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Welcome! The ultimate luxury for me is curling up with a good book and a warm blanket. The next best thing is reviewing books and sharing them with others.

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19 08, 2016

Review: The People’s House by David Pepper

By | August 19th, 2016|Categories: Genre Fiction, Literature & Fiction, Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Political|Tags: , , |3 Comments


people's house book coverReviewed by Leigh Adamkiewicz

The 2016 election year has been a dumpster fire. Right now we need a lovingly written story of political intrigue. Something that makes us feel like we don’t have to choose between But She Paid Her Dues or Balding Brooklyn Hitler. Something that makes us feel like powerful government officials might – occasionally – be accountable for their back room dealings and dirty secrets.

The People’s House by David Pepper is a brilliant antidote to the election year blues. It’s marvelously paced, delightfully written, and a balm to the soul of people who can’t believe it took a full month for the DNC’s leaked e-mails to hit the mainstream press.

18 08, 2016

Review: The Woman in the Photo by Mary Hogan

By | August 18th, 2016|Categories: Coming of Age, Genre Fiction, Historical, Literature & Fiction, Women's Fiction|Tags: , , |6 Comments


woman in the photo book coverReviewed by Kelly Ferjutz

Wow! This book. I could use a thesaurus full of accolades and still run out of words, trying to describe the book and why it spoke to me so strongly.

I love history. Granted, I’m more partial to some events than others, but always willing to at least investigate one about which I’d had previous little knowledge. Take, for instance, the Johnstown Flood of 1889. It’s termed a ‘flood’ and in a way it was, but yet it really wasn’t. There was a hunting and fishing club up on the mountain, and so a damn was built to contrive a lake where there had never been one. A dam was built with a causeway on the top of it, to enable the carriages of the ‘rich and famous’ of that era to travel in comfort from the Johnstown train station in the valley, to the club up there in the clouds. When the causeway proved to be too narrow for some of the bigger carriages (progress,  you know!) the surface of the dam was lowered a bit.

18 08, 2016

Review: Sisi by Allison Pataki

By | August 18th, 2016|Categories: Biographical, Family Saga, Genre Fiction, Historical, Literature & Fiction|Tags: , , |4 Comments


sisi book coverReviewed by Bethany Kelly

Sisi: Empress on Her Own by Allison Pataki is a historical fiction book focusing entirely on Empress Elisabeth – known as Sisi – who is married to Emperor of Austria-Hungary, Franz Joseph.

Her life as Empress is anything but a life of happiness. Instead, she feels stifled by her duties to not only her empire, but also to her husband and two older children, whose grandmother made it impossible for Sisi to develop any type of meaningful relationship with.

She spends her time in Hungary, instead of the capital of Vienna, doting on her youngest daughter, Valerie, who is the only child she has been allowed to actually raise. Her love for her estate – just outside of Budapest – is paired with an accidental love with Count Andrassy, a Hungarian statesman.

18 08, 2016

Giveaway: Someone Must Die by Sharon Potts

By | August 18th, 2016|Categories: Giveaways|Tags: |9 Comments

someone must die book coverEnter to win a copy of Someone Must Die by Sharon Potts! Open to U.S. residents only

About the book 

When her six-year-old nephew vanishes from a neighborhood carnival, Aubrey Lynd’s safe, snow-globe world fractures; it shatters when the FBI’s investigation raises questions about her own family that Aubrey can’t answer.

Aubrey picks apart the inconsistencies to expose the first of many lies: a ransom note—concealed from the FBI—with a terrifying and impossible ultimatum. Aubrey doesn’t know what to believe or whom to trust.

18 08, 2016

Review: Awesome America by Katy Steinmetz

By | August 18th, 2016|Categories: Ages 12 and Under, Children's Books|Tags: , |1 Comment


awesome america book coverReviewed by Alyssa Katanic

What better time to gather with your little ones to learn more about America than during a presidential election year? Time for Kids has introduced a wonderful new book to help in this endeavor titled Awesome America: Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About the History, People, and Culture by Katy Steinmetz.

