Giveaway & Excerpt: The Book of Life by Deborah Harkness

Though I posted about The Book of Life (part of the A Discovery of Witches trilogy) before, I wanted to share an excerpt with you — and a chance to win a paperback copy! Read to the end of the post for contest details.

The paperback releases TODAY and I think you’ll love it. If you haven’t read the other books in the series, now is the perfect time to pick them up. The boxed set is available here.

Continue reading “Giveaway & Excerpt: The Book of Life by Deborah Harkness”

Advertisements

Focus On: Witchy Reads

I use Grammarly’s free plagiarism checker because this post was born original, why make it a copy?

With a chill in the air and Halloween fast approaching its the perfect time to pull out some spooky reads. While some might like horror to get them in the mood for October 31st, I like to take a more historical approach! I’ve always been fascinated by witches in history, whether it’s the Salem witch trials or garden witches in 17th century England. Because I find the concept so fascinating, I’ve built up quite the list of witchy reads!

A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness

A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness

A Discovery of Witches (All Souls Trilogy, #1)

Harkness’s books are a no brainer for me. Diana is a researcher at the Bodlein library who has turned away from her family’s magical legacy. When a mysterious manuscript crosses her path she’s forced to confront the world she’s tried so hard to avoid. Befriending a scientific researcher from All Souls college, Diana traces the manuscripts history as well as her own. Check out my review of the sequel here.

More books after the jump!

Continue reading “Focus On: Witchy Reads”

Book Review: The Bone Season by Samantha Shannon

The Bone Season by Samantha Shannon

The Bone Season by Samantha Shannon

Pub Date: August 20, 2013

Rating: 5/5

The Bone Season (The Bone Season, #1)

I’ve been eagerly waiting for a series that makes me fall in love like Harry Potter. Sure I’ve found great books like A Discovery of Witches, and The Night Circus, but nothing has quite hit the mark. Until now.  Continue reading “Book Review: The Bone Season by Samantha Shannon”

Book Review: The Thinking Woman’s Guide to Real Magic by Emily Croy Barker

The Thinking Woman's Guide to Real Magic by Emily Croy Barker

The Thinking Woman’s Guide to Real Magic by Emily Croy Barker

Pub Date: August 15, 2013
Rating: 4/5

The Thinking Woman's Guide to Real Magic

Have you ever stumbled across a book that is so different than what you thought it would be that it’s hard to get into it? I picked  The Thinking Woman’s Guide to Real Magic from my TBR pile expecting a story about witches. Seems a reasonable assumption, no?

Continue reading “Book Review: The Thinking Woman’s Guide to Real Magic by Emily Croy Barker”

Christmas 2012: Books I Recommend

I’ve already posted the books that I’ve been coveting this year, but I wanted to share my suggestions for stocking stuffers with you guys! I’ve read all of the books below this year and HIGHLY recommend them. Check them out and let me know what you think!

Astray by Emma Donoghue
  • I’ll admit I’m usually not a fan of short stories – just when you get to know the characters they leave! However, since discovering The Woman Who Gave Birth to Rabbits while on the Kenyon-Exeter Program (2010-2011) I have fallen in love with Donoghue’s short fiction. She has an amazing ability to introduce and develop characters in a very small space. Her newest collection, Astray, is about comings and goings, immigrations and emigrations.
When She Woke by Hillary Jordan
A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness
  • This is the only one that I didn’t discover in the past year. I snuck it in here because the sequel, Shadow of Night came out this summer. There’s so much to love about A Discover of Witches – set in the Bodleian Library, involves hints (or a lot, really) of the supernatural, strong female characters… Check out my view the sequel here.
The Bellwether Revivals by Benjamin Wood
The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry by Rachel Joyce
  • Previously reviewed here.
Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn
  • Though her newest novel Gone Girl has received much critical acclaim, I prefer her earlier work. Sharp Objects was a bit of an underground classic at my high school and it became a secret code for my best friend and I. “WICKED above her hipbone, GIRL across her heart.”

Book Review: Shadow of Night by Deborah Harkness

Shadow of Night: A Novel (All Souls Trilogy)

Shadow of Night by Deborah Harkness

Published July 10, 2012

*There are spoilers for A Discovery of Witches ahead.*

Summary:  This book picks up just where A Discovery of Witches left off — Matthew and Diana have been forced to flee the present because the Congregation doesn’t approve of their interspecies relationship. Though she performed the spell, Diana wasn’t sure what time they were traveling too until they got there. Elizabethan England is everything that Diana hopes it will be and more. Because it is her area of study at Oxford, she easily becomes wrapped up in experiencing life in the past and in historical inquiry. However, it’s not all fun and games in the past (and really what fun would that be for a book?) Matthew and Diana have jobs to do while in the 1500s: they must find Ashmole 782 and Diana must learn to control her magic. All of this becomes more complicated when Matthew quickly reverts to his not-so-nice sixteenth-century behaviors in the past! Everyone in the present (Ysebeau, Sarah, Marcus, etc) quickly notices that by going back the two disrupted the timeline.

Rating: 5/5
It should come as no surprise that I loved this book as much as Harkness’s last! Her characters are believable supernaturally, something that is not generally the case in the “Twilight” era. Diana is the scholar that I always wanted to be and I too always dreamed of going back to Elizabethan England. Everything that Diana and Matthew experience in the 1500s feels new and exciting, which is mostly due to Harkness’s own research interests. Deborah Harkness, like her fictional counterpart Diana, is an Elizabethan scholar. She wrote The Jewel House: Elizabethan London and the Scientific Revolution. I was taken with not only the historical setting but also the complex ways in which Harkness weaves together her characters. She knows so much about their back stories that it sometimes took me a little while to catch on to how certain people were connected (and it was a good thing!). I love a little challenge, and a history lesson, with my book.

Shop Indie Bookstores

Blogger’s Note: I received a review copy of this book from Viking

Check out my other book reviews: