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text 2019-06-23 19:56
Additional books for MR´s list
My Family and Other Animals - Gerald Durrell
The Word for World is Forest - Ursula K. Le Guin
The Expendable Man - Dorothy B. Hughes
A Tale for the Time Being - Ruth Ozeki
Revolutionary Road - Richard Yates
Honeysuckle Cottage - P.G. Wodehouse
Sovereign (Matthew Shardlake #3) - C.J. Sansom
Shutter Island - Dennis Lehane

My Family and Other Animals by Gerald Durrell: I adored reading about young Gerald, his animals and his whacky family. It´s the perfect feel good read and I consider this book to be the bookish equivalent to the movie Mamma Mia.


The Word for World is Forest by Ursula K. Le Guin: Leave it to Le Guin to tell the most tropy story in a refreshing, engaging and deeply moving way. Out of all the Le Guin´s I have read so far, this is my favorite. 


The Expendable Man by Dorothy Hughes: There is one specific thing about this book that turns this into an exceptional and unforgettable read. And this is all I´m going to say about this book.


A Tale for the Time Being by Ruth Ozeki: Or you could swap this book with "My Year of Meats". Both books are amazing and Ozeki is an exceptional writer.


Revolutionary Road by Richard Yates: A gut-punch of a novel.


Honeysuckle Cottage by P.G. Wodehouse: The most charming and sweet haunted house (short) story ever written. 


Sovereign by C.J. Sansom: This stands for the whole Shardlake series, book number three has been my favorite so far, though. The mysteries are compelling, the setting of Tudor England is glorious and Shardlake is one of my favorite characters ever.


Shutter Island by Dennis Lehane: This is so good. The setting, the atmosphere and the story are simply amazing.








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review 2015-12-25 10:43
Sovereign (Matthew Shardlake #3) - C.J. Sansom

The next book in the Matthew Shardlake series and this one has to be the best one so far. I simply couldn´t put this book down, so much tension was there.

I loved the historical backdrop of this novel, Shardlake and Barack being in York with the Progress and their encounter with Henry VIII. and the current queen Catherine Howard, and the way, how Sansom manages to blend fiction and historical facts together, is extraordinary. He really makes history come alive.

As for the characters ... what can I really say about them without being overly repetitive: I just love them, especially Shardlake, who has turned into my favorite fictional character throughout this book. I´m so looking forward to read more about him and I´m glad that there are three more books out there for me to read.

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review 2015-09-14 19:25
Dark Fire
Dark Fire - C.J. Sansom

This is the second book of the Matthew Shardlake series and I enjoyed it as much as the first one. It´s the year 1540 and this time around Shardlake has to solve the mystery of greek fire for Cromwell, a weapon, which he desperately needs to find to bring himself back in the king´s favor. A lot is at stake and Shardlakes life is more than once in danger.


There is something I have to admit. I suck at reading book series. It just seems like I´m not able to get past the first few books of a series, which means that I stopped reading Harry Potter after the fourth book, Thursday Next after the second book and Pendergast after the seventh book. It seems like I´m loosing interest in the characters and their stories at one point and I certainly never felt the urge to read all the books of a series in a row.

An then there comes Master Shardlake along and after finishing a novel of this series I feel the urge to read the next one right away. And this isn´t because of the stories of the novels (admittedly the story of Dark Fire is at times too cluttered and to drawn out) and it isn´t because of the historical backdrop, that C.J. Sansom depicts so explicitly. The great strength of these novels lies in its characters. I simply adore Shardlake and his sidekick Jack Barak. These two couldn´t be more different, yet they are forming that strong bond of friendship and mutual trust and I enjoyed every minute of being with them. And I guess that is the reason why I feel the need to read the subsequent novel of the series: I just miss the characters.

Thankfully there are another four Shardlake novels that I will be able to enjoy and I´m so looking forward to it.


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review 2014-04-01 18:50
Take out that Bell!
Dissolution - C.J. Sansom

On one hand, this work is an excellent historical fiction set in a time of upheaval.  The character of Shardlake is wonderful (you actually want to smack him a few times).  The supporting characters are good.

                Voice performance in the audio is good.

                Plot is a bit predictable and a little too drawn out.  Read it for the time painting if nothing else.


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review 2013-10-13 20:17
Revelation: A Matthew Shardlake Mystery
Revelation (Matthew Shardlake #4) - C.J. Sansom

This is the fourth book in my favorite historical mystery series.


This time, it is the spring of 1543, and Matthew Shardlake must keep his client in Bedlam (the city's "hospital" for the insane), in order to keep him from being burned as a heretic.  Meanwhile, the Bishop of London is busy persecuting would-be "reformers" of the church, particularly Lutherans and proto-Puritans, who would seem to be about half the city.


At court, Shardlake's patron, Archbishop Cranmer, fears that he might follow Cardinal Wolsey's example and "fall" from Henry VIII's favor, which would probably be fatal, and the king himself is going a-courting.  Having disposed of Catherine Howard, he is making eyes at a reluctant Catherine Parr.


Oh yes - and there's a serial killer with a thing for the Book of Revelation on the loose.

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