Awesome America includes a timeline of the nation from Native Americans through the present day. Not only does it cover major historical happenings like wars, civil rights, and national achievements, but it also provides snapshots into cultural icons, sports, and our diverse landscape.

17 08, 2016

Review: The Whale: A Love Story by Mark Beauregard

By | August 17th, 2016|Categories: Biographical, Genre Fiction, Historical, Literary, Literature & Fiction|Tags: , , |2 Comments


whale a love story book coverReviewed by Meredith Kelly

I enjoyed The Whale: A Love Story despite at times having had a hard time reading it. The book was primarily about the meeting and subsequent friendship of Herman Melville and Nathaniel Hawthorne. In addition to feeling overly factual for a fictional book, it also needed that “spice.” Unfortunately, it read like a well-prepared dish that lacked salt and pepper.

The two gentlemen met in the summer of 1850 on a picnic which was arranged by David Dudley Field, a lawyer and reformer. The guests on this outing reflected a “who’s who” of famous men of that era and included Oliver Wendell Holmes, in addition to Hawthorne and Melville and a few other less significant men. As the group was climbing Monument Mountain in western Massachusetts, it started to rain causing the group to scatter and resulting in Melville and Hawthorne being together with no one else around. Thus began their historical relationship.

17 08, 2016

July Most Creative/Prolific Contributor Award!

By | August 17th, 2016|Categories: Giveaways, Monthly Contest|Tags: |9 Comments

stack of books As promised, every month I give away a prize of their choice to the most creative/prolific contributor to Luxury Reading.

This month, our winner is…

Bonnie Franks!

Kudos to everyone for your great comments! Please post a comment here with your selection!

15 08, 2016

Review: Girl Against the Universe by Paula Stokes

By | August 15th, 2016|Categories: Children's Books, Depression & Mental Illness, Love & Romance, Social Issues, Young Adult|Tags: , , , , |4 Comments


girl against the universe book coverReviewed by Christen Krumm

I had no idea what I was in for, going into Girl Against the Universe. Paula Stokes hits on the tough issues—OCD, PTSD, teen stress and anxiety—all with poise and tasteful humor. Girl Against the Universe had me laughing, tearing up (because I cannot remember the last time I cried over a book—shame!), and quickly turning pages all through this year’s summer vacation.

Maguire is cursed. Or at least has horrible case of bad luck. From being the only living survivor in a terrible car wreck to house fires and crashing roller coasters, the universe clearly has it out for her. To keep those she loves—and innocent strangers around her – safe, Maguire decides the best thing is for her to hide her life away in her room.

15 08, 2016

Review: The Widow by Fiona Barton

By | August 15th, 2016|Categories: Literature & Fiction, Mystery, Thriller & Suspense|Tags: , , |5 Comments


the widow book coverReviewed by Bethany Kelly

The Widow by Fiona Barton has been compared to thrillers such as Gone Girl and The Girl on the Train. Although I loved this book, I think this comparison was a bad move by the marketing department because The Widow is nothing like those books.

When Jean’s husband, Glen, is accused of a heinous crime, Jean becomes the dutiful wife, standing by her husband through thick and thin. Although she finds some awful and disgusting things out about her husband, she shows the world a united front and supports him through the investigation and trial.

15 08, 2016

Giveaway: Brain Storm by Elaine Viets

By | August 15th, 2016|Categories: Giveaways|Tags: |11 Comments

brain storm book coverEnter to win a copy of Brain Storm by Elaine Viets! Open to U.S. residents only

About the book 

The ultra-wealthy families of Chouteau Forest may look down on a woman like death investigator Angela Richman, but they also rely on her. When a horrific car crash kills a Forest teenager, Angela is among the first on the scene. Her investigation is hardly underway, however, when she suffers a series of crippling strokes. Misdiagnosed by the resident neurologist, Dr. Gravois, and mended by gauche yet brilliant neurosurgeon Dr. Jeb Travis Tritt, Angela faces a harrowing recovery.