Currently Reading

So a break away from the Vic Lit and into something a little more contemporary.

This one has only been sat in the ‘To Read’ folder for just 4 months, so it’s jumped the queue by quite a bit (the other books will undoubtedly be feeling a little annoyed). Someone posted a review of this on Instagram and i took that as a message that it was time to read it – can you think of a better way of choosing what to read next when you’re looking through your ever expanding ‘to read’ folder?

Half time update… i’m really enjoying it.

Review to follow when i finish it. Until then….

#readbooks #lovekindle #bookreviews #books #reading #joanneharris #kindleworm

Margaret Ogilvy – J.M.Barrie

Having just read ‘The Little White Bird’ and ‘Peter Pan’, it struck me that there may have been a little more to the characters than at first appears.

The character of Peter Pan was based on James’ brother, David, who died aged 13 (so never grew up), leaving the 6 year old James having to try and fill his shoes for his mother. So it made me wonder who Hook was based on. At first i thought Hook represented the parents but having read this book i’ve totally had a change of mind.

So my thoughts on the matter are thus… I suppose the clue is in Hook’s first name, also James. The hand that gets cut off by Peter, a metaphor for the part of James’ childhood, and life, that was taken from him the day his brother died. The hand is then fed to the ticking crocodile that follows Hook around wanting to consume the rest of him because it likes the taste – so is this another metaphor concerning the inevitable ticking clock of life, and that James felt the loss of his brother was continuously haunting and wanting to consume more of him and his family?

Then there’s Wendy, which having read this book cannot be based upon anyone other than Margaret Ogilvy herself. He mentions in the book how after his brother died, other local women who lost children would come to her to talk. Again, Wendy and the lost boys – the lost boys representing the children of the other women who went to join his brother David in heaven (Neverland).

But all that aside, this book was a heartfelt view into James’ home life and very much his relationship with his mother – who he obviously cared about immensely – and is an absolute must read for all fans of J.M. Barrie’s writing. The book also covers James’ early literary career and what made him want to become a writer. So a very worth while read.

So what’s next? After 3 books in a row, i’ll be taking a literary break away from Peter Pan, Neverland and J.M. Barrie as i’ve got a big ‘to read’ folder on my Kindle that’s continuously nagging to get read. But i’ll definitely be coming back to these three topics in my reading in the not too distant future.

Here be some more books from J.M. Barrie.

#readbooks #lovekindle #bookreviews #books #reading #jmbarrie #peterpan #viclit #kindleworm

Babel-17 – Samuel R. Delany

One of the most imaginative sci-fi novels i’ve ever read..

I only bought it because i was looking for a book i read about 30 years ago that i can’t remember the title of and thought this may have been it, but it wasn’t. But i’m certainly not disappointed to have picked up the wrong book.

There’s all kinds of sub-genres in sci-fi and i’m not really sure where this one would fit. It’s mostly a deep dive into linguistics, as in how words and language are used and the meanings they convey, and Samuel does a wonderful exploration throughout the book.

It also takes in the future body modification – some interesting things going in this book, and does bring to mind some amazing potential within current science for the future body mod industry. The real future is certainly going to be interesting.

Anyways, well worth a read, and definitely worth it’s place in the ‘SF Masterworks’ series of books.

#readbooks #lovekindle #bookreviews #books #reading #samuelrdelany #scifi #bodymods #kindleworm

A Child at Heart – Christopher Phillips

Or to give it its full title… ‘A Child at Heart: Unlocking Your Creativity, Curiosity, and Reason at Every Age and Stage of Life’.

Those of us interested in longevity and remaining young, fit and healthy as long as possible, realise early on that it all begins in the mind. If the mind is not on board for an extended lifespan then the brain and body simply isn’t going to go there.

While this book doesn’t look specifically into the longevity benefits of a youthful mind it still has plenty to teach us. This book is a wonderfully detailed look at the minds of all stages and ages of life and how we interact with each other – and Christopher isn’t shy of giving plenty of thoughts on what is wrong with our current view and treatment of young people and how that is impacting on adults and society as a whole. As Christopher is a parent himself this book does give a few thoughts on parenting without being preachy about anything and i would definitely recommend it for parents or aspiring parents.

