This has been on the trusty ‘to be read’ pile since the January sales, so thought I had better pick it up and give it a go (little did I know I made that decision the same week it came out in paperback). I am pleased I finally did pick this book up; it is really quite a good read.
This is not a simple memoir or autobiography by Robert Webb but really quite an examination of what truly makes us who we are – well what made Robert Webb who he is. There is a wonderful honesty throughout this book about his life and those that surrounded him. However, there is a great deal of affection in the writing too. I found it a very emotional read from start to finish, but it does not lack the humour you would expect from a book by Robert Webb. You follow the story of Webb as he struggles to really find his place in the world (although he has some dreams) – what should and shouldn’t he do as a boy from Lincolnshire? What is his place, really? How much do we allow others and society to define us?
Overall, this book is incredibly thought provoking as Webb does tackle the complex issue of gender in society and, however much we think we may be fighting against those roles that time has defined for men and women, do we actually, blindly, still fall into them? It has really made me reflect on how I view being female, especially as I sometimes consider myself not to follow all the stereotypes (although I actually probably do).
If you fancy more than a memoir and something that challenges ‘normal’ then this is the book for you. (Also, there are some amazing quotes used at the start of every chapter – including one from RuPaul!)
A world without books – what is that all about? From the moment I started reading this book, I was fascinated – a world without books is something that I could never have imagined – but as a History teacher I have worried about.
Fahrenheit 451 is a book I always knew I should have read and Mr Bookwormandtheatremouse always rolled his eyes when we discussed how I had never read it. So, finally I have. I do wonder why I have not read it before and I think the reason was I simply never thought to. This book is wonderful, if not a little terrifying. After all a world without books would be my nightmare.
As much as this novel warns what we could face in a world where our knowledge is controlled and limited, it also causes the reader to celebrate books. As you follow Montag, the fireman (although a cause of rather than a fighter of fires), attempt to break away from society as he knows it, you appreciate books more with the turn of every page.
This book is a good piece of prose but, as with many similar novels, it is emotive and thought-provoking. You will finish this book ready to fight for freedom – freedom of knowledge and freedom to be an individual in an ever-changing and mixed-up world. Don’t let books you love be forgotten – ever!
When I spotted the film posters for ‘The Limehouse Golem’, I was immediately intrigued. Reason number one, Bill Nighy (I am a huge fan), reason number two the apparently spooky Victorian setting. However, time passed and I never made it to the cinema – Boo! Then, by luck, I found a copy of the novel in the local Oxfam bookshop and decided that I had to read it before I watched the film. As we bookworms are all fully aware ‘that the book was better’ – still waiting to check if that is true, though.
I was expecting, for some reason, for this book to be a tough read but it is so wonderfully written that it becomes a real page-turner. Every chapter is told in a different style, which keeps the interest of the tale and the mystery of ‘The Limehouse Golem’ alive. The setting of murky Victorian London is ideal for a murder mystery, as many of us are aware, and in this novel it is as much of a character as the people we encounter.
It is always difficult to blog about books that you do not want to reveal too much about. So, all I will say is that there are two twists – well, there were for me anyway – I expected one but only at the very last moment!
I am now so ready to go and watch the film because I am intrigued to see if it does this brilliant novel justice. And if it doesn’t, at least it is a chance to watch a Bill Nighy film.
However, one thing is for sure: I am keen to read more titles by Peter Ackroyd – anybody read any that they would recommend?
I picked this book as my holiday read (I have been on a little trip to Jersey which I will tell you all about soon) as I had spotted it on a lot of social media. I knew nothing about the book and did not even read the back of it to find out. I just had a good feeling about this title and that feeling was correct.
This is a story which really does plant ‘little fires everywhere’ – the title is perfect. It refers not only to one event that draws us into the tale, but is also a perfect metaphor for events that every character experiences in the tale. This novel is an interesting study of human nature and the impact of nurture. It addresses some very difficult questions about family and the ‘rights’ of those in a family – however it may be formed.
Also, secrets and identity engage you in the tale. Secrets lead to misunderstanding and mistrust causing relationships to sour. However, are some secrets kept for the good of those involved? If it seems to those involved that it is not causing any harm?
