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Showing posts with label FiorellaDeMaria. Show all posts
Showing posts with label FiorellaDeMaria. Show all posts

Thursday, 17 September 2020

I Am Margaret The Play - Corinna Turner and Fiorella de Maria

I Am Margaret The Play
Fiorella De Maria
Corinna Turner
UnSeen Books 
ISBN 9781910806845
eISBN 9781910806852
ASIN B08DGZ66LF
Director’s Edition
ISBN 9781910806548


I had no idea this volume was in the works. And to be honest it had been many years since I have read a play or other script. Once upon a time when I was involved with productions in High School and University, I often read plays, and of course the Greek classics. But it has been years since I picked up a play to read. But upon hearing of this one I not only picked it up, but devoured it in 2 sittings, one late at night and the other early the next morning. This is a work by two of my favorite contemporary Catholic authors. Fiorella de Maria I discovered a year ago and devoured all her fictional works. I have been a fan of Corinna’s works for years and have read most of her offering. The I Am Margaret book and series is a magnificent piece of fiction, and a warning. And this is that story in play format by the masterful pen of de Maria. 

The I Am Margaret book is a warning to all people, but especially Christians and Catholics. And this play brings it to life in a new and powerful way. Reading this play the story came alive in my minds eye in a completely new way. Part of the description of the book is:

“In Margo's World, The 'Imperfect' Are Recycled. Literally.

Margaret Verrall dreams of marrying the boy she loves and spending her life with him. But she’s part of the underground network of Believers – and that carries the death penalty. But before she can be unmasked as a Believer, she fails her Sorting and is reassigned as spare parts. Bane swears to rescue her before she can be dismantled, but a chance to take on the system ups the stakes beyond mere survival. Now she has to break out of the Facility—or face the worst punishment of all: Conscious Dismantlement.”

I first read I Am Margaret five years ago. It was a story that had an immediate impact but also a story that has stuck with me. It is a series I have shared and recommended with countless people. And this new play version is just as powerful. I would absolutely love to see a production of this play or see it on film. I was amazed at how deMaria captured the novel across three acts and a total of 21 scenes. 

Note there are two editions of this play. A standard edition for personal use and a director’s edition that includes:
- Photocopying/Printing and Sharing rights for 1 production
- Free eBook and PDF file 

If you are a fan of the I Am Margaret books you owe it to yourself to give this play a read. And if you love reading plays or scripts, I strongly encourage you to give this a try. And if you are involved with a youth or community theatre group, I would encourage you to give this consideration for your next project.

A fantastic read, and should make for an deeply moving production. A powerful story in an amazing new format.

Note: This book is part of a series of reviews: 2020 Catholic Reading Plan! 

Books by Corinna Turner:
I Am Margaret Series:
0.0 The Underappreciated Virtues of Rusty Old Bicycles (A prequel)
0.5 Brothers (Prequel)
1.0 I Am Margaret
1.5 How Snakey Got His Name (Short Story)
2.0 The Three Most Wanted
3.0 Liberation
4.0 Bane's Eyes

5.0 Margo's (Attempted) Diary & Notebook
5.5 An Unexpected Guest
6.0 The Siege of Reginald Hill
6.5 Buttons (Short Story)
7.0 A Saint in the Family
I Am Margaret The Play
...

Yesterday and Tomorrow Series:
Someday

Tomorrow's Dead
...

unSPARKed Series:
0.0 Breach
0.5 A Mom with Blue Feathers
1.0 Drive!
2.0 A Truly Rapror-Ous Welcome
3.0 Panic! 
4.0 Farmgirls Die in Cages
5.0 ???
...

Mandy Lamb Series:
Mandy Lamb and the Full Moon
The Wolf The Lamb and the Air Balloon
...

Elfling Series:
Elfling 
The Most Expensive Alley Cat in London
...

Other Books:
Three last things or The hounding of Carl Jarrold, Soulless Assassin
The Raven & The Yew
...

