Showing posts with label Catherine Cookson. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Catherine Cookson. Show all posts

Saturday, January 9, 2021

How Did I Become a Bookworm?

 I haven't written many book reviews when you consider how many books I've read in my life.  The reason why is because I don't want to inadvertently ruin the book for someone by mentioning a twist or alluding to something I saw in the book that they interpreted differently until much later.

Image from Pixabay

Hi, my names Louanne and I'm a bookworm, I've been a bookworm for as long as I can remember certainly before I started school.   My parents always read to us before going to bed (until we wanted to read by ourselves) and my mum told me a few years ago about dad trying to skip a few pages and make up the story in order to get me asleep quicker and I would get quite pretentious in telling him - that's not what it says and making him start again!

My daughter went into daycare from about 14 months old and I was told by the staff what a large vocabulary she had.   Like my parents before me, I had always read to her because, in my opinion, teaching a child to read a book is like ensuring they will always be able to choose their own adventures.

There are books on every topic and if your child loves space they only have to find a quiet space and the right book and they can transport themselves onto a new planet or a spaceship and have an absolute ball.   If they want to become dragon slayers, fairies, or pirates - there are books available for all of them.

I have always read a wide variety of books, both fiction and non-fiction and I credit this habit of reading for allowing me the ability to think outside of the box and also for doing well at trivia quizzes!

When I was younger I used to read at least one book a day and I collected Bookworm Certificates at school so often the teacher couldn't believe how much I read, she actually told my parents, "Louanne doesn't read books, she inhales them."   I've always remembered that because I was going to put it on my author bio when I published all of my literary works.   Well writing a book hasn't happened (I'd much rather read!), but a couple of my friends (and reviewers on this site) have done so.

Beverley Owens has written some great cozy mysteries, check out her Amazon page here

Barbara Tremblay Cipak - has written riddle books which are so much fun (although sometimes frustrating!), check out her Amazon page here.

What Kind of Bookworm Are You?

Throughout my life people have always asked me one of two questions - who's your favorite author? or what genre of books do you like to read?

I really can't pick a favorite author, there are just so many.   When I was younger I remember loving

Enid Blyton books
Enid Blyton and I would alternate between preferring the Famous Five or the Secret Seven (the Secret Seven won out the most!).   I can remember getting a few of her books as sets for Christmas - Malory Towers & St Claires and I loved that as it wasn't just one book, but a whole set.   After inhaling both these sets I really, really wanted to go to boarding school!

I also found a fondness for Agatha Christie as a teen as she was one of my nan's favourite authors, my nan also introduced me to these cheap little paperback mystery books (the name of the series escapes me now) that were written to be consumed quickly and by a range of different authors.   They were written in much the same style as cozy mysteries which I think is probably why I love settling down with them.

I also discovered Ruth Rendall as a teen and after reading A Murder of Crows was thoroughly hooked.   At the same time as I was reading these, my best friend was delving into the books of Jean Plaidy.  Of course, I had to see what she was reading and so I started 'inhaling' historical fiction as well.

What' genre of books do I like to read is also too hard to answer as I'm sure you can tell from the above paragraph!

When I had finished all the Ruth Rendall & Jean Plaidy books in our local library I decided to pivot and started to read biographies.   I just grabbed the biographies without worrying who they were about - some people I had never heard of before!  I read every biography in the library, some were boring but the majority were so interesting and now and then they'll be a trivia question and I'll say the answer without thinking and I have no idea how I knew it.   Reading - it's great for building knowledge!

When I was 18 &19 I lived with my Gran for nine months and her favorite author was Catherine Cookson so I found myself devouring all of those.  She also enjoyed Danielle Steele.

After that, I tended to alternate between whodunnits and family sagas.   I had moved to a smaller town when I was 19 so I would start reading an author and then read every book the library had by that author before trying a new one.   It was a great way of getting to know new authors, it was where I first came across Penny Vincenzi and I would put her new book title on my Christmas list for several years afterward.

I have the Kindle Paperwhite
Gradually I started adding 'Chick Lit', psychological thrillers & John Grisham to my book lists.  It seems like the only type of book genre I haven't really been able to immerse myself in is science fiction.   I prefer my Sci-fi on the screen.

