• Lavinia by Ursula Le Guin
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    Lavinia by Ursula Le Guin (Review)

    Lavinia is the only daughter of King Latinus and Queen Amata. The latter, made unstable by the grief of losing two sons, strongly wishes for her to marry her own sister’s boy, King Turnus. But the oracle has prophesised that Lavinia is to marry a foreigner (who ends up being Aeneas, the Trojan prince) soon making his way to their shores, and that their descendants would found a great empire. Thanks to Ursula Le Guin, Lavinia, barely mentioned in Vergil’s Aeneid, can finally tell her story.  “I am not the feminine voice you may have expected. Resentment is not what…

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    Spinning Silver by Naomi Novik (Review)

    The real story isn’t half as pretty as the one you’ve heard.  So begins Spinning Silver. I had heard many good things about Naomi Novik’s Uprooted for me to put it on my to-read list for this year. But as these things go, I came across this more recent release of hers on the Boston Public Library’s Lucky Day shelves and couldn’t resist picking it up. Strong leading ladies, magic, fairy-tale retellings–what more does one want. The start was slow, but I enjoyed the gradual unfolding and introduction to the character of Miryem, supposedly the main protagonist, as she and her…

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    The Little French Bistro by Nina George (Review)

    My experience with this author’s previous book, The Little Paris Bookstore, had been rather patchy. But when I read the synopsis for this, I couldn’t not give it a try, Marianne, an unhappy wife in an oppressive marriage of forty-one years, decides to end it all on a holiday to Paris, only to be saved by a good Samaritan. In the hospital, she comes across a painted tile from Kerdruc, a tiny Breton village in what is routinely known as the end of the world, and feels strangely compelled to go there, even if to end her life in the…

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    The Lady’s Guide to Petticoats and Piracy by Mackenzi Lee (Review)

    The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue was one of my surprise favourite reads last year and I looked forward to being back in that world with those characters. The Lady’s Guide is Felicity Montague’s story. In the previous book, she starts off as Monty’s very prim younger sister who we soon learn has a lot to offer. In this book, she gets a chance to do just that with her very own set of adventures. When the story starts, Felicity is in Edinburgh working at a bakery while she fights the archaic system that doesn’t allow women into medical…

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    Becoming by Michelle Obama (Review)

    “For me, becoming isn’t about arriving somewhere or achieving a certain aim. I see it instead as forward motion, a means of evolving, a way to reach continously toward a better self. The journey doesn’t end.” I have always respected and admired the Obamas, so it’s a no-brainer why I would want to pick up this book! And it didn’t disappoint, though I did have some criticisms of it overall, but more on that later. The book has a three-act structure: Becoming Me (childhood, adolescence, teens, college years), Becoming Us (from the moment she met Barack), and Becoming More (when…

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