Contributed to:
Secrets: Visible & Invisible 7 Amazing Stories - Catholic Teen Books
Gifts Visible & Invisible 8 Christmas Stories for Teens
...

Author profile and interview with Corinna Turner.

Books by Fiorella De Maria:
The Cassandra Curse
Father William's Daughter
Poor Banished Children
Do No Harm
We'll Never Tell Them
A Most Dangerous Innocence
I Am Margaret The Play


Father Gabriel Mysteries:
The Sleeping Witness
The Vanishing Woman
See No Evil



Nonfiction:
Robert Southwell – CTS Saints of the Isles


Books as Fiorella Nash:
The Abolition of Woman: How Radical Feminism Is Betraying Women
...

Author Profile and Interview with Fiorella de Maria.











Tuesday, 31 March 2020

Top Ten Fiction and Non-Fiction Books First Quarter 2020

Top Ten Fiction and Non-Fiction Books First Quarter 2020

This quarter I have read 96 books, which was one more than Q4 2019. It was a good start to the year. And may excellent reads. Seventy-Seven of those books were first time reads. And 66 received 5/5 stars. Only 15 were fiction and 51 were non-fiction. And 8 of those had been read before. I am reading at the pace of about a book a day. 

Here is my top ten fiction and non-fiction books of the first quarter of 2020.

Top Ten Non-Fiction Books:
1. Books by J.B. Midgley
link to all review of books by Midgley
2. Consecration to St. Joseph - Donald H. Calloway
3. Spiritual Warfare and the Discernment of Spirits - Dan Burke
4.  From the Depths of Our Hearts: Priesthood, Celibacy and the Crisis of the Catholic Church - Pope Benedict XVI and Robert Cardinal Sarah
5. Epic Saints Wild, Wonderful, and Weird Stories of God's Heroes - Shaun McAfee
6. CTS Biographies
7. Lenten Journey with Mother Mary - Fr. Edward Looney
8. CTS Great Saints
Saint Ignatius of Loyola - J.A. Philips
9. The Passion of St. Edward, King and Martyr - Goscelin of Saint-Bertin and Eric Sammons
10. Way of the Cross or Stations of the Cross

Bonus:
In Conversation with God - Francis Fernandez
everyone's way of the cross - Clarance Enzler
Way of the Cross - Saint Josemaria Escriva
Sr. Elizabeth Prout - Sister Dominic Savio Hamer CP - CTS Saints of the Isles

Top Ten Fiction Books:
1. The Cassandra Curse - Fiorella De Maria
2. The Ghosts of Midgard Manor: And Other Stories - Roger Thomas
3. See No Evil - Fiorella De Maria - Father Gabriel Mystery Book 3
4. The Tattered Web - Roger Thomas - Watchful Sky Series Book 4
5. Stay With Me Series - Carolyn Astfalk
6. The Lucifer Ego - T.M. Doran - The Sequel to Toward the Gleam
7. A Channel of Your Peace - Veronica Smallhorn
8. A Conspiracy of Bones - Kathy Reichs - Temperance Brennan Book 19
9. Level 13 - Gordon Korman - Slacker Book 2
10. Dragon Assassin 7 Hidden Powers - Arthur Slade

Bonus:
Mystic Informant - Carissa Douglas - Douglings Adventures Book 1
Extreme Blindside - Leslea Wahl

My reading has been consistent at about a book a day over the last few years. I attribute part of it to Brandon Vogt’s course Read More Books Now, removing all games but 1 brain game from my devices. And I now commute to work on a bus and read on the bus every day. Though I am working from home now because of Covid-19 This quarter was 80% non-fiction. There are so many great series I am reading from the Catholic Truth Society, I have had to make an effort to actually fit in some fiction.

