August 28, 2015

When you read a book about a place you've just visited OR I love England

Before I get into what the title of this post suggests let me give a quick review of Cress which is the third installment in the Lunar Chronicles series by Marissa Meyer. For the uninitiated, head on over to my reviews of Cinder and Scarlet for some background info. I really like the way Meyer is able to balance out the primary focus of each book (in this case Cress) with the overarching theme of the series and all of the characters that have made appearances throughout. While this story is set in Earth's future and it deals with a race of people who dwell on the moon (Lunars) it is easy to slip into this reality. Yes, there are cyborgs. Yes, some people have the power to manipulate bio-electricity and therefore control people. However, the themes that are being discussed are easily translatable. Racial prejudice for one thing is very real in today's society and it's an important aspect in the Lunar Chronicles as a whole. Cress grew up in isolation with a tyrant as her one and only connection to the outside world. She was emotionally, verbally, and at times physically abused and this caused her to retreat into herself and create a fantasy world. This, in large part, is why she wants to help the Earthens and the ragtag band of misfits who are on the run from the authorities. War is now a certainty and the clock is ticking for Cinder before she must confront the Queen. Next in the series is Fairest: Levana's Story. I already have it on hold at the library. :-D

I recently went on a trip to the United Kingdom which of course meant visiting various and sundry bookstores. While I was in Carnforth I stopped into one that had a gargantuan used books collection and the very first book that I laid my hand on was called Mere and Moorland: The Northern Counties which was the 4th book in a series entitled A Breath of England by Norman Wymer. (I really do love series don't I?) The real coincidence about this particular book is that I was at that moment making a bit of a tour of the Northern counties of England. It was written in 1951 so it's a wee bit out of date and the pictures included (while glossy) were in black and white only. BUT I loved it. It was amazing to read about the places I had been to personally as well as those I hadn't. Learning about the various traditions, industries, and superstitions of each of the counties was very interesting. It made me want to go back and visit all of the places that I hadn't had a chance to see. I just love English history!! (Also, the countryside. I really, really love the English countryside and Wymer was all about the countryside.)

Quite recently I reviewed Susanna Clarke's debut novel (which blew my mind) and upon researching to see when/if she was writing anything else I discovered that she had written a book entitled The Ladies of Grace Adieu and Other Stories. From what I can tell, it's a collection of stories written in the same universe as Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell (in fact J.S. makes an appearance as well as the Raven King). I have high hopes for this one especially as we are getting more of a glimpse into Faerie...let's get to it!!

** If you're interested in a book like Mere and Moorland, you can click here. This will re-direct you to AbeBooks. This is a website which I have used to purchase used books many times. Full disclosure: I will receive a commission on all sales made by following this link. I wouldn't recommend a site that I didn't use and you are under no obligation to purchase anything. :-) **


  1. Fairest was interesting. I wasn't sure I'd like it at first, but I ended up totally fascinated by how she went from a "normal" person to a crazy tyrant. I'm really excited for Winter to come out.

    1. I've already got Winter on hold at the library. So ready!!