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Patty's Book Reviews: Captain Alatriste
Patty's Book Reviews: All Roads Lead to Austen
Patty's Book Reviews: Devil's Trill
Patty's Book Reviews: I, Claudius
Patty's Book Reviews: The Return of Captain John Emmett

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Patty's Book Reviews: Captain Alatriste

The Book:Captain Alatristeby Arturo Perez-Reverte
The Challenge: A translated book

I blame my parents for my love of swashbuckling adventure stories: they introduced me to the Errol Flynn movies when I was younger, and I've been hooked ever since. As almost all of the books in the genre that I have read were written by English writers (with a few Americans and Frenchmen thrown in), the Spanish were generally the villains. I was intrigued, therefore, to find this book, as it was written by a Spaniard.

Patty's Book Reviews: All Roads Lead to Austen

The Book:All Roads Lead to Austenby Amy Elizabeth Smith 
The Challenge: One book set on every continent (Latin America) 

I debated whether to write the reviews for this challenge one at a time or all at once when I finally finished all seven. As you can see, I chose the "one at a time" approach.  

All Roads Lead to Austenis a mixture of book club literary analysis and one woman's travel memoir. After reading the bookReading Lolita in Tehran,Amy Elizabeth Smith (professor of English from California) decided to take a year and explore how Jane Austen's works would translate into Latin America.

Patty's Book Reviews: Devil's Trill

The Book:Devil's Trillby Gerald Elias
The Challenge: A book written by someone older than you

Quick bit of music trivia for you: Devil's Trilltakes its name from "The Devil's Sonata" composed by Giuseppe Tartini. According to legend, he had a dream one night that the Devil visited him and played so magnificent a piece of music on the violin that Tartini woke up suddenly and attempted to write down the music. "The Devil's Sonata" was the result, but the composer was so frustrated by his inability to capture the music he heard in the dream, that he said he would destroy his violin if he had another way of making his living.

Patty's Book Reviews: I, Claudius

The Book:I, Claudiusby Robert Graves
The Challenge: HIstorical Fiction

Historical fiction is a tricky genre, in my opinion. Usually, either the writer bogs the reader down with far too many straight facts (thus telling, rather than showing, what happened) which makes the book more history than fiction, or the writer goes too far in the other direction, thus making the book more fiction than history. The former is often too dry to be considered "fiction", while the latter is usually too fanciful to be historically valid.

Patty's Book Reviews: The Return of Captain John Emmett

The Book:The Return of Captain John Emmettby Elizabeth Speller
The Challenge: A Mystery or Thriller

The Return of Captain John Emmett is one of those random finds that greatly surprises you. It follows one Laurence Bartram, who was a Captain during WWI and who returned home to find that his wife and child died while he was fighting in France. Now, five years later, he is almost haunting London, wandering around researching for a book he knows he will never publish, when he is contacted by Mary Emmett, the sister of one of Laurence's childhood friends, John.

Patty's Book Reviews: Beau Geste

The Book:Beau Gesteby Percival Christopher Wren
The Challenge: A book you own but haven't read

I first saw the movieBeau Gestewhen I was in middle school or junior high, I think. At any rate, it stuck with me, and when I was in college I found a copy of the book at a library sale. I picked it up, bought it, stuck it on my shelf, and then never read it. Recently, I saw a parody of it, and thought "I should probably read that." I was not disappointed.

Beau Gestetells the story of three brothers: Michael (nicknamed Beau), Digby (Beau's twin), and John.

Patty's Book Reviews: A Slight Trick of the Mind

The Book:A Slight Trick of the Mindby Mitch Cullins
The Challenge: A book that has been turned into a movie

In case you have never heard me talk about anything for more than five minutes or never been to the group seating area in the shop, you should know this:I love Sherlock Holmes.I started reading the stories in the 4th grade (much to the annoyance of my teacher, but that's another story). I've seen him played by a veritable legion of actors on stage and screen; he's been placed in settings varying from the streets of Victorian London to the 42nd Century (yes, that's a thing); in fact, I would argue that he is one of the most written about characters in the whole of fiction.

Patty's Book Reviews: So We Read On

The Book:So We Read On: How the Great Gatsby Came to Be and Why It Enduresby Marueen Corrigan
The Challenge: A Nonfiction book

Quick story time: when I took my American Literature course in college and we got to the Lost Generation writers, my professor walked into the classroom and asked "Ok, how many of you have read Fitzgerald?" Over half of the class raised our hands. He nodded, and then asked "How many have read Hemingway?" About five of us kept our hands up. "Right," he said, "We're reading Hemingway.

Patty's Book Reviews: Tales from the Jazz Age

The Book:Tales from the Jazz Ageby F Scott Fitzgerald (Hard Cover Classics, Penguin)
The Challenge: A book based on its cover

It was in Cincinnati just last week that I picked up this book. It's cover is amazing: gold leaf and vaguely Art Deco looking. Shiny. Plus, it's an F Scott Fitzgerald book, so how could I say no? (As a bit of a side note: this edition of the book does not contain the originalTales from the Jazz Age, but is a reprint of several of Fitzgerald's short stories).

I thoroughly enjoyed the book.

Patty's Book Reviews: Russka

The Book:Russkaby Edward Rutherfurd
The Challenge: A book with more than 500 pages

I first encountered the writings of Edward Rutherfurd when my Aunt suggested I read one of his books. Like me, she is a avid fan of history, and Rutherfurd's specialty is historical fiction. Typically, his novels run towards door-stoppers in length, and always follow a similar set up: he picks a region, creates two to three fictional families, and then follows the lives of the members of those families through history and into modern times.