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2008 Reads

January:
1. Antonio's Wife: A Novel, by Jacqueline DeJohn
2. The Winter Rose, by Jennifer Donnelly
3. Metropolis: A Novel, by Elizabeth Gaffney
4. Consuelo and Alva Vanderbilt, by Amanda Mackenzie Stuart
5. The Meaning of Night: A Confession, by Michael Cox
6. The Gangs of New York, by Herbert Asbury
7. The Empanada Brotherhood, by John Nichols

February
1. A Pickpocket's Tale, by Timothy Gilfoyle
2. Heyday, by Kurt Andersen
3. Baby Proof, by Emily Giffin
4. The Sunne in Splendour, by Sharon Kay Penman

March
1. Speaks the Nightbird, by Robert McCammon
2. The Secret Scroll, by Ronald Cutler
3. The Queen of Bedlam, by Robert McCammon
4. A Golden Age, by Tahmina Anam
5. Revenge of the Rose, by Nicole Galland
6. Crossed, by Nicole Galland
7. A Passage to India, by EM Forster
8. A Treasury of Royal Scandals, by Michael Farquhar
9. Eleanor of Aquitaine: A Biography, by Alison Weir
10. A Fraction of the Whole, by Steve Toltz
11. The Pursuit of Love/ Love in a Cold Climate, by Nancy Mitford
12. Remember Me? by Sophie Kinsella

April
1. The Venetian Mask, by Rosalind Laker
2. Confessions of a Jane Austen Addict, by Larie Viera Rigler
3. Silent in the Grave, by Deanna Raybourn
4. The House at Riverton, by Kate Morton
5. The Lost Memoirs of Jane Austen, by Syrie James
6. So Brave, Young, and Handsome, by Leif Enger
7. Austenland, by Shannon Hale
8. Luncheon of the Boating Party, by Susan Vreeland
9. Daughter of Time, by Josephine Tey
10. I Was Told There'd Be Cake, by Sloane Crosley
11. Lucia, by Andrea Di Robilant
12. Excellent Women, by Barbara Pym
13. The Painted Veil, by W. Somerset Maugham

May
1. Whose Body? by Dorothy Sayers
2. Turning Tables, by Heather and Rose MacDowell
3. Hons and Rebels, by Jessica Mitford
4. The Painter From Shanghai, by Jennifer Cody Epstein
5. The Secret History of the Pink Carnation, by Lauren Willig
6. Such a Pretty Fat, by Jen Lancaster
7. The Secret Adventures of Charlotte Bronte, by Laura Joh Rowland
8. The Red Leather Diary, by Lily Koppel
9. Belinda, by Maria Edgeworth
10. Miss Pettigrew Lives For a Day, by Winifred Watson
11. The Art of French Kissing, by Kristin Harmel
12. Silent in the Sanctuary, by Deanna Raybourn
13. Murder Must Advertise, by Dorothy L. Sayers
14. 84, Charing Cross Road, by Helene Hanff

June
1. Please Excuse My Daughter: A Memoir, by Julie Klam
2. Maisie Dobbs, by Jacqueline Winspear
3. Chasing Harry Winston, by Lauren Weisberger
4. Target Underwear and a Vera Wang Gown, by Adena Halpern
5. The Talented Mr. Ripley, by Patricia Highsmith
6. Franny and Zooey, by JD Salinger
7. Holly Would Dream, by Karen Quinn
8. Agnes Grey, by Anne Bronte
9. Love the One You're With, by Emily Giffin
10. Lady Audley's Secret, by Mary Elizabeth Braddon
11. The Island at the Center of the World, by Russell Shorto
12. Hangover Square, by Patrick Hamilton
13. The Suspicions of Mr. Whicher, by Kate Summerscale
14. A Far Cry from Kensington, by Muriel Spark
15. Asperger’s From the Inside-Out, by Michael John Carley

July
1. Jack With a Twist, by Brenda Janowitz
2. Mrs. 'Arris Goes to Paris, by Paul Gallico
3. Royal Affairs, by Leslie Carroll
4. Bar Flower, by Lea Jacobson
5. The Go-Between, by LP Hartley
6. The House at Midnight, by Lucie Whitehouse
7. Governess: The Lives and Times of the Real Jane Eyres, by Ruth Brandon
8. The Forgotten Garden, by Kate Morton
9. The Girls of Slender Means, by Muriel Spark
10. The Sister, by Poppy Adams
11. The Black Tower, by Louis Bayard
12. No Fond Return of Love, by Barbara Pym
13. The Murder of Roger Ackroyd, by Agatha Christie
14. The Pale Blue Eye, by Louis Bayard
15. The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, by Mary Anne Shaffer and Annie Barrows

August
1. Our Lady of Pain, by Elena Forbes
2. Atonement, by Ian McEwan
3. Righting the Mother Tongue, by David Wolman
4. The Toss of a Lemon, by Padma Viswanathan
5. East Lynne, by Ellen Wood
6. A Great Deliverance, by Elizabeth George
7. The Nine Tailors, by Dorothy Sayers
8. The Best of Everything, by Rona Jaffe
9. The Remains of the Day, by Kazuo Ishiguro
10. The Best Place to Be, by Lesley Dormen

September
1. Kept, by DJ Taylor
2. The Whiskey Rebels, by David Liss
3. Belle Weather, by Celia Rivenbark
4. Company of Liars, by Karen Maitland
5. East of the Sun, by Julia Gregson
6. The Woman in Black, by Susan Hill
7. Pretending to be Normal, by Liane Holliday Willey
8. The Sealed Letter, by Emma Donoghue
9. Murder on the Eiffel Tower, by Claude Izner
10. American Eve, by Paula Uruburu
11. The Dark Lantern, by Gerri Brightwell
12. Girl in a Blue Dress, by Gaynor Arnold
13. The Spiritualist, by Megan Chance

October
1. The Blackstone Key, by Rose Melikan
2. The Dracula Dossier, by James Reese
3. The Other Queen, by Philippa Gregory
4. The Rose of Sebastopol, by Katharine McMahon
5. The Glass of Time, by Michael Cox
6. Devil’s Brood, by Sharon Kay Penman
7. The King and Mrs. Simpson, by Erin Frances Shultz
8. Those Who Dream By Day, by Linda Cargill
9. Nine Coaches Waiting, by Mary Stewart
10. The Four Seasons, by Laurel Corona
11. The Widow Clicquot, by Tilar Mazzeo
12. The Victoria Vanishes, by Christopher Fowler
13. Nefertiti, by Michelle Moran

November
1. The Greatest Knight, by Elizabeth Chadwick
2. Mistress of Mellyn, by Victoria Holt
3. Queen Isabella, by Alison Weir
4. All This, and Heaven Too by Rachel Field
5. Cover the Mirrors, by Faye L. Booth
6. The Minutes of the Lazarus Club, by Tony Pollard
7. The Man in the Picture, by Susan Hill
8. The Eight, by Katherine Neville
9. An Inconvenient Wife, by Megan Chance
10. Doctor Olaf Van Schuler’s Brain, by Kirsten Menger-Anderson
11. Mistress of the Monarchy/ Katherine Swynford, by Alison Weir
12. A Matter of Justice, by Charles Todd
13. The Firemaster’s Mistress, by Christie Dickason

December
1. The Book of Unholy Mischief, by Elle Newmark
2. The Far Pavilions, by MM Kaye
3. The Piano Teacher, by Janice Y.K. Lee
4. The Séance, by John Harwood
5. Mistress Shakespeare, by Karen Harper
6. Corner Shop, by Roopa Farooki
7. A Foreign Affair, by Caro Peacock
8. Niccolo Rising, by Dorothy Dunnett
9. Drood, by Dan Simmons

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Review: Forever Amber, by Kathleen Winsor

Pages: 972Originally published: 1944My edition: 2000 (Chicago Review Press)How I acquired my copy: Amazon.com, 2004

Forever Amber takes place in the 1660s, immediately follwing Charles II's ("the Merry Monarch") return of the Stuarts to the English throne. The book features Amber St. Claire, a young woman who starts out as a sixteen-year-old country girl, naieve to the workings of the world. She immediately meets Bruce Carlton, a dashing young Cavalier, with whom she has a passionate love affair in choppy intervals throughout the book. They have two children together, but Bruce won't marry her for the reason he tells his friend Lord Almsbury: that Amber just isn't the kind of woman one marries.

Upon following Bruce to London, he goes to Virginia, leaving her to fend for herself. What follows is a series of affairs and four marriages, with Bruce coming back from America now and then. Amber's marriages are imprudent: her first husband is a gambler, her second is…