Lady of the Butterflies

Lady of the Butterflies Book Cover

This is the story of Eleanor Glanville, daughter of a Puritan landowner in the English moors during the 17th century. The marshy land that she lived on was abundant with butterflies. At that time butterflies were believed to be the souls of the dead and Eleanor's scientific study of butterflies had others believing she was mad. This historical romance shows the differences between Puritans and Catholics, and how they affected England politically and historically. A large part of the story involves Eleanor's love life and her struggle with her lovers over the decision whether or not to drain the marshes around her home. An excellent read for those who like historical fiction.

The Pox party / taken from accounts by [Octavian Nothing’s] own hand and other sundry sources ; collected by M.T. Anderson of Boston

The Pox party / taken from accounts by [Octavian Nothing’s] own hand and other sundry sources ; collected by M.T. Anderson of Boston Book Cover

In this young adult novel, the story is centered on Octavian and his mother, Cassiopeia, an African princess, who were sold into slavery before the birth of Octavian during pre-Revolutionary War in America. Octavian is an experiment for the Novanglian College of Lucidity in Massachusetts to be studied for his African intellect and ethnicity in order to see if he can be successfully educated in comparison to white people. Anderson writes from the point of view of Octavian and we, the reader, see Octavian believing his life is normal to coming to the realization that his life is nothing more than a test. Octavian’s story, albeit fiction, really is an amazing account of the life of those living in slavery and their hope for freedom.

Letting Loose the Hounds

Letting Loose the Hounds Book Cover

Here are 11 stories set in the small towns of Utah and Arizona. Most of them deal with "letting loose" or wanting to. The stories range from situations that are familiar and surprising in their range and can definitely be considered written with "guy humor."

The Marriage Bureau for Rich People

The Marriage Bureau for Rich People Book Cover

In this charming novel, retired civil servant, Mr. Ali, decides to open a marriage bureau to remedy his boredom. The accounts of his matchmaking for affluent clients in contemporary India are entertaining and humorous. He becomes so successful that he requires an assistant, Aruna, a poor hindu girl, who encounters a handsome young doctor that comes to the agency for a list of potential wives. Fans of Alexander McCall Smith’s Mma Ramotswe will likely find Mr. Ali to be a similarly engaging main character.

The Case for God

The Case for God Book Cover

This book is a comprehensive history of religion as it relates to humanity starting with the most basic ideological systems of the civilizations of 30,000 years ago and bringing us to present religious (and anti-religious) belief systems. Ms. Armstrong portrays religion and faith as valid, and even vital, structures of humanity making an excellent argument for the pragmatism of religious beliefs and faith as they goes face to face with philosophy and science.

The Countess of Stanlein Restored

The Countess of Stanlein Restored Book Cover

This is the story of an Antonio Stradivari violincello crafted in 1707. It now belongs to the cellist Bernard Greenhouse, in his eighties and semi-retired, who allows the New York virtuoso luthier Rene Morel to perform a complete restoration. This book tracks the process - a meticulous enterprise that took almost 2yrs. It's a very interesting story that musicians or artists of any kind will appreciate, including many of the emotions of Greenhouse and Morel during the restoration, and the trepidation that the Stanlein's sound may be altered in the process.