Book Review

HFVBT Review: The Soldier’s Return by Laura Libricz

This was meant to be up much earlier in the week, but life got somewhat in the way! I was kindly sent this book by Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours.

The Soldier’s Return by Laura Libricz

Publication Date: September 15, 2017
eBook & Paperback

Series: Heaven’s Pond Trilogy, Book Two
Genre: Historical Fiction

The year is 1626. A senseless war rips through parts of Germany. Ongoing animosity between the Catholics and the Protestants has turned into an excuse to destroy much of the landscape situated between France, Italy and Denmark. But religion only plays a minor role in this lucrative business of war.

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Book Review

Book Review: Throne of Jade by Naomi Novik

After finishing (and adoring) the first book in Naomi Novik’s Temeraire series, I had the best intentions of holding off on reading book two until I had made some headway through the stack of books I got at Christmas time.

Then my husband bought me book two: Throne of Jade… and what can I say? I’m weak.

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Book Review

Book Review: The Railway Detective by Edward Marston

I was very much in need of a new murder mystery series, having long ago finished the Sherlock Holmes canon and then systematically worked my way through all the Poirot and Marple novels, C.J. Sansom’s Shardlake stories and all 21 Phryne Fisher novels. I do prefer my murders historical though – modern crime just doesn’t draw me in the same way – and so the Railway Detective series by Edward Marston seemed a suitable choice, especially as I had read the Christmas special (see my review here) in December and had quite enjoyed it.

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Book Review, History

Book Review: Temeraire by Naomi Novik

If you’ve read any of my previous reviews, you’ve probably picked up that they are generally pretty positive: it’s very rare that I find that I don’t enjoy a book at all. This one goes far beyond enjoyment though…I loved it! It’s now up there with my top ten favourite books of all time.

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Book Review, general

Book Review: Women & Power by Mary Beard (and why everyone needs to be reading it)

Read this book.

Seriously, no what gender, age or political orientation you are; read this book.

It seems almost unbelievable that someone could so perfectly encapsulate the problems faced by women both historically and today in 2018 in just over one hundred pages, but this is what the inestimable Mary Beard has done.

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Book Review

Book Review: When the Serpent Bites by Nesly Clerge

Modern, gritty crime is usually not a very ‘me’ genre at all. I prefer my murders to be usually genteel and always in the past; a la Christie and Conan Doyle. In fact, I could genuinely count on one hand the total number of books I own set after 1950.

With that in mind, When the Serpent Bites by Nesly Clerge is at first glance not a book I might normally have picked up in the bookshop if I was browsing for myself. Having been offered a copy to review for this blog though, I thought: why not? Perhaps I should try something different for a change!

Definitely a good decision! I whizzed through it in a few days: I was hooked.

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Book Review

Book Review: Jeeves and the Yuletide Spirit

I don’t know about you, but I always find myself a little low when January starts. The Christmas decorations that have brightened my home are coming down, I’ve inevitably put on weight, most of the good TV is finished, the holidays are over and semester two teaching looms. I’m always glad of a little comedy to perk me up, and that’s exactly what Jeeves and the Yuletide Spirit did.

I’d meant to read this book before Christmas, but having spent a fair chunk of December ill, I sadly didn’t get through as many books as I wanted. However, having kept it back, it actually proved a lovely little post-festive pick-up in true P.G Wodehouse fashion.

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2017 Roundup: These are a few of my favourite things…

2017 has been a pretty busy year for me: we bought a house and my lecturing load has been pretty mad. It has meant that I’ve not managed nearly enough reading as I’d liked, but hopefully 2018 will be different on that front.

Still, I have managed to fit in some really good books, film and TV this year and here is a very succinct summary of a few of the things I’ve most enjoyed:

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Film Review, Geekery

Film Review – Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle

When my husband told me that there was going to be a new Jumanji movie, I must confess that, like with Murder on the Orient Express, I was a little bit sceptical. After all, did it really need a remake? Especially now the late, great Robin Williams was no longer with us. These past few years have felt a little bit like Hollywood is out of ideas and that we are in a perpetual cycle of superhero stories as reboots.

Once the teaser trailers were released though, it was clear that this was going to be a totally different film to the original Jumanji and I started to look forward to it. Craig and I went to see it yesterday and both enjoyed it so much – it totally surpassed our expectations.

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Recipe: Christmas Tree cookies – my favourite festive bake!

This is another staple of my Christmas repertoire. They’re a pretty simple biscuit to make but they look so festive when they are decorated. I’ve made them every year since about 2010. Like my Oreo truffles, they’re a BBC Good Food recipe and they make a lovely little present if you want to give something homemade. I may be slightly biased but they go brilliantly with hot chocolate or a cup of tea!

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