April Wrap Up!

So April has passed over and now it’s May! That’s crazy! However, I’m doing pretty well with my reading, and in April I read five books, which means I am way ahead of schedule on my Goodreads reading challenge!

The books I read in the month of April were:

What did you read this month?

Thanks for reading!
~Katie

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Book Review: The Vesuvius Club by Mark Gatiss

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Read between: 14th-21st April
Format: Paperback
Number of pages: 240
Published: July 4th, 2005
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Synopsis: Meet Lucifer Box: Equal parts James Bond and Sherlock Holmes, with a twist of Monty Python and a dash of Austin Powers, Lucifer has a charming countenance and rapier wit that make him the guest all hostesses must have. And most do. But few of his conquests know that Lucifer is also His Majesty’s most daring secret agent, at home in both London’s Imperial grandeur and in its underworld of despicable vice.

So when Britain’s most prominent scientists begin turning up dead, there is only one man his country can turn to for help. Following a dinnertime assassination, Lucifer is dispatched to uncover the whereabouts of missing agent Jocelyn Poop. Along the way he will give art lessons, be attacked by a poisonous centipede, bed a few choice specimens, and travel to Italy on business and pleasure.

Aided by his henchwoman Delilah; the beautiful, mysterious, and Dutch Miss Bella Pok; his boss, a dwarf who takes meetings in a lavatory; grizzled vulcanologist Emmanuel Quibble; and the impertinent, delicious, right-hand-boy Charlie Jackpot, Lucifer Box deduces and seduces his way from his elegant townhouse at Number 9 Downing Street (somebody has to live there) to the ruined city of Pompeii, to infiltrate a highly dangerous secret society that may hold the fate of the world in its clawlike grip.

Rating: 5521e-4stars

Review:
Lucifer Box is suave, sophisticated….and a scoundrel. Occupying Number 9 Downing Street…that tells you everything you need to know really. He is known for his paintings, and…other hobbies that aren’t so illustrious. Thankfully. Although Lucifer might actually tell you about it because that’s who he is.

As a character, he is very open about who he is. There are definitely egotistical elements to Lucifer- but they add to his character. A character that Gatiss writes very well.

I really enjoyed this book, not only is there a mystery to be solved, but we are also introduced to some side characters which make us aware of Lucifer’s bisexuality. Although he does mention in, he is very open about it, and casually tells the reader of his desires.

It’s a bit of fluff- the author tells you so, but it is also so much more than that. There’s plenty of plot twists that kept me enthralled. I must admit that in some places the writing seemed quite simple, but Gatiss knows how to write and the short chapters kept it flowing.

It was nice to re-read this book after so long and to follow Lucifer as he romps around London and Naples trying to solve a crime- whilst being entertaining at the same time!

4/5

Highly amusing and very enjoyable!

Thanks for reading
~Katie

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Book Review: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader by C.S. Lewis

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Read between: 8th-13th April
Format: Paperback
Number of pages: 189
Published: 1998
Publisher: Diamond Books
Synopsis: Lucy and Edmund, with their odious cousin Eustace, journey on board the gallant ship, the Dawn Treader, to the Eastern Islands in search of the seven lost friends of King Caspian’s father. On this extraordinary voyage of discovery they encounter a dragon, a sea serpent, a band of invisible people, a magician, and also the great Aslan himself, who makes them a very special promise.
Rating: 003d1-threestar

Review: The fourth book in the Chronicles of Narnia sees the youngest of the Pevensie children, Edmund and Lucy, alongside their cousin Eustace Stubb, return to Narnia, where they re-unite with Caspian and find themselves not only of the Dawn Treader, but also on an adventure of discovery.

Unfortunately, Eustace isn’t as keen….in fact, he wants nothing more than to get off the ship and go home. Eustace, as a character, is very bit a spoilt brat….and I really disllike him for most of the story!

Thankfully, that didn’t matter too much as the book was slow in places, mainly when there were on the boat- whenever they docked, there was always something different to see which made it very entertaining. However, all the different worlds they visited were very different from each other- including the land of the Dufflepuds- which was brilliant!

It was short and I flew through this book- I love this series and this is actually the furthest I’ve got in the series since I read the books originally as a child.

I definitely like Eustace’s character development, he became a very tolerable character after starting off unbearable! Also, with no Peter and Susan in the story apart from mentions, Lucy and Edmund are given their chance to shine!

I enjoyed this book- and I like returning to Narnia every now and then.

I’d definitely recommend this book to younger readers, and older readers alike! It’s enjoyable because it’s feel good- and what’s better than that?

3/5 stars!

It wasn’t perfect- I feel I’m probably too old now- but I loved it all the same.

Thanks for reading!
~Katie

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Book Review: The Time of My Life by Cecilia Ahern

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Read between: 1st-7th April
Format: Hardcover
Published: October 13th, 2011
Publisher: Harper  Collins
Number of pages: 392
Synopsis: Lucy Silchester has an appointment with her life – and she’s going to have to keep it.

Lying on Lucy Silchester’s carpet one day when she returns from work is a gold envelope. Inside is an invitation – to a meeting with Life. Her life. It turns out she’s been ignoring it and it needs to meet with her face to face.

It sounds peculiar, but Lucy’s read about this in a magazine. Anyway, she can’t make the date: she’s much too busy despising her job, skipping out on her friends and avoiding her family.

But Lucy’s life isn’t what it seems. Some of the choices she’s made – and stories she’s told – aren’t what they seem either. From the moment she meets the man who introduces himself as her life, her stubborn half-truths are going to be revealed in all their glory – unless Lucy learns to tell the truth about what really matters to her.

Rating: 003d1-threestar

Review: The concept of this book is incredibly unique. It promotes the idea of life, embodied as a human being, and a constant companion to those whose life they represent.

Lucy has an appointment with her life- literally. It must be a sign she isn’t living how she should, she’s single, nearly 30, and living in a tiny flat, working in a job she’s only got because she lied on her CV. In fact, that’s not all she’s lied about and that’s why Life needs to see her.

That’s why her family signed the form to arrange their meeting.

On top of that, she’s dealing with stuff at work, her friends are still cross with her because they think she ended her relationship with Blake….who they all loved.

As a character, I couldn’t connect with Lucy that much- I’m not sure why, I just didn’t really get her. Sure, there were some moments that she was really strong, but otherwise, I found her to be a pretty average character. However, I did really like Cosmo- her life- he was straight talking and down to Earth…and not like Lucy at all!

Overall, I found this book to be a great read. It’s a different kind of contemporary- not just about the romance and the on life and how your actions can effect it.

I really like Cecelia Ahern’s novels. They always make me stop and think, and this one was no different. I did enjoy this book- I admit there were some sections that seemed slow or over dramatic but it was still a good story!

3/5 stars!

Interesting but enjoyable.
Thanks for reading!
~Katie

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Book Review: Trailblazing Women of the Georgian Era: The Eighteenth Century Struggle for Female Success in a Man’s World by Mike Rendell

Read between: 28th March- 1st April
Format: ebook
Published: March 31st, 2018
Publisher: Pen & Sword Books
Synopsis: Trailblazing Women of the Georgian Era offers a fascinating insight into the world of female inequality in the Eighteenth Century. It looks at the reasons for that inequality – the legal barriers, the lack of education, the prejudices and misconceptions held by men – and also examines the reluctance of women to compete on an equal footing. Why did so many women accept that ‘a woman’s place was in the home?’ Using seventeen case studies of women who succeeded despite all the barriers and opposition, the author asks why, in the light of their success, so little progress was made in the Victorian era. Representing women from all walks of life; artists, business women, philanthropists, inventors and industrialists, the book examines the way that the Quaker movement, with its doctrine of equality between men and women, spawned so many successful businesses and helped propel women to the forefront. In the 225 years since the publication of Mary Wollstonecraft’s A Vindication of the Rights of Woman, questions remain as to why those noble ideas about equality were left to founder during the Victorian era? And why are there still so many areas where, for historical reasons, equality is still a mirage?

Rating: ef735-star5

Review: I don’t read a lot of non-fiction but I saw this book on Netgalley and was immediately interested because I love history, so thank you to the author, publisher and Netgalley for letting me read this book in return for an honest review.

It focuses on the achievements of a number of women at a time where they had next to no rights, for example, if a woman owned a business and assets, when she married, everything would become her husband’s. She would only regain them once she was widowed. It wasn’t exactly the best time to be a woman.

The women featured are:
-Fanny Burney- and author. She was the inspiration for Jane Austen to start publishing her writing.
– Anne Damer- a sculptor
– Sarah Siddons- an actress. Before, most female characters were played by men.

-Lady Mary Wortley Montagu- an advocate for the prevention of small pox
-Jane Marcet- she wrote science textbooks for young girls in order to help educate them
-Sarah Guppy- an inventor

-Hester Pinney- a lacemaker and stockbroker
-Hester Bateman- a silversmith
-Eleanor Coade- she created an artificial stone business

-Mary Darly- a printworker and caricature artist
– Teresia Phillips- a bigamist, and brothel house runner
– Elizabeth Raffald- she wrote the first cookery book

-Anne Fry- a choclatier
-Hannah More- an educator
-Elizabeth Fry- a prison reformer
-Lady Margaret Middleton- an abolitionist

And finally, the most famous woman in this novel, Mary Wollenstonecraft, author of ‘The Vindication of the Rights of Women’ and mother to Mary Shelley! She was probably the very first feminist!

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It was a very interesting book to read, to find out about their achievements and to discover more about some fascinating ladies! Especially some I hadn’t heard of. The author has clearly done a lot of research when compiling the women for this book.

Even though the sections were short, there was a lot of information included. It was good to see that some of the women were based in Bristol which is a city I tend to visit often.

I really enjoyed this book, and it was a nice break between fiction novels. It definitely interested me, and appealed to me as a history buff! I’d definitely recommend it! It just goes to show us women can do anything!

5/5 stars!

Thanks for reading!
~Katie

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March Reading Wrap-Up!

Sorry for the late post, but I went holiday the last week of March, to the beginning of April and haven’t had a chance to post my March wrap-up yet, so here it is! I read/finished five books in the month of March, which I’m pleased with!

The books I read were:

And that’s everything I read this month! What books were in your March Wrap-Up? Thanks for reading!
~Katie

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