It is that mystery that makes this book strange to say the least. While there are recognizable names like Tutankhamun (nothing like a good curse and murder), Rameses (power and warfare) and Cleopatra (Romance, intrigue and tragedy), these are few and far between those pharaohs listed as “thought to have” existed, or “only known from” some artifact, or the ever so popular “little is known of”. But there is enough historic detail both about Egypt and the area itself to make this a worthy read.
As an aside, I find it interesting how this book, and western society, describe the “tomb robbers” of ancient times and yet seem to forget that most of those pyramids’ and temples were actually emptied by 18th and 19th century “archaeologists” , who spirited the treasures away to many foreign museums’ around the world!
The cover of this small Avon Historical Romance paperback gives the illusion of romance. There is also a comment by an author “Intriguing, engaging.. and illicit delight!”
A quick précis : Lady Anisha Stafford fled her native India after her husband died, and takes her children and young brother to live with her brother in England. She meets again her brother’s friend Rance Welham, who has survived scandal and disgrace and evaded being hung. He and Anisha try to discover who is responsible for Rance’s troubles.
Now, I mean no disrespect to the author, whom I’m sure has written wonderful stuff, but I found this book a slow read. Too many people chasing other people to solve an old mystery and getting nowhere. There is some sex, not a great deal of violence. I’m afraid the most exciting bit is in the last twelve pages before the epilogue, when they uncover what happened and how, who was responsible and what happened to that person. I think I’ll need to read another by this author to see if this was a one-off dry read.
- Dolly W.
Between a screen version and a book version, in my world the book version wins 99.99% of the time. That is why the 0.01 % (yes the maths works) disappoints me so much, in that this is a TV programme I really enjoy… Doctor Who.
The books “Dr Who’s a history of the universe in 100 objects” by James Goss and Steve Tribe, and the similar “Doctor Who’s monsters” just do not have enough structure to work, in my opinion. I believe a book should have at least one of two purposes; to entertain or to inform (a really good book does both), yet these seem to achieve neither.
As I said, these books are really let down by their structure in that the information or entertainment they are trying to bring us just does not arrive before they are off trying to bring us the next one. Never did I have moment to stop and think wow or really?
The mixture of true fact and fiction in the books just just does not gell for me. So the only reason I finished reading them was I hate leaving things unfinished (and it was Doctor Who after all), but let’s put it this way – in a choice between the new television series of Doctor Who, and reading the next book in this series, I know which one I’m waiting for, and the book loses. As I always say though, preference is always subjective and at the end of the day, whichever one you enjoy, I’m glad.
- by Darren Russell
If you enjoyed The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel (book or movie, which are both available throught the library) then you might like Deborah Moggach’s latest offering.
‘Heartbreak Hotel’ focuses on thrice-married B&B owner Russell ‘Buffy’ Buffery who has hit on an idea: Courses for Divorces. “Marriage is a division of labour and chances are you’ve relied on your Better Half for something you can’t do yourself. When they’ve gone, you’re as helpless as a baby… In a week you’ll be able to stand on your own two feet.” Join Buffy and his raggle-taggle group of singletons and divorcees as they seek solace and late-flowering love.
- Heartbreak Hotel by Deborah Moggach – review (guardian.co.uk)
‘Sandman Slim’ is Richard Kadrey’s first novel, and kicks off a series of four about James Stark who has spent the last eleven years in hell, after being sent there by one of his Sub Rosa coven members, Mason.
Although the premise sounds far-fetched, Kadrey is an adept enough writer to keep you turning the pages to find out what happens…and why. Along the way, Stark (aka Sandman Slim - a moniker given to him by the hellions he defeated in Dante’s Inferno) introduces you to magick, and the Sub Rosa: the group of magicians who perform it in Los Angeles. Stark found a doorway out of hell back to earth and has returned for revenge…but things have changed greatly in his absence.
Highly recommended as a sort of male Janet Evanovich with hellish overtones and a supernatural flavour.
by Tamara Jones
- Sandman Slim, Richard Kadrey (2009) (teepee12.com)
- Sandman Slim by Richard Kadrey. Or Action movie 101. (clsiewert.wordpress.com)
‘Journey to Today: Tararua Migration Stories’ is the brainchild of Kay Flavell in Eketahuna. It is a visual version of oral history.
It was originally a project in conjunction with an Artist in Residency at New Pacific Studios at Mount Bruce, and continuing the ‘Story Spot’ project launched by New Pacific Studios in 2003. However, funding didn’t come through for the artist to continue.
It involves residents of Tararua district drawing around their hand and then writing on the tracing answers to the following questions.
What to do:
Place your hand flat on some A4 paper, and draw around your hand. Add your name and date at the top of the sheet.
Write the answer to the following questions briefly on the fingers of your tracing (one answer per finger shape). If there is not enough room, write the answers anywhere on the paper.
1. Where did today’s journey start? (where did you wake up this morning)
2. Where did your life journey start? (where were you born/date?)
3. Key stops and encounters along the way (important memories)
4. What is your greatest treasure?
5. What is your dream?
Send or deliver the finished product to your local Tararua Library, where they will be deposited into a Story Box. They will then be scanned into the Tararua District Library’s Kete (online digital repository) for everybody to access.
Over time, we hope to get hundreds of really interesting stories from a wide range of Tararua residents. People will be able to search the Kete in future years to see how their current circumstances compare to now. It will also be a useful tool for historical research.
There is no deadline or obligation to participate in this project, but we would really appreciate as much input as possible.
