Thursday, August 2, 2012

the physick book of deliverance dane by katherine howe

what if some of the women tried in the salem witch trials were really witches? 

that's the premise of this book.

i've been curious about this book for awhile and picked it up when i found it in a used book store. 

it was fun, a good summer read. it jumps back and forth from the present to the past, which got a little old. the past narrative was a little too cryptic and just seemed messy and confusing a lot of the time. the end brings it together, but it could have been more graceful in the telling throughout.

overall i really enjoyed it. i also appreciated that the author put up a suggested further reading list on her website for people interested in more scholastic reading on the time period and the salem witch trials.

the happiness project by gretchen rubin

this book was mediocre for me. 

i didn't like the author, i found her a bit annoying, really. i came away with one or two good ideas, but mostly it was uninspiring. i was anxious for the book to end, and, if i remember correctly, i skipped over big sections when she got lazy and just pasted in reader responses to questions she had posted on her blog. 

i did appreciate the bibliography at the end. 

pope joan by donna woolfolk cross

pope joan is a historical fiction novel based on the legend of a female pope during the middle ages. 

joan is an intelligent girl, born in a time when females were not allowed to be educated. despite these restrictions, as a young girl she manages to learn to read and write. when an opportunity presents itself, joan disguises herself as a man, continues her education, and rises through the ranks within the catholic church.

i enjoyed the book. the author did a good deal of research on the time period and the legend of joan herself. 

i enjoyed being immersed in a time period of which i have little knowledge. the story was entertaining and kept me interested.