A Bookish Confession

A few days ago on the 12th March marked the anniversary of  Sir Terry Pratchett’s death in 2015. I still remember the day, I had been teaching all day and my best friend knew I had probably not seen the news so she sent me a text to break the news. Although I knew he was ill and it was going to happen, it was still like a kick in the stomach and I am not ashamed to admit I shed a tear. Sir Terry Pratchett meant so much to me, his Discworld novels were my absolute favourites, that I always relied on to cheer me up and make me laugh. I could not believe there would be no more, that the world of Discworld was over.

I first discovered the Discworld series at the age of 12, when my cousin’s partner recommended them to me, I then persuaded my mom to join a Sci-fi and Fantasy book club to order me a few of the books and from then I got a couple each month on offer. In year 9 at school during quiet reading, my teacher attempted to confiscate my copy of The Colour of Magic because he thought it an inappropriate book for a girl of my age, happily my mom intervened and I was allowed to continue reading them.

In 2013 I decided to read all the Discworld novels in order of them being written and it was wonderful. During this time they helped me cope with a particularly harrowing two-week session on jury duty and it was comforting to know that in my handbag there was always a Terry Pratchett novel.

Anyway, that’s a brief description of my history with Discworld, now on to my confession. The very last Discworld novel The Shepherd’s Crown I have never read! I pre-ordered it, I even got the special edition that Waterstones did so I have two copies but I have never read either. The reason, I just could not bring myself to read it, because in my mind once I read it I would know for sure that there would never be another Discworld book and that Sir Terry Pratchett was gone for good.

Over the last few days I have been thinking of The Shepherd’s Crown and yesterday I collected both copies from my parents house and brought them home. Now they are sat in my living room looking at me and I think I have made a decision. Sir Terry Pratchett wrote this book for people to read and the fact that I have not read it yet is not what he would have wanted. So on Terry Pratchett’s birthday on the 28th April I plan on starting to read The Shepherd’s Crown and I must admit that thought scares me a little, as I do not want to be disappointed and I know I will not want the book to end. Even just writing this brings all those memories back from 2015 and the sadness.

That is my bookish confession and I hope I can go through with my plan. Apologies to Sir Terry Pratchett for not having read your last Discworld novel sooner.

Lady Book Dragon.

 

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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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Mid Week Quote

So this week my friend and I have been thinking of random acts of kindness, so I decided on an appropriate quote.

 

“No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted.”

 

Aesop

 

Aesop (c. 620-564 BC) was a Greek storyteller credited with a number of fables now known as Aesop’s Fables. His existence remains unclear and none of his work actually still exists. However many tales thought to be by him have been collected over the centuries, in many languages and passed down from generation to generation.

Lady Book Dragon

New Book: 4/03/2019

As I have mentioned in previous posts, I do enjoy a good short story and have been reading the free Jeffrey Archer short stories on Kindle. Well after a bit of research I discovered they are all in a book and so I bought the book. As much as I love my Kindle, I only really use it when out and about, otherwise I much prefer a real life book.

New book is:-

The New Collected Short Stories by Jeffrey Archer

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I will continue to review the individual short stories but I now will be reading them on both formats, I’ve also noticed there are short stories in the book that are not on the Kindle, which makes me very happy.

Happy reading everyone.

To purchase this book from Waterstones Click here.

Lady Book Dragon

 

Friday Poetry

The daffodils are out so I thought a suitable poem was required. Also I do believe the weekly poetry reading is starting to work as I am finding more and more poems that I enjoy reading.

Happy friday everyone and I hope you all have some excellent reading planned for the weekend.

Daffodils

I wandered lonely as a cloud

That floats on high o’er vales and hills,

When all at once I saw a crowd,

A host, of golden daffodils;

Beside the lake, beneath the trees,

Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.

 

Continuous as the stars that shine

And twinkle on the Milky Way,

They stretched in never-ending line

Along the margin of a bay:

Ten thousand saw I at a glance,

Tossing their heads in sprightly dance.

 

The waves beside them danced, but they

Out-did the sparkling waves in glee:

A poet could not but be gay,

In such a jocund company:

I gazed – and gazed – but little thought

What wealth the show to me had brought:

 

For oft, when on my couch I lie

In vacant or in pensive mood,

They flash upon that inward eye

Which is the bliss of solitude;

And then my heart with pleasure fills,

And dances with the daffodils.

 

William Wordsworth

 

Lady Book Dragon

Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson (Review)

Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson

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About the author

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Robert Louis Stevenson was born in Edinburgh in 1850. He studied law at Edinburgh University. Stevenson was against the Presbyterianism of both Edinburgh’s professional classes and his devout parents, but the influence of Calvinism started his fascination with evil. After much travelling Stevenson eventually settled in Samoa with his wife, he passed away at the age of 44.

Blurb

Published as ‘shilling shocker’ in 1886, Robert Louis Stevenson’s dark psychological fantasy gave birth to the popular idea of the split personality. Set in a hellish, fog-bound London, the story of outwardly respectable Dr Jekyll, who unleashes his deepest cruelties and most murderous instincts when he transformed into sinister Edward Hyde, is a Gothic masterpiece and a chilling exploration of humanity’s basest capacity for evil.

This edition also includes Stevenson’s sinister story ‘The Bottle Imp’.

Review

This is another book I am ashamed to say I have never read and just recently I bought a lovely little edition from Waterstones and it has been sat on my TBR pile ever since. I decided it would be a good book to discover Robert Louis Stevenson’s work as I have never read any of his work before.

The first and main story is Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde and I went into it with high hopes, however it quickly started to disappoint. Mr Utterson the lawyer and good friend of Dr Jekyll is a perfect gentleman and shows the reader that you would be blessed to consider him your friend. Mr Utterson in fact was my favourite character and he was probably the only reason I kept reading. Mr Hyde was also a good character, he was bad to the bone and showed a man with no morals to guide him or conscience, he was happy with his actions, showed no remorse and was dangerous to all around him.

Dr Jekyll is the character which I disliked greatly! He was weak and pathetic he had bad desires within him and a perverted mind that lay hidden because of his status in society and his title. We have no idea what horrors he performed in his past but they are hinted at, now due to getting older the desires are still there but he can not act upon them without losing everything or facing the gallows. Then Mr Hyde comes along, Mr Hyde is Jekyll’s answer to everything, Hyde does all the horrors and faces the gallows and Jekyll remains the good Dr. In my opinion Jekyll is evil, he just does not show it.

Jekyll tries to reform himself but this soon fails and Hyde starts to take over. Hyde was always going to take over because Jekyll is weak but also enjoys what Hyde does, if he was truly horrified and repulsed by Hyde’s actions he would have beaten Hyde and got his life back. Jekyll did not deserve the life he had or the dedicated friends like Mr Utterson in my opinion because he was as guilty as Mr Hyde.

This story annoyed me greatly because Dr Jekyll is shown in a light where the reader should feel sorry for him but I disagree with that. Dr Jekyll was weak and evil and in my opinion worse than Mr Hyde because he had the power to stop Hyde but did not. This story on its own would have only got 2 Dragons from me.

The second story in this book is The Bottle Imp and that was my favourite out of the two. This story is about a magical imp that lives in a bottle and can grant you any wishes, however it comes with conditions that could leave the owner going to hell.

The story contains many topics greed, love, hopelessness, despair, faith, courage and much more. I really enjoyed how Stevenson came up with the story and the morals behind it. Keawe is not a greedy man he does not ask for millions off the imp he asks for enough for his dream house that he can live in for the rest of his life and enjoy it. Kokua is the woman that Keawe falls in love with and risks everything for and she in turn risks everything for him. Their love is so strong they will do anything for each other. Others in this story do not show such selflessness and greed is the dominant trait in their characters. These two people are not greedy they just want to live happily together for the rest of their lives, but can they?

A real love story that was beautiful to read and not too long. I gave this one 4 out of 5 Dragons, so overall balancing the results I gave the book 3 out of 5 Dragons.

Lady Book Dragon

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Mid Week Quote

Happy Wednesday!

What is everyone reading this week?

Today’s quote is from The Compleat Gentleman by Henry Peacham.

The book was written as a guide for young men of the period to become well-rounded, couteous members of society. It was full of practical advice on how to travel, what to read and much more.

“The desire to have many books, and never to use them, is like a child that will have a candle burning by him all the while he is sleeping.”

 

Henry Peacham

 

Lady Book Dragon