Review: Conan Doyle for the Defense: The True Story of a Sensational British Murder, a Quest for Justice, and the World’s Most Famous Detective Writer by Margalit Fox

If you are like me, you probably only think of Sherlock Holmes when you hear the name Arthur Conan Doyle. I had no idea that he was like a real life Sherlock as well!

When this book came across my desk for review I was immediately intrigued because the more I thought about it, I knew basically nothing about the man who created the world most famous detective.

It actually makes sense that Conan Doyle was a real life detective, he obviously wrote with such authority on the subject that it’s embarrassing that  I didn’t put it together before.

This book caught my eye and I immediately wanted to learn more about Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and how he played detective and ultimately wrote the most well known mysteries in history!  Continue reading “Review: Conan Doyle for the Defense: The True Story of a Sensational British Murder, a Quest for Justice, and the World’s Most Famous Detective Writer by Margalit Fox”


Special Feature and Q&A: Coming of Age: The Sexual Awakening of Margaret Mead by Deborah Beatriz Blum

Though I have a Master’s in American History, I rarely read biographies. I don’t know if that’s because I’ve spent so much of my academic career reading history books and researching topics….but when I sit down to read I like reading fiction….preferably with history.

Now that said, I do on occasion read biographies or nonfiction if the subject sounds interesting etc. I was so sad that I couldn’t fit this book into my review schedule this summer because it sounds like one of those books that would be right up my alley! So instead I decided to do a special feature complete with a Q & A from the author so be sure to keep reading!

The startling coming-of-age story of famed anthropologist Margaret Mead whose radical ideas challenged the social and sexual norms of her time.

The story begins in 1923, when twenty-two year old Margaret Mead is living in New York City, engaged to her childhood sweetheart and on the verge of graduating from college. Seemingly a conventional young lady, she marries, but shocks friends when she decides to keep her maiden name.

After starting graduate school at Columbia University, she does the unthinkable: she first enters into a forbidden relationship with a female colleague, then gets caught up in an all-consuming and secret affair with a brilliant older man. As her sexual awakening continues, she discovers it is possible to be in love with more than one person at the same time.

While Margaret’s personal explorations are just beginning, her interest in distant cultures propels her into the new field of anthropology. Ignoring the constraints put on women, she travels alone to a tiny speck of land in the South Pacific called Samoa to study the sexual behavior of adolescent girls. Returning home on an ocean liner nine months later, a chance encounter changes the course of her life forever.

Now, drawing on letters, diaries, and memoirs, Deborah Beatriz Blum reconstructs these five transformative years of Margaret’s life, before she became famous, revealing the story that Margaret Mead hid from the world – during her lifetime and beyond (summary from Goodreads).

The book was researched through letters with Mead’s professional connections, lovers, diaries and memoirs to explore the college and early years of Mead in the 1920s. It is intensely personal to documentary filmmaker and acclaimed author Deborah Blum because of her chance meeting with Mead when she was a young woman.

Q and A with author Deborah Beatriz Blum

Continue reading “Special Feature and Q&A: Coming of Age: The Sexual Awakening of Margaret Mead by Deborah Beatriz Blum”

Spotlight Feature: WHISKEY TANGO FOXTROT by Kim Barker

WHISKEY TANGO FOXTROT, the upcoming movie starring Tina Fey, Margot Robbie, Martin Freeman, Billy Bob Thornton and Alfred Molina, is based on Kim Barker’s memoir of her time reporting in Afghanistan and Pakistan (book originally published as The Taliban Shuffle).  
To check out the trailer for this hot upcoming new film, click here.  Kim uses her sharp wit and humor to describe her dangerous and exciting time in these troubled countries in her book, WHISKEY TANGO FOXTROT (Anchor; February 23, 2016).
Kim first arrived in Kabul in 2002, with nothing more than a passport and a dire need for a translator. Despite the dangers and the shaky circumstances, Kim’s love for these countries grew, as did her fear for their future sustainability. After five years spent wearing a scarf, abiding by the cultural norms and traveling long hours on unpaved roads, Kim returns to America and is eager to tell of her long-lasting love story with these countries.

Continue reading “Spotlight Feature: WHISKEY TANGO FOXTROT by Kim Barker”

Review: Wilkie Collins: A Brief Life by Peter Ackroyd

Biographies and non fiction are always such an interesting genre for me. It must be such a challenge trying to research a person or subject so famous or well known and still be able to bring something ‘new’ to the table. Not to mention write a book that doesn’t read like a boring history timeline with a bunch of dates and milestones in a person’s life.

So I am always intrigued when non fiction and/or biographies come across my nightstand for review, if the person or subject interests me I usually give it a go. Wilkie Collins has been a very interesting literary figure for me since I read Drood by Dan Simmons a few years ago. While I didn’t really like the book itself that well…..the character Wilkie Collins appealed to me so much that I read his novel The Woman in White a short time later.

I have yet to read his magnum opus, The Moonstone, but I have it and am waiting for the perfect stormy fall night to start it. Something about Collins says ‘dark and stormy night’ to me. I don’t know much about Collins’s life or literary career besides these two popular books…..Collins often get’s obscured by Charles Dickens as they are both writers of the same period. So when this biography came across my nightstand for review, I did not hesitate to agree….the English Literature major in me was crying out to learn more about this often skipped over author!

Continue reading “Review: Wilkie Collins: A Brief Life by Peter Ackroyd”

Announcement: Winner BLACK DIAMONDS by Catherine Bailey

And the winner of BLACK DIAMONDS by Catherine Bailey is…..

Anne (commented on blog post)

The winner will be notified via email.

Thank you to everyone who entered and a huge thank you to the publisher for making this giveaway possible!