Note: I do not include books that have been read in previous years and were reread this year in my top ten lists, they are in the bonus section. It was no easy task making this quarter. But if you want more options check out my favorite books year by year list


Relates Posts: 
Top 10 Fiction Books 1st Quarter 2010
Top 10 Fiction Books 2nd Quarter 2010
Top 10 Reading Goals for 2010
Top 10 Fiction Books 3rd Quarter 2010

Top 10 Fiction Books 4th Quarter 2010
Top Ten Reading Goals For 2010 - Recap

Top 10 Fiction Books 2010
Top 10 Picture Books of 2010
Top 10 Non-Fiction Books of 2010

Top 10 Graphic Novels for 2010
Top Ten Reading Goals For 2011
 

Top Ten Fiction Books 1st Quarter 2011
Top Ten Fiction Books 2nd Quarter 2011
Top Ten Reading Goals for 2011 Update
 
Top Ten Fiction Books 3rd Quarter 2011 
Top Ten Fictions Books 4th Quarter 2011
Top Ten Fiction Books 2011
Top Ten Reading Goals 2011 - Recap
Top Ten Reading Goals 2012
Top Ten Fiction Books 1st Quarter 2012
Top Ten Fiction Books 2nd Quarter 2012

Top Ten Fiction Books 3rd Quarter 2012
Top Ten Fiction Books  4th Quarter 2012
Top Ten Fiction Books 2012
Top Ten Non-Fiction Books 2012
Top Ten Reading Goals 2012 - Recap
Top Ten Reading Goals 2013
Top 10 Fiction Books 1st Quarter 2013

Top 10 Fiction Books 2nd Quarter 2013
Top 10 Books Second Half 2013
Top Ten Fiction Books 2013
Top Ten Non-Fiction Books 2013 
Top Ten Books First Quarter 2014
Top Ten Books Second Quarter 2014
Top Ten Books Third Quarter 2014
Top Ten Books Fourth Quarter 2014
Top Ten Fiction Books 2014
Top Ten Non-Fiction Books 2014
Top Ten Books First Quarter 2015
Top Ten Books Second Quarter 2015
Top Ten Books Third Quarter 2015
Top Ten Books Fourth Quarter 2015
Top Ten Fiction Books 2015
Top Ten Non-Fiction Books 2015
Top Ten Books First Quarter 2016
Top Ten Books Second Quarter 2016
Top Ten Books Third Quarter 2016
Top Ten Books Fourth Quarter 2016
Top Ten Non- Fiction Books 2016
Top Ten Fiction Books 2016
Top Ten Catholic Books
Top Ten Books First Quarter 2017
Top Ten Books Second Quarter 2017
Top Ten Books Third Quarter 2017
Top Ten Books Fourth Quarter 2017
Top Ten Non-Fiction Books 2017
Top Ten Fiction Books 2017
Top Ten Books First Quarter 2018
Top Ten Books Second Quarter 2018
Top Ten Books Third Quarter 2018
Top Ten Books Fourth Quarter 2018
Top Ten Non-Fiction Books 2018
Top Ten Fiction Books 2018
Top Ten Books First Quarter 2019
Top Ten Books Second Quarter 2019
Top Ten Books Third Quarter 2019
Top Ten Books Fourth Quarter 2019
Top Ten Non-Fiction Books 2019
Top Ten Fiction Books 2019
Top Ten Books First Quarter 2020
Top Ten Books Second Quarter 2020
... 

All Top Ten Lists on Book Reviews and More

Statistics Books Read By Year:

96 - 2019 January-March
392 - 2019
359 - 2018
380 - 2017 
272 - 2016 
177 - 2015 
130 - 2014 
88 -  2013
176 - 2012 
163 - 2011
302 - 2010
142 - 2009
98 - 2008
83 - 2007
191 - 2006
151 - 2005
60 - 2004
52 - 2003
97 - 2002
50 - 2001
41 - 2000
71 - 1999
73 - 1998
131 - 1997
101 - 1996




Tuesday, 3 March 2020

The Cassandra Curse - Fiorella De Maria

The Cassandra Curse
Fiorella De Maria
Allied Publications
Progress Press Co. Ltd.
ISBN 9789990930764


Last year I read 8 books by Fiorella. I started this one, but it was put down and not picked up for about 2 months. Once I picked it up again, I had a very hard time putting it down. To be honest I was rocked from the opening lines of this book.

