"My ideas flow so rapidly that I have not time to express them -- by which means my letters sometimes convey no ideas at all to my correspondents." - Jane Austen's Pride & Prejudice

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Review: The Lightkeeper's Daughter

The Lightkeeper's Daughter by Colleen Coble

Synopsis: "With the lies of the past behind her, Addie finds love...and discovers her true Father.
Addie Sullivan leads a quiet life in northern California lighthouse. She mourns the death of her father and endures her mother's bitterness, until the night a storm brings and injured stranger and a dark secret to her home. The man insists she is not who she thinks she is, but rather "Julia Eaton" - the child long lost and feared dead by her wealthy family. Seizing the chance to be reunited with the Eastons, Addie leaves her lighthouse home but decides to keep her true identity a secret until they can unravel the mystery.
Addie Loves the Eatons' palatial home tucked away among the California redwood forests. She feels secure with the jovial family, adores the young boy who is her charge as governess, and finds romance with his father John, a young widower. But sinister shadows overtake Addie's joy. As dusty rooms and secret compartments give up their clues about her past, Addie finds a faith and a love she could never have guessed. To embrace this new world of promise is to risk her life; but to run away is to risk losing the greatest love she's ever known." - quoted from back cover

Introductions: I had seen this book with it's charming cover design in department stores and bookstores over the past month and picked it up once or twice thinking it looked like a good book. Then when Charity over at Austenitis recommended it highly in her review in May I immediately put The Lightkeeper's Daughter on my reading list. I was so happy when I was able to pick a brand new copy up for $3 while I was on vacation in August. It waited a few weeks, while I finished up one of the books I was already reading, but when I started reading it I was totally engrossed in the world that the author had created!

Author: Having never read anything by Colleen Coble I didn't know quite what to expect but I was pleasantly surprised to find a beautifully told story filled with sweet friendships, family fun, adventure, mystery, a bit of suspense and a charming love story! The subjects of the early Edwardian era, Victorian mansions and lighthouses all correspond with my own interests. In a letter at the end of the book the author says she's never written historical fiction before but her tale is told so well and with many historical details that it's so brilliant. I'd definitely read more in this series and by this author!

Characters: The heroine Adeline "Addie" Sullivan is a spunky red-head who loves sewing, reading Elizabeth Barrett Browning poems, playing ragtime music on the piano, caring for people with her medicine skills and running barefoot in the great outdoors while talking to her Savior. The reader immediately identifies with Addie and like her yearns to learn more about the mystery surrounding her past. The hero, John North, is singled out in the first few chapters and is gallant, charming and loves the heroine for being pure and genuine. I wish there was a little bit more about his background but it is very interesting getting inside his head and sometimes hearing his thoughts about Addie. The other character are well drawn out and true to life, there are a few that I really wanted to learn more about!

My Thoughts: I loved this book so much! The style of writing and the story was quite unique, different from other historical romances I've read. While I was reading there were many points where I was even a bit surprised that the author was so imaginative and was writing details that other authors often forget. And the names she uses are lovely! I highly recommend this book, especially if you like historical fiction and a bit of a mystery! The Lightkeeper's Daughter is the first book in The Mercy Falls Series so I'm very excited there's two other books in the series to enjoy (especially since the next book seems to be about a character from the last)! This book is so good it's going to go immediately on my favorites list and I'll definitely be re-reading it some time soon! I hope you all get a chance to read it too!

Very Truly Your's,
Miss Laurie :)

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Review: Irish Murders by A.P. Richards

I picked up this paperback volume at a thrift shop for a few dollars. The title caught my attention because it combines two of my interests: murder mysteries and all things Irish.

Synopsis: There are violet events and murders in the history of every country and Ireland is no exception. Through the years, it had its share of violent murders including the murder of its most famous victim, Ellie Hanley or the 'Colleen Bawn', and the recent murder of Tom Nevin, victim of a 'hit' organised by his wife.
Irish Murders presents a series of murders which have occurred in Ireland in the years from the beginning of the nineteenth century - acts of insanity, malevolence, hatred, revenge, desperation, greed and passion, when for someone, somewhere, taking the life of another has seemed the only solution.  - from back cover of book.

