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Friday, August 30, 2013

James K. Polk–by They Might Be Giants

As I have mentioned a couple times before, sometimes my fiancé's music choices actually have some relevance to my blogging – and those are the moments I want to share with you!  Songs from They Might Be Giants have been featured here before and this time we are looking at a song about President James K. Polk.

The only things that my fiancé knows about this president come from this song, and I can actually approve of the historical facts presented here.  The lyrics actually summarize Polk’s presidential experience quite well.  Have a listen and then we will commence discussion.

In 1844, the Democrats were split
The three nominees for the presidential candidate
Were Martin Van Buren, a former president and an abolitionist
James Buchanan, a moderate
Louis Cass, a general and expansionist
From Nashville came a dark horse riding up
He was James K. Polk, Napoleon of the Stump

Austere, severe, he held few people dear
His oratory filled his foes with fear
The factions soon agreed
He's just the man we need
To bring about victory
Fulfill our manifest destiny
And annex the land the Mexicans command
And when the votes were cast the winner was
Mister James K. Polk, Napoleon of the Stump

In four short years he met his every goal
He seized the whole southwest from Mexico
Made sure the tarriffs fell
And made the English sell the Oregon territory
He built an independent treasury
Having done all this he sought no second term
But precious few have mourned the passing of
Mister James K. Polk, our eleventh president
Young Hickory, Napoleon of the Stump

The only thing that is slightly off is the reference to Polk being a “dark horse”.  While he certainly wasn’t running for President at that time, he had Presidential aspirations and wasn’t a political unknown.  They successfully refer to: Polk’s 4 goals/successes, his nicknames, and the election of 1844. 

So what do you think?


Copyright © 2013 by The Maiden’s Court

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Ranking Polk

james k polk

Ranking the Presidents of the United States can be a very complex endeavor – however the Siena Research Institute does it every few years or so. Their most recent results came out in 2010. They typically survey a large number of historians and politicos and ask them to rate the presidents on 20 different categories on a scale of 1 to 5. They then weigh these categories to come up with the overall result and compare.

I’m sure that many of you don’t know too much about James K. Polk and I believe that is the same for the vast majority of the population. However, I have a feeling that he might actually rank toward the high end in many of the categories. Let’s see!

Background (family, education, experience): 17th
Party Leadership: 9th
Communication Ability (speaking, writing): 13th
Relationship with Congress: 12th
Court Appointments: 21st
Handling of US Economy: 15th
Luck: 7th
Ability to Compromise: 23rd
Willing to Take Risks: 7th
Executive Appointments: 16th
Overall Ability: 17th
Imagination: 14th
Domestic Accomplishments: 11th
Integrity: 24th
Executive Ability: 9th
Foreign Policy Accomplishments: 8th
Leadership Ability: 10th
Intelligence: 20th
Avoid Crucial Mistakes: 9th
Your Present Overall View: 11th

Overall Ranking: 12th

I am relatively happy with these rankings for President Polk. Would you be surprised to know that pretty much since they started ranking presidents in the mid 1900’s Polk has always been in the top 12? I find this interesting especially because he is one of those who are frequently overlooked. He is often overshadowed because he is sandwiched between the looming Civil War Presidents and the prior big name Presidents. Many people don’t even know very much at all about the Mexican-American War. I like this quote from The Daily Beast, “Polk is easily our least-known consequential president”.

I think he ranks relatively highly in Domestic Accomplishments and Foreign Policy Accomplishments because he accomplished the things he set out to do upon his election. He expanded the United States to the Pacific Ocean through a war with Mexico (and subsequent treaties/deals), reduced the tariff (economics), and re-established the treasury (economics/domestics). His ability to compromise is rather low because, well, he didn’t compromise well. He stood by what he believed and didn’t budge much. I think his ranking for luck is based on his becoming president when he was really running as someone’s vice president at that point (he had aspirations for the presidency, but didn’t expect to get it yet).

Polk is one of my favorite presidents, probably ranked 2nd or 3rd for me. Do you know anything about Polk? If so, where would you place him?

Data obtained from the 2010 Siena Research Institute's 5th Presidential Expert Poll. 2010.

“The Overlooked President”, Newsweek’s The Daily Beast, Nov. 12, 2009, http://www.thedailybeast.com/newsweek/2009/11/12/the-overlooked-president.html.


Copyright © 2013 by The Maiden’s Court

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Book Review: Polk: The Man Who Transformed the Presidency and America by Walter Borneman


Polk: The Man Who Transformed the Presidency and America
by Walter R. Borneman
Unabridged, 13 hr. 13 min.
Recorded Books
Alan Nebelthau (Narrator)
April 8, 2008

Genre: Non-Fiction, Biography

Source: Borrowed audiobook from my library

“In Polk, Walter R. Borneman gives us the first complete and authoritative biography of a president often overshadowed in image but seldom outdone in accomplishment. James K. Polk occupied the White House for only four years, from 1845 to 1849, but he plotted and attained a formidable agenda: He fought for and won tariff reductions, reestablished an independent Treasury, and, most notably, brought Texas into the Union, bluffed Great Britain out of the lion’s share of Oregon, and wrested California and much of the Southwest from Mexico. On reflection, these successes seem even more impressive, given the contentious political environment of the time.

In this unprecedented, long-overdue warts-and-all look at Polk’s life and career, we have a portrait of an expansionist president and decisive statesman who redefined the country he led, and we are reminded anew of the true meaning of presidential accomplishment and resolve.”

I must confess that Polk was not someone that I remember learning about in school, but he came to my attention rather recently when doing some research on various First Ladies, and in particular, Sarah Polk. There is also a song my fiancé likes to sing about Polk which keeps him in my mind too, but more on that later this week. So as I endeavored to read about all the presidents, and I was organizing who I wanted to read about, I put Polk toward the top of my list.

I can’t even begin to explain how much this book taught me – not only about Polk himself and his method of politics, but the mindset of the time and his contemporaries. At times this felt beneficial and other times completely overwhelming. The author spends ample time on the political atmosphere surrounding all the presidents from John Quincy Adams up through Polk, giving the reader a solid understanding of just what Polk was walking into as President. The author also had a good source of insight into the President as Polk kept a diary of the days in office. Central to understanding many of Polk’s decisions is understanding the politics of Andrew Jackson, Polk’s political mentor. I do somewhat think that the author needed to bulk up the narrative a little bit seeing as Polk dies within 6 months of leaving office; there was less physical time that needed to be told about his life.

Whether I agree with Polk’s political philosophy or not (which isn’t the issue here), I admit that I admire the man for the fact that he campaigned on a platform, succeeded on making those 4 platform issues happen during his presidential term, and then decided not to run again because he did everything he felt his duty called him for. That is something the majority of the other presidents cannot say.

With regard to time spent on the First Lady, I have to give some kudos to the author. From what I know there is only one, very short, biography on Sarah Polk, so he didn’t have much to work with here – but he covered what I consider to be all of the important points and paints her as important to the President.



I thought that the narrator did a commendable job with this book. The most important thing in my opinion about narrating a non-fiction is to not let it feel boring with all of the facts. Nebelthau keep it interesting and has a great speaking voice.

Author Walter Borneman also has written several other books including: The Admirals: Nimitz, Halsey, Leahy, and King—the Five-Star Admirals Who Won the War at Sea, 1812: The War That Forged a Nation, The French and Indian War: Deciding the Fate of North America, Alaska: Saga of a Bold Land, and Rival Rails: The Race to Build America's Greatest Transcontinental Railroad. You can visit the author’s website for additional information about the book.

You can also watch a discussion with the author about this book – it was a feature on Book TV in 2008 (it wasn’t embeddable so you will have to go to the Book TV link).

Reviews of this book by other bloggers:

Here are some choices for purchasing the book: Amazon, B&N, RJ Julia (my fav indie bookstore).


Copyright © 2013 by The Maiden’s Court

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

New Book Alert: New Stars for Old by Marc Read

new stars for old

New Stars for Old: Stories from the History of Astronomy
by Marc Read
Ebook/Hardcover, 272 pages
Candy Jar Books
ISBN: 0957154860
July 9, 2013

Book Blurb:

“New Stars for Old is a collection of twenty short stories, each dealing with a specific character or episode from the history of astronomy. Accompanied by historical notes, the book covers the changing relationships between science, astrology, religion and general intellectual culture from Aristotle to Newton through the eyes of central and peripheral figures.”

Here are some choices for purchasing the book: Amazon – I didn’t see this anywhere else yet.


Copyright © 2013 by The Maiden’s Court

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

New Book Alert: Seamstress of Jamestown

seamstress of jamestown

The Seamstress of Jamestown
by Barbara Hettwer
Paperback, 276 pages
WinePress Publishing
ISBN: 1414124562
August 12, 2013

Book Blurb:

“From an extremely young age, Emma Randall has been fascinated by stories of the Wild West and the California Gold Rush. The daughter of an aristocratic family in mid-nineteenth century Baltimore, Emma feels disconnected with the social life of Baltimore society and without direction ... until she makes the radical decision to go West on her own, leaving everything and everyone she knows behind. Emma secretly convinces her family's servants to teach her to cook, take care of livestock, and perform other skills she deems necessary for life in the unpredictable West. At the young age of twenty-one, when she can no longer stand the frivolous focus of Baltimore society, Emma boards a train to the great unknown adventure awaiting her in the California West.”

You can read an excerpt of the book on the author’s website.  This book is a Christian Historical novel.

Here are some choices for purchasing the book: Amazon and B&N.


Copyright © 2013 by The Maiden’s Court

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Book Review: The Serpent and the Pearl by Kate Quinn


The Serpent and the Pearl by Kate Quinn
Book 1 of A Novel of the Borgia series

Paperback, 432 pages
Berkley Trade
August 6, 2013

Genre: Historical fiction

Source: Received from publisher for review

Rome, 1492. The Holy City is drenched with blood and teeming with secrets. A pope lies dying and the throne of God is left vacant, a prize awarded only to the most virtuous--or the most ruthless. The Borgia family begins its legendary rise, chronicled by an innocent girl who finds herself drawn into their dangerous web...

Vivacious Giulia Farnese has floor-length golden hair and the world at her feet: beauty, wealth, and a handsome young husband. But she is stunned to discover that her glittering marriage is a sham, and she is to be given as a concubine to the ruthless, charismatic Cardinal Borgia: Spaniard, sensualist, candidate for Pope--and passionately in love with her.

Two trusted companions will follow her into the Pope's shadowy harem: Leonello, a cynical bodyguard bent on bloody revenge against a mysterious killer, and Carmelina, a fiery cook with a past full of secrets. But as corruption thickens in the Vatican and the enemies begin to circle, Giulia and her friends will need all their wits to survive in the world of the Borgias.

The thing that stands out the most to me when thinking back on my experience with this book is all of the mouthwatering foods that Quinn describes. Even if I just finished dinner, this book made me hungry all over again. I am compelled to look up Renaissance recipes now to try them out.

This was another hit for Kate Quinn – her first step outside the Ancient Romans, but still within the comfort zone of Italy. Her witty style of writing shines through here as I expected; what I didn’t expect was to enjoy the Borgia clan quite so much. When hearing about the Borgia’s we always hear of the poisons, incest allegations, and general debauchery. While we still get a little bit of the debauchery in terms of the Pope’s mistress, the Borgias were relatively real here – and rather mild. I actually liked them!

I was glad that the narrators of this novel were not actually Borgias. The closest we get is Gulia, the Pope’s mistress. We certainly see and hear from Borgia family members, Roderigo, Cesare, Lucrezia and more, but also enjoyed the non-Borgia characters. I loved Leonello, a sort of body-guard for the Borgia ladies. He was so funny and I couldn’t help but picture Peter Dinklage while reading his chapters. Gulia was great – I loved seeing how she dealt with the various hands dealt to her. I started out disliking Roderigo Borgia, but he grew on me as the book wore on.

