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Review | A Conspiracy in Belgravia by Sherry Thomas

It's been a full year of delicious anticipation, this waiting for the second volume in Sherry Thomas' delightful Lady Sherlock series. I thoroughly enjoyed A Study in Scarlet Women last year, and I had just a really good gut feeling about where the sequel would take my favorite characters—from the absolutely flawlessly rendered Charlotte Holmes and the impenetrable Lord Ingram, to Mrs. Watson, Livia and Bernadine Holmes, and poor, beleaguered Inspector Treadles. I was so pleased to be back in their company once more when I finally cracked open my copy of A Conspiracy in Belgraviaand commenced reading.

It took her awhile, but now Charlotte is living in something more akin to the manner she would prefer. Together with her companion Mrs. Watson (and Mrs. Watson's irrepressible niece and aspiring physician Miss Redmayne), Charlotte is becoming extremely well-versed in the solving of all things mysterious around London. The only black marks on her new life are the distance she…
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The First Woman to Translate The Odyssey into English

I'm a bit giddy just typing this. Emily Wilson—a professor of Classical Studies and Chair of the Program in Comparative Literature and Literary Theory at the University of Pennsylvania—has become the first woman to translate Homer's The Odysseyinto English, and I can hardly wait to get my hands on a copy. This article in The New York Times is well worth a read, if you (like me) are interested in all things Penelope, Odysseus, and grey-eyed Athena. Just take a look at the opening lines of Wilson's translation:
Tell me about a complicated man.
Muse, tell me how he wandered and was lost
when he had wrecked the holy town of Troy,
and where he went, and who he met, the pain
he suffered in the storms at sea, and how
he worked to save his life and bring his men
back home. He failed to keep them safe; poor fools,
they ate the Sun God's cattle, and the god
kept them from home. Now goddess, child of Zeus,
tell the old story for our modern times.
Find the beginning. If that does…

Review | All the Crooked Saints by Maggie Stiefvater

I thought today would be the perfect day to review this unicorn of a book. It is All Saints' Day—a fitting day to revisit all the crooked ones, no? It is also the first day of November and so, today, . . . well, you know the rest. What I'm saying is, today is kind of the perfect day to do all the Maggie Stiefvater-related things! Which is, of course, why I'll be attending her signing event later this evening at my local indie, key in hand. I know. I win today. I do. What I do not do is take it for granted. My good fortune or this book. This beautiful, beautiful book. But before we get into my reaction, I want to make a brief request. If you haven't yet had a chance to read Maggie's post on how this book came about and what it was originally going to be and what it actually became, I straight up implore you to do so. It is one of my favorite things I've read this year and it is something I needed to read this year. My favorite line? "I discovered that I wa…

Review | Speak Easy, Speak Love by McKelle George

I am having difficulty achieving some semblance of coherence when it comes to this beautiful book. My feelings for it are threatening to overwhelm me on every level this morning. I didn't sleep last night. And I mean that literally. I didn't sleep a wink. Twice, I tried to force myself to do the right smart thing and wait to finish on the morrow. But my head and my heart would have none of it. They were both buzzing far too loudly to even think of sleep. I bought McKelle George's debut novel Speak Easy, Speak Loveon the day it released based on three things: it has easily my favorite cover of the year (I swoon, I swoon over this cover), it was edited by my Martha (say no more), and it is a Roaring Twenties adaptation of Much Ado About Nothing (as Ms. George herself puts it—Shakespeare's most romantic comedy). I really feel like I could just leave it there, and that those of you in possession of a soul would immediately run to the bookstore (as one does) and set about …

"I am looped in the loops of her hair"

For the past couple of days I have been somewhat swallowed up in Eva Ibbotson's The Morning Gift. This was the one Ibbotson historical I'd somehow missed. I'm going to finish it tonight, so a review will be forthcoming. But until then, please have this—Christopher Plummer's unparalleled recitation of "Brown Penny" by W.B. Yeats. A line from this poem makes a brief but shatteringly perfect appearance in The Morning Gift, and I can't . . . I can't get it out of my head.

Bibliocrack Review | A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas

I loved this series so much I'm not sure I've moved past it or that I even will. I should preface this by saying that I picked up Sarah J. Maas' Throne of Glasswhat seems like ages ago and was singularly unimpressed. Like massively so. I didn't even finish it, though I feel like I did give it the old college try. I realize its original cover did it a disservice. But at the time, nothing about that first story felt unique. It felt tired, like I'd read it before, and the writing did not stand out to me in any way. Fast forward a few years, and I just kept hearing absolute knockdown raving about Ms. Maas' newer series—A Court of Thorns and Roses. The first book was out in paperback and something about all of your glowing comments (and the beautiful cover) pushed me over the edge. I read and thoroughly enjoyed the first book, which is a lovely mashup of the Beauty and the Beast and Tam Lin fairy tales (I know, it's like it was tailor fit for me). The book buil…

Black & Gold Pretties

It has been far too long since I pulled together a Pretties post. Far too long. I continue to meticulously monitor my ongoing list of upcoming books, never fear. I just haven't been actively talking about them as much lately. But. These three. These three finally all have covers and are out there on the not-too-distant/somewhat distant horizon. Moreover, they absolutely merit some chatter.

The Last Namsaraby Kristen Ciccarelli
Okay, look. This debut is being touted as "perfect for fans of Robin McKinley, Kristin Cashore, and Sarah J. Maas" . . . soooooo . . . basically . . . I VOLUNTEER AS TRIBUTE. This is also within reach as it is due out in just over a month. I am so very excited. She's a dragon-slayer, guys. My Aerin Dragon-Killer loving heart is beating overtime.
Due out October 3rd

Circeby Madeline Miller
I feel certain you all remember my exquisite meltdown over the beautifulness that is The Song of Achilles. Well, she finally has another book coming out and it …