My Opinion: I actually really enjoyed this book, it was different from other books I've read. The 27 cases were told factually like a biography or similar to TV documentary programs that tell about old murder cases. Because of the nature of murder all of the stories are quite tragic including tales of hatred, betrayal and sometimes the disposal of the body is rather grotesque. I enjoyed the historical cases more than the modern day cases mentioned toward the end of the book. The cases range in historical eras from the early 1800's to late 1990's. Each chapter covers a different case, they are fairly short and capture the reader's imagination easily. I wouldn't recommend this book for young children because there are some references to sexuality and brutality, but any adult who is a history and mystery buff will find this book very interesting.

Glenveagh Castle in Autumn
I learned a lot of history about Ireland and some about Irish and England law and police practices. I also found a few names of places in Ireland that I now want to visit. One of these is Glenveagh Estate, County Donegal, Ireland which has amazing castle, gardens and walks!

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Blog Button

I've been in the blog button making mood today. So for all of you faithful readers out there here is a button so you can link to me. Thanks for reading and following me!

Rather Bookish

Thursday, August 25, 2011

The Ultimate Book Bash Tag - Part 3

Come to my Book Bash!
The Ultimate Book Bash at Austenitis

This is the last part of my answers to the book tag for The Ultimate Book Bash at  Austenitis. Much thanks to Charity U for hosting this week and coming up with these questions, they were so much fun to answer! 

Read Part 1 and Part 2 of my answers for more interesting rambles.

21. Name two books we wouldn't have expected you to enjoy. - Hmm...not sure about this one. Well, I am rather a Jane Austen purist when it comes to Jane Austen sequels and fan fiction so I don't read many and don't like most that I have read. But I found Letters From Pemberley by Jane Dawkins at a thrift store and my friend gave me Confessions of a Jane Austen Addict by Laurie Viera Rigler for my birthday last year and I actually enjoyed both of them. 
Also some people may not know that I love mysteries and I recently found a book called Irish Murders at a thrift store and I'm loving it! It's all about real murder cases (some unsolved!) from the early 1800's to modern days and they are all very interesting!  

22. Name three books that have good movies to go with them. - Jane Austen's Emma has the lovely Emma 2009, Pride and Prejudice has the amazingly accurate Pride & Prejudice 1995 and Elizabeth Gaskell's North and South has the perfectly interesting North & South 2005.

23. Any books coming out soon that you're looking forward to? - Can't think of any right now, I'm too busy reading all of the old books that I don't have much time to look forward to new books. I was looking forward to Julie Cave's new book Pieces of Light which came out in June and very thankful that my dad ordered a copy for my birthday.

24. Name two authors you'd like to talk to. - Authors alive today? Because I'd like to talk to dead authors more than live ones! Two authors today who I'd like to talk to are Janette Oke and Julie Cave. Dead authors would be Jane Austen and Agatha Christie (my favorites!).

25. Science fiction or a fairy tale? - Usually fairy tales, they are more my cup of tea. I've read a few of Gail Carson Levine's fairytale stories and love their updated by still old-fashioned feel. 

26. A classic book you haven't read is...? Since I'm not really a reader there are several classic books that I've always wanted to read but just haven't seen yet. I really want to read more of Elizabeth Gaskell and  Charles Dickens' books. Also I've never read Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte all the way through before because I've never been able to get very far from it and have decided that I don't want to.

27. Shakespeare or George Bernard Shaw (who wrote Pygmalion)? - Shakespeare, he's my favorite! Right now I can't even think of anything else that Shaw wrote! My favorite Shakespeare is Twelfth Night but I also love A Winter's Tale and Much Ado About Nothing!

28. Name a movie (or two) where it's actually better than the book. - This is difficult because usually when I do read I find that the books are better than their film adaptations. I honestly can't think of any!

29. Where is your favorite place to read? - Usually in my room. I love to curl up in bed with a good book and maybe one of my favorite movie soundtracks or classical music CDs playing in the background. 

30. What are your favorite quotes from books? - Too many to count! Let me see if I can just put a few here:
The person, be it gentleman or lady, who has not pleasure in a good novel, must be intolerably stupid." ~ Henry Tilney, Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen

"The fact that I am a woman does not make me a different kind of Christian, but the fact that I am a Christian does make me a different kind of woman." - Elisabeth Elliot, Let Me Be A Woman

"I declare, after all, there is no enjoyment like reading a book! How much sooner one tires of anything of a book! When I have a house of my own, I shall be miserable if I have not an excellent library." Miss Caroline Bingley, Jane Austen's Pride & Prejudice, Chapter XI

31. What book would you most like to see made into a movie? - Right now I'd really like to see Julie Cave's Dinah Harris series made into films, they would be such exciting mysteries with wonderful Christian values! I'd also love to see Jane Austen's Lady Susan, as well as Louisa May Alcott's Eight Cousins and Rose In Bloom adapted for film. 

