Monday, November 1, 2010

Countdown: Italy

Time for this month's Countdown!  What is Countdown?  It's a feature I have started in which I pick a topic, genre, country, or subject and list five books that I have read related to that topic or subject.  There is a 5 star read (loved it!), a four star read (liked it), a three star read (it was okay but had some issues and I'm not recommending it to 5000 people), a two star read (had a LOT of issues, I struggled with it), and the dreaded one star read (I hated it). 

This month is a country.  Five books in which the story takes place in Italy.

Five star read:          
The Barefoot Girl: A Novel of St. Margaret, Patroness of the AbusedThe Barefoot Girl: A Novel of St. Margaret, Patroness of the Abused by Catherine Monroe.  First published in 2006.  It takes place in 1340 Italy.  It's about a young girl from a poor home who is married to a myserious wealthy man who abuses her.  She makes most of her situation and helps the poor.  I loved the way this book "gets to the point" and never got bogged down with irrelevant details and descriptions.

Four star read:
The Blind Contessa's New MachineThe Blind Contessa's New Machine by Carey Wallace.  First published in 2010.  It's a historical novel about a young woman going blind and the man madly in love with her who creates the typewriter for her.  The story was "told" rather than "shown" and that prevented it from being a 5 star read, but it was interesting.

Three star read:
A Golden WebA Golden Web by Barbara Quick.  Published in 2010.  A young adult historical novel about a young girl who wants to attend college so badly, she runs away from home and dresses as a boy to do so.  Based on the real life Alessandra Giliani, the first female anatomist.  A decent read, but the action started too late in the story and some of the characters were very annoying.

Two star read:
JulietJuliet by Anne Fortier.  Published in 2010.  Overhyped.  A woman obtains a strange inheritance from her aunt and goes on a treasure hunt in Italy and discovers she is related to Shakespeare's Juliet.  Goes back and forth from Romeo and Juliet times to modern times in which the heroine is constantly being chased by shady characters and running away.  Couldn't stand the weak modern day heroine or the constant confessions of love between Romeo and Juliet.

One star read:
The Secret of the GlassThe Secret of the Glass by Donna Russo Morin.  Published in 2010.  Court intrigue, women searching for husbands, Italian aristocracy, and glass making.  Loved the glass making, hated the overuse of adjectives and abundance of descriptive details.  Also got sick of all the "mama's" and the "papa's." All the women sounded like little girls.  Gorgeous cover though.


  1. I've got The Blind Contessa on my TBR shelf and The Barefoot Girl looks really good. I love your new blog look! Who designed it?

  2. Thanks! Look to the right hand side of the screen, you will see a square that says Parajunkee Design. If you click on that, it will take you the awesome chick that designed my header. :)