Thursday, August 28, 2008

ESPN Zoning Out

I've been a bit lax this week updating my blog. I'm currently pouring through Anton Checkov's The Steppe and Other Stories (good so far!) and have almost given up on Saul Bellow's Humboldt's Gift. Sigh. Might have to make my husband read that one...he might actually understand it.

In the meantime, school started up again this Monday. But the good news is I'm only taking one class. Woohoo! Which means one class next semester with my Capstone test/class and I'm done! And then off to find a real job in my field....eeek! And then that fun conundrum of getting paid less to work more. The odd things we want in life, huh?

But tonight...does anyone know what tonight is? For all those college football fans out there...tonight is the first night of college football games! For the last week or two we've been seeing the Columbia University football team practicing...their stadium is just down the street from us. It's been getting us very antsy for football to start up. Our team, Auburn, doesn't play tonight and we'll have to wait for Saturday...but it's still great to get out there and get all revved up.

Last year we hung out at the ESPN Zone in Times Square and had a ball and met some fun fans. Tonight...the Giants vs the Patriots are on...think we'll skip that madness. So I'll let you know where we decide to go.

For new readers, you can always flashback to my third post on this blog back in October of 2007. And don't worry...our tickets are booked for our annual trip to Auburn, Alabama so I'll definitely be taking photos. WAR EAGLE!!!

And just for fun, here's a bit of flashback to my first Auburn game with the hubby in 2006.

At Toomers Corner - where they TP the whole corner if they win. Obviously we were at a winning game. For those of you might was when Auburn beat the Florida Gators in 2006:

Outside the stadium and in the middle of college football madness:
And by the AU sign:
I hope all of you are enjoying the wind-down of summer and the kick-up of fall...what ever your interests are.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Real Librarian's Giveaway

Thanks again for everyone who entered my contest. If you didn't win, don't worry...there are more great giveaways out there including my friend, Real Librarian, who's giving away a copy of Love the One You're With.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

And the Winner Is...

I was amazed at the turn out for my First Giveaway! Twenty-seven of you entered so without ado...

The winner of my First Giveaway is....


Also check out her cool blog World According to Books. I will be emailing you for your address so I can ship it out. Enjoy!!!

Don't worry I will be giving away more great books soon.

I used to pick a number.

Long Beach Sunny Day

I don't know why I didn't do this more often this summer. I met a friend out at Long Beach on Long Island last weekend. What a great little place! I took the subway to Penn Station and took the Long Island Railroad to Long Beach. It was just an hour trip to the beach and then a day filled with sun, sand, reading, and napping. How perfect. If you get there early it is pretty uncrowded. But as the day progresses it does pack up a bit. I only snapped one photo but I'm sure to go back. My husband also found a dog beach for which is near to Long Beach, so I am sure we'll be taking the pups there this fall.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Friday = Curling Up with Charlie

Today I switched shifts to cover a co-worker who is out on vacation. But through scheduling mishaps and miscellanous mayhem, I ended up getting stuck with a ten hour day. Ouch! And on a Friday! And it's gorgeous out! Sigh.

Only an hour and a half to go and I'm out of here. While I curl up for a nap, maybe with Charlie as a blanket or pillow, my husband will cook up some fajitas for dinner. I'm a lucky gal.
*Photo taken pre-NYC days

1001 Books Update - The English Patient

I found a copy of The English Patient by Michael Ondaatje at the Mid-Manhattan Library Book Sale and decided to pick it up. I've been wanting to read this AND it's on the 1001 List.

The book is set just after the end of World War II in an Italian villa and revolves around four people at the villa. Hana, a nurse is left behind to tend to a badly burned man, the assumed English patient. The man was discovered in the desert and his identity is unknown. An old friend of Hana's father, Caravaggio, hears rumors of where Hana is and comes to stay. An Indian, Kip, who's job is to deactivate bombs soon joins the group. During this time, the English patient begins to tell his story and his identity.

The story is really very beautiful. The relationships between the four at the villa are interspersed with the story of the English patient's affair with the lovely Katherine Clifton. Sounds a bit confusing, I know, but it works.

A few years ago I watched the movie version and was pretty impressed. I tend to be a little wary of some movies who get a lot of Oscar nods. They sometimes are really Shakespeare in Love. Joseph Fiennes, Tom Stoppard, and Geoffrey Rush and it still came out awful! I digress.

