Summer Reading Sale
 
 

Find Books


Read the City


Win Free Books!


PowellsBooks.news


Original Essays | June 20, 2014

Lisa Howorth: IMG So Many Books, So Many Writers



I'm not a bookseller, but I'm married to one, and Square Books is a family. And we all know about families and how hard it is to disassociate... Continue »

spacer

Customer Comments

Marjorie Madonne has commented on (11) products.

Hild by Nicola Griffith
Hild

Marjorie Madonne, May 5, 2014

Nicola Griffith has written a gorgeous book about a girl in Anglo-Saxon times in England. Hild is clever, and she's the niece of a king -- but she's a GIRL, in an era that values women mainly as bearers of children, and, in the case of girls of royal blood, as "peace weavers," who can be traded off in marriage to cement political alliances. Hild does not particularly aspire to either career path. However, she has an out -- her mother had a dream when she was pregnant that she was bearing a child of great promise, who would be "the light of the world." Everybody assumes this child will be a boy. When Hild is born, the common reaction is, But how can a girl be "the light of the world"? Hild's clever mother, Beguswirth, fosters the belief that Hild carries some sort of magic -- she can read minds, predict the future. Beguswirth trains her in the arts of observation and analysis, of which Beguswirth herself is no mean pracitioner. Hild's Uncle Edwin, the king of Northumbria, who's busy trying to make himself "overking" of the island, takes her on as his "seer" when she's still a child. Hild grows up as a remarkable young girl in a land that mixes civilization and barbarity. Many things are changing -- the new Christian religion is penetrating England, displacing the old gods. Hild herself becomes a Christian. But there is no sign yet of the future Saint Hilda. Hild has mystical leanings, but none that are specific to Christianity; she is baptized, along with most of the Northumbrian court, as yet another one of Edwin's political ploys, The book ends with the promise of a sequel, which I'm looking forward to.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
(2 of 4 readers found this comment helpful)



Miss Garnet's Angel by Salley Vickers
Miss Garnet's Angel

Marjorie Madonne, February 4, 2014

I read "Miss Garnett's Angel" a few years ago and I loved it. It's a wonderful book for anybody who loves reading about Venice, as well as a fascinating story in its own right.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
(1 of 2 readers found this comment helpful)



Years of Lyndon Johnson Volume 1: The Path to Power: The Years of Lyndon Johnson, Vol. 1 by Robert A Caro
Years of Lyndon Johnson Volume 1: The Path to Power: The Years of Lyndon Johnson, Vol. 1

Marjorie Madonne, January 5, 2013

Caro is amazing -- the very best of historical research, and as fascinating to read as any novel. The early passages (he picks up the story at the point of JFK's assassination) are particularly striking. Not just a portrait pf LBJ but of an entire era.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
(1 of 2 readers found this comment helpful)



Heartstone: A Matthew Shardlake Tudor Mystery by C J Sansom
Heartstone: A Matthew Shardlake Tudor Mystery

Marjorie Madonne, March 3, 2012

This is the most recent in C.J. Sansom's Matthew Shardlake mystery series, set during the reign of Henry VIII. It maintains the high standards Sansom has set in his previous Shardlake books, starting with Dissolution. In this one Shardlake is asked by Henry's new queen, Catherine Parr (whom he met in the last book, Revelation) to assist an old servant of hers, Bess Calfhill, whose son has committed suicide under mysterious circumstances.

Shardlake sets out for the southeast of England to pursue his investigations just as Henry is plunging the country into war with France. The country is alert for a possible French invasion, and the English ships are gathering in Portsmouth.

Sansom does a wonderful job of making history come alive in the context of a gripping story about characters you can really care about. His vivid description of thre famous sinking of Henry's great ship, the Mary Rose, in Portsmouth Harbor, is a highlight of this book.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
(2 of 3 readers found this comment helpful)



Agent Zigzag: A True Story of Nazi Espionage, Love, and Betrayal
Agent Zigzag: A True Story of Nazi Espionage, Love, and Betrayal

Marjorie Madonne, October 1, 2010

I just got through reading "Agent Zigzag."
Wow! What an amazing story. One of the great spy stories of all time. If it were a novel, you'd say it was too implausible.
But it's not -- it's true.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
(2 of 5 readers found this comment helpful)



1-5 of 11next
spacer
spacer
  • back to top
Follow us on...




Powell's City of Books is an independent bookstore in Portland, Oregon, that fills a whole city block with more than a million new, used, and out of print books. Shop those shelves — plus literally millions more books, DVDs, and gifts — here at Powells.com.