It’s very difficult for me to review a non-fiction book. As fantastically interesting as I find them, I struggle to think of the right things to say,It’s very difficult for me to review a non-fiction book. As fantastically interesting as I find them, I struggle to think of the right things to say, because rather than being written with a certain flow like a story would be, it is written in sections and blocks. How exactly do you review and critique fact?
For starters, if for no other reason, you should own The Jane Austen Handbook because it’s beautiful. From the very simple but lovely cover design1 to the lovingly drawn line drawings by Kathryn Rathke speckled throughout the book, its’ design is a very subtle beauty. Along with these and the burgundy colours used, the style creates an elegant atmosphere which is reminiscent of the Regency era.
The book itself reads like a guidebook on life skills for the high class lady, with such guides as: how to become an accomplished lady, how to plan a dinner party, how to dress, how to attend a ball, how to elope to Scotland, and many many more valuable life lessons. Sullivan’s writing style is so flawless that you sometimes forget that you aren’t a member of the early 18th century gentry. The quotes included in every chapter from Austen’s stories may helpfully remind you, however, and they also keep the book firmly as a handbook to Austen’s world and not just any old Regency history book. As well as teaching you how to be a lady, there are interesting facts throughout about Austen’s life, and the other kinds of people that lived through this period. There is also a mini-Austen biography at the back, as well as a very helpful glossary, information about her books, and the various contemporary adaptations and a brilliant list of resources.
The Jane Austen Handbook is a great book for new and old fans of Jane Austen alike, and even if you aren’t much of an Austen fan, it is a very interesting book about the ways and customs of high society in Regency England. You will enjoy familiarising yourself with the time period, and if you’re already familiar with it then it is still a good companion book to own....more
The Liberty Tree was a bit of a risk for me as I hadn't read a memoir before and usually stick to the fantastical or humorous, yet I took the risk andThe Liberty Tree was a bit of a risk for me as I hadn't read a memoir before and usually stick to the fantastical or humorous, yet I took the risk and accepted this memoir about the relationship between an alcoholic and the husband she's not entirely sure she's in love with.. and do you know what? I loved it. It was completely outside of my comfort zone and I could hardly put it down.
Once I'd finished reading The Liberty Tree, I noticed that I was the only person who had added this book to my Goodreads so of course I had to fix this and proceeded to recommend it to as many of my friends who I thought might possibly enjoy reading it as I could, and if I missed you: I recommend this book. Here's why.
If you enjoy the kind of writing that draws you in and makes you feel as though you know the people you're reading about deeply, you will love The Liberty Tree. And it's not a misery-fest either, as much as you might expect from the blurb. Suzanne has written this memoir to her children to tell them what their dad was like before they came along and I think this has a lot to do with the charm of this book, but don't think that this is a memoir for children either. This is a book about the paranoia and behaviour caused by drug taking and hard partying, about alcohol abuse, and fundamentally about suicide and how it turns your life upside-down. The way Suzanne describes this portion of her life absolutely blew me away.
I found myself utterly swept up by the narrative only to find a couple of hours had passed. I've learned a lot about addiction, the effect of drugs, and how easy it is to miss something so huge. And I genuinely enjoyed reading about Suzanne and Leo's relationship. Keep your eye out for this one. I'm off to find more memoirs....more
Just found the guy a bit pretentious and uninteresting. From the moment I read him telling people who are interested in PC specs to get out more becauJust found the guy a bit pretentious and uninteresting. From the moment I read him telling people who are interested in PC specs to get out more because it'll do them some good and then proceeding to explain his terrible diet and smoking habit.. I just didn't love it.
I have another of his books which I also picked up on a freebie offer, The Cornerstone, which I'll give a try and hope it works out a little better. :)...more
I haven’t read or even browsed Weird Things Customers Say in Bookshops yet but that doesn’t mean More Weird TOriginally published on Once Upon A Time.
I haven’t read or even browsed Weird Things Customers Say in Bookshops yet but that doesn’t mean More Weird Things Customers Say in Bookshops becomes unreadable as they are after all just books of odd things people say in bookshops, so it is a sequel in very loose terms. This also means that I can’t compare the two, but I can tell you that this is a small book well worth the purchase as you’ll read it in one sitting if you’re anything like me, and find yourself quoting your favourite bits to the nearest breathing creature even if that does happen to be your cat. My particular favourites are the ones kids come out with. Such as:
Young Boy: You should put a basement in your bookshop. Bookseller: You think so? Young Boy: Yeah. And then you could keep a dragon in it, and he could look after the books for you when you’re not here. Bookseller: That’s pretty cool idea. Dragons breathe fire, though. Do you think he might accidentally burn the books? Young Boy: He might, but you could get one who’d passed a test in bookshop-guarding. Then, you’d be OK Bookseller: You know, I think you’re on to something here.
I think we all agree that a dragon who had passed a test in bookshop-guarding could only be a good thing. Would he be any good at home bookshelf guarding though, do you think?
This is just one of those books you need on your shelves to dip in and out of as and when you fancy a giggle. And the drawings by The Brothers McLeod are simply wonderful. I’ll be getting my hands on a copy of the first one when I can!...more