But The English Patient movie was really a beautifully made movie. It also has a Fiennes brother, Ralph Fiennes who plays the English patient. I was very impressed. Watch it if you haven't seen it. So I was torn reading the book. For the first half I decidedly thought the movie was better than the book. I felt like it rambled and fluctuated way too much. Sometimes I was a bit confused. But by the end of the book I thought the book was better. So I came to the conclusion that both the book and the movie are beautiful pieces in their own right.

For those of you who have read the book and seen the movie...

What do you think about Kristin Scott Thomas in the role of Katharine Clifton? The book described someone I felt was much much younger than Ms Thomas. BUT, I don't know who could have done a better job. Thoughts?

And who's story touched you more? Almasy and Katharine? Hana and Kip? What was Caravaggio's purpose in the story?

For fun, here's some movie pictures:

The English Patient (before he was a patient) and Katharine:
Kip and Hana:

Also reviewed by:
Books I Done Read
S. Krishna's Books
Booking Mama
Hey Lady! Whatcha Readin'?
Five Borough Book Review

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Picture Perfect?

Today is a gorgeous day in New York City. Not too hot, not too cold, and definitely sunny. Which means that I am, of course, stuck in-doors at work, dreaming of being on a vacation. Which made me remember one of my favorite photos of me (I'm apparently a little vain) on vacation.
Sigh...perfect, right? Well...not so much. It was actually dumping rain that day and I was pretty drenched. I NEEDED that photo though so I had my friend take it. I couldn't sit on the bench because it was drenched too. Although looking back, I was also drenched so the problem was...? I am actually propping myself up with my hands to look like I'm sitting down. We were obvious tourists wandering around the city completely drenched and loving it. remains a favorite of mine.

Moral of the story: Even non-picture-perfect days can be fun.

Book Update - The Richest Season

A little while ago I won a copy of Maryann McFadden's book The Richest Season from Becca at The Inside Cover. I have to say that this is not the typical type of book I like to read. But Becca gave it a good review and so I thought I'd give it a go. I was looking for a book to read at night before going to sleep and wanted a light read.

At first I didn't really like it. I guess I've been a little burnt out on books that have one of the three main plots: adultery, suicide, or death as the focus. I mean, branch out a little more people!

Here's the story:

Joanna, a corporate wife is tired of her husband, Paul, constantly changing jobs, moving to new locations, etc. She has tons of money and "things" but really just wants her husband. Paul seems more concerned about climbing that corporate ladder than anything else. Their two kids are grown and finally out of the house when the wife snaps. Facing a new move, a new town, and an absent husband, she leaves Paul moves to a beach side town. She gets a job with Grace, an elderly lady, as a live-in helper.

Sigh...Lifetime movie anyone?

But I have to give it to Maryann McFadden that she wrote her characters very well. At first I was totally on the Joanna's side and was glad she was leaving. But then the whole book isn't just about the wife's story. It flip-flops between Joanna's perspective and Paul's perspective. After awhile I was totally on Paul's side and thought Joanna was completely being selfish.

So that's why, after about half-way through the book I found myself really liking the characters. I could see both their sides and they both changed and grew through the experience. And Grace was that perfect 'voice of reason' that sometimes helps characters understand experiences.

I didn't love this book but it was a good read. It did make me realize how much I appreciate my marriage and to always remember what is really important in life.

Side note:

The photo above is from the ARC copy she sent me. While not perfect I like it a lot better than the finalized cover which is below. I've heard some people like it but I think it's a bit boring. What do you think?

Also reviewed by:

The Inside Cover
In the Shadow of Mt TBR
Medieval Bookworm
They Call Me Bookie McBookerson
Bookroomreview's Weblog
S. Krishna's Books
At Home With Books
Pop Culture Junkie

NYC - Used Book Store

My husband reminded me that the used book store from this post was Alabaster Bookshop. While outside browsing the books, we met a lady walking two HUGE dogs (Scottish Deer Hounds). The dogs were VERY interested in looking in the windows. She explained that they loved watching the store's resident cat who was at the moment curled up and sleeping in the window. Awww. So if you are in the neighborhood, remember to swing by and check it out. In the past I've also found a copy of The Never Ending Story by Michael Ende and High Fidelity by Nick Hornby.

122 4th Ave. (near 12th St.) East Village

Just for fun...can you imagine two of these on the streets of NYC? Their heads were almost over the bookshelves out front:

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Book Update - The Spanish Bow

It has taken me a couple days to write this review because I just fell in love with this book. The Spanish Bow by Andromeda Romano-Lax was the perfect book for the moment. And doesn't it just have a beautiful cover?

