Monday, November 3, 2014

Happy #NaNoWriMo!

Hello Bookworms and Happy #NaNoWriMo!

      Some of you may be wondering: "What the heck is a NaNoWriMo??" Well, NaNoWriMo is an abbreviation for "National Novel Writing Month". During the month of November, writers and aspiring writers all over pledge to try and write 50,000 words by the end of November! Think that its crazy? Well there are some pretty famous examples of books that were once NaNoWriMo manuscripts! How about The Night Circus and Water for Elephants? Yep! Both were written during NaNoWriMo!



For more great examples check out this article from Mental Floss!

Want to know if your favorite author is doing NaNoWriMo? Check out the NaNoWriMo hashtag - #NaNoWriMo - on Facebook and Twitter!

Want more information about NaNoWriMo? Thinking of participating? Check it out here!


Happy reading and writing....and Happy #NaNoWriMo!!




Until next time,
                    Lizzie <3

Orphan Train by Christina Baker Kline


Hello Bookworms!,

     Today I have a new review for you. Today’s book is part contemporary fiction, part historical fiction. Take a look at Orphan Train by Christina Baker Kline.

Summary

2011

     Molly is a foster child. The home she is in now is at least a little more stable that the last several. Except for the fact that her foster mother is a total jerk. She refuses to accept that Molly is vegetarian, or that she is gothic, or really anything else about her. Ralph, Molly’s foster father, tries to keep the peace but that really only amounts to him shrugging, grimacing, and saying totally useless phrases that usually make the situation worse rather than better. Molly has been passed around enough that she is resentful and angry and she couldn’t care less is Dina, her father mother, likes her.

1929

     Niamh (pronounced Neev) is an orphan. Her parents died tragically after having been in America only a short time from County Galway, Ireland. The only thing Niamh has left to remind her of home is the Claddagh cross necklace her grandmother gave her before they left. Niamh has been sent to the Children’s Aid Society of New York and now she will be put aboard what has been called the “orphan train”. The idea is to send Niamh to a town where there are people waiting to take in orphans. The problem is, what kind of people are they? Niamh’s new found friend Dutchy says that they just want a kid to basically be a servant or slave. Niamh tries to hold hope that the family that takes her will be nicer than that.

 

Review

     I became interested in this book shortly after having learned about orphan trains and their intentions in a class at University. Before that, I really had not heard of orphan trains so I was excited to see a fiction author’s take on this little heard of piece of American history.

Molly:

     Okay… I wanted to like Molly. I really did. But I feel like her story has been done to death: The foster child who has been passed from one horrible home to another until she is bitter and angry and takes it out on everyone. I am sad to say that Molly’s story is not uncommon in the real world, but its also not the only story. Where are the stories where the conflict is not with horrible foster parents but with something else in their lives and the foster parents are like their real parents and they can turn to them?

 However, I held out hope that sooner or later her story would change. That Molly would grow. It took quite a while for Molly to make any changes and those were minimal. I found myself sorry to have to come back to the contemporary sections of the book.

Niamh:

     I got really interested in Niamh’s story and I think maybe a whole book about Niamh would have been a really good story. A whole story just about Niamh’s travels to New York, onto the orphan train, and to various parts of the country on her journey to find stability would have been wonderful.

The story in General:

     As I said, the historical fiction parts of the book were good. I enjoyed it and was really happy that most of the book was made up of the historical fiction. I felt that a huge opportunity was wasted though. I wanted to hear about what it was to be brought in as an orphan, of waiting, and then of being put onto the train. I wanted to hear more about the process.

     The ending bothered me a bit. It was sort of a last minute transformation that wasn’t complete. Not to mention that several things that were put forth as a solution were actually illegal. And I don’t mean little crimes that can be overlooked for the greater good. I’m talking about serious, federal fraud in the foster system.

     Finally, a note to parents and school personnel. I want to offer up a brief warning about some of the content of the book. To me, I could easily have seen a parent buying this book for their child or a school buying a copy for their library because it looks like a book young people would want to read and it seems like it will be filled with historical facts about this period of American history. The thing is, there is a scene where there is graphic detail about Molly and her boyfriend making out and a bit more (which I found unnecessary to the conversation and the overall plot of the book. Molly’s character had already been established as was Jack’s so I didn’t see where it furthered the story). There are also graphic details about an attempted rape of a 10 year old girl. I understand why the author wanted to tell that part of the story, but I think the details were too graphic for a young audience. So please adults, be careful.

     While there were good aspects of Orphan Train, I do not recommend the book.

 

Until Next Time,

         Lizzie <3

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Free eBook ONE DAY ONLY!!

Hello Bookworms!!,
           Yesterday I received an E-mail from N.E. David (who has been interviewed and reviewed on See Lizzie Read multiple times...Thanks Nick!! :D ). N. E. David has a special offer for you all!




Do you want to read BIRDS OF THE NILE?




Do you have an eReader (Kindle, Nook, Etc?)?




GOOD NEWS!!




BIRDS OF THE NILE is FREE for one day only! On October 24th, 2014 you can get a free eBook copy of Birds of the Nile! Go to www.nedavid.com for more details!!






Happy Reading All!!

Until next time,
               Lizzie <3

Thursday, October 16, 2014

The Adventure of the Noble Bachelor - Sir Arthur Conan Doyle


Hello Bookworms!

            As you know, I have been reading through the original Sherlock Holmes stories, lovingly referred to by Sherlockians as “The Canon”. The story I am going to discuss in this post is The Adventure of The Noble Bachelor.

Summary

            While poor Watson is a bit under the weather, he’s had plenty of time to catch up on the gossip in the local papers. What he did not realize is that his new found information will actually help his dear friend Sherlock Holmes. Lord St. Simon has written to Holmes to request his help in the much publicized matter of his wife’s disappearance. The two had been married for just hours after a happy courtship and engagement when his wife walks outside her father’s house where a breakfast is being held and is never seen again. Can Sherlock find the new Lady St. Simon?

Review

            This was an interesting story. It’s difficult to discuss the details of a short story that I like without giving anything away, but I’m pretty sure (after taking great care and proof reading before posting) that I have managed it so here goes:

            The reason I found this story so interesting was because I thought I knew the answer from the beginning. However, it shortly became clear that I had missed the answer altogether! For me that’s something I love is when the answer to the question is something that I did not consider as being possible in the story and yet the evidence backs up the conclusion completely! I like the creativity!

            Being a person that enjoys studying people’s behavior, ideas, and habits, I loved the section at the end after the solution has been explained. I loved the way that Doyle wrote Sherlock inviting people to dinner at 221b Baker Street and that Sherlock Holmes seemed to like Americans and said as much. It was just an interesting moment to learn a little more about what kind of a person Sherlock Holmes, the great detective, was meant to be in the original stories. I like seeing what kind of a person Sir Arthur Conan Doyle originally wanted Sherlock Holmes to be. Do not misunderstand me, it is fun to see all the variations of Sherlock Holmes and all the variations of character and backstory that have been given to the detective over the years, on the stage and screen, but I like to see what person Sherlock Holmes was originally meant to be. Remember, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle was the original writer. Doyle created Holmes and had reasons for writing Holmes the way he did. While we may never know what Doyle’s actual thought processes or reasons were, I like the idea of paying the author the respect of getting to know his original character while getting to know the other variations as well (sometimes I find that I even like the original Sherlock Holmes’s personality much better than the variationsJ).









            I have almost completed The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes and will soon be moving on to “The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes” as they have been published in the compilation “The Original Illustrated Sherlock Holmes”

You can buy a copy here

I realize that this version is missing many of the short stories but I am going to go back and fill in the areas that have been deleted using this book that I recently ordered through Amazon.com shown here:

This book has all 56 Short stories and all 4 novels so I am really excited to get to add it to my collection.

You can buy a copy here

            I think that either book would be a great addition to your personal library. While the first is missing several stories, it does include the illustrations by Sidney Paget and the stories are printed the way you would have seen them in The Strand Magazine. The other has all of the stories and novels but no illustrations. I like both copies and am glad to have both.

 

Until next time!,

                  Lizzie <3

Saturday, September 13, 2014

The Adventure of Charles Augustus Milverton - Sir Arthur Conan Doyle


Hello bookworms!,

          I’ve been blogging about reading through the original Sherlock Holmes stories (after being a fan of the Granada Series and The BBC series Sherlock, I wanted to explore the original writings of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle). While I have been trying to read them in order, after the grand finale of Series 3 of Sherlock, I went back to watch the Granada version of The Adventure of Charles Augustus Milverton, and I became curious as to what the original story looked like compared to the two incarnations I’ve watched.  So, I skipped ahead to The Return of Sherlock Holmes, found the story, and now I want to share my thoughts on it!

