I realize I am a little late posting this (since the week is over) but I am so entertained by what books have been banned and why that I wanted to share with you readers. Buzzfeed recently posted 15 banned books and I have to admit I was shocked by some of the titles that were banned. I have to admit the most surprising to me was Where the Wild Things Are and the poems by Shel Silverstein. I have to admit that books being banned always make me want to read them to see if they are really as bad as they are made out to be. Two of my favorites are To Kill a Mockingbird and The Harry Potter series. Do you have any favorite banned books that I need to read?
To all my fellow Americans, Happy 4th of July! I love the 4th of July, the Patriotism that is shown warms my heart. This year I started thinking about books that take place during the American Revolution and I thought I would share some with you that either I have read or I plan on reading.
In this powerful, epic biography, David McCullough unfolds the adventurous life-journey of John Adams, the brilliant, fiercely independent, often irascible, always honest Yankee patriot — “the colossus of independence,” as Thomas Jefferson called him — who spared nothing in his zeal for the American Revolution; who rose to become the second President of the United States and saved the country from blundering into an unnecessary war; who was learned beyond all but a few and regarded by some as “out of his senses”; and whose marriage to the wise and valiant Abigail Adams is one of the moving love stories in American history.
Like his masterly, Pulitzer Prize-winning biography Truman, David McCullough’s John Adams has the sweep and vitality of a great novel. It is both a riveting portrait of an abundantly human man and a vivid evocation of his time, much of it drawn from an outstanding collection of Adams family letters and diaries. In particular, the more than one thousand surviving letters between John and Abigail Adams, nearly half of which have never been published, provide extraordinary access to their private lives and make it possible to know John Adams as no other major American of his founding era.
As he has with stunning effect in his previous books, McCullough tells the story from within — from the point of view of the amazing eighteenth century and of those who, caught up in events, had no sure way of knowing how things would turn out. George Washington, Benjamin Franklin, John Jay, the British spy Edward Bancroft, Madame Lafayette and Jefferson’s Paris “interest” Maria Cosway, Alexander Hamilton, James Madison, the scandalmonger James Callender, Sally Hemings, John Marshall, Talleyrand, and Aaron Burr all figure in this panoramic chronicle, as does, importantly, John Quincy Adams, the adored son whom Adams would live to see become President.
Crucial to the story, as it was to history, is the relationship between Adams and Jefferson, born opposites — one a Massachusetts farmer’s son, the other a Virginia aristocrat and slaveholder, one short and stout, the other tall and spare. Adams embraced conflict; Jefferson avoided it. Adams had great humor; Jefferson, very little. But they were alike in their devotion to their country.
At first they were ardent co-revolutionaries, then fellow diplomats and close friends. With the advent of the two political parties, they became archrivals, even enemies, in the intense struggle for the presidency in 1800, perhaps the most vicious election in history. Then, amazingly, they became friends again, and ultimately, incredibly, they died on the same day — their day of days — July 4, in the year 1826.
Much about John Adams’s life will come as a surprise to many readers. His courageous voyage on the frigate Boston in the winter of 1778 and his later trek over the Pyrenees are exploits that few would have dared and that few readers will ever forget.
It is a life encompassing a huge arc — Adams lived longer than any president. The story ranges from the Boston Massacre to Philadelphia in 1776 to the Versailles of Louis XVI, from Spain to Amsterdam, from the Court of St. James’s, where Adams was the first American to stand before King George III as a representative of the new nation, to the raw, half-finished Capital by the Potomac, where Adams was the first President to occupy the White House.
This is history on a grand scale — a book about politics and war and social issues, but also about human nature, love, religious faith, virtue, ambition, friendship and betrayal, and the far-reaching consequences of noble ideas. Above all, John Adams is an enthralling, often surprising story of one of the most important and fascinating Americans who ever lived.
