Posted tagged ‘mini reviews’

Parchment Poll May 2017

1 May, 2017

It’s been rather a long time since I published a Parchment Poll! So, here we are with the first one for 2017!
STAR READ
I first read The Complete Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle in my early teens, when I borrowed this very large volume from the library. Now, thirty years later I have my own hard back copy and it has been a delight to re-read! As a teenager, I don’t think I really appreciated Holmes’ sarcasm and wit. Conan Doyle’s writing is incredible. I remembered a lot of the tales, others I couldn’t recall at all. My favourites are still The Hound of the Baskervilles and The Valley of Fear. If you’ve only seen the films or series about Sherlock Holmes, you should read this – it is far better than any of the visual productions! Though, I have to say that Jeremy Brett was nearly 100% Holmes and the modern Sherlock series is an excellent modern take on these tales.
I’m afraid I had to give up reading The Golden Bough by Sir James George Frazer. I got about three quarters of the way through it and just stopped reading. It is very interesting but extremely repetitive. In the end, I wasn’t reading anything at all, feeling I had to finish the book. But then, my friend Libby also admitted she’d once started it and never finished it either – I think her comment was “life is too short to read books I’ve lost interest in”. So, I gave up! And started reading some other books instead …
Magic meets a forgotten technology in Fire & Ice by Patty Jansen. Jansen writes in a high fantasy style with plenty of intrigue and sexual tensions to keep the reader fascinated until the end.
Having been told in the past that Ian Fleming’s books were badly written, I picked up Diamonds Are Forever and was hooked by the opening paragraphs. I’m wondering now if the person who put me off the books just didn’t like that particular genre? I actually preferred the book to the film. (The film bears no resemblance to the book whatsoever). It’s gritty, fast-paced and Bond comes across as a real person. I’ll definitely read more!
Cloud Nine And Other Poems by Elaine Patricia Morris is a treasure box of being and observing with a good helping of humour. Morris fluctuates between blank verse and traditional poetry with ease and the images she conveys are beautiful, often rural, but never sentimental. The collection is available direct from the author.
A friend gave me Honour by Elif Shafik. This is not the kind of thing I usually read but the way the book is written held me enthralled. The author shows the double-standards in how men and women are treated in some Islamic societies. She doesn’t provide any remedies, but enables her characters to find some peace within themselves at the end. I did guess the outcome, I have to admit! But it didn’t spoil the story!
Books that left no impression on me …
Midnight in St Petersburg by Vanora Bennett Nothing much really happened even though it was one of the most dramatic times in Russian history!
Have you read any of these books? What did you think of them?
A word of warning – this could be my only Parchment Poll in 2017! I have moved house and am starting up a new enterprise and haven’t got much time to read at all at the moment!
© Freya Pickard 2017
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Wednesday Words – Parchment Poll April 2014

16 April, 2014
Still hungry for books but events recently have conspired to limit my reading time…
Currently reading: –
“Ivanhoe” by Sir Walter Scott
“The Empty Spaces” by Sarah Churchill
Beautiful yet bleak. The poet utilities a mixture of rhythmical and blank verse to convey heart break and death. 4/5
“CS Lewis: A Life” by Alister McGrath
Very different from AN Wilson’s biography of Lewis in 1990 but equally as interesting. I found the background to Lewis’ books very inspiring. Well worth a read. 4/5
“The Host” by Stephanie Meyer
Much better written than the Twilight series. This is really different; a good look at what it means to be human. The alien slant in the novel is very clever. 4/5
Have you read any of these books? What did you think of them?
© Freya Pickard 2014

Wednesday Words – Parchment Poll January 2014

29 January, 2014
I’ve been hungry for books this month and have managed one a week so far!
Currently reading: –
The Host by Stephanie Meyer
Where is God when it Hurts? by Philip Yancey
An immensely comforting and inspiring read. 5/5
The Inklings by Humphrey Carpenter
Fascinating to read if you’re into Lewis, Tolkien and Williams. Treasured insights into the creative relationships of these three men. 5/5
Afterwards by Satya Robyn
Beautifully written in a realistic way that chops and changes between the past and present. Found the ending a little vague though. 3/5
Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows by JK Rowling re-read
Really enjoyed how the author presents Death. The revelations about Snape at the end means everything now makes sense. 4/5
Have you read any of these books? What did you think of them?
© Freya Pickard 2014

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