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Search tags: general-non-fiction-books
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review 2020-06-29 07:57
The Furies by Natalie Haynes
The Furies: A Novel - Natalie Haynes

TITLE:  The Furies


AUTHOR:  Natalie Haynes



"When you open up, who will you let in?

When Alex Morris loses her fiancé in dreadful circumstances, she moves from London to Edinburgh to make a break with the past. Alex takes a job at a Pupil Referral Unit, which accepts the students excluded from other schools in the city. These are troubled, difficult kids and Alex is terrified of what she's taken on.

There is one class - a group of five teenagers - who intimidate Alex and every other teacher on The Unit. But with the help of the Greek tragedies she teaches, Alex gradually develops a rapport with them. Finding them enthralled by tales of cruel fate and bloody revenge, she even begins to worry that they are taking her lessons to heart, and that a whole new tragedy is being performed, right in front of her...




I liked the writing style and the idea was interesting, but at the same time not particularly original.  Some of the character's actions/reactions didn't seem quite plausible.  This would probably make a decent movie.

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review 2020-06-12 06:50
The Great Escape by Natalie Haynes
The Great Escape - Natalie Haynes

TITLE:  The Great Escape


AUTHOR:  Natalie Haynes



"It's the summer holidays and Millie's bored stiff. Every week, she has to clean windows with her dad at a nearby laboratory. But she's sure something weird is going on inside. Then, one day, a cat comes hurtling through the lobby towards her and asks her for help."




Enjoyable and entertaining.  Light and fluffy.  Kids and cat to the rescue!

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review SPOILER ALERT! 2020-05-18 06:41
Phantoms on the Bookshelves by Jacques Bonnet
Phantoms on the Bookshelves - James Salter,Jacques Bonnet,Sian Reynolds

TITLE:  Phantoms on the Bookshelves


AUTHOR:  Jacques Bonnet


TRANSLATOR:  Siân Reynolds




ISBN-13:  9781906694586



"This enchanting study on the art of living with books considers how our personal libraries reveal our true nature: far more than just places, they are living labyrinths of our innermost feelings. The author, a lifelong accumulator of books both ancient and modern, lives in a house large enough to accommodate his many thousands of books, as well as overspill from the libraries of his friends. While his musings on the habits of collectors past and present are learned, witty and instructive, his advice on cataloguing may even save the lives of those whose books are so prodigiously piled as to be a hazard... The Phantoms on the Bookshelves ranges from classical Greece to contemporary Iceland, from Balzac and Moby Dick to Google, offering up delicious anecdotes along the way. This elegantly produced volume will be a lasting delight to specialist collectors, librarians, bibliophiles and all those who treasure books."




A memoir-type collection of hodge-podge book collection musings.  For a specific audience  - those with vast libraries and/or those with an interest in (mostly) French literature.

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review 2020-02-10 11:49
Inferno by Dan Brown
Inferno - Dan Brown

Entertaining, fast paced mind fluff - just don't think too hard.



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review 2020-02-01 16:24
Notre-Dame by Ken Follett
Notre-Dame - Ken Follett

TITLE:  Notre-Dame:  A Short History of the Meaning of Cathedrals


AUTHOR:  Ken Follett




FORMAT:  Hardcover


ISBN-13:  9781984880253





"“The wonderful cathedral of Notre-Dame de Paris, one of the greatest achievements of European civilization, was on fire. The sight dazed and disturbed us profoundly. I was on the edge of tears. Something priceless was dying in front of our eyes. The feeling was bewildering, as if the earth was shaking.” —Ken Follett

In this short, spellbinding book, international bestselling author Ken Follett describes the emotions that gripped him when he learned about the fire that threatened to destroy one of the greatest cathedrals in the world—the Notre-Dame de Paris. Follett then tells the story of the cathedral, from its construction to the role it has played across time and history, and he reveals the influence that the Notre-Dame had upon cathedrals around the world and on the writing of one of Follett's most famous and beloved novels, The Pillars of the Earth.

Ken Follett will donate his proceeds from this book to the charity La Fondation du Patrimoine."




Notre-Dame is a compilation of essays Ken Follett wrote during the week after the Notre Dame fire in April 2019.  From the title I was expecting information about the history of cathedrals in general and Notre-Dame de Paris in particular, and what they mean to the local people.   This isn't what the book is about.  There is a short chapter that covers the history of Notre-Dame.  Then there are short chapters on Victor Hugo and his book "The Hunchback of Notre Dame", the renovation of the cathedral by Viollet-le-Duc, Charles DeGaulle's victory mass after WWII, a bit about how Follett feels about the Cathedral, and a large quantity of Follett telling the reader about the novel he wrote that involved the building of a cathedral.  There are a handful of illustrations at the end.  This book is short and not particularly detailed, but does include some interesting tit-bits of information about Notre-Dame.  However, I wanted more substance.

NOTE:  Profits from the book, as well as author royalties, are to be donated to the Notre-Dame de Paris rebuilding fund.


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