Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Christmas at See Lizzie Read!!

Hello Bookworms!!,
          I apologize that I have been away for SO LOOOONG!!! But I promise that I have not forgotten about you! I have new reviews, author interviews, and more planned for See Lizzie Read!
          One fun thing that I have planned is #BookishGifts! I am posting fun, funky, and cool Christmas gift ideas for the book lover on your Christmas list (or maybe to help build your own Christmas list! ;) ). Go over to See Lizzie Read's Facebook page, "like" it, and keep an eye out for the hashtag "#BookishGifts"!! Let me know what you think or make suggestions of your own!

To access the Facebook page, Click Here! :D

I'll type again soon!,
              Lizzie <3

Friday, August 21, 2015

Rebel Fire by Andrew Lane

Hello Bookworms,

            A few weeks ago I posted a review of how much I loved Death Cloud (Young Sherlock Holmes #1) by Andrew Lane. It was the first book in a series that I’ve come to greatly enjoy! I have currently read 5 out of the 8 novels and one short story that Andrew Lane has published in the series and I’m still loving it! Today, I’m backing up a few books to bring you a review of the second book in the series: REBEL FIRE! Watch out for *SPOILERS!!!!* if you haven’t read the first book DEATH CLOUD! There won’t be many and certainly not about major details, but if you’re like me and you hate ANY spoilers great or small, you may want to wait until you read Death Cloud to read this review. Here we go!


            It hasn’t been long since Sherlock faced Baron Maupertuis in France. It seemed like a once in a lifetime adventure. But Sherlock isn’t about to go back to his hum drum life at Uncle Sherrinford and Aunt Anna’s for very long. When Matty is kidnapped, Sherlock, his mentor Amyus, and Amyus’s daughter Virginia will have to track him all the way to America!

This adventure will test Sherlock’s mind, morals, and his strength! When the hunt suddenly separates Sherlock and Virginia from Amyus, can the pair retrieve Matty and get back to New York safely? And what does all of this have to do with a rare collection of animals and John Wilkes Booth?


            Oh my goodness readers! This is another whirlwind adventure and I loved it! I was a bit leery when I read that John Wilkes Booth could be a character in this because I don’t usually like when authors use a real life person or real life events and smash them with fiction. I also wasn’t thrilled that this was going to take place in America (it’s part of what I love about Sherlock Holmes’s world is that he lives in England!). After having read the whole book, don’t fear, the setting and the real vs fictional characters do not take away from how great the story is AT ALL! It’s a true testament to Andrew Lane’s ability to write! (if you are worried about confusing history with fiction, I strongly recommend that you read the author’s notes at the end. It’s usually about three pages and he does a great job of explaining what things were real and what things were not).

            I continue to love all of the characters, everyone has their own personality and they all have something to contribute to the story! I, of course, continue to love the relationship between Mycroft and Sherlock as well (Get some tissues all you criers! I got choked up!)! There’s a new character introduced in this book and he will have a major impact on the person Sherlock is as an adult, see if you can figure out who it is!

I highly recommend that you read Rebel Fire by Andrew Lane!! You’re probably going to love it as much if not more than Death Cloud! If you are looking for this book in your local bookshop or online, if you see the title REBEL FIRE or RED LEECH, it is the SAME BOOK! I used the title Rebel Fire for this review because the copy of the book I own has the Rebel Fire cover and title. Whichever of the two you buy, it is the same story.

Until Next Time,

            Lizzie <3

Friday, August 14, 2015

Why Your Daughter's Crush on Mr. Darcy May Actually be a Good Thing

Hello Bookworms,

            It is widely known that one of the greatest love stories in literary history is included in Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice. I’m talking about the love story between Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth Bennett. Generations of women have had crushes on Mr. Darcy since the book’s publication in 1813.

            Some people are concerned with their daughter’s crush on a fictional character. Especially since the story is set in 1797! But I’d like to highlight a few reasons why your daughter’s crush on Mr. Darcy can actually be a positive thing (Warning!! Loads of SPOILERS from this point on!!!).

            You see, Mr. Darcy, though he is fictional and is from a bygone era, possesses many qualities that you’d want your daughter to seek in a husband:

Mr. Darcy is willing to work on himself.

In the beginning of the story, Darcy is prideful, prejudiced, and somewhat arrogant. He is painfully shy and somewhat withdrawn. Yet, when Darcy sees the pain and chaos his attitude causes himself and those he loves, Darcy works hard to change. A man who can acknowledge his faults and work on them is definitely a good man.

Mr. Darcy is a gentleman.

Mr. Darcy is the kind of man that escorts you to your carriage, and helps you get in (like he did for Elizabeth after the ball at Netherfield). Darcy stands when a lady walks in. Now that last one isn’t required so much these days, but don’t you love when a man holds a door for you or escorts you safely to your vehicle when needed? Of course you do because Chivalry isn’t dead! When your daughter takes notice of Mr. Darcy, she’s reading about/watching a gentleman in action and getting the idea that a man who is a gentleman is a good thing.

Mr. Darcy is financially stable and smart.

Mr. Darcy has a large fortune and a large estate. While Darcy inherited both of these, it takes brains and hardwork to keep the money flowing and the estate afloat. Darcy is providing a good example of what a hardworking, stable man looks like.

Mr. Darcy is a family-minded man.

Mr. Darcy finished raising his little sister, Georgiana and is her guardian. Darcy dotes on Georgiana, providing for her needs and protecting her from evil influences (like Mr. Wickham) and he genuinely enjoys it! I’d say that’s a pretty good advertisement for his potential as a father. Your daughter has a crush on a hardworking man who takes care of his family.

Mr. Darcy isn’t afraid of showing affection.

Now this may be a bit harder to see, because showing affection was very different in the 1700’s and 1800’s than it is today. However, if you look for it, you’ll see it. Mr. Darcy is so proud of Elizabeth that he’s just dying to show her off to his family (that’s a pretty big step) and, most famously, in the final scene, Mr. Darcy professes his love for Elizabeth is the most beautiful speech. A man that’s so proud of you that he wants to show you off and he tells you how much he loves you is something I think we all want and it’s good to encourage that for your daughter.

Mr. Darcy is generous and kind, even with his in-laws.

Mr. Darcy fixed the scandal Elizabeth’s sister Kitty caused (even though it cost him dearly). Mr. Darcy also made sure that Elizabeth’s sister Jane was proposed to by the man she loved more than anything. Also, he invites Elizabeth’s uncle to come fish on his estate. Darcy doesn’t think only of his own household and that’s it, he’s generous and willing to go the extra mile, even for his in-laws.

Mr. Darcy loves that Elizabeth is smart and self-sufficient.

One of my most favorite things about Mr. Darcy is that he recognizes that Elizabeth is smart, strong, and self-sufficient and he doesn’t want to change that. As a matter of fact, Mr. Darcy admires Elizabeth’s abilities. Elizabeth embodies some of the qualities Darcy wishes he had but for which he is too shy. Darcy wants to spend time with Elizabeth and see how she does it and learn how to do it himself. And He’s proud of her for being strong. You would want your daughter to be with someone who recognizes her strengths and encourages them in her, and Mr. Darcy is providing an example of what that looks like for your daughter.

So, when your daughter starts re-reading Pride and Prejudice, or wants to watch the movie again for the millionth time, go ahead and let her. Mr. Darcy is reinforcing what a good man looks like for your daughter. Much better than the love story between Edward and Bella from Twilight, a love story where the teenage girl is so dependent on the guy that she cannot function when he suddenly walks out on her. Elizabeth and Darcy embody a more healthy relationship and the more positive examples we can put in front of our girls, the better. So encourage your daughter’s crush on Mr. Darcy, and maybe buy her that “I <3 Mr. Darcy” tote for Christmas this year. ;)


Until next time,

                        Lizzie <3

Friday, July 10, 2015

5 Minute High Five 5 with author Gina J. Bentley

Hello Bookworms!!

          Today’s post is going to be lots of fun! It has been a while since I have had an author interview, but today I have one for you! A couple of weeks ago, I reviewed Flowers Darkly by author Gina J. Bentley. Today, Gina is going to give you some insight into her world and the world of  Flowers Darkly. Enjoy!

1. Let’s start with a fun question, how amazing does it feel to have released your first novel?

It feels wonderful! I began writing Flowers Darkly almost three years ago. At first, I didn't tell anyone I was writing a novel because I knew it'd be a long process. It ended up taking even longer than I'd anticipated. I eventually had to let go of a timeline, and be content with whenever I finished it. I wanted it done right! It's awesome now because readers tell me how characters, plot elements, or lines impacted them. I lived alone with these things for years, so to be able to finally share them in the book is truly an amazing privilege.


2. Where did you find the inspiration for Flowers Darkly?


I found inspiration for the novel in many places: British television, classic literature, dreams, music, and even sermons. Someone said "good artists borrow; great artists steal." I definitely stole some inspiration! As an example, I based aspects of Nicholas Graham on Robert Hardy's portrayal of Siegfried Farnon in the BBC series, All Creatures Great and Small. I studied Hardy's facial expressions as to get the subtleties right in my descriptions of Nicholas. Since the novel took three years to write, I had time to pool lots of ideas and incorporate them into the story.


3. Who was your favorite character to write?


My absolute favorite character to write was Nicholas Graham. He has a presence that transcends the page, causing me to think I may find him in line at the grocery store or sitting next to me on a flight. It's difficult for me to believe I created him: he always gently told me what he would say and do. Of all the characters, I've probably gotten the most feedback from readers on Nicholas. One reader described him as "perfect," and I couldn't agree more. I think as he impacts the characters in the story, he impacts us as well.


4. Given the opportunity, would you move to a new country like Miri? If so, where?


It's funny you should ask this question because I allowed Miri to experience my own dream of moving to England. I've been in love my entire adult life with England and British culture, primarily through its television and literature. Like Miri, I worked for a division of a British company, where I met Brits whose friendliness, character, and manner only increased my admiration for their culture. I got to travel with Miri to England in Flowers Darkly, and I hope my readers do as well.


5. Are there plans for more novels from Author Gina J. Bentley in the future?

Yes! Another novel is brewing in my heart and begging to be written. This one will likely stay state-side, but I expect it to have just as much romance, humor, and biblical truth as Flowers Darkly.

I would like to thank Gina J. Bentley for giving See Lizzie Read this interview!!

For more information about Gina J. Bentley’s works, both present and future, visit her website!

To purchase your copy of Flowers Darkly click here!!

Until next time,

          Lizzie <3

Friday, June 26, 2015

Death Cloud (Young Sherlock Holmes #1) - Andrew Lane

Hello Bookworms,

          I am EXTRA excited about today’s review!! I have found a new favorite series! The best one since The Harry Potter Series and once again it has come from the Young Adult genre! I am talking about the Young Sherlock Holmes Series by Andrew Lane! We’ll start at the beginning with Death Cloud!


          Sherlock Holmes is only 14 years old. After completing another frustrating semester at Deepdene School for Boys, Sherlock is looking forward to going home. What Sherlock doesn’t realize is that this break is going to be completely different from those to which he has become accustomed. Sherlock is about to investigate his first murder case.

          Matty, a young, homeless orphan is moving through the streets looking for food. When his search brings him to an alleyway, the boy hears horrific screaming. A dark cloud ascends from a window and the occupant of the apartment is found dead. What has this young man seen? How does one find the truth? It is only when Matty runs into a brilliant young man with a funny first name (What kind of a name is Sherlock anyway?) that things can begin to take shape.


          Readers, I am mesmerized by Andrew Lane’s writing!!! Mr. Lane (who was a fan of Sherlock Holmes by his own admission) has taken Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s classic character and the Victorian era and gives us the backstory of which we Holmesians have always dreamed!

          The relationship between Sherlock and his brother Mycroft is superb (very reminiscent of the relationship we saw played out by Jeremy Brett as Sherlock and Charles Gray as Mycroft, which was always my favorite version). And as the series goes on I continue to love it! But for now let’s concentrate of Death Cloud only.

          The case is VERY Holmesian. The impossible is explained by the incredible! And every second is action packed! I was on the edge of my seat!! As a matter of fact, I sat down with the book at about 7:30pm and around 1:30am I was done (I haven’t done that in ages!) and losing it over how amazing the book had been! Moms, this book would be amazing for your boys! There is action, fighting, suspense, and surprises! AND it will make them think!

          The characters are so colorful; everyone has their own distinctive personality. No character is useless (that’s something I love). You’re going to love some characters and other characters you are going to hate…for all the right reasons (but I won’t say any more about that to keep from ruining it for you ;) ).

          Needless to say, I HIGHLY recommend Death Cloud by Andrew Lane to all Holmesians, Action lovers, and Mystery lovers! You’re going to love Young Sherlock Holmes!!

Until next time,

                   Lizzie <3

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Flowers Darkly by Gina J. Bentley

Hello Bookworms,

            Today, I will be bringing you a review of the debut novel Flowers Darkly by Gina J. Bentley! This novel was released June 5th, 2015 and I think all you romantic globe trotters out there are going to want to take this book with you on your summer vacation! Here’s why…


            Miri Lewis has a husband, two young daughters, and a demanding career. She’s a good wife, a good mother, and good at her job. But sometimes, Miri isn’t sure if she keeps her priorities straight, especially when it comes to her handsome, British boss, Andrew Kent. When a death occurs in her immediately family on the heels of being offered the career and personal opportunity of a lifetime in Bristol, England, Miri’s world seems to come crashing in around her, What Miri is about to discover is that sometimes tragedy is the catalyst that can bring more than sorrow and that comfort can be found in the unlikeliest of places.


            Flowers Darkly was an initially mysterious and ultimately heart-warming story. With Austenian and Dickensian influences, Mrs. Bentley weaves a tale of love, sorrow, discovery, and dreams. And for all you British obsessed bookworms out there, over half the story takes place in England!!! You’ll just die for the descriptions of the people, the buildings, the places, and the good old English weather!

            Nicholas and Simon were by far my most favorite characters in the book. Nicholas in every ounce the kind, loving English gentleman we’ve all dreamed about. You can practically hear the kindness in his voice and feel the warmth of his embrace as you read. A vicar, Simon reminds me very much of Sidney Chambers of James Runcie and PBS’s Grantchester mystery series. And since I like Sidney Chambers so much, I couldn’t help but love Simon as well. Simon provides smiles and laughter and heartwarming support that will leave you wishing you had a Simon in your life too.

            Flowers Darkly is the perfect story to read on vacation. It takes you around the world and shows you the best side of people while entertaining you all along the way. I highly recommend you read it!

Follow Gina J Bentley on Twitter at @ginajbentley!

Until next time,

        Lizzie <3

Friday, June 5, 2015

The Boy Who was Raised as a Dog - Dr. Bruce M. Perry & Maia Szalavitz

Hello Bookworms!!,
           I am back with a new review! Today's book came to me in an unusual way. Most people wouldn't find reading a book for a University class and enjoying it such a big surprise. It happens all the time. But to read a non-fiction book for a Social Work class and enjoy it enough to include it on your blog? Yea, you're going to want to read about this book!! So here we go!!

        Dr. Bruce Perry is a leader in the Psychiatric field. Practicing since the 1980's, Dr. Perry has seen some of the most dramatic changes to the fields of Psychiatry and Mental Health. In his book "The Boy Who Was Raised as a Dog" (co-authored by Maia Szalavitz), Dr. Perry shares some the cases that taught him the most about human needs, the mind, and treatment. And if you think its just another boring text book...its not.

         Readers, I have to admit, when I first heard that on top of taking 4 classes during the summer semester, I had to read a full length novel, at first I wasn't enthusiastic (even as much as I like to read). But when I ordered the book and realized it had actually been written in novel form, I became a little more open to the idea since reading novels is kinda my thing ;) . Once I started reading, I realized that this was probably going to be one of the most interesting books I have ever read in my Academic career so far.
          Dr. Perry is funny, insightful, and even heart-warming. Dr. Perry gives examples of actual cases he worked, some of them small cases no one has ever heard of before, some of them were national news like the children of the Davidian Cult in Waco, Texas. In each one, Dr. Perry fearlessly admits when he was wrong, over-confident, & was about to learn a lesson. In each case, Dr. Perry brings out what each case taught him about psychiatry and the needs of human beings. The reader is slowly educated on points that one can only learn in the field.
          I found myself entertained while I was learning. I was also amazed at the shear brilliance of Dr. Perry. If there was ever a person called to do a job, Dr. Perry has been called to his. I don't want to give anything away, but in the cases of one teenage girl (nicknamed Blue Raven) and one 6 year old boy who appeared to have RAD, the way that Dr. Perry realizes what is really going on is almost like reading Sherlock Holmes solve a mystery. It really shows what caliber of professional that is Dr. Perry.
          I highly recommend this book to students of Psychology, Psychiatry, Social Work, Mental Health, and anyone already working in the fields. It will be an education for beginners as well as seasoned professionals. "The Boy Who Was Raised as a Dog" is an amazing book. A Triumph!

Buy The Boy Who Was Raised as a Dog

Until next time,
               Lizzie <3

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Chateau of Secrets by Melanie Dobson

Hello Bookworms!
          I have a new review today! I recently won Chateau of Secrets by Melanie Dobson in a Goodreads Giveaway ( if you don't have a Goodreads account and you love to read, consider getting a Goodreads account. Its free, there are quizzes, polls, you can track your reading and set goals, book recommendations, and LOADS of easy entry giveaways!!) I read Chateau of Secrets and now I'd like to discuss it with you! Here we go!

        a young woman is hurtling down a path that she isn't entirely sure about. She is engaged to a man who she thinks loves her, though he seems to be having trouble showing that love lately, and she is about to leave a career she loves to follow her soon-to-be husband down the campaign trail. She could be the wife of the city's youngest mayor soon. But when an invitation to return to her family's old Chateau in France and do an interview comes, all of her plans may change.

1940's France
         Gisele is a well born French woman who loves her life at the Chateau. She lives with her father and brother (who is supposed to be with the military preparing to fight Hitler and his army). She is constantly fending off marriage proposals from her devious cousin, but all in all she cannot complain. Except that she is hiding a secret.
           Life gets much more complicated when the Nazi's take over her hometown and eventually, her home. Hiding a jewish child in plain sight is much harder when the Nazi's are under your roof. It is a dangerous time for Gisele and everyone she had held dear all these years. No one knows who will survive and who will not. How will Gisele ever survive the Nazi occupation with her life, her safety, and her sanity in tact? Can she?

           Read as these two women's journeys run side by side and both of them find strength they didn't know they had.

        Readers, I am in love with Chateau of Secrets! My only regret was that I didn't read it sooner. But even that wasn't so much of a regret as I ended up reading it in time for the 70th anniversary of VE Day when the Germans were officially defeated in World War II. It was a wonderful way to celebrate the anniversary of such a historical and life changing event.
          Chateau of Secrets is a thrill ride from start to finish. I confess that I was so engrossed in the novel it only took me 3-4 days to finish it. I was sad to see it come to an end. Chateau of Secrets is going to be one of those books that will always put a smile on my face when I see it on a shelf because of the pleasant memories of reading such an amazing journey.
           The imagery is beautiful, the story is faced paced and the suspense at times is heart-stopping. The love stories included are beautiful. There's something for everyone. The characters are so real I felt like I was reading a real life account rather than a historical fiction novel. I HIGHLY recommend that as many as will read Chateau of Secrets by Melanie Dobson and recommend it to your friends. It would make a great gift for history buffs and the reading obsessed alike.

Buy Chateau of Secrets

Until next time,
               Lizzie <3

Thursday, May 14, 2015

The Man with the Twisted Lip - Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

Hello Bookworms,

            I’m back with another of the Sherlock Holmes short stories that I am reading through. This time I want to talk about The Man with the Twisted Lip by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.


            A young woman is stressed by the disappearance of her husband. Her husband is an upstanding citizen who loves her dearly, but when she sees him yelling from the window of a street where he shouldn’t be and then he doesn’t come home, the young woman fears the worst. To clear the matter up she has contacted Sherlock Holmes. Sherlock knows of a homeless man who can answer a lot of questions. Can Sherlock find this man and make him talk? Is it too late for the woman’s husband?


            Oh my gosh readers! To read this story right behind The Five Orange Pips was just mind blowing! Once again, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s writing kept my mind engaged and kept me guessing right up to the end! I think that readers will thoroughly enjoy The Man with the Twisted Lip.
              A word of caution to parents who are helping their children through the Sherlock Holmes stories, know that a large portion of The Man with the Twisted Lip takes place in an opium den and there is quite a bit of talk about people using opium including Sherlock Holmes himself. It may not be one that you want to read to the kiddies just yet.

Links to the books I’m Using:

I am currently using two different published collections of Sherlock Holmes stories. Both of these collections can be found on Amazon for under $10 each. I have described and provided links to each below:
Currently I am reading The Original Illustrated Sherlock Holmes because they are published as they might have been seen the The Strand with Sidney Paget's original illustrations. You can find that here:
To fill in the gaps of stories that the first book left out, I bought The Complete Sherlock Holmes: a lovely two-volume box set that has all of the short stories and all 4 novels, but no illustrations. You can find it here:


 Either set would be a wonderful addition to your collection of books and with both being so inexpensive, why not get both? ;)


Until Next Time,

            Lizzie <3

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Review: Maisie Dobbs by Jacqueline Winspear

Hello Bookworms!,

            I’ve got a brand new review for you all today! I’ve read the first in a mystery series set in 1920’s England! Let’s explore Maisie Dobbs by Jacqueline Winspear!!


            Brilliant, beautiful Maisie Dobbs came from humble beginnings/ The daughter of a struggling costermonger, Maisie is sent to work for Lord Julian and Lady Rowan. When her brilliance is discovered by Lady Rowan, who is looking for a way to promote the lower classes, Maisie is introduced  to Dr. Maurice Blanche who teaches Maisie to use her mind.

            Years of education and one horrific war later, Maisie is taking over Dr. Blanche’s practice as an investigator. But her first case is more that it appears. What was to be a simple case of proving or disproving whether a man’s wife is having an affair, Maisie will uncover the sinister truth behind a well-guarded facility for disfigured war veterans and potentially save the life of Lord Julian and Lady Rowan’s son James…But how much will Maisie’s experience with the war affect her judgement?


            Oh my word readers…I am in awe! Jacqueline Winspear has created a masterpiece  in Maisie Dobbs. The New York Times Book Review said it best when they said “be prepared to be astonished”.

            Maisie Dobbs is a smashing heroine using her mastery of psychology (a subject I love), her keen intellect, and resourcefulness to bring truth to cases that are out of the ordinary. And yet she does it all with an amazing heart for other people. Maisie’s compassion for her clients is incredible.

            And every character in the Maisie Dobbs book is amazing! No character is wasted; everyone has something to contrub ite to the story. The cast of characters who will most likely become staples in the Maisie Dobbs series all have incredible depth and are as entertaining as they are insightful.

            For history buffs, this story is an amazing portrait of how World War I changed England forever and at what price. The journey through the year just before, during, and immediately after the war is sure to please those who have ample knowledge or simple a mild curiosity about English history.

            This writing is worthy to stand among the greats such as Sherlock Holmes and Miss Marple. I have been made an instant Maisie Dobbs fan through the reading of this book and I have every intention of reading the rest of the Maisie Dobbs series!

            I highly recommend that you read Maisie Dobbs by Jacqueline Winspear. I don’t think you’ll be disappointed!


Until next time,

            Lizzie <3

Review: Not My Father's Son by Alan Cumming

Hello Bookworms!,

          April is National Child Abuse Awareness Month and in this month, I want to bring you a review of a book that will shed some light on what abused children go through. So this year, I want to review Not My Father’s Son by Alan Cumming!


          Alan Cumming is a well-known celebrity, having played roles in GoldenEye, The Good Wife, Caberet (on stage), hosting PBS’s Masterpiece Mystery. But before that, he was a young boy growing up on Panmure Estate in Scotland, the son of head Forestry worker Alex Cumming.

          Alex Cumming was an extremely harsh man who put both Alan and his brother Tom through years of torment and abuse. This abuse has had lasting effects on both boys even into adulthood.

          When the popular Genealogy show “Who Do You Think You Are?” asks Alan to be a guest, and takes him on a journey to discover the truth behind his Maternal Grandfather who went missing, and a tabloid ignites Alex Cumming’s rage again, Alan’s life suddenly becomes very complicated as new revelations about himself and his family come in waves.


          Alan uses this book to brilliantly illustrate what it was like to grow up abused and to live as an adult in the aftermath of the abuse. At first, the constant switching between the past, the recent past, and the present seems haphazard, but as one continues, it becomes clear that the book is arranged this way to show how each experience is linked.

          The use of telling his own story and telling his grandfather’s story side by side is brilliant. Alan highlights the similarities between the life experiences of himself, his mother, his grandmother, his grandfather, his father, and his brother to show patterns in life experiences of different people who all took very different paths in their lives and how these similarities all meant different things for each person.

          This book is brilliant look into what it is to be abused and to try to overcome the effects of abuse from the mind of a person who ahas lived it. It is a great book to read if you are looking to understand what kind of effect abuse has on a child into their adulthood. I also love that Alan admits that he has had therapy to help himself overcome the abuse and you can see the positive application of the things Alan has learned in therapy in his daily life and in moments of crisis throughout the book.

          I applaud Alan Cumming for being so honest because it sheds a lot of light on the plight of abused children. If you are being abused, or know a child who is being abused, say something. Silence hides violence and allows it to continue. It IS your business and your responsibility to say something if you know a child is facing abuse. Speak to the proper authorities. Call DFACS or CPS, the school social worker, or the police and report what you know.

          People saw evidence that Alan was being abused, but no one did anything. Alan only escaped when he became and independent man. He was more fortunate that the many who die as a result of abuse every year.

If you know something, say something.



Until next time,
                   Lizzie <3

Mysteries May Help Dyslexic Children Enjoy Reading!!

Hello Bookworms,

            For children and adults with dyslexia, reading may not always come up on their list of favorite hobbies. Fortunately, Dyslexia doesn’t have to define you or take away your enjoyment of reading.


On Tuesday, March 24th, 2015, award winning actress and author Octavia Spencer (of The Help & Mom the TV Sitcom) admitted that dyslexia presented her with a challenge when trying  to read growing up. Octavia (I just LOVE that name! Don’t  you?!?! ) told the ladies of The Talk that she struggled to engage with most stories.

            What helped her learn to love reading? MYSTERIES!! Octavia said that mysteries were the stories that actually engaged her and encouraged her to finish the book.

            The Talk guest host Kelly Osborne also admitted to having Dyselxia and credited mysteries with helper her read as well. Kelly said that reading about crimes and investigations were helpful because it was based on seeking facts and once those facts were discovered in the story they remained concrete and there was one aim, solve the crime and that helped her.

            Have a child with Dyslexia? Are they struggling to enjoy reading? Try introducing them to mystery books! It could be the answer to helping them learn to reading!

            Don’t get discouraged if your child doesn’t like the first book they try. Be willing to try different mysteries by different authors because each author has a different writing style and chances are, your child will find one they really love.

            Have you already tried this with your Dyslexic child? What stories did they gravitate towards? Share the titles here and help other parents and Dyslexic children find books that will help their child love reading!!

            Another benefit of reading Mysteries? They introduce your child to deductive reasoning which builds their ability to think and reason in other areas of their lives!


Until next time,

            Elizabeth Gaskins

Friday, February 27, 2015

Henry Winkler Breaking New Ground with Childrens Books!!

Hello Bookworms!,
            For those of my bookworms who have or work with children, I want to draw your attention to a new development in children's books!

            Many of you will remember the actor Henry Winkler for his work as "The Fonz" on Happy Days. But Henry Winkler has also written children's books with Lin Oliver. His series, Hank Zipzer: The World's Greatest Underachiever includes 9 books so far and is about a 4th grader who, as an added twist, has dyslexia.

             Mr. Winkler, 60, has had dyslexia all of his life and remembers how hard it was for him and has always had a place in his heart for other children and adults living with dyslexia. But what Mr. Winkler has done to help Dyslexic children with the Hank Zipzer books is amazing!

           Christian Boer, 33, from Holland has invented a new font called "Dyslexia font" which makes it easier for those with dyslexia to read. Henry Winkler's new Hank Zipzer books are the first books in the United States to use this font!!

Well done Mr. Boer and Mr. Winkler!!!!

Another fun fact about Henry Winkler? He prefers you to buy books from independent bookstores!! :D

           Pick up a copy of Hank Zipzer in your local indie bookstore, at Amazon, or order them for your school!!

Until Next Time,
               Lizzie <3

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Wedding Wipeout by Jacob M. Appel

Hello Bookworms!,

        A few months ago, I won a book on The book was Wedding Wipeout by Jacob Appel. This was my first time reading a book by Mr. Appel, though I understand that this was not his first book published. The following is what I thought:


        Two spinsters have been prevented from marrying by a terrible stipulation in their late father’s will: If one sister marries, she is disinherited and the other sister takes the whole fortune.  Suddenly, Florence decides that this stipulation no longer matters to her and she is married but not before 3 extraordinary things happen. First, she tells her family that she’s broken the will. Second, she fights horribly with the one nephew she truly loves. Third, her sister whom she’s lived with and never fought with refuses to come down stairs for the wedding.

        While all these happenings are strange enough, everything changes when Florence is found dead in her bed. Soon, one of Florence’s lawyers will turn to a Rabbi who enjoys proving that every problem has a rational explanation. That Rabbi is Rabbi Kappelmacher.


        I always like a good mystery. When I looked at Wedding Wipeout on Goodreads it seemed like it might be really good.

        The mystery of Florence Einstein’s death was good. The explanation took thought. Unfortunately, there were too many red herrings. It took almost ten pages near the end just to address them and the Rabbi and other members talked in circles so much that it became a headache to keep all the information straight.

        A major issue I had with Wedding Wipeout was Rabbi Kappelmacher’s character. He rarely explained things to his assistant, yet when his assistant asked questions, Rabbi Kappelmacher berated Assistant Rabbi Steinmetz. It was upsetting to read and felt totally uncalled for. Also, Rabbi Kappelmacher is supposed to be a man of faith yet he lies constantly, is very self-centered, is rude, and smokes like a freight train. All of this plus the fact that several elements of the storyline were extremely unrealistic really ruined the story for me.

        Personally, I was just pretty glad when this book was over and I don’t think I’ll be reading any more Rabbi Kappelmacher Mysteries. However, I saw many people who gave the book 5 stars so if you like mysteries, It might be worth a try (Though for me, I’d rather have G.K. Chesterton’s Father Brown. ;) ).
View Wedding Wipeout on Amazon

Until next time,

                Lizzie <3

Thursday, February 5, 2015

International Book Giving Day!!

Hello Bookworms!!,
            Every February, we all race to the stores to buy good gifts for our sweethearts! Candy, Cards, and Roses oh my! But there is another holiday on February 14th! International Book Giving Day!!

            On International Book Giving Day, the goal is to spread the love of reading to children  by doing something to put books in children's hands! Donate to a local book drive or library! Give books to an after school program or doctor's office! Have children of your own, little brothers and sisters or nieces and nephews? Give them a book with their candy on Valentine's Day!

            Don't have a child but do have a sweetheart? A book is still a great gift! Give your girlfriend a love story with the flowers that will entertain her for hours! Ladies, give your guy a book he'll enjoy with a red cover to fit the Valentine's theme (like Eldest from the Eregon series or A good James Patterson mystery with a red cover!)!

Remember FEBRUARY 14TH IS INTERNATIONAL BOOK GIVING DAY!!! Help spread the love of reading to a new generation!!

What to know more about the organization working to help kids learn to love to read each year? Click HERE! or Follow them on Twitter: @giveabook and take a look at the hashtag #giveabook!!

Until next time!!,
                 Lizzie <3

A Look Back at 2014!

Hello Bookworms,

          2014 was a great year! In this post I’d like to take a moment and review the highlights of this year’s blog!

Let’s start with interviews!

          This year See Lizzie Read brought you two great reviews!

          This summer I was privileged to get to interview the Countess of Carnarvon, the current lady of Highclere Castle, the setting of Downton Abbey, and author of two books about Highclere’s history!

