Monday, May 28, 2012

An Entirely New Country by Alistair Duncan

Hello Bookworms! ,
                I am excited about today’s book! I have just finished it and I’m thoroughly pleased with it! A few weeks ago, we posted an interview here on See Lizzie Read with its author. It is called An Entirely New Country and it is by Alistair Duncan!

                An Entirely New Country focuses on one ten year period in the life of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (writer of the Sherlock Holmes adventures).  These ten years were the years in which he lived at Undershaw, the home he built in an area that was favorable for easing his wife’s Tuberculosis symptoms. These were very crucial years that saw Sir Arthur Conan Doyle knighted, the revival of Sherlock Holmes, and much more.

                Reading this book drew blood! Okay, so I’m not warning you against anything about the book, I just happened to cut myself on the cover. I actually very much enjoyed reading An Entirely New Country.  As a college student, I have read some non-fiction books that will make you feel as though you are trying to run through quicksand. The harder you try to get through it, the more you bog down in it. That’s not the case with Alistair Duncan’s An Entirely New Country. Mr. Duncan presents Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s life from 1897-1907 in a way that captures your interest and makes you want to know more. I found myself putting the book down for the night only to realize that I was already trying to plan how soon I could pick it back up and start reading again. To me, that is the mark of a gifted writer. To lay out just 10 years of a person’s life in a way that makes the reader crave more is amazing. As I said, it is hard for me to truly enjoy non-fiction, but Mr. Duncan has made me believe that with the proper writing it can be done. Some writers believe that if an entire event can be well told in four or five sentences, they must add filler so that it stretches to a whole page. This causes the book to be a total bore because usually the filler comes in the form on unrelated babble or repeating the same point five different ways. Mr. Duncan doesn’t do that. If he can tell it well in just a few short sentences he leaves it at that keeping the reader from bogging down in extraneous details. I give An Entirely New Country 5 bookmarks! I would definitely recommend this book for Sherlockians, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle Fans, and anyone looking for a pleasant read.  The only recommendations I would make are: 1. Have some knowledge of the game of cricket as Sir Arthur Conan Doyle played cricket and if you are ignorant of the rules and terminology (like I am) it can be a little confusing. and 2. Look out for that sharp cover! Haha!

                50% of the Proceeds of An Entirely New Country go the Undershaw Preservation Trust, dedicated to saving Undershaw from irreversible damage. Currently, they are awaiting the judge’s decision as to whether the house will be saved or allowed to be turned into townhouses by a developer from the Virgin Islands. The Undershaw Preservation Trust could use your support right now and buying your copy of An Entirely New Country is a great way to do it! An Entirely New Country will show you exactly why Undershaw is so important, and why it should be saved!

If you would like to read the interview with Alistiar Duncan, author of An Entirely New Country:

To Buy An Entirely New Country: (Where I got my copy):


Until Next Time,

P.S. Does anyone have a manual on the rules, regulations, and terminology of cricket they’d like to send me? J

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Illuminated-Matt Bronleewe

Hello Bookworms!
        I just finished a book and I am so stunned by it that I wanted to tell you all about it ASAP! :) The book is called Illuminated by Matt Bronleewe.

     August Adams is a divorced trader of very rare, very expensive, VERY sought after books. One wouldn't think that books could cause a person so much trouble, but they do for August Adams. August is in possession of a Gutenburg Bible and two very vicious groups want it. When August's child, Charlie, his ex-wife, and her mother are put through a series of horrifying situations, August has to race to beat the clock to figure out what Gutenburg was hiding in nine of the illuminations in the Gutenburg Bibles to ensure his family will survive. What August will find is beyond anything he could have imagined.

     I'm sorry bookworms. I really thought this was going to be a great book, but it really wasn't. The whole time I was reading I kept thinking to myself, this could be turned into a movie. I realized that i was thinking that because it was The Da Vinci Code, The Ninth Gate, and National Treasure all thrown together into one book. While the book moves quickly, there are many gruesome killings and injuries that I would not recommend for children or those with a weak stomach to read about. Also, there are several different points of view to follow and 3 different groups to keep straight and since some characters are part of more than one group it can get really confusing. This book also suggests some things about God that are FAR from the truth. I'm sorry guys but I give this book 0 bookmarks. The best part about the book was that I only paid $5 dollars for it.

A note:
    I am happy to say that I got a copy of Alistair Duncan's An Entirely New Country in the mail today as a graduation present from my parents! :) My family has made a contribution to the Undershaw Preservation Trust! With only 6 days left until they go to court to try and save Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's (writer of the Sherlock Holmes Adventures) former home, Undershaw, from being horribly damaged, we hope that you will buy a copy too to help raise funds that the Undershaw Preservation Trust really needs right now! :) Thank you!

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Book News! Maurice Sendak Dies.

Hello Bookworms!
         I regret to inform you of the passing of Legendary author and illustrator Maurice Sendak. Mr. Sendak was 83 years old. He was well known for writing the beloved children's story "Where the Wild Things Are" which was made into a movie in 2009. Our prayers go out to Mr. Sendak's family and friends during this time. He will be missed.

Maurice Sendak, Author and Illustrator

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Interview wth Alistair Duncan! A See Lizzie Read Exclusive!

Hello Bookworms,

            I have a special treat for you today!! An Interview!

I have made several posts about ways to help save Undershaw (home of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, the author of the Sherlock Holmes adventures). In those posts, I mentioned purchasing a book titled An Entirely New Country (which features a foward written my Mark Gatiss). Recently, I was able to obtain a short interview with the author of An Entirely New Country, Mr. Alistair Duncan!!

1.      What inspires your books, particularly An Entirely New Country?

a.      A desire to add to our collective knowledge. With AENC and the book before that it was a desire to add to parts of Arthur Conan Doyle’s life that I felt were under documented.

2.      What do you want people to understand about Sir Arthur Conan Doyle after reading An Entirely New Country?

a.      The fact that Arthur Conan Doyle achieved a lot during that 10 year period and that there was a lot more to him that Sherlock Holmes.

3.      What made you start promoting the Undershaw Preservation trust and encouraged you to decide to split your profits from An Entirely New Country with them?

a.      A desire to do whatever I could to help the cause to save this amazing house from being irreversibly damaged.

4.      What is it about Sir Arthur Conan Doyle that has captured your attention?

a.      I stand amazed at the sheer amount he managed to pack into his life and the adversity he overcame in his early years.

5.      When did you become a Sherlock Holmes enthusiast?

a.      1982 after seeing Basil Rathbone in The Scarlet Claw.

6.      Would you consider yourself a Sherlockian or just a fan?

a.      The former.

7.      What is your favorite Sherlock Holmes adventure?

a.      The Sign of Four as it contains everything you could want. A crime to solve, exotic villians, a damsel in distress and a treasure in a far off land.

8.      Do you have plans for another book on Holmes or Doyle? Or does the journey end here with An Entirely New Country?

a.      At the moment I have no idea. I’d like to write more but I don’t know what about just yet.

There you have it bookworms! Alistair Duncan’s thoughts on Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Undershaw, and Sherlock Holmes! 50% of the proceeds of the purchase of An Entirely New Country will go to the Undershaw Preservation Trust. Alistair Duncan and See Lizzie Read support the Undershaw Preservation Trust and their mission to save Undershaw wholeheartedly and we hope you will too!  

If you would like to purchase An Entirely New Country:
Barnes and Noble:

Any bookstore that has An Entirely New Country on its shelves! J

Want to know more about Alistair Duncan, his views, and the books he’s written?

Check out his blog!:

and follow him on Twitter!:


I’d like to take a moment to thank Mr. Alistair Duncan for taking time out of his busy schedule to answer these interview questions for the readers of See Lizzie Read! Thank you so much Mr. Duncan!

Until Next Time!,

       Lizzie <3

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

A Blast From the Past! The Giver by Lois Lowry

Hello bookworms!!!!,
            I am excited to bring you another blast from the past today!! It's called The Giver by Lois Lowry!!

     Jonas has lived a normal life. At least, normal for him. He lives in a world where there is no hunger, no want for anything, and also no choice. Everything that you do in life is already decided for you. At a certain age you are given a plaything. At a certain age that plaything is taken away. At a certain age you get married, are given a child. Later, you are given another. No deviatation is permitted, but who would deviate when you've been living this way a long as you can remember. You wouldn't know there was another way to live....
     At twelve years old, Jonas is selected to be given training for a special job by the Giver. Jonas has been selected to be te next giver. The Giver is the only person in society who holds all the memories of what life used to be like. The joys, the pains, the choices. As Jonas gets each memory from the Giver, his opinion begins to change...unfortunately he is the only one who knows the flaws of his current society...and the only one who believes that flawws even exist. Will Jonas be able to convince everyone that some truly is wrong here? Will he be able to continue to live in his current way? Can he take the pressure of absorbing so much life changing information? Find out in Lois Lowry's The Giver!

     Okay, so I read this book when I was in middle school. Even then I loved this book!! It was so well written! Lowry has created and alternate universe that truly explores the implications of that supposed eutopia we all strive for and what can happen if eutopia were to become twisted.  One of the most amazing things about this book is that it is easy to read without being "dumbed down" (for lack of a better phrase). The writing is brilliant but still enjoyeable for all ages and allreading levels. I give The Giver by Lois Lowry 5 bookmarks!! :)