I have a love/hate relationship with historical fiction, particularly that which is set in the Tudor period. I studied Tudor history at university, focusing on the reign of Henry VIII and so am fairly familiar with the accepted historical fact of this era and I’m particularly interested in the lives of his wives and their relationship to him. I find myself reading quite a lot of these novels as I just find these women so fascinating, however more often than not I am frustrated by the novels as being inaccurate or just plain awful. The novel is readable for the most part and readers who enjoy Tudor fiction will find this a light and quick read about one of Henrys wive who is not written about as much as some of the others. It is let down by a bizarrely modern style of dialogue amongst the characters and the narrator being rather dull. A novel more focused on Katherine’s point of view would have been more interesting. Nonetheless, I always find it interesting to read how authors see the wives of Henry VIII and this novel was an inoffensive look at Katherine Howard.
The full review is on my blog: http://acaseforbooks.blogspot.com/2011/06/review-32-confession-of-katherine.html
The Unwritten is the first graphic novel I have bought, rather than borrowed from someone. I liked Watchmen and I really enjoyed the Fables series, both of which were recommended to me by someone who knew what they were talking about. The Unwritten is my first time striking off on my own and trying something I’d chosen myself. The Unwritten seemed to be something I would enjoy as it is packed with literary references and is based on the concept of real life and literature merging, something I’ve enjoyed in Fables but also in novels such as Jasper Ffordes work. All in all this is an enjoyable read but not one that makes me want to buy the next in the series. I think that Fables is superior when it comes to literary graphic novels and I would recommend that over The Unwritten. Nonetheless, it is a fun read with some nice touches.
The full review is on my blog: http://acaseforbooks.blogspot.com/2011/06/review-31-unwritten-vol-1-tommy-taylor.html
Review of the fourteenth volume of the excellent Fables series of graphic novels which I would really recommend to both graphic novel fans and readers who haven’t tried them before – Fables is not your stereotypical graphic novel and is a great read.
As I came online to link to my review I noticed that KatSings has just review Vol. 1 so check that out as well: http://cannonballread3.wordpress.com/2011/04/03/katsings-cbr-iii-review-7-fables-vol-1-legends-in-exile-by-bill-willingham/
Diana Wynne Jones was my favourite author when I was a teenager. I have read almost everything she has written and reread and reread my favourites over and over when I was a child. Last week I was feeling nostalgic whilst browsing Amazon so looked for Archer’s Goon, my favourite when I was younger. I discovered, and was outraged, that it is now out of print but I bought a second hand copy. It came late last week and I read it over the weekend and I loved it as much as I ever did. After I finished it I went online and discovered that Diana Wynne Jones had died on Thursday after a long battle with lung cancer.
An excellent young adult novel with a great (if somewhat unbelievable!) and exciting plot with some deeper themes for teenagers to think about. Not truly a crossover novel into legitimately good for adults as well but an enjoyable, quick read for adults nonetheless.
Please find below the link to my latest review of When I Was Five I Killed Myself by Howard Buten, a quirky and thoughtprovoking read about a flawed and sympathetic little boy. I’m getting a bit behind on my reviews so doing a catch up – expect a young adult review later today hopefully.
After a minor discussion on what makes a good book in the first paragraph, see the link for my review of the young adult book The Memory Cage by Ruth Eastham; a good story hampered by mediocre writing.
See the link for my review of the novel Fingersmith by Sarah Waters, a Dickensian flavoured novel set in the world of Victorian asylums, country houses and criminals. A really enjoyable, involving read filled with twists and turns. Although I felt it was missing a bit of heart – but I know people will disagree with me as people seem to unreservedly love this book. For me a good book but not a great book, but one I would recommend nonetheless.
I’m in agreement with Figgy’s earlier comment about how hard it is to write a good review of a great book. I loved this but really struggled to write a review that summed up why I loved it. It might feel a little like an advert for Jasper Fforde but I really do love his writing (and have no affiliation with him!) so it just stems from an uncomplicated love of a book! Any tips on how to write a good book review of a wonderful book are much appreciated (short of tell us why you loved it – I’ve got that far).
I don’t think this is out in the US for a few weeks so hopefully it will whet the appetites of any Fforde fans out there (it doesn’t have any spoilers in it).
So without further ado and ramblings, here is the link to my latest review: