Noteworthy Non-Fiction

I love reading great non-fiction books. I enjoy reading about historical events and people. I love memoirs and biographies of interesting and diverse characters. I also will read an occasional self-help book, if it’s applicable and not too overly cliche.

Here are some great noteworthy non-fiction books:

(Click any photo or title for more info.)

Diary of a Young Girl

If you haven’t already read this book I highly recommend it. This girl wrote so well in her journal, and told her story so exceptionally. – semi-spoiler alert! – For her to be able to tell her story in the midst of such hardship and have it survive in her place, is beautiful. It’s a bit haunting knowing that she wrote this leading up to what was likely a very horrendous end. I felt a bit of a knot in my core that was hard to shake. I tend to get very attached to the lives and stories of protagonist in books, and
it’s always very difficult when bad
things happen. The eeriness with this book was that I couldn’t tell myself
(it’s just a book.)

Rated: 4.6 on amazon.com
6a011570915aed970b0120a8a0ab8b970b
Book Bean: 
Simple Tea
You may not feel like spoiling yourself with anything decadent while reading about such hardship.

The Funny Thing Is

On a much lighter note there is this delightful book about the real life happenings of one Ellen Degeneres. Now, I am a fan of Ellen’s, I love the style of her humor and wit. So I am quiet a bit biased going into this little mini review. This book is a breath of fresh air. It is pure Ellen genius, and I sped right through it. At the end I was sad it was over, the light-hearted gentle humor was such an endorphin rush. I don’t know if other people will feel as I did reading it,
but I sure hope so. 🙂

Rated: a shocking 3.9 on amazon.com
Iced-Green-tea.jpg

Book Bean: Alppuchino
I know I’m not Ellen, I need to drink more Iced Green Tea.

Empire of The Summer Moon

This is a fantastic book. I purchased it because it was inviting and looked really interesting. It is about chief Quanah Parker and the rise and fall of the Comanche tribe. Being of Native American heritage myself, I am drawn to historical books such as this. What I love about this book is that it reads like a novel. The story is so engrossing and interesting. It was well written, informative, and entertaining as well. If you are interested in Native American Culture and/or History (or even if you’re not) this is a must read.
Rated: 4.5 on amazon.comHazelnutMochaTrailMixCup_thumb1

Book Bean:
Trail Mix Mocha Latte
Espresso with steamed milk, flavored with chocolate, almond extract, and cherry. Keep it natural for a better more earthy flavor.
Man’s Search For Meaning
 I know, another book about the Holocaust, but it is such an exceptional book. This particular book is written by Victor Frankl an Austrian Neurologist and Psychologist. He writes about the events that took place from a different point of view than other books I’ve read, which I really liked. He would break down the why’s and woes of each person’s action/reaction, and I  found that fascinating. This book is part Holocaust experience story, part “what I’ve discovered because of it.” It’s like getting a mini-documentary and a self-help book all in one.

Rated: 4.7 on amazon.com
Preview-RedCupOnBook02
Book Bean: Plain Brewed Coffee

Again you won’t feel like indulging while reading this painful memoir.

Love, Lucy
And to end with another light-hearted note. Lucile Ball, the comic legend and genius. This autobiography was discovered randomly after her death. Again I am probably a bit biased here, because I ADORE Lucy. I Love Lucy was iconic. I grew up watching it, and to this day it is my favorite! Lucille ball and Ricky Ricardo are a match made in heaven (on screen at least.) I love the behind the scene detail, and the great pictures that accompany this book. I am so happy that this gem was discovered so that we could enjoy her legacy.

Rated: 4.8 on amazon.com
b
Book Bean:
Vitameatavegamin!
But seeing as it’s so hard to find, how about a mouthful of
Truffle Cocoa, to get in the Lucy spirit 🙂

 

I know there are so many other lovely books that I’m leaving out. Books that I just haven’t read yet, or wasn’t thinking of. However, these are the ones that stood out to me. 🙂

What non-fictions book/s stand out to you?

