My Cousin Rachel by Daphne du Maurier Review

My Cousin Rachel by Daphne du Maurier review
My Cousin Rachel by Daphne du Maurier, ISBN 9781844080403, 335pp

My Cousin Rachel by Daphne du Maurier is a book I’ve been wanting to read for a long time. As part of my quest to read more Daphne du Maurier books this year, I finally got around to reading it.

The story is written from the perspective of Philip Ashley, a young man on the cusp of turning twenty-five who has a lot to learn about the world and a lot of maturing to do. Philip was raised by his cousin, Ambrose, after the death of his parents, and grows up on a beautiful estate in Cornwall. But Ambrose suffers from ill-health so must spend the winter months over in Italy where it’s warm. Continue reading

The Hound of the Baskervilles Review

The Hound of the Baskervilles by Arthur Conan Doyle review
The Hound of the Baskervilles by Arthur Conan Doyle, ISBN 978014199177, 189pp

One of my reading goals for 2019 is to read more classics. Last year I planned to read a huge pile of classics but unfortunately only ended up reading a handful of books in this category. This year I’m determined to read as many of my classics as I can.  The Hounds of the Baskervilles by Arthur Conan Doyle is my second classic novel of the year. It features the wonderfully eccentric, brilliant Sherlock Holmes and his sidekick Dr Watson. Continue reading

Frenchman’s Creek by Daphne du Maurier Review

Frenchman's Creek by Daphne du Maurier review
Frenchman’s Creek by Daphne du Maurier, ISBN 9780349006598, 272 pp

Frenchman’s Creek by Daphne du Maurier is my first read of 2019. I read this a long time ago, so was happy to do a re-read as I had forgotten most of the plot. I’m so glad that I read this again as it was a fantastic read which I enjoyed so much.

Frenchman’s Creek is a rollicking, swashbuckling adventure set during the Restoration period in England. Lady Dona St Columb, the mother of two small children, is fed up with the shallow life she leads at Court. She is known for being a daring woman who drinks with her husband, his friends and their mistresses and is known to engage in wild escapades. Continue reading

My 2019 Bookish Resolutions

My penguin clothbound classics

Happy New Year everyone! In 2018 I read 105 books. I enjoyed reading books across many different genres from YA to historical fiction to romance. In 2019 I want to read more books from my unread shelf. I have so many books that have been waiting patiently for my attention, many of them classics, and this is the year that I want to get stuck into them.

Last year I set myself the challenge of reading 60 books and ended up blowing that goal out of the water. But classics take me a bit more time to read than modern books. For that reason I’m going to set my goal at 70 books this year so I don’t feel too much pressure.

Books that are on my to be read pile in 2019 include:

Classics on my shelf that I want to read

  1. The Tenant of Wildfell Hall by Anne Bronte
  2. Far From the Madding Crowd by Thomas Hardy
  3. Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte
  4. The House of Mirth by Edith Wharton
  5. Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
  6. Tess of the D’Urbervilles by Thomas Hardy
  7. Nineteen-Eighty Four by George Orwell (re-read)
  8. The Hound of the Baskervilles by Arthur Conan Doyle
  9. Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass by Lewis Carroll (re-read)
  10. Middlemarch by George Eliot
  11. Little Women by Louisa May Alcott (re-read)
  12. Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy
  13. Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert
  14. Persuasion by Jane Austen (re-read)
  15. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen (re-read)
  16. Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen (re-read)
  17. Emma by Jane Austen (re-read)
  18. Mansfield Park by Jane Austen (re-read)
  19. Cranford by Elizabeth Gaskell
  20. The Iliad by Homer (re-read)
  21. The Odyssey by Homer (re-read)
  22. My Cousin Rachel by Daphne du Maurier
  23. The Loving Spirit by Daphne du Maurier
  24. The House on the Strand by Daphne du Maurier
  25. The Scapegoat by Daphne du Maurier
  26. Frenchman’s Creek by Daphne du Maurier (re-read)

Fiction & Crime fiction on my shelf that I want to read

  1. My Jojo Moyes collection

    The Winter Garden by Kristin Hannah

  2. The Last Anniversary by Liane Moriarty
  3. Day Shift by Charlaine Harris
  4. The Aurora Teagarden Mysteries by Charlaine Harris (11 books in the series!)
  5. The Girl You Left Behind by Jojo Moyes
  6. Night Music by Jojo Moyes
  7. The Peacock Emporium by Jojo Moyes
  8. Paris for One by Jojo Moyes
  9. The One Plus One by Jojo Moyes (re-read)
  10. Crimson Lake by Candice Fox
  11. The Cuckoos Calling by Robert Galbraith (and the next few books if I like this one)
  12. The Last Chance Saloon by Marian Keyes (re-read)
  13. The Woman Who Stole My Life by Marian Keyes (re-read)
  14. The Other Side of the Story by Marian Keyes (re-read)
  15. Alias Grace by Margaret Atwood
  16. The Signature of All Things by Elizabeth Gilbert

YA fiction on my shelf that I still need to read

  1. Carry On by Rainbow Rowell
  2. Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo
  3. Beast: A Tale of Love and Revenge
  4. The Rift by Rachael Craw
  5. Dry by Neal Shusterman

Books from my husband’s shelf that I might read

  1. Misery by Stephen King
  2. Carrie by Stephen King
  3. The Shining by Stephen King
  4. The Outsider by Stephen King
  5. Elevation by Stephen King

There are a lot more books but I’ll see how I go! There are only so many weeks in a year!

