Monday, February 4, 2013
Well, hello there Literary peeps!
We apologize for being a little absent on this meme. Mandy was focusing on reading and reviewing books for the January 2013 Winter Wonderland Spell Challenge. Unfortunately, she didn't meet her goals of 16 books. If she would've read a little faster a little sooner she probably would've made it. Ah well ... things happen. =)
There are two books that Mandy's going to try and finish up this week: Demon's Curse by Alexa Egan (review should post tomorrow) and Angelina's Bachelor's by Brian O'Reilly (review should post Wednesday). Both were books she was trying to finish last week for the January 2013 Winter Wonderland Spell Challenge. As soon as she finishes those, she'll begin reading Fires of Alexandria by Thomas K. Carpenter.
Kathy is still working her way through A Dance with Dragons by George R. R. Martin and Mindfront by Dave Becker. She has started reading The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot and Good Harbor by Anita Diamant.
One of the mythical race of shape-shifting Imnada and a member of an elite military unit, Captain Mac Flannery suffers under a ruthless curse. As the result of a savage massacre on the eve of Waterloo, he and the men he served with are forced to live the hours of darkness trapped as their animal aspects. Now one of them has been murdered, and Mac suspects the existence of the Imnada may finally have been discovered. His only link to unearthing the truth - Bianca Parrino, the beautiful actress whom every man desires.
Forging a new life for herself after escaping the clutches of her abusive husband, Bianca is again drawn into violence when a dear friend is brutally murdered and she becomes a suspect. Forced to place her trust and her life in Mac's hands as they flee a determined killer, Bianca cannot deny she is falling for the mysterious soldier. But will his dark secrets tear them asunder? Or will love be the key to breaking even the cruelest of spells?
Far too young to be a widow, Angelina D'Angelo suddenly finds herself facing a life without her beloved husband, Frank. Late one night shortly after the funeral, she makes her way down to the kitchen and pours all of her grief and anger into the only outlet she has left - her passion for cooking. In a frenzy of concentration and swift precision, she builds layer upon layer of thick, rich lasagna, braids loaves of yeasty bread, roasts plump herb-rubbed chicken; she makes so much food that she winds up delivering the spoils to the neighbors in her tight-knit Italian community in South Philadelphia.
Retiree Basil Cupertino, who has just moved in with his kindly sister across the street, is positively smitten with Angelina's food. In a stroke of good fortune, Basil offers Angelina (not only husbandless but unemployed) a job cooking for him - two meals a day, six days a week, in exchange for a handsome salary. Soon, word of her irresistible culinary prowess spreads and she finds herself cooking for seven bachelors - and in the process discovers the magical power of food to heal, to bring people together ... and maybe even to provide a second chance at love.
The greatest mystery of the ancient world remains the identity of who set fire to the Great Library in Alexandria. One hundred years later, Heron of Alexandria - the city's most renown inventor and creator of Temple miracles - receives coin from a mysterious patron to investigate the crime. Desperate to be free of the debts incurred by her twin brother, she accepts and sets in motion a chain of events that will shake the Roman Empire and change the course of history forever.
Her name was Henrietta Lacks, but scientists know her as HeLa. She was a poor Southern tobacco farmer who worked the same land as her slave ancestors, yet her cells - taken without her knowledge - became one of the most important tools in medicine. The first "immortal" human cells grown in culture, they are still alive today, though she has been dead for more than sixty years. If you could pile all HeLa cells ever grown onto a scale, they'd weigh more than 50 million metric tons - as much as a hundred Empire State Buildings. HeLa cells were vital for developing the polio vaccine; uncovered secrets of cancer, viruses, and the atom bomb's effects; helped lead to important advances like in vitro fertilization, cloning, and gene mapping; and have been bought and sold by the billions.
Yet Henrietta Lacks remains virtually unknown, buried in an unmarked grave.
Good Harbor is the long stretch of Cape Ann beach where two women friends walk and talk, sharing their personal histories and learning life's lessons from each other. Kathleen Levine, a longtime resident of Gloucester, Massachusetts, is maternal and steady, a devoted children's librarian, a convert to Judaism, and mother to two grown sons. When her serene life is thrown into turmoil by a diagnosis of breast cancer at fifty-nine, painful past secrets emerge and she desperately needs a friend. Forty-two-year-old Joyce Tabachnik is a sharp-witted freelance writer who is also at a fragile point in her life. She's come to Gloucester to follow her literary aspirations, but realizes that her husband and young daughter are becoming increasingly distant. Together, Kathleen and Joyce forge a once-in-a-lifetime bond and help each other to confront scars left by old emotional wounds.