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Melissa Markham has commented on (5) products.

The Plantagenets: The Warrior Kings and Queens Who Made England by Daniel Jones
The Plantagenets: The Warrior Kings and Queens Who Made England

Melissa Markham, October 22, 2014

Warrior Kings, Ladies Fair, chivalry, Magna Carta, shipwrecks, William Wallace, Crusades, family feuds, castles...It's all here! Dan Jones' delightfully readable history chronicles the Medieval kings and queens of England. He navigates through all the "Henry"s, "Edmund"s, "Richard"s, and "Earls of this or that" with ease. The stories he tells are wonderful...literally the stuff of legends!
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A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness
A Discovery of Witches

Melissa Markham, May 15, 2013

Ugh! Don't do it. Put the book down and step (click?) away. You'll love it at first. A brilliant Ivy League professor of alchemy, who loves to run, row, and drink tea, is spending her sabbatical year at Oxford writing a paper on alchemy. What's not to love? Then she meets a vampire. Then her brain turns to mush. All of her intelligence, not to mention her pressing academic work, disappears. You'll hang on okay until the end of the book. But it will leave you hanging. And you'll feel compelled to read the next book. Half-way through the second book, you'll finally slam it shut. In utter disgust, you'll throw it across the room, delete it from your ipod, or somehow eradicate it from your life. Then you'll suffer an existential crisis wherein you'll despair that books are even worth reading anymore. Your self esteem will plummet as you ponder what made me you spend that much time with these people who are impossible to like, chasing a plot that refuses to budge. Finally, you'll come crawling back to the realm of Good Literature, begging to be let back in after participating in the ultimate betrayal that is this series.
And the worst part is? It actually started out pretty well...
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Villa Triste by Lucretia Grindle
Villa Triste

Melissa Markham, May 15, 2013

In a word: exquisite. A historical saga of Italy at the end of World War II. Groups of partisan heroes work underground with the Allies to overthrow the Nazi/Fascist occupation of Italy. Two leaders of the partisan group in Florence, sisters, suffer the ultimate betrayal and lose everything. Meanwhile, a Police Inspector in modern-day Florence unravels the story of the sisters in order to solve the murder of three decorated partisan heroes. I loved the writing, which brought Florence to life whether in the modern day or in 1944-45; the characters; the ending; the story... everything. I'll search for a long time before I find another book like this!
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Press Here by Herve Tullet
Press Here

Melissa Markham, February 11, 2013

This book is so creative! My 3-year-old loves it and calls it "The Funny Book." The first time I read it, I laughed out loud. Now I love reading it with my boy every night.
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The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks (Thorndike Nonfiction) by Rebecca Skloot
The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks (Thorndike Nonfiction)

Melissa Markham, November 25, 2012

Granted, the premise for the book didn't immediately grab me. Cell culture? Yawn. Fortunately, my loyalty to my book club compelled me to read it. And I could hardly put it down! It's a social history reminding us of the legacy of slavery that still haunts us. It's a scientific history that takes us into the labs and lives of scientists, reminding us not to take knowledge for granted. And, surprisingly, it's a history of writing the book itself, as the author includes anecdotes of her struggle for information, interviews, and cooperation from those who knew Henrietta Lacks. Finally, it's the story of a wonderful woman that I wish I had known, and how her cancerous cells changed the world of science while her quiet death went barely noticed by the outside world.
Sigh. Why aren't there more books like this?
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