London by Edward Rutherford

The area that is now London has been a meeting point for civilizations for thousands of years. This is the story of London from the first settlers in prehistoric times until the end of the 20th century. It is told through a series of stories of intertwined families taking place at key points in history.

I’m probably the last one around who hasn’t read this book. I really enjoyed it. I love history and each of the short stories told in each era stand on their own as well as being part of the overall novel. Reading about English history always makes me sad because so much evil was done in the name of religious disputes that didn’t really mean anything in the long term.

I’ll definitely be reading more from this author.

The Greyfriar (Vampire Empire, Book 1) by Clay Griffith and Susan Griffith

The vampires attacked in the mid-1800s. Now, 150 years after The Great Killing, humans live only in equatorial zones that are too hot for vampires. Princess Adele of Equatoria in Africa and Senator Clark of the American Republic are due to wed to join their empires and prepare for a war against the Vampire lands. However Princess Adele is captured by vampires in an unexpected attack. She is rescued by The Greyfriar, a man who is so legendary for fighting vampires that Adele assumed he wasn’t real. But getting out of vampire controlled Europe won’t be easy.

I listened to this on audio only because James Marsters narrated it. This is a different take on vampires. The mythology is a bit different than what I’ve read before. Adele and the Greyfriar are both complex characters with well designed personalities including both strengths and faults. The rest of the characters around them are very one-dimensional though. There are two more books in this series and I think I will read them.

Voodoo in My Blood: A Healer’s Journey from Surgeon to Shaman by Dr. Carolle Jean – Murat

Dr. Carolle Jean-Murat was born in Haiti. Her mother’s family were Voodoo healers. Her father’s family did not approve of these poor relations and took the children to raise them away from their influence. Over time Carolle became a surgeon in the United States. However, she realized that she was developing the ability to see what was wrong with her patients before they told her just like her Voodoo healing family.

This was an interesting memoir of the progression of a doctor’s career. It discusses how moving into alternative medicine can jeopardize a traditional western practice. It also discusses the pressures that some immigrants feel to be able to help out in their homelands while making a life for themselves elsewhere.