Summary

       Lives are being ruined left and right in England. The elite are suddenly being blackmailed by a ruthless man. Who is he? Charles Augustus Milverton. A young lady is in danger of having her marriage ruined by this man and she has now entrusted herself to the care of Mr. Sherlock Holmes. But how is Sherlock to stop a man who makes the issue very black and white: give me what I want, or face ruination. Sherlock will go to new lengths to put an end to Milverton’s reign of terror, and it could cost him everything.

Review

          This is one of the most famous Sherlock Holmes cases. This is the villain that, after Moriarty, every adaptation of Sherlock Holmes must pay tribute to. It is also one of the shortest stories. So much of the details that you see in television, movie, and theater adaptations is actually not written down in the original story. However, it is still a very enthralling story to read.

          You really feel like there is no way out of the situation. Sherlock’s only solution is absurd and has little chance of working. And then, BANG!! The resolution comes and it doesn’t come in a way that the reader will have expected.
 

A note on the adaptations:

          If you do want to watch one of the adaptations, I recommend the one from the Granada Series with Jeremy Brett as Sherlock Holmes. For me, they did the best job of bringing and the details, both implicit and explicit to life and it’s a thrill to watch.
 

          If you’ve already seen that and you’re interested in what other adaptations have been done, another one that I enjoy is the recent retelling from BBC’s Sherlock, His Last Vow. While it is vastly different from the original, it is still very recognizable and absolutely thrilling.
 

This is the book I'm currently reading from. Its missing some of the stories, but it does include the illustrations and the text as it appeared in The Strand Magazine so its really a gem!
Purchase it here
 
 
This is the box set that I bought to complete my Sherlock Holmes novels/stories collection. the two volumes in the box are small and portable making them perfect for travel or dropping one in your bag for those opportune moments of down time to read wherever you are! You can buy a copy here


Until next time,

                Lizzie <3

And Furthermore by Dame Judi Dench


Hello Bookworms,

            I have a new book review for you! Today’s book is nonfiction. It is a memoir about the life and career of Dame Judi Dench written by none other than the lady herself Dame Judi Dench (granted she only goes by Judi Dench on the cover but I want to give her the proper respect and add Dame. She’s earned the title J)!

Summary

            Have you ever wondered what it was like for actress Dame Judi Dench in her many years as theater and film star? Did you ever see her in a play or movie and wonder what she thought about the role or wish you could see behind the scenes? In “And Furthermore” you get the chance to have your questions answered!

Review

            And Furthermore was an absolute pleasure to read. Dame Judi’s writing style is like having a real conversation with her. As I read I thought to myself, this must be what it would be like to get so sit down to tea and listen to Mrs. Dench tell her story. I loved her stories of the successes and especially the stories of the jokes and pranks shared backstage.

            I love Judi’s honesty as well. She tells you the whole story and is not afraid to tell you what she’s really thinking and yet she does it in a way that doesn’t humiliate or demean. That’s class.

            If you’re a fan of Dame Judi Dench (like I am) this is a wonderful book to find out what roles she may have played that you haven’t gotten to see yet. For me, I tried to make notes on what television programs and movies Dame Judi was in that I didn’t already know about. It’s a perfect cross-reference book as well as she often names her co-stars.

            For aspiring actors and actresses, in the final chapter of the book, Dame Judi gives tips. She tells a little about what she’s learned that works, as well as a little about what routine she uses now to prepare her voice for the stage. Also, Dame Judi mentions that she is honored when young actors ask her questions about how to improve and want to know the answers from her. So, if you are a budding actor or actress and you are ever blessed with the opportunity to ask Dame Judi Dench a question, do.

            I highly recommend And Furthermore to fans of Dame Judi Dench as well as fans of the stage and screen. This book will be a pleasure for you. Also, for those who are looking to learn a little more about acting, this would be a good book for you as well.

 

You can purchase And Furthermore here

Until next time,

               Lizzie <3

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Last Bus To Woodstock: An Inspector Morse Mystery by Colin Dexter


Hello Bookworms,

          Recently, I received something wonderful! The entire collection of Colin Dexter’s Inspector Morse novels including Morse’s Greatest Case and other Short Stories (a huge thanks to my family for this generous gift!! J They know how much I love PBS’s Endeavor and Inspector Lewis). I’ve already started the set and today I’m going to review the first novel in the series: Last Bus to Woodstock!

