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Book Reviews

Doddie Smith – I capture the castle

“How I wish I lived in a Jane Austen novel!”

Meet 17-year-old Cassandra Mortmain who, alongside her family, lives in a rented castle. They’re poor (no-one earns any money) but they like to dream. The girls dream of love and marriage, the parents of unending days and food. And they feel that their status and their lack of money can mean only ruin in the future unless an appropriate husband is secured.

And what I thought about most was luxury. I had never realized before that it is more than just having things; it makes the very air feel different. And I felt different, breathing that air: relaxed, lazy, still sad but with the edge taken off the sadness. Perhaps the effect wears off in time, or perhaps you don’t notice it if you are born to it, but it does seem to me that the climate of richness must always be a little dulling to the senses. Perhaps it takes the edge off joy as well as off sorrow.

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Book Reviews

Pride and Prejudice (Jane Austen)

“It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife.”

Austen began writing Pride and Prejudice under the title First Impressions in 1796, at the age of twenty-one. She probably wrote the first draft as an epistolary novel, meaning the plot unfolded through an exchange of letters. In 1797, Austen’s father offered his daughter’s manuscript to a publishing company, but they refused to even consider it.

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Book Reviews

If my father loved me * Rosie Thomas

Rosie Thomas brings forward an interesting novel of the complexities of family and the sacrifices we make for the ones we love. Sadie’s life is calm and complete. She is a mother, a good friend, and the robust survivor of a marriage she deliberately left behind. She has come to believe that she has everything she wants and deserves. But now her father is dying—the elusive man who spent his life creating exquisite perfumes for other women is slipping away from her, and Sadie must try to make her peace with him before it’s too late.

As Sadie confronts the truth about her father, who often ignored her as he pursued his separate life, her relationship with her son Jack also appears to be breaking down. Intent on salvaging her relationships with both son and father, her seemingly perfect life unravels from both ends. Then the arrival of an ephemeral woman from her father’s past sets off a chain reaction of events that even Sadie cannot control.

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Book Reviews

The Map of Love – Ahdaf Soueif

Last night I dreamed I walked once more in the house of my father’s childhood: under my feet the cool marble of the entrance hall, above my head its high ceiling of wooden rafters: a thousand painted flowers gleaming dark with distance.

Short-listed for the Booker prize and acclaimed by critics worldwide, Soueif’s novel certainly seems promising: in 1901, Lady Anna Winterbourne travels to Egypt, where she falls in love with an Egyptian patriot and is swept up in the country’s struggle for independence from British rule.

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Book Reviews

Nicholas Sparks * The Guardian Book Review

It’s been quite a while since I’ve read a story about a woman, a man and a dog and a psychopath chasing them which wasn’t written by Dean Koontz. Nicholas Sparks has written many, many books like The Notebook and A Walk to Remember – but this is his first thriller and I must say it turned out great. He still let the romance bloom and it didn’t take anything away from the story.

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Book Reviews

The Devil and the Deep by Julie Ann Walker (and a bit of sex science)

I love how sometimes life throws a curve-ball at you and you’re just sitting in your car grinning like an idiot while listening an audiobook about a woman’s sensual lips and an “engorged shaft”. I’ve never read anything by Julie Ann Walker before and I had no idea what the book I picked up was about. I was going in blind.
Sometimes I get lucky and I pick up a book that surprises me and I get a new favourite author like it happened with The Woman Before Me * Ruth Dugdall – Book Review but sometimes you get one that’s more in the Fifty Shades variety of written porn for the bored hausfrau.

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Book Reviews

Prospero’s Children by Jan Siegel Book Review

I started this book with really, really low expectations. It’s been a while since I’ve read anything of value so I was thinking that a teen book, YA section will probably keep my interest for an hour or so before I went out and then I can pick it up later and leisurely continue reading it without bothering too much about it.

But then, as I started reading, I had to double-back to specific sentences, paragraphs and then I got my pen out. I loved this.

…most legends germinate from a seed of truth and feed on the imagination of Man. We need our demons: they are symbols, overblown maybe, often exaggerated, but effective. They offer simple confrontations between Good and Evil. War, famine, and pestilence are much less straightforward.

This is the first book I’ve picked up in about 3 years about time travel and multi-verse and the lost city of Atlantis. (The last book being Hearts in Atlantis which had more to do with the Dark Tower than any lost civilization and lands).

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Categories
Dean Koontz

Dean Koontz * The Taking Book Review

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In one of the most dazzling books of his celebrated career, Dean Koontz delivers a masterwork of page-turning suspense that surpasses even his own inimitable reputation as a chronicler of our worst fears—and best dreams. In THE TAKING he tells the story of a community cut off from a world under siege, and the terrifying battle for survival waged by a young couple and their neighbors as familiar streets become fog-shrouded death traps. Gripping, heartbreaking, and triumphant in the face of mankind’s darkest hour, here is a small-town slice-of-doomsday thriller that strikes to the core of each of us to ask: What would you do in the midst of THE TAKING.

Categories
Poetry

For Jane: With All The Love I Had, Which Was Not Enough: – Poem by Charles Bukowski

I pick up the skirt,
I pick up the sparkling beads
in black,
this thing that moved once
around flesh,
and I call God a liar,
I say anything that moved
like that
or knew
my name
could never die
in the common verity of dying,
and I pick
up her lovely
dress,
all her loveliness gone,
and I speak to all the gods,
Jewish gods, Christ-gods,
chips of blinking things,
idols, pills, bread,
fathoms, risks,
knowledgeable surrender,
rats in the gravy of two gone quite mad
without a chance,
hummingbird knowledge, hummingbird chance,
I lean upon this,
I lean on all of this
and I know
her dress upon my arm
but
they will not
give her back to me.


You want real hell? Try living with a so-called beautiful woman. It’s a mirage that turns into a total nightmare. If you have to have a woman, look for kindness. A sense of overall reality. – Charles Bukowski

https_%2F%2Falessandroansuini.files.wordpress.com%2F2014%2F07%2Fcharles-bukowski.jpgBukowski’s outward reputation was that of a brawling drunkard, and hard-ass, but much of that was a persona he cultivated through poetry readings, he was actually very sensitive and capable of deep love. His first love was Jane Cooney Baker, a woman ten years his senior, who died of alcoholism long before Bukowski passed away due to leukemia.

His poem For Jane: With All the Love I Had, Which Was Not Enough is as powerful a declaration of a man’s love for a woman as there is in all of poetry. Bukowski got married twice. First to a wealthy publisher’s daughter (who he married sight unseen before he was a famous poet) and finally to a woman he met at one of his poetry readings after he had completed his “research” of sleeping around for his novel Women.

Categories
Book Reviews

Atlas Shrugged * Ayn Rand Book Review

This has been due for a long time. The mammoth book that Ayn Rand wrote over 60 years ago (1957) is a manifest for objectivism and a case study of how the world would turn out if socialism were to be the ruling force of society. If need and not ability would be the ones that were deemed as worthy of pay. If the mooching people and the leaches would reach the ruling class and would give out laws that suit them and their friends.

I read it over a span of two years with a break in the middle as the book can get a bit overwhelming and dark. I recognised so many things from other countries’ way of ruling and the corrupt ways of power and I fell in love with the strong characters that this book had to offer. Dagny Taggart- a female tycoon who wants to build a trans-continental train line, Hank Reardon – a metallurgist who invents his own alloy which is lighter than iron and multi-functional. Francisco d’Anconia who sets up to increase his family’s fortune in copper mines. Further along the book come John Galt and Ragnar the pirate. Bad boys who destroy / save society by quickening the process that had started and by removing the leacher’s blood victims from being sucked to death.