I had finished a book on my subway ride to work and couldn't imagine my long boring ride home without a book. So I swung by the bookstore and found this hardcover book for a discount. I do believe it is out in paperback now.

The Spanish Bow starts off like this:

"I was almost born Happy."

Literally, the main character was almost named Feliz, which means happy, but there was an error on his death certificate (!!!!) so he was named Feliu.

The story follows the life of the fictional famous Spanish cellist, Feliu Delargo. Born before the turn of the Twentieth Century, his life's path takes him through World War I, the Spanish Civil War, and World War II. He becomes a cellist in the court of King Alfonso XIII and Queen Ena. His life intersects with famous musicians, artists, and politicians.

A cellist herself, Andromeda Romano-Lax writes the description of music beautifully. As a child Feliu describes notes and sounds as tastes of bitter chocolate and tart lemons. I loved that. Her depiction of the historical aspects were amazing too. I loved the interaction between Feliu and his devotion to Queen Ena. I love the odd friendship between Feliu and famous but also fictional pianist Al-Cerraz. And his complicated love with Aviva the violinist.

There is a warning though. This book is quite long at almost 550 pages so don't expect a quick read. And it can be quite serious and sad at times...but that is pretty much why I liked it. This is a story about friendship, music, love, hate, and everything in between. It wasn't a pleasant and easy time period for Spain. But this is not a war story. It's about the decisions we make in our lives. It's about the purpose of our lives. Overall, it is just a touching, moving, beautiful book with it's ups and downs, highs and lows...much like the music she describes.

Here's a link to the book's discussion guide by Harcourt Books.

Oh...and I'm adding Picasso's famous piece Guernica which is mentioned in the book as well:

Also Reviewed by:
Minds Alive on the Shelves

Egyptian Book Challenge

I've decided to go ahead and do the Egyptian Book Challenge I mentioned in a previous post. We'll see how I do!

Here's the List:

1. When We Were Gods: A Novel of Cleopatra - Colin Falconer (Finished November 29, 2008)

2. The Hippopotamus Marsh: Lords of the Two Lands Vol 1 - Pauline Gedge

3. The Yacoubian Building: A Novel - Alaa Al Aswany

4. The Palace Walk (Cairo Trilogy Book 1) - Naguib Mahfouz

5. Nefertiti: A Novel - Michelle Moran

6. The Memoirs of Cleopatra - Margaret George

7. River God - Wilbur Smith


8. The English Patient - Michael Ondaatje (Finished August 21, 2008)

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Anna and Book

While walking by a used book store the other day, we saw that all the books outside were only two bucks. So we had to browse. I picked up a hardback copy of The Voyage of the Narwhal, a total splurge since it wasn't even a book on my TBR list. My husband picked up The Dog Lover's Companion to New York City.

So I thought I'd have Anna display it for you all. She was being particularly photogenic that day. Letting me take her picture is definitely a rarity.

Oh!! And Amanda at Click.The Good News recommended the blog Urban Mutt. How cool! Thanks!

Monday, August 18, 2008

Check it out!

I try not to post about every give-away out there or else my whole blog would be one huge advertisement for cool prizes. But every now and then I do when I find a blog I want to share and/or a very cool giveaway. This happens to be both.

I am a fan of Bree at The Things We Read and she is giving away What Happened to Anna K. by Irina Reyn. You can enter via this link. Check out her blog and maybe win the book. Maybe it'll inspire me to finish reading Anna last book of my personal challenge.

Also check out West of Mars -- Win a Book! A great blog which posts which sites are having book contests.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Too Many Books

So remember on my first giveaway post that I need to make room on my book shelves. This is why:
Those are all the books I haven't read yet. maybe my husband's right and I should stop acquiring books for a bit......yeah right. It's not like I buy them brand new. I've also been super lucky and have won a lot of them.

These are the books I won from Bookshipper in her amazing 14 Book Giveaway from Hachette Books. So cool!!!
And these are recent books I've gotten from the Mid-Manhattan Library Book Sale...if you live in the area check it out (75 cents for paper backs and 2 dollars for hardbacks):And these are some other miscellanous finds/wins. Anna is excited too:
I won Three Cups of Tea from Amanda at Click. The Good News

I won Snow Flower and the Secret Fan from Lisa at Books. Lists. Life

I won Queen of the Road from Julie at Booking Mama

I won The Richest Season from Becca at The Inside Cover


The other books are various ones I've picked up from used book stores, the free shelf in our laundry room, library sales, the antique store, etc.

