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review 2017-09-06 13:54
The War of the Worlds (Modern Library Classics) - 'H. G. Wells', 'Arthur C. Clarke'

Great story that still stands the test of time.

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review 2017-05-25 20:05
Review: The Whitby Witches by Robin Jarvis
The Whitby Witches (Egmont Modern Classics) - Robin Jarvis


I would like to thank Egmont Publishing for providing me with an advanced reading copy of this book.

 

I somehow managed to miss this author's books as they were originally released many years before my own children were of age to read them. Last year I happened across his newer series, The Witching Legacy and have since read both books one and two and loved them. So when I saw this one I was eager to delve into it, especially as it's set in Whitby like the newer books.

 

The Whitby Witches was a lot of fun. It was full of adventure, imagination, and danger. I was completely swept along with the characters and their story. The writing was easy to read and the world was vividly described. It was wonderfully dark and atmospheric and a lot of fun all round. Everything was so easily pictured in my mind as I read. It was like being a child all over again, reliving that wonderful sense of adventure, danger and anticipation.

 

The only negative aspect, and it's not something that's particular to this story alone but something that seems to be a trend across many children's stories and books and something I'm more aware of now as a mother, is the fact that the majority of villains or bad guys in children's stories always seem to have some kind of disfigurement or disability. They are always "ugly" scarred or disfigured in some way. Why are we portraying this kind of message to our children? How a person looks doesn't portray whether they are good or bad. Beauty is only skin deep, the outside does not reflect who a person is on the inside. "Monsters" can look just like everyone else and just because someone isn't what most would class as "normal" it doesn't make them the bad guy to be feared. Perhaps that is too scary of a concept in truth for children but it's reality. Anyway, I realise this is a more general comment and not something particular to this book alone but it's something that I found myself contemplating after finishing this one so I wanted to comment on it.

 

All in all, The Whitby Witches was a lot of fun and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I'm going to have to get my hands on the rest of the series now.

 

 

Reviews also posted to my blog: Scarlet's Web
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review 2017-05-03 10:28
August Folly - DNF
August Folly (Virago Modern Classics) - Angela Thirkell

I hate to do this to an Angela Thirkell book, because I've truly enjoyed every other book of hers I've read so far, but I can't keep on.

 

I don't like Richard, who, as of page 63, is the main character.  He's sulky and immature and even worse, he's starting to moon over a woman his mother's age who is happily married and has 9 children.  I have no doubt whatsoever that subsequent events will mature him and his romantic interests will soon be redirected into more appropriate avenues, with much hilarity ensuing in the process.  But I can't make myself go through the painful bits to get to the funny bits.

 

Angela Thirkell was a prolific author so there was bound to be one I didn't love, and I'll not let this one damp my enthusiasm.  

 

 

 

 

Total pages: 284

Pages read: 64  (~26%)

$ banked:  $1.00

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text 2017-04-26 12:13
Some Quotes shared from Schoolgirl
Schoolgirl (Modern Japanese Classics) - Osamu Dazai,Allison Markin Powell

I don't have a full review for Schoolgirl, although I DO have a few sentences and some notes floating around in my head.  It's just a matter of putting them together coherently, though chances are, I might just include it in my June Package Review for all the books I probably won't publish an official review for.

Anyway, in the meantime, here are some quotes I highlighted while reading Schoolgirl that stood out to me for one reason or another.  What I was thinking at the time is questionable, but here you are:


 

 

 


Source: anicheungbookabyss.blogspot.com/2017/04/some-quotes-shared-from-schoolgirl.html
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review 2017-03-24 00:00
The War of the Worlds (Modern Library Classics)
The War of the Worlds (Modern Library Classics) - 'H. G. Wells', 'Arthur C. Clarke' Interplanetary war breaks out in Woking, Surrey England. Newsreaders even less sure where that is than countries in the Middle East.

The War of the Worlds is about Martians invading Earth using advanced technology, like 21 metre tall tripod machines, heat rays, and toxic smogs. One man is able to recount his experience of living through the invasion from the first landing to the start of the rebuilding of southern England.

It is hard to comment on such a classic novel. The War of the Worlds has gone on to influence culture in many ways. The obvious influences are in books and movies, most notably the Edgar Rice Burroughs novels and the entire alien invasion genre. But it also had an impact on science, such Freeman Dyson's search for extraterrestrial life and Robert Goddard's rocket development. Not many books can claim that (seriously, check the Wiki article out for a brief overview https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_War_of_the_Worlds). Makes it very hard to comment...

While I enjoyed this book I came away from it underwhelmed. Much of the novel is interesting, not least of which is the understated setting - because now you would be considered mad to set an alien invasion story anywhere without a prominent monument that can be destroyed. The characters the narrator meets are also interesting, particularly the artilleryman who has big dreams about leading the resistance movement. But this is all told in a memoir style that lacks immediacy, tension, and excitement. Southern England has just been invaded by aliens with death rays, yet the narrator could just as well be relating the time he watched a cricket match in Surrey.

Worth reading as a classic, especially if you forgive the narrative style.
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