Tag Archive: England



The Girl on the TrainThe Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This audiobook (CD) was in the put-away-bag at the library and I couldn’t resist. I knew it was a fairly recent movie so I couldn’t wait to try it out.

Ah, but I wasn’t crazy for it. You would think it would do it for me. I used to take the train to work every day. I know how that imagination can take you places the train doesn’t. In fact, riding the train was how I wrote my first book. So that part of the first character grabbed me. That she had stories in her head about the people she saw in the homes she passed made her an interesting character to me. But somehow I mostly didn’t like her.

It was when the next character voice came in that I perked up my ears. Her voice reminded me of Gilly, Sam’s crush on Game of Thrones. I guess it is just her accent but having that familiar voice had me listening more closely. And I did like this character.

About the time I got into the story my CD player gave up. I ended up using my credit on Audible to get the audio onto my Kindle. That worked out better.

It has been over a week since I finished this book. Lots of life has happened since. So my memories are eroding. Still, I remember how I stayed up until 3 the last part of the book. It was well written and kept me interested.

The narrators: Clare Corbett, Louise Brealey, India Fisher were fantastic and different enough to keep me from getting the characters confused.

As the librarian had warned me, don’t read the last bit at night before sleep it is a thriller and it will keep you awake. Still, it was a good read. I’m glad I read it.

View all my reviews

Advertisements

The Witch's Vacuum CleanerThe Witch’s Vacuum Cleaner by Terry Pratchett

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

If you are looking for a light, funny read, this is your book. It was like watching cartoons or Monty Python. Very bad for a bedtime book for me. I found it hard to stop reading, well, actually, listening to this one. 3:00 came too quickly. So, sorry if this sounds more disjointed than my usual reviews.

Oh, I listened to the Audible using the whispersynch. Julian Rhind-Tutt (Narrator) is facinating! His voice changes with every character. He tells the story with so much gusto that sometimes I think I missed story for enthusiastic energy. Even still, at the end of each story I had that sigh of fulfillment.

The stories themselves are sadly, mostly, male. In fact, the very first one ended with the main character marrying the witch with us hardly knowing a thing about the witch except that she was a witch. I wanted more about her and that parrot. Please forget that you just read the last two sentences if they seem spoilers. After all, the title of the book is The Witch’s Vacuum. Seems like there should be a lot more witch and vacuums than men in the form of police or gnomes. But hey, Mr. Pratchett wrote this when he was a teen and the adage says ‘write what you know’. Sadly, Mr. Pratchett knew nothing about the other half of society then. Later he did write some fun books that did have fems but mostly they are witches. Is it any wonder how the world is now if this is all anyone has read most of their lives?

Still, I have loved Terry Pratchett’s writing, so creative! Magick exists, but sadly without fems. Even colors we have never heard of exists. Don’t get me started! YET, I love his writing. Fun, fun stories!

So take it with a grain of salt that in male authors’ worlds, fems hardly exist. We will try to change that with our own writings and making sure they see us as the other humans. After all the whole language system leaves us behind. Even human. We could be called hu.

But it is for this teeny-tiny problem that I am giving the book four stars instead of five. If you can get the audio version you are in for the best story telling around–save for girls, fe=iron.

View all my reviews


The Witchfinder's SisterThe Witchfinder’s Sister by Beth Underdown

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I want to thank NetGalley for letting me read this book. It was one of those books I think everyone should read.

We know what happened, Salem Witch Trials and all. As a human being, this topic should make you sick. As a woman, you should see all the warnings of letting anyone think they know better for you than you know for yourself. As a religious person, you should be wary of folks that don’t read the whole book and think they are hand in hand with the deities. This whole subject screams that scripture that should most be used “Judge not lest Ye be judged.” And in the case of most of these thumpers of parts and not other parts of the Holy book, my dad quoted better than anyone. ‘The Bible is God’s Word. SO “Judas hung himself.” “Go Ye and do likewise.”‘ Too bad he wasn’t around to speak his mind to people like the brother in this book.

As much as I think this is a good book for everyone to read, it is so HARD to read. It wasn’t the fault of the author. She did a fine job with her research on the subject and kept the story moving. I loved her ability to give the old English feel to the story without making it boring. You knew what was going to happen virtually hiding your eyes because you don’t want to see, but still wanted to see how the author was going to pull it off. She didn’t disappoint.