The portrait of the beautiful, elegant young woman on the cover of this excellent biography will stun anyone used to seeing pictures of Martha Washington as a white-haired, matronly woman. And in a richly woven tapestry of social history and biography, historian Brady re-creates the 18th-century world of wealthy Virginia planters into which the elegant Martha, née Dandridge, was born and the “joyful duet” of her marriage to America’s first president. Though born to wealth, Martha (1731–1802) was well schooled in domestic skills—from killing and plucking fowl to preserving fruits and vegetables— and the expected social graces. Just before she turned 19, Martha married Daniel Custis—whose father initially opposed the union, but Martha managed to persuade him otherwise—and moved to his large plantation, where she raised their two children until Custis’s death in 1757. Two years later, as the owner of Custis’s vast estate, she married George Washington and became the wife of a young colonel whose ambitions and military and political ingenuity catapulted him into the leadership of the colonies and later the republic. Devoted to George, Martha accompanied him on his sojourns during the Revolutionary War, and her considerable social skills were crucial in helping her husband navigate the difficult political waters of the presidency. Brady’s splendid biography offers a compelling new portrait of this passionate, committed founding mother who has unjustly been obscured by others, such as Abigail Adams. (June 27)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. Publishers Weekly
Duty and career—Captain Thomas Moberly of His Majesty’s Navy prizes them above all. So why is he tempted to relinquish both for Dinah Templeton? Though Dinah seems sweet and charming, the difference in station between an East Florida belle and the son of an earl is too marked to ignore. And all other obstacles pale with the discovery that Dinah’s brother James is not what he seems….A war is brewing on the colonies’ horizon, and James has chosen his side—in opposition to the country Thomas has sworn to defend. But what of Dinah? Where does her heart truly lie—with her family, or with the man she claims to love?
I hope your day is filled with friends, fireworks and the chance to get some reading in. Here in Phoenix I will trying to stay cool in this ridiculous heat wave that we have been having. To give you an idea of how warm it has been, I went swimming in my pool this morning at 7:00 a.m. and it was already 85 degrees outside.
Novel Reaction is excited to be a part of The Long Way Home by Mariah Stewart Blog Tour! It has been a while since Novel Reaction has participated in one of these and The Long Way Home was a fabulous novel to back into the blog tour grove!
Ellie Chapman has led life in the fast lane, jet setting with her father and fiance, Ellie split her time between working in New York for her dad’s company and traveling to “the” places to be. But all that comes to a crashing halt in The Long Way Home by Mariah Stewart when it turns out her father and fiance were running a ponzi scheme. Without any money, all of her belongs confiscated by the feds and no job nor anyone willing to hire her, Ellie is elated to find out that her mother has left her a house in St. Dennis. But the inheritance comes with a condition, Ellie has to stay in the house for six months or she loses it. Intending to fix up the house during the six months and then sell it before leaving to start her life over somewhere else, Ellie is surprised by the contentment she starts to discover in the quiet little town her mother loved so much.
Cameron O’Connor loves St. Dennis but he especially loves one particular house, when he sees someone new move in Cameron is upset to realize that the house was sold without him being offered the chance to purchase it. But as the truth starts to come out, Cameron finds himself helping Ellie take on remodeling and repair jobs she has no experience doing and no idea how to go about them. As Cameron and Ellie start to get closer, Cameron starts to wonder if he can convince Ellie to make St. Dennis her home or will secrets from the past tear apart the fragile relationship they have just started?
The Long Way Home is the sixth book the Chesapeake Diaries series and is a great addition to this heartwarming series. The Long Way Home is a stand alone novel, so you don’t need to read the prior books to enjoy this one but you do get some of the other character’s back stories if you read the series in order. I loved reading about Ellie’s journey from a woman determined to be alone after being abandoned by the people who she thought were her friends to a strong woman determined to make the right decisions about her life and about not letting love pass her by. Ellie moved to St. Dennis with the intention of keeping herself isolated from everyone else but the residents of St. Dennis (which if you have read the rest of the series you know aren’t the kind to sit back and allow anyone to feel like a stranger) aren’t willing to accept that from Ellie. Just when you think you can see where Mariah Stewart is going with the story (straight to the happy ending) she throws in an unexpected twist (totally didn’t see it coming and well done Mariah!). The twist had me in equally measures cheering on Ellie for her choices and at the same time wanting to slap her upside the head for not doing what I thought she should be doing from the beginning. I am not going to share anything more about that because I don’t want to ruin it for you readers but it is a good moment and in the end I was proud of Ellie for the tough decision she had to make. I highly recommend the entire series but The Long Way Home is a great read by itself, a lovely story about the journey of woman from isolation and betrayal to finding acceptance within herself and others.