I've decided to start giving away some books I've read to make more room. So thank you veryone who's entered my First Giveaway and there will definitely be more.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Book Collecting

I recently read a great post by Emily at Books, The Universe, and Everything about why people might buy copies of books they already own. For instance, she likes J.D. Salinger books. I admit I have a couple copies of Catcher in the Rye myself.

Which brings me to my guilty pleasure...I collect copies of The Count of Monte Cristo. I'm really not sure why. Maybe it's because I love going to used book stores and finding interesting copies of my favorite book. The image to the left was the first copy I owned which I read in high school (and have re-read numerous times) and absolutely LOVE. It's still my favorite copy. I also have an old, water damaged hardback, no copyright information or publisher information which I found by accident in a box of free books from a garage sale. NICE!!

Which brings me to a slight annoyance. In high school I thought the "Count" on the cover was quite cute....which probably enticed me read the book the first time. But since then...seriously...what were the publishers thinking??

This guy is just...well, to me, not that attractive:
And this guy looks way too smug...or maybe he's taken WAY too much cold medicine:
And THIS guy! Boy...he kind of irritates me. Does he looks like he's bent on revenge? He reminds me of someone Jane Austen would have made fun of:
And this one? Yawn! do you have a book or author that you collect? Why?

First Giveaway!!

I've been very lucky the last few months and have won some amazing books from fellow bloggers. So to return the love (and to make more room on my bookshelves) I am going to be giving away some books. So here's my first book give away.

A hardback copy of Sophia Kensella's book Remember Me?

From Publishers Weekly
Shopaholicpowerhouse Kinsella delights again with her latest, a winning if unoriginal tale of amnesia striking an ambitious shrew and changing her life for the better. After taking a nasty bump on the head, Lexi Smart awakens in a hospital convinced that it's 2004 and that she's just missed her father's funeral. It's actually three years later, and she no longer has crooked teeth, frizzy hair and a loser boyfriend. Initially wowed by what she's become—a gorgeous, cut-throat businesswoman—Lexi soon finds herself attempting to figure out how it happened. As her personality change and lost memory threaten her job, Lexi tries to dredge up some chemistry with her handsome albeit priggish husband, Eric, though the effort is unnecessary with Eric's colleague Jon, who tells Lexi that she was about to leave Eric for him. Amnesia tales may be old hat, but Kinsella keeps things fresh and frothy with workplace politicking, romantic intrigue and a vibrant (though sometimes caricatured) cast. Though the happy ending won't come as a surprise, readers will be rooting for Lexi all along.

The book is pretty cute and was a fun read. All you have to do to win is leave a comment on this blog. The contest is open until Friday, August 22nd and I will announce the winner on Saturday. Please make sure you leave a way for me to contact you or check back on Saturday.

Good luck!!

Addendum: If you have an address, I'll ship it. No matter what country :)

Monday, August 11, 2008

Book Update - Penelopiad

Before this year I had never read a Margaret Atwood book. Since then I've read The Handmaid's Tale and The Blind Assassin. I've been a fan of both books. So when I was walking by our local antique store and saw a cheap hardcover edition of her book Penelopiad: The Myth of Penelope and Odysseus I thought I'd check it out.

I've read excerpts of the Odyssey by Homer so I knew a little bit of the back story. But don't worry too much if you haven't. The back story is:

Penelope and Odysseus are married and he is soon sent off to fight in the Trojan War. Penelope is none too happy because A) She is newly married B) She just had a baby C) Helen (her beautiful cousin) started the whole mess D) The war lasts 12 years.

So after waiting 12 years, the war is over and Odysseus should be on his way home but gets waylaid...for numerous years. You can read about his exploits in the Odyssey. So Penelope waits at home, tries to stave off suitors who want to marry her, take care of her lands, and raise a son. When Odysseus finally returns, he proceeds to kill off all her suitors and hangs twelve of her maids. Penelope tells her story from the afterlife and explains why Odysseus decided to kill off the suitors and more importantly...why he would hang the twelve maids.

At first I thought Penelopiad was a pretty good story. I liked Penelope's viewpoint. Whereas the Odyssey glamorizes tales, spins yarns, etc...Penelope is more realistic and often cynical about what is going on. In some ways it reminded me of Sexing the Cherry by Jeanette Winterson but without Winterson's flair for the poetic. But towards the end I thought that perhaps Atwood should leave this type of story-telling to others. Points were driven...and then repeatedly driven. And some of the writing was a bit forced. is a very small and short book so if you want to give it a try, check it out. Be prepared for quite a bit of, shall I say, feminist leanings.