But Christopher is also very clearly a Socratic philosopher, and this book, i feel, continues the ideas of Socrates in how society, not just parents, should relate to and listen to young people. I do find it incredibly disheartening that after more than 2000 years since Socrates execution for simply doing what Christopher prescribes in this book that adults still aren’t engaging with young people and giving them their rightful place within society. And then adult society has the audacity to blame young people for causing the problems.

Whether you’re a parent, a philosopher, a youth worker, or someone simply interested in creating a better world, this book is a very good read and well worth getting a copy.

#readbooks #lovekindle #bookreviews #books #reading #christopherphillips #kindleworm

Bridge of Sighs – Laura Morelli

This was a free offering from Laura for signing up to her newsletter when i got to the end of ‘The Gondola Maker’.

As shorts go it’s a good well written piece in much the same style as ‘The Gondola Maker’ at around the same time and place.

My only gripe is that i wanted more – which is a complement. It would certainly have made a great first chapter to a much more deeper look into Venice, and Europe, at the time of the Black Death.

Although Laura’s thing is art, so she’s probably not planning to write a full novel on bubonic plague.

Anyways, i’m looking forward to getting around to reading ‘The Painter’s Apprentice’ in the not too distant. I’m definitely a fan of Laura’s Venice. More please!

#readbooks #lovekindle #bookreviews #books #reading #lauramorelli #venice #kindleworm

The Gondola Maker: A Novel of 16th-Century Venice – Laura Morelli

I’ve never been to Venice and other than, ‘It’s got canals’, i know nothing about the place, so i can genuinely say that it’s not required to enjoy this book.

Our protagonist, Luca, is the oldest son of one of Venices finest gondola makers, and when he completely burns his bridges (literally) on his future at his family’s squero he is left homeless and penniless. Refusing to leave the city he needs to find a way to survive and rebuild his life.

We then follow Luca’s ups and downs as he takes the reader on a journey around 16th century Venice through every layer of life.

It’s certainly not a book of twists and turns and subplots and stuff, it’s really quite a simple story. But it is a wonderfully written story that gives the reader a real feel of life in historical Venice from the view of the working gondoliers and those they interact with that make this book so compelling.

Next up, ‘Bridge of Sighs’, a little short by Laura from this Venice of the past.

#readbooks #lovekindle #bookreviews #books #reading #lauramorelli #venice #kindleworm

Magnificent Devices: Books 1-4 – Shelley Adina

While i found most of this rather ridiculous, like Clair, our 17 year old protagonist, is James Bond on super miraculous, mentally and physically, performance enhancing drugs or something, it is still at the same time a rather enjoyable read. 12 days to get through 4 books isn’t too shabby for me so it obviously kept me turning the pages.

If you’re wanting a serious read then i would stay well clear. But if you’re wanting something that just passes away the hours without you taking it seriously then this might be for you. I think, ‘silly’ might be a good term to use in describing these books. But that’s not to use ‘silly’ in a bad way, sometimes a bit of ‘silly’ is a good thing in a world like ours – maybe we could all use a dose of ‘silly’ now and again.

The plus side is that the characters quite likeable, although the baddies always seem to be a complete bunch of buffoons while the goodies are simply incredible in every possible way – again, making one not take it at all too seriously.

Am i going to read the rest of the series? Yes, i’ll certainly come back for more at a later date when i’m in the mood for something silly like this. But right now i really do need to read something a bit more complex and beleiveable.

#readbooks #lovekindle #bookreviews #books #reading #shelleyadina #steampunk #kindleworm

Meadowland: the private life of an English field – John Lewis-Stempel

A beautiful book from a wonderful writer.

The reader is transported to a working Herefordshire farm where they journey through the life of a real, English meadow from Jan 1st to Dec 31st, wonderfully detailing what most wouldn’t notice but what, to a meadow, are crucially important aspects of its eco system.

Sadly, and i mean extremely so, farmers like John are being driven out and intensive farming is systematically destroying not only the countryside fauna and flora, but also England as a sustainable island. But it is heartening to know that the real countryside and those that care for it are still out there and keeping these isolated islands of Nature alive so that hopefully, one day, if its not too late, we can wake up and stop the intensive farming and remake our countryside – fingers crossed.

