Top Ten Tuesday: Halloween Freebie — The Book Lovers’ Sanctuary (Reblog)

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together. PREVIOUS TOP TEN TUESDAY TOPICS: August 18: Books that Should be Adapted […]

Top Ten Tuesday: Halloween Freebie — The Book Lovers’ Sanctuary

Top Five Saturday: Books On My Wishlist — The Book Lovers’ Sanctuary (Reblog)

PREVIOUS TOP FIVE SATURDAY LISTS: 8th August 2020: Underrated Books and Hidden Gems 22nd August 2020: Young Adult Books 29th August 2020: Detective Fiction 12th September 2020: Science Fiction 19th September 2020: Award Winners 26th September 2020: Guilty Pleasure Reads Oh my goodness, life has become so busy and time pressured since work began again… […]

Top Five Saturday: Books On My Wishlist — The Book Lovers’ Sanctuary

Cozy Autumn Kindle Reads, with Author Milly Reynolds

Goodreads Monday # 43 — The Pine-Scented Chronicles (Reblog)

Goodreads Monday is a weekly meme that was started by @Lauren’s Page Turners. This meme is quite easy to follow – just randomly pick a book from your to-be-read list and give the reasons why you want to read it. It is that simple. This week’s book: The House in the Cerulean Sea by TJ Klune  Blurb from […]

Goodreads Monday # 43 — The Pine-Scented Chronicles

*The House in the Cerulean Sea.

Book Review of Liars and Thieves by Diana Wallace Peach — The Showers of Blessings (Reblog)

My Review of Liars and Thieves by Diana Wallace Peach. I must say Liars and Thieves kept my attention and I stayed up past midnight for two nights until I finished reading the book. There’s a map at the beginning of the book. I even printed out the map and follow the characters and events […]

Book Review of Liars and Thieves by Diana Wallace Peach — The Showers of Blessings

*I can’t help but believe that there will be an explosion of literature this year and in ensuing years. Good advice is always needed.

Mighty Jack and the Goblin King by Ben Hatke — Pages Unbound | Book Reviews & Discussions (Reblog)

Information Goodreads: Mighty Jack and the Goblin KingSeries: Mighty Jack #2Source: LibraryPublished: 2017 Summary Maddy has been taken by a giant! Now it is up to Jack and Lilly to save her. But, when the two get separated, Jack will have to figure out how to complete his mission on his own. Review Mighty Jack […]

Mighty Jack and the Goblin King by Ben Hatke — Pages Unbound | Book Reviews & Discussions

Reading at any age is a good thing. This book looks like a great adventure.

The Boy Who Became a Dragon: A Bruce Lee Story by Jim Di Bartolo — Pages Unbound | Book Reviews & Discussions (Reblog)

Information Goodreads: The Boy Who Became a DragonSeries: NoneSource: LibraryPublished: February 2020 Summary This fictionalized biography of Bruce Lee follows him from his childhood as he is inspired to act and to learn martial arts. Review The Boy Who Became a Dragon is a fictionalized biography of Bruce Lee that attempts to explore how his […]

The Boy Who Became a Dragon: A Bruce Lee Story by Jim Di Bartolo — Pages Unbound | Book Reviews & Discussions

Book Review – The Mars Room by Rachel Kushner

*Milly’s not quite sure about this book, ‘The Mars Room’.

Fable by Adrienne Young (ARC Review) — Pages Unbound | Book Reviews & Discussions (Reblog)

Information Goodreads: FableSeries: Fable #1Source: ARC from publisher giveawayPublished: September 1, 2020 Summary Left years ago by her father on an island of thieves, seventeen-year-old Fable has had to fend for herself. But she has a plan. She is going to work her way off the island, find her father, and reclaim what is hers. […]

Fable by Adrienne Young (ARC Review) — Pages Unbound | Book Reviews & Discussions

JFK and RFK: ‘The Brothers’ by David Talbot – Book Review

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There have been many books written about John Fitzgerald Kennedy and his brother, Robert Francis Kennedy, both victims of assassination. In my opinion this is one of the best.

Impeccably researched, this book, ‘The Brothers’ (Pocket Books/Simon & Schuster), written by David Talbot, roughly covers that roller coaster period from JFK‘s inauguration on January 20 1961 to the assassination of RFK on June 6 1968. It was a relatively short period of nearly seven and a half years, yet the whole world had been transformed — and mostly not for the better in my opinion.

