11.03.2014

On the Stack // November

I think this month is going to turn out to be my favorite one this far regarding the books.  Honestly so excited about these.  Two of them are nonfiction, but they are so intriguing and pretty much read like novels.  The one fiction pick this month is the second book in the Baker Street Letters series from Michael Robertson I talked about a couple weeks ago.  I had some other nonfiction books I could have done, but since I haven't reviewed a fiction book on here yet (fail), I decided to go with the more fun option.  And I really liked it.  So without further ado, here are the three books that made the cut for this month!  Drumroll please...
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I picked this book up from the library at the last minute in September and I really wasn't sure about it.  But.  Sooo good.  It's a nonfiction story about a forgotten bit in English history that was shrouded in mystery and secrecy for almost a century.  You won't come away from this book with knowledge you'll ever use again, but I am so glad I read it and being the history nerd I am, I loved it.  Amazon description ahead.

After the Ninth Duke of Rutland, one of the wealthiest men in Britain, died alone in a cramped room in the servants’ quarters of Belvoir Castle on April 21, 1940, his son and heir ordered the room, which contained the Rutland family archives, sealed. Sixty years later, Catherine Bailey became the first historian given access. What she discovered was a mystery: The Duke had painstakingly erased three periods of his life from all family records—but why? As Bailey uncovers the answers, she also provides an intimate portrait of the very top of British society in the turbulent days leading up to World War I.


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Ugh, this book.  I can't even.  Definitely the best book I've read this year.  I get a weird lump in my throat when I think about it.  (#bookwormproblem)  I was in Barnes & Noble last month (I could live there) and I desperately wanted to get a book, but was running out of time, so I grabbed this one at the last minute and I'm so glad I did.  This book blew me away not only with the quality of the writing and the huge amount of research the author put into it, but also with the intensity and conviction of the women she investigates.

Karen Abbott, the New York Times bestselling author of Sin in the Second City and “pioneer of sizzle history” (USA Today), tells the spellbinding true story of four women who risked everything to become spies during the Civil War.
Karen Abbott illuminates one of the most fascinating yet little known aspects of the Civil War: the stories of four courageous women—a socialite, a farmgirl, an abolitionist, and a widow—who were spies.

Using a wealth of primary source material and interviews with the spies’ descendants, Abbott seamlessly weaves the adventures of these four heroines throughout the tumultuous years of the war. With a cast of real-life characters including Walt Whitman, Nathaniel Hawthorne, General Stonewall Jackson, detective Allan Pinkerton, Abraham and Mary Todd Lincoln, and Emperor Napoleon III, Liar, Temptress, Soldier, Spy draws you into the war as these daring women lived it.
  
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Now this last book is a fun one, although if you're anything like me, any of these are fun to read.  Set in modern day, in the rooms once inhabited by the famed Sherlock Holmes, Reggie Heath is a barrister afflicted with a particular strait of bad luck when the novel opens.  Being a mystery, the book centers around a mystery, but has enough supporting characters to keep it fast-paced and lighthearted.  

When brothers Reggie and Nigel Heath choose 221B Baker Street as the location for their law office, they don’t realize that their new office space comes with one huge stipulation; namely, they must answer the letters sent to Sherlock Holmes, the most famous resident of that address. While Reggie is working on a new case involving one of London’s Black Cab drivers, the letters to Sherlock Holmes are piling up. There's even one from someone who claims to be the descendent of Professor James Moriarty. With a case that would have puzzled even Sherlock himself, The Brothers of Baker Street is sure to please mystery fans, whatever their address.

I'm excited to review these this month!  Look for reviews starting the later half of November.  Next up this week – a new series I've discovered.  Thanks for reading!  xo, Ella

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