Book Connections, Reading challenge, Review

Challenging Reads

This year I am trying to do the Emilie Richard’s Reader challenge that she has on her Facebook page.  It is informal and so I don’t count it as “must do”, but I look each month and see what I can incorporate. It has helped me take three books off my actual shelf and read them and the other two I got at the library.

January: A first responders story or book.
book cover It may be a stretch to count this as a first responders book but because it involved those who were part of a mass shooting in a mosque in Christchurch and Husna responded to those shot around her and then was shot herself I count this as a very first responder’s story.

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February: This book was read in response to a person who changed the world in some way. A biography of Eunice Kennedy. She really did focus on making the world better for those with disabilities and started games that would eventually become world wide for the disabled. An extremely well researched, well written book. Eileen McNamara brings alive Eunice Kennedy, with all her amazing drive and passion and flaws. She was a woman who I think never took no for an answer. She fought for the injustice she saw about her. She worked politically and hands on with those especially with intellectual disabilities and really did change the way these people were treated and seen. She was just so herself. A marriage that seems to have been successful on many plains and children who have travelled on in her spirit with today’s insights incorporated. While I am not sure I would have liked her, I certainly applaud her for all that she achieved. The book itself is so well written, it just draws a reader in

book cover March – a book that was either a diary or a novel that had a diary within it. I chose The Light Over London as a diary is found by Cara in 2017. It takes us back to when Louise Keene a young British women enlisted and became part of a women’s gunner team. It is told well and seamlessly goes between each era. Some secrets, some heartache, lots of courage and second chances. I enjoyed it, although I did find it just a little slow moving.

book coverApril challenge was a book from the Times Magazine all time 100 list or the Guardian 1000 books list.  Well that’s quite a choice, but very few of them were that palatable to me. In the end I went with A Wizard of Earthsea, which is fantasy and I vaguely remember liking many, many years ago. I decided to reread it, and it was like new as I had remembered very little of it. It’s main character is Ged who is involved in a long journey to find out who he is and who his real enemy is. He goes through danger, loss and suffering. And has his victory that is a start. (There are a number more books). My favourite character in this book is Vetch who is a true friend for Ged.

Historical Fiction.

I am sure I read Georgette Heyer before but am not totally sure. I so enjoyed this book set mostly in France. Some of the language and customs were quite foreign to me and it intrigued me. For example the men would “show a leg”. I am guessing it was kind of putting one leg forward and bowing? Leonie was an enormously fun heroine and the Duke of Avon turns from a somewhat notorious gentleman into someone hardly recognised by those close as he falls for Leonie. The dialogue was often witty and there was enough little twists and turns to keep me turning the pages.

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It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?

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It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? a place to meet up and share what you have been, and are about to be reading over the week. It’s a great post to organise yourself. It’s an opportunity to visit and comment and er… add to your groaning TBR pile! So welcome in everyone. This meme started on J Kaye’s blog and then was hosted by Sheila from Book Journey. Sheila then passed it on to Kathryn here at The Book Date.
Jen Vincent, Teach Mentor Texts, and Kellee of Unleashing Readers decided to give It’s Monday! a kidlit focus. If you read and review books in children’s literature – picture books, chapter books, middle grade novels, young adult novels or anything in those genres – join them.

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Thanks everyone for joining in. I love reading how you are all doing and what you are reading. I learn so much about various parts of the world.

My week has been of  course reading and quilting and a little time with a friend. Oh and of course a little exercise with this Japanese American 80 year old mother and daughter. Yes2Next.

Great for when I don’t want to go out into the weather when its too windy or cold.  How did I ever do without You Tube.

What I read last week:

Both very enjoyable books.

What I am reading now:

These Old Shades

And still listening to The Queen of Hearts.

Up next:

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Review

Arabella

Regency Woman on blue bench under tree

Publisher: Sourcebooks 2009              TBR Challenge
First Published: Heinemann 1949
Pages:  312
Format:  Paperback
Genre: Historical Romance – Regency.
Summary from Goodreads.

Arabella, daughter of a modest country clergyman is on her way to London, when her carriage breaks down outside the hunting lodge of the wealthy Mr. Robert Beaumaris. Her pride stung when she overhears a remark of her host, Arabella pretends to be an heiress, a pretense that amuses the jaded Beaumaris. To counter her lie, launches her into high society and thereby subjects her to all kinds of fortune hunters and other embarrassments.

When compassionate Arabella rescues a mistreated chimney sweep and an ill treated dog, she foists them on Beaumaris…..

My thoughts:
This month the challenge option was to choose a classic from our book shelves.  A few years ago I picked up a few Georgette Heyer books at a book fair, out of nostalgia really.  I hadn’t read Georgette Heyer since my teen years – when romance novels were scarce and I read whatever I could lay my hands on. I have no idea which ones they were!  I have figured that these are about the most classic books adorning my shelves!

I’m not a big regency historical reader but I did enjoy this book.  Some of the words I met were strange and are no longer used – or they mean something different now.  I found the story a little slow to begin with, but once Arabella was on the road the pace picked up.  I enjoyed Arabella’s fresh country approach to the affected ways of the city people, and her outrage at some of the injustices she met.

Mr. Robert Beaumaris was a little too controlling for my liking, however that’s the way the characters and plot worked back then and as such characters go, to be honest he was rather likeable and really all said and done Arabella actually had him tied around her little finger.

Witty and dramatic in many ways.  I began to picture this story as a TV drama or even a well dramatised audiobook.  I have decided that in the future I will listen to another of the Heyer audiobooks on Audible and find out whether it lives up to my hopes.