Features, Wrap Ups & Hauls

Bookish Weekly Wrap-Up: 7/13 – 7/26/20

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Happy Sunday bookworms!

I hope to find everyone happy and healthy today.  This weekend was my weekend off work, so I am enjoying 3 days off in a row.  It doesn’t get much better than that!

Let’s see what I’ve been reading & blogging, shall we?

*Bookish Weekly Wrap-Up is a weekly post where I feature what books I’ve been reading, which books are on my upcoming TBR, what posts were published on the blog for the past week, any bookish news I came across, and noteworthy posts from around the bookish community. Continue reading “Bookish Weekly Wrap-Up: 7/13 – 7/26/20”
Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday: Bookish Facts About Me

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Hello my lovelies!  It’s Tuesday and that means it is time for another Top Ten Tuesday post!

  What is TTT? TTT is a weekly meme created by The Broke and the Bookish.  Check out their blog for more info and to see upcoming themes.

toptentuesday

This week’s theme was…

July 12: Ten Facts About Me (bookish or just general about you facts or ten facts about you as a blogger…whatever you want)

I decided that I am going to share some bookish facts about me of course!  Not going to lie, this is going to be more like 20 bookish facts about me.  Sorry, not sorry…

Continue reading “Top Ten Tuesday: Bookish Facts About Me”

Book Reviews, Historical Fiction, Mystery

Mystery Monday! Book Reivew: The Beekeeper’s Apprentice by Laurie R. King

51Zj7ohwK1L._SX336_BO1,204,203,200_.jpgClick here to purchase this book

Product Details (via amazon.com)

  • Series: A Mary Russell Mystery (Book 1)
  • Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Picador; 20 Anv edition (May 27, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1250055709
  • ISBN-13: 978-1250055705

Book Synopsis (via amazon.com)

In 1915, Sherlock Holmes is retired and quietly engaged in the study of honeybees in Sussex when a young woman literally stumbles onto him on the Sussex Downs. Fifteen years old, gawky, egotistical, and recently orphaned, the young Mary Russell displays an intellect to impress even Sherlock Holmes. Under his reluctant tutelage, this very modern, twentieth-century woman proves a deft protégée and a fitting partner for the Victorian detective. They are soon called to Wales to help Scotland Yard find the kidnapped daughter of an American senator, a case of international significance with clues that dip deep into Holmes’s past. Full of brilliant deduction, disguises, and danger, The Beekeeper’s Apprentice, the first book of the Mary Russell–Sherlock Holmes mysteries, is “remarkably beguiling” (The Boston Globe).

My Thoughts…

When one of my Goodreads book clubs selected The Beekeeper’s Apprentice for their monthly read, I was apprehensive at first.  I don’t typically read mystery novels…. like ever.  You would think with majoring in Criminal Justice in college that I would frequent the murder/crime mystery genre, however I find that many books and TV programs over exaggerate and embellish the criminal justice system (investigations, forensics, legal proceedings, etc)  which tends to ruin it for me.   When I read the synopsis and found out that this book takes place during the early 1900s, I relaxed a little bit.  I was still  going to be within the realm of historical fiction (insert sign of relief here)  Also while reading the synopsis, I discovered that Sherlock Holmes was going to be one of the main characters, which peaked my interest.  I was intrigued with the premise of the book being about Holmes taking on a apprentice, and that apprentice being a 15 year girl none the less.  I decided that this may not be so bad after all!
I am so glad that I overcame my reservations and took the plunge.  This book kept me interested and wanting to know what was going to happen next.  For me,  the author had just the right amount of mystery, without over-doing it.  The cases were the stereotypical “Sherlock Holmes types of cases” where things are not what they seem, which keeps you guessing.   This book isn’t graphic or gory, which I liked.  I also liked how the book was not just about the cases, but also about Holmes and Russell and their evolving relationship.  The witty banter and dry humor between Russell and Holmes was entertaining.   I will admit though, at times I was often confused about the relationship between this young Russell and the much older Holmes… often worrying that the author was going to switch from the “father-daughter” type relationship to a inappropriate romantic relationship… I am not sure if I was reading certain situations the wrong way, or if this was intentional on the author’s part.   Since I have never read any of the Sherlock Holmes books by Conan Doyle, I did not have any preconceived notions on how Holmes should be  portrayed. However, after reading discussions on the book, those who had read Doyle’s books generally agreed that Holmes seemed more realistic in this series.  I also read some mixed reviews about the character Mary Russell.  Some thought that she was too conceited and essentially a spoiled brat.  I can see what they are saying to a degree, however I feel like her egotistic tendencies were more of a front to keep people at a distance.  Traumatic life events tend to make people guarded.  I like to think of Russell as confident in her abilities, and that she demanded respect.  She was not going to settle for being treated as anything less than a intellectual equal to Holmes.  I admire a girl who goes after what she wants and won’t let anything or anyone get in her way.   I’m all about strong female lead characters.
I will defiantly be looking into the other books in the Mary Russell series!  I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys lighter hearted historical mysteries.  This was a charming read.
“A hive of bees should be viewed, not as a single species, but as a triumvirate of related types, mutually exclusive in function but utterly and inextricably interdependent upon each other.  A single bee separated from its sisters and brothers will die, even if given the ideal food and care.  A single bee cannot survive apart from the hive.”
-The Beekeeper’s Apprentice

