Tag: Books: Clean Your Reader 2015 Reading Challenge

Clean Your Reader: a 2015 Reading Challenge Wrap-Up!

Posted 30 January, 2015 by Lianne in Books / 4 Comments

Clean Your Reader hosted by Entomology of a Bookworm

So it’s the end of the month (more or less 😛 ) and I am here at the end of the Clean Your Reader hosted by Entomology of a Bookworm. It was a fun and laid back month to start going through some of the eBooks I accumulated from some of the many book sales I’ve seen the past year or two (or more :3).

Thus for part of the reading challenge I read the following 7 8 books:

  • Andrei Makine’s The Life of an Unknown Man (review)
  • Unfettered edited by Shawn Speakman (review)
  • Georgette Heyer’s The Masqueraders (review)
  • Georgette Heyer’s These Old Shades (review)
  • Georgette Heyer’s Devil’s Cub (review)
  • Daphne Kalotay’s Russian Winter (review)
  • Cathy Marie Buchanan’s The Painted Girls (review)
  • Alice Munro’s Runaway (review)
  • Georgette Heyer’s A Civil Contract (review to be posted in February)

Of the seven I read, hands down Kalotay’s Russian Winter and Alice Munro’s Runaway were my favourites, but all of the books I read were very entertaining.

Thank you again to Kerry @ Entomology of a Bookworm for hosting this fantastic reading challenge! 🙂

Review: The Painted Girls

Posted 28 January, 2015 by Lianne in Books / 6 Comments

The Painted Girls
By: Cathy Marie Buchanan
Format/Source: eBook; my purchase

Paris, 1878. Following their father’s sudden death, the Van Goethem sisters find their lives upended. Without his wages, and with the small amount their laundress mother earns disappearing into the absinthe bottle, eviction from their lodgings seems imminent. With few options for work, Marie is dispatched to the Paris Opera, where for a scant seventeen francs a week, she will be trained to enter the famous Ballet. Her older sister, Antoinette, finds work as an extra in a stage adaptation of Emile Zola’ s naturalist masterpiece L’Assommoir. Marie throws herself into dance and is soon modelling in the studio of Edgar Degas, where her image will forever be immortalized as Little Dancer Aged 14. Meanwhile, Antoinette, derailed by her love for the dangerous Emile Abadie, must choose between honest labour and the more profitable avenues open to a young woman of the Parisian demimonde.

Set at a moment of profound artistic, cultural and societal change, The Painted Girls is a tale of two remarkable sisters rendered uniquely vulnerable to the darker impulses of “civilized society.” In the end, each will come to realize that her salvation—her survival, even—lies with the other.

I’ve been wanting to read this book for a few years now–the premise sounded intriguing, I love historical fiction titles set in the Belle Epoque, and the author is Canadian 🙂 I bumped it up my to-read pile recently because someone–I forgot if it was on GoodReads or a blurb on the book–mentioned that Heather Webb’s Rodin’s Lover (review) felt akin to this book. Having loved Heather Webb’s latest novel, well, I just had to read this one soon after 😛

This book is part of the Clean Your Reader – Reading Challenge that I am participating in January 2015.

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Review: Russian Winter

Posted 26 January, 2015 by Lianne in Books / 12 Comments

Russian Winter
By: Daphne Kalotay
Format/Source: eBook; my copy

A mysterious jewel holds the key to a life-changing secret, in this breathtaking tale of love and art, betrayal and redemption.

When she decides to auction her remarkable jewelry collection, Nina Revskaya, once a great star of the Bolshoi Ballet, believes she has finally drawn a curtain on her past. Instead, the former ballerina finds herself overwhelmed by memories of her homeland and of the events, both glorious and heartbreaking, that changed the course of her life half a century ago.

It was in Russia that she discovered the magic of the theater; that she fell in love with the poet Viktor Elsin; that she and her dearest companions—Gersh, a brilliant composer, and the exquisite Vera, Nina’s closest friend—became victims of Stalinist aggression. And it was in Russia that a terrible discovery incited a deadly act of betrayal—and an ingenious escape that led Nina to the West and eventually to Boston.

Nina has kept her secrets for half a lifetime. But two people will not let the past rest: Drew Brooks, an inquisitive young associate at a Boston auction house, and Grigori Solodin, a professor of Russian who believes that a unique set of jewels may hold the key to his own ambiguous past. Together these unlikely partners begin to unravel a mystery surrounding a love letter, a poem, and a necklace of unknown provenance, setting in motion a series of revelations that will have life-altering consequences for them all.

Interweaving past and present, Moscow and New England, the backstage tumult of the dance world and the transformative power of art, Daphne Kalotay’s luminous first novel—a literary page-turner of the highest order—captures the uncertainty and terror of individuals powerless to withstand the forces of history, while affirming that even in times of great strife, the human spirit reaches for beauty and grace, forgiveness and transcendence.

I had been wanting to read this book for so long, yet found it sitting on my eReader for just as long! I had placed it in my Winter TBR list for Top Ten Tuesdays a few months ago in hopes to motivate me to finally read it, and with the reading challenge I’m currently participating in, I finally got around to picking it up 😉

This book is part of the Clean Your Reader – Reading Challenge that I am participating in January 2015.

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Review: Devil’s Cub

Posted 23 January, 2015 by Lianne in Books / 0 Comments

Devil’s Cub (Alastair-Audley #2)
By: Georgette Heyer
Format/Source: eBook; my purchase

Dominic Alistair, Marquis of Vidal is a bad lot a rake and seducer, reckless, heedless, and possessed of a murderous temper. He is known by friend and foe alike as the “Devil’s Cub.” Yet as the handsome and wealthy heir to a Dukedom, he is considered a good prospect on the marriage market. Vidal currently has his eye on the young, lovely, and unintelligent Sophia Challoner, and Sophia’s greedy mother is more than happy to encourage his dubious attentions.

When lovely, saucy Mary Challoner had practiced her hold deception upon the hot-blooded, fiery-tempered young Marquis of Vidal–substituting herself for her young sister he had thought to carry off to France–she had little notion he would grimly hold her to her part of the bargain. Now he had left her, and she was alone, a stranger in a strange land, prey to the intrigues of glittering, heartless, 18th century Paris.

Only one person could rescue her–the Marquis himself. But how could she ever trust this man? How could she even hope to overcome the contempt in which he held her? And how could even the sudden flowering of her love ever bridge the terrible gap between them?

I had actually purchased this book before the first book in the series, These Old Shades (review), but read the first book first. I was curious about how this book was going to turn out, plus it was quite short, so it easily became my next read 😛

This book is part of the Clean Your Reader – Reading Challenge that I am participating in January 2015.

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Review: These Old Shades

Posted 22 January, 2015 by Lianne in Books / 0 Comments

These Old Shades (Alastair-Audley #1)
By: Georgette Heyer
Format/Source: eBook; my purchase

Justin Alastair, Duke of Avon, is called ‘Satanas’ by enemy and friend alike. In the aristocratic circles of London and Louis XV’s he has a reputation as a debauched rake.

Late one evening, the Duke stumbles across Leon, a red headed urchin fleeing a certain beating at his brother’s hands. On a whim, Avon buys the boy and makes him his page. But it soon becomes clear that Leon is not what he seems…

When the grubby Leon turns out to be the enchanting Leonie, the Duke is not prepared for the breathtaking transformation or the tender emotions she awakens in him, or the unconditional love she has for the man who saved her.

I was in the mood for another Georgette Heyer, lol. I have heard so much about this book and how it’s such a favourite amongst Georgette Heyer fans that it became a little intimidating with all the hype! Nonetheless I was curious to read what the story was about. Contains some mild spoilers ahead re: the plot!

This book is part of the Clean Your Reader – Reading Challenge that I am participating in January 2015.

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