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review 2018-02-26 14:08
Life Unfinished- Martin White

     White has created a very readable biographical fiction out of the life and times of Franz Peter Schubert. The book is very engaging, even for one that knows next to nothing about the ‘engineering’ of music. Period history is my fascination here, along with my naive appreciation of the music itself. I now know a good deal more about the history of the classic period of European music than I did before the enjoyable experience of reading this book.

     There are many books and films about the life of Schubert, all rather building on the same store of facts and sometimes rather weakly anchored conjecture. The widespread, if not consensual, view is that Schubert was bisexual. That is based only on the certainty that many of his acquaintances and friends in the worlds of music, theatre and painting were of diverse passions. Though whether he caught syphilis, a disease that in this account almost came to finally define him from a rare sexual encounter or from a promiscuous existence is debatable. In fact, contemporary records give little evidence that he even suffered from that particular disease, although his general decline in health is well documented. What is known as undisputed fact is that Schubert was extremely socially awkward. He was often shy to the point of this being psychologically overwhelming to his character and even damaging to his career.

     He fantasised about several women in his life, most either simply tragically unsuitable or deliberately chosen because of the extreme unlikelihood of any possible union. Whatever the deep reasoning for these ‘affairs’ never leading into meaningful shared physical relationships, he certainly had a talent for focussing his heart on those that were socially unsuitable. Whether servant or aristocrat, the women he cherished were consistently well above or below his social station. Schubert himself was born very much into the educated upper classes, all be it very far short of its summits. White builds on these known elements along with commonly conjectured plot based on his eventual death from syphilis. The second half of the story buildings very much on the medically observed course of the disease and its then treatment.

     White’s description of the music, especially of Schubert’s more serious works, which were rather passed over during his life, are very poetic. One is drawn into feeling like a genuine spectator not just in the room, but also one privileged to glimpse many imaginative and plausible mental thoughts. Although there is a drift into substantive speculation I have confidence that White never loses connection with what we know from genuine contemporary records.

     I have far from a complete idea as to how much of this book has been based on previous novels and films, and how much has been sparked with true originality. Not that that can make much difference to the enjoyment of this very plausible and generally sympathetic interpretation. What matters is that this is a very well written piece of biographical fiction based available documentation.


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text 2017-12-30 14:51
December Wrap-up
Old Celtic Romances - P.W. Joyce
Sigil Witchery: A Witch's Guide to Crafting Magick Symbols - Laura Tempest Zakroff
Fairies:: A Guide to the Celtic Fair Folk - Morgan Daimler
Dreamtime Dragons - Nils Visser
The Grand Phantom - Harold Cloninger
A Christmas Carol - Charles Dickens
Plum Dandi Knits: Simple Designs for Luxury Yarns - Alicia Plummer,Melissa Schaschwary
The Mermaid and Mrs Hancock - Imogen Hermes Gowar
The Toy Makers - Robert Dinsdale
About Time: Einstein's Unfinished Revolution - Paul Davies

Yes, there's one more day but although I'm getting close to finishing Uprooted by Naomi Novik, I definitely won't be finishing any other books before January 1st.


I seem to have given myself a lot of non-fiction to read this month. Mostly from Netgalley.


I expect to finish Uprooted between today and tomorrow so I'm counting 11 books for the month. Not bad for me!


The stand out ones besides Uprooted (which I'm really enjoying) would be The Toy Makers and the Dreamtime Dragons Anthology. Both have given me a lot of reading pleasure. I enjoyed the re-reading of A Christmas Carol too. 5 of the books are non-fiction so only a couple of meh books.


I also got through some of the samples backlog again. I've only got about 80 left. I collected a LOT over Halloween!


I still have some non-fiction reads in progress so that may slow me down for January reading, but I seem to be averaging more in a month than I used to. I blame all of you.

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text 2017-10-08 22:41
Giving up - for now
Martin Luther: His Road to Reformation 1483-1521 - Martin Brecht

Back in May I posted about my reading plans for the upcoming summer, which detailed an ambitious program consisting of books on composers, the Paraguayan War, and Martin Brecht's three-volume biography of Martin Luther. Reading it now results in no small feelings of embarrassment, as I read none of those books; instead my summer was spent mainly on books for my podcasts. The only one I even started was the first volume of Brecht's Luther biography, which I made good progress on in mid-July but then had to set aside because of podcasting deadlines. Nevertheless, I kept it on my "currently reading" shelf in the belief that I would find the time soon to resume it.


