Friday, December 29, 2006

Five Quarters of the Orange by Joanne Harris.

Author: Joanne Harris
ISBN: 0-552-99883-4
Genre: Fiction

Publisher: Black Swan

The magical new novel from the author of the Number One be Beyond the main street of Les Laveuses runs the Loire, smooth and brown as a sunning snake - but hiding a deadly undertow beneath its moving surface. This is where Framboise, a secretive widow named after a raspberry liqueur, plies her culinary trade at the creperie - and lets memory play strange games. Into this world comes the threat of revelation as Framboise's nephew - a profiteering Parisian - attempts to exploit the growing success of the country recipes she has inherited from her mother, a woman remembered with contempt by the villagers of Les Laveuses. As the spilt blood of a tragic wartime childhood flows again, exposure beckons for Framboise, the widow with an invented past. Joanne Harris has looked behind the drawn shutters of occupied France to illuminate the pain, delight and loss of a life changed for ever by the uncertainties and betrayals of war."

This is my third Joanne Harris novel and like the previous two I have read (Chocolat & Blackberry Wine), I really enjoyed this book. It was different from the two I have read before and I felt this was refreshing.

I was apprehensive about reading this book at first as I had read some mixed reviews about it. Not everyone seems to think this is one of Joanne's best books, but I have to disagree.
I found myself quickly becoming absorbed into the story and felt a connection with the characters. I really felt for the mother in this story as well as the children. I found my emotions at work reading this book and didn't find myself bored while reading it.

I loved reading about Framboise struggle to catch 'Old Mother' and how she found herself falling in love with one of the characters. I love how this character was strong and yet you are shown her weakness's as she has to face one of the biggest challenges in her life.

My verdict: Throughly enjoyable.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

The Virgins Lover by Philippa Gregory.

Author: Philippa Greogory
ISBN: 0-00-714731-7
Genre: Historical Tudor Fiction

Publisher: Harper Collins

"Elizabeth I has acceded to the throne of England, a position she has waited and schemed for all her life. She is surrounded by advisers, all convinced that a young woman cannot form political judgements. Elizabeth feels that she can rely on just one man: her oldest friend, Robert Dudley. It is soon plain that he is more than merely a friend. In a house in the countryside waits a very different woman, Amy Robsart - Robert's wife. She has no taste for life at court and longs for the day when her husband will return home. She has loved him since she was a girl, but now they are adults she hardly sees him. Meanwhile, the pressure grows for Elizabeth to marry, for it is unthinkable that a queen should rule on her own. Elizabeth's preference is clear, but he is unavailable. But what if the unthinkable were to happen!"

This is the second Philippa Gregory book I have read. I wasn't expecting it to be very good because I had heard some negative reviews about it. However, I really enjoyed it. I felt apart of the novel and also felt like I had been transported back in time.

Queen Elizabeth I, in this book is portrayed as a weak queen, very indecisive and a constant worrier. Whether she was really like this, I have no idea? I did find that because she was portrayed this way, the book did seem to loose it's royalty feel to it. Where as in 'The other Boleyn Girl' the royalty is felt throughout the book.

I loved Lady Amy Dudley in this book, she was portrayed as a strong woman. She didn't deserve the hand she was dealt in life and I very much felt sorry for her.

At the end of this book I was left with an eerie feeling, I was pretty sad especially when I read the authors note. Another thing that I love is how I have learnt from reading Philippa's books. I know it's fictional but the stories are based on true historical facts.

My Verdict: Loved it!

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

The Other Boleyn Girl by Philippa Gregory

Author: Philippa Greogory
ISBN: 0-00-651400-6
Genre: Tudor Fiction

Publisher: Harper Collins

Fabulous historical novel set in the court of King Henry VIII. Mary Boleyn attracts the attention of the young king and becomes his mistress; when he tires of her, she sets out to school her sister, Anne, as a replacement. Politics and passion are inextricably bound together in this compelling drama. The Boleyn family is keen to rise through the ranks of society, and what better way to attract the attention of the most powerful in the land than to place their most beautiful young woman at court? But Mary becomes the king's mistress at a time of change. He needs his personal pleasures, but he also needs an heir. The unthinkable happens and the course of English history is irrevocably changed. For the women at the heart of the storm, they have only one weapon; and when it's no longer enough to be the mistress, Mary must groom her younger sister in the ways of the king. What happens next is common knowledge -- but here it is told in a way we've never heard it before, with all of Philippa Gregory's characteristic perceptiveness, backed by meticulous research and superb storytelling skills."

This was my first Tudor fiction and also Philippa Gregory book. I was excited about reading it as I have heard so many good reviews about her. I haven't heard anyone put this author down.

Reading this book felt like I took a step back in time, I felt as though I was looking through Mary Stafford's (Boleyn) eye's. I felt her emotions and went through every part of this story with her. At some parts in the book I was reeling with anger and others, I was moved near to tears and others laughing with Mary.

As I read the book I also found myself being filled with knowledge and I loved the descriptions of the Castles and their dresses. Oh yes I loved the dresses!

In the book, I learnt to love Mary, she was a gentle soul who was loyal to her sister Anne. But Anne who was so selfish, gave no thought for anyone but herself. I really hated her in the book and to be honest when she was beheaded, I didn't feel much sympathy. As when things were going good, she treated her family poorly, especially Mary, but when things were bad she wanted them around. I was really angry with Anne through pretty much all of this book! LOL. I try to remember the book is fiction, so I try not to judge Anne, but in this story she was a right bitch! The only part I felt for her was when she had her miscarriages.

There are other factors to this book, like their parents who were totally selfish too and how George Mary & Anne's brother stuck by them. I liked him in the book and didn't feel he deserved to be executed.

My Verdict: A Smashing book, the very best!

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Shopaholic & a Sister by Sophie Kinsella.

Author: Sophie Kinsella
ISBN: 0552771112
Genre: Chick Lit

Publisher: Black Swan

"Becky Bloomwood thought being married to Luke Brandon would be one big Tiffany box of happiness. But to be honest, it's not quite as dreamy as she'd hoped. The trouble started on honeymoon, when she told Luke the tiniest little fib, about the teeniest little purchase. Now she's on a strict budget, she doesn't have a job - and worst of all her beloved Suze has a new best friend. She's feeling rather blue - when she receives some incredible news. She has a long-lost sister! Becky has never been more excited. Finally, a real sister! They'll have so much in common! They can go shopping together... choose shoes together... have manicures together... Until she meets her - and gets the shock of her life. It can't be true. Surely Becky Bloomwood's long-lost sister can't... hate shopping? A sister. A soulmate. A skinflint?!"

I totally loved this edition of the shopaholic series. It was for me, by far the best!
It had all the laughter and the emotion that goes with Becky Brandon (nee Bloomwood!). But this one I thought was just a little different and this difference, made it that more enjoyable for me. It was a little bit more realistic. Of course, the Shopaholic series will always be far fetched and yes this book was far fetched, but, I felt it was more realistic due to the the story of how she meets her sister and how different they are. I found this one so enjoyable, I laughed so much at the one-liners, but I also cried! (especially when she goes to see her sister and then, goes mountain climbing and then speaks to her hubby Luke on the phone) It tugged at my emotions a lot in this book and I so felt for Becky!

My Verdict: The very best of Becky Brandon (nee Bloomwood). Fantastic!

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Interview with the Vampire by Anne Rice

Author: Anne Rice
ISBN: 0-7088-6073-7
Genre: Horror Fiction

Publisher: Warner Books

"In a darkened room a young man sits telling the macabre and eerie story of his life - the story of a vampire, gifted with eternal life, cursed with an exquisite craving for human blood."

I had been after this book for a long time and when I spotted it in my local 2nd hand book store, I was thrilled! I had heard mixed reviews about this book, some people like it while others hate it.
Personally; I loved it!

I had seen the movie a few years ago and it has always been one of my favourites, so I pretty much knew the plot and the characters of this story. When reading it I did (as you do) picture the actors in the movie as those in the book. I thought that kind of helped, I liked it anyway, considering I love the movie and like the actors in it.

The book gave me an insight into the characters that the movie hadn't. I felt as though I got to know them much more and I could sympathize with them. I felt the book take me deeper into their characters and helped me to see them differently. For instance, you get a better picture of Louis, how he is a vampire who finds it hard to accept his role as a vampire. He finds it hard to let go of his human 'emotions' and feels sorrow for his victims. Lestat you begin to realise isn't that bad after all (in vampire terms lol). Also Claudia and how she has to come to terms with never having the opportunity to become a woman.

There is so much more to this book though and I loved, nearly every minute I spent reading it. There was only one small part of the book I didn't like much, and that was in the first half of the book, every now and then, the boy taking the interview would be mentioned. So where I was getting stuck into the story, I was all of a sudden pulled out of it as the boy asked a questions or he wanted to light his cigarette or something. But the 2nd half of the book that very rarely happened.

Overall, I loved the book and can't wait to read the next two in this series!

My verdict: Excellent!

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Balaclava Row by Patricia Grey.

Author: Patricia Grey
ISBN: 1-84067-399-0
Genre: Wartime Fiction

Publisher: Knight paperbacks.

"Balacava Row was just like any other North London street in 1940, its inhabitants making the best of their lives and struggling to make a living during the war. But when a local jeweller is found dead, DCI Jack Stamford and his able sergeant realize that no one in the Row is quite what they seem."

I bought this book as I was searching for a Wartime novel. I hadn't read one before and wanted to give one a try. So when I was in my local book store, I picked this one up, hoping it would be good.

As I read it, I felt like I had been transported back into the TV show 'Heartbeat'. It has this cosy feel to the book, that makes you want to carry on reading it. The author helps you to see how people lived back in the war time, and how they struggled.

There were a couple of characters I liked reading about; Naffnel, Rose & Lexie.

Overall this was a charming book to read, it wasn't overly exciting, and didn't have me gripped. It was just nice.

My Verdict: A charming read.

Friday, September 29, 2006

Shopaholic Ties The Knot by Sophie Kinsella.

Author: Sophie Kinsella
ISBN: 0552999571
Genre: Chick Lit

Publisher: Black Swan.

"Rebecca Bloomwood has the dream job. She's a personal shopper, so is able to spend other people's money all day instead of her own. And she gets paid for doing it. The perfect job, the perfect man - gorgeous Luke Brandon - and now...the perfect wedding. Yes, Luke has proposed and wedding bells are in sight. No excuses are needed to start the shopping trip of all time. And Becky's parents are just assuming that the wedding will be at home - a marquee in the garden and Becky in her mum's wedding dress, which she's been saving specially for the occasion. But Luke's mother has very different ideas - a huge affair in New York in a forest glade setting - or perhaps a Venetian Ball, or a fin de siecle extravagance? Now Becky's getting confused. She doesn't want to say 'no' to anyone. The plans are going ahead, and soon it will be too late to turn back - from either wedding... "

I really liked this installment of the Shopaholic series. It was fun to read and exciting and yes as usual, you find yourself shouting down to Becky in the book trying to make her see sense! LOL.

Delicous Luke is as gorgeous as ever, but in my opinion he's not in it enough!
I loved how the story kept you gripped, you really want Becky to do the right thing, but being Becky she's always going to talk herself out of it! Hmmmm.

If you have an interfering Mother inlaw, I think you'll be able to relate to Becky in this one, at times you'll feel frustrated and at others times you'll be shouting "Go Beck, you go girl!!!"

I laughed loads throughout this book, it made me happy, sad and anxious. All my emotions were being brought to the surface.

This was for me the best installment of the series so far.

My Verdict: Fabulous!

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

The Great and Secret Show by Clive Barker.

Author: Clive Barker
ISBN: 0-00-772461-6
Genre: Fantasy

Publisher: Grafton

"In the small Californian town of Palomo Grove several children are born, the offspring of the Jaff, a man-spirit obsessed with darkness and depravity, and of Fletcher, a force for light, who has fought the Jaff across America. Their Prize is the Art, the greatest power known to mankind, a doorway to the dream-life of the species. To possess it, the two men intend to fight through their children. Until their children fall in love. Then all hell breaks loose. This time, they will fight to the death, gathering their armies from the souls of palomo Grove. Nightmares will walk the streets. Dreams will be made real. At last, the Grove will see the Great and Secret Show."

I haven't read many fantasy books, and I got this one because my hubby had bought me Everville and I found it it was the Sequel to 'The Great and Secret Show'. So I went out and got that first.

From the first page of reading this book I was hooked, I really enjoyed it. I found it to be fast paced and exciting to read. There was one character in the book I was expecting to be stronger, but I have to read Everville yet so I may be suprised when I read it. There are some sexual related topics in this book which were a bit ewww! But they help you to get a better opinion and learn more of the character.

I felt attached to some of the characters and I loved Raul.
I'm really looking forward to reading Everville to find out how the story ends.

My Verdict: A Great Read.

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Blackberry Wine by Joanne Harris.

Author: Joanne Harris
ISBN: 0-552-99800-1
Genre: Fiction

Publisher: Black Swan

"Jay Mackintosh is trapped by memory in the old familiar landscapes of his childhood, more enticing than the present, and to which he longs to return. A bottle of home-brewed wine left to him by a long-vanished friend seems to provide both the key to an old mystery and a doorway into another world."

Being a Joanne Harris fan I was really looking forward to reading this book, and I am so pleased I did. Being a wine drinker myself it had me wanting to open up a bottle, and I have even started to call mine 'Specials!' LOL.

The book is about friendship between an old man Joe Cox and a teenage boy Jay Mackintosh. How Jay looks up to Joe and he learns about the magic in Joes life, and how Joe lives. Joe is connected to the magic of nature. and this facinates Jay.

Joe loves to make wine, and in later life Jay has some of these 'Specials', as he drinks them memories of the past rise and a journey begins. I won't go on about the story more than I have, as this story truly is magical.

In the book a bottle of wine begins to tell the story, this I felt was a great way to start the book. I have no problem with reading about an inanimate object talking, and I found it to be interesting and original. I have read that it put a small minority of other people off the book, but don't let other peoples opinions sway you. I highly recommend this book.

I could relate to some of the things in this book, with me being someone who respects nature and also believes in magic. Another thing I loved about this book, is some of the charaters from Joanne's book 'Chocolat' are in this book too, as some of this book is set in the French town of Lansquenet.

For me the book was a wonderful read, it tugged at my emotions, and I felt as though I was looking through Jays eyes, feeling his happiness, and his sadness.

A fabulous book to sit down and unwind with, the sort of book you sit down snuggled up on your bed, or by the fire and read.

My Verdict: Magical and inspring!

Sunday, September 03, 2006

The Shining by Stephen King

Author: Stephen King
ISBN: 0-450-04018-6
Genre: Supernatrual Fiction
Publisher: nel

"Danny is only five years old, but he is a "shiner", aglow with psychic voltage. When his father becomes caretaker of an old hotel, his visions grow out of control. Cut off by blizzards, the hotel seems to develop an evil force, and who are the mysterious guests in the supposedly empty hotel?"

I had seen the movie of this book ages ago, and as I've just recently become a fan of Stephen King's books, I just had to have this one.

The book is pretty much like the movie (we must remember the book came first), howevever there were a few things that were changed in the movie. I also have to say I do agree with the changes that were in the movie.

Whilst the book was exciting and thrilling to read, it would have been a bit corny if the movie was true to the book. Sounds crazy hey? But I was trying to picture this and that from the book and trying to imagine it in the movie and I just couldn't. The weird thing is I am one of those people who hate it when movie's aren't true to the book, but with this one it worked.

However, I'm here to talk about the book.

The Book is about how little Danny a 5 year old boy is brought up by his mother and father, his father is a recovering alcoholic and so although he loves his daddy dearly there have been some terrible times. Danny has a gift called the Shine, and this enables him to be able to see things from the future, mostly by his invisible friend Tony paying him a visit. When his father takes up a postion in a Hotel as caretaker, they uproot with him and things begin to go wrong. I won't say anymore about the story as I don't want to give anything away.

It took half of the book to get anything really started, you know the real stuff you can bite into. But it was a great read. Pretty scary in places, which sometimes I had chills going up and down my spine and the hairs of my neck were standing up, so scary that I wouldn't read parts of it on my own! LOL. One of my favourite Stephen King's book!

My Verdict: Brillianty Spooky!

Sunday, August 20, 2006

The Green Mile by Stephen King

Author: Stephen King
ISBN: 0-75282-675-1
Genre: Fiction.
Publisher: Orion

"At Cold Mountain Penitentiary, along the lonely stretch of cells known as the Green Mile, killers await death, whilst their guards watch over them. Good or evil, innocent or guilty, none of them have ever seen the likes of brutal new prisoner John Coffey, seemingly a devil in human form."

This is the BEST Stephen King book I have read so far. It was exciting, very moving and also made me laugh in places. I have just finished it and have a headache from crying for the last hour and a half. There aren't really any words I can find to describe this book, because for me it was that great. May be great it the word? But I feel it is better than great. I will let you know in my verdict at the end of this review, I have a word now I feel that comes close to describing it.

I loved how the book went into Pauls life as an old man, you don't really get to see that in the movie, and how Mr Jingles story was carried on, so we found out what happened to him. Although it is different in the movie. Definitely the best Stephen King book I've read so far.

The story is about how Paul Edgecomb is one of those in charge of looking after those on death Role and who also does the executions. His story is about how a young black man is sent to one of his Cells where he waits for his date of Execution. Paul soon realises there is some special about John Coffey. If you've seen the movie, (which was mostly true to the book) then you basically know the book, but I would highly recommed reading the book, part of the story carries on and also, there is another part to the book you don;t really see in the movie. For me the book is better, although I do rate the movie highly too.

My vertict: A Masterpiece!

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Pet Sematary by Stephen King.

Author: Stephen King
ISBN: 0-450-05769-0
Genre: Fiction-Horror
Publisher: nel

The house looked right, felt right to Dr Louis Creed. A place where his family could settle, and the children could grow up and explore the rolling hills and meadows. Surely a safe place. Not a place to seep into your dreams, to wake you, sweating with fear and foreboding."

This is the second Stephen King book I've read and I loved it!
My favourite character in the book was Jud Crandall, who is an old man. For some reason I really do latch on to the older men characters, I feel all protective about them LOL.

I liked how the story went and it kept me gripped. Near the end of the book it was very eerie and gave me goose bumps.

Louis story begins when he moves to Ludlow house, and he finds himself trying to save the life of Pascow a man who is involved in a road accident and shortly afterwards his daughters cat dies, from there his journey begins and the rest is for you to find out!

Verdict: Brilliantly Chilling!

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Shopaholic Abroad by Sophie Kinsella.

Author: Sophie Kinsella
Genre: Fiction - Comedy
Publisher: Black Swan

For Rebecca life is peachy. She has a job on morning TV, her bank manager is being nice to her, and the icing on the brioche is that she has been offered work in New York. The Museum of Modern Art, the Guggenheim, and she does intend to visit them all, but first Saks, then Bloomingdales..."

This book for me was slower than Sophies first book of the Shopaholic series. I found it to be a little slower and I wasn't as gripped. It was only the last 100 or so pages that I became gripped in the book and I have to say in this point I neary cried for becky. It was still enjoyable to read though, and I've picked up her next book in the Shopaholic series 'Shopaholic Ties the Knot'

Verdict: An enjoyable read.

Sunday, July 16, 2006

SHRINE by James Herbert

Author: James Herbert
ISBN: 0-450-05659-7

Genre: Fiction- Horror

Publisher: nel

Innocence and evil become one as a little girl called Alice, a deaf mute, sees a lady in shimmering white who says she is the Immaculate Conception. Alice is suddenly cured and can perform miracles but her saintliness is replaced by a vile force."

I got this book on recommendation from my sister and like her it scared the shit out of me! LOL. I found it to be chilling, spooky and so scary.
I've read some James Herbert novels before; Magic Cottage, The Fog, Once, Haunted, but this one so far is my favourite simply because the fear factor is there. The atmosphere of the book just got to me!

Verdict: Brilliantly Scary!

The Secret Dreamworld of a Shopaholic by Sophie Kinsella

Author: Sophie Kinsella
Genre: Fiction-Chick Lit
Publisher: Black Swan

Meet Rebecca Bloomwood.

She's a journalist. She spends her working life telling others how to manage their money. She spends her leisure

Retail therapy is the answer to all her problems. She knows she should stop, but she can't. She tries Cutting Back, she tries Making More Money. But neither seems to work. The stories she concocts become more and more fantastic as she tries to untangle her increasingly dire financial difficulties. Her only comfort is to buy herself something - just a little something...

Can Becky ever escape from this dream world, find true love, and regain the use of her Switch card?"

I love Sophie's books and this is the first of the Shopaholic series, and it was a good read. It had me laughing and was easy going. I love the way Sophie writes.
May be not as good as her 'Undomestic Goddess' but still has laughs and during some time in the book you can't help but feel sorry for Rebecca Bloomwood.

Verdict: A good Chick Lit

Saturday, July 15, 2006

I Can make You Thin by Paul Mckenna

Author: Paul Mckenna
Genre: Non Fiction-Educational-Health
Publisher: Bantam Press

"Would you like to eat whatever you want and still lose weight? Would you like to feel really happy with your body? Are you unable to lose those last 10 pounds? Are you a late-night snacker? Do you find it difficult to say no to second helpings? Do you get disheartened about your eating habits and your weight? Then this amazing book and CD can help you! Welcome to a revolutionary new way to stop overeating, control cravings and feel totally motivated to take exercise. Paul McKenna has developed a breakthrough weight-loss system that re-patterns your thoughts, attitudes and beliefs about yourself, your health and food to help you easily get control of your diet and lose weight permanently. As you use Paul?s system, psychological techniques will automatically help you start losing weight straight away! You can use it again and again to make you feel happier about yourself as you go all the way to your ideal shape, size and weight."

This is an amazing book and I can't recommend it enough. It is one of the best books I have ever read! It works it really does, and the best thing is it is NOT a diet. There are no forbidden foods, you can eat what you want when you are hungry.

Paul talks you through how the body works, and how when you skip meals, your body actually stores fat, because your body becomes confused. This book comes with a cd for you to listen to. It is so easy to follow, there are only a couple of rules, and when you read them and begin using them you realise they are plain common sense and wonder why you didn't do this years ago! Every person, family imo should be following this healthy system. It changd my life and it can change yours, so what you waiting for? Go buy that book!

Misery by Stephen King

Author: Stephen King
ISBN: 0-340-92328-8
Genre: Fiction
Publisher: nel

After a car crash, writer Paul Sheldon is saved by his number one fan. She brought him home, splinted his mangled legs, and all he had to do in return was write a very special book, one all about her favourite character. Because if he didn't, if he was bad, she would be cross - very cross."

I loved the movie but the book was by far the best! In here you get to read what's going on in Paul Sheldons mind, and you can feel his fear and excitement. It had me hooked and gave me chills! I love how this book was written, makes you wish you never meet an Annie Wilkes!

Verdict: Brilliant Horror!

The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd.

Author: Sue Monk Kidd
Genre: Fiction
Publisher: Review

Lily has grown up believing she accidentally killed her mother when she was four. She not only has her own memory of holding the gun, but her father's account of the event. Now fourteen, she yeams for her mother, and for forgiveness. Living on a peach farm in South Carolina with her father, she has only one friend: Rosaleen, a black servant whose sharp exterior hides a tender heart. South Carolina in the sixties is a place where segregation is still considered a cause worth fighting for. When racial tension explodes one summer afternoon, and Rosaleen is arrested and beaten, Lily is compelled to act. Fugitives from justice and from Lily's harsh and unyielding father, they follow a trail left by the woman who died ten years before. Finding sanctuary in the home of three beekeeping sisters, Lily starts a journey as much about her understanding of the world, as about the mystery surrounding her mother."

I love this book, it's beautifully written and had me drawn in completely. It's about friendship and family and right and wrong. I felt as though I was there as I read it and it's one book I'll always cherish.

Verdict: Wonderful

Camelots Shadow by Sarah Zettel

Author: Sarah Zettel
ISBN: 0-00-717109-9
Genre: Fiction
Publisher: Harper Collins

A stunning tale of romance and magic set against the legendary backdrop of King Arthur's court. At nineteen the beautiful Lady Rhian is clearly of marriageable age. But her father seems reluctant to give his blessing to any of her suitors. When she discovers the true reason for this -- that in return for her mother's life he promised her to a sorcerer -- she runs away to join a convent. The sorcerer, Euberacon, is determined to exact his payment and waylays Rhian on the road, but she is rescued by the valiant Sir Gawain, a knight of King Arthur's Round Table, who gallantly offers to escort Rhian to Camelot. Gawain has grave tidings to bring to Arthur -- the Saxons are growing restless, and the threat of war looms. He has taken a great risk in stopping to help Rhian. But when a band of Saxons attacks them, Rhian proves that her skills include more than tapestry and gossip -- and Gawain will be captivated as much by her bravery as by her beauty."

I really enjoyed this book and it was my first of the Authurian fiction. It kept me hooked and I will be getting the other two to this trilogy.

Verdict: Good!

Chocolat by Joanne Harris

Author: Joanne Harris
ISBN: 0-552-99848-6
Genre: Fiction
Publisher: Black Swan

"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-cum-café means that there is somewhere to for secrets to be whispered, grievances to be aired, dreams to be tested. But Viane'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 éclair?"

I loved this book and found it easy to read. It was exciting and a real page turner. It had me hooked from start to finish. The characters are loveable, especially Armande.

As I begun the book and got through it, I found myself falling in love with the characters, and I found that lots of detail had been given to them and the town etc, so much that I felt I was there with them as I read the book.

I also found that I could identify with Vianne, and this helped me to feel close to her. But my favourite character of the book has to be Armande and did I cry!

Verdict: Wonderful!

Priestess Of the White by Trudi Canavan.

"When Auraya was chosen to become a priestess, it meant leaving behind her village, her family and the friendship she had formed with Leiard, the local Dreamweaver. Masters of herb lore and healing, Dreamweavers were despised for their heathen beliefs, and Auraya knew that she must hide her respect for the godless healers if she was to succeed in her new role. Now, ten years later she is a Priestess of the White, gifted with exceptional powers by the gods. Auraya still needs time to fully adapt to her new abilities but time is the one thing she does not have. Mysterious black-clad sorcerers plague the land, raising fears that these powerful strangers may even be stronger than the gods' chosen five. As hostile forces gather momentum, the White work to seal alliances wherever they can. If the land is to be drawn back from the brink of war, Auraya will need to master her Gifts and call upon all of the courage and wisdom at her disposal. For if the tide is not turned quickly, Auraya fears she may be remembered as the last Priestess of the White..."

I found this book to be disappointing. The discription of the book sounded good and I had heard Trudi Canavans Black Magician Trilogy was brilliant, and so hearing that she had wrote some amazing books I decided to purchase this one and after slugging through it, I wished I hadn't. It was boring and a real chore to get through. It's a big book with 659 pages and I found only the last 200 pages to be readable.

The story just wasn't exciting and discriptive enough. It didn't grab me. Verdict: Boring!

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Where Rainbows End by Cecelia Ahern

Author: Cecelia Ahern
ISBN: 0-00-716501-3
Genre: Fiction
Publisher: Harper Collins

"From the no. 1 bestselling author of PS, I Love You comes an enchanting novel about two childhood friends whom fate and destiny can't help toying with! From naughty children to rebellious teenagers, Rosie and Alex have stuck by each other through thick and thin. But just as they're discovering the joys of teenage nights on the town and dating disasters, they're separated. Alex's family moves from Dublin to America - and Alex goes with them. For good. Rosie's lost without her best friend. But on the eve of her departure to join Alex in Boston, Rosie gets news that will change her life forever - and keep her at home in Ireland. Their magical connection sees them through the ups and downs of each other's lives but neither of them knows whether their friendship can really survive the years and miles - as well as new relationships. And at the back of Rosie's mind is whether they were meant to be more than just good friends all along. Misunderstandings, circumstances and sheer bad luck have kept them out of each others' arms, but when presented with the ultimate opportunity, will they gamble everything - including their friendship - for true love?

Destiny, Alex and Rosie discover, is a funny thing and fate isn't quite done with them yet!"

I love it I love it!!!!!!
This book is fantastic! It's a wonderful book about friendship and love. About 'best friends' and 'soul mates'. I fell in love with the characters of this book and I found it so hard to put down. I just wanted to read read read!!!
When the book finished, I felt sad because I enjoyed it so much and wanted to stay in their lives.
I liked the way this book was set out, the whole book was set in email and snail mail form,. so each page was a conversation one was having with another. It reminded me of the movie 'You've got Mail'.

I highly recommed this book to anyone who loves to read Chick Lits. I am even thinking some guys may like this book after all the two best friends are male and female, it is about their bond. It was so enjoyable.


The Celestine Prophecy by James Redfield.

Author: James Redfield.
ISBN: 0-553-40902-6
Publisher: Bantam Books
Genre: Fiction 'spiritual'
Pages: 283

"In the rain of Peru,
an ancient manuscript has been
discovered. Within its pages are 9 key insights
into life itself -- insights each human being is predicted to
grasp sequentially, one insight then another, as we move toward a completely spiritual culture on Earth

The Celestine Prophecy contains secrets that are currently changing our world. Drawing on the ancient wisdom found in a Peruvian manuscript, it tells you how to make connections between the events happening in your own life right now ...and lets you see what is going to happen to you in the years to come.

A book that has been passed from hand to hand, from friend to friend, since it first appeared in small bookshops across America, Celestine Prophecy is a work that has come to light at a time when the world deeply needs to read its words. The story it tells is a gripping one of adventure and discovery, but it is also a guidebook that has the power to crystalise your perceptions of why you are where you are in life ...and to direct your steps with a new energy and optimism as you head into tomorrow.

A book that comes along just once in a lifetime to change lives forever."

This is a book about how a man finds himself in another country, as he goes in search of some ancient mauscripts. These manuscripts are life changing but, certain people want them destroyed. The journey to discover them and keep them safe is all those who believe in it want.

This is a good book, and I found it enjoyable to read. I don't think for me it was thrilling but it was one of those books that made me think. This book helps you to look at yourself and the world around you, in a different way. Many have clamied the book itself is life changing and I can see how. It's a spiritual book and I think many who read it will take what resonated with them, and use it in their own lives.

I give this book 7/10

Friday, May 26, 2006

The Constant Gardener by John Le Carre.

Author: John Le carre
ISBN: 0-340-73339-X
Pages: 570
Publisher: Coronet
Type: Fiction.

"The young and beautiful Tessa Quayle has been horribly murdered on the shores of Lake Turkana.
Her putative African lover has disappeared, and her husband, Justin, a career diplomat and amateur gardener, sets out on a personal odyssey in pursuit of the killers and their motive.

His quest for enlightenment takes in Europe, Canada and Africa as he discovers terror, conspiracy and the woman he barely had time to love."

I don't usually go for this type of book, and yet and found myself enjoying it.

It's about how a man in Africa goes on the search of his wife's and her colleges murderers, he begins an investigation of his own to get down to the truth, as it is being covered up.
The book also goes into how Africa is exploited and the troubles out there.

I found it a great read, fast paced and easy to read.
Definitley one I would read again.


Friday, March 10, 2006

The Lost Art of Keeping Secrets by Eva Rice

Author: Eva Rice
Published by Review
ISBN: 0-7553-2550-8
Genre: Fiction.

Set in the 1950s, in an England still recovering from the Second World War, THE LOST ART OF KEEPING SECRETS is the enchanting story of Penelope Wallace and her eccentric family at the start of the rock'n'roll era.

Penelope longs to be grown-up and to fall in love; but various rather inconvenient things keep getting in her way. Like her mother, a stunning but petulant beauty widowed at a tragically early age, her younger brother Inigo, currently incapable of concentrating on anything that isn't Elvis Presley, a vast but crumblng ancestral home, a severe shortage of cash, and her best friend Charlotte's sardonic cousin Harry..."

I found this book lovely to read, it's set in the 1950's just as Rock n Roll era is entering. It's about a family who have lost their husband/father to the war and how they struggle to make ends meet without him, and how living in a magnificent house, which many people adore, constantly reminds the family of their husband/father which at times is too hard to bare.

It's about friendship as two girls Penelope and Charlotte become inseparable. I really did like this part of the book, it was great to see their friendship blossom and grow. It's also a story about love, and teenage girls crush on Johnnie Ray and how Elvis Presley influenced boys too.

I found this a lovely read, not overly thrilling to read but I put it into my cosy category. Anyone who grew up in the rock n’ roll era will love this book and especially if they were fans of Johnnie Ray.

I'm also sure there is something everyone can relate to in this book.
I myself give this book 6 1/2-7/10

Monday, March 06, 2006

Angels and Demons by Dan Brown

"When a scientist is found brutally murdered, Harvard professor Robert Langdon is asked to identify the mysterious symbol seared onto the dead man's chest. Realising it must be the work of the Illuminati - an ancient secret brotherhood sworn against Catholicism - the race is on to prevent a tragedy."

I gave up on this book before I finished it. I'm not much of a thriller fan and although I found Dan's DaVinci Code readable I just found this one too boring for me. I just couldn't be bothered to read the rest. I know there's plenty of people out there that loved this book but, it didn't appeal to me.


The Undomestic Goddess by Sophie Kinsella

Author: Sophie Kinsella.
Black Swan
ISBN 0-552-77274-7
Book Type: Fiction

"The story of a girl who needs to slow down. To find herself. To fall in love. And to discover what an iron is for...Samantha is a high-powered lawyer in London. She works all hours, has no home life, and cares only about getting a partnership. She thrives on the pressure and adrenalin. Until one day...she makes a mistake. A mistake so huge, it'll wreck her career. She walks right out of the office, gets on the first train she sees, and finds herself in the middle of nowhere. Asking for directions at a big, beautiful house, she is mistaken for the interviewee housekeeper and finds herself being offered the job. They have no idea they've hired a Cambridge-educated lawyer with an IQ of 158 - Samantha has no idea how to work the oven. Disaster ensues. It's chaos as Samantha battles with the washing machine...the ironing board...and attempts to cook a cordon bleu dinner. But gradually, she falls in love with her new life in a wholly unexpected way. Will her employers ever discover the truth? Will Samantha's old life ever catch up with her? And if it does...will she want it back?"

A fantasic book that will have you laughing out a loud all the way through it. It did me. I totally loved this book.

It's about how a lawyer finds herself in a situation which causes her to run away from her well paid job. She finds herself in a villiage with a total different lifestyle, before she knows it she's been hired as a House keeper, and not having any experience in domestic matters she doesn't know where to start!

Will she enjoy her new life or will she realise she's made the biggest mistake of her life? Well you'll just have to read to find out won't you ;)

I can't go into too much detail about it, as it is such a fabulous book I don't want to give anything away. A great Chick Lit.


The History of Love by Nicole Krauss

Author: Nicole Krauss
ISBN: 0-141-01997-2
Genre: Fiction
Publisher: Penguin
Pages: 252

Leo Gursky is a man who fell in love at the age of ten and has been in love ever since. These days he is just about surviving life in America, tapping his radiator each evening to let his upstairs neighbour know he's still alive, drawing attention to himself at the milk counter of Starbucks. But life wasn't always like this: sixty years ago in the Polish village where he was born Leo fell in love with a young girl called Alma and wrote a book in honour of his love. These days he assumes that the book, and his dreams, are irretrievably lost, until one day they return to him in the form of a brown envelope. Meanwhile, a young girl, hoping to find a cure for her mother's loneliness, stumbles across a book that changed her mother's life and she goes in search of the author. Soon these and other worlds collide in "The History of Love", a captivating story of the power of love, of loneliness and of survival."

This is a beauty of a book, I totally love this book. It is one of my all time favs.

It's about how a young girl goes in search of an author, of a book her mother is transulating, called The History of Love.

This book is about love, friendship and family. I fell in love with the characters especially Leo Gursky, and boy did I cry when I finished this book. I won't go into detail about it, as I don't want to give anything away.


Labyrinth by Kate Mosse

Author: Kate Mosse.
ISBN: 0-7528-7732-1
Genre: Fiction
Publisher: Orion Books
Paged: 702

July 1209: in Carcassonne a young girl is given a mysterious book by her father which he claims contains the secret of the true Grail. Although Alais cannot understand the strange words and symbols hidden within, she knows that her destiny lies in protecting it. It will take great sacrifice and faith to keep the secret of the labyrinth safe - a secret that stretches back thousands of years to the deserts of Ancient Egypt ...July 2005: Alice Tanner stumbles upon two skeletons during an archaeological dig in the mountains outside Carcassonne. Inside the hidden tomb where the bones lie crumbling, she experiences an overwhelming sense of malevolence, as well as a creeping understanding that, however impossible it seems, she can somehow understand the mysterious ancient words carved into the rock. Too late, Alice realises she's set in motion a terrifying sequence of events that she cannot control and that her destiny is inextricably tied up with the fate of the Cathars 800 years before."

I heard about this one on Richard & Judy's book club and decided I should get it. So I did and what a great read!

If you're thinking; oh not another Grail story, don't fret because this one is with a difference. I much preferred this one to Dan Browns DaVinci Code.

I really felt the characters emotions in the book and felt I was there. It's a book packed with action, thriller and suspense and also love.


A Kept Woman by Frankie McGowan

I liked this book. It's about how a lady that has everything soon finds herself with just about nothing, other than the clothes on her back and her children. She realises she has been a kept woman and finds the strength to show she is independant and makes a living of her own.
She learns she does not need a man to depend on.

A real roller coaster of a book.


Wives of the Fishermen by Angela Huth

Author: Angela Huth
Genre: Fiction
Publisher: Little brown

"Myrtle and Annie have grown up together in a remote Scottish fishing port. Their friendship remains deep, even after they have both married, but when one husband is responsible for the other's death in an accident on board their boat, their closeness is put to the ultimate test."

Oh I loved this book, I really did. It was such a cosy read.

It is about how two friends grow up together and marry fishermen. The story goes through their lives from when they were children into adulthood. Through their laughter to their arguments and love lives.

It is quite an emotional read and if you are looking for a book to read as you drink with your Coco next to a warm fire. Then this book is your you. It's not overly exciting but it's not boring either. It's just so lovely and cosy.

It's up in my top ten of the best books I've ever read.

Verdict: Beautiful.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

The Jewels of Tessa Kent by Judith Krantz

Author: Tessa Kent
Genre: Fiction
Publisher: Bantam Press

Estranged from her illegitimate daughter--raised by her parents--following the revelation of Maggie's true heritage, movie star Tessa Kent decides to end the hostility by auctioning off a collection of jewels with the auction house at which Maggie works."

I just finished this book and thoroughly enjoyed it. This is the first book of Judith's I have read and will be sure to get some more of hers. I just could not put this book down. It is about how a girl who is brought up in a strict Catholic family finds herself pregnant at the tender age of 14. From there her life has many twists and turns. Her search is to be with the one person who means the world to her.

I won't go into this story as I don't want to give the plot away. All I can say is it was a fab book and it had me in tears near the end, I just couldn't stop crying.

I grew to really like Tessa Kent and felt I was with her as she journeys through her life.

Verdict: Brilliant and exciting!

Saturday, January 14, 2006

James Herbert ~ The Fog.

Author: James Herbert
ISBN: 0-330-37615-2
Genre: Fiction-Horror
Publisher: Bantam Press

"The peaceful life of a Wiltshire village is shattered when an earthquake releases a cloud of strange fog that drives people insane. There is only one man who can control the violence that has been unleashed."

I just finished this book. When I first heard about it I thought it was a ghost story, but it isn't.
It's about how an earth quake happens and a mysterious gas is leaked from beneath the ground. This gas turns people crazy and they start to gather and kill them selves, either by throwing themselves into the sea or jumping from buildings. They also turn against each other.

John Holman has to save the UK (and possibily the world) from this gas by trying to get to it's center so a cure can be found.

The book starts off with lots of action but then slows down in the middle. It did pick up again and overall it was an OK book. Not one I would rush to read again.

Verdict: An Okay read

Tuesday, January 03, 2006


I decided to create this place to keep a record of all the books I've read. I love books and like many am addicted to them.

In 2005 the books I read were

The Da Vinci Code ~ Dan Brown
I Can Make You Thin ~ Paul McKenna (fantastic book and it really does work!!!)
Change Your Life in Seven Days ~ Paul McKenna
Of Mice and Men ~ John Steinbeck
Harry Potter Goblet of Fire ~ J K Rowling
Harry Potter Order of the Phoenix ~ J K Rowling
Harry Potter Half Blood Prince ~ J K Rowling
Lion Witch and the wardrobe ~ C S Lewis
Haunted ~ James Herbert
Pyschic adventures of Derek Acorah ~ Derek Acorah

The ones that really meant more to me that year were Paul Mckenna's ones and J K Rowling Harry Potter books.

Other books I have read in 2004 were

Once ~ James Herbert
13 lessons for Pleasing the Devine ~ Lady Raya
Heaven and Earth ~ James Van Praagh
The Power of Kabblah ~ Yehuda Berg
Flowers in the Attic ~ Virginia Andrews