Sunday, 29 May 2016

Book Review: The Hound of the Baskervilles by Arthur Conan Doyle

 
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This was my Classics Club Spin book, which I was a few days late in finishing.

I'm not quite sure what to say about this book. I didn't have very strong feelings about it either way - I enjoyed it, but I didn't love it, and it's such a well-known story that I'm sure everything I could say about it has been said before many times.
 
I found the story itself to be very compelling; there were certainly enough twists and turns to keep the story interesting. I didn't guess the solution until fairly near the end (and then only partially). The writing style was very straightforward, conveying just enough information to tell the story and build atmosphere, without giving any unnecessary details; which is in keeping with Watson's character who is the narrator of the story. This is different to many other books that I have read, which I found quite refreshing. It's pretty short too (despite the amount of time it took me to read it).
 
I don't think there was anything in particular that I disliked about it, I think it just wasn't as much to my taste as some other books. I definitely enjoyed it more than The Sign of Four, which is the only other Sherlock Holmes book that I've read to date, although I plan to read the rest of them sometime, maybe soon (I have an edition of the complete short stories sitting on my shelf).
 
So overall, I thought this was good and I would probably recommend it, especially if you are a fan of mystery/detective novels.

Saturday, 21 May 2016

What I've Been Reading Lately

I haven't posted in a while, because I've been too busy with uni work, but I've now finished so hopefully I can get back to posting fairly regularly. I have been reading a fair amount, so I have a couple of book reviews in the works, and I have a few other ideas for posts, but I thought that for now I'd post some mini-reviews of some of the other books that I've read.

 

22392531The Battle of Castle Nebula by Stephanie Ricker


This is the prequel to A Cinder's Tale, which was published in the Five Glass Slippers anthology, and which I loved. This book was great too; I think I enjoyed A Cinder's Tale slightly more, but it certainly didn't disappoint me. I would probably recommend reading A Cinder's Tale first, because as this is a prequel I don't think it would be fully satisfying as a story in its own right, but it isn't necessary. The third book in the series is out soon, so I hope to read that one soon too, because now I really want to know what happens next.

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Emil and the Detectives by Erich Kästner


This book I didn't enjoy so much. It was alright, and there were some parts I enjoyed but overall I didn't find it that interesting. It is apparently however the first book to feature a child detective, so from that viewpoint it is interesting.
 

7698693Alice-Miranda at School by Jacqueline Harvey


I picked this up recently expecting it to be an easy and hopefully fairly entertaining read but I enjoyed it a lot more than I was expecting; I definitely would have loved this if I'd read it when I was younger (it has a sort of nostalgia value, even though I hadn't read it before). Alice-Miranda is a (very) precocious seven-year-old who goes to boarding-school a year early, but when she gets there, although she loves it she finds that there are some things that are a little odd - such as that the headmistress never comes out of her office and there are no flowers anywhere in the grounds, which she finds very sad. She sets about trying to get to the bottom of the mystery and to sort out everyone's problems along the way. Of course everything gets sorted out pretty quickly and everyone (bar one or two not very nice characters) is happy by the end of the book.  Overall it was a nice, sweet read.

18038255Belle: The Slave Daughter and the Lord Chief Justice by Paula Byrne


This was quite an interesting book, telling the true story behind the recent film Belle (I'm not sure which came first). It is not quite what the title claims since there isn't actually very much about Dido Belle herself in it - as not much is known about her - but it is still an interesting look at slavery and attitudes to black people in England at the time, and about Lord Mansfield and the significance of the court case (and various other ones). If you want to know the true story behind the film (which took rather a lot of liberties even with what is known) then it is worth a read.