My Rating: 4/5 stars

 Click here to read an excerpt from The Beekeeper’s Apprentice

About the Author (via laurierking.com)

7404-d3_Laurie_R_King_Mystery_Author_Bay_Area_Portrait_Photography_editLaurie R. King is the third generation in her family native to the San Francisco area. She spent her childhood reading her way through libraries up and down the West Coast; her middle years raising children, renovating houses, traveling the world, and doing a BA and MA in theology.  (Her long autobiography goes into detail about how she uses these interests.)  King now lives a genteel life of crime, on California’s central coast.

Her crime novels are both serial and stand-alone. First in the hearts of most readers comes Mary Russell, who met the retired Sherlock Holmes in 1915 and became his apprentice, then his partner. Beginning with The Beekeeper’s Apprentice, Russell and Holmes move through the Teens and Twenties in amiable discord, challenging each other to ever greater feats of detection.

In the Russell & Holmes stories, King explores ideas—the roots of conflict in the Middle East and Afghanistan; feminism and early Christianity; patriotism and individual responsibility—while also having a rousing good time.  Various stories revisit The Hound of the Baskervilles and Kipling’s Kim, set a pair of Bedouin nomads down in a grand country house in England, and offer an insider’s view of the great quake and fire of 1906, all the while forging an unlikely relationship between two remarkably similar individuals who happen to be separated by age, sex, and background.

Click here to visit the author’s website

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Tags & Awards

Tag, You’re It! Totally Should’ve Tag

Big thanks to Kirstie @ozbooksnail for tagging me in this fun little book tag!  Click here to head over and check out her blog.  I must admit, I’ve never done one of these before.  Hopefully I wont botch it and bring shame to the Cover2CoverMom name 🙂

Here goes nothing…

1) Totally should have a sequel

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Click here to read a book synopsis and purchase The Time Traveler’s Wife

I would love for this book to have had a sequel.  I can’t explain why without ruining the book, but I would love to see what happened with the characters after The Time Traveler’s Wife ended.

2) Totally should’ve had a spin off series…

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Click here to read the book synopsis and purchase Pride and Prejudice

I would have loved for Jane Austen to have written a spin off of Pride and Prejudice.  I would have liked for her to write about the different sisters and their lives, specifically Jane Bennet 🙂

3) Totally should’ve ended differently…

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Click here to read a book synopsis and purchase Allegiant

Obviously I can’t say too much or I would spoil the bad ending for those who have not yet read this book… I will just say that I enjoyed the first 2 books in this series, but I struggled through this one.  It’s not that I disagreed with the ending per se, however I just didn’t care for how the author executed it.

4) Totally should’ve had a film franchise…

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Click here to read the book synopsis and purchase Into the Wilderness

Into the Wilderness is my favorite historical fiction series and I would LOVE for it to be made into a movie, along with the 5 other books in the series 🙂  If you like HF, I strongly urge you to check out this series.  You won’t regret it!

5) Totally should’ve had a TV show…

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Click here to read a book synopsis and purchase Little Women

Obviously I know there have been film adaptations of Little Women, but I think it would be a fantastic TV series… I remember watching the movie adaptation with my Grandmother when I was a little girl.  Since I was sort of a tomboy growing up, of course my favorite character was Jo.   Actually, I read the book for the first time this past month and wish I would not have put it off so long.   It was better than the movie!  I think the Little Women series would make for a good TV show, especially since shows like “Downtown Abbey” have done so well.

6) Totally should’ve had only one point of view…

Skip…

7) Totally should’ve changed the cover…

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Click here to read a book synopsis and purchase The Great Gatsby

I’m not even sure what is going on here.  This is definitely one of those times you should not judge a book by its cover… ((shakes head))

8) Totally should’ve stopped reading…

I have 2 books for this category…

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I totally should’ve just given up on this book.  I tried reading this book after the play adaptation was such a huge hit.   Everyone loves the play, so the book had to be good right?  Wrong!  It was like a slow torture… I kept reading because I thought it had to get better…I kept thinking I was missing something?  I don’t think so.  I loved the concept of this book, but it was a big flop for me.

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I wish I would never have wasted my time on this book.  I was appalled by the popularity of this series, and can’t understand why women would want to read a novel where the lead male character is a sadistic woman hater… Ladies, would you want your children reading this book?  Would you want your children to think this is how men should treat women? I will never understand sadism and the craze that was the 50 Shades of Grey series…

9) Totally should’ve kept the original cover…

Not going to lie, I couldn’t think of one for this category either…

And now back to your regularly scheduled tag post…

10) Totally should have not pre-judged

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Click here to read a book synopsis and purchase The Orchard

I don’t typically read biographies or memoirs, so I went into this book with hesitation.   I am so glad that I picked this book up and went for it.  I was pleasantly surprised by how wonderful this book was!  I did not feel like I was reading a memoir, but rather a wonderfully written piece of fiction.  You should definitely check it out!