Summary

          When a woman is found murdered outside of a pub, the case seems pretty normal. All that needs to be done is to find out who killed Sylvia Kaye. But as Inspector Morse and his new partner Sargent Lewis begin to inspect the clues, this case is more twisted that they thought. Rather than narrowing down their list of suspects, it just keeps growing. Morse is really going to have to employ his mind if he’s going to find the killer and close the case.

Review

          This is the first Colin Dexter book that I’ve read. Some of the things I like about it are:

First, it’s the original Inspector Morse. I am one who loves to go back to the original stories if I find I like to television adaptations. I always like to know what qualities the original writer gave the character. What were the original thoughts of the author?

Second, the way Mr. Dexter changed from character to character. There are moments in the book where there are several short paragraphs back to back. This is Colin Dexter’s way of showing you what happening “meanwhile” and giving you the whole picture! I like that!

Finally, the solution. Wow! I will admit I could not see where we were going with the case! Every time I thought I knew who it was, it would change again! In two sentences it all became clear and I had to stifle a massive gasp! You’ll love it!

What didn’t I like?

The case itself. I’m not one to love rape/sex centered cases and unfortunately this was one. And sometimes, the author was WAY too graphic. This isn’t Fifty Shades of Morse’s Suspects it’s an Inspector Morse Mystery. I wouldn’t recommend the first book for younger audiences. Adults, read at your own risk. That was a massive disappointment to me because Colin Dexter is hailed as one of the best but, it wasn’t so bad as to scare me away from all Inspector Morse novels. I’m proceeding with the second and I think it might be better than the first!

 



Until next time,

                      Lizzie <3

Monday, August 4, 2014

Curious by Rebecca Front


Hello again bookworms,

        Today I have a book review I’d like to share with you! Fans of Rebecca Front (Jean Innocent from Inspector Lewis) you’re going to want to listen up! Today I’m reviewing Curious by Rebecca Front!

Summary

        Sometimes the truth is stranger than fiction and Rebecca Front has the stories to prove it. In Curious, Mrs. Front recounts stories from her childhood as well as her adult life, infuses them with humor, and entertains the reader.

Review

        Fans of Rebecca Front are going to love this book! Readers get to learn quite a bit about the actress, wife, and mother and will laugh along the way. I found myself laughing out loud on several occasions.

        I will admit, that from time to time, it did feel like Mrs. Front was “on her soap box” as the saying goes, but I'm pretty sure that it was all a part of the comedy (and she made some pretty good points).  Overall the book is worth the read. It’s full of fun anecdotes and even offers a great perspective on what it is like to live with claustrophobia.
 
         On a non-writing related praise: I have to say that I LOVE LOVE LOVE the cover art on this novel! The reference to Lewis Carroll's "Alice in Wonderland" with the tiny door and the white rabbit (named Flip Flop according to the book jacket :D) is just too cute!

 

Buy Curious

Until next time,

                Lizzie <3

Friday, August 1, 2014

Take a Look at the Brand New Harry Potter Cover Art!

Hello Bookworms!!,
                As you may know, I grew up reading Harry Potter and I absolutely loved it! It is still my favorite series after all these years! But did you know that the old books have been given a facelift?

               UK concept artist and illustrator Jonny Duddle has designed new covers for all 7 Harry Potter books! The books are set to be released in September of this year! Unfortunately, for many of us, we can only admire from afar. These new covers are only available in the UK! (Though I'm pretty sure any non-UK resident that wants a copy will probably be able to obtain them from an online seller ;) )

Take a look at all 7 Covers!

Click the image for a larger view

What do you think? Love 'em? Hate 'em? Gotta have 'em? Let's chat!

Until next time,
                 Lizzie <3

Friday, July 25, 2014

See Lizzie Read 5 Minute High 5 with Jacqueline Winspear!!

Hello Bookworms!,
        I have a very special treat to share with you today!! An interview with author of 10 Maisie Dobbs mystery novels and the brand new, stand-alone novel The Care and Management of Lies, JACQUELINE WINSPEAR!! Read what she had to say about the writing experience, her inspirations, and her brand new novel!!
 
 
 
Q: Maisie Dobbs is a strong, independent female character. Was there someone in your life that inspired Maisie's character?


A: No, there’s no one in my life that inspired the character – rather I wanted to reflect the extraordinary generation of women in Britain who came of age in the Great War. They were the first generation of women to go to war in modern times in very significant numbers – and after the war so many had to forge a life alone because so many men had been killed in the war.  That generation blazed a trail, and have inspired me since childhood.



