2014 Library of Alexandra Book Awards: Fiction

2014 Library of Alexandra Awards: Fiction

As the new year dawns, it seemed like the perfect time to share my favorite books of 2014.  Though I read roughly the same number of books in 2014 as 2013 , 94 to last year’s 90, I read the largest number of pages yet!

Over the month of January I will share my favorite books across four categories: short stories, fiction, memoirs & real history and young adult fiction. Today I am talking about fiction. 

Continue reading “2014 Library of Alexandra Book Awards: Fiction”

Christmas Gift Guide: Part Two

Let me guess, you forgot to buy something for dear Aunt Sally or your friend from high school. Don’t worry, I’ve been there. Over the next few days I’ll be posting some book recommendations for different types of people. All are available on Amazon with two-day shipping. Perfect for those OOPS! moments.

Don’t miss Part One.

For the girl who never misses an episode of Criminal Minds:

The Naturals by Jennifer Lynn Barnes

The Naturals by Jennifer Lynn Barnes

The Naturals (The Naturals, #1)

Though I’ve covered this in a previous post, it’s worth mentioning again because of its unique position as one of the few realistic YA fiction crime novels. The story follows a group of gifted teens as they train to enhance their abilities and solve crimes.

Continue reading “Christmas Gift Guide: Part Two”

Focus On: Book Series


It’s been a while since I’ve focused on a type of book and I though now would be the perfect time to look at some series I recently read.

The Gods of Gotham by Lyndsay Faye

  1. Gods of Gotham and Seven for a Secret by Lyndsay Faye:  These books follow Timothy Wilde a bartender turned Star Policeman in the early days of New York City. The mysteries are so intricate and well thought out you might forget you’re reading a modern novel. (Not surprising from the author of the most amazing Sherlock Holmes recreation I have ever read)Whispers Underground by Ben Aaronovitch
  2. Midnight Riot, Moon Over Soho, Whispers Underground and Broken Homes by Ben Aaronovitch: Given that I finished these four books over the course of a month, it’s fair to say that I liked them! The series follows Peter Grant, constable in the British police and new magician. It is exactly like what the J.K. Rowling mystery could’ve been if she mashed together her two worlds…only much grittier.The Testing by Joelle Charbonneu
  3. The Testing and The Independent Study by Joelle Charbonneu: Another series vaguely similar to The Hunger Games, Matched and Divergent, The Testing follows ayoung girl from the outer colonies trying to get a place at University. The tests to get in are rigorous and unlike anything you can imagine. You’ll be happy to take the nice, safeSATs after reading this one!The Magician King by Lev Grossman


  4. The Magicians  and The Magician King by Lev Grossman: Though I had mixed feelings about the first book (see my review here) I recently borrowed the audiobook of The Magician King from the public library. It’s fun to go back into the world of Fillory but this book suffers from the same arrogance that plagued The Magicians.

Christmas 2012: Books On My List


There seems to be a general theme with my book wish list this year. I’ve chosen primarily nonfiction works: some memoirs, biographies, and DIYs. I could give you a philosophical reasoning about the shift, starting with my educational journey from liberal arts to professional school, but you’re more interested in the list, aren’t you?

  1. Grace: A Memoir by Grace Coddington
  2. Celebrate:  A Year of Festivities for Families and Friends by Pippa Middleton
    England + entertainment + a Middleton? Count me in!
  3. Sybil Exposed by Debbie Nathan
  4. The Gods of Gotham by Lyndsay Faye
    I reviewed her earlier work Dust and Shadow — https://alexandrampatterson.com/2012/10/05/book-review-dust-and-shadow/
  5. A Wrinkle In Time by Madeleine L’Engle (50th Anniversary Edition)
    This was the first “big girl” book I ever read. I remember one of my elementary school teachers read it to us every day during “story time.” Though I began to prefer L’Engle’s A Ring of Endless Light as I grew up, the Wrinkle in Time Quintet will always have a special place in my heart.
  6. Moranthology by Caitlin Moran
    I’m currently reading How To Be a Woman and loving it so I would really like to have a little more Caitlin Moran in my life!
  7. Notorious Victoria: The Life of Victoria Woodhull, Uncensored by Mary Gabriel
  8. Education of a Woman: The Life of Gloria Steinem by Carolyn G. Heilbrun

I’m hoping to see a few of these in my stocking this year! Which ones are you excited about?

Book Review: Dust and Shadow

Last week I created a mock-Booklist review for my collection development class. Different from my usual review writing style, this one focuses on the role of the book in trade. Let me know what you think of the new style!


Dust and Shadow: An Account of The Ripper Killings by Dr. John H. Watson
Faye, Lyndsay (author)

Dec. 2009.  325p.

Simon & Schuster, paperback, $15.00 (978-1416583318)


Dr. John H. Watson has kept silent about his role in the most notorious murder investigation of all time. Under the impression that the world would forget Jack the Ripper he opted to keep Sherlock Holmes’ name out of the papers, until now. As the murders in Whitechapel mount it becomes clear that there is more to the Ripper case than the papers ever reported. A whore-turned-detective, an accusation against Holmes and a rogue policeman come together to shed light on this mystery that history deemed unsolved. Set in London’s East End during the fall of 1888, Faye’s plot shows attention to historical detail. Victorian England comes to life under Faye’s thoughtful hand – with no detail from a woman’s dress to the smog filled air going unannounced. She adeptly narrates the case in the familiar voice of Dr. Watson, taking care to pick up realistic voices of East End peasants when necessary. The story swiftly careens from Polly Nichols to Mary Jane Kelly, with all of Holmes’ traditional snide wit intact. Readers of Caleb Carr and Matthew Pearl will love this fast-paced thriller. A fresh addition to the Sherlock Holmes’ canon, Dust and Shadow will please mystery readers and Ripper fans alike.