A Dark Brown Dog by Stephen Crane ★★★★★ #ShortStoryReview

dogThis short story was published in Cosmopolitan in March 1901, but it was believed to be written sometime in 1893 (although I’ve seen some information noting it was written in 1890). Knowing this was an allegory about the Jim Crow South during Reconstruction, I decided to read the story and see if I could identify the hidden meanings within it. This review will outline the themes and a character analysis I found online after I read the story. I will also include my personal thoughts and talk about whether or not I identified the meanings/themes while reading the story. Continue reading “A Dark Brown Dog by Stephen Crane ★★★★★ #ShortStoryReview”

The Financial Lives of the Poets by Jess Walter ★★☆☆☆ #BookReview

poetsSynopsis from Goodreads
Small-time financial journalist Matthew Prior gave up his day-job and gambled everything on setting up a website offering financial advice. Then he woke up one day in the middle of the worst crisis since the 1930s with no business, a shedload of debt, a lot of guilt and a great deal of suspicion about his wife.

My Thoughts
The title is what drew me to this book. A book called The Financial Lives of the Poets is just too intriguing to pass up, right?  The first chapter or two were intriguing and interesting… but then it got boring. Here are my pros and cons: Continue reading “The Financial Lives of the Poets by Jess Walter ★★☆☆☆ #BookReview”

Shadow Among Sheaves by Naomi Stephens ★★☆☆☆ #BookReview

sheavesSynopsis from Goodreads
The Great Rebellion of 1857 was a remarkably bloody business. At a time when Britain’s imperial influence in India was sparking brutal clashes on both sides, no one could have expected Rena, an Indian woman, to marry a British officer—nor do they understand her decision to follow her mother-in-law to England after her husband’s tragic death.

Once the two widows are in Abbotsville, the stern yet compassionate Lord Barric attempts to help them despite his better judgment. Soon he is torn between the demands of reputation and his increasing desire to capture Rena’s heart for his own.

My Thoughts
I am going to say right off the bat that writing a review like this actually kind of pains me. I like reading Christian fiction and the biblical story of Ruth (which this book is very loosely based on) is a favorite of mine. However, I am very sad to say that I didn’t enjoy this book. Continue reading “Shadow Among Sheaves by Naomi Stephens ★★☆☆☆ #BookReview”

Looking After Guinea Pigs (#BookReview Blog Share)

If you are interested in guinea pigs (owning and caring for) go check out this book review by a fellow blogger:


Great book review and the blog is a great resource for all things guinea pig!

Take a peek and follow him today!  You may learn something and if nothing else, he posts lots and lots of cute pictures of guinea pigs and guinea pig babies!! You can also find him on Twitter at @simonGPman.


The Familiars by Stacey Halls ★★★☆☆ #BookReview

familiarSynopsis from Goodreads
Young Fleetwood Shuttleworth, a noblewoman, is with child again. None of her previous pregnancies have borne fruit, and her husband, Richard, is anxious for an heir. Then Fleetwood discovers a hidden doctor’s letter that carries a dire prediction: she will not survive another birth. By chance she meets a midwife named Alice Grey, who promises to help her deliver a healthy baby. But Alice soon stands accused of witchcraft.

Is there more to Alice than meets the eye? Fleetwood must risk everything to prove her innocence. As the two women’s lives become intertwined, the Witch Trials of 1612 loom. Time is running out; both their lives are at stake. Only they know the truth. Only they can save each other.

My Thoughts
The Pendle Witch Trials of 1612 was a real event and was one of the most famous witch trials in English history, most likely because it was one of the best documented trials. The story in The Familiars uses this documented history and fills in the holes by developing a narrative between one of the accused (Alice Grey) and the wife of a local nobleman (Fleetwood Shuttleworth). Alice and Fleetwood were real people. Continue reading “The Familiars by Stacey Halls ★★★☆☆ #BookReview”

Murder in Belgravia by Lynn Brittney ★★★★☆ #BookReview

murder in belgraviaSynopsis from Goodreads
Chief Inspector Peter Beech, a young man invalided out of the war in one of the first battles, is faced with investigating the murder of an aristocrat and the man’s wife, a key witness and suspect, will only speak to a woman about the unpleasant details of the case. After persuading the Chief Commissioner to allow him to set up a clandestine team to deal with such situations, Beech puts together a small motley crew of well-educated women and professional policemen. As Beech, Victoria, Caroline, Rigsby and Tollman investigate the murder, they delve into the seedier parts of WWI London, taking them from criminal gangs to brothels and underground drug rings supplying heroin to the upper classes. Will the Mayfair 100 team solve the murder? And if they do, will they be allowed to continue working as a team?

My Thoughts
This is the first book in a series known the Mayfair 100 Murder Mysteries. The story takes place in Mayfair, London, in 1915. Mayfair 100 is the telephone number for the home where the special crew of investigators base their operations. Following are my Pros and Cons: Continue reading “Murder in Belgravia by Lynn Brittney ★★★★☆ #BookReview”

Josh and Hazel’s Guide to Not Dating by Christina Lauren ★★★★☆ #BookReview

hazelSynopsis from Goodreads
Hazel Camille Bradford knows she’s a lot to take—and frankly, most men aren’t up to the challenge. If her army of pets and thrill for the absurd don’t send them running, her lack of filter means she’ll say exactly the wrong thing in a delicate moment. Their loss. She’s a good soul in search of honest fun.

Josh Im has known Hazel since college, where her zany playfulness proved completely incompatible with his mellow restraint. From the first night they met—when she gracelessly threw up on his shoes—to when she sent him an unintelligible email while in a post-surgical haze, Josh has always thought of Hazel more as a spectacle than a peer. But now, ten years later, after a cheating girlfriend has turned his life upside down, going out with Hazel is a breath of fresh air.

Not that Josh and Hazel date. At least, not each other. Because setting each other up on progressively terrible double blind dates means there’s nothing between them…right?

My Thoughts
This book is categorized as contemporary romance on Goodreads. I don’t tend to read much romance, contemporary or otherwise, and based on the description provided I was a little afraid this was going to be like Nick & Norah’s Infinite Playlist (by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan) which I absolutely did not like at all (one my few one star reviews on Goodreads). However, this one made its way on to my TBR list anyway, partly because the reviews were consistently phenomenal. I thought I’d work my way around to it eventually and give it a shot… and I did. Here are my Pros and Cons, with a new category of Neutrals: Continue reading “Josh and Hazel’s Guide to Not Dating by Christina Lauren ★★★★☆ #BookReview”