The book leaves off on a great cliff-hanger and you can’t help but wanting to know what happens next. I have a feeling that the main characters are all going to come out of this a little different than they went into it. I can’t wait for the next book in this duo!

Author Kate Quinn also has written 3 books set in Ancient Rome: Mistress of Rome, Daughters of Rome, and Empress of the Seven Hills. The second book in the Borgia series is expected for release in 2014. You can visit Quinn’s website or blog for additional information about the book. If you would like to preview the story before reading it, why not try out this excerpt of the book?

My reviews of other books by this author:

Reviews of this book by other bloggers:

Here are some choices for purchasing the book: Amazon, B&N, RJ Julia (my fav indie bookstore).


Copyright © 2013 by The Maiden’s Court

Monday, August 19, 2013

Mailbox Monday #150


It’s Monday – what did you get in your mailbox this week?  It has been generally quiet around here in terms of my mailbox – with regards to ANY mail at all!  I received one book this week – and it actually arrived on the day that I was home which was nice. 


The only book I received this week was Jane Austen’s England by Roy and Lesley Adkins.  I have a small pile starting of non-fiction books about the life of the everyday person in “so-and-so’s England”.  I’m sort of excited to read this one since I don’t know a lot about this period of English history (received from publisher for review).

Mailbox Monday is on a monthly blog tour and for the month of August it is being hosted by The Reading Fever.


Copyright © 2013 by The Maiden’s Court

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Book Review: The Little Bride by Anna Solomon

the little bride

The Little Bride by Anna Solomon
Paperback, 320 pages
Riverhead Trade
September 6, 2011

Genre: Historical Fiction

Source: Received from author for review

When 16-year-old Minna Losk journeys from Odessa to America as a mail-order bride, she dreams of a young, wealthy husband, a handsome townhouse, and freedom from physical labor and pogroms. But her husband Max turns out to be twice her age, rigidly Orthodox, and living in a one-room sod hut in South Dakota with his two teenage sons. The country is desolate, the work treacherous. Most troubling, Minna finds herself increasingly attracted to her older stepson. As a brutal winter closes in, the family's limits are tested, and Minna, drawing on strengths she barely knows she has, is forced to confront her despair, as well as her desire.

I was really interested in this book because of two things: the concept of mail-order brides and the theme of settling the West. The book did pull through on both of these promises; however I found I was very disconnected with the book. Let me explain.

First, what I liked. The early portion of the novel, when Minna, is still in Odessa, was probably the most interesting to me. I didn’t know anything about the real concept of mail-order brides – you only typically hear people speaking jokingly about them. In this novel, Minna, is trying to escape from the familial and societal hard times she is facing and makes the choice that trying to get to America is what she needs to do. We experience what it was like to go through the physical examination to determine if Minna meets the needs to the man looking to marry her. Here, you feel her fear of answering “incorrectly” and being excluded from being chosen. You also are privy to her hopes and fears regarding a better life. I even enjoyed the packed-in-a-sardine-can boat trip to America. The Western experience was also very enlightening. To see just how hard it was to cut you way into a small parcel of semi-successful land was so inspiring.

I did however have some issues with the book – mostly because it was slow moving. There were many times where it felt like it was just dragging on and the story wasn’t moving forward. It was more of a character driven novel rather than an events driven novel. It is building the Western American immigrant experience – particularly focusing on the Jewish immigrant experience. I realized that I would have NEVER survived out there. By the end of the novel – I found that I didn’t really like Minna. She seemed like a complainer and I didn’t like the choices she made toward the end of the book. Overall, it was something I learned from, but maybe wouldn’t choose to read again.

This is author Anna Solomon’s debut novel. You can visit her website or blog for additional information about the book. The website provides really nice add on information about The Little Bride – you can explore the different aspects of Minna’s trip or check out the reader’s guide.

