Teddy Rose Book Reviews Plus More

Completed: The Alphabet in Historical Fiction Challenge

Posted by Teddyrose@1 on February 28, 2011
Posted in 2011 Challenges Completed  | 7 Comments

We hosted this challenge over at Historical TapestryThe object was to post about historical fiction from A-Z, one letter in order, each fortnight.

Here are all of my post, A-Z:

A)The Age of Innocence by Edith Wharton

B)Beneath a Mable Sky by John Shors

C)The Postmistress by Sarah Blake

D)The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde 

E)Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë

F)Book of Fires by Jane Borodale

G)Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell

H)The Stolen Crown by Susan Higginbotham

I) 1916: A Novel of the Irish Rebellion by Morgan Llywelyn

J) The Colony of Unrequited Dreams by Wayne Johnston

K) The Secret River by Kate Grenville

L) Uncle Toms Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe

M) Captivity by Deborah Noyes


Copyright 2007-2010: All the posts within this blog were originally posted by Teddy Rose and should not be reproduced without express written permission.

Sweat by Zora Neale Hurston

Posted by Teddyrose@1 on February 28, 2011
Posted in Short Story Read in 2011  | 4 Comments

Zora Neale Hurston has been an author that I have wanted to read for the longest time but just never got around to, until now.

About Zora Neale Hurston:
Zora Neale Hurston was an American folklorist and author. In 1925, shortly before entering Barnard College, Hurston became one of the leaders of the literary renaissance happening in Harlem, producing the short-lived literary magazine Fire!! along with Langston Hughes and Wallace Thurman. This literary movement became the center of the Harlem Renaissance. 

Hurston applied her Barnard ethnographic training to document African American folklore in her critically acclaimed book Mules and Men along with fiction Their Eyes Were Watching God and dance, assembling a folk-based performance group that recreated her Southern tableau, with one performance on Broadway.
Hurston was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship to travel to Haiti and conduct research on conjure in 1937. Her work was significant because she was able to break into the secret societies and expose their use of drugs to create the Vodun trance, also a subject of study for fellow dancer/anthropologist Katherine Dunham who was then at the University of Chicago. 

In 1954 Hurston was unable to sell her fiction but was assigned by the Pittsburgh Courier to cover the small-town murder trial of Ruby McCollum, the prosperous black wife of the local lottery racketeer, who had killed a racist white doctor. 

Hurston also contributed to Woman in the Suwanee County Jail, a book by journalist and civil rights advocate William Bradford Huie
. (Courtesy of GoodReads.)

Your can see from her fascinating bio, why I would want to read her works.  Sweat did not disappoint.

Delia Jones did laundry for the white folks who lived across town.  Every Saturday she hitched up her horse and wagon to deliver freshly washed laundry and picked up a new batch to be washed.  On Sunday, after church, she would get a head start with the weeks worth of work by sorting and soaking the whites.  She did the laundry because her deadbeat husband, Sykes spent all of the money he earned on himself and other women.  He didn’t give her any toward household expenses.

Delia very proud of the fact that she was able to buy the house they lived in but Sykes did not make life easy.  He hated the fact that she worked for white folks and some time undermined her work.

  “He stepped roughly upon the whitest pile of things, kicking them helter-skelter as he crossed the room. His wife gave a little scream of dismay, and quickly gathered them together again.”

One day Delia came home from delivering laundry, looking forward to some quiet time.  Sikes was standing near the door with a box and told her to look inside.  It contained a rattle snake and she screamed.  Sykes insisted on keeping the reptile just to freak her out.  One night..

“She lay awake, gazing upon the debris that cluttered their matrimonial trail. Not an image left standing along the way. Anything like flowers had long ago been drowned in the salty stream that had been pressed from her heart”

Things escalated from there and you can guess that the snake was not only highly symbolic in the story but pivitol as well. This story about domestic abuse and survival really packs a punch.  The writing was strong and poetic, although it took me a bit to of effort to read the dialogue.  For example,

“Dat niggah wouldn’t fetch nothin’ heah tuh save his rotten neck, but he kin run thew whut Ah brings quick enough. Now he done toted off nigh on tuh haff uh box uh matches. He done had dat ‘oman heah in mah house, too.”
Hurston paved the way for other strong female and African American authors.  She didn’t hide behind social issues but brought them to the forefront.  I look forward to reading more by Zora Neale Hurston.  You can read Sweat, here along with another story and some really interesting commentary.
This also concludes my participation in The Alphabet in Historical Fiction Challenge.


Copyright 2007-2010: All the posts within this blog were originally posted by Teddy Rose and should not be reproduced without express written permission.

Giveaway: Death of a Chimney Sweep By M. C. Beaton

Posted by Teddyrose@1 on February 27, 2011
Posted in My Past Giveaways  | 153 Comments

Thanks to Brianne Beers of  Hachette Book Group, I am giving away up to 3 copies of this book.
Book Description:

In the south of Scotland, residents get their chimneys vacuum-cleaned. But in the isolated villages in the very north of Scotland, the villagers rely on the services of the itinerant sweep, Pete Ray, and his old-fashioned brushes. Pete is always able to find work in the Scottish highlands, until one day when Police Constable Hamish Macbeth notices blood dripping onto the floor of a villager’s fireplace, and a dead body stuffed inside the chimney. The entire town of Lochdubh is certain Pete is the culprit, but Hamish doesn’t believe that the affable chimney sweep is capable of committing murder. Then Pete’s body is found on the Scottish moors, and the mystery deepens. Once again, it’s up to Hamish to discover who’s responsible for the dirty deed–and this time, the murderer may be closer than he realizes.

The number of entrants to this giveaway will determine how many copies of this book I will giveaway:

1-10 entrants= 1
11-20 entrants= 2
21 or more entrants = 3

To Enter:
Leave a comment with your email address, so I can contact you if you win.
Extra Entries:  (please leave a separate comment for each, for instance you you are a follower, leave 3 comments that you are a follower).
+3 Old or new follower of this blog.
+3 Old or new follower on Twitter (@teddyrose1).
+3 Be my friend on Facebook (Teddy Rose).
+3 “Like” the post about this giveaway on Facebook
+3 Be my friend on Goodreads (Teddy).
+3 for Joining my Books Won Reading Challenge (be sure to follow the rules and then let me know you joined here.)
+1 for each comment on a book review I have done. (Be sure to tell me which ones).
+1 for clicking to give free food at The Animal Rescue Site (tell me you did it).( Up to 1 time per day)
+1 for clicking to give free books at The Literacy Site (tell me you did it). ( Up to 1 time per day)

That’s 21 or more possible entries!

Sorry, the giveaway is only open US and Canadian residents only.
The winner’s mailing address: NO P.O.Boxes.
Only one entry per household/IP address
Winners will be subject to the one copy per household rule, which means that if you win the same title in two or more contests, you will receive only one copy of the book.

This giveaway will end on Sunday, March 13th, 11:59 P.M. E.S.T. The winners will be notified by email. Winners must respond within TWO days or will be disqualified.


Copyright 2007-2010: All the posts within this blog were originally posted by Teddy Rose and should not be reproduced without express written permission.