Advertisements

Literature for Animal Lovers

Snip20140504_5“Outside of a dog, a book is a man’s best friend…” ~Groucho Marx

The Art of Racing in The Rain

by Garth Stein
Enzo knows he is different from other dogs: a philosopher with a nearly human soul (and an obsession with opposable thumbs), he has educated himself by watching television extensively, and by listening very closely to the words of his master, Denny Swift, an up-and-coming race car driver. Through Denny, Enzo has gained tremendous insight into the human condition, and he sees that life, like racing, isn’t simply about going fast. Using the techniques needed on the race track, one can successfully navigate all of life’s ordeals.
Rated 4.7 on amazon.com

Animals___Cats_Cat_reading_a_book_088072_.jpg

Dewey
by Vicki Myron and Bret Witter
How much of an impact can an animal have? How many lives can one cat touch? How is it possible for an abandoned kitten to transform a small library, save a classic American town, and eventually become famous around the world? You can’t even begin to answer those questions until you hear the charming story of Dewey Readmore Books, the beloved library cat of Spencer, Iowa.
Rated 4.6 on amazon.com

4562974c96315fcb291b6949d3cc52d8--funny-pets-funny-animals
Saving Simon
by Jon Katz
In the spring of 2011, Jon Katz received a phone call that would challenge every idea he ever had about mercy and compassion. An animal control officer had found a neglected donkey on a farm in upstate New York, and she hoped that Jon and his wife, Maria, would be willing to adopt him. Jon wasn’t planning to add another animal to his home on Bedlam Farm, certainly not a very sick donkey. But the moment he saw the wrenching sight of Simon, he felt a powerful connection. Simon touched something very deep inside of him. Jon and Maria decided to take him in.
Rated 4.5 on amazon.com

Dog reading a book

A Wolf Called Romeo
by Nick Jans 
The remarkable story of a wolf who returned again and again to interact with the people and dogs of Juneau, living on the edges of their community, engaging in an improbable, awe-inspiring interspecies dance and bringing the wild into sharp focus. At first the people of Juneau were guarded, torn between shoot first, ask questions later instincts and curiosity. But as Romeo began to tag along with cross-country skiers on their daily jaunts, play fetch with local dogs, or simply lie near Nick and nap under the sun, they came to accept Romeo, and he them
Rated 4.7 on amazon.com

bunny1

Just Life
by Neil Abramson
Veterinarian Samantha Lewis and her team are dedicated to providing a sanctuary for unwanted, abused, and abandoned dogs in NYC. But every day it gets harder to operate her no-kill shelter. Sam is already at her breaking point when she learns of an unidentified, dangerous virus spreading through their neighborhood. The medical community can only determine that animals are the carriers. Amid growing panic and a demand for immediate answers, suspicion abruptly falls on dogs as the source. Soon the governor is for a quarantine.
Rated 4.4 on amazon.com

56e6c3119ddd78b5b9380df4fd5f341c--cute-hamsters-dwarf-hamsters

Of Orcas and Men
by David Neiwert
Orcas are one of earth’s most intelligent animals. Benign and gentle, with their own languages and cultures, orcas’ amazing capacity for long-term memory and, arguably, compassion, makes the ugly story of the captive-orca industry especially damning. In Of Orcas and Men, a marvelously compelling mix of cultural history, environmental reporting, and scientific research, David Neiwert explores how this extraordinary species has come to capture our imaginations―and the catastrophic environmental consequences of that appeal.
Rated 4.5 on amazon.com

otter02

41N472T1YZL._SX312_BO1,204,203,200_Horse Heaven
by Jane Smiley
“It’s not true,” says a character in Jane Smiley’s funny, passionate, and brilliant new novel of horse racing, “that anything can happen at the racetrack,” but many astonishing and affecting things do. The strange, compelling, sparkling, and mysterious universe of horse racing that has fascinated generations of punters and robber barons, horse-lovers and wits, has never before been depicted with such verve and originality, such tenderness, such clarity, and, above all, such sheer exuberance.
Rated 4.3 on amazon.com

abbfe87b-536d-4a42-846d-7a52f796ed58

The Zookeeper’s Wife
by Diane Ackerman
A true story in which the keepers of the Warsaw Zoo saved hundreds of people from Nazi handsAfter their zoo was bombed, Polish zookeepers Jan and Antonina Zabinski managed to save over three hundred people from the Nazis by hiding refugees in the empty animal cages. With animal names for these “guests,” and human names for the animals, it’s no wonder that the zoo’s code name became “The House Under a Crazy Star.” Diane Ackerman combines extensive research and an exuberant writing style to re-create this fascinating, true-life story.
Rated 3.8 on amazon.com

amusing-animal-photos-reading-dog

A Dog’s Purpose
by W. Bruce Cameron
Heartwarming, insightful, and often laugh-out-loud funny, A Dog’s Purpose is not only the emotional and hilarious story of a dog’s many lives, but also a dog’s-eye commentary on human relationships and the unbreakable bonds between man and man’s best friend. This moving and beautifully crafted story teaches us that love never dies, that our true friends are always with us, and that every creature on earth is born with a purpose.
Rated 4.8 on amazon.com

wishbone

Seabiscuit
by Laura Hillenbrand
Another true story; Seabiscuit was one of the most electrifying and popular attractions in sports history and the single biggest newsmaker in the world in 1938, receiving more coverage than FDR, Hitler, or Mussolini. But his success was a surprise to the racing establishment, which had written off the crooked-legged racehorse with the sad tail. Three men changed Seabiscuit’s fortunes.
Rated 4.7 on amazon.com

31bab74a6847ca20d0bc5e95124b46bd--read-books-adorable-animals

The Lion in the Living Room
by Abigail Tucker
A lively adventure through history, natural science, and pop culture in search of how cats conquered the world, the Internet, and our hearts. House cats rule back alleys, deserted Antarctic islands, and our bedrooms. Clearly, they own the Internet, where a viral cat video can easily be viewed upwards of ten million times. But how did cats accomplish global domination? Unlike dogs, they offer humans no practical benefit. The truth is they are sadly incompetent rat-catchers and pose a threat to many ecosystems. Yet, we love them still.
Rated 4.1 on amazon.com

58f4c780d4be98bb1eb38b9d4421182b--scottish-fold-kittens-big-cats.jpgWhat animal inspired books do you love?

One Book To Rule Them All

shutterstock_253710055-largeIn a poll I posted to help us all get to know each other I asked the question:
If you could only ever read one book forever, what book would you choose?

51+IkGT1NxL._SX299_BO1,204,203,200_

Now many of you did say you’d rather not live, and though I’m sure many others felt torn between that option and having to chose, they did choose. Thanks to my fellow blogger friend Aurora who reminded me to share these wonderful choices with all of you, I have compiled the following montage.


There can only be one, one book to rule them all!

Part One of Three:


The number one answer given un-specifically to edition 8 times (12 total)

The Bible

This version is the most read and highly reviewed.

 

 The longest compilation of short storiesNow that was very hard to find out… So instead I just picked 10 famous short story authors and then found the one with the longest compilation, and the winner was…

Earnest Hemingway: The Complete Short Stories


Anything by Philip Roth

Well that leaves it pretty open, so here is one of Philip Roths most well read and a best reviewed books.

Nemisis


A Larousse Dictionary

Smart choice 🙂 but didn’t specify which, as it turns out Spanish is the most popular one. Great way to learn a new language, or get smarter at your own.


Swan Song 

by Robert R. Mc Cammon

This book is one of five that got 2 or more votes, looks like I may need to read it 🙂


The Game of Life and How to Play it

by  Florence Scovel Shinn

Another smart choice.


Absalom Absalom

by William Faulkner

I’ve been wanting to read this book

 

$_58

 

The General – William Booth

I had to guess at this one a little but I found this book:

The Authoritative Life of General William Booth

 

Ship of Brides

by JoJo Moyes

 

 

The Lion The Witch and The Wardrobe

by C.S. Lewis

I would go for the complete Chronicles of Narnia set (I think that counts)

 

The Biggest fattest book I can get my hands on:
The World Record for longest novel is
“À la recherche du temps perdu” 3036 pages, but that’s in french, but it was not published in one volume so it wouldn’t technically count for this person choice. However this book was chosen in the poll say yay for Proust!

“Zettels Traum” is the longest recorded book every published in one edition 1536 pages… but it’s German so I gotta pick an English one as well.

“Sir Charles Grandison” 1647 The longest English one volume book.

 


The Many Adventures of Winnie The Pooh:
Tales & Poems

by A. A. Milne

A charming choice!

Don Quixote

by Miguel de Cervantes

One of five to get multiple votes.

 


Bellydance for Beginners

This is the all I could find, or the closest…

 

I’d continue to write my own books, so that I’d always have something new


War and Peace

by Leo Tolstoy

A great choice, a good way to insure I’d get through it 🙂

 

4473

A Prayer For Owen Meany

by John Irving

After reading about this book I am very interested in reading it myself 🙂

letters-to-a-young-poet-a-beloved-classic-of-writerly-wisdom-400x400-imad8qzugsbtfyr3


*
Letters to a Young Poet

by  Rainer Maria Rilke

 

*
*
Deadly Messengers

by Susan May

 


The Art of Happiness

by Dalai Lama

Very wise choice, but I think Pharrell would be infinitely stuck in my head 😀

 

The Lord of The Rings

by J.R.R. Tolkien

This book got 3 votes, one of only 5 to get multiple votes.

I can certainly attest to why, these are phenomenal books!

I just LOVE all the variety!

Some make sense, some are strange, some are very intriguing…
What do you think of these choices?
Find out more tomorrow in Pt. 2

What would you choose?


Beat The Heat Book Beans Pt.2

Continuing from yesterday here is Part 2 of 2. More yummy chills and book thrills to beat the heat with!

Simmer down with these cool books and icy drinks:

“Love in The Time of Cholera”

Gabriel Garcia Marquez
is a wonderful author, and I really enjoyed this book. It had a warm ambiance laced in it’s pages and left me with a feeling of nostalgia when I finished it.

“Set in a country on the Caribbean coast of South America, this is a story about a woman and two men and their entwined lives. From the author of the legendary One Hundred Years of Solitude.”

Rated 3.9 on amazon.com

1669859.jpg

Book Bean: Raspberry Rose Ripple
Rose Tea Steeped rich and chilled. Add frozen raspberries to blender, add chilled rose tea, add a couple scoops of cool whip and blend. (you can also try this with ice-cream or fro-yo.)

Before The Fall

By Noah Hawley
On a foggy summer night, eleven people–ten privileged, one down-on-his-luck painter–depart Martha’s Vineyard on a private jet headed for New York. Sixteen minutes later, the unthinkable happens: the plane plunges into the ocean. The only survivors are Scott Burroughs–the painter–and a four-year-old boy, who is now the last remaining member of an immensely wealthy and powerful media mogul’s family.

Rated 4.4 on amazon.com

GL0809_Papaya-Banana_Smoothie.jpg.rend.snigalleryslide.landscapeBook Bean: Frothy Tropical Frost
Prepare Hibiscus tea click for recipe, set aside 4 oz and chill. In a blender add a handful of frozen mango, a scoop of crushed pineapple, the 4oz of chilled hibiscus tea, half a banana, and a dollop of cream of coconut. Blend until smooth and frothy. Sip, read, chill, repeat.

“White Fang”

A great classic by Jack London. If you’d like to escape the heat and spend some time way up north in the wilderness of Canada, this is a book that makes a great escape.

“Half wolf, half dog, White Fang fully understands the cruelty of both nature and humans. After nearly starving to death during the frigid Arctic winter, he’s taken in first by a man who “trains” him through constant whippings, and then by another who forces him to participate in vicious dogfights.

Follow White Fang as he overcomes these obstacles and finally meets someone who offers him kindness and love.”

Rated 4.5 on amazon.com
maple_coffee_frappe.jpg

Book Bean: Maple Frozen Mocha
Brew espresso over 3 maple sugar cubes dissolve and chill. Add ice, drizzle ice with a little chocolate, add almond milk, and the espresso maple mix to blender. Blend  until smooth. You can double or triple this of course 😉

I’ll Give You The Sun

The New York Times Bestselling story by Jandy Nelson. A book about first love, family, loss, and betrayal. A great choice for fans of John Green, Jenny Offill, Emma Straub, and Rainbow Rowell

“At first, Jude and her twin brother are NoahandJude; inseparable. Noah draws constantly and is falling in love with the charismatic boy next door, while daredevil Jude wears red-red lipstick, cliff-dives, and does all the talking for both of them.”
Rated 4.7 on amazon.com

Citrus-Blend-Smoothie-003a.jpg

Book Bean: Teappaccino
Steep you favorite herbal or white tea blend and chill (citrusy and florally ones are especially nice). Add tea, scoop of vanilla fro-yo, and a squeeze of lemon to blender. Blend and enjoy 🙂

Well that is my beat the heat chill out list, I hope you find something that you’d like to try. Please share your experience if you do.

61320c2189a7c67808a67c621ee2520d
Check out my Saga Saturday List for even more great summer reads!

Beat The Heat Book Beans Pt.1

61320c2189a7c67808a67c621ee2520dThis last week Portland has had some hot days, summer is well underway.
I don’t do well in the heat so I need some good reading and nice cold drinks to get me through.
So with more hot days ahead and summer just around the corner, I’ve done a roundup of good summer reading, and some recipes to beat the heat.

Simmer down with these cool books and icy drinks:

“Love & Gelato”

Jenn Evans Welch
gives us a a summer in Italy that turns into a road trip across Tuscany in this sweeping debut novel filled with romance, mystery, and adventure.

“But then Lina is given a journal that her mom had kept when she lived in Italy. Suddenly Lina’s uncovering a magical world of secret romances, art, and hidden bakeries. A world that inspires Lina, along with the ever-so-charming Ren, to follow in her mother’s footsteps and unearth a secret that has been kept from Lina for far too long.
It’s a secret that will change everything she knew about her mother, her father—and even herself.”

Rated 4.9 on amazon.com

green-tea-frappe.png
Book Bean:
Frappalato-Licious
One scoop of your favorite Gelato (I like pistachio and/or mint) in a blender add 1 shot of chilled espresso and cream or use 2 scoops of Gelato and 8 oz of brewed coffee chilled, Blend, top with  whip cream, and enjoy.

“Of Mice and Men”

John Steinbeck
wrote this classic gem in 1937. It’s been a Broadway play and there have been several adaptations of it in movies and TV. It is a timeless treasure. Steinbeck’s descriptive narratives are like a mellow summer breeze.

“The powerlessness of the laboring class is a recurring theme in Steinbeck’s work of the late 1930s, he narrowed his focus when composing “Of Mice and Men” (1937), creating an intimate portrait of two men facing a world marked by petty tyranny, misunderstanding, jealousy, and callousness.
But though the scope is narrow, the theme is universal; a friendship and a shared dream that makes an individual’s existence meaningful.”

Rated 4.4 on amazon.com

“The best laid schemes o’ mice an’ men / Gang aft agley.” (Often go awry.)
Robert Burn’s poem “To a Mouse”

Mango-smoothie2
Book Bean: 
Orange Marmalade Chiller
In a blender: A hefty scoop of orange marmalade, fresh squeezed orange juice and a little zest, add ice. Blend, pour, and garnish with mint. Now cool your jets.

“The Girls”

Emma Cline’s has written a great debut novel. It is beautifully written and captivating, with precision and startling psychological insight.

“This novel takes place Northern California, and follows a lonely and thoughtful teenager. It begins in the summer of the violent end of the 1960s. An indelible portrait of girls, the women they become, and that moment in life when everything can go horribly wrong.”

Rated 3.9 on amazon.com


Book Bean:
Malted Ovaltine Frappe
blanche_ovaltine_milkshake022x.jpgThat’s right get out the ole Olvatine and whip up this tasty freeze. In a blender add a 1/4-1/2 cup of milk (of choice), Ovaltine to taste ( I like a lot :D), a little ice, 2 shots of chilled espresso or brewed coffee (chilled, but use cream instead of milk and less of it), blend until smooth, pour and sprinkle with malt.

“Sisterhood of The Traveling Pants”

by Ann Brashares
“Carmen got the jeans at a thrift shop. They didn’t look all that great: they were worn, dirty, and speckled with bleach. On the night before she and her friends part for the summer, Carmen decides to toss them. But Tibby says they’re great. She’d love to have them. Lena and Bridget also think they’re fabulous. Lena decides that they should all try them on. Whoever they fit best will get them. Nobody knows why, but the pants fit everyone perfectly. Even Carmen (who never thinks she looks good in anything) thinks she looks good in the pants. Over a few bags of cheese puffs, they decide to form a sisterhood and take the vow of the Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants . . . the next morning, they say good-bye. And then the journey of the pants — and the most memorable summer of their lives — begins.”

Rated 4.6 on amazon.com

lemon-cream-soda-5Book Bean: Twisted Italian Soda
Steep or pull concentrated white tea (same amount of tea only 2 oz water) and chill, mix chilled tea with aprx. 4oz of simply lemonade juice (or the like), pour over ice, add carbonated water leaving a half inch of room, squeeze in a splash of lemon juice, and top with a bit of half and half or whip. Add a straw and lemon wedge, stir lightly if you like.

This was just part 1 of 2, stay tuned tomorrow for Part 2!

What’s your favorite drink to beat the heat?

A Flight of Fantasy

magic_ball_library_columns_castle_63093_602x339I love fantasy fiction, especially when it is a bit different and outside the box (as fantasy fiction goes anyway.) I love books that enchant and leave the mind twinkling with imagination and magic. That is the inspiration behind this article and I hope it will captivate even the skeptics.

Worthy Fantasy-Fiction reads in all their phantasmagorical splendor:

Neverwhere
by Neil Gaiman
Richard is an unassuming young businessman living in London, with a dull job and a pretty but demanding fiancee. One night he stumbles across a girl bleeding on the sidewalk. He stops to help her and the life he knows vanishes. He has become invisible, and inexplicably consigned to a London of shadows and darkness a city of monsters and saints, murderers and angels, that exists entirely in a subterranean labyrinth of sewer canals and abandoned subway stations. He’s fallen through cracks in reality and landed somewhere that is Neverwhere.

Rated 4.5 on amazon.com

Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell
by Susanna Clarke
An epic tale of the two magicians who emerge to change Englands history. In the year 1806, in the midst of the Napoleonic Wars, most people believe magic to have long since disappeared from England — until the reclusive Mr Norrell reveals his powers and becomes a celebrity overnight. Another practising magician emerges: the young and daring Jonathan Strange. He becomes Norrell’s pupil and the two join forces in the war against France. But Strange is increasingly drawn to the wildest, most perilous forms of magic and soon he risks sacrificing everything.

Rated 4.2 on amazon.com

Book Bean: Dynamic Duo Mocha
Orange-Mocha-Recipe-1.jpgA magical mix of cinnamon and orange in a mocha that’s to die for! Step 1: start slowly heating 1/8 cup or 3 small squares of dark chocolate (temping in double boiler or in microwave.) Step 2: When melted move to stove-top and mix in 1-2 drops of orange extract (or use orange flavored chocolate) and cinnamon powder to taste, then slowly whisk in 4-5 oz of milk of choice till smooth. Step 3: make coffee preferably pull a shot of espresso. Once your chocolate is hot and frothy and your coffee is ready cup your chocolate and pour in your coffee. Top with marshmallows and garnish with orange zest and cinnamon.

Dracula
by Bram Stoker
“There he lay looking as if youth had been half-renewed, for the white hair and moustache were changed to dark iron-grey, the cheeks were fuller, and the white skin seemed ruby-red underneath; the mouth was redder than ever, for on the lips were gouts of fresh blood, which trickled from the corners of the mouth and ran over the chin and neck. Even the deep, burning eyes seemed set amongst the swollen flesh, for the lids and pouches underneath were bloated. It seemed as if the whole awful creature were simply gorged with blood; he lay like a filthy leech, exhausted with his repletion.”

Rated 4.4 on amazon.com

Dark Tower: The Gunslinger
by Stephen King
Roland of Gilead: The Last Gunslinger. He is a haunting figure, a loner on a spellbinding journey into good and evil. In his desolate world, which mirrors our own in frightening ways, Roland tracks The Man in Black, encounters an enticing woman named Alice, and begins a friendship with the boy from New York named Jake.
Inspired in part by the Robert Browning narrative poem, “Childe Roland to the Dark Tower Came,” (appropriate don’t you thik 😉 ) The Gunslinger is “a compelling whirlpool of a story that draws one irretrievable to its center”

Rated 4.2 on amazon.com


Book Bean:
The King’s Tea
a9241d03_snickers-pousse-cafe-001_thumb.jpgPour 6 oz of black or spiced hot tea into a pousse cafe glass, using a spoon in glass to prevent cracking. Add 2oz’s amaretto almond liquor, but do not stir. Top with on oz chilled whipped cream. Garnish with nuts and chocolate flakes. Enjoy.

 

The Once and Future King & The Book of Merlyn
by T.H. White

51yf9TfEUML._SX308_BO1,204,203,200_.jpg The Once and Future King:
A masterful retelling of the saga of King Arthur is a fantasy classic as legendary as Excalibur and Camelot, and a poignant story of adventure, romance and magic that has enchants.

Rated 4.2 on amazon.com

The Book of Merlyn:
This magical account of King Arthur’s last night on earth. Even in addressing the profound issues of war and peace, The Book of Merlyn retains the life and sparkle for which White is known. The tale brings Arthur full circle.

Rated 4.1 on amazon.com

The Eye of The World: Book 1
by Robert Jordan
The Wheel of Time turns and Ages come and go, leaving memories that become legend. Legend fades to myth, and even myth is long forgotten when the Age that gave it birth returns again. In the Third Age, an Age of Prophecy, the World and Time themselves hang in the balance. What was, what will be, and what is, may yet fall under the Shadow.
When The Two Rivers is attacked by Trollocs (a savage tribe of half-men, half-beasts,) five villagers flee into a world they barely imagined, with new dangers waiting in the shadows and the light.

Rated 4.5 on amazon.com

The Night Circus
by Erin Morgenstern
The circus arrives without warning. No announcements precede it. It is simply there, when yesterday it was not. Within the black-and-white striped canvas tents is an utterly unique experience full of breathtaking amazements. It is called Le Cirque des Rêves, and it is only open at night. But behind the scenes, a fierce competition is underway: a duel between two young magicians, Celia and Marco, who have trained since childhood expressly for this purpose by their mercurial instructors. Unbeknownst to them, this is a game in which only one can be left standing

Rated 4.4 on amazon.com

Book Bean: Tea & Cake Latte
4d0362963d474978c371f7bd88d94948Another magical dynamic duo, this time in respect to England it’s with tea! Start with  4 ounces of strong steeped black tea (brew 2 tea bags in 5 ounces of water.) Steam 8 oz of milk (or boil and put in a blender, to make hot and frothy.) Pour .5-1 oz Real vanilla bean syrup (if you’d like to make it yourself heres a link!) in to cup of choice. Add in white chocolate powder and/or flakes to taste. Next add the tea and stir. Last add the steamed milk. Sprinkle with white chocolate flakes and vanilla bean.

The Queen’s Poisoner
by Jeff Wheeler
King Severn Argentine’s fearsome reputation precedes him: usurper of the throne, killer of rightful heirs, ruthless punisher of traitors. Attempting to depose him, the Duke of Kiskaddon gambles…and loses. Now the duke must atone by handing over his young son, Owen, as the king’s hostage. And should his loyalty falter again, the boy will pay with his life. Seeking allies and eluding Severn’s spies, Owen learns to survive in the court of Kingfountain. When new evidence of his father’s betrayal threatens to seal his fate, Owen must win the vengeful king’s favor.

Rated 4.5 on amazon.com

Under Heaven
by Guy Gavriel Kay
It begins simply. Shen Tai, son of an illustrious general serving the Emperor of Kitai, has spent two years honoring the memory of his late father by burying the bones of the dead from both armies at the site of one of his father’s last great battles. In recognition of his labors and his filial piety, an unlikely source has sent him a dangerous gift: 250 Sardian horses.

Inspired by the glory and power of The Tang dynasty, Guy Gavriel Kay evokes the dazzling 8th-century China in a story of honor and power.

Rated 4.4 on amazon.com

Book Bean: Masala Chai
shutterstock_168107177Bring two cups of water to the boil. Add 3-4 tsp tea leaves, 1 chunk dried ginger, 3-4 crushed cardamom pods, 3 whole cloves, one piece of cinnamon, and 1-2 whole black peppers. Bring to boil again for about 15 seconds. Let stand for one minute. Warm milk in a pot. Filter the above tea into cups. Warm desired amount of milk in a pot. Filter the above tea into cups. Add warmed milk and sugar to taste. Garnish with Anise.

The Golem and The Jinni
by Helene Wecker
A chance meeting between mythical beings takes readers on an enchanting journey through cultures in turn-of-the-century New York.

Chava is a golem; creature made of clay, brought to life to by a disgraced rabbi who dabbles in dark Kabbalistic magic and dies at sea on the voyage from Poland. Chava is unmoored and adrift as the ship arrives in New York harbor in 1899.
Ahmad is a jinni; being of fire born in the ancient Syrian desert, trapped in an old copper flask, and released in NYC, though entirely free.

Rated 4.5 on amazon.com

That concludes the list but here are A few other notable fantasy reads:
            

I purposely left off selections that I have featured before,
I want to keep it interesting.
So for more of my fantasy picks and favorites click HERE
4948fbb616b0b80febbd3302f5db437d-edited
and HERE
Narnia, The Count, The Hobbit, The Lord of the Ring, Potter etc. and a few other great titles are featured elsewhere as well.

What are your fantasy favorites?