Sunday, 28 December 2008

Astraea - Jane Stevenson

The Netherlands, the 1640's. Two royal exiles meet - Elizabeth of Bohemia, daughter of James I of England, and Omolojou/Pelagius, once heir to the Yoruba kingdom of Oyo but now a freed slave with shamanic powers. They fall in love and clandestinely marry. Secretly, Eizabeth gives birth to a son, Balthasar Stuart, whom both of them see as a new hope for the future.

At the start I found the book confusing, as initially it was difficult to decide whether it was meant to be read as factual or fiction based on actual historical characters (which it is). It was a relief when the whole tale seemed to settle into a more natural "story telling mode", as it started to flow more smoothly from then and drew me in. A reasonably interesting read for those who like historically based books...... although be prepared for an ending that is not only not particularly happy but is also a little disappointing. I would have liked to have known the ultimate fate of both main characters but instead all was left "hanging", rather than following things through to a more natural conclusion. I guess that's a way of ensuring you go on to read the following two books in the trilogy.

This is now registered with Book Crossing and has also been added to my Swap List on the Swap Blog - shout if you want it. :0)

Thursday, 18 December 2008

Rosie - Alan Titchmarsh

Nick Robertson thought he'd got used to his grandmother Rosie's dotty behaviour. At 87-years-old she is determined that before life passes her by she will live a little. Or, preferably, a lot.

It wouldn't be so bad if Nick had nothing else to do. But with a living to make on the Isle of Wight, two warring parents on the mainland to cope with and a love life in terminal decline, he would prefer his grandmother to get on with things a little more quietly.

But there is no time like the present, Rosie insists. Life is to be enjoyed to the full and to hell with the consequences. She will help Nick find the soul mate he clearly lacks, and he can help her find out more about her past. It seems a simple task, but it turns out to involve rather more skulduggery than Nick had anticipated.....

A nice, fun book and a real wind down, easy read - definitely got a high feel-good factor to lift you out of the doom and gloom mood prevalent at the moment. Very likeable characters and, as with most Alan Titchmarsh books, turns of humour that often made me laugh out loud.

The character of Rosie is a perfect role model to follow for those who realise that growing older doesn't necessarily mean you have to lead a staid life, watching TV or going to Bingo. I so wanna be like her! LMAO :0)

Book was registered with Book Crossing and was a controlled release: given to my DSis to read, when finished she will wild release it in the Thornton's Cafe at The Outlet, Doncaster. :0)

Wednesday, 17 December 2008

Lady of Hay - Barbara Erskine

Jo Clifford, a successful journalist, is all set to debunk the idea of past-life regression in her next magazine series. But when she herself submits to a simple hypnotic session, she suddenly finds herself reliving the experiences of Matilda, Lady of Hay, the wife of a baron at the time of King John.

As she learns of Matilda's unhappy marriage, her love for the handsome Richard de Clare and the brutal threats of death at the hands of King John, it becomes clear that Jo's past and present are hopelessly entwined and that, eight hundred years on, history is about to repeat itself.

You can read another synopsis here.

Dealing with things like past life regression and reincarnation it's a given that I would enjoy the storyline but I couldn't help having a couple of niggles with the characters. If you don't trust someone's motives why let them hypnotise you? If someone keeps phoning and you don't want to speak to them why not hang up as soon as you realise who it is? Better still: ever hear of call filtering?

Tot up all the booze they consume between them and they're definitely exceeding their recommended daily allowances - they could float a flippin' cruise liner on it! LOL

Jo is supposed to be a modern, go-getting career woman, an incisive journalist, yet she occasionally dithers so badly it gets annoying. She's kicked Nick out of her flat yet lets him keep a key..... when he keeps letting himself in, assaults her and generally behaves like a psychotic stalker she still lets him keep the key, doesn't always bolt the door when she's in, doesn't change the locks, doesn't report him to the police or take out an injunction against him. Yes, I know it's only a book, a work of fiction....... but it rather spoilt that modern woman image the main character was supposed to have.

Putting those niggles aside I did enjoy the bulk of the book. The karmic payback for one character was satisfying and there was a happier ending........ though it did leave a bit of a question mark that left me wondering if it would stay happy or if history would end up repeating itself.

The book is registered with Book Crossing and has now been released into the wild at the Earth Energies Clinic on my local High Street. :0)

Thursday, 4 December 2008

Tell No One by Harlan Coben

Written by an american author, a friend at the stitching club passed this on. It was what i call an easy read. Only a small book, but it grabbed my interest from the start. I finished it in record time for me, although i did spend 2 whole nights when up with the cat reading it LOL

TELL NO ONE is a story of loss and redemption. It begins innocently enough. Dr. David Beck and his beloved wife, Elizabeth, are celebrating the anniversary of their first kiss in the quiet of Lake Charmaine. They grew up together, first kissed at age twelve, and now, twenty-five years old and married less than a year, they return for an idyllic weekend away.

