July Read: “Hild” by Nicola Griffith and “Divine Vintage” by R Heskett and J Butler

Getting greedy this month, I’m hoping to finish two books. I used to finish some books in two days, then I got a job, got married, and had kids. I like to tell myself I traded in one kind of crazy fun (hours of non-stop reading, woo-hoo!!) for another (grading papers, saying stuff like “don’t lick your brother’s hair!”**)

This month I’m reading two books, and one has to get back to the library before the end of July or I get late fees. I hate late fees, but always end up owing them to the library… I nobly tell myself “it isn’t a fine, it is my donation to a fine institution” to take the sting out of my day-late-dollar-short character.

2Q==So, this month I want to read “Hild” by Nicola Griffith, a novel about a 7th century saint… what might her life and times had been like? A lot of research and a ton of imagination went into this story, and I am really looking forward to reading this book. (Photo at left is from Amazon.com and links to their page)

2Q==-1The other book is the non-fiction “Divine Vintage- Following the Wine Trail from Genesis to the Modern Age.” by Randall Heskett and Joel Butler. I love learning about food chemistry, history, and origins, and this book includes all three, heavy on the last two. (Photo at right is from Amazon.com and links to their purchasing info for this book)

Enough posting, I’m going to get reading.

**True story: those words really did come out of my mouth about 15 years ago.

March Read: “The Mistaken Wife”- finished!

Finished March’s Book of the Month- “The Mistaken Wife,” by Rose Melikan. If you like historical fiction that you can set down, go to the computer, brush up on your world history, then continue reading when you’ve satisfied your curiosity about the facts behind the fiction, this series is for you. None of that is necessary, of course, but sometimes you want a book that entertains and provides the opportunity to educate as well. The three books of this series are all packed with lots interesting sleuthing around, all based on historical facts of the period.

from http://rosemelikan.com/ click the photo to take you to her site- great background info to each book there!
Photo from http://rosemelikan.com/
click the photo to take you to her site- great background info to each book there!

In this third novel, Miss Mary Finch is recruited to carry out a mission to sabotage American and French relations during the close of the 18th Century. The author provides a very short, two page summary of international relations between France, England and America at the end of the book- I’d recommend reading that if you want a quick intro to Western history circa the Napoleonic era. No spoilers if you read these back-of-the-book pages, I promise.

This is not a steamy romance- next to none at all, it’s just not that kind of book… but we do see our heroine and hero headed at their own pace toward matrimony.

Like more historical fiction with a strong heroine, detailed events and accurate period culture? I’d also recommend the Lady Emily series by Tasha Alexader.

March Read: Abby Picks Historical Fiction…. “The Mistaken Wife” or “Hild”

It is time to choose a new Book of the Month! Today, Abby the Labby gets to pick, and she’s quite excited… because we are bribing her with a treat to keep her sitting down and posing for this photo. What’s it gonna be? She knows I don’t want another edjoo-ma-cative read after January’s “The Happiness Project” and  February’s “Nikon D3300 for Dummies.” She also knows that I am fond of historical fiction, and have picked up two recently.

Hild,” is book number one by Nicola Griffith, who, through much research created a novel about what 7th century Britain would be like for the woman who would be later known as Saint Hilda. This book came highly recommended by staff at a favorite small bookstore. Book number two is “The Mistaken Wife,” third in a series including “The Blackstone Key” and “The Counterfeit Guest,” all by Rose Melikan.

Abby during the discernment process:

Sure looks like she is leaning toward "Hild," and check out all the wine we won at the school's raffle! We've NEVER won anything like that, WOO HOO!!!
Sure looks like she is leaning toward “Hild,” and check out all the wine we won at the school’s raffle! We’ve NEVER won anything like that, WOO HOO!!
Is Abby choosing "Hild?" Is she in a 7th century Britain mood? Hmmm...
Is Abby choosing “Hild?” Is she in a 7th century Britain mood? Hmmm…

So what is Abby going to choose for me? It’s…

IT’S “THE MISTAKEN WIFE!” But, how do we know which one Abby chose? It came down to which book she drooled on, honestly. Remember, we had treats for her, and she was quite aware of it. Maybe she also knew that I already read Melikan’s first two stories about Mary Finch, reluctant heiress and even more reluctant spy during the close of the 1700’s. Either book presented a win-win situation for me- I’m a sucker for well researched historical fiction,  And Harry Potter. If you ever feel like discussing the minutiae of that universe, I’m your Potterverse Pal.