Since I love's a couple more interesting versions:

Also reviewed by:

Adventures in Reading
Lost in a Good Story
Books I Done Read
Things Mean A Lot
The Hidden Side of a Leaf
Bold. Blue. Adventure.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Random Charlie Post

My dog Charlie doesn't have a lot of tricks up his sleeve. Unlike Anna Bear who can fetch and run and swim really well. But....

He is adorable:

And he can shake:
And he can lick:
And he can wink:
And he can yawn:
And he wears hats well:

And he can be bashful:
And he can glare (when I'm taking too many photos):

Thanks for letting me post pictures from my new camera!!

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

British Library - Turning the Pages

I have to say that I'm a huge fan of the British Library.

Why you say?

Check out their Turning the Pages section.

You can digitally "turn the pages" of a few original works and books.

For instance, do you want to look at Jane Austin's The History of England, written in her own handwriting and even illustrated with cute pictures of kings and queens?

Or maybe the original Alice's Adventures in Wonderland written and illustrated by Lewis Carroll himself?

Or maybe Mozart's musical diary, or Leonardo da Vinci's sketches?

Most have audio commentary that you can turn on or off, you can zoom in or out, and other fun features.

My favorite....the Lindisfarne Gospels:

Check it out!

Test Drive: Google Books

Sometimes when it's slow or I'm on break at work I will read old classics on Google Books. For instance, I read Jane Eyre on Google Books. How it works, I believe, is that Google got permission from various institutions, such as Stanford University, to scan and make available some of their books. This is a great idea!

However, they do have to be aware of copy-right laws so be aware that only older classics (think books written about 100 years ago) are available in Full-view only. There are a lot of books out there that you can preview a few pages though which is kind of nice. Anyway...I decided to show you what a Google Book looks like.

Here's a version of Jane Eyre. The book was published in 1890 and scanned. You can view a page at a time, or as a book like this:
You can zoom in or zoom out. You can word search (right now "Jane Eyre" is being searched and is highlighted). It's also kind of neat because it scans the whole book...cover, illustrations, everything. And every now and again you see something this:
Ha ha. Someone didn't move their hand fast enough. But it's also nice because in old editions you can find some great illustrations. For example, a 1920's version of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland:

Anyway...check out Google Books sometime when you are bored of browsing through the Internet.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

1001 Book Update - The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time

I first heard of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time by Mark Haddon from my husband. He really liked the book and recommended I read it. About a week ago I found a copy our local antique/thrift store in our neighborhood.

I have to say I immensely enjoyed this book. A co-worker today told she enjoyed it as well but that she had to look beyond the hype. I guess this is true. Sometimes it's sad when a book is so hyped up it ruins the experience. Moving on...

The narrator of this story is fifteen-year-old Christopher who happens to have Asperger's which is a form of autism. One of Christopher's teachers thought it would be a good idea if Christopher wrote in a notebook and essentially wrote a "book". So like any good book, Christopher's story starts out with the "murder" of the next door neighbor's dog. As Christopher tries to solve this mystery, truths and lies are uncovered.

What I really liked about this book is that Christopher is essentially a brilliant child. His mind thinks insanely logically and mathematically. Truly, his mind is like a computer. But it sometimes works against him. There is a scene where he is in a new public place and he freaks out. Because his mind and memory stores every tiny detail, it can be overwhelmed in a new location and his body just shuts down. So his story is an amazing account of how he views the world, sees things happen, interprets them, and how it affects the people around him.

Because this is book is a piece of fiction...Christopher is not real...I can see how some people might not like this book. But I don't think the author was trying to imply that EVERY person with Asperger's or autism thinks and acts like Christopher. But it is an interesting concept to look at the world through different eyes. Because while reading Christopher's story, I often thought to myself...well, that makes sense. Perhaps that's not how I think but that makes sense how Christopher came to that conclusion. So I guess that's why I liked it...because it allowed me to see the world differently. And I liked Christopher.

Also reviewed by:

A Book Blog. Period.
Year of the Bookwormz
Books I Done Read
The Hidden Side of a Leaf
Maw Books Blog
The Book Lady's Blog
Today's Adventure
Nothing of Importance

If you visited...

