The Moonstone by Wilkie Collins Book Cover Image

The Moonstone by Wilkie Collins: Clever, Tightly Plotted Mystery

Rating: 3 stars

Category: Crime Fiction, Classics, Mystery/Adventure

Synopsis: A diamond is stolen from one of the most sacred shrines in India. A young lady receives an extravagant birthday present in the will of her deceased Uncle. A London philanthropist is attacked in what seems to be a case of mistaken identity.

Connecting all of these events is the superstition surrounding the diamond: that it will leave a trail of blood in the lives of all those in possession of it. As inexplicable events plague the family holding the mysterious heirloom, Franklin Blake seeks to record witness testimonies and find a rational cause for the occurrences.

The family and their connections each contribute their version of events, but suspicions are rife and nobody knows who to trust. Not even the reader… Continue reading The Moonstone by Wilkie Collins: Clever, Tightly Plotted Mystery

Brighton Rock by Graham Greene Book Cover Image

Archive Nostalgia: Brighton Rock by Graham Greene

Rating: 4 stars

Category: Thriller, Crime Fiction

Synopsis: The novel is set in 1930s Brighton, where the holiday amusements sit in stark contrast to a sinister gang underworld. Central to our view of this underworld is Pinkie, a boy of only 17 who orchestrates the killing of rival gang informer Fred.

Little does he know that Fred had befriended the uncompromisingly righteous Ada, who is determined to see justice done. As he commits increasingly violent acts to protect himself and his fragile status, Pinkie is left spiralling further into a state of amorality and despair. Continue reading Archive Nostalgia: Brighton Rock by Graham Greene

The Hound of the Baskervilles by Arthur Conan Doyle Book Cover Image

The Hound of the Baskervilles (Sherlock Holmes #5) by Arthur Conan Doyle: Suspenseful Crime Fiction Classic

Rating: 4 stars

Category: Crime Fiction, Classics, Mystery/Adventure

Synopsis: Sir Charles Baskerville confesses to a close friend that he feels haunted by his family history. According to legend, his cruel ancestor Hugo Baskerville received recompense in the form of a hell-hound set loose on the moors to hunt him down.

A few days later, Sir Charles Baskerville is found dead in his garden at the edge of the moor. There is only one detective who can separate fact from folklore in this case: his name is Sherlock Holmes. Continue reading The Hound of the Baskervilles (Sherlock Holmes #5) by Arthur Conan Doyle: Suspenseful Crime Fiction Classic

The History of Mary Prince Book Cover Image

Questioning the Canon: Harriet Beecher Stowe and Mary Prince

Questioning the Canon is a new feature in which I hope to bring to light lesser-known books about a certain issue, which can be read alongside or instead of infamous ‘classics’.

People are starting to discuss whether the authors we hold up as cultural icons – Shakespeare, Dickens, Wordsworth – should be accompanied by previously marginalised writers. Our idea of what constitutes ‘great literature’ is becoming broader. 

This can only be a good thing, as it means more diversity and social representation in what we read! Continue reading Questioning the Canon: Harriet Beecher Stowe and Mary Prince

Mr Penumbras 24 Hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan Book Cover Image

Mr Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan: Fun, Quirky Bookworm’s Delight!

Rating: 4 stars

Category: Mystery/ Adventure

Synopsis: Clay Jannon has just lost his marketing position after the company went bust. Unemployed and increasingly desperate, he takes a job as the night clerk at Mr Penumbra’s 24 Hour Bookstore. His eccentric employer has only 2 requirements:

1. A detailed record of every single customer must be made in the ancient logbook at the front desk.
2. Clay must never open any of the books.
One night, when there are no customers, Clay can no longer suppress his curiosity and opens one of the forbidden books. Its contents will draw him into a centuries-old unsolved mystery… Continue reading Mr Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan: Fun, Quirky Bookworm’s Delight!

Frankenstein by Mary Shelley Book Cover Image

Archive Nostalgia: Frankenstein by Mary Shelley

Yesterday marked the birthday of Mary Shelley and the perfect time to bring her classic gothic tale, Frankenstein, back into the light…

Victor Frankenstein is a scientist obsessed with the miracle of life. In an intricate but ghastly experiment, he endeavours to discover the nature of life itself by resurrecting a cobbled human corpse. The resulting creation haunts him from the secluded Scottish coastline to the breath-taking lakes of Switzerland, causing us to question the very nature of humanity. Continue reading Archive Nostalgia: Frankenstein by Mary Shelley

The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt Book Cover Image

The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt: Encompassing Emotional Epic

Rating: 5 stars

Category: Emotional

Synopsis: Donna Tartt’s masterpiece The Goldfinch follows the story of Theo. Aside from his recently-gone-AWOL father, Theo is a relatively normal New York schoolboy. That is until his life is irrevocably shattered at the age of thirteen when he loses his mother in a suspected terrorist attack at a museum.

As a cast of wayward characters makes their way into and out of Theo’s life, he clings to the art his mother loved as a way of maintaining a connection with her. However, this remnant of stability will also be shaken when the art he treasures so much draws Theo into a spiral of criminal activity. Continue reading The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt: Encompassing Emotional Epic

The Red and the Green by Iris Murdoch Book Cover Image

Archive Nostalgia: The Red and the Green by Iris Murdoch

This week, it would have been the 100th birthday of inimitable author Iris Murdoch. What better time to bring back this review of her novel, The Red and the Green?

Andrew: a slightly reluctant soldier in the First World War.

Pat: a member of the militant Irish Volunteers.

Millie: an eccentric and passionate woman whose home is being used to store weaponry.

The Red and the Green interrogates the lives of this troubled family as events escalate towards the Easter Rising, a pivotal moment that would change the course of Irish History. Continue reading Archive Nostalgia: The Red and the Green by Iris Murdoch

Fulfil your Summer Reading Goals With Tailored Recommendations Infographic

Archive Nostalgia: Fulfil your Summer Reading Goals – Tailored Recommendations!

With many people embarking on summer reading challenges this year, such as the 20 Books of Summer hosted by Cathy @ 746 Books, I thought I would bring back this feature from the archives. If you’re looking to reach some reading goals over summer, hopefully, this will provide you with some inspiration!
The weather is getting warmer, the evenings lighter, the trees are blossoming – summer is definitely on its way! I don’t know about you, but whether I’m on holiday or just relaxing in the garden, summer is the time when I get to read most out of any time of year. But have you thought about what you’re aiming to achieve with your reading this summer? Do you want to feel more well-read by perusing some classics, or do you fancy something a little lighter to help you relax on the beach? The tailored recommendations below will help you to fulfil your summer reading goals, whatever they may be! Continue reading Archive Nostalgia: Fulfil your Summer Reading Goals – Tailored Recommendations!

The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern Book Cover Image

The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern: Fantasy World to Sink Into and Savour

Les Cirque des Reves, or Circus of Dreams, can only be entered between sunset and sunrise. Until one evening when it will disappear as suddenly as it arrived, only to reappear in another city, another country. The acts are familiar – acrobats, fortune tellers, mirror mazes, illusionists – but not as they have been seen before.
The performers seem to belong to another world, one where the boundaries of reality widen. When dark occurrences begin to blight the circus, an unprecedented force at its centre is finally revealed to them.

Because the circus is not the event – it is only the venue… Continue reading The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern: Fantasy World to Sink Into and Savour