Posts Tagged ‘alternative history’

April Reading Wrap-up

May 2, 2008

I read 13 books in April, including my two audiobooks. Two were audio books, four were given to me specifically to review, one was sent to me by a fantastic fellow blogger, one was for book club, and the rest I just picked up because they sounded interesting. There are two more books that I began in April, but since one I just finished and the other I’m only half way through, they will count for May. Here’s the basic rundown of what I read and reviewed. At the bottom you’ll find my top pick for the month…

My Reading Wrap-up for April

Fiction

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen (audiobook)

A Little Princess by Frances Hodgson Burnett (audiobook) – review coming soon

Change of Heart by Jodi Picoult

Historical Fiction

The Venetian Mask by Rosalind Laker (LibraryThing Early Reviewer book)

Queen of Shadows by Edith Felbar

The Last Queen: A Novel by C.W. Gortner

Year of Wonders by Geraldine Brooks

Two Brothers: One North, One South (LibraryThing Early Reviewer book)

Alternative History (Fiction)

Eleanor Vs. Ike by Robin Gerber

Memoir

Stealing Buddha’s Dinner by Bich Minh Nguyen

A Year Without ‘Made in China’ by Sara Bongiorni (book club book)

Nonfiction

Franklin and Lucy by Joseph Perino (LibraryThing Early Reviewer book)

Historical Genesis by Richard Fischer (ReaderViews Review Book)

Top Pick for the Month:

The Last Queen cover

C.W. Gortner’s “The Last Queen” is a novel of Juana of Castile, also known as ‘Juana la Loca’. Gortner is very sympathetic to Juana and writes her fantastically. This is a wonderful novel of a woefully overlooked and maligned Queen. See my full review here.

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Eleanor Vs. Ike – Book Review

April 28, 2008

Eleanor vs. Ike coverI received this book from my friend The Literate Housewife who reviewed it and interviewed the author. She enjoyed it very much and thought I would as well, so she passed it on.

The basic question explored by “Eleanor Vs. Ike,” by author Robin Gerber, is what would have happened had the immensely popular Eleanor Roosevelt run for President in 1952, instead of Adlai Stevenson. I was quite curious how exactly Gerber was going to remotely realistically end up with the Democratic Party selecting Eleanor as their candidate, but she solved that problem quite well with a plausible crisis at the convention.

I am by no means an expert on what happened in that election, but it was interesting to see how events might have been changed with a different candidate on the Democratic ticket. Nixon’s infamous “Checkers speech,” for instance, doesn’t go over nearly as well with the politically savvy Eleanor in the race.

The beginning of the book seemed a bit fluffy, lots of flashbacks to Eleanor’s time with FDR to set her political and emotional background. However, the book quickly gained strength and by the midway point I hardly wanted to put it down. I could hardly believe when I was finished that I had already read over 300 pages!

Overall, it is a quick and entertaining “what if”.

Buy this book on Amazon –Eleanor vs. Ike: A Novel