Charlotte Nicholls and three year old Chloe live an idyllic life in a cottage by the sea at Te Puna, New Zealand. Family live close by. All Charlotte wants to do is build a new life for herself and Chloe. However, Charlotte has a secret and in this day of the internet, if someone bears a grudge and feels there is something not quite right, a search of the internet can really open a can of worms, even if you’ve moved to the other side of the world.
A very moving story of what one woman would do for the love of a child. As it says on the cover; a multi-faceted tear jerker, an irresistible blend of intrigue and passion. You just keep turning the page, with the atmosphere growing more intense as the story leads to its dramatic climax. A good read.
- by Janice
Everyone is invited to join in the celebrations for the National Day of Norway, Sunday 19th May 2013, Norsewood. This will include a parade with brass band, demonstration of dancing, a presentation, and a cooking competition. It’s all free – just bring a potluck lunch!
For details see attached programme.
After listening to author Joanne Drayton speaking on ‘The search for Anne Perry’ recently (aka Juliet Hulme), I wondered about her partner in crime, Pauline Parker. So I read ‘So brilliantly clever : Parker, Hulme, and the murder that shocked the world’ by Peter Graham, which was a finalist in the 2011 New Zealand Book Awards.
As someone who rarely reads non-fiction, I must say that lawyer, and true crime writer Graham has done an excellent job and it was interesting and easy to read. Based on Pauline’s diaries, court transcripts and interviews, this well researched comprehensive book details both girls early lives, family and school life including parental backgrounds, the actual murder of Nora Rieper (aka Honorah Parker) including autopsy results, the trial, the girls time in prison, and their subsequent release and later lives.
Juliet Hulme was ‘outed’ as Anne Perry in 1994, whereas Pauline Parker aka Hilary Nathan wasn’t tracked down until 1997. After her release, Pauline completed a Bachelors degree and trained as a librarian; after a few years, she moved to England where she eventually ran a riding school. After she was ‘outed’, she refused to speak to media, and moved to Orkney in remote Scotland. Perry also lives in Scotland. To this day, Hilary refuses to speak to media and lives as a virtual recluse, devoted to her Catholic faith. Her sister Wendy said that “Hilary is very remorseful, and is continuing her penance by keeping away from people.” (I would imagine that 60 years of public hatred is another incentive to remain private as well).Finally, Graham discusses the characters, personality traits and possible mental conditions of the girls in 1954, from a modern psychiatric viewpoint. For example, he mentions a newly recognised condition called ‘twinship transference’ that could have played a role, amongst other things.
If you too are consumed by curiosity, I highly recommend this book. In my opinion, it provided a full overview of the case and as balanced a viewpoint as possible, considering that neither Anne nor Hilary consented to be interviewed, or testified at trial.
- by Natalie
Denver resident Dr. Kismet Knight is a high-achieving, sexy, beautiful young psychologist. When Midnight, a young vampire wannabe is referred to her for counselling, she realises there is a whole untapped market of ‘crazy’ people out there, that she can use as material for a book. So she advertises herself as ‘the vampire shrink … late night hours available’.
Next minute, Midnight’s prospective Master turns up, and is instantly certain he has found his mate. Unfortunately for Kismet, Devereux is the most powerful vampire in the area, and that means he has enemies. Enemies who realise that Kismet is now his weak point. In addition, an FBI agent is complicating matters, the Devil is making housecalls, the local police think she is involved in a series of murders where the victims are exsanguinated and she has fallen in lust with a vampire!
Personally, I found ’The vampire shrink’ by Lynda Hilburn to be a paranormal romance typical of the genre, but two things elevated it from the ranks - Kismet doesn’t believe in vampires, and also the vampires in this novel have a few other powers that I’ve not read of before. It’s also got a fair dollop of eroticism and humour. All in all, it was pretty good … enough to while away a few wintry hours! The sequel ‘Blood therapy’ is also available now, and there are more to follow.
- by Natalie
- The Vampire Psychologist Series! (caughtbetweenthepages.wordpress.com)
Alan Titchmarsh is Britain’s most famous gardener. He has written 60 gardening books and 8 bestselling novels. In Britain he writes for magazines, appears on TV and has presented coverage of the Chelsea Flower Show for 25 years.I took this book home with the intention of looking at the beautiful photos of his private four acre garden in all four seasons. But I found the text equally enjoyable. His previous garden was used for filming and photography for 20 years, but as he likes to share his garden, he allowed the photographs to be taken for this book over a period of seven years.What I couldn’t get over was how matter of fact and down to earth he is. He tells of his successes, his failures and the ‘I should have known better’ moments. He writes of his first glass house which he built as a teenager using a roll of polythene and some timber his plumber father brought home. He says that although each successive glasshouse has been larger and flasher he got the same kick out of that first humble one. What he used to grow in his glasshouse is the same as what he grows now, and that in ten years time he will without doubt still be growing the same things in it, because that is what he likes. No slave to fashion.
Although most of us don’t garden on this scale there are still plenty of ideas to be found in this book.If you love gardening and/or garden tours you will love this book.
“Jingqiu, an innocent young woman from a poor and politically questionable family in the city, is selected as one of a small group of students to be sent to the countryside to work on a glorious new education project that will further the Cultural Revolution. Clever, curious and eager, she wants to fit in with her hosts and the rural way of life, and it isn’t appropriate for her to fall in love. But she does, with the son of a mighty army general. This beautiful, simple story of love against the odds will break your heart.”-provided by publisher
Reading the Hawthorn Tree gave me feelings of naivety, culture, injustice, ignorance and abhorrent living conditions and not last but love. The love between “third son” and Jingqiu was unforgettable and sad, through ignorance and fear. The Cultural Revolution will never improve the poverty of its people. This book should be read by young and old to appreciate the freedom we have.
- by Dawn