Tragedy shatters their solitude. Elizabeth is abducted and murdered, her body found in a ditch. Her killer is caught and brought to justice. But for David Beck, there can be no closure. Eight years pass. He never gets over Elizabeth's murder. He loses himself in his work as an inner city pediatrician.

But everything changes on the eighth anniversary of Elizabeth's death. Two unidentified bodies are found at Lake Charmaine, unearthed years after their deaths. But even more disturbing, Beck gets a bizarre email that mentions a specific phrase - a phrase known only to him and Elizabeth. The email also tells him to click a hyperlink the next day at a specific hour - “kiss time” - 6:15PM.

It's back on my bookshelf looking for a new home, or it will find its way into the community centre library next week.

Wednesday, 3 December 2008

Picture Maker - Penina Spinka

Picture Maker is the daughter of a powerful warrior, named for her ability to foretell the future in her drawings. Taken as a trophy prisoner by the rival Algonquin tribe, she kills her brutal captor and escapes north, alone and pregnant, but determined to find the people and places prophesied for her. As she grows beyond her once narrow confines, Picture Maker becomes an amazing and very human survivor.

You can read more here.

The book is described as similar in tone to Jean M Auel's books - whilst this is a good read I feel it doesn't come anywhere near her books for depth of characters and thorough descriptions of customs, scenery, hunting techniques etc etc. Jean M Auel is in a class all her own, IMO.
Having said that, what is described is interesting and gives a fascinating insight into some of the the customs and outlooks of early Ganeogaono (Mohawk), Algonquin and Inuit tribes, as well as Greenlander history.

I felt the book started off a little stilted but soon developed a smoother style which had me turning pages long after I should have gone to sleep.

The ending was left open, as the story continues in the next book, Dream Maker: I'll be keeping my eyes open for that and hope it's as good a read as this one.

Book is now registered at Book Crossing and has been added to my Swap List. :0)

Friday, 28 November 2008

Chocolat - Joanne Harris

When an exotic stranger, Vianne Rocher, arrives in the French village of Lansquenet and opens a chocolate boutique directly opposite the church, Father Reynaud identifies her as a serious danger to his flock - especially as it is the beginning of Lent, the traditional season of self-denial. War is declared as the priest denounces the newcomer's wares as the ultimate sin.

Suddenly Vianne's shop-come-cafe means that there is somewhere for secrets to be whispered, grievances to be aired, dreams to be tested. But Vianne's plans for an Easter Chocolate Festival divide the whole community in a conflict that escalates into a "Church not Chocolate" battle. As mouths water in anticipation, can the solemnity of the Church compare with the pagan passion of a chocolate eclair?

You can also read more about the book here. It also has an interesting piece from the author about how she came to write the book, the inspirations behind it and the motivations behind the main two characters.

Just as I'm told to lose 2 stone in weight I choose this book to read, which has descriptions of foods and tastes so good it sets your mouth watering. Perverse or what? LOL
There's a strongly Pagan theme that runs throughout the book which appealed strongly to me (naturally enough) but there's also so much more in there: a mother's love for her daughter; hypocrisy; love of and enjoyment in life; magic; friendship; facing your demons; human nature at it's worst.... and best and much more - all mixed together with a wonderful descriptive style that helps you to visualise the people and the area and which also helps to lighten some of the slightly dark aspects in the book.

A fascinating read and now I've read the book I'd like to see the film, to see how faithfully they've stuck to the original concepts and if they've done it justice... or not. :0)

This is registered with Book Crossing and has now been released into the wild. :0)

Tuesday, 25 November 2008

Choosers of the Slain - James Cobb

With its sleek outline hiding its awesome capabilities, the USS Cunningham is no ordinary warship. The world's first stealth missile destroyer, her offensive power is matched only by her baffling ability to evade her enemies. And she has no ordinary captain: behind Commander Amanda Lee Garrett's elegant exterior lies a lightning sharp intelligence and a will of steel.
But now both ship and commander are about to be tested in the heat of battle for the first time, as the Argentines launch a military takeover of the Antarctic peninsula, with only the Cunningham standing between them and their mineral-rich prize.
Faced with the full might of the Argentine navy and airforce in the freezing, fog-shrouded waters off the Antarctic Circle, the Cunningham and her crew are about to find out just how good they really are.

I opted to go for something completely different with this read. LOL
I'm not usually a fan of war themed books, as I usually find them too full of gung-ho macho stuff for my liking....... plus I'm generally a pacifist at heart. This was, on the whole, a nice exception to the rule. There's still enough gung-ho and technical stuff in there to keep any male readers happy but there's also a really good female main character that makes it an interesting read for women: enough of a role model to satisfy even the strongest women's libber. LOL

The battle scenes are well described and keep the tension going through the book - certainly exciting enough, if you forget about the mounting fatalities....... it certainly brings home just how devastating war (especially high-tech war) can be.

On the lighter side: there are some nice twists of humour and there's also a potential love interest in there which slowly develops through the book. That is left open ended but there are further books based on the same characters, so presumably the interest will continue to develop through those and I'm now curious enough about how that develops to want to read them.

All in all, so long as the thoughts of fatalities etc were put to one side, I found this an absorbing book..... a really good read. :0)

Registered this with Book Crossing and it's now available for anyone who wants to read it - or wants it for their OH to read. :0)

Tuesday, 18 November 2008

Ingo - Helen Dunmore

Everything is wet and shining with mist. The rocks hidden, the sea hidden. Everything slippery and dangerous... the sea pulling me like a magnet.

Swimming, surfing, exploring - Sapphire and her brother Conor enjoy life by the sea in Cornwall. But why does Conor start disappearing for hours on end? And who is the mysterious girl talking to him on the rocks?

Following Conor down to the cove one day, Sapphire discovers Ingo - an exciting and dangerous world beneath the waves, where all you breathe is adventure....

You can also read more here.

This is another Children's Fiction book, one of a series based on the undersea world of Ingo and Sapphire and Conor's interactions with it. Not a Prize Winner this time but a reasonably good read nonetheless, bearing in mind that it's primarily aimed at children - though I'd say older children due to the language level and concepts that are dealt with in it. The synopsis doesn't mention that the children's Dad disappears one night whilst out fishing on his boat, so the book touches on issues that result from losing a parent and the changes that can ensue, which may not sit well with some younger readers.

So far there are two further books in this series, so they should develop the story further and start to tie up some of the loose ends left at the end of this first one. I'm a fan of fantasy books and films so thoroughly enjoy this type of escapism into other worlds/realms and was captured enough by the storyline to want to know what happens next. :0)

Another one that will be registered with Book Crossing and which is now available for anyone who wants to read it next.

Monday, 17 November 2008

Raven Black - Ann Cleeves

No one knew he had this beautiful creature to visit him. She was his treasure, the raven in his cage.
It is a cold January morning and Shetland lies beneath a deep layer of snow. Trudging home, Fran Hunter's eye is drawn to a splash of colour on the frozen ground, ravens circling above. It is the strangled body of her teenage neighbour Catherine Ross. As Fran opens her mouth to scream, the ravens continue their deadly dance.

The locals on the quiet island stubbornly focus their gaze on one man - loner and simpleton Magnus Tait. But when detective Jimmy Perez and his colleagues from the mainland insist on opening out the investigation, a veil of suspicion and fear is thrown over the entire community.

For the first time in years, Catherine's neighbours nervously lock their doors, whilst a killer lives on in their midst...

You can also read another synopsis here.

Another murder mystery but this time set in the modern age. The author Ann Cleeves is, as far as I can remember, new to me.

I enjoyed the storyline (not particularly gory for a murder mystery), as it kept me guessing "whodunnit" through much of the book, due to there being red herrings aplenty, and there are some good/strong characters who's stories unfold through the book but the ending was a bit of a disappointment to me. I feel it leaves too many unanswered questions about what happens to some of the main characters and I hate being left wondering - all I can think is that perhaps their stories continue in further books where those questions will, hopefully, be answered.

Despite the disappointing ending I will be keeping an eye open for more of her books....... partly in the hopes of finding out what happens to the main characters, but also because the book was an enjoyable read and I liked her style of writing.

This is registered with Book Crossing and is now on its way to a new reader.

The Candace Robb book has now been released into the wild: I took it with us when we went to Market Rasen on Saturday and released it in the Tourist Information area within a cafe there. Now waiting to see if it's picked up and journalled on. :0)

Thursday, 13 November 2008

Journey to the River Sea - Eva Ibbotson

Synopsis: The girls in Maia's class told her what to expect when she reached the Brazilian jungle. "There are huge mosquitoes which bite you. You turn as yellow as a lemon and then you die."

