anthony hope · books · doppelganger · james mason · novels · romance · romance novels · the prisoner of zenda

Love’s Vintage: a review of a 1940s romance, plus an all time classic adventure story

This week I have been mostly reading about Kings and Queens, Barons and Countesses, and adventurous lives in fantasy European kingdoms – and a fabulous journey it’s been! The book that started me on the journey was a present from my daughter – a 1940s novel called Love’s Vintage, by Diana Wilding (my daughters know…… Continue reading Love’s Vintage: a review of a 1940s romance, plus an all time classic adventure story

1930s · angela thirkell · books · novels · romantic comedy · writers

Exciting day! I’ve discovered a brilliant new author, and she’s written tons of books :)

Have you ever had that feeling of massive excitement when you start a book by an author you’ve never heard of, find out her book is brilliant and then find out she’s written tons of other books you’ve never read – enough books to keep you going for literally months?  Well, that happened to me…… Continue reading Exciting day! I’ve discovered a brilliant new author, and she’s written tons of books :)

books · craig thompson · graphic novels · laura ingalls wilder · novels · reading · tintin

Three brilliant wintry books for a snowy Easter

Well, I was going to write on a lively Spring-like theme today, with daffodils and crocuses and gambolling lanbs.  Instead, you only have to look at my photo to see Spring has been very late arriving in Yorkshire :(  The sun is trying valiantly to shine today, but deep snow still lies on the moors.…… Continue reading Three brilliant wintry books for a snowy Easter

books · cultural differences · language · literature · novels · writing

Are novels less joyful and more scary? A scientific study seems to think so

Why do people read novels?  Surely one of the main reasons – and I know it is for me – is to be swept up in the characters’ emotions. Now a study by three British universities (Bristol, Durham and Sheffield) has thrown up an incredible fact: books are exactly 14% less emotional in content today…… Continue reading Are novels less joyful and more scary? A scientific study seems to think so

books · Irish literature · novels · reviews · writers

Five great Irish novels for St Patrick’s Day

This weekend, March 17th, sees St Patrick’s Day – yay!  If ever there was a country which loves a good story, Ireland must be it.  My family is Irish, and sometimes I wonder if this is why I just love books and reading and stories so much.  Writing is so engrained in the Irish way…… Continue reading Five great Irish novels for St Patrick’s Day

books · historical novels · josephine tey · novels · philippa gregory · reading · richard III · the daughter of time · the white queen

A gripping novel about Richard III, and a dastardly event in English history

This month a skeleton of twisted bones found under a car park in Leicester was confirmed as belonging to Richard III.  What a dismal end to a life full of tragedy and treachery! In case you don’t know the story behind Richard III’s tragic and eventful life, here it is in a nutshell: His father…… Continue reading A gripping novel about Richard III, and a dastardly event in English history

19th century · authors · books · historical · paris · romance · romance novels · romantic location · writers · zola

Sex and shopping in 19th century Paris: Zola’s gripping classic novel, The Ladies’ Paradise

A few weeks ago I mentioned how much I enjoyed the BBC series The Paradise, and how I was looking forward to reading the novel on which it is based, Emile Zola’s Au Bonheur des Dames (The Ladies’ Paradise). I’ve just put the book down with a satisfied sigh, and what a gripping read it…… Continue reading Sex and shopping in 19th century Paris: Zola’s gripping classic novel, The Ladies’ Paradise

authors · books · conflict · film adaptations · jane austen · pride and prejudice · reading · romance · romance novels · the lizzie bennet diaries

Pride and Prejudice at 200 (and a genius YouTube interpretation)

If you’re a Jane Austen fan like me (and if you’re not, I beg you to read on anyway! you’re in for a surprising and fabulous treat!), you’ll know already that Pride and Prejudice is two hundred years old this week. I first read this book when I was fifteen and it was as gripping…… Continue reading Pride and Prejudice at 200 (and a genius YouTube interpretation)

authors · books · hatchet job of the year · language · reading · reviews · romance · romance novels · writers · writing

How to write a useful book review

This isn’t the first time I’ve written here about how hard it is to find useful reviews of commercial fiction, especially of romantic fiction.  (Here’s my previous post on romance reviewers I admire.)  If you like reading literary fiction, it’s not hard to track down a well-written review of a book before you commit yourself…… Continue reading How to write a useful book review

art · romance · writing

5 great romantic works of art

Does a picture paint a thousand words?  Recently I blogged about some of my favourite romantic novels (last part was here) and today I thought I’d share a list of my favourite romantic works of art.  And which do you think have the greatest emotional impact – the paintings or the novels?  Can art really…… Continue reading 5 great romantic works of art