On Murder Considered as One of the Fine Arts by Thomas De Quincey (Review)

On Murder Considered as One of the Fine Arts by Thomas De Quincey

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About the author

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Thomas De Quincey was born on the 15th August 1785 and died on the 8th December 1859. He was an English essayist best known for Confessions of an English Opium-Eater.

Blurb

The provocative early-nineteenth-century essayist casts a blackly comic eye over the aesthetics of murder through the ages.

Review

So on to the fourth Penguin Little Black Classics book and this one really took me out of my comfort zone. I picked this book up thinking normally I would never dream of reading a book about murder being a fine art and to be honest after this I do not think I will read another book about murder being an art form.

I did struggle a great deal with this book and I really did not see the comic side in it that is mentioned in the blurb. I found it very hard to get into and very disturbing that people seem to enjoy studying murder. I also did not like the fact that murder was referred to as an art form. However it wasn’t all bad, I did find certain little stories inside it interesting, for instance the story about Descartes was very interesting.

I think it was a disturbing essay and it made me wonder what type of mind Quincey has to come up with this essay. However the essay was an eye opener about things that were happening in that point of history. However I didn’t really enjoy the book and wouldn’t read it again. This is why sadly I have only given the book 1 Dragon out of 5.

To purchase this book from Waterstones please click here.

Lady Book Dragon.

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The Endgame by Jeffrey Archer (Review)

The Endgame by Jeffrey Archer

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About the author

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Jeffrey Archer was born in England in 1940, he is a former politician and author. Archer was a member of parliament from 1969-1974 but did not seek re-election due to a financial scandal that almost bankrupt him. Facing bankruptcy Archer began to write and in so doing revived his fortunes. Archer’s political career has been filled with scandal and in 2001 he was sent to jail for perjury and perverting the course of justice, in 2003 he was released. All his life experiences influence his writing and make for interesting reading.

Blurb

Taken from To Cut a Long Story Short, Jeffrey Archer’s fourth collection of short stories, The Endgame is an irresistible, witty and ingenious short read.

After he becomes a widower, wealthy Cornelius Barrington decides to test the loyalty of his family and friends to himself, or his money, by declaring himself bankrupt, enlisting the help of his old friend and trusted lawyer, Frank Vintcent, to make the ruse authentic. Soon though, Barrington is left pondering whether blood really is thicker than water . . .

Review

Today I had a very gap filled day teaching so I thought I would read a short story in the little gaps. This made a nice change from the recent short stories by Jeffrey Archer that I have read as the recent ones have all involved men dropping everything to run after a young pretty woman.

This is a beautiful little story where the main character Cornelius needs to rewrite his will but first he wants to see who deserves his wealth. Cornelius has always suspected that certain members of his family and friends prefer his money rather than himself, so he decided to put his theory to the test.

When Cornelius pretends to be made bankrupt he watches his family and friends reactions to what has happened and finds out who his true friends are. As the story develops it is interesting to see Cornelius’ plan unfold and how each member of his family reacts and how his friends react.

This story shows how money can make people react differently, even act like crazy people and yet there are people out there who money does not touch and who remain true. I really enjoyed reading this short story and I was upset when it ended as I did not want it to end but for the story to develop further. Considering it is a short story there is a lot of content within it and there is never a dull moment. It just shows Archer’s talent as a writer to make a story work so well in such a small space of time. I gave this story 5 Dragons out of 5 Dragons.

To buy the complete book of short stories from Waterstones please click here.

Lady Book Dragon.

Star Trek Discovery: Fear Itself by James Swallow (Review)

Star Trek Discovery: Fear Itself by James Swallow

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About the author

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James Swallow is a British author who is a BAFTA nominee, a New York Times and Sunday Times bestseller. He is also the only British author to work on the Star Trek television series. He has written several Star Trek books, scripted the video game Star Trek  Invasion and over four hundred articles in Star Trek magazines. He currently lives in London.

Blurb

Lieutenant Saru is a Kelpian, a member of prey species born on a world overrun by monstrous predators… and a being who very intimately understands the nature of fear. Challenged on all sides, he is determined to surpass his origins and succeed as a Starfleet officer aboard the U. S. S. Shenzhou.

But when Saru breaks protocol in order to prove himself to his crew mates, what begins as a vital rescue mission to save a vessel in distress soon escalates out of control. Forced into a command role he may not be ready for, Saru is caught between his duty and conflicting agendas of two antagonistic alien races. To survive, he will need to seek a path of peace against all odds, and risk compromising the very ideals he has sworn to uphold…

Review

I found this book a really hard read, I struggled to get into it and kept forgetting what I had read and had to re read certain parts. I am pleased I stuck with it though as towards the end I began to enjoy it and got into it. I am not sure whether it was the writing style I struggled with or just the general storyline but I just couldn’t gel with the story.

This was an interesting story focusing on Saru and it helped me understand him a bit more, as so far watching his character in the TV series and reading about him in the previous two books I have not liked his character and found him unfeeling to others and a bit of a wet blanket. This book however showed that he did have feelings towards others and that he can be brave, decisive and commanding. 

I enjoyed the character of Captain Georgiou. She is fast becoming a favourite and I would have liked her to feature a little bit more in the story. I also liked how Saru found her an inspiration and always thought of what Georgiou would do when trying to decide his next course of action. Michael Burnham also started to show her human side in the book which was nice to see.

The character I did not enjoy and was pleased that he did not feature greatly in the book was the Shenzhou’s first officer Commander ch’Theloh. I found him bad tempered, grumpy and way too hard on his underlings.

The storyline was a good storyline and I enjoyed meeting the Gorlans and Peliars and would have liked to have found out a bit more about both species and what happened to them.

Overall I found this book to be quite a let down after Drastic Measures, and I did not enjoy the book nearly as much. It was hard work to read and follow and at times rather boring. Sadly this book only got 2 out of 5 Dragons. It has not put me off the series though and I am looking forward to reading the next.

To buy this book from Waterstones click here.

Lady Book Dragon

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The Story of Brexit: A Ladybird Book by J. A. Hazeley and J. P. Morris (Review)

The Story of Brexit: A Ladybird Book by J. A. Hazeley and J. P. Morris

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About the authors

J. A. Hazeley and J. P. Morris are best known for having written episodes of Miranda and That Mitchell and Webb Look.

Review

I have not read all of the new Ladybird books for adults mainly the husband and wife ones as when I got married my husband and myself got them for Christmas off the family for a joke. As I mentioned in my last Waterstones post this one was at the till and it just jumped into my hand.

I did find this book funny to start with but then it started to drag a little and was just a bit repetitive along the lines of ‘those who voted out did not understand what they were doing’ etc. I think I would have enjoyed it more if it had been shorter, short and sweet was the key in this case. It would have also been better if it had been a bit more balanced and made fun of both sides.

The illustrations as per usual were excellent and went brilliantly with the writing and added to the book.

An OK little book to read with a mug of tea and a biscuit, if you are not too easily offended about Brexit. I only gave this book 3 Dragons out of 5 and probably would not bother to read it again.

Lady Book Dragon.

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Book Haul

First book haul of 2019 and it is a big one.

For New Year my husband and myself spent a few days in our favourite place, Bath. Bath truly is my happy place. I always go a bit Jane Austen crazy when in Bath. I know Austen was not very keen on Bath but the fact that she lived here is just amazing.

Anyway I went to two book shops yesterday. First Waterstones and then Topping and Company.

At Waterstones I bought 8 books, these are:-

The Real Jane Austen: A Life in Small Things by Paula Byrne

I got this book because the hotel we are staying at has a copy and I started reading it and I’m really enjoying it but doubted that I would finish it before I went home.

Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson

Ashamed to say I’ve never read it so I thought it was high time I corrected this fault.

The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath

I want to read this but I’m also nervous about reading it as I find Plath’s poetry a little depressing.

