sleepwalker

The Sleepwalker by Chris Bohjalian.

Hardcover: 304 pages
Publisher: Doubleday;(January 10, 2017)
ISBN-10: 038553891X

 

Amazon Review

When Annalee Ahlberg goes missing, her children fear the worst. Annalee is a sleepwalker whose affliction manifests in ways both bizarre and devastating. Once, she merely destroyed the hydrangeas in front of her Vermont home. More terrifying was the night her older daughter, Lianna, pulled her back from the precipice of the Gale River bridge. The morning of Annalee’s disappearance, a search party combs the nearby woods. Annalee’s husband, Warren, flies home from a business trip. Lianna is questioned by a young, hazel-eyed detective. And her little sister, Paige, takes to swimming the Gale to look for clues. When the police discover a small swatch of fabric, a nightshirt, ripped and hanging from a tree branch, it seems certain Annalee is dead, but Gavin Rikert, the hazel-eyed detective, continues to call, continues to stop by the Ahlbergs’ Victorian home. As Lianna peels back the layers of mystery surrounding Annalee’s disappearance, she finds herself drawn to Gavin, but she must ask herself: Why does the detective know so much about her mother? Why did Annalee leave her bed only when her father was away? And if she really died while sleepwalking, where was the body?
     Conjuring the strange and mysterious world of parasomnia, a place somewhere between dreaming and wakefulness, The Sleepwalker is a masterful novel from one of our most treasured storytellers.

 

Well.. this was a decent read.. and!…a truly surprise ending!!  You have a suspicion but you won’t be right lol.

With the Hurricane almost here I am not much in a mood to write about it.. so I hope Amazon did a good job. I was good enough for me to read the book!

An American Betrayal: Cherokee Patriots and the Trail of Tears, by Daniel Blake Smith.

Hardcover: 336 pages
Publisher: Henry Holt and Co.;(November 8, 2011)
ISBN-10: 0805089551

 

“The story of the Cherokee Nation is a study in suffering, displacement, and the determination of a people to carry on despite brutal government policies that culminated in the ‘Trail of Tears,’ President Andrew Jackson’s 1834 policy of ‘removal’ that saw nearly 4,000 of the 16,000 Cherokees die on their forced migration from North Carolina, Georgia, Tennessee, and Alabama to the Oklahoma Territory. Smith opens his thoughtful, concise and detailed study of this brutal chapter in the age of Jackson with a stirring account of the assassination of three Cherokee leaders–Elias Boudinot, Major Ridge, and his son, John Ridge–by Cherokee political rivals…The personalities, political realities, and murderous resentments that stemmed from that treaty make for engrossing reading and a vivid evocation of how the Cherokees’ options dwindled until no promising choices for this strong and cohesive people remained.” ―PW

“Is a patriot’s duty to demand the absolute rights of his or her people to the end? Or is it more heroic to negotiate the best possible terms when faced with an inevitable defeat? This troubling question hangs heavy over Daniel Blake Smith’s intriguing An American Betrayal, a detailed history of the Trail of Tears, the brutal forced relocation of the Cherokee people from their ancestral homeland in the southeast to the western territory that is now Oklahoma.” ―Shelf Awareness

“A vivid new history of the 19th-century Cherokee removal and the Trail of Tears. . . . The difference between Smith’s account and other similar histories is the emphasis on infighting within the Cherokee leadership, who faced a difficult choice: Should they fight the forced removal by facing massive armies assembled by the American government, or negotiate the best possible terms while relocating peaceably? Neither answer was obviously correct, giving the narrative a tension that Smith develops skillfully. Cherokee leaders such as John Ross, Elias Boudinot, John Ridge and Major Ridge come alive on the page. Numerous little-known Caucasians also emerge as brave defenders of Cherokee humanitarian and land rights. . . . Well-written, well-researched.” ―Kirkus

 

Yet another book about Native Americans and their treatment by the Europeans that felt the land and all in should be theirs, and that the Natives should be extinguished or pushed aside.

Isn’t it strange how so many of us, today, say things like, “why do I have to dial 1 for English! This is America!”… think about it.  How many, that came to America learned the NATIVE LANGUAGE?.. not many.

I don’t have a great memory for what I learned in school about how the Native Americans were treated.. or why.  I am making up for it now.  But no matter what I learn, I constantly tell myself, “this is history, and we can’t change history.” But, I also think… I thought we all were supposed to LEARN from history and not repeat it, and make it better.  Smh. That’s another thing I’ve learned.. very few have learned from it.. and many things never seem to change.

Amazon had good reviews of what the book is about, so I will just leave everyone with a small piece from the book….

“May 17th, 1836, the Senate approved the treaty of New Echota by 1 vote more than the 2/3rds majority required.  A week later, Jackson signed it into law. Under the terms of the Treaty of New Echota, the Cherokee Nation , by May 1838, had to give up it’s lands in Alabama, Georga, North Carolina and Tennessee and leave for present-day Oklahoma. The Cherokee’s had 2 yrs. to leave.”

All because the Europeans wanted what the Cherokee Indians had.  Their land. During the actual Trail of Tears thousands of Cherokee died.

 

Britt-Marie Was Here

Britt-Marie Was Here by Fredrik Backman.

Publisher: Sceptre (1805)
ASIN: B01N1ETC6C

 

The New York Times bestselling author of A Man Called Ove and My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She’s Sorry “returns with this heartwarming story about a woman rediscovering herself after a personal crisis…fans of Backman will find another winner in these pages” (Publishers Weekly).
Britt-Marie can’t stand mess. A disorganized cutlery drawer ranks high on her list of unforgivable sins. She is not one to judge others—no matter how ill-mannered, unkempt, or morally suspect they might be. It’s just that sometimes people interpret her helpful suggestions as criticisms, which is certainly not her intention.
But hidden inside the socially awkward, fussy busybody is a woman who has more imagination, bigger dreams, and a warmer heart that anyone around her realizes.
When Britt-Marie walks out on her cheating husband and has to fend for herself in the miserable backwater town of Borg—of which the kindest thing one can say is that it has a road going through it—she finds work as the caretaker of a soon-to-be demolished recreation center. The fastidious Britt-Marie soon finds herself being drawn into the daily doings of her fellow citizens, an odd assortment of miscreants, drunkards, layabouts. Most alarming of all, she’s given the impossible task of leading the supremely untalented children’s soccer team to victory. In this small town of misfits, can Britt-Marie find a place where she truly belongs?
Funny and moving, sweet and inspiring, Britt-Marie Was Here celebrates the importance of community and connection in a world that can feel isolating.

 

This is a follow-up to My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She’s Sorry.  It follows one of the characters in that book named, Britt-Marie.

Once again this is not my normal reading material, but I found I enjoyed both of the books very much, and kept wanting to pick it up .  To anyone who read the first book (and it actually isn’t a “series”) and enjoyed it.. you will wind up liking this book on Britt-Marie.

I will say, for my own particular taste, and although I liked the ending, there are more things I would have liked seen happen for the ending. But everyone will have their own feelings about that.

Read these books, even if they aren’t what you generally read.  They are fast reading and very much will hit your heart.