But Maia, an orphan, can't wait to start the long sea voyage. She is to begin a new life with relatives she has never met, a thousand miles up the Amazon river. And Maia's classmates could never, even in their wildest dreams, imagine the adventures that await her on the shores of the River Sea.

You can also read more here.

This is another Children's Fiction book, this time a winner of the Smarties Book Prize Gold Award, and the writer, Eva Ibbotson, is a prolific children's book author. Aimed at and about children it is, nonetheless, another interesting read that shouldn't be discounted by adults. There's a good storyline and, even though you can guess at the way some of it will develop, there's still enough in there to keep you interested to the end.

It was also heartening to read a story that had a vein of sharing, caring, giving, co-operation and other good values running through it without it being overly cloying....... or resorting to ramming them home with a mallet.

All in all, an positive and enjoyable read with a satisfying ending.

I have registered this book with Book Crossing and it has now been wild released via the local Hospice Book Shop. :0)

Wednesday, 12 November 2008

The House at Riverton

Last night i finished The House at Riverton by Kate Morton. I have thoroughly enjoyed this book, it held my interest right from the first page. Unfortunately i have to return it to the library at the Community Centre so cannot pass it on. It takes till the final page for you to read what 'actually' happened.

Within its four walls lay a secret that would last a lifetime

Summer 1924: On the eve of a glittering Society party, by the lake of a grand English country house, a young poet takes his life. The only witnesses, sisters Hannah and Emmeline Hartford, will never speak to each other again.

Winter 1999: Grace Bradley, 98, one-time housemaid of Riverton Manor, is visited by a young director making a film about the poet's suicide. Ghosts awaken and memories, long-consigned to the dark reaches of Grace's mind, begin to sneak back through the cracks. A shocking secret threatens to emerge; something history has forgotten but Grace never could.

A thrilling mystery and a compelling love story, The House at Riverton will appeal to readers of Ian McEwan's Atonement, L.P. Hartley's The Go-Between, and lovers of the film Gosford Park.

Sunday, 9 November 2008

Daughters of Fire - Barbara Erskine

The Romans are landing in Britannia.....

Cartimandua, the young woman destined to rule the great tribe of the Brigantes, watches the invaders come ever closer. From the start her world is a maelstrom of love and conflict, revenge and retribution. Cartimandua's life becomes more turbulent and complicated as her power grows, and her political skills are threatened by her personal choices. She has formidable enemies on all sides as she faces a decision which will change the future of all around her.

In the present day, historian Viv Lloyd Rees has immersed herself in the legends surrounding the Celtic Queen. Viv strggles to hide her visions of Cartimandua and her conviction that they are real. But her obsession becomes ever more persistent as she takes possession of an ancient brooch that carries a curse. Bitter rivalries and overwhelming passions are reawakened as past envelops present and Viv finds herself in the greatest danger of her life.

There's also a slightly different synopsis here.

With the mix of Celtic history and spirituality, spirit hauntings etc etc it was almost a foregone conclusion that I would like this book but I wasn't prepared for being totally hooked by it. Normally I'm just a bedtime reader, preferring to leave days free for house jobs, stitching, cardmaking, the occasional visitor and the like, but not with this book: any spare few minutes and out it came. I needed to know what happened next, so very little else got done until I'd read it all.

This was my first Barbarar Erskine book - it certainly won't be the last. Thanks for introducing her books to me. :0)

Julie: I'll get it ready for posting but it may have to wait until next weekend before it goes to the PO - depends how work goes for DH. ;0)

Friday, 7 November 2008

Maximum Ride, James Patterson

Yes this is a book series aimed at teenagers but is a truly enjoyable read,
These James Patterson books are just great!

Maximum Ride: The Angel Experiment

Do not put this book down. I'm dead serious - your life could depend on it.
I'm risking everything by telling you - but you need to know.
IN for the thrill ride you'll want to take again and again! From Death Valley,
California, to the bowels of the New York City subway system, you're about to
take off on a heart-stopping adventure that will blow you away...
FAITHFUL COMPANIONS: Max, Fang, Iggy, Nudge, the Gasman, and Angel. Six kids who
are pretty normal in most ways - except that they're 98 percent human, 2 percent
bird. They grew up in a lab, living like rats in cages, but now they're free.
Aside, of course, from the fact that they're prime prey for Erasers - wicked
wolflike creatures with a taste for flying humans.

Maximum Ride: School's Out-Forever

Max is sure that a microchip has been inserted under her skin—leading freakish forces of evil to ambush them at any moment...AND WORSE!
She and the others are supposed to save the world.
Max will stop at nothing to find answers. One thing she does know: it's got something to do with an astonishing ability they have that no others can claim.

Maximum Ride: Saving the World and Other Extreme Sports

Max, Fang, Iggy, Nudge, Gasman, and Angel have always worked together to defeat the forces working against them—but can they save the world when they are torn apart, living in hiding and captivity, halfway across the globe from one another?

Maximum Ride: The Final Warning

Maximum Ride is a perfectly normal teenager who just happens to be able to fly, the result of an out-of-control government experiment. Max and the other members of the Flock–six kids who share her remarkable ability–have been asked to aid a group of environmental scientists studying the causes of global warming. Their ability to fly could help the scientists conquer this epic problem. The expedition seems like a perfect combination of adventure, activism–and escaping government forces who watch the Flock like a hawk.
But even in Antarctica, trapped in the harshest weather on our planet, Maximum Ride is an irresistible target in constant danger. For whoever controls her powers could also control the world....
I have just finished reading the last two books and I think there is a strong chance of another book.
There is even a website dedicated to these books~ where you can read a chapter of the books.

Wednesday, 5 November 2008


Hi Everyone I have finished the Big Stone Gap Trilogy and I am going to ask my friend if I can offer them to anyone who wants them. So watch this space . Interesting to read the you have just got the House at Riverton Julie, I got a bargain yesterday The Forgotten Garden by the same author,it was on offer in WH Smith with a purchase of the Times £2.99 instead of £7.99. I think it is on all week if anyone else if interested. I started it last night and I am hooked. Looks as if all are enjoying Barbara Erskine I cannot bear to part with any of her books sorry. I was spoilt on Saturday DH bought me The Other Queen by Phillipa Gregory and also Heart and Soul by Maeve Binchy.I will look out some books soon to swap or just to pass on as we are going to need yet another bookcase at the rate we are going we already have 4 large ones and one wall in the lounge is floor to ceiling - never mind the t chests in the loft. I think we need a clearance firm lol. Perhaps a list of authors or books we would like to have may be an idea.
Anyway I am now off to make a cuppa and either stitch or read hmmmm Take care all Barb

Monday, 3 November 2008

The Champion - Elizabeth Chadwick

Karen very kindly passed this one on to me after she'd finished reading it and you can find the synopsis for it here. :0)

After one of those deja vu feelings I realised I'd actually read this one some time ago and remembered that I got a bit fed-up with it then, feeling things could have been moved along a little faster than they were, and admit to giving in to speed reading some parts. This time around I read it through properly - there were still a couple of bits that I felt could have been hurried along a little but have to say that, on the whole, I did enjoy the read much more.

The historical details are especially well researched and give a good idea of what life in general would have been like during that period of history - worth a read for that alone.

I shall be registering this book with Book Crossing and offering it on the Swap Site. :0)

Kate Morton?

Has anyone read any books by this author?

One of the ladies at the stitchy club recommended her, she said from the very first page she got your attention ... I borrowed The House at Riverton from the library and decided to give it a try. It certainly did what she said, the first time i sat down i read 250 pages! I've not had the chance to read much more since as i've been busy moving 'Princess Amy' into her new little palace LOL

I thoroughly enjoyed Midnight is a Lonely Place by Barbara Erskine, who wants it next? its enveloped up, just needs an adress adding to the front!

Thursday, 23 October 2008

The Da Vinci Code.

By Dan Brown

I had been reluctant to read this book with all the hype and suchlike surrounding this book, But I have to admit I have found it easy to read, and easy to follow, I do hate books where I have to read an encyclopedia to understand half the words. And it kept me entranced with who the teacher could be.......
A book I truly recommend!

Wednesday, 22 October 2008

Have sent you all a link to a little swap blog so we can see who has what up for swaps

A Respectable Trade

A Respectable Trade
The devastating consequences of the slave trade in 18th century Bristol are explored through the powerful but impossible attraction of well-born Frances and her Yoruban slave, Mehuru.
Bristol in 1787 is booming, from its stinking docks to its elegant new houses. Josiah Cole, a small dockside trader, is prepared to gamble everything to join the big players of the city. But he needs ready cash and a well-connected wife. An arranged marriage to Frances Scott is a mutually convenient solution.
Trading her social contacts for Josiah's protection, Frances enters the world of the Bristol merchants and finds her life and fortune dependent on the respectable trade of sugar, rum and slaves.
Once again Philippa Gregory brings her unique combination of a vivid sense of history and inimitable storytelling skills to illuminate a complex period of our past. Powerful, haunting, intensely disturbing, this is a novel of desire and shame, of individuals, of a society, and of a whole continent devastated by the greed of others.

One of her earlier books quite enjoyable but I don't feel it's as nicely written as her later ones, nice not to have loads of bodice ripping going on lol

The Guilt of Innocents - Candace Robb

This is Book 9 in the Owen Archer series of medieval murder mysteries by Candace Robb.

Winter 1372, York: a man has drowned in the River Ouse. It soon becomes clear that his death was not an accident...... but why would anyone want to kill a humble river pilot?
As the crowds around the murdered man thicken, one-eyed spy Owen Archer is quickly brought to the scene by his adoptive son, Jasper. Renowned for solving many crimes, Owen is immediately drawn into the case. But right from the start he realises that it isn't a simple question of one victim, as another body is found in the river, and one suspect. And when a valuable cross goes missing and a woman is badly burnt in mysterious circumstances, the web of deceit widens - so Owen and Jasper's lives are in danger as they get closer to the truth.

Although it's part of a series it is possible to read it as a stand alone, as I read Book 1, The Apothecary Rose, some time ago and have now read this one and soon picked up the main characters and their stories.

It was an enjoyable enough read but I was a little disappointed that I managed to guess who the murderer was about half way through the book......... I much prefer it when the suspense and guesswork carries on right through to the last chapter! It was also nice to see how the stories/lives of the main characters had developed from the first book so I might just make the effort to read the "in between" ones now. :0)

I've registered this with the Book Crossing site and am now offering it to anyone who would like it - if no one here is interested then I will do a wild release at some point.

Tuesday, 21 October 2008

Anyone heard of this??

Read it, swap it

Seems you can swop books with others, there are lots in the library, wonder if its any good ...

Wednesday, 15 October 2008

Elizabeth Chadwick, The Champion

Here is a little bit about the book , personally I found it hard work for about the first half of the book

Alexander and Hervi de Montroi, half-brothers with no inheritance, meet in France. Hervi is a professional jouster and Alexander, fleeing the beatings of an English monastery, needs a trade. Despite misgivings, Hervi takes him on as his squire, introducing him to the travellers' immoral lifestyle. He befriends a girl, Monday, taking care of her after her parents die until, pregnant with Alexander's child, she leaves, finding shelter in a castle as a seamstress. Noticed by King John, she becomes his mistress in England, bearing his son and gaining a house. Meanwhile, Stefan has returned to England too, in the pay of an Earl - they meet again at court and, now older, fall in love. They have the King's blessing, but Monday's grandfather, now heirless, sees her as a way to gain power. She escapes his kidnapping to be reunited with Alexander on the land granted to him by the Earl.

Tuesday, 14 October 2008

The Wise Woman ~ Philippa Gregory

This is a haunting story of a woman's desire in a time of turbulence. Alys joins the nunnery to escape hardship and poverty but finds herself thrown back into the outside world when Henry VIII's wreckers destroy her sanctuary.

With nothing to support her but her looks, her magic and her own instinctive cunning, Alys has to tread a perilous path between the faith of her childhood and her own female power. When she falls in love with Hugo, the feudal lord and another woman's husband, she dips into witchcraft to defeat her rival and to win her lover, but finds - as her cynical old foster-mother had advised - that magic makes a poor servant but a dominant master.

Since heresy against the new church means the stake, and witchcraft the rope, Alys's danger is mortal. A woman's powers are no longer safe to use!

You can read the First Chapter here if you think this might be a book you would be interested in.

I did enjoy this book, it was my first Philippa Gregory. It does have lots of naughty words in it so some might not like it!!

A new start next on 'Barbara Erskine, Midnight is a Lonely Place'
Karen kindly sent me this when she had finished reading it (thanks Karen, hope it doesn't give me nightmares!)

Tuesday, 7 October 2008

new book started

I have at last finished the Lesley Pearse book I was reading. A friend has lent me a trilogy of books by Adriana Trigiani entitled Big Stone Gap(1) Big Cherry Holler (2) and Milk Glass Moon(3). She is author of Lucia,Lucia but I haven't read that one. It is an easy read but one that has you thinking you are up there in the mountains with the kind hearted collection of quirky sharp tongued folk.The blurb on the back is as follows.....
Ave Maria Mulligan if still single at 35 and she's well known for being the town spinster as for being the town pharmacistl.Not that it matters Ave Maria has her work,her best friend Theo and her loving Mama. So she isn't lonesome. Not a bit . Not even in aplace like Big Stone Gap where most people are married by 18 and you cant park your car outside a man's house without rumours flying, but now Aves Mama has died and as if that isn't painful enough,a letter has arrived with a secret from beyond the grave.A secret that raises as many questions as it answers.
Nothing stays private in a small town and before long Ave has a whole host of things to worry about.
This isn't my usual kind of book ,but my friend and I usually have similar taste so I thought I would give it a go. Will let you know what I think when I have finished it.
Karan I have read the Curious dog in the night-time and enjoyed it.Again not a book I might have chosen but certainly different.