32. What book character do you identify with the most with? - I identify with many of Jane Austen's heroines, particularly Elinor Dashwood from Sense & Sensibility and Catherine Morland from Northanger Abbey. But when I read Elizabeth Gaskell's North & South for the first time my heart went out to heroine Margaret Hale, the events in her life paralleled some of the events in my life and I really identified with her. 

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

The Ultimate Book Bash Tag - Part 2

Come to my Book Bash!
The Ultimate Book Bash at Austenitis

This is Part 2 of my answers to the Book Bash Tag from Charity U's The Ultimate Book Bash! You can read Part 1 and Part 3 will be posted soon!

11. Hardcover or softcover? - Softcover usually but I do like my Jane Austen novels to have hardcovers, they feel so nice and I can imagine being my favorite heroine reading novels in her father's library! :)

Rose in Bloom (Puffin Classics)Eight Cousins (Evergreen Classics)
12. Louisa May Alcott or Lucy Maud Montgomery? Name your favorite book by the author you chose. - This is tricky but I think Louisa May Alcott. I've read several of her books and enjoyed each of them more than the other! L.M. Montomery is lovely too but I haven't read as many of her books. My favorite Alcott book is Rose In Bloom but I also love Eight Cousins which is the first book!

Northanger Abbey (Penguin Classics)
13. Jane Austen or Charlotte Bronte? Name your favorite book by the author you chose. - Jane Austen! There's no contest, Miss Austen rules the day every time! My favorite of hers is Northanger Abbey but I adore all of her other writings as well!

14. Would you rather read historical fiction about the sinking of the Titanic, or the Civil War? - The sinking of the Titanic has never interest me so I guess the Civil War. I'm not hugely interested in that either but I did enjoy a biography of Stonewall Jackson, and reading about a few other Civil War figures. 

The Complete Novels of Jane Austen, Vol. 2 (Emma / Northanger Abbey / Persuasion)North and South (Penguin Classics)A Christmas Carol (Dover Thrift Editions)
15. What's your favorite classic? Why? - This is terribly difficult to decide on just one! I adore all of Jane Austen's works, Elizabeth Gaskell's works (especially North and South), Charles Dickens' (especially A Christmas Carol), Robert Louis Stevenson, Sherlock Holmes stories, and a great many others!  

Little Women Publisher: Penguin Classics; Introduction by Elaine Showalter edition
16. Little Women or A Little Princess? - Little Women. I haven't read all of it but I really enjoy the story and the style of writing. 

17. What's your favorite time period to read about? - Mostly Regency and Victorian but I also enjoy Edwardian and 1920's-1930's as well.

In Freedom's Cause: A Story of Wallace and Bruce (Adventure)The Return of the King (The Lord of The Rings, Part 3)A Christmas Carol (Dover Thrift Editions)
18. G. A. Henty, J. R. R. Tolkien, or Charles Dickens? What's your favorite book or series by the author you chose? - I've only read G.A. Henty's In Freedom's Cause while in high school and I did really enjoy it. I've enjoyed listening to an audio book of Tolkien's Return of the King but didn't make it very far when reading The Hobbit on my own. I think that Charles Dickens would be my favorites though, but I've really only read A Christmas Carol. I have a long list of books by him that I really want to read!

Ivanhoe (Penguin Classics)
19. Ivanhoe or Ben-Hur? - Well...I haven't read either but, I do want to read Ivanhoe whereas I'm not that interested in Ben-Hur.

20. Name three books everyone should read. - This question is a bit more difficult. First of all the Bible is a given here; everyone should read the Bible even if it's the only book you ever read. Hmm...let's see, books everyone should read...these are just a few off the top of my head:
A Christmas Carol (Dover Thrift Editions)

A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens - Everyone knows the story line but not enough people a classic tale of a sinner getting a second chance at a better way of life.

The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (Narnia)

The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis - An exciting story that is good for all ages and tells the story of salvation at the same time.

The Four Loves

The Four Loves by C.S. Lewis - Love is the very nature of God, we love because He first loved us. Everyone should read this book because C.S. Lewis goes deep into the different kinds of love and the workings of the human heart to help believers understand themselves and God better. 