Disaster and Tragedy

For me what makes this book stand out is the sheer number of interviews (150+) the author has carried out, with people who were there and in the know. For example, leaders like Fidel Castro of Cuba and Che Guevara seem to emerge like more rounded figures, not merely the one dimensional characters often portrayed in most media over the last sixty years.

More than this, the author tells is it how it was: from the disaster of the Bay of Pigs in 1961 and the sheer hatred generated among those who felt the newly elected president had let their side down by refusing to provide air cover, to the short, fraught, heroic, yet ultimately ill-fated and tragic presidential campaign of Robert Kennedy in the early summer of 1968.

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Conspiracies Galore

The author does not hold back on analysing the myriad conspiracy theories either, which began to emerge largely as a result of the voluminous criticism which gradually amassed after the publication of the Warren Commission Report in September 1964. And there were other doubters from the word go.

Most intriguing of all is his description of the torture Robert Kennedy went through following his brother’s death. Attorney General to JFK, he remained in his position until August 1964 when he decided to run for Senator of New York. It’s possible that RFK may have thought he was somehow responsible for not protecting his brother more during his presidency.

Treading a Very Fine Line

What is more, for the next four and a half years, up until his own death, Bobby too harboured strong suspicions that the whole truth about his brother’s death had not yet been told.

Nevertheless, in public he always retained a consistent front in support of the conclusions of the Warren Report. He was, in effect, seemingly keeping his powder dry until such a time he could investigate further from a position of strength – namely as President of the United States.

We all know this was not to be, that the so-called ‘Kennedy Curse’ was to strike once again. However, this is a very fine book and I was left feeling that a lot more light had been cast on those often dark, crazy, tempestuous, tortuous years into which I too had been thrown.

Copyright Francis Barker 2020

Book Review: Musings on ‘A Portrait of the Artist As A Young Man’ – James Joyce

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Of course, much has been written about this novel since it was first published in 1916. To call ‘A Portrait Of The Artist As A Young Man’ (Penguin – this publication) a landmark, would be grossly understating its impact.

So I’m not attempting to go into great depth, all that has already been done. I merely want to convey my own recollections of first reading it, way back in school.

For me, it was this book and D.H. Lawrence’s ‘Sons and Lovers’ that first truly opened my eyes to what we sometimes call serious literature. Both of them are, in their own way, semi-autobiographies and broke the mould of novel writing.

Story Teller

Naturally though, Lawrence and Joyce wrote in very different ways. I think Joyce wrote more intuitively, in a way which conjured up for me a wholly different milieu of imagery. He is a natural narrator, a story teller like many of his countrymen.

For example, when he describes Stephen Dedalus’ childhood, I get drawn into that world through the use of evocative child-like language; I become that child. I can remember endless classroom discussions about this part of the book.

Living Imagery

And the world of Dublin in the late 19th century, was a very different world from that of the industrial Nottingham area, where Lawrence sets his book.

Although Joyce was to reject almost everything about his upbringing, his beliefs, his writing is nevertheless suffused with that imagery, bringing it alive, like new music as some describe.

So what are we to make of the criticism of those who first rejected his manuscript? The book is, when compared to more classic literature, without doubt somewhat formless and unconventional.

Like God

Yet, those of an artistic nature tend to be like this, especially over the last hundred years or so. I think Joyce, whose approach was understood and encouraged by none other than Ezra Pound, was simply bold enough to open up the taps of his creativity. The artist himself almost becomes like God, a creator in his own right, a bit like the Daedalus of legend, who built wings for himself and his son so that they could fly.

Joyce’s upbringing within the strict bounds of Catholicism, his training for the priesthood, was in retrospect the perfect grounding for such free artistry, once it was released from its captivity.

Ironically, Joyce’s world never seems to lose the colour of his Catholic upbringing, even though he ultimately rejected it. With Lawrence, the harsh, English Protestant world, seems altogether more grim, enlightened by the writer’s love of nature.

Native Genius

Joyce’s innate creativity, held back for so long, could only emerge later like a succession of Michelangelo masterpieces, hewn by the craft and intelligence of a native genius.

Unlike his other classics, Finnegan’s Wake and Ulysses, I have successfully completed reading his first great novel.

Even so, one day I intend to finish the former two, although I suspect I will read ‘Portrait’ again before I do that.

copyright Leofwine Tanner 2019