Last weekend some old co-workers/friends from Las Vegas were in town to see a Yankees game and do some sight seeing. They did the typical ferry to the Statue of Liberty, Time Square, Chinatown, etc. Another one of my old friends from college announced that she will be visiting NYC over New Year's Eve this year.

So this all makes me wonder...for those of you who don't live in the area...if you were to visit NYC (or if you have visited) what are the places and sites that you would want to see and experience? Do you want to see all the touristy things or do you want to do what the locals do?

Please let me know and maybe it will be good excuse to grab my camera (and possibly my husband) and be a tourist for a day or two.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Honeymoon Tickets!

Today is the day we finally bought our plane tickets for our honeymoon trip. It's OFFICIAL!!!

And just in case you don't husband and I were married a little over a year ago. And we are taking our much belated honeymoon late this fall. I am soooooo excited.

We decided on going to EGYPT!!!! Red Sea resorts, pyramids, sand, sun, the Nile, Luxor, Cairo...sigh.

I am sure I will babble on more about it the closer the time gets.

There are a few books I've found that I want to read before or while I am on my trip.

Maybe I'll call this my Egyptian Book Challenge:

Death on the Nile - Agatha Christie

Linnet Doyle is young, beautiful, and rich. She's the girl who has everything--including the man her best friend loves. When Linnet and her new husband take a cruise on the Nile, they meet brilliant detective Hercule Poirot. It should be an idyllic trip, yet Poirot feels that something is amiss.

The Hippopotamus Marsh: Lords of the Two Lands: Volume I - Pauline Gedge

Seqenenra Tao, Prince of Weset, leads a revolt against the alien Hyksos pharaohs. His provincial aristocratic family is accustomed to a life of straitened gentility. But when the prince decides to rebel they must risk all, even life itself, to restore Egyptians and their gods to glory. The Hippopotamus Marsh begins a trilogy that brings to vivid life the passions and intrigues that ushered in the great Eighteenth Dynasty.

*Perhaps I'll read the whole trilogy...

The Yacoubian Building: A Novel - Alaa Al Aswany

All manner of flawed and fragile humanity reside in the Yacoubian Building, a once-elegant temple of Art Deco splendor now slowly decaying in the smog and bustle of downtown Cairo: a fading aristocrat and self-proclaimed "scientist of women"; a sultry, voluptuous siren; a devout young student, feeling the irresistible pull toward fundamentalism; a newspaper editor helplessly in love with a policeman; a corrupt and corpulent politician, twisting the Koran to justify his desires.
These disparate lives careen toward an explosive conclusion in Alaa Al Aswany's remarkable international bestseller. Teeming with frank sexuality and heartfelt compassion, this book is an important window on to the experience of loss and love in the Arab world.

The Palace Walk (Cairo Trilogy Book 1) - Naguib Mahfouz

Volume I of the masterful Cairo Trilogy. A national best-seller in both hardcover and paperback, it introduces the engrossing saga of a Muslim family in Cairo during Egypt's occupation by British forces in the early 1900s.

* Again, perhaps I'll read the whole trilogy.

Nefertiti: A Novel - Michelle Moran

Nefertiti and her younger sister, Mutnodjmet, have been raised in a powerful family that has provided wives to the rulers of Egypt for centuries. Ambitious, charismatic, and beautiful, Nefertiti is destined to marry Amunhotep, an unstable young pharaoh. It is hoped that her strong personality will temper the young ruler’s heretical desire to forsake Egypt’s ancient gods.

From the moment of her arrival in Thebes, Nefertiti is beloved by the people but fails to see that powerful priests are plotting against her husband’s rule. The only person brave enough to warn the queen is her younger sister, yet remaining loyal to Nefertiti will force Mutnodjmet into a dangerous political game; one that could cost her everything she holds dear.

The Memoirs of Cleopatra - Margaret George

Bestselling novelist Margaret George brings to life the glittering kingdom of Cleopatra, Queen of the Nile, in this lush, sweeping, and richly detailed saga. Told in Cleopatra's own voice, this is a mesmerizing tale of ambition, passion, and betrayal, which begins when the twenty-year-old queen seeks out the most powerful man in the world, Julius Caesar, and does not end until, having survived the assassination of Caesar and the defeat of the second man she loves, Marc Antony, she plots her own death rather than be paraded in triumph through the streets of Rome.

River God - Wilbur Smith

Set against the backdrop of the Hyksos invasion of Egypt, circa 1780 B.C., Smith's adventurous tale of ancient love, intrigue and avarice was a three-week PW bestseller.

* Suggested by fellow blogger, James Viscosi