View all my reviews


The ShipThe Ship by Antonia Honeywell

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Great idea for a story. Irritating main character.

I was lucky to get this book free from NetGalley. Thank you! It was well worth the read.

London is now part of a dystopian world and survival seems near impossible for this family, even though it is a well to do family. Must really suck for those with less.

But the spoiled daughter of these particular parents has no clue what is happening in the real world outside her house. They have tried to spare their child the worst of it. That seems a big mistake as this poor girl just doesn’t know how to live once she isn’t in her sheltered life.

Father, in hopes of saving many people, has obtained a ship. Eventually, the small family must join the rest of the people he has attempted to save.

The process of the story before the ship is interesting. But gets quite exciting when they move aboard. I don’t want to put in any spoilers so I won’t tell you any more of the plot. But I would assume one could call this a coming of age for this main character–I hope so. I didn’t see enough growth in her by the end of the book to make me want to read anymore. She moans, complains and mourns the whole book. Yet her father and everyone onboard try their best to help her.

Maybe it is because I am not the target audience for this book, but I do love a good dystopia, and those elements are there. Maybe resolve is coming as this was only book one. I might want to read the next. Not sure if I want to put up with the brat anymore.

View all my reviews


Victoria: From the creator of the ITV television seriesVictoria: From the creator of the ITV television series by Daisy Goodwin

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I received this edition from NetGalley to read and review. It is an Uncorrected Digital Galley copy. Yet, these eyes didn’t see any mistakes.

This was very interesting. I thought at first that I wouldn’t like it. I neither like history books nor Romance novels. There is both ‘herstory’ and romance in this book. But not a lot. This is more a queen’s coming of age story. In that, I thought it well done and an interesting read.

I loved watching this young person, in her teens, deal with the angst we all have gone through with our parents and breaking out into our own lives. Except, most of us don’t have to assume the responsibilities of the throne and a whole nation while going through these growing pains.

In the acknowledgments at the end of the book, the author mentions she wrote this while making the television (I think it was) show. I will be looking it up to see it. I think it could be done well.

Though not the best book I’ve read, I think you will find this an interesting read.

View all my reviews


Simon Ships Out A heroic cat at sea. Based on a true storySimon Ships Out A heroic cat at sea. Based on a true story by Jacky Donovan
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

It hasn’t been that long ago that I got a phone call while I was at my writers’ meeting that my Panda, a beautiful tuxedo cat, had passed away while playing with his cat mate. Must have been a heart attack, we had decided, but we miss him lots. So when I saw the cover of this book with a near twin to Panda, I had to pick it up. It didn’t hurt that it was free. (Now it is $3.99)

What a great way to teach a historical event, through the eyes of the cat, and sometimes the dog. These two pets are on a ship that is in the war. This is not from an American point of view but rather from the British side. That is a part of history not taught in our US schools so this is a cool way to teach about ship and the war and how it might have felt to be a cat with bombs and guns going off. Poor little creatures can’t understand yet they do their best for the nice people who take care of them.

Often I found the narrative from the cat’s mind seemed either too smart or not smart enough. In other words, in my life with cats this point of view often didn’t ring true. But then again, who knows what those furry friends think anyway? It’s worth the read, and I think sailors would love it even more.

View all my reviews


Three Sisters (Emily Castles Mysteries)Three Sisters by Helen Smith

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Disclaimer: I was given this book for an honest review.

I started reading this just before going to sleep. I finished at a decent bedtime. I had to read it with the text-to-speech turned on as I found it going rather slowly. I didn’t care for Emily, the main character. She seemed like a nosey neighbor more than anything.

Beware of the spoiler, the title of the book. That took all the mystery out of the story. Most of the time I found I was feeling left out. That the author just gave it all to me. And yet… Would you believe it? I still have no real idea whodunit. Since I don’t like short stories, and I don’t much like mysteries, this didn’t feed me anything. Even the chance that I could travel to England and learn something new about the country or her people, fell flat.

Okay, there seems to be a lot of higher star ratings, so it may just be me. I don’t feel at all compelled to see what happens to Emily next. But I wish the author well and that you all will find me wrong.

View all my reviews


The Paying GuestsThe Paying Guests by Sarah Waters

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I think I have found my favorite author, Sarah Waters. I was so thrilled with Fingersmith that I couldn’t wait to read something else by her. The Paying Guest lived up to my expectations. Too bad Ms. Waters wasn’t one of the required reading homework of my high school. She is a classical writer. I think she could rewrite ANY of the old classics and make them so much more relatable.

