IMG_1664

Book Review: Strange Magic by Syd Moore

Book Review: Strange Magic by Syd MooreSummary

“Rosie Strange doesn’t believe in ghosts or witches or magic. No, not at all. It’s no surprise therefore when she inherits the ramshackle Essex Witch Museum, her first thought is to take the money and run.

Still, the museum exerts a curious pull over Rosie. There’s the eccentric academic who bustles in to demand she help in a hunt for old bones, those of the notorious Ursula Cadence, a witch long since put to death. And there’s curator Sam Stone, a man about whom Rosie can’t decide if he’s tiresomely annoying or extremely captivating. It all adds up to looking like her plans to sell the museum might need to be delayed, just for a while.

Finding herself and Sam embroiled in a most peculiar centuries-old mystery, Rosie is quickly expelled from her comfort zone, where to her horror, the secrets of the past come with their own real, and all too present, danger as a strange magic threatens to envelope them all.”

-From Amazon.com

Review

Beautiful cover!
This was a gift from my mum when she came back from the U.K. this year and I was immediately drawn in from the cover. Yes, I’m one of those who chooses books based off covers. Only because there are so many out there and whatever catches my attention by cover or name wins! I really liked that it was a simple cover, color wise, with this skull in the middle. But it did slightly mislead me in a way. It gave me a Mexican Day of the Dead kind of vibe. But that wasn’t what the book was about at all. I mean first off, it was set in Essex (U.K. for those of you who don’t know where that is).

Captivating story!
Now the story itself was interesting. It was simple, not too far out there. It was based around the witch trials that happened in the past and how someone came back to the present and all that kind of good stuff! It kept me captivated and curious as to what was going to happen next!

You got that feeling from the reading that you really were along for the journey. And I truly did feel like I was in Essex with the weather and all of that stuff!

Main character was slightly annoying.
Only thing that I didn’t like about the book was some of the characteristics of the main character, Rosie. She honestly was obnoxious as hell. She kept getting at the other protagonist, Sam, in the book.  She was very stubborn and not open to what was going on and it really annoyed me sometimes how out of line and rude she was in the book. I’m not sure if that was the point of her, but she really did get on my nerves a few times and I just wanted to slap some sense into her. She always had that ‘Essex Girl’ kind of attitude, all the way up to the very end!

Overall a fantastic read.
However, annoying main character to the side, the book itself was fantastic. It was simple so not terribly full of action (except towards the end a bunch of stuff happened). But it didn’t detract from the book. I noticed that Sarah Perry, the author of The Essex Serpent, really enjoyed the book and that was also what made me want to read it too! I do recommend it as it’s a good read and I think it’s a fantastic gift for someone who is into those magical kind of books!

For all of that, I give it 4/5 teacups!

rating four tea cups mlcwo

Happy Reading!

Purchase the book here at Barnes & Noble.

IMG_1664

The Essex Serpent by Sarah Perry

The Essex Serpent by Sarah Perry Summary

“London, 1893. When Cora Seaborne’s husband dies, she steps into her new life as a widow with as much relief as sadness: her marriage was not a happy one, and she never suited the role of society wife. Accompanied by her son Francis – a curious, obsessive boy – she leaves town for Essex, where she hopes fresh air and open space will provide the refuge they need.

When they take lodgings in Colchester, rumours reach them from further up the estuary that the mythical Essex Serpent, once said to roam the marshes claiming human lives, has returned to the coastal parish of Aldwinter. Cora, a keen amateur naturalist with no patience for religion or superstition, is immediately enthralled, convinced that what the local people think is a magical beast may be a previously undiscovered species. As she sets out on its trail, she is introduced to William Ransome, Aldwinter’s vicar.

Like Cora, Will is deeply suspicious of the rumours, but he thinks they are founded on moral panic, a flight from real faith. As he tries to calm his parishioners, he and Cora strike up an intense relationship, and although they agree on absolutely nothing, they find themselves inexorably drawn together and torn apart, eventually changing each other’s lives in ways entirely unexpected.

Told with exquisite grace and intelligence, this novel is most of all a celebration of love, and the many different guises it can take.”

-From book jacket

Review

This book was an absolutely exquisite read – there really is no other way to put it. First of all, a little bit about the author. She is highly well educated with a PhD in creative writing from Royal Halloway, which is a very well respected university. Additionally, she has been the writer in residence at Gladstone’s Library as well as the UNESCO World City of Literature Writer in Residence in Prague (summarized from book jacket). So clearly she knows her stuff in regards to writing and this is clearly evident within the book.