Part 3 of my answers will be up soon!

God Bless,
Miss Laurie :)

Monday, August 22, 2011

The Ultimate Book Bash Tag - Part 1

Come to my Book Bash!
The Ultimate Book Bash at Austenitis

This are the first part of my answers to Charity U's tag for The Ultimate Book Bash. 

1. Name three books you love. - These are books that no matter how many times I read them I never tire of them and when I reach the last page I always say "I love this book!". I love Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen, The Princess by Lori Wick and there's a tie for third place: A Gown of Spanish Lace by Janette Oke & The Mystery of Mary by Grace Livingston Hill

2. Name two books you enjoy, but that most people probably haven't heard of. - Both of these have been out of print from time to time so not too many people have heard of them. The Young Visiters by Daisy Ashford and Defender of the Faith by Charles Ludwig.

3. Name three series you love. - The Love Comes Softly Series by Janette Oke, Dinah Harris Series by Julie Cave, The Californians Series by Lori Wick

4. Name three authors you love! - Jane Austen, Agatha Christie, C.S. Lewis (the third was very difficult to decide on!)

5. How about three adventures or mysteries? Running Out Of Time by Margaret Peterson Haddix, The House of Dark Shadows by Robert Liparulo (and the rest of his Dreamhouse Kings series), Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie (and all of her other books!). 

6. Three non-fiction? - These three are books that have strongly influenced my life and faither: I Kissed Dating Good-bye by Joshua Harris, Let Me Be A Woman by Elisabeth Elliot and What Happens When Women Walk In Faith by Lysa TerKeurst.

7. Nancy Drew or Hardy Boys? Which book in your favorite set is your favorite? I've always liked the Nancy Drew stories better, but I haven't read very many. When I was a young girl The Bobsey Twins, The Happy Hollisters and The Boxcar Children were the children's mystery fiction of my choice. 

8. Narnia or Harry Potter? Name your favorite from the series you like best. - No contest here! The Chronicles of Narnia books are some of my all time favorites! I've never read Harry Potter and don't intend too, the subject of wizards just isn't my cup of tea. My top three favorite Narnia books are as follows: The Silver Chair, The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, The Horse and His Boy

9. A cookbook or a how-to-sew book? - A Cookbook! I love trying new recipes to serve to my family and friends!

10. Historical fiction or fantasy? Name three books you like from the genre you chose. - I love Historical fiction. Naming three favorites will be difficult but perhaps Mozart's Sister by Nancy Moser, Jane and the Man of the Cloth (Jane Austen mystery #2) by Stephanie Baron and Anastasia: The Last Grand Duchess, Russia, 1914 (The Royal Diaries) by Carolyn Meyer.

Part 2 and Part 3 will be coming soon!

Very Truly Your's,
Miss Laurie :)

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Check Out the Book Bash at Austenitis!

Charity at Austenitis is hosting The Ultimate Book Bash all this next week! 
The Book Bash will feature interviews with authors, book giveaways and a book tag with 32 questions to answer! 

I'll be posting my answers to the tag questions here so stay tuned!

God Bless,
Miss Laurie :)

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Keep Calm And...

When people are insulting you, there is nothing so good for them as not to say a word — just to look at them and think. When you will not fly into a passion people know you are stronger than they are, because you are strong enough to hold in your rage, and they are not, and they say stupid things they wished they hadn’t said afterward. There’s nothing so strong as rage, except what makes you hold it in — that’s stronger. It’s a good thing not to answer your enemies.
— Frances Hodgson Burnett, A Little Princess

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Tennyson's 'The Play'

Alfred Lord Tennyson - painted by Hubert von Herkomer 

The Play

Act first, this Earth, a stage so gloom'd with woe
You all but sicken at the shifting scenes.
And yet be patient. Our Playwright may show
In some fifth Act what this wild Drama means.

- by Alfred Lord Tennyson

This is one of my new favorite poems from my volume of Tennyson's Poetical Works
I love how this poem speaks of our life on earth as a play and that our Playwright will show us what events in this life will mean.

I hope you enjoyed!

Miss Laurie :)

Saturday, July 23, 2011

The Fantasy World Map

What if all the made up lands of books were all on the same map? I’m not familiar with all of these lands but I love the idea!

Here's a brief list of the lands I recognized:

Other's sound familiar. Isn't this a great idea! '

Are there any other made up lands that you would add?

Which land would you most like to visit?