You can also watch the book trailer below.

Reviews of this book by other bloggers:

Here are some choices for purchasing the book: Amazon, B&N, RJ Julia (my fav indie bookstore).


Copyright © 2013 by The Maiden’s Court

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

New Book Alert: A Barren Landscape by Geraldine Smith Priest

a barren landscape

A Barren Landscape: In Search of an American Culture 1811-1861: A Memoir of Eliza Rupp
by Geraldine Smith Priest
Paperback, 180 pages
JoSara MeDia
ISBN: 0984304924
December 1, 2011

Book Blurb:

America in the early 1800s was a cultural blank canvas, a barren landscape awaiting texture in the form of learning, literature and the arts.Geraldine Priest creates this fictional historical memoir of Eliza Rupp, the embodiment of the many Americans striving to fill that void. The story of Eliza's family and her study of piano are interwoven with those of the leading literati, artists and educators of the day. Like so many of them, she journeys to Europe to further her studies and make her own cultural contribution to America's Barren Landscape.

Ok, so maybe it’s not that new…but it was a cute idea that I wanted to point out to you all.  This is a fictional historical memoir. 

Here are some choices for purchasing the book: Amazon, B&N, RJ Julia (my fav indie bookstore).


Copyright © 2013 by The Maiden’s Court

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Essex Steam Train and Passengers from the Past

I just HAD to tell you about this awesome semi-local historical fun event that I encourage you and your families to attend if you have the chance.

I have always loved visiting the Essex Steam Train for their Halloween and Santa/Christmas lights train rides, but for the month of August this year they are offering something new…Passengers from the Past!  Passengers from the Past introduces the young and old to several famous historical personages: Mary and Abraham Lincoln, Mark Twain, and William and Helen Gillette. 

Twain and Gillette were famous people from Connecticut.  Gillette has hometown appeal for me because his famous castle was located just across the river from our town and was a favorite place to visit. 

Here are the descriptions from the website for each event:

The Lincolns: August 8 – August 11 (unfortunately already passed)

The president who led the United States through the Civil War will be visiting the Essex Steam Train & Riverboat along with his wife, Mary Todd Lincoln, for four days in August. Played by Lewis Dubé, the nationally renowned "President Lincoln" has performed throughout the country for audiences including modern day presidents. President and First Lady Lincoln will charm visitors with their sweet sense of humor, historical accuracy and famous words of wisdom.

The Gillettes: August 17 – August 18

William Gillette, the American actor and playwright famous for his portrayal of Sherlock Holmes, will be joined by his wife Helen during his weekend visit to the Essex Steam Train & Riverboat. Mr. and Mrs. Gillette are best recognized in the Connecticut River Valley for their expansive home in Hadlyme, known as Gillette Castle. As they join passengers aboard the train and riverboat, Helen will share her fabulous style tips and William will show everyone where his castle sits as the Becky Thatcher riverboat passes by his hilltop estate.

Mark Twain: August 24 – August 25

Mark Twain, one of Connecticut's most famous residents, will visit the Essex Steam Train & Riverboat to do what he does best - entertain crowds with storytelling and humor. Often called "the father of American literature," Mark Twain is best known for his novels The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. He is also a celebrity humorist and will be sure to share many, many stories with fellow passengers. Always with a smile, always with whit, Mr. Twain plans to make the "Passengers from the Past" experience fun and exciting. A tip for your ride aboard the Becky Thatcher riverboat: be sure to ask Mr. Twain about the Tom Sawyer character the riverboat is named after.

If any of you get the chance to go – please come back here and tell us about it.  I don’t think I will be able to go, but I would love to.


Copyright © 2013 by The Maiden’s Court

Monday, August 12, 2013

Mailbox Monday #149


Good morning everyone! Hope you had a nice weekend – it was SOOO beautiful here.  But now we have to get back into the swing of the week – so what better way to kick off the week than with a review of the books we received in the past week!

