Reviews

Book Review | Harlem Rhapsody by John Nuckel

2020.06-call for bloggers - JN

*Book given by the frolic blog tours in exchange for an honest review*

HarlemRhapsody-cover-flatDescription: In the days of prohibition and the Harlem Renaissance, Owney Madden, gangster and Cotton Club owner, has a plan to defeat the tyranny of Tammany Hall. He’ll whack mob kingpin Arnold Rothstein. Harlem Rhapsody follows this turbulent era (1927-1937), from Duke Ellington’s debut at the Cotton Club, to the unsolved murder of Rothstein, and the machinations of a secret organization, the Volunteers. Based on true events and real people (The Belle of Broadway; Titanic Thompson; Lucky Luciano) Harlem Rhapsody is the second book in The Volunteer series about Teddy Roosevelt’s band of men who, with financial assistance from J.P. Morgan and John Rockefeller, fight to take down corruption and Tammany Hall.

 


What I Liked

Before I get into this review, I just want to make sure you all know that Harlem Rhapsody is book two in The Volunteers book series. The first book in the series is called Drive by John M. Nuckel. I suggest you check that one out if this review sounds like something you might enjoy!

First and foremost, I loved how researched this book was. This book takes place during the prohibition era in the US, where alcohol consumption was against the law, unless you had a prescription. This book revolves around the corruption of the time period. Some of the themes include speakeasies, crooked cops and politicians, inequality, and organized crime. While reading this book, it was apparent that the author knew a lot about this time period as well as landmarks such as The Cotton Club, which I suggest you click through and learn more about. It is rare where an historical fiction leads me to research new topics and honestly, I felt the extra research added to my reading experience. Also, the references and appearances of historical figures is fun for someone who enjoys history.

As stated, this book showcases corruption during this time period. One of the things that stood out to me was the opening “scene” itself. It showed the political unease and “sneakiness” in not only the US, but also abroad. It showed how horribly people could have been treated. The corruption of the shown in this novel includes people in power being paid to look the other way, especially when it came to illegal alcohol consumption. Some even coming into the speakeasies themselves! But, this book took a look at those who were in charge, who ran the networks that fueled the illegal activities and how they were in a constant duel for power. This book really was filled with action and had a lot going on in it. It was interesting to see the inner workings of these “secret” organizations. I felt like I was reading the equivalent of a mob movie, which for me is good, because I have been on a true crime kick as of late.


What I Didn’t Like

The one fault that I found with this book was from time to time things dragged a bit, but I feel like that will not be the case for everyone. For me, when it did drag it was for a very short period of time.


Overall Thoughts

Overall, I felt like this was a really interesting historical fiction set in a very corrupt time period. If you like reading about the prohibition era, groups vying for power, corruption and even true crime I feel like this book might have something for you. Also, a nice bonus is the short chapters! I am a reader who cannot stop until they have reached the end of the chapter, so personally this was a huge plus!

4stars


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Book Information

Publication Date: December 20, 2019

Publisher:  Independently published

List Price: $11.99

ISBN: 978-1676954545

Pages: 220 pages


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Annotating My Bookshelves

Annotating My Bookshelf | May 2019

BOOKSHELVES

Hello everyone, I am here to share the books on the two bookshelves I own. This time around I am going to do them all in one post instead of once a week. Like last time I am going to share a picture and comment on it. The only difference is I will have dividers between sections. Without more rambling, onto the shelves!

This is my most loved classics, I have The Hobbit, 3 editions of Little Women, it is my all time favorite novel/series if you didn’t know that already. I also have The Complete Sherlock Holmes and A Little Princess.


This is a continuation of classics, but these are more modern classics. I have a total of 7 Shirley Jackson novels/short stories. I have The Missing Girl, The Haunting of Hill House, Hangsaman, We Have Always Lived in the Castle,  The Lottery and Other Stories, The Sundial, and The Bird’s Nest. Following that I have quite a few Christopher Isherwood books as well. I have A Single Man, Prater Violet, Meeting by the River, Christopher and His Kind, Down There on a Visit, and Kathleen and Frank. The last book on this shelf is Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy. The last one didn’t quite fit on the classic shelf.


This is where my shelf kinda looses it’s organization. I have book one in the Lord of the Ring series, The Fellowship of the Ring. Following that is The Butchering Art, Washington Black, Where’d You Go, Bernadette, Catapult, Peter Green and the Unliving Academy, which I received from the publisher. That is followed by Every Heart a Doorway and Beneath the Sugar Sky by Seanan McGuire. Then I have Elevation, An Unkindness of Magicians, and lastly The Good People.


Next I have a few non-fiction novels, Bringing Down the Colonel and Stalin’s Daughter. Then I have a few historical fiction novels, The Sielnce of the Girls, The Clockmakers Daughter. Then a few general fiction novels and thrillers, The 71/2 Deaths of Evelyn Hardcase, The Overstory, and The Mars Room.


