Saturday, April 25, 2015

The Reading Radar 4/25/2015 @PiaCCourtenay @janethynne

What grabbed my attention this week, why, and how did I come across it?

Racing to Greet the Sun: Jerrie Mock and Joan Merriam Smith Duel to Become the First Woman to Fly Solo Around the WorldI'd love more info about this one, which I spotted on Amazon while doing my quarterly "woman, pilot" search. Racing to Greet the Sun: Jerrie Mock and Joan Merriam Smith Duel to Become the First Woman to Fly Solo Around the World by Taylor Phillips

Racing to Greet the Sun is the story of the race around the world that the world has forgotten.

In 1964, Jerrie Mock and Joan Merriam Smith found themselves in a duel to become the first "lady pilot" to circumnavigate the globe, alone - a feat which Amelia Earhart was unable to accomplish.
Along the way Jerrie overcame sandstorms, ice on her wings, smoke in her cockpit, and soldiers surrounding her plane when she unintentionally landed on a secret military base. Joan made it through a revolution in Brazil, mechanical failure over the Pacific and a cyclone in Australia. 

By the time the duel was done, both women were able to claim victory. Read the book and find out why.

Is it a biography? Historical fiction?


Spotted on Netgalley and curious about, especially since it hints at the women's right to vote struggle... Paper Daisies by Kim Kelly. (LOOK at this GORGEOUS cover.)

Paper DaisiesAs 1900 draws to a close, Berylda Jones, having completed her university exams for entry to medicine is heading home to Bathurst for Christmas. Tragically, 'home' is where she and her beloved sister Greta live in terror, under the control of their sadistic Uncle Alec.

But this summer Berylda has a plan - borne out of desperation - to free herself and Greta from Alec for good, if she can only find the courage to execute it.

Then, on New Year's Eve, just as Alec tightens his grip over the sisters, a stranger arrives at their gate - Ben Wilberry, a botanist, travelling west in search of a particular native wildflower, with his friend, the artist Cosmo Thompson.

Ben is at first oblivious to what depravity lies beyond this threshold and what follows is a journey that will take him and Berylda, Greta and Cosmo, out to the old gold rush town of Hill End - a tumbledown place with its own dark secrets - in search of a means to cure evil and a solution to what seems an impossible situation.

Against the tumultuous backdrop of Australian Federation and the coming of the Women's Vote, Paper Daisies is a story of what it means to find moral courage, of a crime that must be committed to see justice done and a sweet love that grows against the odds.


Spotted on Edelweiss. I can't get enough of women dressing like boys in history. Li Jun and the Iron Road by Anne Tait.

Li Jun and the Iron RoadAdapted from the award-winning TV miniseries "Iron Road," starring Sam Neill and Peter O'Toole, the story of a woman whose search for herself helped shaped two nations. Set in the 1880s in southern China and the mountains of British Columbia, "Li Jun and the Iron Road" tells the story of a feisty street urchin nicknamed Little Tiger, who works in a fireworks factory and yearns to sail across the ocean to the country she knows as Gold Mountain. Sent by her dying mother to find her father, who had left years earlier, Little Tiger disguises herself as a boy and finds herself working on the railroad in Canada. When her deception leads to a forbidden love with a privileged son of a Canadian railroad tycoon, the results leave two worlds shaken.

And my one of my all-time favorite authors has new book coming out soon! Many of you will be pleased to know Christina Courtenay's third in the Japanese trilogy is releasing soon. I spotted this on her blog. The Jade Lioness

The Jade LionessCan an impossible love become possible?

Nagasaki, 1648

Temperance Marston longs to escape war-torn England and explore the exotic empire of Japan. When offered the chance to accompany her cousin and Captain Noordholt on a trading expedition to Nagasaki, she jumps at the opportunity. However, she soon finds the country’s strict laws for foreigners curtail her freedom.

On a dangerous and foolhardy venture she meets Kazuo, a ronin. Kazuo is fascinated by her blonde hair and blue eyes, but he has a mission to complete and he cannot be distracted. Long ago, his father was accused of a crime he didn’t commit – stealing a valuable jade lioness ornament from the Shogun – and Kazuo must restore his family's honour.

But when Temperance is kidnapped and sold as a concubine, he has to make a decision – can he save her and keep the promise he made to his father?


Spotted on Goodreads Giveaways.. I'm excited to see this because I've wanted to read this author's previous works but they are not available here in the States, not on Kindle. I finally just gave up on reading them. But this one is going to be available here! The Scent of Secrets by Jane Thynne. Note: it's book three, not book one. I asked the author on Goodreads and she said you don't have to read them in order, but be warned. I'm told this one takes place in 1938. Book one is 1933.

The Scent of Secrets: A NovelSet in Europe, in 1938, during the tense run-up to war, and perfect for fans of Jacqueline Winspear, Charles Todd, Robert Harris, and Susan Elia MacNeal, this gripping historical novel features the half-British, half-German actress (and wholly covert spy) Clara Vine, who finds herself enmeshed in a dangerous game of subterfuge.

The colorful, lively streets of Paris come as a welcome relief to Clara Vine after the dour countenance of Berlin, where bunkers and bomb shelters are being dug, soldiers march the streets in their high boots, and Jewish residents rush to make it home before curfew. Though Clara is in Paris to make a film, her true work is never far from her mind. Approached by a British intelligence officer, Clara is initially confounded by his request: Get close to Eva Braun and glean as much as she can about the F├╝hrer’s plans and intentions. Clara has already established friendships with several high-ranking Nazi wives, but Eva Braun is another matter altogether. Hitler keeps his “secret” girlfriend obsessively hidden, fiercely guarding their relationship as well as Eva’s delicate psychological state. From the gilded halls of the decadent City of Light to the cobbled, quaint streets of Munich, and even to the chilling, rarefied air of the Berghof, Hitler’s private mountaintop retreat, Clara flirts with discovery at every turn—and a dangerous, devious plot unfolds.


  1. Thanks for another great preview - there are a couple here I'll be adding to the TBR.

    Racing to Greet the Sun - not sure. I read the sample on Amazon, and it looks like narrative nonfiction (biography) which has some dialogue included.

    I've already bought Paper Daisies on Kindle on the strength of the author's previous novel, The Blue Mile, which also has a gorgeous cover. I'll report back once I get to it :)

    1. I asked about Racing on GR, but it appears the author does no social media at all and thus, I didn't get a reply.

      BM...I am thinking of buying it. The price is reasonable. It just doesn't appeal to me as much. I'll read your review again.

    2. By all means please read Jerrie's own book, called Three-Eight Charlie. In 2014 published a new edition for the 50th anniversary of her flight, which was 1964. An ebook is available on amazon, and a paperback edition is available at Each year I post every day of her trip, so that you can "fly along with her" from March 19 - April 17, on Facebook at Fly38Charlie.