Banquet of Lies

  • Banquet of Lies by Michelle Diener – I haven’t read any of Diener’s books yet, but I have two coming up for review (received via Netgalley for HFVBT tour). Here is the blurb:

“LONDON, 1812: Giselle Barrington is living a double life, juggling the duties of chef with those of spy catcher. She must identify her father’s savage killer before the shadowy man finds her and uncovers the explosive political document her father entrusted to her safekeeping.
Posing as a French cook in the home of Lord Aldridge, Giselle is surrounded by unlikely allies and vicious enemies. In the streets where she once walked freely among polite society, she now hides in plain sight, learning the hard lessons of class distinction and negotiating the delicate balance between servant and master.

Lord Aldridge’s insatiable curiosity about his mysterious new chef blurs the line between civic duty and outright desire. Carefully watching Giselle’s every move, he undertakes a mission to figure out who she really is—and, in the process, plunges her straight into the heart of danger when her only hope for survival is to remain invisible.”

What did you get this week?

Mailbox Monday is on a monthly blog tour and for the month of August it is being hosted by The Reading Fever.


Copyright © 2013 by The Maiden’s Court

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Weekend Cooking: Chicken Fricassee, White

Weekend Cooking

Two Septembers ago I entered and came in third in an apple pie contest at Old Sturbridge Village (the next year I won the contest!) – and as part of my prize I received a copy of the Old Sturbridge Village Cookbook. Although I had it for almost 2 years, I still hadn’t made anything from this book, so this week I decided to change that.

This book is a different sort of historical cookbook. Each recipe typically has 3 separate recipes: the original recipe from the 1800’s from The American Frugal Housewife, a modern cooking method, and also a hearthside method. The recipes from Frugal Housewife are the types of recipes that are prepared at Old Sturbridge Village.

osv cookbook

Chicken Fricassee, White
Makes 4 servings

3 lb whole chicken, or parts (I just used chicken breasts)
Large onion (optional)
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons flour
1 ½ cups hot water or broth (I used chicken broth)
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon pepper
½ teaspoon mace
1 tablespoon sage or marjoram
2 egg yolks
¼ cup cream (I used light cream)
¼ teaspoon nutmeg
Juice of ½ a lemon

Original Directions: (from The American Frugal Housewife, 1832)

“The chickens are cut to pieces, and covered with warm water, to draw out the blood. Then put into a stew-pan, with three quarters of a pint of water, or veal broth, salt, pepper, flour, butter, mace, sweet herbs pounded and sifted; boil in half an hour. If it is too fat, skim it a little. Just before it is done, mix the yolk of two eggs with a gill of cream, grate in a little nutmeg, stir it up till it is thick and smooth, squeeze in half a lemon. If you like onions, stew some slices with the other ingredients.”

Modern Directions:
1) Cut chicken into small pieces (soak in warm water only if freshly killed). If desired, cut onion into thin slices.

2) In a large skillet or flame-proof casserole, melt butter and add flour to make a paste. Stir in hot water or broth, and continue stirring until it thickens. Add chicken, onion if desired, salt, pepper, mace, and sage or marjoram. Cook for 30-45 minutes in all. Before serving, skim fat if necessary.

3) Just before serving, beat egg yolks, and add cream and nutmeg. Pour slowly into chicken and sauce. Squeeze lemon over all and heat through, but do not boil.


I can’t even tell you how good this dish was. We had it over white rice, but it would also have been very good over a small pasta, like orzo. The spice combination was very different than what I usually have on chicken. My fiancé was the one who made this dish and he said it was very easy to prepare – the most difficult part was making the rue, which isn’t terribly difficult. It was nice to have something that tasted like it was harder to make on a week night.

I thought the part from the traditional recipe about covering the chicken in warm water to draw out the blood was an interesting touch!

Weekend Cooking is hosted by Beth Fish Reads. Any post remotely related to cooking can participate.