Fight Club by Chuck Palahniuk

Love the film so decided to read the book. Hopefully it does not disappoint.

Breakfast at Tiffany’s by Truman Capote

I ordered a copy of this a couple of years ago from Folio Society and got Gentlemen Prefer Blondes instead. Hopefully this book does not turn out to be as disastrous as Gentlemen Prefer Blondes turned out to be.

The Diary of a Bookseller by Shaun Bythell

Not something I would usually read but to be honest I liked the look of the cover and thought it might be interesting.

Mythos by Stephen Fry

Looking forward to this as I do enjoy the Greek myths.

Catch-22 by Joseph Heller

Another classic I have not read.

The Topping and Company book haul is as follows:-

Emma by Jane Austen

I already have a very worn paperback of Emma but I am collecting the Everyman’s Library series and this is the first Austen I have bought from the series.

Queen Mary The Official Biography by James Pope – Hennessy

I saw this and was intrigued, again not something I would generally read but I want to give it a try. Another reason was that I saw some of Queen Mary’s dresses at the Bath Fashion Museum.

The Secret Life of Cows by Rosamund Young

Seriously, who does not want to read a book about cows?

Monty Python at Work by Michael Palin

This book is signed by Michael Palin and was the main reason I got it. I do love Monty Python as well so I’m hoping it will be a good read.

What If? by Randall Munroe

I mainly bought this for my husband but I must admit I want to read it as well. You can not beat a little bit of craziness in the world.

Smoke and Mirrors by Neil Gaiman

I’m trying to read all of Neil Gaiman’s books and this is next on the list.

The Little Drummer Girl by John Le Carre

My mother in law recommended this book to me and I’ve been meaning to get it for a while.

The last book is a special one, as I have mentioned before I collect Tolkien books and so I bought a hardback illustrated The Lord of the Rings. The illustrations are done by Alan Lee and the copy is signed by Alan Lee.

So here is my massive book haul. I can not wait to get reading them all.

Please drop me comment if you have read any of these books. I would love to hear your opinions on them. Thank you.

Lady Book Dragon.

New Books!

Hello my wonderful readers.

So yesterday I made a real effort and read quite a lot of my current Christmas read but then I got distracted by teaching, Christmas lights, Costa and decorating our Christmas tree. I have almost finished Christmas at the Beach Hut though and so far I adore it. I love it so much, I bought my best friend a copy to read over the Christmas period and my mom is going to borrow mine when I am finished. I really hope the ending is good now, otherwise I will be disappointed and so will the people I have recommended it to. In hindsight I should have waited till I finished the book before I went around telling people to read it but I am so excited about it that I just could not help myself. Does anybody else get this feeling about a book?

I have finally finished my Christmas present buying and have bought quite a lot of books for people. However, I also have a confession, I also bought myself some new books. I just could not stop myself. I only bought two purely because my bank balance could not cope with anymore hits. So here are my new books:-

Fire and Blood by George R. R. Martin

Firestorm is very excited about this book as you can see in the picture below. I must admit I agree with him. I have read all of the A Song of Ice and Fire series so far and I am extremely impatient for the next book The Winds of Winter. I am also slightly annoyed with this new book Fire and Blood because I can not help but think Martin, could have spent his time finishing The Winds of Winter but I will not let that put me off from reading and hopefully enjoying Fire and Blood.

I’ll Keep you Safe by Peter May

Is the second book I bought. I read The Blackhouse by Peter May this year, it was a free book with Apple Books and I read it on my phone. It was shortly after reading a whole book on my iPhone that I decided a Kindle was probably a good idea, mainly for my poor eyes. I loved his style of writing and was instantly hooked, so when I saw this book for half price on the Waterstones I put it in my basket.

So here are my new books, all ready for me to start reading in 2019. It is certainly looking like a good year for reading.

I would love to hear what you think of my new books or even if you have any book plans for 2019.

Lady Book Dragon.