...never judge a book by its movie

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Just For Fun Reading Challenge - October, 2011



Just For Fun Reading Challenge 2011 


This fun challenge is being hosted at Dollycas's Thoughts.  Simply pull out one of the books from your TBR shelf and read it "just for fun".  No need to review; just read and enjoy - one book each month.

For September, I sent my grandbebes JoJo and Jaiden off to the bookshelf to pick a book, and here's what they both agreed on:

  The Borgia Betrayal by Sara Poole

This is a book I won from Holly at Bippity Boppity Book!  It is the second in series, but stands well on it's own, a story of Francesca Giordano, now 20 and serving as the official poisoner for Pope Alexander VI, a Borgia.  Her lover is Borgia's son Cesare, and she is a good friend of Lucretia, another of Borgia's illegitimate children.  This was an enjoyable read and an interesting take on the mysterious Borgia family.

Rating:  3.5 out of 5 stars

Goodreads description:

Before the Tudors, there were the Borgias. More passionate. More dangerous. More deadly. From the author of Poison, called "stunning" and "a fascinating page-turner," comes a new historical thriller, featuring the same intriguing and beautiful heroine - Borgia court poisoner, Francesca Giordano.
In the summer of 1493, Rodrigo Borgia, Alexander VI, has been pope for almost a year. Having played a crucial role in helping him ascend the chair of Saint Peter, Francesca, haunted by the shadows of her own past, is now charged with keeping him there. As court poisoner to the most notorious and dangerous family in Italy, this mistress of death faces a web of peril, intrigue, and deceit that threatens to extinguish the light of the Renaissance. 


As dangers close in from every direction, Francesca conceives a desperate plan that puts her own life at risk and hurls her into a nightmare confrontation with a madman intent on destroying all she is pledged to protect. From the hidden crypts of fifteenth-century Rome to its teeming streets alive with sensuality, obsession, and treachery, Francesca must battle the demons of her own dark nature to unravel a plot to destroy the Borgias, seize control of Christendom, and plunge the world into eternal darkness.

For October, I choose (I'm choosing this one on my own this time):
The Bells by Richard Harvell

I've been wanting to read this one for a very long time!

Goodreads description:

 I grew up as the son of a man who could not possibly have been my father. Though there was never any doubt that my seed had come from another man, Moses Froben, Lo Svizzero, called me “son.” And I called him “father.” On the rare occasions when someone dared to ask for clarification, he simply laughed as though the questioner were obtuse. “Of course he’s not my son!” he would say. “Don’t be ridiculous.”
But whenever I myself gained the courage to ask him further of our past, he just looked sadly at me. “Please, Nicolai,” he would say after a moment, as though we had made a pact I had forgotten. With time, I came to understand I would never know the secrets of my birth, for my father was the only one who knew these secrets, and he would take them to his grave. 


The celebrated opera singer Lo Svizzero was born in a belfry high in the Swiss Alps where his mother served as the keeper of the loudest and most beautiful bells in the land. Shaped by the bells’ glorious music, as a boy he possessed an extraordinary gift for sound. But when his preternatural hearing was discovered—along with its power to expose the sins of the church—young Moses Froben was cast out of his village with only his ears to guide him in a world fraught with danger. 


Rescued from certain death by two traveling monks, he finds refuge at the vast and powerful Abbey of St. Gall. There, his ears lead him through the ancient stone hallways and past the monks’ cells into the choir, where he aches to join the singers in their strange and enchanting song. Suddenly Moses knows his true gift, his purpose. Like his mother’s bells, he rings with sound and soon, he becomes the protégé of the Abbey’s brilliant yet repulsive choirmaster, Ulrich. 


But it is this gift that will cause Moses’ greatest misfortune: determined to preserve his brilliant pupil’s voice, Ulrich has Moses castrated. Now a young man, he will forever sing with the exquisite voice of an angel — a musico — yet castration is an abomination in the Swiss Confederation, and so he must hide his shameful condition from his friends and even from the girl he has come to love. When his saviors are exiled and his beloved leaves St. Gall for an arranged marriage in Vienna, he decides he can deny the truth no longer and he follows her—to sumptuous Vienna, to the former monks who saved his life, to an apprenticeship at one of Europe’s greatest theaters, and to the premiere of one of history’s most beloved operas.

In this confessional letter to his son, Moses recounts how his gift for sound led him on an astonishing journey to Europe’s celebrated opera houses and reveals the secret that has long shadowed his fame: How did Moses Froben, world renowned musico, come to raise a son who by all rights he never could have sired? 


Like the voice of Lo Svizzero, The Bells is a sublime debut novel that rings with passion, courage, and beauty.


This one was a Goodreads Choice Award Nominee for Historical Fiction in 2010, and I'm just in the mood to read a wonderful historical fiction novel!
Julie

3 comments:

  1. This sounds like a fun challenge. The Borgia Betrayal sounds like a fun read.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I have had The Borgia Betrayal on my shelf for a while now; your review has prompted me to go find it :)

    Hope you enjoy The Bells!

    ReplyDelete
  3. I don't know much about the Borgias but this does sound like an interesting family to read about. Isn't this challenge great?

    ReplyDelete

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