A Voyage Long and Strange: Rediscovering the New WorldA Voyage Long and Strange: Rediscovering the New World by Tony Horwitz

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Tony Horwitz set out to explore what happened in the New World between 1492 with Columbus and 1620 when the Pilgrims arrived but there appears to be a big gap in the history books. 

I credit my fifth grade teacher with giving me lots of knowledge about this topic.  I had to memorize lots of explorers and I still remember most of them.  However, before this book I didn’t realize that my memory aid picture of a deSoto car chugging up to the Mississippi was heading the wrong way. I thought deSoto found the Mississippi on his way from Mexico, not from Florida.  Don’t know how I missed that one.


The Thinking Woman's Guide to Real MagicThe Thinking Woman’s Guide to Real Magic by Emily Croy Barker

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Nora’s life is not going well.  Her boyfriend just dumped her and her thesis adviser told her that she isn’t doing an adequate job. Now she’s been kidnapped by fairies.  At first life is better.  She’s dazzled by parties and beautiful people but eventually the facade crumbles.  She’s rescued by a wizard but now she’s adrift in a magical world where no one needs the skills of an English literature grad student.

I really liked this book.  I hope this is going to be the beginning of a series because it ended on a bit of a cliff hanger.  I’d like to see how the story develops.

The ThreadThe Thread by Victoria Hislop

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

In Thessaloniki, Greece in 1917 a fire destroys part of the city on the same day Dimitri Komninos is born.  In 1922 Katerina is separated from her mother during an evacuation and ends up as a child refugee in Thessaloniki.  For the next 80 years the lives of Dimitri and Katerina intertwine as Greece suffers through war and persecution. 

This book taught me a lot of Greek history that I didn’t know.  It did it in a way that didn’t feel like reading a straight history lesson.  I would definitely read this author again.