New Books 18/03/2019

A very exciting day when 80 books arrive on your doorstep!

As you know I have been reading and reviewing the Penguin Little Black Classics but I do not own them all. So I decided this needed to be remedied but instead of getting the books seperately I went a little wild and bought the box set!

The Big List of all the lovely books

  1. Mrs Rosie and the Priest GIOVANNI BOCCACCIO
  2. As kingfishers catch fire GERARD MANLEY HOPKINS
  3. The Saga of Gunnlaug Serpent-tongue
  4. On Murder Considered as One of the Fine Arts THOMAS DE QUINCEY
  5. Aphorisms on Love and Hate FRIEDRICH NIETZSCHE
  6. Traffic JOHN RUSKIN
  7. Wailing Ghosts PU SONGLING
  8. A Modest Proposal JONATHAN SWIFT
  9. Three Tang Dynasty Poets
  10. On the Beach at Night Alone WALT WHITMAN
  11. A Cup of Sake Beneath the Cherry Trees KENKO
  12. How to Use Your Enemies BALTASAR GRACIÁN
  13. The Eve of St Agnes JOHN KEATS
  14. Woman Much Missed THOMAS HARDY
  15. Femme Fatale GUY DE MAUPASSANT
  16. Travels in the Land of Serpents and Pearls MARCO POLO
  17. Caligula SUETONIUS
  18. Jason and Medea APOLLONIUS OF RHODES
  19. Olalla ROBERT LOUIS STEVENSON
  20. The Communist Manifesto KARL MARX & FRIEDRICH ENGELS
  21. Trimalchio’s Feast PETRONIUS
  22. How a Ghastly Story Was Brought to Light by a Common or Garden Butcher’s Dog JOHANN PETER HEBEL
  23. The Tinder Box HANS CHRISTIAN ANDERSEN
  24. The Gate of the Hundred Sorrows RUDYARD KIPLING
  25. Circles of Hell DANTE
  26. Of Street Piemen HENRY MAYHEW
  27. The nightingales are drunk HAFEZ
  28. The Wife of Bath GEOFFREY CHAUCER
  29. How We Weep and Laugh at the Same Thing MICHEL DE MONTAIGNE
  30. The Terrors of the Night THOMAS NASHE
  31. The Tell-Tale Heart EDGAR ALLAN POE
  32. A Hippo Banquet MARY KINGSLEY
  33. The Beautifull Cassandra JANE AUSTEN
  34. Gooseberries ANTON CHEKHOV
  35. Well, they are gone, and here must I remain SAMUEL TAYLOR COLERIDGE
  36. Sketchy, Doubtful, Incomplete Jottings JOHANN WOLFGANG VON GOETHE
  37. The Great Winglebury Duel CHARLES DICKENS
  38. The Maldive Shark HERMAN MELVILLE
  39. The Old Nurse’s Story ELIZABETH GASKELL
  40. The Steel Flea NIKOLAY LESKOV
  41. The Atheist’s Mass HONORÉ DE BALZAC
  42. The Yellow Wall-Paper CHARLOTTE PERKINS GILMAN
  43. Remember, Body… C.P. CAVAFY
  44. The Meek One FYODOR DOSTOEVSKY
  45. A Simple Heart GUSTAVE FLAUBERT
  46. The Nose NIKOLAI GOGOL
  47. The Great Fire of London SAMUEL PEPYS
  48. The Reckoning EDITH WHARTON
  49. The Figure in the Carpet HENRY JAMES
  50. Anthem for Doomed Youth WILFRED OWEN
  51. My Dearest Father WOLFGANG AMADEUS MOZART
  52. Socrates’ Defence PLATO
  53. Goblin Market CHRISTINA ROSSETTI
  54. Sindbad the Sailor
  55. Antigone SOPHOCLES
  56. The Life of a Stupid Man RYŪNOSUKE AKUTAGAWA
  57. How Much Land Does A Man Need? LEO TOLSTOY
  58. Leonardo da Vinci GIORGIO VASARI
  59. Lord Arthur Savile’s Crime OSCAR WILDE
  60. The Old Man of the Moon SHEN FU
  61. The Dolphins, the Whales and the Gudgeon AESOP
  62. Lips too chilled MATSUO BASHŌ
  63. The Night is Darkening Round Me EMILY BRONTË
  64. To-morrow JOSEPH CONRAD
  65. The Voyage of Sir Francis Drake Around the Whole Globe RICHARD HAKLUYT
  66. A Pair of Silk Stockings KATE CHOPIN
  67. It was snowing butterflies CHARLES DARWIN
  68. The Robber Bridegroom BROTHERS GRIMM
  69. I Hate and I Love CATULLUS
  70. Circe and the Cyclops HOMER
  71. Il Duro D. H. LAWRENCE
  72. Miss Brill KATHERINE MANSFIELD
  73. The Fall of Icarus OVID
  74. Come Close SAPPHO
  75. Kasyan from the Beautiful Lands IVAN TURGENEV
  76. O Cruel Alexis VIRGIL
  77. A Slip under the Microscope H. G. WELLS
  78. The Madness of Cambyses HERODOTUS
  79. Speaking of Śiva
  80. The Dhammapada

 

I can not wait to start reading them all.

I would love to hear if you have read any of them and what you think of them.

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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The Saga of Gunnlaug Serpent-tongue by Anon (Review)

The Saga of Gunnlaug Serpent-tongue

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About the author

The author is sadly anonymous but this is a well known Icelandic saga composed at the end of the 13th century.

Blurb

Ranging across Scandinavia, England and Ireland, a Viking-age epic of two poets in doomed pursuit of Helga the Fair

Review

This is the third book of the Penguin Little Black Classics and a quick little read of just 52 pages. The book contains 25 verses of skaldic poetry which are scattered through the story.

This book is essentially a love story, where two poets are in pursuit of Helga the Fair, both travel around earning glory and renown hoping to make themselves worthy of Helga’s hand in marriage.

I enjoyed this book to begin with and found the verses of poetry enjoyable, however as the story went on I found the poetry began to get on my nerves and broke up the flow of the story. I must admit I started to skim read it as I could not bare it any longer, the story was still really good though. The thing I found a struggle to get used to in the beginning was the big lists of names, but once I got used to the style this was ok. A lot of store is held in one’s ancestors and family in this book so great lists of names are often given, even if those characters are not featured in the story.

I also enjoyed how the characters travelled around Scandinavia, England and Ireland and the accompanying adventures. It was interesting learning about the kings and rulers of that time and what they were like. The other element I enjoyed was how Christianity moved across the countries and the old ways were forgotten. This was considered a really good thing in the book but I wonder whether everyone was so willing to drop the old ways and take on the new faith. In my opinion I think this element is seen through rose tinted glasses by the author.

“All the men who have been mentioned were living at the same time, and it was about this time that the best thing ever to have happened in Iceland occurred: the whole country became Christian and the entire population abandoned the old faith.”

This is an excellent little book, which will not take long to read and was a good introduction for me to Icelandic sagas. I enjoyed reading the book but because the poetry got on my nerves I only give this book 3 Dragons out of 5.

To purchase this book please click here

Lady Book Dragon

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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

 

As Kingfishers Catch Fire by Gerard Manley Hopkins (Review)

As Kingfishers Catch Fire by Gerard Manley Hopkins

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About the author

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Gerard Manley Hopkins was born on the 28th July 1844, he was an English poet and Jesuit priest. His two main themes in his poetry are nature and religion. He died in 1889 of what is believed to be typhoid fever. His work was largely ignored during his life but was published posthumously.

Blurb

Considered unpublishable in his lifetime, the Victorian priest’s groundbreaking, experimental verse on nature’s glory and despair.

Review

Oh dear, as I have mentioned in the past I struggle with poetry and this book has been a massive challenge and although I persevered I did not enjoy the poetry.

The second book in the Penguin Little Black Classics is a series of poems by Gerard Manley Hopkins and titled after possibly his most famous poem As Kingfishers Catch Fire.

The main thing I struggled with was that I found the poetry stilted and lacking fluency. I also found his use of imagery a bit strange and his wording a struggle to grasp.

Overall I just struggled full stop and would not read anything of this author again, if it was not for the fact the book was so short I doubt I would have finished it. I have problems appreciating poetry but have recently been enjoying reading through some poetry books and discovering new poets that I enjoy to read. Sadly though this book did not appeal and I only give this little book of poems 1 dragon out 5.

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Christmas Book Related Gifts

Well it is the third day of Christmas today and my husband and myself are having a relaxing day to recover from a busy Christmas and Boxing Day. So I thought I would show my readers the bookish presents I received from family and friends.

The Penguin Classics Book was on my wish list and my wonderful husband bought it me for Christmas. I can not wait to look through all the books Penguin has published over the years and see what books I should read next.

Tequila Mockingbird is a literary themed cocktail book that I am very keen to try out.

My Best friend bought me the 100 Books Scratch off Bucket List Poster, that has quite a few books on that I have never read. I would love to get this framed once I have completed it. I think my 2019 will have some fun reading based on this list. My friend also bought me a very cute tea strainer in the shape of a book, I love tea and I love books so this combination is amazing!

My sister in laws got me the bag, reading log and Bronte book. I love keeping a book log so I am very excited to start this log in 2019.

Finally my sister got me the Gino cookbook so hopefully 2019 will be filled full of yummy food!

I hope everyone got good presents this Christmas and that you are still enjoying the festive spirit.

Happy Reading!

Lady Book Dragon.