It is written in an older English kind of style as there are Old English contractions between words, as well as English spelling and longer sentences. It is more like a Jane Austen novel than a newer piece of literature, which I absolutely love. This book is nothing like you will find in the ‘new’ section of your bookstores.

It was definitely a challenging read, to get into it, as it was so different from any other book that one may generally read. It took a few chapters to get into the book and understand the flow of how it would be progressing, but once you did, it was a wonderful story. It was vividly written with beautiful descriptions and you were really able to feel the atmosphere of the book and locations mentioned with great ease.

If you are looking for a book that is fast paced, then this is not your book. It is a very slow story but it keeps you interested. I do not mean slow in a negative way, but there are no fights or action scenes as such. It was a calm book and not once did I have any of my emotions go to an extreme where I had adrenaline pumping or tears streaming down my face. It was all so calm and peaceful which I loved.

There was one small sex scene, which shocked the living daylights out of me. It was so soft and nothing really happened but it was obvious what was happening. And for the time period and what was happening in the story, it shocked me overall and was just so scandalous. In other books I wouldn’t have even batted an eyelash however in this one I was internally going “oh my gosh, wait what?!”

Overall this book was fantastic! It won’t be released in the United States until June 6th, so this is definitely hot off the press. It has been released in the UK for a few months however, like all good things, other countries had to wait for it.

So I do recommend adding this to your wishlist and giving it a buy. It’s an amazing read and a wonderful gift for any book lover in your life. I mean, just look at the cover! Who wouldn’t love to receive a book that was beautiful as that?

Happy Reading and let me know what you all think!

IMG_1664

Books Around The World (U.K and Poland)

So for my spring vacation I headed off to Europe, specifically the U.K. and Poland, for some family  matters however, while I’m so used to going there, this time I looked out for book related stuff. Because you know..book! <3

So near my little house by Manchester Airport, is a Waterstone’s in Wilmslow which is so adorable and very modern!

books of europe

I love visiting Waterstone’s and seeing all of the absolutely beautiful books, wonderfully organized displays, and it’s all so perfect there. Of course, I do love bookstores that are cluttered and smaller as well as they ave a more home-like feel, however Waterstone’s is very European and it’s know for being so precise.

books of europe books of europe books of europe

Additionally, England has this store called John Lewis. It’s kind of like a Lord and Taylor in America or an up-market clothing store, however they also sell things from furniture to cups, wallpaper and more! One thing they sell is this beautiful mug. It says “HURRAY! TIME FOR HOT CHOCOLATE MARSHMALLOWS AND A GOOD BOOK.” You can purchase it here. I’m hoping to get it soon as it’s really big and so perfect!

books of europe

And what’s better than after shopping at Marks and Spencer (another clothing place) than going for tea and coffee and other yummy treats?

books of europe

Finally, when in Poland I stayed at the Hotel Na Polboru, which is a beautiful hotel outside of Sieradz, Poland. I do recommend checking it out if you ever are in that area. the food is fantastic. They also have this bookcase there, which I am assuming, you can borrow books from to go and read. Either way, it was a nice focal point.

books of europe books of europe

Also, there was a small bookstore in a shopping mall that had a nice selection of books. It was quite interesting to see all of your favorite book covers in other languages!

books of europe

And finally, my small home in the U.K. has a room stuffed with books which is always so much fun to go and pursue through. I always seem to find something new. My goal next time I’m there is to go through them all! And also reorganize as it’s a little messy xD

Overall, while there are many similarities between book shops in the U.S. and around the world, there are subtle changes that make each countries book niche unique.

When I head off to Japan this summer, I’m going to be stopping by one of the most famous book shops in Japan (which is just around the corner from where I will be staying), so that will be such an experience. I’ll also be trying to find other shops that sell books and hope to, over time, see many book places around the world and see how ever shop is unique.

(Question of the day) QOTD: What’s the most interesting book place you have visited, and why?

IMG_1664

“19 books to help children find hope and strength in stressful times”

The Washington Post came up with a list, from a Librarian, of books which will help children through this really tough time that the United States, and our world is facing.

Yes, they are picture books, but everyone, no matter which side you are on currently, is facing a tough time. So sometimes helping your children understand everything going on in the world and how to find hope and strength is needed. These 19 books really do speak to me as I’ve read quite a few of them. Even as an adult I may want to check some out again.

A friend sent me this link and so I am sharing it with you. Now it is your turn to share it with others.

Peaceful Photo