This is my Harry Potter shelf, I have my original copies of the books. On top, which is hard to see, I have a copy of the guide from the British Library’s Exhibit. Not pictured, because they are not on my bookshelves, I have the first two books of the series in the hardcover Hufflepuff editions.


This is my mostly Book of the Month shelf. I have Daisy Jones and the Six, The Dar Field, Beasts of Extraordinary Circumstances, Circe, The Wicked King (Not BOTM), The Stranger in the Woods, Death in the Air (Not BOTM), and lastly Miracle Creek.


This shelf is my favorite horror novels. 11/22/63, Bag of Bones, and The Outsiders by Stephen King. Sleeping Beauties by Stephen and Owen King, and Strange Weather by Joe Hill.


Here is a mixture of a shelf! I have the first 3 illustrated editions of the Harry Potter Series. Then I have a few cloth bound classics which include, Jane Eyre, Little Women again ( I know I have many copies, but it is my favorite!), Pride and Prejudice, and The Women in White.


Here is another mix of a shelf. I have a few non-fictions, Irena’s Children and Romanovs. Then I have The Glass Castle, The Thing Around Your Neck, His Perfect Wife ( A gift from the publisher), The UK edition of Skin Deep, and it is kind of hard to make out, but the last book is a reading guide to Lord of the Rings where there are reflection questions and such.  I plan on using it during my reread this year.


Moving onto my second shelf, here you can see most of my white books. I have 3 of the Doctor Strange bind ups, and well as 3 of Loki: Agent of Asgard. Following those I have The Year of Cozy, Broken Monsters,  The Book Thief, The Cruel Prince, Joyland, Gwendy’s Button Box, The Wolf Wilder, Peace and Turmoil, It, The Grownup A Very Large Expanse of Sea, Matilda, The Night Trilogy, The Snow Child, Eleanor and Park, and The Alienist.


Moving onto the second half of this shelf I have Finding Jake, In the Days of Rain, See What I Have Done, Cycle of the Werewolf, Salem’s Witch. House, Lincoln in the Bardo, The Witches, The Shining, Theordor Rex, Colonial Roosevelt, ‘Salems Lot, Doctor Sleep, Bruja Born, The Hazel Wood, Christine, Down Among the Sticks and Bones, If We Were Villains, Lying in Wait, A Delusion of Satan, A. Gentleman in Moscow, Son of Hitler (Which is really weird and I still don’t think I like it), House of Leaves, The Ordinary Spaceman, The. Darkest Part of the Forest, Meg, Jo, Beth, Amy, and lastly The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt.


Next I have graphic novel retellings in Shivers, Wishes, and Wolves, I also have Doctor Who retellings of fairytale boxset, I have a bind-up of Death Note, then I have Your Soul is a River, Carry On, Enchanted Islands, Save the Date, A Merry Christmas, Murder on the Orient Express, The Rosie Project, The Dire King, The Nazi Doctors, The Escape Artist,  A Court of Thorns and Roses, The Shining Girls, and The Underground Railroad.


The next section of this shelf I have Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, Fangirl, The Things I Would Tell You, an old nook, Pet Semetary, Ignite the Stars from Bookcon 2018, Vol. 2 Eleanor Roosevelt, an ARC of The Song Rising, Vol. 1 Eleanor Roosevelt, a finished edition of The Song Rising, Early Riser, Vol. 3 Eleanor Roosevelt, Great Expectations, The Way I See It, The First Tycoon, 50 Children, and lastly The Sun is Also a Star.


Next ending the yellow section with Carry On, Wonder Women, Mr. Penumbrun’s 24-Hour Bookstore. Then starting the green section with an ARC of the Unexpected Everything, Robert Graves, A Clockwork Orange, The Life Changing Manga of Tiding Up, Mythago Woodm The Secret Life of Bees, the finished copy of The Unexpected Everything, The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo, A Court of Wings and Ruin, and The Girl on the Train.


Right away on the left I have a very old edition of A Study in Scarlet I found in a antique store when on vacation with my mom. Then I have From Here to Eternity, The Wellness Mama Cookbook, Joyous Health, and Joyous Detox. Then vertically from the top I have The. Count. of Monte Cristo, World Without End, Born on a Blue Day, Not f I See You First, The Rosie Effect, Jackaby, Finding Audrey, All THe. Light. We Cannot See, The Women in Cabin 20 and Uncommon Type.


The last section of my bookshelf I have a copy of Caleb’s Window I was given by the author, Almost Midnight, A Court of Mist and Fury, Ghostly Echos, Labyrinth Lost, an old Kindle, The House of the Seven Gables, An Enchantment of Ravens, Searching for the Amazons, and lastly The Lying Game.


Thanks for looking and reading!

SignOff12:17

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