Book Review: The Birth Of Venus

The Birth Of Venus is Sarah Dunant's first historical novel (not her debut though, as I had wrongly gathered from my pre-reading research on the book). It is set again during the Renaissance, for which Dunant seems to have developed a certain panache, and tells the story of Alessandra - a young Florentine woman and …

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Book Review: Blood and Beauty: The Borgias

Apparently the Borgias have become one of my reading obsessions and I cannot be more happy about it. It is a rare and lovely thing for a reader to become so invested in a historic period, or a figure or a city. This way you are guaranteed to have an unknown number of enjoyable books …

Book Review: The Alice Network

The latest by Kate Quinn is a departure from Roman intrigue, be it during Antiquity or Renaissance, but not from her masterful gripping storytelling. The Alice Network is a wartime novel about daring female spies, a determined American socialite on a rescue mission and a lot of damaged souls on a quest for redemption. Two …

Book Review: The Ship of Brides

The premise of The Ship of Brides did not instantly strike the right chord with me. I had settled for a guilty-pleasure read to take my mind off a mind-boggling book. After all, it had all the appearance of an ordinary war romance story, and I have always been a sucker for those. Mind you, it …

Princess Sisi -Then And Now

We girls often fall in love with princesses and the idea of being a princess very early on. Be it because of the way we are raised, the movies we watch, the pink dresses that are marketed for us - but it's more the norm than not. (I would actually argue against this early stereotyping, but in …

Book Review: The Fiery Cross

Outlander No.5 is nowhere close to becoming a classic. The Fiery Cross pretty much extinguished my love for the Frasers saga. The numbers say it all - it took me 382 days to finish. The first four books took me roughly a month each, so a total of 120 days. I had heard the entire series …

Book Review: Me Before You

I'd seen this title in a number of must-read lists, one being something like 'Romantic novels for people who hate romance'. The story, however, of a girl who cares for a quadriplegic man and falls in love with him didn't really sound non-cheesy to me. Worse, it sounded formulaic. Little did I know. I finally picked …

Book Review: Assegai – An African Adventure by Wilbur Smith

I love Wilbur Smith! He writes great adventure set in exotic lands, and few writers excel as much as him in bringing African scenery to life. Now that I can order whichever book of his I want, I was preparing to indulge. But... Assegai is an enjoyable book. The first two-thirds were just as adventurous and picturesque as …

Summer Book Review: The Martian

I expected (and hoped) to be impressed by Andy Weir's insanely popular sci-fi The Martian and I am happy to report that it BLEW. MY. MIND. I am mind-patting myself on the shoulder right now for choosing this for the beach - it's compulsively readable, intense and often witty hilarious (the only type of hilarious I register). The …

Book + Movie Review: Far From The Madding Crowd

I was certain Far from the Madding Crowd will be a 'love or hate' novel, but now I am swaying in the middle. The writing is brilliant but archaic; the story goes to daring extremes to bare the human soul but the pacing falters. The novel tells the story of an independent young woman torn between the suits of …