Thursday, 30 November 2017

Friday, 3 November 2017

Book Review ~ The Last Hours by Minette Walters



I haven’t read anything to do with the black death. It’s been mentioned in books, but nothing that centers around it. And knowing it was such a horrible disease/plague, reading it really hit me. Especially people’s views of it being Gods will, that really grated me.

My favourite character would have to be Lady Anne. For a woman in that time period, she is very forward thinking, and I think that’s why she is such an admirable character. Her daughter on the other hand, well let’s just say, bitch doesn’t cover it.
I do feel sorry for Lady Eleanor, you will find out later on in the book, but her actions speak louder. No matter how “badly” she was treated, the things she says and does is beyond anything I’ve ever read. Bitch literally does not convey what she truly is.

Minette is a great story teller, you are hooked throughout the book, and the level of research to go into this, amazing.
I’ll definitely be picking up more of her books.

I thought this was a stand-alone book, it wasn’t until I got to the end that I found out there is going to be another book out next year. I don’t know if I can wait that long, I need to know more.

If you love history, even if you don’t, I think everyone should pick this book up. Just to know what it was like when this was happening, is enlightening and fascinating.

My star rating is:

Wednesday, 1 November 2017

#nov24in48readathon TBR

Guess who’s doing another readathon…
Okay, if you didn’t guess me, then wow.

This time, I will be doing it with one of my best friends in the whole entire world, Tera. You should definitely give her a follow on her blog;
If you haven’t guessed from the title, we will be reading 24 hours in 48 hours. So, from 9pm Wednesday to 9pm Friday my time. We will both be starting and finishing at the same time, so minus 13 hours and that’s when Tera will start.
I’m terrible at describing things, but I’m hoping that made some sense.

Again, I won’t be doing a TBR. As always, I never ever stick to them. If I don’t finish The Last Hours by Minette Walters (yes, I’m still reading that), before the readathon starts, then that would be my first book.

You can follow along on Twitter and Instagram stories.

Until next time, happy reading.

Sunday, 29 October 2017

#WitchyCatReadathon ~ Wrap Up

I love it when an on the spur of the moment idea becomes a brilliant idea. I did this because I felt bad for forgetting to do #readathonbyzoe 24-hour readathon, so I thought I’ll do my own instead. Not knowing exactly when I will start, or even if I could do it.

But once Saturday started, I knew 8am was the perfect time to start. And once I started, I couldn’t stop reading.
I wanted to post updates on Twitter and Instagram stories, but I was so engrossed in The Last Hours by Minette Walters, I didn’t update as much as I wanted to.
So, if you are thinking that I posted quite a bit, then just think, I wanted to do more…

Anyway, I really enjoyed this readathon. I was (still) sick with the cold, which means I didn’t read as much as I was hoping for. But overall, not a bad effort.


Be sure I’ll definitely be doing more of these readathons, maybe with a friend…stay tuned.

Until next time, happy reading.

Friday, 27 October 2017

Weekend Reads #1

When I was thinking of blog posts to do; I want to post more frequently, and of course have a schedule. Which, for now, is every Tuesday, Thursday and Friday. I might add more days if I have more to post.

So, every Friday will be Weekend Reads.
Just letting you know what I’ll be reading over the weekend, simple as that.

Hope you enjoy.

I’ve decided, since I feel bad for forgetting to participate in #readathonbyzoe, that I will do my own 24-hour readathon this Saturday.
Of course, like with everything, I will not be doing a TBR. If I don’t finish The Last Hours by Minette Walters by Saturday, then I’ll be reading that for sure.

Then whatever I feel like after that.

I’m hoping to get a lot of reading done, not for my Goodreads reading challenge, which I have completed, just because I always die down half way through the year. I’m in the mood to read, let’s not stop now.

Until next time, happy reading.

Thursday, 26 October 2017

Book Review ~ The Shakespeare Stories Box Set by Andrew Matthews illustrated by Tony Ross

box set

I believe these are a great introduction, to not only young readers, but anyone new to Shakespeare. Actually, anyone who loves Shakespeare in general.
Easy to read with great illustrations, that have a Quentin Blake feel to them.

I’ll be reviewing each book on its own.

I found Hamlet to be interesting, not just the book but his character. He is trying to find proof that his uncle killed his father, but his choices in finding out backfires.
I liked that when his father’s ghost appears, he doesn’t automatically believe in it. Maybe he doesn’t want to.
Pretending to be mad to get answers was obviously not the best idea, could kind of see where that was going to lead to.
Don’t expect happily ever after when reading this, not even close.

Another great one.
King Lear decides he is old and no longer wants to be King, dividing his kingdom between his three daughters. He asks them who loves them the most, which ends up with the youngest daughter, because she didn’t declare her undying love like her elder sisters, she is banished.
You need to read the book to see where that story leads to, but I think this story is about the elderly; what role do they play in society and who takes care of them.
What I really want to know is, why did Edgar order the death of Cordelia?... 

Macbeth would have to be my second favourite Shakespeare play. (Romeo and Juliet is number one).
He has a secret wish to become King, and when he comes across three witches who proficies that this will come true, not only is he overcome by this, but also his wife. They both essentially become mad with power, achieving and keeping it.
I read at the back of this book, that Shakespeare seems to suggest, the potential for evil is lurking inside us all, and we must constantly be on our guard against it.
I cannot wait to see the film adaptation with Michael Fassbender and Marion Cotillard.

Othello never loved before, so he doesn’t know the feeling, which leads to a man who is more than likely to become jealous.
At the back of the book, it says this book is about envy and jealousy, both very different.
Jealousy is an obsession, a consuming passion that can take complete control over someone and cause them to twist innocent words and actions. This is Othello. He was easily persuaded that his loving wife was cheating on him.
We envy people who have things we wish we had ourselves; this is Iago. He was consumed with this, he would destroy anything in his path to get what he wants. 

I have many copies of Romeo and Juliet. I absolutely love this story. It’s a tragic young love story that every time you read it, I seem to scream at with the page or the screen. Yelling at Romeo to not drink the poison because Juliet isn’t really dead.
But, they needed to die. Because of them, the long feud between the Capulets and the Montagues ended.
It’s beautifully sad.


I found this to be romantic with a bit of comedy. The comedy being the disguise Rosalind seems to get away with.
I don’t think the play is intended to be realistic. In a world where disguises convince everybody, villains have a change of heart, and love wins in the end.
Just the way we like it.

It was a great story about love and friendship. Actually, I was more moved by the friendship between Bassanio and Antonio.
Antonio, even though his heart is in the right place with his friends, I still found his treatment of Shylock to be cruel. No wonder the man resented him.
And, unlike some of the previous books I’ve read so far, this one does end happily ever after.

Love is madness. A Midsummer Night’s Dream is exactly that, madness.
That’s all I really have to say about this.
Crazy, stupid, love.

This would have to be my least favourite so far.
I didn’t believe the love, especially between Hero and Claudio.
He believes a lie that Hero is being unfaithful to him, so he embarrasses her on their wedding day. She faints and they come up with a ruse to say she had died, so Claudio will come back to her or feel sorry for what he has done.
This is the part that confuses me, and to me shows that he doesn’t truly love Hero. Hero’s father tells Claudio the only way you can make it up to me, is to marry someone else in my family, and Claudio agrees. I’m sorry, but if you truly loved Hero, you definitely won’t be marrying anyone else two days after your wedding with her, and one day after her funeral.
The only thing I like was Beatrice’s wit.

I take it back, I’m not a fan of this one.
I know this was written at a time when a good wife was expected to be meek and obedient, and the husband was very much the head of the household, but that doesn’t mean I can’t find it displeasing now.
I’m sick of stories like this, where if a woman is sharped tonged and feisty, she needs to be controlled.
I’m sorry, I’m just looking it through modern eyes.

At first, we are to believed that Prospero is evil, using magic to get his way, but he actually fixing a wrong that was done to him years ago.
This is how it should have gone with Romeo and Juliet; their families should’ve right wrongs, and let these two young lovers live.
I cannot wait to read this in William Shakespeare’s hand, and possibly see if there is a movie.

I think Shakespeare made fun of people being in love, and how stupid one person can be.
Take for instance Olivia. She seems like an intelligent woman, who doesn’t take to wooing so easily, then as soon as she meets Viola disguised as Cesario, she is a love-sick puppy.
This shows that it’s not the clothes that someone wears, but what is truly in their heart.
I would definitely would’ve loved to see this played on staged for the first time.

Talking about plays I would love to see when it was first acted, is this one. The battles and just the theatrics of it, would’ve been spectacular.
I don’t know a whole lot about Henry V, but after reading this, I definitely want to know more. I wonder if any that was told was true? 


Richard III is portrayed as a villain, ruthless and cruel, but he also has a dark sense of humour. Which it oddly makes him enjoyable to read, and probably watch.
When Shakespeare wrote and performed this play, it was around the time of Elizabeth I, who is the granddaughter to Henry VII. So, you can see why he modified accuracy for not only to please Elizabeth, but also his audience. Shakespeare wasn’t a historian, but a dramatist.

I know a lot about Julius Caesar, especially around the time of his assassination. It was very interesting to read it told as a play, written by William Shakespeare.
Like I’ve stated before, Shakespeare isn’t a historian, but a dramatist, so even though he might not have captured the honesty and truth in it, he definitely made it fascinating.
It’s ironic that Brutus thought if he killed Caesar, Rome will be safer, but because of his actions, he started a chain of events that lead to ruthless dictators, the Emperors. 

Enjoy this for the story and not the accuracy.
That is what I’m telling myself anyway.
I know A LOT about Cleopatra, since I’ve been obsessing over her for 17 years now, so even though little details are accurate, not the complete of it.
I would’ve love to have seen this played for the first time, (I say that with all his plays). Just to get the sense of what the audience were feeling. It would’ve been edge of your seat exciting.

My star rating for Shakespeare Stories
(complete box set)

Tuesday, 24 October 2017

Dewey's 24 Hour Readathon ~ Wrap Up

Pages Read: 

Books Read:
King Lear
Romeo and Juliet
As You Like It
The Merchant of Venice

So, it seems this readathon was all about Shakespeare.
I bought a box set of illustrated Shakespeare plays not long ago, it is for junior readers, so it’s easier to read, straight to the point books. And of course, it has some cool illustrations to go along with it.

If you haven’t read Shakespeare before, I think this is a great start to it for young and old. Once you get to read Shakespeare and his style of writing, you will understand what is going on.
As well as the books listed above, the following are the complete list of books in the box set:
A Midsummer Night’s Dream
Much Ado About Nothing
The Taming of the Shrew
The Tempest
Twelfth Night
Henry V
Richard III
Julius Caesar
Antony and Cleopatra

I will be doing reviews for each of the books that I read, not sure if I should do it all in one review or individually. Stay tuned for that.

Until next time, happy reading.

Saturday, 21 October 2017

Dewey's 24 Hour Readathon

It’s that time of year again, and unlike #readbyzoereadathon, I have not forgotten about the Dewey’s 24 Hour Readathon.
The only reason I remembered was because I realised I missed the #readbyzoereadathon and made sure I didn’t forget this one.

Anyway, let’s not talk about my memory any longer, or lack thereof. I’m not doing a TBR because I never stick to them. I’m hoping to finish The Narrow Road to the Deep North by Richard Flanagan, and if I get that accomplished, then whatever I feel like reading after, and so on.

For my time zone, I’m starting at 8pm tonight. Which is a perfect time, as my kids will hopefully be in bed.
If you want to find out what time you will be starting, just click here.

I’ll be updating on twitter and Instagram, just click the links to follow along.

Until next time, happy reading.

Thursday, 19 October 2017

Book Review ~ Outlander by Diana Gabaldon


First time I read Outlander was before the TV show was even considered.
I remember a certain part towards the end, I had to put the book down and step away from it for a few days. I remember talking to my partner and saying, “It is like when you are going in one direction, then all of a sudden, you are spinning out of control”. Definitely did not see that coming.

Second time was after I found out it was being turned into a TV show. I had to read it again to refresh my memory before watching it. I didn’t end up watching the show (still haven’t), but I seemed to have loved it as much as the first time.

This is my third time I’ve read Outlander, I’m older, I still haven’t watched the TV series, but I now own more books in the series.
I still love it; the time travel and the characters, but I didn’t love it as much.
It’s hard for a woman today to see that it was okay for a husband to beat his wife because she disobeyed him. Today, we know this is not allowed, and we are lucky enough to have resources to stop this. So, my modern mind repelled from it, but then I realised this was in a time period where this sought of action wasn’t frowned upon. You were essentially owned by your husbands. I know, disgusting right.
So, when you read things like this from certain time periods, just be thankful we have grown as a society where this is not on. I take it more like a lesson, we need to face what happened in the past so we aren’t stupid enough to repeat it.

Anyway, I just wanted to get that off my chest, I’ve seen in a lot of reviews where people didn’t like that part and rating the book on that alone.

Other than that, I still loved this book. It might be long, but I couldn’t put it down. I was engrossed in it from page 1 to page 850.

This time I will definitely be watching the TV show and reading the following books in the series.

My star rating is: