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review 2018-02-17 14:08
food should spark joy...
Artful Eating - Karina Melvin

Interesting and possibly would get more stars if I had followed the exercises as it was going. I found it interesting but sometimes it felt a bit preachy.  It does emphasise being slow and thinking more about your food.  It did coalesce for me a moment where I thought I should only eat things that spark joy.


I really need a book that gives good time-poor breakfast and lunch ideas.

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review 2017-06-01 00:00
Artful - Peter David Artful - Peter David Book – Artful
Author – Peter David, Nicole D'Andria, Laura Neubert (Contributor)
Star rating - ★★★☆☆
Cover – Gorgeous!
Would I read it again – Yes!
Genre – Comic, Historical, Vampire


This was a wonderfully authentic take on the Artful Dodger storyline. It had the accents, the gritty feel, the backstory and the intrigue to be a great addition to the Oliver Twist story we all know and love, with some exciting new twists that fit surprisingly well. Historically, it was brilliantly accurate in both accent, feel and storytelling, keeping that old penny dreadful feel without going into the gore, which would have eliminated any YA lovers from reading it.

I loved that it took place after the events of Oliver Twist, giving us a timeline that fit into the familiarity of the old story while rooting us in the timeline of the new. I had a soft-horror feel to the illustrations that was brilliant, while maintaining an easily readable text, font and format of storytelling. The illustrations themselves were gorgeous. Perfect for the era and eye-catching, while perfectly illustrating what was happening within the story.

There was a lot of familiar stuff in here that we're not used to associating with Oliver Twist or the Artful Dodger, but I loved it. It felt right for the era, the story and made sense from the way it was told. We had a 'narrator' who wasn't really given a name until late in the story, but it was intriguing to watch it all unfold and figure it out as I went along.

The addition of vampires, Queen Victoria, Van Helsing, the Baker Street Irregulars, Bedlam, Spring-Heeled Jack and Jack the Ripper might have felt like overkill for another story, but the way they were seamlessly drawn into this story made so much sense that I never questioned having so many memorable and familiar characters in one story. They were all era-appropriate and explained cleverly, at the end, so much so that I only enjoyed the big reveal all the more for the surprise of it all.

The evolution of Fagin, the clever twist at the end, the cunning and yet vulnerable side of the Artful Dodger that we saw, along with the exploration of Drina's part in the story all came together to make a brilliantly pulled together original plot in a stunning wrapper.
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review 2017-01-07 13:28
A surpisingly warm Christmas story
A Christmas With The Dodger - Charlton Daines

Imagine being part of the family of The Artful Dodger from Oliver Twist when he grows up and what Christmas might be like with an expert thief as the head of the family.


Actually, Jack has gone straight to please his honest wife. Well, mostly anyway. Reg, his adopted nephew, comes from the streets like Jack and together they can't always manage to be squeaky clean.


The story is mostly about Reg and his struggle to choose whether to please his adopted mother, Lily, by being honest or to be tempted by his childhood among cut throats and thieves to commit at least small acts of pilfering.


The characters were nicely fleshed out and there was plenty of action and adventures. I'll definitely have to read the author's other book!

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text 2015-09-20 13:45
Curiosity Quills Press Is Looking For More Reviewers!
The Actuator: Fractured Earth - James Wymore,Aiden James
Destruction: The December People, Book One - Sharon Bayliss
Prophet of the Badlands - Matthew S. Cox
The Deathsniffer's Assistant - Kate McIntyre
The Curse Merchant - J.P. Sloan
Sharcano (Sharkpocalypse #1) - Jose Prendes
The Artful - Wilbert Stanton
The Mussorgsky Riddle - Darin Kennedy
Havelock: One - Jane D. Everly

Okay, I normally don't do this kind of posts but Curiosity Quills Press is one of my favourite publishers and I really enjoy reviewing their books. That's why I thought I might know some people who would also enjoy it.


They are now hosting an event to gain more reviewers in their mailing lists, and as a reward for just signing up you'll get three books of choice from their ebook catalogue. If you would PM me and allow me to tell them I sent you there, I also get three books (which be nice as I really like their books).


I did a quick check of my reading stats this year and so far this year I've read 29 of their books. That's almost 14% of what I've read this year!


I think they publish around 10 books a month, in all kinds of different genres. I've been on their reviewers list for a while now and I generally receive two emails a month (which I'm usually even looking forward to): one announcing new books that can be requested for review, and one invitation to join on one or more blog tours. What I really like is that you don't have to enter anything and it's just fine not to participate if you're busy or don't think you'll like the books.


Some of the books eventually make it up to Netgalley, but I noticed many do not.


Every time I mailed with the staff they have been really friendly, and even writing a negative review for a blog tour (I once wrote a two star review on a book that just wasn't for me and the response I got was just 'too bad, these things happen, hope you enjoy your next book better') is not a problem (which is something I find really important and which is why I'm really hesitant to enter other blog tours).


You can find more information on this event here.

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review 2015-06-03 14:16
Artful - Ali Smith

"All of it? I say.

Lucky for you the ands are ampersands, you say.

You are calling my bluff, of course. I call yours back. I take the book to the tattoo parlour down Mill Road and come home, after several sessions, with exactly this tattoo. I choose to have it done in deep blue, the colour of your eyes. It costs me a fortune. It hurts like irony.

I see you again only when it's finished and my skin settled down.

You're unreal, you say when you see it.

You're the real unreal thing all right.

Less than a month after this we move in together and mix our books up."


I love this book.


Artful is the product of four lectures Smith gave and combines a background story of coming to terms with death with a literary exploration of themes that deal with elements of grieving, time, fragmentation, etc.


Of course, Smith delivers all of this in a discourse that is both full of wit and tenderness. 


I'm not sure whether I love this book because of the way that Smith delivers the lectures or the selections of poetry and books she includes. In any case, this is one of the books that I will read again and again.  

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