The novel is engaging and thought provoking. You will like some characters, you may dislike others (I certainly did), but you will probably understand, if not agree, with the actions of those involved in the story.
So, if you are looking for a good story about characters this is the book for you!
A second award winner for April. Nevermoor won the Waterstones Children’s Book Prize 2018 for Younger Fiction, so I decided I needed to give it a go.
The cover is wonderful, you are automatically intrigued about the tale as the blue and gold suggests a beautifully magical world. Centre-stage of the cover is our bold heroine, Morrigan Crow. It is lovely to read another tale with a strong female lead. Morrigan is whisked away, on her eleventh birthday, to Nevermoor by Mr Jupiter North, her guide and protector in this new city. She has to face a series of trials to earn her membership of the mysterious Wunderous Society. To succeed in these trials, Morrigan must use her exceptional talent – whatever that may be. Of course it all results in some exciting, and occasionally scary, adventures with a whole load of colourful characters to encounter along the way.
As you read this tale, you are on all the adventures with Morrigan and her friends. You are almost part of the secret city of Nevermoor, avoiding the Hunt of Smoke and Shadows, and trying to gain your place in the Wunderous Society.
This book would be perfect for any bookworm – especially those readers who may have enjoyed books such as Harry Potter and will go on to become fans of stories such as The Hunger Games. Remember some books can be enjoyed by readers of all ages – and this is one. Who knows where Morrigan’s adventures will take her next?
So, I am a little late at picking up a copy of this novel but this is certainly a case of better late than never. Recently the winner of ‘Waterstones Children’s Book Prize’, and it really is a deserving winner.
I am not sure I can do this title justice in a blog post. There is so much in this novel that deserves praise and recognition that I honestly do not think I have the skill to comment on it all. However, I am going to do my best to share my thoughts on ‘THUG’.
However, first it is another novel with a fantastic female lead in Starr. She may not have an easy ride for a whole load of different reasons but she is someone that you can imagine wanting to be friends with. You root for her from the word go; even if you don’t always agree with some of her actions, you can certainly understand them.
In fact, this whole novel is probably an important lesson for us all. Angie Thomas was inspired to write this because of the #Blacklivesmatter campaign and really shows us why we should use the voice we have been given to speak out for what we believe in. After all, our voice is our most powerful weapon. This is an incredibly thought-provoking book and is essential reading for all of us.
I really do not want to spoil this novel for anyone who has not read it, because it is such a powerful book. However, I will say that it is an emotional page-turner which will probably make you take a long, hard look at the world we live in and some of the actions we witness on a day-to-day basis.
So, whenever I am asked for a book recommendation this will be top of the list. If you haven’t read it, go out and find a copy and dedicate some time to Starr and her friends and family. They might all teach you thing or two.
So, I am pretty sure I have mentioned that I am a fan of Poirot. After all, I did do ‘A Murder on the Orient Express’ post last year. (Go and check it out if you haven’t already)
Sometimes I am just keen to read a good old-fashioned crime novel and, based on that I picked ‘Sad Cypress’ from my to-be-read pile. And, let’s be honest, I was not going to be disappointed by some quality time with Poirot and his little grey cells.
I enjoyed this novel because this is a crime that Poirot needs to solve to save Elinor Carlisle from the gallows. Her guilt has been decided by many before Poirot takes on the case with jealousy being given as the main motive, especially, by those who like a little bit of gossip. It is always fun to follow Poirot on his journey to solving the crime. There is always a charm to Christie’s novels which almost makes you wish you were part of the tale. And ‘Sad Cypress’ was no different.
So, if you are a fan of Christie Crime Classics (and if not, why not?) this is the novel for you.
First trip to the RSC’s new season was to see ‘The Scottish Play’. This is the shortest Shakespeare play (just a bit of trivia for you) and also one of my favourites. There is something comforting about a good old-fashioned good-versus-evil tale with a sprinkling of madness, ghosts and witches.
Now, I am not going to lie. Christopher Eccleston as Macbeth and Niamh Cusack as Lady Macbeth were quite a draw. Also, the fact that this is a season of female directors adds an attraction – how will these classic tales be adapted?
