The Book Lover’s Bucket List: A Tour of Great British Literature by Caroline Taggart (Review)

The Book Lover’s Bucket List: A Tour of Great British Literature by Caroline Taggart

Blurb

Exploring the gardens, monuments, museums, and churches with walks both urban and rural, from the Brontë parsonage in Haworth to Zadie Smith’s North London and Shakespeare’s Stratford, The Book Lover’s Bucket List takes you through some 100 wonderfully described literary sites and landscapes, complete with colour destination photographs and illustrations from the British Library collections.

Start with Chaucer, Dickens, and Larkin in Westminster Abbey. Spend an afternoon at Colliers Wood Nature Reserve in Nottinghamshire and take in the lake D. H. Lawrence described as “all grey and visionary, stretching into the moist, translucent vista of trees and meadow.” Venture south to Cornwall and work your way up to the Scottish Highlands, taking detours to Northern Ireland in the west and Norfolk in the east.

There are gardens, monuments, museums, churches, and a surprising quantity of stained glass. There are walks both urban and rural, where you can explore real landscapes or imaginary haberdasher’s shops. There‘s the club where Buck’s Fizz was invented and a pub where you can eat Sherlock’s Steak & Ale Pie. And there’s a railway station where you can stroke the muzzle of one of the world’s most famous and endearing bears.

Wherever you are in the United Kingdom, you’re never far from something associated with a good book.

Review

My best friend bought this book for me and I have been dipping in and reading a few pages a day ever since. I have also been making a big list of the places I want to visit as well which has been worrying my husband. 

This book is divided up into sections for the different parts of Great Britain and each section has places of importance to different authors. The book tells you about the place and its history and what it is like now and whether you can visit it or not. There are also very handy websites listed for the places so you can investigate for yourself about a property. 

There are so many authors from Great Britain mentioned in this book and the places that meant something to them, whether it be where they wrote their great works or places mentioned in their works, or like Lyme Park where a famous adaptation of the book was filmed. Yes, the wet shirt of Mr Darcy was even mentioned in this book. 

Taggart’s writing is informative and funny and regularly made me laugh. There were also extra bits and pieces added about the authors and the books which were added to the different sections that gave extra information and extra places to visit.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book and I am really looking forward to visiting some of the places. I give this book 4 out of 5 Dragons. 

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Purchase Links

Book Depository | Foyles | Waterstones | Wordery

(All purchases made using one of the above affiliate links gives a small percentage of money to myself with no extra cost to yourself. All proceeds go towards the upkeep of this blog. Thank you ever so much, your support is gratefully received.)

About the author 

Caroline Taggart worked in publishing as an editor of popular non-fiction for 30 years before being asked by Michael O’Mara Books to write I USED TO KNOW THAT, which became a Sunday Times bestseller. Following that she co-wrote MY GRAMMAR AND I (OR SHOULD THAT BE ‘ME’?) As a result of these books and HER LADYSHIP’S GUIDE TO THE QUEEN’S ENGLISH, published by Batsford, she has appeared frequently on BBC Breakfast and on national and regional radio, talking about language, grammar and Pythagoras’s theorem. Her record is 16 radio interviews in one day on the subject of exclamation marks.

If you enjoy reading my blog and would like to make a donation I would be very grateful. Thank you

WWW Wednesday: 15/09/2021

WWW Wednesday is a meme hosted by Sam at Taking on a World of Words.

The rules are answer the questions below and share a link to your blog in the comments section of Sam’s blog.

  • What are you currently reading?
  • What did you recently finish reading?
  • What do you think you will read next?

Hello!

I hope everyone has had a good week so far.

I have been enjoying reading this week and I must admit as much as I am enjoying my dissertation I am looking forward to finishing it so I can binge read some fiction.

What I am Currently Reading

I have just started SPQR, I really enjoy Mary Beard’s writing, she is so informative but also fun to read. Prince Lestat continues and will be finished soon.

What I have Recently Finished Reading

I have just finished this and really enjoyed it. A great book to dip into.

What I Think I will Read Next

Usually I have many options as I am never sure what I will read next. This time though I know I will be reading this one because I have been desperate to read it.

Please drop me a comment with your WWW Wednesday and I will head over for a visit.

Happy Reading

If you enjoy reading my blog and would like to make a donation I would be very grateful. Thank you

WWW Wednesday: 8/09/2021

WWW Wednesday is a meme hosted by Sam at Taking on a World of Words.

The rules are answer the questions below and share a link to your blog in the comments section of Sam’s blog.

  • What are you currently reading?
  • What did you recently finish reading?
  • What do you think you will read next?

Hello!

I hope everyone is having a good week so far. I have been busy teaching and dissertation writing but thankfully I have also managed a bit of reading as well.

What I am Currently Reading

I am slowly getting into reading Prince Lestat and the Realms of Atlantis as it has been a long time since I read a book by Anne Rice.

