This is the second of this author’s books I’ve read and her writing has made me a fan. I found her first book Sacrifice equally compelling and readablThis is the second of this author’s books I’ve read and her writing has made me a fan. I found her first book Sacrifice equally compelling and readable.
This well paced thriller, set in small English village introduces us to a young, reclusive, veterinary surgeon who has been deeply scarred by an event from her childhood. A number of strange occurrences involving snakes draw Clara into investigating the mysteries with interesting results.
I was impressed with the amount of interesting facts about snakes the author managed to incorporate into the narrative without boring me. I love animals and appreciated the character’s compassion for these often misunderstood creatures.
If you enjoy a good mystery and love animals then this is a great book to spend a weekend with....more
Eleven year old Flavia has done it again! Outsmarted the local constabulary, saved the day with an extremely creative, chemical concoction and solvedEleven year old Flavia has done it again! Outsmarted the local constabulary, saved the day with an extremely creative, chemical concoction and solved another murder accompanied by her trusty bike Gladys. She pedals around the village and surrounding countryside, ferreting out secrets and succeeds where the kind but stern, Detective Inspector fails.
This second book in the Flavia de Luce series set in 1950’s rural England drew me in immediately and has just as much, if not more charm than the first. I found myself giggling as well as sympathizing with the brilliant but emotionally vulnerable young heroine. If you’re looking for a charming, cozy, mystery with a few laughs thrown in, I highly recommend The Weed that Strings the Hangman’s Bag. ...more
I love the first sentence of chapter one, “The purpose of this book is to transform your thinking about life and work.”
I’m ready for a change, I’ve beI love the first sentence of chapter one, “The purpose of this book is to transform your thinking about life and work.”
I’m ready for a change, I’ve been busting at the seams for months with an excess of energy and looking for a way to direct it effectively. This is the kind of book that will immediately appeal to you or not. If you’re completely happy with your life and not ripe for change, you’ll probably find all sorts of objections to the author’s message and many things to criticize about the book itself. I am going to focus on the positive and what spoke to me.
The next passage that struck me was this one. “My motivation is to help people challenge authority and live unconventional, remarkable lives. The mission is to support a full-scale revolution with a simple underlying message: You don’t have to live your life the way other people expect you to.”
Oh boy, give me more! For the first forty odd years of my life I lived in fear. Fear was so much a part of every decision; I was completely unaware of the amount of power I’d given it. Fear of standing out, not being liked, not being normal, not being good enough? What a load of crap. I actually have had moments of fearlessness and adventure but sadly, many more moments of conformity. Looking back, I see my spirit aching to break out and succeeding for short periods, only to be sucked back into the morass of a conventional life.
In the latter parts of the book, the author asks you to think about what kind of legacy you want to leave and to start living immediately with that vision in mind. I used to be the kind of person who wished for some divine inspiration to strike me about the purpose of my life. I used to wonder why I didn’t know what to do with myself. And what was wrong with me that I couldn’t figure it out?
Recently, I asked myself a series of questions that led to the crafting of my own vision and purpose. I’ve stopped waiting for some mysterious inner or outside inspiration. Since that moment, my vision has been driving every purposeful and conscious action. I am more at peace and less anxious than I’ve ever been. I say, if you don’t know what to do, make it up and make it powerful! You will inspire yourself!
There is a chapter about setting goals in order to create a flexible but purposeful environment for yourself. He provides a series of simple but useful questions to ask, which will help define what you might like to do. At the end of each chapter, there is a short, point-form summary of the main points. The writing is clear and formatted in bite sized chunks. This is very easy reading.
It’s been many years since I travelled. Other experiences have been explored and become more dominant in my life but I cannot deny that travel altered my world view in a way that nothing else has. While being an armchair traveler is fun, the desire to fully experience the pleasure and discomfort of being outside my familiar world has been re-awakened and I’ll be adding a few destinations to my bucket list.
Inspiring quotes are peppered throughout the book and one in the “Contrarian Adventures” chapter struck me particularly. “Travel is the only thing you buy that makes you richer” – Anonymous. If anything I’ve written strikes a chord with you than you might want to pick up a copy of The Art of Non-Conformity. It’s not that scary. ...more
I'm a little conflicted about how to rate and review this one. I was really interested in the subject matter - the Victorian language of flowers. TheI'm a little conflicted about how to rate and review this one. I was really interested in the subject matter - the Victorian language of flowers. The young protagonist Victoria is a hurt and traumatized young woman after spending most of her life in foster care. After finally being released on her 18th birthday she begins a new life working with a florist and begins to bloom a little herself. The narration flips back and forth between her present life and various childhood episodes which I found quite painful to read.
I don't want to reveal too much about the plot but the closer I got to the end, the more uncomfortable I became with certain actions the character took. I think the author did a good job drawing me into the story and the characters were interesting but I'm not happy with the ending although I think I'm supposed to be. ...more
With such a heart-wrenching subject, reading this book was definitely an emotional experience. While I can personally identify with the heart of thisWith such a heart-wrenching subject, reading this book was definitely an emotional experience. While I can personally identify with the heart of this story having experienced the sudden loss of a parent surrounded by mystery and lack of closure, I found the use of second person narrative jarring and at times confusing. It definitely took away from the feeling of flow and my involvement in the narrative. This book will leave you thinking about your deepest relationships. 3.5 stars. ...more