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Old 04-05-2012, 04:34 AM   #12828
dreams
It's about the umbrella
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Trying to be be good and catch up. So, I've been on an Egypt thing lately.
Bug Eyes and the Sacred Scrolls by Mark Forte - a YA cute/interesting mystery quest. Probably not high on a reread list, but I enjoyed it.
Spoiler:
Sir Frederick wants to mind his own business. His sister Gertie wants to mind everyone else’s, plunging them both into a bubbling stew of archaeologists, imposters and hoodlums, each plotting to take control of the Animal Kingdom. A frog could get hurt.

According to legend, all creatures once lived in harmony until some 7500 years ago when the human Pharaoh destroyed the ruling Council of Animal Elders. Legions of civilized Animals retreated into a world apart from humans, hoping someday to regain power - a hope all but buried by the sands of time.

In Egypt of 1939, the discovery of a papyrus kicks up that sand, creating an uproar that Sir Frederick would prefer to ignore. Gertie, however, an aspiring newspaper reporter, is not about to let this story get away.

All too familiar with her talent for trouble, Sir Frederick follows her propelling them both into an adventure whose final solution reveals an ancient treachery that has affected the lives of all living things forever after.

Imagine The Wind in the Willows co-authored by P. G. Wodehouse and Terry Pratchett, and you will have Bug Eyes and the Sacred Scrolls.

The God's Wife by Lynn Voedisch - I thought I figured out where the ending was going, but as it was happening, I began to rethink, then start to wonder if it could possibly be what I was beginning to think it looked like. I was surprised by the ending.
Spoiler:
The women of ancient Egypt were the freest of any civilization on earth, until the modern era. In several dynasties of ancient Egypt the God’s Wives of Amun stood tall, priestesses of wealth and power, who represented the pinnacle of female power in the Egyptian state. Many called The God’s Wife of Amun second only to the Pharaoh in dominance.

THE GOD’S WIFE follows the adventures of a 16-year-old girl, Neferet, who is thrust into the role of The Gods Wife of Amun without proper training. Surrounded by political intrigue and ensnared by sexual stalking, Neferet navigates the temple, doing her duties, while keeping her family name pristine and not ending up like her predecessor—dead.

Meanwhile, a modern-day Chicago dancer, Rebecca, is rehearsing for a role in an ancient Egyptian production and finds herself blacking out and experiencing realistic dreams about life in Egypt. It’s as if she’s coming in contact with Neferet’s world. Are the two parallel worlds on a collision course? They seem to be, for Neferet has just used an old spell to bring protection to her world, and Rebecca meets a mysterious Egyptian man who says he’ll whisk her away to Alexandria.

Magic and realism mix for a powerful ending in THE GOD’S WIFE.

Servant of the Gods by Valerie Douglas - I really enjoyed this story of ancient Egypt, the gods, and Irisi. The blurb doesn't do the story justice. Great entertainment.
Spoiler:
Orphaned as a child, Irisi became a mercenary to survive. Captured by the Egyptian army and made the spoils of war, she finds herself drawn to their commander. Though the attraction is mutual even he can't save her from enslavement and she's forced to fight in the ring for entertainment. In a desperate attempt to regain her freedom she throws herself on the mercy of the Gods, only to discover that her fate is written in prophecy...

Heart of the Gods by Valerie Douglas - The sequel and not as good as the first. The beginning takes too much time retelling the base story to catch up and the overall feel of the story is not the same. I think a good editor could have removed large chunks of the book and it would have been a much better story. I did like that I had questions about the characters from book one answered.
Spoiler:
Tales of the fabled Tomb of the Djinn and its Guardian have fascinated archaeologist Ky Farrar since a visit to the Egyptian Museum in Cairo when he was a boy. The story of the star-crossed lovers and their battle to save ancient Egypt from the Djinn made him choose his career. He believes he’s finally found it - only to discover the Tomb's Guardian is all too real. And she's as lovely as she is lethal.
Ky, however, isn't the only one searching. It's a race to reach the Tomb before the others accidentally unleash what lies within it in their effort to claim the ancient artifacts which lie within - the legendary Horn of the Djinn and the Heart of the Gods.

Napoleon's Pyramids by William Dietrich - another mystery adventure quest story and the second one of these that I am really enjoying. The story of Napoleon's campaign in Egypt along with the quest for what the medallion represents makes the story more believable. I'm 78% of the way through and hope the ending is just as good.
Spoiler:
From Publishers Weekly
Starred Review. At the start of Dietrich's superb historical thriller, his swashbuckling hero, American Ethan Gage, who's living in Paris during the waning days of the French Revolution and was once apprenticed to Benjamin Franklin, wins a curious Egyptian medallion in a card game. Soon after, he's set upon by thieves, chased by the police, attacked by bandits, befriended by Gypsies, saved by a British spy and then packed off to join Napoleon's army as it embarks on its ill-fated Egyptian campaign. There the story really heats up. Once in Egypt, Gage finds himself beset by evildoers bent on stealing the mysterious medallion. As in previous novels like Hadrian's Wall and Scourge of God, Dietrich combines a likable hero surrounded by a cast of fascinating historical characters. Riveting battle scenes, scantily clad women, mathematical puzzles, mysteries of the pharaohs, reckless heroism, hairsbreadth escapes and undaunted courage add up to unbeatable adventure rivaling the exploits of George Macdonald Fraser's Harry Flashman. Readers will cheer as the indomitable Gage floats off in a runaway hot-air balloon, hard on the trail of his next exotic undertaking. Author tour. (Feb.)
Copyright Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

I, also, was into the other side of the story of Mary Lincoln.
Mary Lincoln's Insanity: The Discovery of Her Lost Letters by Jason Emerson - mostly information, but not enough to really explain much of anything other than learning about aspects surrounding her commitment and later travels.
Spoiler:
Her son had her committed. He said it was for her health and protection. She said it was so he could get his hands on her money. Now, nearly 140 years after this bitter and controversial drama and with the discovery of her lost letters, Lincoln historian Jason Emerson sheds new light on the madness of Mary Todd Lincoln.

The Addiction of Mary Todd Lincoln by Anne Beidler - This felt and read more like a study with lots of information and commentary about her life. Mostly looking to show she was probably an addict and showing that era's culture of acceptance of taking all the new wonder drugs that were highly addictive and extremely available. The later part of the book read more like a study of addiction, her life, and her behavior that would match that of an addict. It was interesting to read of what she did and where she went in the years after Lincoln's death. I must admit that it does seem possible she was addicted.
Spoiler:
Mary Todd Lincoln, wife of the president we have immortalized, has *always been difficult for us to understand. She could appear poised and *brilliant one moment, yet rude and ugly the next. Sometimes competent and strong, able to entertain dignitaries from around the world, at other times she *appeared dependent and weak. At times she seemed utterly beside *herself with sobbing and screaming.
Historians have mostly avoided saying very much about Mary Todd *Lincoln except in reference to her husband, Abraham. To many it would seem that Mary Todd Lincoln is still an embarrassment in the tragic story of her martyred husband. But Mary Todd Lincoln lived her own tragic story even before Abraham was murdered. She was an addict, addicted to the opiates she needed for her migraine headaches.

Seeing Mary Todd Lincoln as an addict helps us understand her and give her the compassion and admiration she deserves. In her time there had been no courageous First Lady like Betty Ford to help people *understand the power of addiction. There was no treatment center. In Mary Todd Lincoln’s time there were many addicts at all levels of society, as there are now, but it was a more socially acceptable condition for men to have than for women. More importantly, addiction was not very well understood, and it was often mistreated.

Because Mary Todd Lincoln’s only surviving son, Robert Lincoln, made a great effort to protect his mother and his family from journalists and *historians, he intentionally destroyed most of Mary Todd Lincoln’s medical records and many of her letters. What he could not destroy, however, is the record of Mary Todd Lincoln’s pain and the record of how she behaved while living with this pain.

In The Addiction of Mary Todd Lincoln, we can see clearly, for the first time, what Mary Todd Lincoln had to live with and the courage it took for her to carry on.

Last edited by dreams; 04-05-2012 at 05:23 AM.
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