Books I want to get (even though I already have so many books to read)

  1. The Wicked King by Holly Black (the sequel to The Cruel Prince)
  2. 99 Percent Mine by Sally Thorne (I loved The Hating Game so really want to get this when it comes out at the end of January).
  3. An Anonymous Girl by Greer Hendricks (I enjoyed The Wife Between Us so look forward to getting this book some time soon).
  4. Becoming by Michelle Obama (I’m hoping to get my hands on this biography and devour it).
  5. Mythos by Stephen Fry and Heroes by Stephen Fry (I love Greek mythology and have had my eye on these books for a while. Maybe this is the year I get them!)
  6. The Mermaid and Mrs Hancock by Imogen Hermes Gowar (This book looks so intriguing and I’m seeing it everywhere. I’ll keep my eye out for an inexpensive copy).
  7. The Wedding Date and The Proposal by Jasmine Guillory (These books are all over bookstagram and look like the perfect, frothy holiday reads. I might get them ahead of my holiday in March).
  8. Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens (This is a New York Times #1 bestseller that I’m seeing everywhere. It looks like a powerful book so I’m hoping to grab a copy at some stage).

I’ll leave my list here for now. I’m going to try very hard to read books that I already own but I’m an impulsive reader who is easily swayed by what other booklovers are reading. So I’m not going to be too hard on myself if I buy too many new books. Still, I will give this list my best shot.

 

What about you? What are your bookish resolutions for 2019? I’d love to hear them.

The King’s General by Daphne du Maurier Review

The King's General by Daphne du Maurier review
The King’s General by Daphne du Maurier, ISBN 9781844080892, 372pp

My husband bought me a whole stack of Daphne du Maurier books for my birthday. Over the years I’ve read Rebecca, Jamaica Inn and Frenchman’s Creek by Daphne du Maurier. But I wanted to read more of her books. The King’s General is set in 17th century Cornwall during the time of the English Civil War. Even though this book is called The King’s General, and he features as a character in the novel, the story is told from the point-of-view of Honor Harris.

When Honor is eighteen she is passionate, beautiful, reckless and the spoiled youngest daughter of a large family. She reminded me a bit of Scarlett O’Hara from Gone With the Wind. Honor meets Sir Richard Grenville, a soldier who cares only for fighting and not about the feelings of those around him. Richard is a bit like Rhett Butler, only meaner, and he is dedicated to fighting for his king. He’s really not a likeable person but is a brilliant soldier. When Richard meets Honor something clicks. Her family is against any match between them and sends Honor home. Richard follows her and they meet in secret and eventually become engaged.

But then tragedy strikes days before their wedding and Honor sends Richard away. I won’t tell you what the tragedy is but it’s a good twist and changes Honor’s life forever. It’s rare to find a novel told from the point-of-view of a person in her situation. Continue reading

Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier Review

Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier review
Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier, ISBN 9781844080380, 441pp

I just re-read Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier for the first time in a long time and it’s still an amazing read. It made me into a Daphne du Maurier fangirl all over again. Sometimes when I re-read a book I feel differently about it but with this book I was left with so much appreciation of Daphne du Maurier’s skill as a writer. Rebecca is truly a masterful piece of writing. It’s easy to see why this book has become a classic that has never gone out of print. Continue reading

The Scarlet Pimpernel by Baroness Orczy Review

The Scarlet Pimpernel by Baroness Orczy review
The Scarlet Pimpernel by Baroness Orczy, ISBN 9780241341339, 275pp, June 2018 Penguin English Library edition

If you’re looking for a classic that’s great fun, swashbuckling and has a mysterious hero at its heart then The Scarlet Pimpernel by Baroness Orczy is the book for you. Where else can you find a group of dashing Englishmen led by the Scarlet Pimpernel who rescue French aristocrats from the guillotine during the French revolution and say things like “Zooks!,” “Demmed excitable little puppy” and “Odd’s fish.”

The beauty of this book is that no one knows the identity of the dashing Scarlet Pimpernel, but the French are desperate to find out who has been performing these miraculous rescues that make them look like fools. After each rescue they find his calling card marked with a red flower, the Scarlet Pimpernel… Like the French agents, the reader has to guess the Scarlet Pimpernel’s identity. Continue reading

Death Comes to Pemberley by P.D. James Review

Death Comes to Pemberley book review
Death Comes to Pemberley by PD James, ISBN 9780571283576, 310 pp

Death Comes to Pemberley by P.D. James is a continuation of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, but with a difference–it’s all about a murder. The action takes place six years after Elizabeth and Mr Darcy’s marriage. They are now the parents of two boys and set to host an annual ball. Jane and Mr Bingley arrive at Pemberley and join Colonel Fitzwilliam and Darcy’s sister, Georgiana. On the eve of the ball the peace at Pemberley is disturbed when a hysterical Lydia Wickham arrives unannounced, screaming that her husband George Wickham is dead.

Something sinister has happened in the woods near Pemberley which will drag Wickham back into Darcy and Elizabeth’s lives.

Continue reading