“For those of us who were born in the wrong country, at the wrong time or under the wrong circumstances, to feel at home can never be a comforting feeling. We do not tell strangers to make themselves at home when we want them to feel secure, we do not expect them to feel at ease with there environment. For those of us who were meant never to belong nowhere, to be at home is to feel unsettled, to feel unsafe, to feel not quite welcome but not entirely rejected either.” 

Those words immediately echoed with me and my spirit. I felt like they had been written directly to my heart, and my experience. And maybe that is why I put the book down the first time, because it was hitting too close to home, too close to the heart! The description of the book is:

"In the last days before war engulfed the tiny Mediterranean island, the eldest son of an old Maltese family asked his father to bless his marriage and instead received his curse. At the turn of the new millennium, the last descendant of the family, Kristjana Falzon, returns to her native Malta with her English fiancé, determined to explain the destruction of her family to him through the events of that day.

Through the converging stories of a working class family from Sliema and the Sant'Angelos, whose ancestors were merchants and noblemen, they witness the experiences of men and women across three generations who endured displacement and poverty, a bitter wartime siege, the hopes and insecurities of the sixties and the emergence of an independent nation state with struggles of its own. Men and women such as Carmelina Buhagiar, a widow whose talent and courage held her family together, Alexandria Sant'Angelo, whose violent upbringing drove her into exile, and an innocent young priest unwittingly caught in the cross currents of social and political unrest..."

And though the story tells the tale fictional tale of a Maltese family and the curse upon the generations. The great grand daughter is telling the story to her husband to be. The story of her family. And as we read, we wonder if she is not dropping all the skeletons from the closet in order to see if her benedict will bolt. Or just to be able to have her whole history out in the open. But it is hard for her and often uncomfortable for him. The story is told as they wander around Malta, in and out of buildings, churches. 

The story may be written about a Maltese family, but it could just as easily have been written about either the Scottish or Irish sides of my family. Near the end of the book reflection on the story and the need to tell the story we are told:

“I am not so sure, and I know it is not my country, any more than England where divisions fester beneath a veneer of inclusiveness and the virtue of tolerance has morphed into a weapon to silence dissent. Better to be a stranger there than in a place that feels so familiar that it is impossible to bear it. I can take my leave of all of them: Edward Sant’Angelo, Loenardo, Antoni, Carmelina, Gorg Buhangiar, Lawrence, Sam/Salvatore, nanna Buhagiar, Luigi, Elisabeth, Rosaria, the whole array of them whom I have loved and hated and buried on the way. Who knows where they are now? I do not suppose it makes much difference, but those of us who remain will them no ill, not even the ugliest amongst them. We will all stand before God one day and probably when we least expect it, when there are no more places of escape left open to us. Let them all rest now in their far away graves, in America, in France, at the bottom of the sea. Let them all be at peace as those of us who remain behind cannot and will not allow ourselves to be.”

This book was deeply moving. Fiorella is one of my favorite contemporary authors, and one of my all time favorite Catholic novelists. This story is very well written. They characters are incredibly written. And the story spans generations and a generational curse. The Catholic tradition and faith weaves in and out of the family. Including priests and a man who leaves the priesthood. A convent school that provides shelter and protecting. And a family, maybe not that unlike your own. And a young woman coming to terms with her history and looking to her possible future.

An incredible read by a very gifted writer. If you can lay you hands on it, do give it a read.

Note: This book is part of a series of reviews: 2020 Catholic Reading Plan




Saturday, 15 February 2020

See No Evil - Fiorella De Maria - Father Gabriel Mysteries Book 3

See No Evil
Father Gabriel Mysteries Book 3
Fiorella De Maria
Ignatius Press
ISBN 
9781621643494
eISBN 9781642291032
ASIN B084KJGT8B


This was the tenth book by Fiorella de Maria I read, and I read nine of them last year in as many weeks. But I have been eagerly anticipating this books, since she mentioned it in an interview last year. I have tracked down and read everything by her under the name Fiorella de Maria. And this is the third book in her only series. Though time frame wise it overlaps at least in part with A Most Dangerous Innocence, which was my introduction to de Maria’s works. I must admit I was expecting to run into Judy Randall on Father Gabriel’s trip to London. But alas it was not to be. But back to this story.

This story continues some time after the second. Father Gabriel, the priest is on lone from his monastery to assist a nearby small-town priest who is recovering from heart surgery. And this time he stumbles into a murder. He is the guest at a manor and one of the other guests if found dead. It is a murder, but someone is muddying the waters with false clues and a dead man that many wanted out of the way for various reasons. Father Gabriel is slowly putting the pieces together, but after he is attacked on a trip to London, he just can seem to get all the pieces to fit together.

In a story with a hidden war massacre, stolen art, Nazi treasure, a socialist. A young piano virtuoso, an Irish maid and more. There are a lot of characters and more than one confession. Some to Father Gabriel, some to the police but most are not honest and sincere. And in this case Father Gabriel is being watched over and guided by his Abbot, and the priest he is assisting, and he will need all the help he can get to unravel this mystery, to protect the innocent, and to bring to justice all those who need it.

This is another intriguing mystery by de Maria set in a small town in England. This book was incredibly addictive and very hard to put down, in fact I read it in 2 sittings over 2 days. An excellent read in a fantastic series.by one of my favorite authors. 

Last year after reading my first story by Fiorella, I picked up the eBooks of all that were available and tracked down the two that were out of print. And all of them have been excellent reads. And this is the best of the Father Gabriel Mysteries. 

Note: This book is part of a series of reviews: 2020 Catholic Reading Plan


Books by Fiorella De Maria:
The Cassandra Curse
Father William's Daughter
Poor Banished Children
Do No Harm
We'll Never Tell Them
A Most Dangerous Innocence
I Am Margaret The Play

Father Gabriel Mysteries:
The Sleeping Witness
The Vanishing Woman
See No Evil



Nonfiction:
Robert Southwell – CTS Saints of the Isles



Books as Fiorella Nash:
The Abolition of Woman: How Radical Feminism Is Betraying Women
...

Author Profile and Interview with Fiorella de Maria.










Tuesday, 31 December 2019

Top Ten Fiction Books 2019

Top Ten Fiction Books 2019

This year was a banner year, I read 392 books. The most since I started keeping track. The year by the numbers:

392 Books Read
311 Books read for the first time.
204 received 5/5 Stars.
194 Non-Fiction
198 Fiction

Here are my top ten fiction books of 2019. of special note the first two authors, I have read nearly all their books this year. I was greatly impressed and addicted to the works of both Fioreall de Maria, Roger Thomas and Gordon Korman. So some of my top 10 selections are authors, and their books that received 5/5 stars.

Top Ten Fiction Books:
1. Books by Fiorella de Maria
          Father Gabriel Mysteries:
2. Books by Roger Thomas
          Under the Watchful Sky Series:
3. Tortured Soul - Theresa Linden 
4. Brave Hearts Series - Kathryn Griffin Swegart 
5. Gifts: Visible & Invisible - Catholic Teen Books Anthology
6. The Hive - Barry Lyga and Morgan Baden 
7. Books by Gordon Korman
8. With Two Eyes Into Gehenna - Jane Lebak
9. Dragon Assassin - Arthur Slade
10. unSPARKed books by Corinna Turner

Bonus:
11. All in Good Time - Carolyn Astfalk 
12. For Eden's Sake - T.M. Gaouette
13. The Attic Saint - Tim Drake and Theodore Schluenderfritz  

My reading has been up over each of the last few years. Which I attribute in part to Brandon Vogt’s course Read More Books Now, removing all games but 1 brain game from my devices. And I now commute to work on a bus and read on the bus every day. It was not easy narrowing this down to a top 10, but the above list is what I came up with.

Note: I do not include books that have been read in previous years and were reread this year in my top ten lists, they are sometimes in the bonus section. But if you want more options check out my favorite books year by year list.  


Relates Posts: 
Top 10 Fiction Books 1st Quarter 2010
Top 10 Fiction Books 2nd Quarter 2010
Top 10 Reading Goals for 2010
Top 10 Fiction Books 3rd Quarter 2010

Top 10 Fiction Books 4th Quarter 2010
Top Ten Reading Goals For 2010 - Recap

Top 10 Fiction Books 2010
Top 10 Picture Books of 2010
Top 10 Non-Fiction Books of 2010

Top 10 Graphic Novels for 2010
Top Ten Reading Goals For 2011
 

Top Ten Fiction Books 1st Quarter 2011
Top Ten Fiction Books 2nd Quarter 2011
Top Ten Reading Goals for 2011 Update
 
Top Ten Fiction Books 3rd Quarter 2011 
Top Ten Fictions Books 4th Quarter 2011
Top Ten Fiction Books 2011
Top Ten Reading Goals 2011 - Recap
Top Ten Reading Goals 2012
Top Ten Fiction Books 1st Quarter 2012
Top Ten Fiction Books 2nd Quarter 2012

Top Ten Fiction Books 3rd Quarter 2012
Top Ten Fiction Books  4th Quarter 2012
Top Ten Fiction Books 2012
Top Ten Non-Fiction Books 2012
Top Ten Reading Goals 2012 - Recap
Top Ten Reading Goals 2013
Top 10 Fiction Books 1st Quarter 2013

Top 10 Fiction Books 2nd Quarter 2013
Top 10 Books Second Half 2013
Top Ten Fiction Books 2013
Top Ten Non-Fiction Books 2013 
Top Ten Books First Quarter 2014
Top Ten Books Second Quarter 2014
Top Ten Books Third Quarter 2014
Top Ten Books Fourth Quarter 2014
Top Ten Fiction Books 2014
Top Ten Non-Fiction Books 2014
Top Ten Books First Quarter 2015
Top Ten Books Second Quarter 2015
Top Ten Books Third Quarter 2015
Top Ten Books Fourth Quarter 2015
Top Ten Fiction Books 2015
Top Ten Non-Fiction Books 2015
Top Ten Books First Quarter 2016
Top Ten Books Second Quarter 2016
Top Ten Books Third Quarter 2016
Top Ten Books Fourth Quarter 2016
Top Ten Non- Fiction Books 2016
Top Ten Fiction Books 2016
Top Ten Catholic Books
Top Ten Books First Quarter 2017
Top Ten Books Second Quarter 2017
Top Ten Books Third Quarter 2017
Top Ten Books Fourth Quarter 2017
Top Ten Non-Fiction Books 2017
Top Ten Fiction Books 2017
Top Ten Books First Quarter 2018
Top Ten Books Second Quarter 2018
Top Ten Books Third Quarter 2018
Top Ten Books Fourth Quarter 2018
Top Ten Non-Fiction Books 2018
Top Ten Fiction Books 2018
Top Ten Books First Quarter 2019
Top Ten Books Second Quarter 2019
Top Ten Books Third Quarter 2019
Top Ten Books Fourth Quarter 2019
Top Ten Non-Fiction Books 2019
Top Ten Fiction Books 2019
Top Ten Books First Quarter 2020
... 

All Top Ten Lists on Book Reviews and More

Statistics Books Read By Year:

392 - 2019
359 - 2018
380 - 2017 
272 - 2016 
177 - 2015 
130 - 2014 
88 -  2013
176 - 2012 
163 - 2011
302 - 2010
142 - 2009
98 - 2008
83 - 2007
191 - 2006
151 - 2005
60 - 2004
52 - 2003
97 - 2002
50 - 2001
41 - 2000
71 - 1999
73 - 1998
131 - 1997
101 - 1996