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!


      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.


      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.


          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.


          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