Christina (christina_reads) wrote in 50bookchallenge,

Books read in February: #19-29

19. Sally Gardner, The Red Necklace: YA novel set in the early days of the French Revolution about a Gypsy boy who must save a nobleman's daughter from both the guillotine and the clutches of a villainous Count. Although it starts off slowly, the plot quickly becomes enthralling, and the writing is very good. My review is here.

20. Lauren Willig, The Betrayal of the Blood Lily: Sixth in the "Pink Carnation" series, which combines historical romance with espionage. In this installment, the setting moves from England to India, where the headstrong Lady Frederick Staines clashes with serious army captain Alex Reid. I enjoyed this installment in the series, with one significant reservation -- read more here.

21. Alicia Fields, Love Underground: Retelling of the Persephone-Hades myth, still set in ancient Greece, that explores themes of feminine agency. I was looking for a strong romance element, which this book did not deliver, but overall it wasn't bad. My review is here.

22. M. M. Kaye, Death in Kashmir: Entertaining mystery, in the tradition of Agatha Christie, set in Kashmir one year before Indian independence. My review is here.

23. Graham Greene, The Power and the Glory: Thought-provoking novel about the last priest in an unnamed Mexican state. The priest is cowardly, far from heroic, and nearly always drunk, but he still retains his faith; Greene thus raises some very interesting questions about religion, belief, and the state. My thoughts are here.

24. Alistair M. Duckworth, The Improvement of the Estate: A Study of Jane Austen's Novels: Collection of scholarly essays about Austen's novels. The thesis is that Austen uses "estates" as a metaphor for traditional social structures and morals that are under siege from dangerous external "improvers." My review is here.

25. Rafael Sabatini, Captain Blood: Swashbuckling pirate story, subsequently adapted as a film starring Errol Flynn. I think that really says it all! My full review is here.

26. Ann Aguirre, Grimspace: Well-written and absorbing science-fiction novel about a woman with an unusual gift and a ragtag spaceship crew that wants to use her for their own ends. Extremely well-developed characters and snappy dialogue make it worth reading, despite a lack of originality in the sci-fi elements. My review is here.

27. Flannery O'Connor, Wise Blood: Short novel about Hazel Motes, a young man running away from his fate of becoming a preacher, who eventually decides to create the Church Without Christ. The style is vivid and the characters grotesque, which is just what you'd expect from O'Connor. My review is here.

28. Christopher Marlowe, The Jew of Malta: Elizabethan play about a Jew whose property is taken from him by the governor of Malta. Enraged by this injustice, he concocts elaborate schemes of revenge that end in widespread tragedy. My review is here.

29. Mary S. Lovell, The Sound of Wings: The Life of Amelia Earhart: Biography of the famous female pilot, focusing primarily on her relationship with her husband, charismatic publisher George Palmer Putnam. Impressively researched, yet accessible to the casual reader. My review is here.

(Cross-posted to books and 100ormorebooks.)

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