So, what was the play like? A bleak and modern setting – with sprinklings of excess – for me really emphasised the greed from the Macbeths but also highlighted the descent into madness of the two leads.
There was something very cinematic about the production as lines from play were projected onto the scenery and a digital clock ticked down to the big conclusion. (A wonderful stage fight between Macbeth and Macduff). And while I do not like to post spoilers, the time theme played a big part in the play’s finale – especially the idea of history repeating itself…
Christopher Eccleston is a really engaging Macbeth. He fully embraces the role – taking us all on the journey of Macbeth’s madness. However, for me the real villain of the piece will always be Lady Macbeth. I am not sure if Shakespeare or this adaptation intended that view but it is certainly how I view the play – and Niamh Cusack convinced me I was correct. Cusack certainly made the role her own and was mesmerising to watch. Macbeth was her puppet until she was too overcome by the guilt of her actions.
Although I name-check the two leads, as always there is not a star. RSC productions are always a team effort. No production would be as wonderful as they are without the whole cast giving it their all and, of course, those who work behind the scenes. (That knocking made me jump each time.)
I am now on countdown to the other productions this season – look out for those posts too as we travel through the season on the words of Shakespeare.
This was another title shared by my fellow bookworm Faye. Before we even discuss the book, we need to discuss the absolutely stunning cover. It is true that you should never judge a book by its cover, but this is a stunner! The cover beautifully sums up Erkenwald, our setting, but also it is almost alive with emotion. I adore it and could almost frame it and pop it on the wall.
So, the story: this is another beautiful adventure in a stunning snowy setting. A good versus evil traditional tale – with a wonderful villain in the Ice Queen. There is something a little Narnia-esque about it, so it will not disappoint, especially if you are a fan of ‘The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe’.
Erkenwald is in the grip of deadly winter as the Ice Queen’s hold seems to be getting stronger. Our heroes Flint, Erska and Blu are determined to prevent this from happening and return snowy Erkenwald to its rightful people, the traditional tribes.
Along with the support of the animals and mythical creatures of the land, they face danger and adventure as they aim to remove the Ice Queen from the Winterfang Palace. They want peace restored, families restored and the spell to be broken.
It is a lovely read, another novel with a strong female lead, but also the idea that we all have our skills to share. If you like a good old-fashioned adventure novel with a little sprinkle of magic, this is the book for you.
One had caught my eye many times when I was book shopping. It has a stunning and intriguing cover with two faces so close together and similar that they could almost be the same person – and never has a novel had a cover that demonstrates the story so perfectly but without spoiling any of the beauty of the novel. I have finally read this beautiful tale thanks to my book buddy Hayley, from Hayley from Home (anyone would think we are both avid readers), as she popped some lovely book post to me recently.
I am not sure that I can do this book the justice it deserves as I, of course, can not reveal any spoilers, but I really do want to share my thoughts on this novel. I will share that this book has the beautiful Grace and Tippi at the centre; two such different characters, but they share so much being conjoined twins. This story is beautifully written and presented, to convey to the reader all of the emotion of the story, not only for the two girls, but for those that they encounter on their path through life. Despite their unusual situation, they have one desire, to be able to have the same experiences as others of their age, they find happiness and friendship with Yasmeen (another girl who has always faced life a little differently to others) and Jon. However, despite this opportunity, they are constantly reminded that they are not like everyone else, and how will they ever tackle falling in love and accepting that they can be loved for who they are?
Despite the obvious focus this novel has on the girls, there is also an examination of the impact that their situation has on the family. Another struggle that the girls must face, as they feel an element of guilt as elements of home life appear to unravel, in some aspects obviously and in other ways slightly hidden from sight.
As we begin to reach the conclusion of the novel, there is a twist. You know it is coming to some extent, but maybe you do not expect it to happen in the way it does. You are so invested in this novel by the end, thanks to the beautiful writing of Sarah Crossan, that to be honest you are left wanting more. Although, I think this novel will stay with you long after you read the last word and you will be imaging your own next step for the characters.
This post may not have done this book justice – the only thing that will is you picking it up and reading it yourself. Have you read any Sarah Crossan novels? What should I read next?