Tag: Rating: 1 star

Review: Cymbeline

Posted 20 August, 2014 by Lianne in Books / 2 Comments

By: William Shakespeare
Format/Source: eBook; my copy

The King of Britain, enraged by his daughter’s disobedience in marrying against his wishes, banishes his new son-in-law. Having fled to Rome, the exiled husband makes a foolish wager with a villain he encounters there gambling on the fidelity of his abandoned wife.

Combining courtly menace and horror, comedy and melodrama, Cymbeline is a moving depiction of two young lovers driven apart by deceit and self-doubt.

Moving along with my Shakespeare reading this year is Cymbeline. Perhaps not as familiar as Shakespeare’s other historical titles, I believe I was compelled to pick up this title having listened to Loreena McKennit’s song “Cymbeline” (listen here).

This book is part of the William Shakespeare Reading Challenge 2014 that I am participating in.

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Review: Personal Effects

Posted 12 March, 2014 by Lianne in Books / 0 Comments

Personal Effects
By: Francesca Duranti
Format/Source: Advanced reading copy courtesy of Open Road Integrated Media via NetGalley

An abandoned wife travels into the heart of the Eastern bloc in search of an elusive writer and her own identity in this wry and captivating satire

Valentina has spent the last decade as a most dutiful wife: cooking meals, cleaning house, and translating dry liturgical writings for her husband, Ricardo, to use in his own bestselling literary endeavors. When Ricardo leaves her for another woman, Valentina realizes there is little in her life that is truly hers. So she resolves to strike out on her own as a journalist and track down the elusive novelist Milos Jarco, hiding somewhere in pre-glasnost Eastern Europe. Perhaps in finding Jarco, she can find herself as well.

The gray world she enters is marked by tight lips, guarded secrets, and universal mistrust. Her search for Jarco hits roadblock after roadblock. But on her odyssey through the Soviet hinterland, Valentina encounters something unexpected. She discovers passion . . . and oddly enough, freedom.

Personal Effects was the other book I picked up from the publishers via NetGalley. The premise of the novel sounded interesting–travelling through Soviet Eastern Europe, trying to take charge of her life again–and despite of my questions of the plot, I did like Duranti’s Happy Ending (review) enough. This novel was released on 21 January 2014.

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Review: The Taming of the Shrew

Posted 6 March, 2014 by Lianne in Books / 2 Comments

The Taming of the Shrew
By: William Shakespeare
Format/Source: Ebook; my copy

Renowned as Shakespeare’s most boisterous comedy, The Taming of the Shrew is the tale of two young men, the hopeful Lucentio and the worldly Petruchio, and the two sisters they meet in Padua.

Lucentio falls in love with Bianca, the apparently ideal younger daughter of the wealthy Baptista Minola. But before they can marry, Bianca’s formidable elder sister, Katherine, must be wed. Petruchio, interested only in the huge dowry, arranges to marry Katherine -against her will- and enters into a battle of the sexes that has endured as one of Shakespeare’s most enjoyable works.

Continuing along with the Shakespeare challenge! I decided on this play as my next read because I remember reading how 10 Things I Hate About You was loosely based off this play (and I enjoyed that movie enough years ago) 😉

This book is part of the William Shakespeare Reading Challenge 2014 that I am participating in.

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Review: Cousin Bette

Posted 3 July, 2013 by Lianne in Books / 0 Comments

Cousin Bette
By: Honore de Balzac
Format/Source: eBook; my copy

Poor, plain spinster Bette is compelled to survive on the condescending patronage of her socially superior relatives in Paris: her beautiful, saintly cousin Adeline, the philandering Baron Hulot and their daughter Hortense. Already deeply resentful of their wealth, when Bette learns that the man she is in love with plans to marry Hortense, she becomes consumed by the desire to exact her revenge and dedicates herself to the destruction of the Hulot family, plotting their ruin with patient, silent malice.

Up next in my tour de force in classic French literature is Cousin Bette by Honore de Balzac. I’ve heard of him every now and then in passing but I’ve never read any of his work until now. It was between reading this title and Pere Goriot and this book won out because it sounded like a curious character drama. May contain some spoilers ahead!

This book is part of the Books on France Reading Challenge 2013 that I am participating in.

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Review: God’s Spy

Posted 10 May, 2009 by Li in Books / 1 Comment

God’s Spy
By: Juan Gomez-Jurado

Okay, I admit, I picked this up on a whim. I was strolling along the bargain section of the bookstore looking for a fantastic read (picked up Lax’s The Spanish Bow for only $5.99 in hardcover in that section and Cohen’s Jane Austen in Scarsville: or Love, Death and the SATs was an enjoyable read). I saw God’s Spy and read the premise; it seemed interesting enough. Murder in Rome, crazy psychopath on the loose, intrigue in the Vatican. I thought, Why not? So I picked it up. Kinda wished I didn’t. Read More