Books constitute capital. A library book lasts as long as a house, for hundreds of years. It is not, then, an article of mere consumption but fairly of capital, and often in the case of professional men, setting out in life, it is their only capital. - Thomas Jefferson (1743–1826), U.S. president, in a letter, Sept. 1821, to former president James Madison.
Publ: 2009 Pensby Library ISBN: 978 0 00 723370 0 Genre: General Fiction; Ghost story Pages: 320p Found by Serendipity Rating: ***** **
What led you to pick up this book? Found on the new book shelf in the libraray and I have liked each Cecelia Ahern one I have read so far.
Describe the plot without giving anything away. Tamara Goodwin has always got everything she's ever wanted. Born into a family of wealth, she grew up in a mansion with its own private beach, a wardrobe full of designer clothes, a large four poster bed complete with a luxurious bathroom en-suite. She's always lived in the here and now, never giving a second thought to tomorrow. But then suddenly her dad is gone and life for Tamara and her mother changes forever. Left with a mountain of debt, they have no choice but to sell everything they own and move to the country to live with Tamara's Uncle and Aunt. Nestled next to Kilsaney Castle, their gatehouse is a world away from Tamara's childhood. With her mother shut away with grief, and her aunt busy tending to her, Tamara is lonely and bored and longs to return to Dublin. When a travelling library passes through Kilsaney Demesne, Tamara is intrigued. She needs a distraction. Her eyes rest on a mysterious large leather bound tome locked with a gold clasp and padlock. With some help, Tamara finally manages to open the book. What she discovers within the pages takes her breath away and shakes her world to its core. Told in Cecelia's imitable style this is a mesmerising and magical story for this autumn.
What did you think of the characters and style? Ther characters were as believabler as ever and I love the way Ahern gets into the mind of the hero or heroine of her books. One commentator commented that the Ahern books were a bit samey. I think they are each unique and great fun.
It looked like the sort of book described in library catalogues as "slightly foxed", although it would be more honest to admit that it looked as though it had been badgered, wolved and possibly beared as well. Terry Pratchett "The Light Fantastic"
Publ: 2007 Pensby Library ISBN: 978-0-7528-8281- 9 Genre: Thriller Pages: 513p Found by Serendipity Rating: ***** **
What led you to pick up this book? I fancied an easy to read thriller and the plot of this one sounmded good.
Describe the plot without giving anything away. The eighth book in the Prendergast series. FBI agent Prendergast has taken his ward Constance on a whirlwind Grand Tour, hoping to give her closure and a sense of the world that she's missed. They head to Tibet, where Pendergast intensively trained in martial arts and spiritual studies. At a remote monastery, they learn that a rare and dangerous artifact the monks have been guarding for generations has been mysteriously stolen. Pendergast agrees to take up the search. The trail leads him and Constance to the maiden voyage of the Queen Victoria, the world's largest and most luxurious passenger liner--and to an Atlantic crossing fraught with terror.
What did you think of the characters and style? The hero is a bit like a James Bond, almost tongue in cheek. Not a set of characters to be taken seriously but good fun as thrillers go.
Would I recommend it? Not a lot but some James Bond fans might appreciate a different hero.
DOUGLAS PRESTON was born in Cambridge, Massachusetts, in 1956, and grew up in the deadly boring suburb of Wellesley. His first job was as an editor at the American Museum of Natural History in New York City. His stint at the museum resulted in his first nonfiction book, Dinosaurs in the Attic, as well as his first novel, Relic, co-authored with Lincoln Child, which was made into a movie by Paramount Pictures. Relic was followed by a string of other thrillers co-written with Child, many featuring eccentric FBI agent Aloysius Pendergast. Preston spends his free time riding horses in New Mexico and gunkholing around the Maine coast in an old lobster boat. He counts in his ancestry the poet Emily Dickinson, the newspaperman Horace Greeley, and the infamous murderer and opium addict Amasa Greenough.
LINCOLN CHILD is the coauthor, with Douglas Preston, of Relic, Riptide, The Cabinet of Curiosities, and other bestsellers. He lives with his wife and daughter in Morristown, New Jersey.
Publ: 1922 My Copy ISBN: - Genre: Poetry anthology Pages: 304p My Mum’s school anthology of verse Rating: ***** *****
What led you to pick up this book? This is one of two anthologies that Mum had at school in the early 1920s and from which I learned many of the poems which I learned in my youth. What did you like most about the book? It brought back memories of the pride I took in learning and reciting verses – often learning a poem a day during the school summer holidays. Unlike many of the things one ‘had to do’ as a child I loved learning poems.
Would I recommend it? It probably cannot now be found except in a fairly tatty state on some second-hand bookseller’s shelves but I think it has many of the world’s best poems in its 300 pages.
Publ: 2008 Pensby Library ISBN: 978 1906125141 Genre: Crime Pages: 312p Found by Serendipity Rating: ***** **
What led you to pick up this book? it was on the new crime books shelf in the library and the blurb sounded good.
Describe the plot without giving anything away. This is the sixth in the Trevor Joesph series. Sergeant Peter Collins' cousin, journalist and photographer, Alan Piper, is living next door to the neighbour from Hell - a nymphomaniac called Kacy - and her apparently gay husband. She builds a deck that overlooks his patio and monitors his every movement. Under the cover of darkness she steals plants and building materials from his garden, but when his gate and gatepost disappear he calls in the police who advise him to put up a CCTV camera. Before he can do so the neighbour is murdered. Inspector Trevor Joseph and Sergeant Peter Collins find themselves wanting to look beyond the obvious suspect for a murder, which Kacy's neighbours have already christened 'justifiable homicide'.
What did you think of the characters and style? Easy to read and uses fairly stereo-typical policemen. What did you like most about the book? It really was a mystery with a number of possible suspects.
Was there anything you didn't like about the book? Very petty of me but I do wish authors would not use character names that have two forenames – one used as a surname. Initially my little brain finds names like Trevor Joseph hard to manage when he gets referred to by both names.
Thoughts on the book jacket / cover. Pretty average. Or perhaps I should say not pretty!
Would I recommend it? Yes – a good mystery read.
KATHERINE JOHN is a pseudonym of Catrin Collier. Catrin Collier was born and brought up in Pontypridd. She worked for a while in Europe and America before returning to her native Wales. She now lives on the Gower Peninsula near Swansea, with her family.
Publ: 2008 Pensby Library ISBN: 978-0-7278-6695-0 Genre: Historical mystery Pages: 216p Found by Serendipity Rating: ***** **
What led you to pick up this book? This is the twelfth mystery in the Hawkenlye series and I have read a couple of the previous ones and enjoyed them.
Describe the plot without giving anything away. It is May 1199 and Abbess Helewise has been summoned to France by Queen Eleanor to discuss the building of a chapel at Hawkenlye Abbey. Meanwhile, her close friend Sir Josse dAcquin is on the trail of a group of mysterious knights rumoured to be devil worshippers. As Helewise heads for home, Josse follows his quarry to Chartres, where he meets the last person he expects: his former lover, Joanna. And she has grave problems of her own . . .
What did you think of the characters and style? The Hawkenlye novels are cosy historical mystery that require little effort and are useful books for when your mind wants a rest from the more serious things in life. Having said that they are well-written and capture the atmosphere of the twelfth century quite well without putting one’s knowledge or vocabulary to the test.
What did you like most about the book? It was simply an easy read.
Was there anything you didn't like about the book? No.
Thoughts on the book jacket / cover. Better than some of the previous Hawkenlye ones. More atmospheric.
Would I recommend it? Only to those who like a cosy historical mystery.
ALYS CLARE is the pseudonym of novelist Elizabeth Harris (born 1944) with some 20 published works to her name. Brought up in the countryside close to where the Hawkenlye Novels are set, she went to school in Tonbridge and later studied archaeology at the University of Kent. She lives for part of the year in Brittany, in a remote cottage deep in an ancient landscape where many past inhabitants have left their mark; on her doorstep are relics that date from the stone circles and dolmens of the Neolithic to the commanderies, chapels and ancient tracks of those infamous warrior monks, the Knights Templar. In England, Alys's study overlooks a stretch of parkland which includes a valley with a little spring. The waters of this spring are similar in colour and taste to Tunbridge Wells's famous Chalybeat Spring, and it was this that prompted Alys's setting of her fictional Hawkenlye Abbey in the very spot where her own house now stands.
Publ: 2009 My own copy ISBN: 9780385609340 Genre: Fantasy Pages: 400p Pre-ordered from Amazon Rating: ***** *****
What led you to pick up this book? Anything with the name Terry Pratchett on it is an automatic pre-order from Amazon for me!
Describe the plot without giving anything away. This is the 32nd Discworld novel and one of the best yet. Football has come to the ancient city of Ankh-Morpork - not the old fashioned, grubby pushing and shoving with the occasional dead body on the pitch but the new sort with real rules. And now, the wizards of Unseen University must win a football match, without using magic, so they're in the mood for trying everything else. The prospect of the Big Match draws in a street urchin with a wonderful talent for kicking a tin can, a maker of jolly good pies, a dim but beautiful young woman with a FUTURE and the mysterious Mr Nutt. No one knows anything much about Mr Nutt, not even Mr Nutt, which worries him, too. As the match approaches these four lives are entangled and changed for ever. This is a football book like none you have ever read before - and it includes pies!
What did you think of the characters and style? My life has few simple truths but this is one of them - There is no fantasy author as good as Terry Pratchett. His style, his ability to find humour and pathos in every situation and his ability to crack a joke are second to nine.
What did you like most about the book? Everything. Was there anything you didn't like about the book? That it ended. I always have a temporary feeling of depression when I finish a Pratchett novel. I don’t want it ever to end. I could stay in Discworld (or should that be on Discworld) for ever.
Thoughts on the book jacket / cover. Passable but not as good as some of the earlier ones.
Would I recommend it? Absolutely.
Quotations: Glenda and Juliet sat side by side, rocking gently to the sway, lost in their thoughts. At least Glenda was, Juliet could get lost in half a thought, if that.
He surfaced a few inches away from the milky-blue eyes of Juliet. She did not look surprised; surprise is an instant thing, and by the time Juliet could register surprise, she generally wasn’t.
It has been said that crowds are stupid, but mostly they are simply confused, since as an eyewitness the average person is as reliable as a meringue lifejacket.
But, it was a funny thing: every day something happened that was important enough to be on the front page of the newspaper.
“the female mind is certainly a devious one, my lord.” Vetinari looked at his secretary in surprise. “Well, of course it is. It has to deal with the male one.”
“Don’t drink that, that’s cider vinegar!” “I’m only drinking the cider bit...”
If you wanted a job done properly, you had to do it yourself. Juliet’s version of cleanliness was next to godliness, which was to say it was erratic, past all understanding and seldom seen. Terry PRATCHETT – see Nation
Publ: 2008 Pensby Library ISBN: 978-0-7490-7941-3 Genre: Historical Fiction Pages: 346p Found by Serendipity Rating: ***** *****
What led you to pick up this book? The cover; the blurb and the Reviews. Describe the plot without giving anything away. The body of a stranger is found in the parish of Midland Parson Tobias Campion during the time of the Napoleonic Wars. Could he be the missing heir to the local estate? Tonias and his good friend the local Doctor set out to investigate. Their search for the truth behind the man’s death takes them to London and Devon but it is in his own parish that Campion feels most comfortable. What did you think of the characters and style? The characters are well drawn and the plot is excellent but it is the style which makes this book stand out so well from similar works in this genre. Historical novels tend to go one of two ways. The first sort use present day language and leave one never feeling the author never quite got into the era he or she is writing about. The second rely heavily on words from the era and send one to a glossary or a dictionary every few pages. Occasionally one gets a brilliant writer like Cutler who manages to use the words from that era constantly and yet the context nearly always makes the meaning clear and the flow of one’s reading is in no way interrupted This is skill!.
What did you like most about the book? The style, the plot, the characters... in other words; the lot!
Was there anything you didn't like about the book? No.
Thoughts on the book jacket / cover. Appropriate.
Would I recommend it? Yes, very much so.
Totally irrelevant side note: I am bemused. I felt that I had come across Tobias Campion before and I was sure I had read her previous book about him – “The Keeper of Secrets”. But it is not on my reading list. Did I read it in 2007 (its year of publication) – immediately prior to starting this blog? Or did I read it more recently and fail to record it?
JUDITH CUTLER was born in the Midlands in 1946, and revels in using her birthplace, with its rich cultural life, as a background for her novels. After a long stint as an English lecturer at a run-down college of further education, Judith, a prize-winning short-story writer, has taught Creative Writing at Birmingham University, has run occasional writing course elsewhere (from a maximum security prison to an idyllic Greek island) and ministered to needy colleagues in her role as Secretary of the Crime Writers' Association.
Thanks for stopping by! Would you like a cup of tea or coffee? And please, sit for a spell. If you enjoy my posts, please feel free to follow me or subscribe to my blog. This is a word verification free, family friendly blog, so everything I share here is for all ages. I am a happily married man in my late sixties who lives on the Wirral peninsula, near Liverpool, in the UK.
I'm a blogger - and nowadays that seems to be my main occupation. Rambles from My Chair is my main blog. I’m a retired local government executive - now studying how to survive a neurological disorder that gives me various problems but, hopefully, a whole new outlook on life and an increased sense of humour and perspective. There is a saying in Sweden "man måste vara frisk för att orka vara sjuk" ~ "you have to be well to cope with being ill"....
I enjoy most forms of communication and postcards are a special favourite. I used to blog as Scriptor Senex which is Latin for Old Writer but now Google only lets me post as John Edwards.
“He’s not so old. He’s just the age that he is, that’s all.” (Gerald Hammond)