Special Feature: Finding Napoleon by Margaret Rodenberg

The name Napoleon is arguably one of the most recognized names in history. Most people know Napoleon Bonaparte as the short guy in a funny hat who wanted to be Emperor and conquer the world. But he was so much more than that, including a lover of beautiful women.

I first learned about Napoleon when I was in 5th grade and tasked with doing a research project on a figure in world history. While all the other kids picked cool people like Alexander the Great or Henry the VIII, I randomly grabbed a book on Napoleon mostly because I liked his weird hat. It was that random choice that launched me into French history and I absolutely adore it! Napoleon of course if one of my favorites naturally and I have read a number of books on him both fiction and non fiction.

This book is high up on my TBR list mostly because I like that it’s about Napoleon when he was at his worst—-when he had nothing. So many of the books (fiction and non) focus on his glory days but this new book by Margaret Rodenberg, focuses on when he was down and out so to speak. I cannot wait to check out this new take on such a classic figure. I’m reading it this summer so I will report back and let you all know what I thought!

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Review: In a Book Club Far Away by Tif Marcelo

I have read a couple of Tif Marcelo’s books and I have to say that my favorite has been The Key to Happily Ever After. Her books are always so great and written with so much heart and perspective not to mention rich with family relationship complexities. I have really enjoyed reading them and when I saw that her latest novel In a Book Club Far Away, was a Book of the Month pick, I was even more excited to get my hands on it!

Even though I had a digital copy of the book to read, I did make this one my BOTM pick not just because the book sounded good, but I also thought the cover was elegant and rich with fun bookish details! I knew that I would read the book one way or the other, but there was something about the cover and title of this one that just seemed to say ‘read me as a hard copy!’ that I simply couldn’t ignore!

Besides the author reputation and elegant cover art, this one sounded like such a great read for book clubs or maybe even a buddy read with your BFF. It’s a story about friendships and for me, it was just the book that I needed right now. It was like curling up with a good friend and a glass of wine to gossip about life and laugh about all the things that life throws at you.

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Special Feature: The Age of Decadence: A History of Britain: 1880-1914 by Simon Heffer

I don’t read a ton of non fiction or history books anymore. I mean I kind of got my fill when I was doing my masters in history. It’s not that I don’t love history or reading non fiction history books, but I have to been in the mood for one. I do love history books, but for the most part, I lean toward novels and fiction or mysteries. But ever once in a while a great history book catches my eye.

One of my favorite periods in history is that odd few years between the Victorian era and WWI. It was a time of elegance and riches the likes of which the world is unlikely to ever see again. At the start of the Great War, the world as we know it under went massive social change and it’s such an exciting time period for me.

That was one of the reasons why this book caught my eye. It pinpoints my favorite period in history and brings it directly into the spotlight. Simon Heffer’s 900+ page history book has received some high praise from readers. While it might be on the long side, it covers so much of British history in great detail…..social, artistic, and cultural history come together in this exciting new history book! I cannot wait to check out some of the topics he covers in this one. And it sounds like it’s a very readable history book rather than a dull text. I am really looking forward to this one!

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Review: What the Devil Knows (Sebastian St. Cyr #16) by C. S. Harris

I absolutely love Sebastian St Cyr. I read the entire series last year in one long binge read. I adore the books and even if some of them have fallen into a bit of a formula, I still enjoy the characters so much. This one was high up on my TBR pile. I always set aside time in the early spring to read a new Sebastian mystery and I am never sorry about that.

The mysteries are intelligent, a little on the gritty side, and full of questionable characters all with their own motives. Going into this one, I was fully ready for just that and I wasn’t disappointed! But now that we are into book sixteen in the series, I am sure readers can’t help but wonder at what point will this series end? For me, I hope the answer is never but I also know that at some point all good things come to an end.

But until that day comes I am going to keep devouring the Sebastian mysteries and keep returning to my favorite characters. Some books in this series are able to be read as standalones and I think this one here could easily be read as a standalone if you want to check out the series but also don’t want to go back and read all the books to enjoy it!

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Special Feature: Indelible (Sean McPherson #1) by Laurie Buchanan

I love books set in the Pacific Northwest. Having grown up here in Oregon, I always love reading books that set in this general region for a number of reasons. For one, I love when I recognize a town name or place I have been to before and I also love seeing my home region described by others.

When I saw this new mystery series from author Laurie Buchanan was set in the Pacific Northwest, I was eager to check it out. Buchanan hails from Idaho, a neighbor to my home state, and I cannot wait to check this novel out! Besides the setting of the book though, I was pleased to see that the summary sounded just as intriguing.

Early reviews have high praise for the fast paced action and riveting suspense. I am very interested in the character dynamics in this one for sure! After his partner is killed, our protagonist retreats to become a handyman of sorts in a remote area in the Pacific Northwest only to have a brief respite before being drawn back into the criminal world. I cannot wait to check this one out!

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