Thursday, September 25, 2014

Historical Thursday: The Legend of Sheba

The Legend of Sheba: Rise of a QueenThe Legend of Sheba: Rise of a Queen


By: Tosca Lee
Genre: Historical Fiction
Rating: 4 stars

Summary:

 In the tenth century BC, the new Queen of Sheba has inherited her father’s throne and all its riches at great personal cost. Her realm stretches west across the Red Sea into land wealthy in gold, frankincense, and spices. But now new alliances to the North threaten the trade routes that are the lifeblood of her nation. Solomon, the brash new king of Israel famous for his wealth and wisdom, will not be denied the tribute of the world—or of Sheba’s queen. With tensions ready to erupt within her own borders and the future of her nation at stake, the one woman who can match wits with Solomon undertakes the journey of a lifetime in a daring bid to test and win the king. But neither ruler has anticipated the clash of agendas, gods, and passion that threatens to ignite—and ruin—them both. An explosive retelling of the legendary king and queen and the nations that shaped history.

My thoughts:

This was really well done. Thoughtfully researched and crafted. There was much description and help to make the world come alive. Technically speaking I loved it. It was an enjoyable read.

She was so fun to get to know - witty, powerful and easy to empathize with - I loved her. And her relationship that developed with Solomon rich deep and complex. This goes far beyond what the Bible ever gave us. I loved being transported to Saba and to Jerusalem. 

It would have got 5 stars had there not be as much sexual content (no worries nothing explicit, but still it's there) and coming from a purely Christian background and not knowing that there were in fact, other accounts of the Queen of Sheba, it was a little hard to swallow her relationship with Solomon. But as I read the historical background at the end of the book everything tied together and it was good. I just wish I had read that part first so that I could have enjoyed the whole thing.

All in all I would say it was good, and if you like historical fiction, it is a great read!

I received a copy in exchange for a fair and honest review**

Friday, September 19, 2014

Just for Fun Friday - The System

The System: The Glory and Scandal of Big-Time College Football

The System: The Glory and Scandal of Big-Time College Football


By: Jeff Benedict and Armen Keteyian
Genre: Non-fiction, Sports
Rating: 4 stars

Summary:
COLLEGE FOOTBALL has never been more popular—or more chaotic. Millions fill 100,000-seat stadiums every Saturday; tens of millions more watch on television every weekend. The 2013 Discover BCS National Championship game between Notre Dame and Alabama had a viewership of 26.4 million people, second only to the Super Bowl. Billions of dollars from television deals now flow into the game; the average budget for a top-ten team is $80 million; top coaches make more than $3 million a year; the highest paid, more than $5 million.
     Celebrated investigative journalists Jeff Benedict and Armen Keteyian were granted unprecedented access during the 2012 season to programs at the highest levels across the country at a time of convulsive change in college football. Through dogged reporting, they explored every nook and cranny of this high-powered machine, and reveal how it operates from the inside out. The result: the system through the eyes of athletic directors and coaches, high-flying boosters and high-profile TV stars, five-star recruits and tireless NCAA investigators and the kids on whom the whole vast enterprise depends.
My Thoughts:
First off -- warning, this book uses the language of the locker room - meaning not for all ages and it has some graphic scenes.
Ok that is out of the way. I really wasn't sure how I would like this book when I was given it to read - I mean it is about football. You see the books I read...is football a part of that? Not at all. However, I loved it. I attend a little school, football is here but it is NOTHING like what goes on in the real NCAA football.
This book captured all of the different aspects, ones that are completely forgotten yet still hold crucial parts. The tutors, athletic directors and even the hostesses and janitors. It was amazing to get a closer look at what is going on in the college football scene. I loved it and was really excited to do this homework assignment.
Now would especially be a good time - with all of the NFL drama that is playing out off the field it would be good to take a good look at the program which develops them into who they are. I would most definitely recommend this for those who are wanting to understand more about the biggest and most notable part of our college culture. 

Monday, September 15, 2014

Misc. Monday - The Stolen Girl

The Stolen GirlThe Stolen Girl

By: Renita D'Silva
Genre: Contemporary Fiction
Rating 4.5



Summary:
‘Your mother has been arrested. She stole you.’

For as long as thirteen-year-old Diya can remember, it’s always been just her and her mum, Vani. Despite never staying in one place long enough to call it home, with her mother by her side, Diya has never needed anything else. 

Then, in an instant, Diya’s fragile world is shattered. Her mother is arrested, accused of abducting Diya when she was a baby…

Vani has spent a lifetime looking over her shoulder, determined to make the best possible life for her daughter. Now she must fight for her child, re-opening the door to her childhood in India and the woman who was once as close to her as a sister.
Aarti had everything she could possibly want and lost it in the blink of an eye. She has spent these last 13 years hunting for the daughter she refused was lost.

My Thoughts:
Well after having been out of the book reading world for so long I was so glad that this was my first read. I loved it. It kind of took over my Saturday, work? homework? grad school prep...who cares! I need to figure out what on earth is going to happen here.

Right off the bat I had fallen in love with Diya for her down to earth personality and Vani for the immense love which she wasn't afraid to show her daughter. 

The story really reminded me of the work of Kate Morton. If you haven't read any of her works yet I would highly recommend The Distant Hours. Both authors have a way to make the world come alive and add a true texture not only to the characters, but I have never wanted to eat Indian food as much as I did while I was reading The Stolen Girl.

I love how the story of the past and present are woven together to help shed light on the truth. D'Silva manages to develop this empathy not only for the heroines of the novel, but also includes for the 'villain.' I was worried how she would wrap everything up - I had fallen in love with two of these women and wanted the 3rd to come out all right yet I couldn't figure out how she was going to do it. But do it D'Silva did and it was wonderfully done.

Overall I am so glad that I have found this new author, I will be running to check out her others books The Forgotten Dauther and Monsoon Memories...After I catch up on everything that was put on hold this weekend.

**I received this book in exchange for an honest review. 

Shame Nation

Shame Nation Genre: Non-Fiction Rating: 4 Stars Summary My Thoughts: This is a book everyone needs to read. The title perfectly fits ...