The friend that lent me this trilogy has also taken part in the book crossing. I will ask her if she would like to join us shall I Karen.
Has anyone read any of Lee Childs books. I also see someone has or is reading the Wise Woman I enjoyed that too. Haven't had the new back from son yet . Hope everyone is engrossed in a book. I think ELISA reads,.. perhaps she would like an invite . What do you think of asking on the board Karen. Anyway that is it for now take care Barb

Monday, 6 October 2008

Book Releases

Some of you may be aware, from reading my other blog, that I joined the Book Crossing web site whilst on holiday in the Lake District during August. I did this as I wanted to release the book I'd just finished reading (The Labyrinth) into the wild, to see who would pick it up and how far it would travel. I reasoned that, as the release place was visited by people from around the world, there was a strong possibility it would travel far........ but that book still doesn't seem to have gone anywhere yet.

In the hopes of better succes I opted to release my next book, The Alienist, in a cafe just down the local High Street. Several books that had previously been released in this area had been picked up by other people who then took the time to make a journal entry on them and pass them on. No luck with it yet but it was only recently released, so I am keeping my fingers crossed.

A little disappointed with my first book releases, but undaunted, I decided the next book, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, would be the subject of a controlled release. Angela, a fellow Blogger, expressed interest in it, so I duly posted it off to her at the weekend and I'm glad to say that she received it today. Angela has agreed to read the book, journal on it and release it into the wild on one of her walking and camping weekends. Even if no one journals on it after that at least I have one book that I know for certain has travelled!

What is the appeal of this? Well, there seems to be a prevalent attitude in society that "you don't get something for nothing" and this goes some way to disproving that rather cynical outlook on life. It's a way of sharing a good book with someone and anything that encourages people to read isn't a bad thing, is it? It spreads some good Karma. It's also going to be exciting to see where a book will travel........ if ever one of those wild releases is picked up by someone who is just as interested in spreading the good will and sharing in the journey. :0)

Monday, 29 September 2008

Mark Haddon Book

Bit of a long title for a small paperback book but this is my latest finish:

A murder mystery with a twist as the detective and narrator in this instance is Christopher Boone, a 15 year old with Asperger's Syndrome. He's a maths whizz but knows very little about human beings. He hates the colours yellow and brown and being touched. He's never gone further than the end of the road on his own but after finding a neighbours' murdered dog he sets off on a terrifying journey which will turn his whole world upside down. More info here.

An award winning book (deservedly so, IMHO), it was written and is classed as Children's Fiction but there's a lot to interest adults too, though be warned: it's not always a happy read. It does, however, grab you from the first page and also makes you think about your own, and others, attitudes towards those in our society who are "different". So, if you ever wondered what Asperger's was, how it affects those who have it, and those around them, then this is a must read - it gives an amazing insight into those aspects and especially in to the Asperger's mindset.

I started reading it late Saturday night and finished it late Sunday night, picking it up in every spare moment possible and hardly got any stitching done because of it. Not many books make me do that! :0)

Sunday, 28 September 2008

The Sixth Wife

I finished reading the Sixth Wife , it was ok I wasn't keen on the way it was written , the whole story was told by her friend Cathy .

A gripping novel of love, passion, betrayal and heartbreak. Katherine Parr survived Henry VIII to find true love with Thomas Seymour - only to realise that her love was based on a lie.Clever, sensible and well-liked, Katherine Parr trod a knife edge of diplomacy and risk during her marriage to an ageing, cantankerous King Henry. When he died, she was in her late thirties and love, it seemed, had passed her by. Until, that is, the popular Thomas Seymour - bold, handsome, witty and irresistible - began a relentless courtship that won her heart. Kate fell passionately in love for the first time in her life and, also for the first time, threw caution to the wind with a marriage that shocked the worldly courtiers around her.But all too soon it becomes obvious that Thomas has plans beyond his marriage for the young, capricious, quick-witted heir to the throne - Elizabeth - and that in his quest for power, he might even be prepared to betray his now pregnant wife...Kate's whirlwind romance is witnessed and recounted by her closest friend, Catherine, Duchess of Suffolk, who lives through the tumultuous years after Henry's death at Kate's side. A sharp and canny courtier in her own right, Cathy is keenly aware of the political realities of life at court and is, apparently, a loyal supporter of her friend. As her story weaves its way through that of Kate and Thomas's heady passion and tragic denouement, however, it gradually becomes clear that Cathy has her own tale of betrayal and regret to tell...

Saturday, 27 September 2008

The Alienist - Caleb Carr

This is the latest book I've just finished reading:

Set in New York in the 1890's, it's a murder mystery/thriller. A serial killer is murdering boy prostitutes in an horrific way: society turns a blind eye, preferring to know nothing about the seedier side of life, and the police are too corrupt and inept to try to capture him. Bring in the Alienist (psychiatrist), give him a team and have them start investigating.....
The book gives a fascinating insight into the development of criminal/psychological profiling as a tool to identifying and capturing the killer and of the historical period it is set in.
If you want to know more about the storyline please see here.

A very good read that kept me hooked right up to the last page. I'll certainly be looking out for the author's next book: Angel of Darkness.

The book has been registered on the Book Crossing web site and has been released into the wild - although it was at the Il Sorriso cafe on Ashby High Street and not in the cinema. Looking forward to seeing if it travels and how far. :0)

A new start ...

Decided on a trip to the library and picked up a Philippa Gregory to give her a try, another recommended author by Karen, have read a couple of chapters and enjoyijng it so far

The Wise Woman - Philippa Gregory

Julie x

Monday, 22 September 2008

Child of the Phoenix

YAY!!!! i finished it last night.

Our internet connection was off yesterday for 12 hours for some upgrade work, there was me trying hard to connect for about 6 hours, then the kids come home and tell me the sad news .... no PC for mum today so i finished my book instead LOL

I have to say, that i enjoyed the other 2 i have read more than this one. It didn't get going till about 1/4 of the way through (when her 1st hubby died). The names in it were difficult to read and i did find it hard going in some parts, as it progressed it got my interest. It hasn't put me off reading any more of hers, i have 3 more on the bookself i have aquired secondhand from various places.

Now to decide what to read next - another Barbara Erskine or a visit to the library to try someone different .....

Saturday, 20 September 2008
This is the book I am just about to start

Wednesday, 17 September 2008

On page 700'ish Karen!

Had a mammoth reading day today, DH was at the hospital so lots of waiting around.

See i am a good girlie and am reading faster Karen LOL

Hi Karen I am back and almost ready to go lol. I am currently reading yet another Lesley Pearse book entitled Trust Me. Set in the 1940s it deals with the lives of 2 sisters whose father is imprisoned for murdering their mother. Although he is innocent the sisters go to live with their granny who is too old and infirm to look after them. Sent to an orphanage run by nuns their lives take a disturbing change for the worse and when the eldest sister is offered to go to Australia a land of great opportunity sold to her by the nuns she thinks it will be a change for the better. She is put to work on a farm in the outback where life is even harsher for her. I am about half way through and must say I am really enjoying it. Is this the sort of thing i should be saying ,do you think.Barb

Saturday, 13 September 2008

Finished reading the child of phoenix last night, I sort of enjoyed the book but not as much as others by Barbara Erskine.
I won't go too much into detail about the book as Julie is reading it as well

Saturday, 6 September 2008

Hello fellow readers!

Thank you for the invite.
I am currently reading Making Money by Terry Pratchett, even though it is taking me a while to read it, I do enjoy the Discworld books. I know some people do think these books are for students and teenagers, but I do enjoy the daft fantasy side of these stories. Well you are only as old as you feel. Whilst on the subject of younger readers, Have you read any of the Louise Rennison books,you must look them up, whilst being for the young ladies they are very hilarious!!
I have quite a few favourite authors, but the one main favourite has to be Stephen King, I have literally grown up reading his books, and I do own most of his books. I also like James Herbert but I am not just into the horrors. I will admit to loving a lot of chick lit. 8-0
I like James Patterson and Jonathon and Faye Kellerman, and have read nearly most of their books. I have tried making a journal of all the books I have read. So far there is over 200 authors, but not counting all the books I read before I started.
I could go on all night but I won't bore you anymore. Sorry for rambling on. ;0)

At the moment I am reading the Child of Phoenix with Julie , it's a good read so far , the names of the characters are interesting !! I am only glad I have to read them and not actually pronounce them out loud

Child of the Phoenix

I am a new fan of Barbara Erskine, she was introduced to me by Karen.

I was reading 'Kingdom of Shadows' and Barb (an avid BE fan!) told me there was a follow on book. I searched my library for it and local secondhand bookstores and charity shops, but couldn't find it. With only 2 chapters to read, good old Amazoon came to the rescue and i picked up a copy for little money.

I am a few chapters into it so far .....