I will certainly be reading more of John’s books in the future and totally recommend this one to anyone with even the slightest interest in the Nature of rural England.

#readbooks #lovekindle #books #reading #bookreviews #johnlewisstempel #kindleworm

The Unwanted – Steam Punk

Normally, i simply don’t finish crap books, and i don’t feel that it’s correct, or fair, to write a review about a book that i haven’t fully read. Therefore, you may have noticed, this website is full of positive reviews, simply because i only finish books, and therefore write reviews of books, that are good and that i’ve enjoyed.

But then came along this little short story, and because it was so short i read the whole of it even though it was crap. To be honest, i felt the website needed at least a token, single review of a crap book for some semblance of balance. At least now i won’t have to put up with anyone criticising me for only writing positive reviews, i can simply point them to this one post that utterly destroys that criticism – so there! Ner, ner, ne-ner, ner! 😛

Anyways, onto my one and only negative review…

For a give away short story one maybe shouldn’t complain, but it takes time to read stories and i feel this was a waste of it.

We are given characters who were raised and trained from childhood to fulfil their adult roles, who are apparently the best at what they do, but who then come across as incredibly flawed and weak.

Then there’s the editing, seriously, did someone just type this down and run it through a spell checker before publishing it?

I do feel there’s a good story hiding behind the faults, which kind of adds to the annoyance.

But most annoying of all is that it utterly made a mockery out of my ‘judging a book by its cover’ philosophy. Yes, occasionally, in order to facilitate the foisting of a crap book onto unfortunate readers, a crap writer will find a rather beautiful woman and dress her up in some delightfully arousing, Steampunk costume (i can’t help it, the Steampunk thing just does it for me) and put her on the cover – even though what’s inside the book doesn’t resemble anything like the what’s on the cover. And no, i’m not giving up on my philosophy just because a few cunts have decided to take advantage of it.

That all said, don’t ever say i don’t do negative reviews, because now i have.

#whataloadofcrap #kindleworm

The Book of Five Rings: The Classic Guide to Strategy – Miyamoto Musashi

Another book that’s sat on my Kindle for years unread. But having just finished David Kirks’ books it really felt like the right time to read this.

It’s hard to judge this book in any real contemporary terms because it simply has no place in the contemporary world. It’s an anachronism from a time and place that is no more and will never be again.

It is aimed solely at the samurai warrior, but maybe there are those who are ultra competitive who do contact sports, and also military personnel, that could still gain a lot from reading it – which doesn’t apply to me.

It is, however, an incredible view into the mind of one of the greatest strategists (swordsmen) from Japanese history, and it really gives you the genuine thoughts and attitude of a Samurai in regards to fighting and killing with swords. It’s probably the most amoral thing i’ve ever read, and in that aspect alone it’s quite wonderful because it is so genuine and fascinating.

#readbooks #lovekindle #books #bookreviews #reading #miyamotomusashi #kindleworm

Sword of Honour – David Kirk

I loved this book. Far better than ‘Child of Vengeance’.

Looking back over the 2 books, it felt to me like David gained in confidence writing tales about Musashi and also that, the more he wrote, the more he came to know him better – like he’s beginning to get inside his head more.

But then i suppose the first book was more about Musashi the youth, just beginning to find himself, and this book is more of Musashi as a young man puzzling over what he’s found and finding more – and this reflects well in the writing of both books.

Once again, David’s writing is superbly descriptive without overdoing it. The story just keeps on moving and i just didn’t want to put it down – just like the first book, there are no pregnant pauses awaiting within, it’s just full gas all the way. Find a comfy chair and buckle in.

I do hope book 3 in this series won’t be too long, i’m hooked!

But, in the meanwhile, i’ve found ‘The Book of Five Rings: The Classic Guide to Strategy’, written by the real Miyamoto Musashi, so i’ll be diving head first into that now.

#readbooks #lovekindle #books #bookreviews #reading #davidkirk #miyamotomusashi #kindleworm