Juliet Stevenson narrated this story with class and character. I could listen to her reading forever. She added depth to my experience; giving each character a tone and feel so you knew who was talking or whose point of view you were in.

There is so much intrigue in this book. I couldn’t stop reading. I just wanted to know what happens next. That was why I didn’t do much else yesterday but read. I want to say other things, but I don’t want to be spoiling the story for others. Just amazing! That’s all I can say. Amazing!

View all my reviews


The Book of Life (All Souls Trilogy, #3)The Book of Life by Deborah Harkness

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This series was so much fun that I wish I could go back and read it again, right now! I miss the characters and the wonderful voice of Jennifer Ikeda. This series is best read with the narration. The experience is over the top!

Anyone who knows me knows I am not into vampires. Okay, I watched Vampire Diary for a while but it was because of the witch more than anything else. So had this not started with A Discovery of Witches, and had my cousin not recommended it, I might not have gotten into this series. And the witches sure do kick b*** in this series, so I wasn’t let down.

Even writing this is giving me a sense of remorse that it is over. Gosh, what a sentimental mush brain, huh? But how else can I tell you how good this series is?

I do have a complaint about the whispersync of this book. For some reason, it would skip over the bottom of each paragraph. But that didn’t stop me. I just signed onto my Audible and played the story from there and read it on my tablet. Yeah, I had to turn pages, but I hardly noticed as the story moved me forward.

I noticed that there were the slightest threads left undone. Nothing drastic, but it had me hoping there would be more to this series. Oh, and the last couple chapters felt rather anticlimactic, but I wasn’t complaining. It just gave me more time with the family. This was the perfect read for the Halloween season, but it would hold its own over any other set of days too.

Do read it! I think you’ll enjoy it, too!

View all my reviews


Shadow of Night (All Souls Trilogy, #2)Shadow of Night by Deborah Harkness

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

After a bit of research I realized that I read the first book, A Discovery of Witches, in 2011. That reading was a result of a recommendation by my cousin. I loved that book. Yet, I just took the quiz and found I only got 3 questions right out of 10. So maybe I should have read it again before reading this second book, Shadow of Night. I did feel lost at times, but the story kept me engaged and I didn’t want to leave the past to review the first book. Also, on my research I found that I didn’t have the Kindle version of the first book. I must have borrowed the hardback from the library. But I do have the Audible version of the book that I had listened to alongside the hardback.

With both books of the series, I was delighted by the narrator, Jennifer Ikeda. Her voice is exquisite, I love the way she can vary according to each character. I feel she could read the phonebook and make it exciting. But Deborah Harkness’s writing needs no help. Several times I’d have a sleepless night and want to read. I hated donning my headset just for a few minutes of reading. Those few moments lasted for sometimes hours. So yes, I know how well the writing is. With the duo of writer and narrator this story comes to life. And that is when Elizabeth I is queen.

I love time travel stories, but this was different in that it was due to witchcraft that made it happened. And that by a witch who doesn’t understand her craft. Okay, I won’t tell you any more about the story. Needless to say, it is worth the read. The characters alone can grab you. They are well developed, as is the plot. So much so that I couldn’t wait to get the next book and get involved. I highly recommend this series.

View all my reviews

Pointless Overthinking

Understanding myself and the world I live in.

The Art of Blogging

For bloggers who aspire to inspire

Independent Book Review

Book reviews and services for the emerging author

Tropical Affair

Observations of the illusion through the eyes of wonder...

Dario Ciriello

Dario Ciriello's Author Site

feltingandfiberstudio

An international collective of felt and fiber artists

Dreaming Reality

If Existence is a dream, let us dream perfection....

campogeno

die welt aus der sicht eines einsiedlers

BrewNSpew

Whimsical & Capricious Chatter

Scarlett Hazlewood

My name is Scarlett Hazlewood. I am a twenty year old college student who has experienced many interesting encounters since starting college. I decided that I wanted to share my life with you. Hopefully it will entertain as well as teach you what to do, or more like what not to do.

Pixel Edit

Creative PicsArt Editing Tutorial | Photo Editing Tutorial

Mint Tea and Elephants

Beach bum impersonating a writer.

cathdean.com

Apprentice crone, clinging determinedly to my sense of humour during menopause.

%d bloggers like this: