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Showing posts from July, 2016

Go Set A Watchman - Harper Lee

I first read To Kill A Mockingbird many years ago whilst at school. As it was a set text the obligatory pulling apart line by line was done complete with pencil notes in margin which is the kind of thing I love. Unlike some school texts (Far From the Madding Crowd, Macbeth) this one escaped my teenage loathing and I look back on it with fondness rather than with a shudder of exam stress.

We had clocked this book as soon as it came out but being price conscious (and carrying hardbacks on train adverse) decided to wait until it was out in paperback. I was surprised to note it was written in the 50s and had only been released very shortly before Lee's death. This made me suspicious as I was immediately dubious as to whether she wanted it released. Why wait so long? It didn’t stop me though and I approached it as you would meeting a long lost friend.

I initially enjoyed the train ride with Jean Louise and viewed the folding bed incident to similar trouble she would have gotten in to …

The Jewel of St Petersburg by Kate Furnivall

This is a prequel to excellent The Russian Concubine and if you haven't read it or its follow on The Concubines Secret please do. Oh and while you're at it read Under A Blood Red Sky as well, no Lydia or Valentina but still good.

It has been quite a few years since I had read either of the Concubine books yet Lydia had stayed with me over the years and I was looking forward to reading about how her mother and father got together.

I really enjoyed the book and found it gripping from the get go. What I loved the most about Concubine were the characters and I was delighted to find old faces pop up in this book, it felt like I was meeting old friends. I don't want to spoil things by giving too much away but the book was tinged with sadness for me. Having said that I did find it tense even though I knew whether certain characters were alive or not by the time Concubine starts. I loved the description of Russia and its descent into chaos, the love story, the villans and the des…

Inbetweeny - The Penguin Book of Classical Myths - Jenny March

I'm interested in history so was looking forward to reading this book – I actually picked it from the 30 plus unread books waiting for me on the bookshelf. My knowledge of Greek myths is/was very vague and I was keen on being to say to my children "ah yes Zeus, God of thunder do you know he …"

I realised pretty early on however that this wasn’t going to be the book that allowed me to do that and fell out of love with it once I realised the introduction was pretty much the theme for the rest of the book.

I didn’t like the way the book was presented – for example (sorry if this is a stupid question but having read 500 plus pages I still don't know) do some people actually believe this is how the world started? Virgil, Homer and all the other people she quoted, were they just waxing lyrical or is it them explaining what they believed to be a true account of how Athens came about or how a constellation came into being? This wasn’t made clear to the reader. Some sort of…