Copyright © 2013 by The Maiden’s Court

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Book Review: A Break with Charity by Ann Rinaldi


A Break with Charity by Ann Rinaldi
Great Episodes Series

Unabridged, 7 hr. 13 min.
Laura Hicks (Narrator)
May 1, 2013

Genre: Historical Fiction, YA

Source: Received download from the publisher as part of Audiobook Jukebox Solid Gold Reviewer Program

“Susanna desperately wants to join the circle of girls who meet every week at the parsonage. What she doesn't realize is that the girls are about to set off a torrent of false accusations leading to the imprisonment and execution of countless innocent people. Susanna faces a painful choice. Should she keep quiet and let the witch-hunt panic continue, or should she "break charity" with the group--and risk having her own family members named as witches?”

This was my second go-around with this book – the first time I read it I was in my early teens – and I remembered loving the book, but didn’t remember much about the book other than that.

As a part of her Great Episodes series, this book deals with a segment of history that was very important – in this case, the Salem witch trials.

Rinaldi chooses a protagonist who is sort of situated just outside the circle of drama. Susanna isn’t one of the girls who call out witches, she isn’t one of those who is called out, however this drama does envelop her. It was nice to see someone who wasn’t one of the “afflicted girls” for once. It gives a different side to the story – a outsiders perspective.

Unlike many YA HF novels, there isn’t a love story/triangle here. The history isn’t just used as a background event, it really digs in, but still keeps it engaging and interesting for the younger set. One of the author’s strengths is keeping the story appropriate for a young audience, but still readable/enjoyable for the adult set.

I certainly want to read more of Rinaldi’s books, and I’m hoping that more of them continue to be released on audio.



The narrator on this audio production did a great job at portraying the characters differently and making them distinct personas. For once, the narration didn’t sound ridiculous when she would voice male characters. I would listen to her narrating another novel.

Author Ann Rinaldi also has written many, many other YA historical fiction novels. You can find a complete listing of her novels on Rinaldi’s website.

My reviews of other books by this author:

Reviews of this book by other bloggers:

Here are some choices for purchasing the book: Amazon, B&N, RJ Julia (my fav indie bookstore).


Copyright © 2013 by The Maiden’s Court

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

The Fitzgeralds in Print

Last week I spent time discussing the Fitzgeralds, Zelda and Scott, but I wanted to get a quick understanding of the books both by them and about them. So I’m sharing my findings with you for your reading pleasure – and please feel free to tell me if there are any you love or know of that I missed! I’m focusing mostly on books and collections, and not individual stories or the list would be exceptionally long since they both wrote from publications.

Books by F. Scott Fitzgerald


  • This Side of Paradise
  • The Beautiful and Damned
  • The Great Gatsby
  • Tender is the Night
  • The Love of the Last Tycoon (aka: The Last Tycoon)

Short Stories and Collections

  • Flappers and Philosophers
  • Tales of the Jazz Age
  • All the Sad Young Men
  • Taps at Reveille
  • Afternoon of an Author
  • Babylon Revisited and Other Stories
  • The Pat Hobby Stories
  • The Basil and Josephine Stories
  • The Short Stories of F. Scott Fitzgerald

Books by Zelda Fitzgerald

  • Save Me the Waltz

Books about Zelda and Scott Fitzgerald


  • Z by Therese Anne Fowler
  • Call Me Zelda by Erika Robuck
  • Beautiful Fools: The Last Affair of Zelda and Scott Fitzgerald by R. Clifton Spargo
  • Zelda: A Biography by Nancy Milford
  • Clothes for a Summer Hotel by Tennessee Williams
  • Alabama Song by Gilles Leroy


  • The Far Side of Paradise by Arthur Mizener
  • Beloved Infidel by Sheilah Graham (memoir by Scott’s mistress)
  • The Perfect Hour: The Romance of F. Scott Fitzgerald and Ginevra King by James L.W. West
  • Fool For Love: F. Scott Fitzgerald by Scott Donaldson


Copyright © 2013 by The Maiden’s Court