The Oracle of Stamboul

The Oracle of Stamboul

By: Michael David Lukas

Published: 2011

# of pages: 320

Official description:

Ushered into the world by a mysterious pair of Tartar midwives late in the summer of 1877 in the town of Constanta on the Black Sea, Eleonora Cohen proves herself an extraordinarily gifted child—a prodigy—at a very young age. When she is eight years old, she stows away aboard a ship, following her carpet merchant father, Yakob, to the teeming and colorful imperial capital of Stamboul where a new life awaits her.

In the narrow streets of this city at the crossroads of the world, intrigue and gossip are currency, and people are not always what they seem. But it is only when she charms the eccentric Sultan Abdulhamid II—beleaguered by friend and foe as his unwieldy realm crumbles—that Eleonora will change the course of an empire.

My opinion: This is a very well written novel as far as the descriptions and settings go, but I'm not quite sure what to make of it. The whole thing seemed pointless. The characters were hard to relate to, which makes it difficult to become immersed in the book. I kept thinking there would be more, but there wasn't. What was the climax? I don't know. The ending was disappointing. Not the actions of the characters, just that there wasn't more before the ending to satisfy me.

However, as I told my grandmother (who also just finished reading it), it was neat to see the references to other works of literature. I only wish that the main "novel" (The Hourglass) that is quoted in the book was real!

Why I gave this book 3/5 stars: Well written as far as wording and grammar, but not as far as the content and character development.

Other reviews:

S. Krishna's Books
Bookfoolery and Babble

Have you reviewed this? Let me know and I'd be happy to post yours as well.



By: Tina Fey

Published: 2011

# of pages: 288

Quote: "And should she be a mother one day, be my eyes, Lord, that I may see her, lying on a blanket on the floor at 4:50 A.M., all-at-once exhausted, bored, and in love with the little creature whose poop is leaking up its back.
'My mother did this for me once,' she will realize as she cleans feces off her baby's neck. 'My mother did this for me.' And the delayed gratitude will wash over her as it does each generation and she will make a mental note to call me. And she will forget. But I'll know, because I peeped it with Your God eyes." - "A Mother's Prayer for her Child" - Tina Fey

Official description:

Before Liz Lemon, before "Weekend Update," before "Sarah Palin," Tina Fey was just a young girl with a dream: a recurring stress dream that she was being chased through a local airport by her middle-school gym teacher. She also had a dream that one day she would be a comedian on TV.

She has seen both these dreams come true.

At last, Tina Fey's story can be told. From her youthful days as a vicious nerd to her tour of duty on Saturday Night Live; from her passionately halfhearted pursuit of physical beauty to her life as a mother eating things off the floor; from her one-sided college romance to her nearly fatal honeymoon -- from the beginning of this paragraph to this final sentence.

Tina Fey reveals all, and proves what we've all suspected: you're no one until someone calls you bossy.

(Includes Special, Never-Before-Solicited Opinions on Breastfeeding, Princesses, Photoshop, the Electoral Process, and Italian Rum Cake!)

My opinion: I really enjoyed Tina Fey's memoir and I'm glad I did because I was on the waiting list for it at the library for MONTHS. I was surprised to read that she was slashed by a knife-wielding stranger as a child and still has a scar from the attack. At first I thought she was joking when she mentions it early in the book, but she isn't. She talks about it a couple of other times, but I still looked it up just to make sure it was true. It's kind of hard to tell because the whole book is light-hearted, although not all the subjects are light.

A few of the serious topics she discusses include homosexuality, politics, working moms, women in the workplace, and marriage. Let me just say, I don't agree with her on some of these topics but that's okay. It didn't ruin the book for me because she isn't too pushy. Her viewpoint seems to be that everyone is different and what's right for her isn't necessarily right for others.

The only thing that bothered me was I felt she started to ramble while talking about her teen years. It wasn't as interesting and the whole teen life thing seemed immature to me.

I did enjoy hearing what she had to say about her appearances on SNL during the 2008 election. It was great to hear about it from her point of view after having seen the skits 3 years ago.

Why I gave this book 4/5 stars: Humorous, interesting, a little controversial, some parts were rambling.

Other reviews:
S. Krishna's Books

Have you reviewed this? Let me know and I'd be happy to post yours as well.

RIP VI Summary

I chose "Peril the First" - read 4 books, "Peril of the Short Story" - read a short story, and "Peril on the Screen" - watch a movie or TV show.

And yeah, I didn't finish Peril of the Short Story or Peril on the Screen. :-( In my defense, I would have completed Peril on the Screen but my bummer of a husband didn't want to stay up late to watch "The Haunting" on Halloween like I had planned. I still plan to watch it someday and also read "The Yellow Wallpaper."

For Peril the First I read:
The Moving Finger by: Agatha Christie
The Woman in Black by: Susan Hill
The Lantern by: Deborah Lawrenson
Handling the Undead by: John Ajvide Lindqvist

I'm proud to say that I finished them all in the required time limit! I actually finished Handling the Undead on Halloween.

posted under | 2 Comments

Handling the Undead

Handling the Undead

By: John Ajvide Lindqvist

Published: 2010

# of pages: 384

Challenge: RIP VI

Official description:

Across Stockholm the power grid has gone crazy. In the morgue and in cemeteries, the recently deceased are waking up. One grandfather is alight with hope that his grandson will be returned, but one husband is aghast at what his adored wife has become.

A horror novel that transcends its genre by showing what the return of the dead might really mean to those who loved them.

My opinion: For awhile there I thought this novel may be added to my favorites list. However, it took a weird turn towards the end and so I can't say it's a favorite anymore. I feel funny about the book, I want to say that I enjoyed it, but it was really WEIRD. I feel like it was ruined. I typically have respect for the way an author ends the book. I often hear people complain that the ending wasn't happy enough, or that it was too perfect, or that it ended too suddenly, or that it dragged on. I rarely complain. BUT, I am afraid that I am going to complain about the ending of this book.

This is a book about zombies. Dead people come back to life. There are unexplained reasons behind this crazy phenomenon. And then at the end it was all pointless. I wondered at the reasoning behind developing so many characters to just have it.... be pointless. At first I was afraid the book would be scary or gory. Then I started thinking that it was more of a thought provoking novel. What would you do if the recently dead in your city came back to life? Would you want that to happen to one of your loved ones? Where would they all go, should the government be involved, how would it affect living people, etc.

And then it just got weird! I feel like the ending was rushed. I can't tell if that was on purpose or not. But like I said before, it just made me feel like it was pointless to read so many well thought out details only to have it end the way it did.

Why I gave this book 4/5 stars: Well written, interesting concept, thought-provoking, very...unique.

Have you reviewed this? Let me know and I'd be happy to post yours as well.

Newer Posts Older Posts Home


About Me

My photo
Wife, mother, bookworm.
This is a place where you can read book reviews, discover links, and learn about the reading challenges in which I'm taking part.


my read shelf:
Andrea's book recommendations, liked quotes, book clubs, book trivia, book lists (read shelf)

Annual Goal

2016 Reading Challenge

2016 Reading Challenge
Andrea has read 0 books toward her goal of 60 books.

Recent Comments