Four Book Reviews!

I’ve got a lot of catching up to do with my book reviews. I’m well behind with these, laaaa! 😀

A Portrait of New ZealandA Portrait of New Zealand by Warren Jacobs

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I actually bought this book to help me with some research. I thought that it had a lot of really beautiful photos and the stories about the locations photographed were really interesting. It was also really well written and read almost like a novel in some places. I really enjoyed this book and I know that it will be something that I will enjoy referring to again in the future. A very beautiful reference book of an equally beautiful country.

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In CalabriaIn Calabria by Peter S. Beagle

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I actually listened to this as an audiobook and initially downloaded it because I liked the unicorn on the cover. I’m more of a dragon person, usually, but I do like a unicorn story on occasion. I also haven’t ever read or heard a Peter S. Beagle story before, although I do know of him as an author. I’m very glad that I gave this story a chance, as I really enjoyed it. I thought that it was very well written and while it is a slow-burner, I didn’t mind that. I usually enjoy slow-burners if they’re done right (and this one is.) I’m also glad that the story lived up to the attractiveness of the cover! I liked the characters of the sweet Giovanna, and the curmudgeonly Bianchi, to the innocence of the unicorn and her foal. I must admit I saw the romance between Giovanna and Bianchi coming a mile off, but I thought theirs was still a cute relationship. Other than the usual unicorn related high fantasy, there also was a touch of gangster-related violence, which I don’t think is advisable for the younger listener/reader. I did have the horrible feeling that this book was going to end in a really sad fashion (I usually tend to avoid stories that are too dark or too sad) but I’m glad that this didn’t end terribly. All in all, I really enjoyed this and I know that I will be listening to it again in the future. I’m also going to look for more books by Peter S. Beagle and I wish I hadn’t left it so long to check his work out.

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Britain at War Unseen ArchivesBritain at War Unseen Archives by Maureen Hill

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is an interesting book, filled with a huge selection of photographs detailing various aspects of what it was like in Britain during the years of WWII. There are different sections, including Women in the Workforce, A Wartime Childhood and Blitz. The photographs were taken from the archives of the Daily Mail and are accompanied by their own captions explaining what was going on in the photos. The information was informative and interesting, and I feel as though I have learned a lot from this book. This is quite a hefty book, though and not something you want to carry around in your bag! (No worries, I didn’t actually try this for myself, though!)

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The RavenThe Raven by Edgar Allan Poe

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I’ve been meaning to read this poem by Edgar Allan Poe for years, as I have a copy of this on my bookshelf. I still haven’t read it for myself, though; instead, I decided to let Christopher Lee read it to me! (I accessed the audio via YouTube) I liked it, even though it’s darker in tone than the things I normally read/listen to and I thought that Christopher Lee had the perfect voice for such a dark and gothic poem. I also thought that the background music really added to the ambience of the piece. I’m definitely listening to this again and I really must read the actual poem itself one day. (I still find it funny that I used to actually live in a bungalow called ‘The Raven.’ I’m guessing that whoever lived there before me was a fan of Poe. Random, yet true fact!)

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