Book Review: The White Queen by Philippa Gregory

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The White Queen by Philippa Gregory
Series: Cousins’ War #1
Published: 2009
Genre: Historical Fiction
Format: Paperback
Pages: 438
Dates Read: February 28 – March 16, 2019
Grade: C-
Synopsis: Elizabeth Woodville, of the House of Lancaster, is widowed when her husband is killed in battle. Aided and abetted by the raw ambition and witchcraft skills of her mother Jacquetta, Elizabeth seduces and marries, in secret, reigning king Edward IV, of the family of the white rose, the House of York. As long as there are other claimants to Edward’s throne, the profound rivalries between the two families will never be laid to rest. Violent conflict, shocking betrayal and murder dominate Elizabeth’s life as Queen of England, passionate wife of Edward and devoted mother of their children. (from the author’s website)

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Book Review: Magical Negro by Morgan Parker

mnMagical Negro by Morgan Parker
Published: 2019
Genre: Poetry
Format: Paperback
Pages: 112
Source: Library
Dates Read: March 14-16, 2019
Grade: C+
Synopsis: Magical Negro is an archive of Black everydayness, a catalog of contemporary folk heroes, an ethnography of ancestral grief, and an inventory of figureheads, idioms, and customs. These American poems are both elegy and jive, joke and declaration, songs of congregation and self-conception. They connect themes of loneliness, displacement, grief, ancestral trauma, and objectification, while exploring and troubling tropes and stereotypes of Black Americans. Focused primarily on depictions of Black womanhood alongside personal narratives, the collection tackles interior and exterior politics—of both the body and society, of both the individual and the collective experience. In Magical Negro, Parker creates a space of witness, of airing grievances, of pointing out patterns. In these poems are living documents, pleas, latent traumas, inside jokes, and unspoken anxieties situated as firmly in the past as in the present—timeless Black melancholies and triumphs. (from Goodreads)

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ARC Review: There Are Girls Like Lions

tagll.pngThere Are Girls Like Lions, foreword by Cole Swensen
Publication Date: March 5, 2019
Genre: Poetry
Format: eARC
Pages: 99
Source: NetGalley
Date Read: February 9, 2019
Grade: C+
Synopsis: For mothers, daughters, sisters, wives, partners, and friends, here are 30 stirring poems about the experience of being a woman. Rousing and empowering, There Are Girls like Lions is a celebration of womanhood in all its dimensions, including love, beauty, friendship, motherhood, work, aging, and much more. Packaged in an attractive case with foil stamping and featuring striking illustrations in metallic ink throughout, this powerful collection will resonate as a gift for any modern woman. (from Goodreads)
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Book Review: The Colonel’s Lady by Laura Frantz

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The Colonel’s Lady by Laura Frantz
Published: 2011
Genre: Christian, Historical Romance
Format: Kindle
Pages: 417
Source: Library
Dates Read: February 6-12, 2019
Grade: C+
Synopsis: In 1779, when genteel Virginia spinster Roxanna Rowan arrives at the Kentucky fort commanded by Colonel Cassius McLinn, she finds that her officer father has died. Penniless and destitute, Roxanna is forced to take her father’s place as scrivener. Before long, it’s clear that the colonel himself is attracted to her. But she soon realizes the colonel has grave secrets of his own–some of which have to do with her father’s sudden death. Can she ever truly love him? (from Goodreads)

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Book Review: Never Seduce a Scot by Maya Banks

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Never Seduce a Scot by Maya Banks
Series: The Montgomerys and Armstrongs #1
Published: 2012
Genre: Historical Romance
Format: Kindle
Pages: 418
Source: Library
Dates Read: January 23-26, 2019
Grade: C
Synopsis:Eveline Armstrong is fiercely loved and protected by her powerful clan, but outsiders consider her “touched.” Beautiful, fey, with a level, intent gaze, she doesn’t speak. No one, not even her family, knows that she cannot hear. Content with her life of seclusion, Eveline has taught herself to read lips and allows the outside world to view her as daft. But when an arranged marriage into a rival clan makes Graeme Montgomery her husband, Eveline accepts her duty—unprepared for the delights to come. Graeme is a rugged warrior with a voice so deep and powerful that his new bride can hear it, and hands and kisses so tender and skilled that he stirs her deepest passions.

Graeme is intrigued by the mysterious Eveline, whose silent lips are ripe with temptation and whose bright, intelligent eyes can see into his soul. As intimacy deepens, he learns her secret. But when clan rivalries and dark deeds threaten the wife he has only begun to cherish, the Scottish warrior will move heaven and earth to save the woman who has awakened his heart to the beautiful song of a rare and magical love.

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Book Review: Virgin by Analicia Sotelo

vTitle: Virgin
Author: Analicia Sotelo
Published: 2018
Genre: P
Format: Paperback
Pages: 95
Source: Library
Date Read: April 11, 2018
Grade: C+
Synopsis: Selected by Ross Gay as winner of the inaugural Jake Adam York Prize, Analicia Sotelo’s debut collection of poems is a vivid portrait of the artist as a young woman.

In Virgin, Sotelo walks the line between autobiography and myth-making, offering up identities like dishes at a feast. These poems devour and complicate tropes of femininity–of naiveté, of careless abandon–before sharply exploring the intelligence and fortitude of women, how “far & wide, / how dark & deep / this frigid female mind can go.” At every step, Sotelo’s poems seduce with history, folklore, and sensory detail–grilled meat, golden habaneros, and burnt sugar–before delivering clear-eyed and eviscerating insights into power, deceit, relationships, and ourselves.

Blistering and gorgeous, Virgin is an audacious act of imaginative self-mythology from one of our most promising young poets.

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