You can read an excerpt here.
Chesapeake Diaries Reading Order:
At the River’s Edge (August 2013)
Title: The Long Way Home
Author: Mariah Stewart
Format: Paperback, eBook
Page Nos.: 432
Publisher: Ballantine Books
Release Date: January 29, 2013
Available for purchase: Amazon
**I received a copy of this book from the publisher but was not required to provide a review and it did not impact my review in any way.
It has been awhile since Novel Reaction has had an author visit so it is with great excitement we welcome Aubrie Dionne as part of the blog tour for her new release Haven 6. Haven 6 is the third book in the sci-fi A New Dawn series, which should be read:
A New Dawn Reading Order:
A Hero Rising (prequel)
Aubrie Dionne is an author and flutist in New England. Her writings have appeared in Mindflights, Niteblade, Silver Blade, Emerald Tales, Hazard Cat, Moon Drenched Fables, A Fly in Amber, and Aurora Wolf. Her books are published by Entangled Publishing, Lyrical Press, and Gypsy Shadow Publishing. She recently signed her YA sci fi novel with Inkspell Publishing titled: Colonization: Paradise Reclaimed, which will release in November 2012. When she’s not writing, Aubrie teaches flute and plays in orchestras. She’s a big Star Trek TNG fan, as well as Star Wars and Serenity.
Aubrie grew up watching the original Star Wars movies over and over again until she could recite and reenact every single scene in her backyard. She also loved The Goonies, Star Trek the Next Generation-favorite character was Data by far-, and Indiana Jones. But, her all time favorite movie was The Last Unicorn. She still wonders why the unicorn decided to change back to a unicorn in the end.
Aubrie wrote in her junior high yearbook that she wanted to be “A concert flutist” when she grew up. When she made that happen, she decided one career was not enough and embarked as a fantasy, sci fi author. Two careers seems to keep her busy. For now.
Novel Reaction is excited to welcome Eri, star of Haven 6 today. Eri, thank you for joining me!
Thank you for having me. I’ve had so much happen in the last few months, it will be good to talk about it. Our colony has had so much change, and a lot of it is because of me.
Let’s start with the beginning of your tale. Describe a day in your life on the Heritage.
I worked in the most boring job ever on the Heritage, my colony ship. I was a linguist, so I studied all of Old Earth’s dead languages. Why the commander had me do this? I have no clue. Maybe just to keep me busy, because they didn’t know what else to do with a product of an illegal pairing. Anyway, I’m over it. My linguist skills actually came in handy on Haven 6, because I was able to decipher the meaning behind the mysterious golden liquid that people have been disappearing into ever since the space pirates landed on the planet.
Why was it so important for you to report back to the commander?
When she assigned me to the exploratory team, I finally felt like I could prove to her I was worth something, even if I was illegally conceived. I wanted to make my family proud and do my job. Little did I know my mission would get in the way of the one person I’d come to love.
What were your initial thought/fears when you landed on Haven 6?
The “aliens” scared me the most. Who were they? Were they peaceful? Could I really use my skills to talk with them? As you read in Haven 6, the exploratory mission did not go as planned. I’m lucky to still be alive.
In one sentence, what were your first impressions of Striver?
Athletic, gorgeous, and determined. I can still picture him running to save my team. *sigh*
If you could exact your revenge on Weaver for what he did to you, what would it be?
Because of the way things went down, I have no ill will towards Weaver. He showed me his true self at the very end. I hope, wherever he is, that he finally finds happiness.
Thanks again for joining me, Eri! This has been a real treat!
Thank you for having me. Make sure you always have the courage to follow your dreams, however ridiculous they may seem and be true to yourself.
Eri thanks for stopping by and answering a few questions about what you went through on Haven 6. As part of the tour I am excited to announce that you can enter to win this beautiful necklace, you can enter the contest at a Rafflecopter giveaway. Check out Novel Reaction’s review of Haven 6 here.