Thursday, April 18, 2013

Book Review Thursday - 4/18

I finished 2 more books today so I am going to be ahead for the next couple of weeks, I think! The 2 today are books that Granma and I listened to on our trip to Florida.

First, we listened to Mrs. Lincoln's Dressmaker by Jennifer Chiaverini. This was quite a change from the Elm Creek Quilt series. The novel follows Elizabeth Keckley as she makes dresses in Washington DC in the mid 1800's. She ends up being Mary Todd Lincoln's dressmaker and modiste and the book follows her career and the friendship between Elizabeth and the First Lady throughout the end of their lives.

I'm not sure if Chiaverini intended this, but I felt like Elizabeth was kind of a whiner. She was so worried about her business later in life, but she bent over backwards for Mary and her demands. While the Lincoln's were still in the White House, it seemed as though Elizabeth was at their beck and call. I don't know, I just didn't get the impression that it was a real friendship.

Apart from that, it was interesting hearing about life in the Lincoln White House. But Chiaverini has a way to go to make the political portions not to dry and boring. She could learn a lot from the Garfield book I reviewed a couple of weeks ago.

I know that my Granma doesn't like mysteries, but I knew that she would enjoy this book and she did. It is a very light mystery and more about the ways if life in Botswana. The Limpopo Academy of Private Detection by Alexander McCall Smith is the latest in the No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency series.

Mma Ramotswe and Grace Makutsi have several items to look into... Grace and Phuti are building a house with a contractor who has shady business practices, one of the apprentices at the car repair shop has been arrested and Mma Potokwane is being forced out of her post at the orphan farm. But there is hope as a tall stranger walks into the Agency and it is none other than Clovis Andersen, the author of Mma Ramotswe's detective handbook.

I really enjoy listening to this books! The narrator is heavenly to listen to and the stories are still so light hearted. I would be hard pressed to find one that I haven't enjoyed! If you haven't read any of the series, start at the beginning with The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency. You won't be sorry!


Jean(ie) said...

Thanks for the reviews. I've been wanting to read the Lincoln one, but I have so many other books in the queue before that.

thea said...

I don't think I've read the last to No. 1 Ladies Detective agency books. I'll have to check those out. You give me so many books to read .. I really need to get on it. thanks!

Ellyn said...

Mrs Lincolns Dressmakeer is next up on my reading list.... thanks for your review

EngrSandi said...

I read the Chiaverini book last month, and agree that it could handle the details of the politics better. I think from Elizabeth's point of view, though, that's probably what she would be seeing. I felt like the book should have ended shortly after Lincoln's assassination. The parts with Mrs. Lincoln in NY and Chicago was not very interesting (to me).

PunkiePie (Jen) said...

I am reading, actually reading, Mrs. Lincoln's Dressmaker right now. Bought it for my local library and it has taken my 2 months to get through it and still not done. But I will finish it.