Thursday, June 09, 2011

From the Archives: Mini Reviews from April 2005 (part 1)

I began keeping a reading journal several years before I began blogging. I find it interesting to sift through my thoughts of books that I read back then. Being back at work and as little reading as I've been able to do, I thought I would share my thoughts (however brief) on several books I read in April of 2005:

The Crimson Petal and the White by Michael Faber
Mariner Books, 2002 - Fiction, 944 pgs

The Crimson Petal and the White is a beautifully written novel set in Victorian England. Its raw descriptions mixed in with the elegant offers readers a taste of just how different life is between the poor and the wealthy during that time period. The author, Michael Faber, introduces readers to the filthy streets of London where prostitutes sell their wares and the working folk are barely getting by. This is the story of Sugar and her rise from the bottom to near the top, about a wealthy businessman and his family and friends, and about the poor vs. the wealthy, women vs. men, with a thread of the role religion and charity played throughout. This book was full of surprises at times and yet predictable in others. It was well worth the time it took to read it.

Relic by Douglas Preston & Lincoln Child
Tor Books, 1995 - Horror, 468 pgs

The recent savage murders in the Museum of Natural History in New York threaten the opening of a major exhibit, which is expected to draw in the crowds and money. A brutal killer is on the loose: is it beast or man? FBI Special Agent Pendergast, joining forces with museum staff and local law enforcement, arrives on the scene to help find and stop the murderer before it is too late. Pendergast is a charming and mysterious character that I was first introduced to in a later Preston and Child book, The Cabinet of Curiosities. Relic is a novel that pulled me in from the very first page and kept my eyes glued to the pages until I finished it. The suspense did not let up until the very end.

Shelf Life: Romance, Mystery, Drama. and Other Page-Turning Adventures from a Year in a Bookstore by Suzanne Strempek Shea
Beacon Press, 2004 - Nonfiction, 221 pgs

After going through treatment for breast cancer, author Suzanne Strempek Shea reenters life by taking a job at an independent bookstore. Filled with wit and real life colorful characters, Shelf Life is about a year in Ms. Shea’s life working in the Edwards Bookstore. A must read for booklovers, Ms. Shea offers insight into the world of bookselling and book promotion as well as the different role books and bookstores play in the lives of people and communities. This is a jewel of a book I most likely never would have noticed had it not been recommended through a book group.

Have you read any of these books? What did you think?

© 2011, Wendy Runyon of Musings of a Bookish Kitty. All Rights Reserved.If you're reading this on a site other than Musings of a Bookish Kitty or Wendy's feed, be aware that this post has been stolen and is used without permission.


  1. Relic sounds familiar to me. The combinaton of Preston and Child is more than dependable, I've found. (I'm devoted to mysteries and thrillers, though do read good fiction as well.) Love your recommendations.

  2. I like these reviews from your archives...they're fun to read and of course puts more books ideas in my mind!!

  3. Glad that you liked Crimson Petal and the White. I loved it all well.ovedn

  4. I loved The Crimson Petal and the White as well, and need to read it again. It was such an atmospheric book. Glad to see these mini-reviews. I love this format!

  5. I just love books about bookstores! I'll have to add that one to the list.

  6. I've not read any of these but I've had Relic on my shelves to be read for quite awhile!

  7. Thank you for your comments. One of these days I'll be able to answer you all individually again. I feel terrible that I can't right now. :-(

  8. I absolutely loved The Crimson Petal and the White!

  9. Preston and Child are guilty pleasures for me. I've read a lot of their stuff (not all, but quite a bit). Relic is one of my faves.


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