I am now in my 50s and finally have a kindle which doesn't stop me from reading actual books, by the
way, it just seems to mean I read even more!   I have started to add personal development books into the mix.

Let's have a look at a few of the books I have reviewed here on Review This, let me know which one's you've read as I wouldn't dream of asking you for a favorite author or genre!







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Tuesday, September 29, 2020

Books I Read (Or Tried To Read) During Spring and Summer 2020: A List


Books I Read (Or Tried To Read) During Spring and Summer 2020: A List

The spring and summer of 2020 unfolded in ways none of us could have foreseen. The virus that plagued the world changed our daily life forcing many of us to stay home for all but the most essential errands. As a home-based eBay seller, I was able to work again after the initial lockdown was over. However, with family, friends and all of my other interests and activities unavailable there was definitely more time for reading.

This page is a look back at the books that I read. Hopefully, it will steer you toward or away from a new book.

WHAT DID I DO?


I met several generations of a powerful and influential family. I survived industrialized 19th century Britain. I settled on the harsh Canadian prairies. I visited but failed to enjoy St. John’s, Newfoundland. I raised sourdough bread. I solved a murder mystery and finally, I visited short stories.

WHAT DID I READ?


JEFFREY ARCHER'S CLIFTON CHRONICLES


JEFFREY ARCHER'S CLIFTON CHRONICLES     


The best book that I read was actually a seven-volume saga about the adventures and misadventures of a powerful and influential family by Jeffrey Archer known as the Clifton Chronicles. It was so good that I struggled to put each book aside in order to make time to read the latest book for my book club. This series is HIGHLY RECOMMENDED by not only myself but also my husband and my sister-in-law and my friend Alanna and her husband. There is a lot of well-crafted reading here with threads that cross generations. You will find the seven-book boxed set here on Amazon.


CATHERINE COOKSON'S RILEY


CATHERINE COOKSON'S RILEY


I was reunited after a long absence with author Catherine Cookson via her book Riley. I wrote more about the book, which is set in industrialized 19th century Britain, and talked about the prolific writer here. It is HIGHLY RECOMMENDED and if you have yet to 'meet' Catherine Cookson and you like historical fiction, you should give her a try. You will find it here on Amazon.


SHANDI MITCHELL'S UNDER THIS UNBROKEN SKY


SHANDI MITCHELL'S UNDER THIS UNBROKEN SKY


Under This Unbroken Sky by Shandi Mitchell is a Canadian novel set in Alberta in 1938. It was good book, a close look at the extremely tough job of settling the prairies. However, it was dark with tragedy upon tragedy heaped upon the Ukrainian settlers. It is RECOMMENDED by me for those interested in the history of the prairies and immigrants to Canada but NOT RECOMMENDED if you need something a bit more positive, which was something I felt that I needed during this difficult time. You will find it here on Amazon.


MEGAN GAIL COLES' SMALL GAME HUNTING AT THE LOCAL COWARD GUN CLUB


MEGAN GAIL COLES' SMALL GAME HUNTING AT THE LOCAL COWARD GUN CLUB


The next book that I read was Small Game Hunting at the Local Coward Gun Club by Megan Gail Coles. It is a Scotiabank Giller Prize nominated book set in St. John’s, Newfoundland. A very dark, dreary modern-day story and I only read half of it. Six or so of the members of my book club made it through but not happily and four did not. One determined reader intends to keep trying.

A review on Google Books says that Small Game Hunting "is a difficult book to read because of its brutality -- people are mistreated and not valued because they are women, non-white, or gay. But it's worth it." Quill and Quire says, this book "forces the reader...to be made uncomfortable and prompted to think rather than be simply entertained." These might be reasons for you to consider reading this book. However, it is NOT RECOMMENDED by me unless you are looking to challenge yourself about difficult subjects. If you really want to, you can find it here on Amazon.


ROBIN SLOAN'S SOURDOUGH


ROBIN SLOAN'S SOURDOUGH


The next book was Sourdough, a brilliantly funny fictional story about sourdough bread, about the computer world and even about San Francisco. Very funny, it is truly a book you should read if you want a add a bit of levity to your reading and your life. My full review of Sourdough can be read here if you want to know more about this book during this time when people ‘knead’ to stay home more and make bread. Sourdough the book and the bread is HIGHLY RECOMMENDED by me. You will find it here on Amazon.


DONNA LEON'S QUIETLY IN THEIR SLEEP


DONNA LEON'S QUIETLY IN THEIR SLEEP


I have a few series that I am working my way through including Donna Leon's Commissario Guido Brunetti Mysteries. This volume, Quietly in Their Sleep, delivers for an armchair traveler who wants to travel to Venice, Italy from the comfort of home, which of course is the kind of travel that we can do right now. It suits someone who would like to visit as well as someone who has been there who will recognize landmarks in and issues of the city as the story progresses. It is not the first in the series but I do HIGHLY RECOMMEND this book or any that came before it.  You will find it here on Amazon.


ROALD DAHL'S THE GREAT AUTOMATIC GRAMMATIZATOR AND OTHER STORIES



ROALD DAHL'S THE GREAT AUTOMATIC GRAMMATIZATOR AND OTHER STORIES


The latest book that I pulled from our collection of books that has been hanging around our house unread for too long was Roald Dahl's The Great Automatic Grammatizator and Other Stories or The Umbrella Man and Other Stories, as it is called in the United States. It's a book of short stories chosen from Dahl's adult stories picked with the intention of suitability for teenagers. I haven't read all of the stories yet because I prefer to enjoy short stories one by one and truth be told, I don't usually care for them at all. However, I am thoroughly enjoying these stories thus far and am comfortable HIGHLY RECOMMENDING this book of stories to you and you will find it here on Amazon

Well, once again, I hope to have given you inspiration for your book list. I apologize to any books that I forgot to include on this list.

See you
at the bookstore!
Brenda

Books I Read (Or Tried To Read) During Spring and Summer 2020: A List





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Tuesday, September 15, 2020

Catherine Cookson Riley Book Review

Catherine Cookson Riley (1998) Book Review

Many years ago, I parted with most of my Catherine Cookson books, retaining only the few that I had not read, like the one shown here called Riley. It had been decades since I had picked up any of Cookson's books but I remember fondly having loved the stories, which are set in the 19th century in and around what was then at least a heavily industrialized area of northeast England called Tyneside. 

With the arrival in 2020 of the virus that would lock down most of the world, I set to reading through some of my old piles of books and hence returned to the works of Catherine Cookson via this novel, Riley. 


IS RILEY RECOMMENDED?

Riley was indeed very good and it did not in any way fail my memories of Cookson’s books. It is the story of a young lad with no direction who was surely bound for trouble but was indirectly 'rescued’ by a few heated comments from a caring teacher. The result of those comments was a tumultuous but successful life on the stage and marriage to a woman 20 years his elder. 

Riley is Highly Recommended by me for anyone who loves historical fiction.


THE AUTHOR

Author Catherine Cookson, despite being from an extremely poor, working class home in Tyneside, England, went on to become one of the richest women in Britain. More importantly in my mind at least, she also went on to become Britain’s most read author in the mid-1990s and remains on the list of the twenty most read British novelists. She wrote a remarkable two books a year in many years and, when she died in 1998, she left behind 103 novels and a fortune for charity. 


ROMANCE OR HISTORICAL FICTION?

Catherine Cookson's novels were often categorized as romance despite the fact that, as Cookson said herself, there was nothing romantic about the times or the situations in her books. Her stories offered up more than historical romance and are extremely well done in terms of depicting a time period in history, which would surely make them qualify as historical fiction today. 

I do not want to stop with recommending Riley, however. I want to make my post a call for people to pick up Catherine Cookson’s books whether they knew her before they arrived here on this page or not. It doesn’t matter which book you start with whether it be Riley or another, they are all sure to please. Just be careful if you start with a series like Mary Ann Shaughnessy, Tilly Trotter or the Bailey Chronicles that you pick the first one.  You will find Riley on Amazon by clicking right here.

See you
At the bookstore!
Brenda

Quick Links

Buy Riley on Amazon.
Catherine Cookson’s Life 
Discover the new, used and vintage books in my eBay store by clicking here but be warned that unfortunately there are no Catherine Cookson novels!
The Alice Network by Kate Quinn reviewed. 
Fast Girls by Elise Hooper reviewed. 








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