What I have Recently Finished Reading

This was a good read and one that I could not put down. I can’t wait to read the next in the series.

What I Think I will Read Next

I’m planning on still reading hardbacks for another month so most likely it will be one of these.

Please drop me a message with your WWW Wednesday and I will head over for a visit.

Happy Reading

If you enjoy reading my blog and would like to make a donation I would be very grateful. Thank you

Death of Darkness by Dianne Duvall (Review)

Death of Darkness by Dianne Duvall

Blurb

Seth has led the Immortal Guardians for thousands of years. With them fighting by his side, he has protected humans from psychotic vampires, defeated corrupt mercenary armies, defended military bases under attack, and more. But the latest enemy to rise against the Immortal Guardians has proven to be a formidable one, wielding almost as much power as Seth. His goal is simple. He wants to watch the world burn. And he will use every means at his disposal to accomplish it. Seth and his Immortal Guardians have succeeded thus far in staving off Armageddon despite heartbreaking losses. But they have never before faced such danger. Seth has only one wish: to protect his Immortal Guardians family and ensure the continuation of humanity by defeating his foe. But then Leah walks into his life and sparks a new desire. 

Leah Somerson has suffered losses of her own. It has taken her a long time to rebuild her life and find some semblance of peace. Then one night a tall, dark, powerful immortal with what appears to be the weight of the world on his shoulders stumbles into her shop, and everything changes. Peace and contentment are no longer enough. Now she wants more. She wants to find happiness. She wants to erase the darkness in Seth’s eyes and replace it with love and laughter. She knows he’s different in ways that make most fear him. Even some of his immortal brethren keep a careful distance. But Leah will not. Nor will she shy away when danger strikes.

Review

It has been a couple of years since I have read a book by Dianne Duvall and I’m not sure why because her books are brilliant. 

Each book of the Immortal Guardians series focuses on one main character but the other characters also feature within the story which is always nice because you can keep up to date on the characters you have already met in the previous books. This book is focused on Seth who is the leader of the Immortal Guardians. 

The battle against Gershom is still raging and Seth and his Immortal Guardians are starting to get overwhelmed with the chaos that Gershom is creating and Seth is trying to protect everyone and not looking after himself. Then Leah enters his life and everything begins to change. 

Leah owns the toy shop that Adira loves and because of a chance encounter where Seth takes Adira to the shop instead of Ami, Seth meets Leah and from that moment on can’t stop thinking about her. Leah is an interesting character and takes everything in her stride when finding out the truth about Seth and his Immortal Guardian family. I will be honest she does tend to take everything rather too laid back for me which at times is rather unbelievable. 

I also enjoyed learning more about the origins of Seth, Zach, Jared and the rest of the Others and I hope we will learn even more as the series continues. The humour in the book was also up to its usual standard and I was happily laughing away to myself when reading.

Overall, I enjoyed the book immensely and couldn’t put it down but the reason the book did not get the full 5 Dragons and only 4 was because Leah was just a little too unrealistic for me and at times annoying. 

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Purchase Links

Book Depository

(All purchases made using one of the above affiliate links gives a small percentage of money to myself with no extra cost to yourself. All proceeds go towards the upkeep of this blog. Thank you ever so much, your support is gratefully received.)

About the author

Dianne Duvall is the New York Times and USA Today Bestselling Author of the Immortal Guardians and The Gifted Ones series. When she isn’t writing, Dianne is active in the independent film industry and has even appeared on-screen, crawling out of a moonlit grave and wielding a machete like some of the vampires she so loves to create in her books.

The Weekly Brief

Hello!

I hope everyone is having a good weekend so far. I played for a wedding yesterday and have two services this morning to do, the rest of the day will be working on my dissertation whilst the husband watches the Grand Prix but hoping to get some reading in as well today.

Posts this Week

Currently Reading

I read all the Lestat books when I was a teenager but I haven’t read this one so I thought it was high time I did.

Acquired Books

I went on a little book buying spree. I can’t wait to get reading all these exciting books.

Happy Reading

If you enjoy reading my blog and would like to make a donation I would be very grateful. Thank you

Reading My Height in Books #8

Hello!

I thought it was time for the monthly update on the massive book stack of all the books I have read so far this year.

Another 4 books have been added to the pile.

The height of the stack is now exactly 39 inches which means I just have 28 inches to go. Fingers crossed I can manage it. I think once my dissertation is complete then I will hopefully read more books.

Here are the pictures from the previous months.

Happy Reading.

If you enjoy reading my blog and would like to make a donation I would be very grateful. Thank you

WWW Wednesday: 1/09/2021

WWW Wednesday is a meme hosted by Sam at Taking on a World of Words.

The rules are answer the questions below and share a link to your blog in the comments section of Sam’s blog.

  • What are you currently reading?
  • What did you recently finish reading?
  • What do you think you will read next?

Hello!

I can’t quite believe it is September already. I hope everyone is having a good week so far.

What I am Currently Reading

I still dipping into The Book Lover’s Bucket List and loving it. Death of Darkness is ongoing and I am really enjoying it.

What I have Recently Finished Reading

It took me a while to get into this but once I did I really enjoyed it. Review.

What I Think I will Read Next

I am still sticking to hardbacks at the moment.

Please drop me a comment with your WWW Wednesday and I will head over for a visit.

Happy Reading

If you enjoy reading my blog and would like to make a donation I would be very grateful. Thank you

August 2021 Wrap Up

Hello!

August was a good month for me as I got to catch up with friends that I haven’t seen for a long time and go away for a little holiday. I also managed to do some reading which is always good.

Statistics

Books

Pages: 320

Format Read: Paperback

Dragon Rating: 🐲🐲

Review

Pages: 424

Format Read: Hardback

Dragon Rating: 🐲🐲🐲🐲🐲

Review

Pages: 30

Format Read: Paperback

Dragon Rating: 🐲🐲🐲🐲

Pages: 32

Format Read: Paperback

Dragon Rating: 🐲🐲🐲🐲🐲

Pages: 416

Format Read: Hardback

Dragon Rating: 🐲🐲🐲

Review

Pages: 416

Format Read: Hardback

Dragon Rating: 🐲🐲🐲🐲

Review

41/70 Goodreads Challenge

Still behind on the Goodreads Challenge but I am determined to catch up once the dissertation is finished.

Please drop me a comment if you want to chat about any of the books.

Happy Reading

If you enjoy reading my blog and would like to make a donation I would be very grateful. Thank you

The Familiars by Stacey Halls (Review)

The Familiars by Stacey Halls

Blurb

Fleetwood Shuttleworth is 17 years old, married, and pregnant for the fourth time. But as the mistress at Gawthorpe Hall, she still has no living child, and her husband Richard is anxious for an heir. When Fleetwood finds a letter she isn¹t supposed to read from the doctor who delivered her third stillbirth, she is dealt the crushing blow that she will not survive another pregnancy.

When she crosses paths by chance with Alice Gray, a young midwife, Alice promises to help her give birth to a healthy baby, and to prove the physician wrong. 

When Alice is drawn into the witchcraft accusations that are sweeping the North-West, Fleetwood risks everything by trying to help her. But is there more to Alice than meets the eye? 

As the two women’s lives become inextricably bound together, the legendary trial at Lancaster approaches, and Fleetwood¹s stomach continues to grow. Time is running out, and both their lives are at stake. 

Only they know the truth. Only they can save each other.

Review

After reading Mrs England I really wanted to read more of Stacey Halls’ work and thankfully I remembered I had The Familiars on one of my many TBR piles. When I started reading this I struggled to get into it to start with as it didn’t seem to hook me in like Mrs England had but once I was about a third of the way in I couldn’t put the book down. 

This book is based on the real Pendle witch trials that happened in 1612 and the characters are named after real life characters from that period but the story is devised by Stacey Halls. 

Fleetwood is the main character in this book and to start with she comes across as rather immature and a little bit spoiled but as the book goes on you see her grow up and become a strong woman. It is just sad that the reason she grows up so quickly is because of the blows that life throws at her during this book. 

Alice is Fleetwood’s first real friend and her midwife. She is also Fleetwood’s only hope to bring into the world a healthy baby and keep her own life. Alice is a lovely character and clearly a woman who knows her own mind, she is intelligent and knows the way to help people medically with the items available for the time period. She is also lost and needs someone to be her friend and fight her corner. 

Richard is Fleetwood’s husband and to be honest I did not like him. He gives Fleetwood more freedom than most women would have had in the 1600’s but it also seems to come with a price. He comes across as vain and rather big headed. 

The story is really about strong women who are not understood by men and so they are punished because of it. It shows just how tough life was for a woman in the 1600’s and that even wealthy women were not well treated at times. I really enjoyed this book but I did struggle at the beginning so I am giving this book 4 out 5 Dragons.

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Product Links

Book Depository | Foyles | Waterstones | Wordery

(All purchases made using one of the above affiliate links gives a small percentage of money to myself with no extra cost to yourself. All proceeds go towards the upkeep of this blog. Thank you ever so much, your support is gratefully received.)

About the author

Stacey Halls grew up in Rossendale, Lancashire, as the daughter of market traders. She has always been fascinated by the Pendle witches. She studied journalism at the University of Central Lancashire and moved to London aged 21. She was media editor at The Bookseller and books editor at Stylist.co.uk, and has also written for Psychologies, the Independent and Fabulous magazine, where she now works as Deputy Chief Sub Editor. The Familiars is her first novel.

If you enjoy reading my blog and would like to make a donation I would be very grateful. Thank you