          This fall I was privileged to interview Maisie Dobbs author Jacqueline Winspear about her famous female detective and her brand new stand-alone novel The Care and Management of Lies!

There were many great reviews as well of fiction and non-fiction, novels as well as short stories! I was able to read 25 books this year and while I haven’t published reviews on all of them yet, I can tell you which 5 (in no particular order) were my favorites!

  1. The Sherlockian by Graham Moore
  2. Out of the Shadows by Georgina Doyle
  3. Hobbit Lessons by Devin Brown
  4. The Lost Library by A.M. Dean
  5. C.S. Lewis, My Godfather by Laurence Harwood

          I thoroughly enjoyed 2014 and I cannot wait to share more reviews and interviews with you in 2015!!

Until Next Time,

                   Lizzie <3

C.S. Lewis, My Godfather by Laurence Harwood

Hello Bookworms,

            For my first review of 2015, I want to talk to you about a wonderful non-fiction book about the life of C. S. Lewis. This book was written by C.S. Lewis’s godson, Mr. Laurence Harwood, son of C.S. Lewis’s dear friend, Cecil Harwood.
            I would like to apologize for the lack of pictures. There has been a malfunction with my blog and we'll have to work without pictures for a while :-( , however, you can see the cover of the book if you click the link to buy which will take you to the Amazon page for the book.


            C.S. Lewis was a Christian, a professor, and the author of the Chronicles of Narnia, The Screwtape Letters, Mere Christianity, and many other works. While there are plenty of biographies about the life of Mr. Lewis, few of them are written from the perspective of someone who knew him personally.

            This book takes the letters C.S. Lewis wrote to the Harwood family, comprised of Cecil Harwood, his wife Daphne, and their children, and compiles them into an intriguing narrative about what C.S. Lewis meant to the people closest to him. The Harwoods’ son, Laurence, has lectured on Lewis’ life for years and has now put down his knowledge for posterity so that generations to come may know what it was like to be a friend to and loved by one of the great authors of literary history.


            I loved C.S. Lewis, My Godfather. C.S. Lewis has interested me for some time and to read what it was really like to know him and spend time with him from the perspective of a man who actually did know and spend time with him was amazing. To read Lewis’s own words and see them written in his own hand through the photographs of the letters was such a privilege. I am grateful to Mr. Harwood for making this information available to the public.

            This book gives us a look not just at Lewis the author, but Lewis the friend, husband, father, and mentor to his many godchildren and students. The reader gets an intimate look at what Lewis was like as a friend through good times and bad even through disagreements about religion. The reader also gets to see the playful, boyish side that Lewis kept throughout his life as well as his generosity and heart for people. And it all comes from a man who witnessed it firsthand.

            This book is a great way to learn about who C.S. Lewis was, not just as a writer, but as a person. You’ll enjoy seeing the old photos and copies of his actual letters as well as reading anecdotes about time spent with Lewis, known as “Jack” to his friends. At close to 150 pages, C.S. Lewis, My Godfather is worth the read! I highly recommend it to anyone who enjoys C.S. Lewis or literary history in general.

Buy C.S. Lewis, My Godfather HERE

Until Next Time,

            Lizzie <3

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

What Did You Get for Christmas?

Hello Bookworms!,

          I hope all of you had a productive #NaNoWriMo! I look forward to seeing all the books that will come from the new manuscripts! A lot has happened since my last post! First, there was Thanksgiving. Then, I graduated University, Magna Cum Laude, with my Bachelor’s degree in Social Work!! Then Christmas and finally New Years!  But I didn’t stop reading! In fact, I met my Goodreads goal of reading 25 books in a year! Now its 2015 and I cannot wait to share new reviews, interviews, and more with you!

          But first, I want to discuss the bookish Christmas gifts we all got!

          I was blessed that my family knows how much I love books! First, I got…BOOKS! Lol!! I was given, C.S. Lewis, My Godfather by Laurence Harwood, The Power of Being Thankful Devotional by Joyce Meyer,

          Then, my amazing mother looked at some photos of bookish jewelry I had been fascinated by and found the companies that made them!! I received handmade stacked books earrings, a ring made from the pages of Pride and Prejudice, and a “Time to Read” pendant!! Thank you Momma!!

          In the bookish movies department, I received the Jane Austen Emma mini series and Endeavor (adapted from Colin Dexter’s Inspector Morse novels!)

         I even got a Reading Wrap and warm fuzzy socks to cuddle up and read on these cold winter nights!

I think it’s safe to say that my family understands how passionate I am about my hobby! :D

          Did you get a book you’d been wanting? A movie adaptation? A new bookshelf from Ikea? I’m giving you a chance to brag and be excited about it!!

I hope you had a very bookish Christmas! And here’s to many good books to read in 2015!!

Until next time,

        Lizzie <3