Today I admitted defeat and shelved the book indefinitely. It's frustrating, especially considering the anniversary and my longstanding intent to deepen my understanding of Luther and his ideas. But I have to accept the fact that, with 2,000 pages of reading awaiting me for this month alone I just won't be able to pick it up again anytime soon. It's only a postponement, though, as I will get back to it as some point.

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text 2017-08-14 22:19
Book Review for Unfinished Business by Carina Adams
Title: Unfinished Business
Series: Bastards of Boston Novel 
Author: Carina Adams
Genre: MC Romance
Release Date: July 26, 2017
“Passionate, gritty, and emotionally gripping! Carina Adams returns to her writing roots and delivers one hell a phenomenal story!” - Read and Share Book Review
“I'm not sure what I was expecting going in to this books. But it surely wasn't this beautiful masterpiece!” - Linda from Goodreads
“I was completely and utterly blown away by this book.” - Melissa from Goodreads
The Bastards of Boston live in a world most don't understand. They follow their own rules, only accountable to each other, the innocents they protect, and the people they couldn't save.

As president of the Bastards MC, Robert Doyle is the man behind it all. It’s his responsibility to keep his club safe, to be the smartest man in the room, and be ten steps ahead of everyone. He’d give everything he had, and sell his soul to the devil, to protect the ones he loves. 
Until Rocker comes face-to-face with the pain he thought he’d buried. Old wounds are ripped open. Revenge consumes him. Once again he’s the teenager desperate to avenge his daughter’s murder and nothing else matters.
He calls me his angel, but the halo I wear caught fire a long time ago. There is no line I won’t cross, no law I won’t break. I’ll do whatever it takes to save him. If the road to hell is paved with good intentions, I’ll happily burn.
When past and present collide, we’re in for one hell of a bumpy ride.


Let's start off by saying this is a first time author for us and we throughly enjoyed our first read by them.
Just wow ! What a complicated story with depth and so many levels to it.I love story with a complicated history.The story was filled with death,destruction,sexual abuse and so much more.
The characters were engaging and love-able as well as like-able.I have to say that there was a whole lot of drama that was going on in this club along with their women.It was engaging and kept you engrossed and turning the pages.
I normally pick a favorite character in a story but this time around it was just to hard to.All the main characters had such tragic lives that it was impossible for you not to feel their pain and have your heart bleed for each and everyone of them.
Cris although was a favorite of mine .The things that she survived were horrific but she did so much to overcome her pain and suffering.We saw her become and strong & feisty and determined women .I loved everything she had become.I loved the lengths she went to protect those she loved.
This was not your typical MC romance and this author has a different style of writing that I had to warm up to but , she wrote and engrossing story with characters that had you feeling all kinds of emotions like happiness and sadness and everything in between.We loved it.
Looking so forward to reading the two books that came before this one.I will say that I wish I had read the previous books first as Rocker and Cris had so much history together and separately before this story that things would have clicked into places quicker but that does not mean I didn't catch on.
A tragic love story filled with so much pain and suffering but second chances and happily ever afters.We love when you can connect with the characters you read about and I was able to do that with these characters as you could not help but be drawn to them from the onset of the story.In doing so It made for a fantastic read for us.
A recommend read to all but would recommend reading previous books in series first.
5 stars from us
An avid reader who loves epic and unconventional romance, Carina has an unhealthy obsession with Jason Statham, loves the sounds of Johnny Cash and Willie Nelson, is the crazy friend your mom warned you about, and believes one day she will go through the stones to meet Jamie Fraser. 
Carina has been writing and creating characters for as long as she can remember, allowing her to fall in love with the next man of her dreams with every new story. None of which are anything like boring Prince Charming. Thankfully, fate stepped in and granted her the ultimate wish - a life full of men. Carina lives in a picturesque New England town with her husband, the man who ruined the thought of all others, and two amazing sons who always keep her on her toes.


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text 2017-07-12 01:46
Reading progress update: I've read 175 out of 543 pages.
Martin Luther: His Road to Reformation 1483-1521 - Martin Brecht

This is proving to be a rich and dense book. I can already tell that I will be revisiting it in the future.

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