Q: Your mystery novels are continually nominated for and winning awards. What has the experience been like for you?
 

A: Very rewarding you could say!  Of course it’s wonderful when your work is enjoyed by a very broad range of readers, however, the fact is that you have to get up the next day and write, and as a writer I want to stretch myself and ask how I can be a better writer.
 
 

Q: There are 10 Maisie Dobbs novels right now for readers to enjoy. You've also said that Maisie will be returning in 2015. What drew you to writing mysteries and what keeps you writing them?
 

A: When I wrote MAISIE DOBBS I did not set out to write a mystery – I simply wrote a story that was in my head. Many booksellers did not shelve the book in the mystery section, instead putting it with historical and literary fiction – it was more “cross genre” given the emphasis on the back story.  Then it seemed there were more stories to tell, but for me the focus is the main character and companion characters – they are the true mystery. 
 

Q: You have a new standalone novel, THE CARE AND MANAGEMENT OF LIES, being published in about a month(from the time of the interview). What can readers look forward to in this new book?
 

A: It’s not a mystery and it’s not part of the series. Set in the opening months of the Great War, it juxtaposes life at the battlefront with life at the home front.
 

Q: Some of the Maisie Dobbs novels and THE CARE AND MANAGEMENT OF LIES are set in war time. Particularly, the First World War. What draws you to write novels set in this time period?
 

A: In answer to this question, here’s a excerpt from the “About” page on my website:
 

Jacqueline's grandfather was severely wounded and shell-shocked at The Battle of the Somme in 1916, and it was as she understood the extent of his suffering that, even in childhood, Jacqueline became deeply interested in the "war to end all wars" and its aftereffects. As an adult her interest deepened to the extent that, though she did not set out to write a "war" novel, it came as no surprise that this part of history formed the backdrop of Maisie Dobbs and other books in the series. The unique and engaging character of Maisie Dobbs is very much a woman of her generation. She has come of age at a time when women took on the toil of men and claimed independence that was difficult to relinquish. It was a time when many women remained unmarried, simply because a generation of men had gone to war and not come home.

"The war and its aftermath provide fertile ground for a mystery. Such great social upheaval allows for the strange and unusual to emerge and a time of intense emotions can, to the writer of fiction, provide ample fodder for a compelling story, especially one concerning criminal acts and issues of guilt and innocence. After all, a generation is said to have lost its innocence in The Great War. The mystery genre provides a wonderful vehicle for exploring such a time," explains Ms. Winspear.




Buy Maisie Dobbs on Amazon.com!

Buy The Care and Management of Lies on Amazon.com!

     There you have it readers! The Writing Experience, Maisie Dobbs, and The Care and Management of Lies from Mrs. Jacqueline Winspear herself!

     A special thanks to Mrs. Winspear for agreeing to do an interview with See Lizzie Read!

     Keep checking See Lizzie Read here and on Facebook for more interviews, reviews, and more!!

Until Next Time,
           Lizzie <3

Mansfield Park by Jane Austen


Hello Bookworms!,

      As some of you may know, I am a pretty huge Jane Austen fan. I have loved Pride and Prejudice and Sense and Sensibility for ages and I can readily quote lines from and make reference to both.

Summary

      Fanny Price did not come from a rich family. Quite the opposite. Her family has very little money and many children. When her uncle takes her in, and raises her in the lap of luxury, it is a blessing for dear Fanny. However, there is always a marked difference between herself and her four cousins and if she ever forgets it, which she does not, Aunt Norris is there to remind her.

      From her shy corner of the world, Fanny observes much about the family. Including some uncouth behavior between her engaged cousin and a handsome friend in town for a few weeks. However, when this handsome friend turns his attention of fanny in earnest, she does not know what to do.

Review

      This is the fourth Jane Austen Novel I have read. Unfortunately, it was not her best. Please don’t grab your torches and pitchforks yet Jane Austens fans everywhere, I’m still a diehard fan, I’m just a little disappointed in this novel. After the first 250 (roughly ½ of the book) pages I thought “Okay, this was just the uphill climb. These are the details that are going to make this second half all make perfect sense.” And in a way, it was true.  There were certain complex emotions and decisions that would not have made sense in the second half of the book if you hadn’t paid attention in the first half. Unfortunately, the second half of the book wasn’t the downhill thrill-ride that I’d been hoping for.

      The second half of the book was sadly not much better than the first. There were great moments in the story but the telling of them was long and drawn out. I felt like several parts of story was slow-paced with no purpose. All of the most exciting details happened in the last 5 of the sixty-four chapters of the book. The largest part of the excitement really hit in the last 2 chapters. And while sometimes, this is enough to save my opinion of a book, in this case it felt a bit half-hearted. I as the reader had endured four hundred and eighty-one pages of hoping something exciting was about to happen and in the last 15 pages every major conflict was magically resolved. These were the details that I had been waiting for and they were left out!!! I felt cheated! I had listened to every character whine and complain for pages and pages thinking “just one more chapter and the fun will begin” and suddenly the author just glossed over it all, discussing it in the most general way and then….the end. It was over. *Insert Frustrated Wail Here*

      So, if you are a Jane Austen fan, read Mansfield Park just to say you did. That you’ve read all of her works. If you are looking for classic novels to read, This wouldn’t crack my top 20. There are too many other novels too choose from.

 

Buy Mansfield Park on Amazon.com!
 
Until Next Time,
                  Lizzie <3
 

Monday, June 30, 2014

See Lizzie Read 5 Minute High 5 with The Countess of Carnarvon!


Hello Bookworms!,

          I am excited about the interview I get to share with you all today! Fans of the popular BBC drama Downton Abbey get ready! Today’s 5 Minute High 5 is with Author of Lady Almina and the Real Downton Abbey and its sequel Lady Catherine, The Earl, and The Real Downton Abbey! That’s right! Today’s interview is with Lady Fiona Carnarvon of Highclere Castle!

1.    You have recently written 2 books about the history of Highclere Castle. What has it been like researching such a rich history?

 

It’s a tremendous privilege working through all the different archives here at Highclere. There are an enormous number of stories about what my predecessors have done and I really enjoy tying it in with the events that they were living through.

 

2.    Did you always intend to publish the history of Highclere Castle or was the project inspired by the television series Downton Abbey?

 

I had already researched the 5th Earl of Carnarvon (who discovered the Tomb of Tutankhamun with Howard Carter) and had published a photographic story about the two men. I therefore knew the story of his extraordinary wife Almina and it was a wonderful opportunity to publish it.

 

3.    Your two books follow the lives of Lady Almina and Lady Catherine as a means of telling the Castle’s story. How do you decide which family member’s story to follow?

 

I started with the 5th countess, Lady Almina, because she made such an amazing contribution to other people’s lives. She worked tirelessly to save men’s lives although in the First World War they were often returning into battle yet again. I found the letters from the patients and their families very humbling.

 

4.    Are there plans for a third book?

 

I have started a photographic book looking at the rhythm of a year here at Highclere, recipes, and anecdotes.

 

5.    After all the research you have done, which figure from Highclere Castle’s past (that you have not met already) would you most like to have lunch with?

 

I find Egypt and the ancient culture and works of art completely fascinating so I would absolutely love to have lunch with the 5th Earl of Carnarvon.

 

 

You can find Lady Carnarvon’s books in bookstores and online! I’ve included the links to purchasing Lady Almina and the Real Downton Abbey and Lady Catherine, The Earl, and The Real Downton Abbey below!

 

Buy Lady Almina and the Real Downton Abbey *Here*

Buy Lady Catherine, The Earl, and the Real Downton Abbey and *Here*

 

Read See Lizzie Read’s review of *Lady Almina and the Real Downton Abbey*

 

**A special thank you to Lady Carnarvon and Mrs. Julie Robins for working with me to bring this interview to the See Lizzie Read readership!

 

Until Next Time,

                   Lizzie <3

Monday, June 23, 2014

The Lost Library - A.M. Dean


Hello Bookworms!,

      I have found a book that I am absolutely in love with and I cannot wait to tell you all about it!!!! So, without further ado, let’s discuss!

Summary

      He is anything but ordinary. Dr. Arno Holmstrand is not just a professor at a small college. He’s a man who is on many countries watch list. He has the credentials to teach anywhere he wants, but he chose this college. Besides, it’s not like he needs the money.

      She is bored. Dr. Emily Wess loves her work. She pursued her doctorate in history for a reason. It means a lot to her. But her career doesn’t exactly offer excitement. A professor as at a small college, she lives her humdrum life, reveling in the tales of the past. 

      They are watching. They are waiting. They have a plan of action that will turn put an end to the constant pursuit of power, because there will be none left to pursue if they have anything to do with it.

At the heart of it all is a myth, a legend of human history. But the truth is more dangerous than fiction.

Review

      Readers, I have never read an A.M. Dean book before I picked up The Lost Library. Now, I am dying to read his next book The Keystone!! Here’s why:

      The storyline is INCREDIBLE!!!! This is the adventure I often crave but more often do not find! At about 516 pages (including the author’s note and acknowledgements) it seems like a long book but I promise it is so interesting it will fly by!!  There is an intricate, weaving storyline that challenges your brain to think a step ahead and see if you can figure it out before the characters (and I’m not ashamed to say, most of my best theories were wrong, but I was shocked, amazed, and pleased by what was really happening in the plot).

      You won’t get confused. I realize that following more than one person in a story and keeping up with the many clues of this mystery can seem daunting, but I promise you won’t be lost! A.M. Dean has the most amazing way of recapping throughout the story that won’t bore those who retain details easily but won’t lose those who forget easily. That’s not an easy balance to find, but A.M. Dean does it with a level of skill that is rarely seen.

      The imagery is wonderful! The settings in this book are historical and beautiful and A.M. Dean’s descriptions are perfect. If you have seen any of the places he describes, you will recognize and mentally picture them instantly as you read. But do not fear reading pages and pages describing each leg of each centipede on each brick. A.M. Dean writes stimulating descrptions that are usually only a paragraph each in length. Just another way that A.M. Dean’s skill as a writer is showcased.

      John Green once said:

"Sometimes you can read a book and it fills you with this weird evangelical zeal and you become convinced that the shattered world will never be put back together unless and until all living humans read the book."

The Lost Library by A.M. Dean is a book that fits John Green’s description! If you haven’t read it, please do! If you have, recommend it to others! And if this book is ever made into a movie (please please PLEASE Hollywood!!) I will be first in line to see it!!

 
Get THe Lost Library on Amazon

 
 

Until next time,

            Lizzie <3

Monday, June 2, 2014

A Lesson in Secrets (A Maisie Dobbs Novel) by Jacqueline Winspear


Hello Bookworms,

          I have a new book review for you! I’m really excited about this book! I really think that this is going to be a series that I and many of you will really enjoy.

Summary

          Maisie Dobbs has seen a lot in her life. But fortunately she was taken under the wing of Maurice Blanche who prepared her for the job she’s doing now. When she’s not solving crimes for hire at her own business, Maisie has been known to be recruited to help Special Branch and the British Secret Service. 1930’s London has more secrets that most people might believe.

Now, the secret service needs Maisie again. The college of St. Francis is a fledgling college trying to find acceptance among the universities in Cambridge. St. Francis is a college of peace accepting international students even from countries that might not be well accepted since the First World War. At its helm is Greville Liddicote, the man who wrote a children’s book that (if rumors are to be believed) caused mutiny on both sides of the war, English and German alike. But something isn’t right, and the secret service has reason to believe that there are activities that are not in the interest of the crown and Maisie is charged with pretending to be a lecturer at the college and finding out what these activities are.

Review

          A Lesson in Secrets was a pleasant surprise. I’m finding more and more that I like historical fiction set in the 1930’s. but what made this book for me was the writing and the main character, Maisie Dobbs!

          The writing is intelligent. I found myself repeatedly wishing that Maisie Dobbs would be made in to a movie or better yet a series (since there are 10 of these books). Why? Because this book reminded me of my favorite british mystery series’ like Inspector Lewis and Poirot. It was hard to see why Jacqueline Winspear won the Agatha, Alex and Macavity awards as well as an Edgar award nomination for her first book, entitled Maisie Dobbs, when the eighth book in the series was this good! I want to go back and read them all!

          Maisie Dobbs’ character is wonderful! She is kind and compassionate. A woman who wants the best for herself and for her widowed father. She pays attention to the needs of the people with whom she comes into contact and, when she can, she meets them. But she’s also intelligent! In some ways she reminded me of Ms. Fisher from Ms. Fishers Mysteries. Maisie is brilliant at her job and enjoys doing it! She’s not like many female characters who are meant to be the main character but are ALWAYS in need of rescuing, Maisie is actually good! She stands on her own two feet and gets the job done!

          Readers, I truly recommend A Lesson in Secrets and the whole Maisie Dobbs series. I know I’ll be reading more! ;)

 


Until Next Time,

                   Lizzie <3