Monday, December 04, 2006

Lovely Christmas book...and all year round!

Fannie Flagg writes brilliant stories. You may remember Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe. The film is excellent, but the book is even better. She even has recipes at the back of the book, and on her website. Her books are absolute treasures, and you can really feel all that is going on, and long to be a part of it.

I have just read A Redbird Christmas, which was completely magical! It was so beautiful, telling the story of a man who is told he won't make it past Christmas unless he moves to a warmer climate. He does, and sees his whole life change and extend, and grow in value. Hope for everyone.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Another great storyteller

I have just bought this wonderful book, Pilgrims and other stories, by Elizabeth Gilbert, another great storyteller. Very similar to Annie Proulx, with sharp contrasts between the rougher side of life and the hidden gentleness that all people seem to possess. My favourite stories in this compilation are "The Many Things That Denny Brown Did Not Know (Age Fifteen)" and "The Famous Torn and Restored Lit Cigarette Trick." All the stories, in this book, made me feel so many emotions, and I could believe in every character.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

No time to write....too many good books!

I have been too busy to write because there are so many good books to read! I started off with Alice Hoffman's "Ice Queen" and as per usual, she did not disappoint. It was such a beautiful story, really enjoyable. After that, came "The Geographer's Library". Well designed, with one chapter set in modern times, and the next chapter on history and antiquities, continuing in this manner throughout the book. Informative, entertaining and well-written. I have just finished "Prep", a very useful insight into the thought processes and behaviour of teenage girls in a mixed boarding school. Again, very well-written and informative. And now, I am reading "Between Georgia". I have already read "Gods in Alabama" by the same author, which was a really good story, and this is turning into another excellent story. The author's description of the experiences of a deaf and blind lady are so well described, you can feel the frustration she feels. I hope it continues to grip!

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

The Last Secret of the Temple

Written by journalist, Paul Sussman, The Last Secret of the Temple, was really enjoyable and very interesting. It is described by the Independent as 'the intelligent reader's answer to the Da Vinci Code.' I am not sure that does the book justice. I found it very educational. I have a tendency to avoid politics, because I feel confused by all the different views. In my opinion, this book clearly set out Arab-Jew-Muslim relations, identifying the issues, presenting clear arguments for all, and describing, very movingly, the pain that they are all going through. The language is quite strong, but not unnecessarily so, just expressing the frustration that they feel. There is a treasure that they are searching for, so it is still a thrilling adventure, but together with the history, and the characters, which were very plausible, I found it a really good book.

Friday, May 19, 2006

The Eight

I am currently reading a book called The Eight by Katherine Neville. It is kind of a Da Vinci Code type book, which refers heavily to chess and the French Revolution. It is good, but I became irritated because there were so many typos in the first section, to the extent that I thought there might actually be a secret code within the book. I haven't noticed a pattern, but who knows what will happen when I get to the end of it. Anyway, if you like chess, you might enjoy this because it links chess with music and maths, and refers to chess moves and magic squares. The descriptions of the French Revolution are quite gruesome, but it is a good read.

The Historian

Last month, I read The Historian written by Elizabeth Kostova. It was described as a story about Dracula coming after librarians. Being a librarian, I was naturally interested ;-) But the reviews didn't do the book justice. I thought that it was a really excellent book. It was very well written, with beautiful descriptions about Romania and Turkey. Although it is being marketed as a popular book, which for me usually means quick and easy to read, I found that it was full of really interesting historical information. The descriptions of Dracula's lair were wonderful, and it was a really enjoyable book.

Monday, March 20, 2006

Road to Avonlea

I am just reading The Story Girl by LM Montgomery and it is a flowing tale about a group of children living in Prince Edward Island, entertained by spellbinding stories told by one of their friends, known as the Story Girl, who tells them in an enchanting manner. The book is for youngsters, but the stories are lovely and descriptive and entirely captivating. The author, Lucy Maud Montgomery is possibly best famous for her book, Anne of Green Gables.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006


I have just finished Labyrinth by Kate Mosse. I really enjoyed it, but I have a question for anyone else who has read it. What happened to Shelagh and who was she in the historic part of the book? Unless... was she Rixende? Please let me know. The web-site for the book is really great:, particularly for authors. It is well worth a look. Also for historians. I have been to Carcassonne once, and I really want to go again now, just to visit all these places. However, I imagine the book will generate a lot of extra tourism, because it is so exquisitely described. Now I have to find something else to read. The new Kazuo Ishiguro looks good, but I also have a book of short stories by LM Montgomery, who wrote Anne of Green Gables, and a children's book by Rumer Godden. Oxfam bookshops really are the best for finding these treasures!

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Harry Potter

When Harry Potter first came out, I couldn't understand the fuss at all. I tried reading them, but I just couldn't get into them. I have seen the films and I loved them. During the last Christmas holidays, I decided to have another go at reading the books. I was completely hooked and have read all of them now, hence my neglect at updating this blog. I am now desperately looking for a book that will grip me as much as these have. The characters and the creatures are fantastic and I managed to escape into a lovely, magical world. I usually prefer the book to the film, but with Harry Potter, I like them both equally, and am looking forward to the next instalment. J K Rowling's website is also definitely worth looking at. It is absolutely superbly designed and great fun to explore. Another one of my favourite books is Neverending Story by Michael Ende. Again, the film is excellent, but so is the book, which is much deeper and darker. If anyone can recommend a good book, in this style, with goblins, magic, fairies and brownies, etc please let me know!