We owe it to each other to tell stories - Neil Gaiman

Saturday, 25 February 2012


If my blog were a child, I would be arrested for neglect. February has just been a crazy month. So much has happened, so much is happening and I am sure that there is a lot that will still happen. But such is life - I just have not managed to find a bit of calm in the madness to do anything bookish - but I do hope that that will change.

So far I have read 4 books this month - this is way below my target of 10, but that is something that I have to deal with. Life is just too busy for me to allow myself to feel bad about it. I can just hope that next month will be better.

I'll try to get some content up in the next few days and I really do have many books that I have read that have yet to be reviewed, so I really do need to catch up. But for now... I have to finish my assignment on the Ancient Epic. As soon as I have done that I shall return and give my blog the attention it so much needs *sigh*.

I hope that you are all having a better reading February than me. Till later, Happy Reading :)

Friday, 10 February 2012

The Orchid House - Lucinda Riley

Title: The Orchid House

Author: Lucinda Riley

Date of Release: 14 February 2012

Publisher: Simon & Schuster, Inc.

Imprint: Atria Books

ISBN: 9781451655780

Source: advanced ecopy from Netgalley

The Synopsis:

As a child Julia Forrester spent many idyllic hours in the hothouse of Wharton Park, the great house where her grandfather tended exotic orchids. Years later, while struggling with overwhelming grief over the death of her husband and young child, she returns to the tranquility of the estate. There she reunites with Kit Crawford, heir to the estate and her possible salvation.

When they discover an old diary, Julia seeks out her grandmother to learn the truth behind a love affair that almost destroyed Wharton Park. Their search takes them back to the 1930s when a former heir to Wharton Park married his young society bride on the eve of World War II. When the two lovers are cruelly separated, the impact will be felt on generations to come.

Side note:

Before I start my review, I would just like to say how much this book has reminded me of The Legacy by Katherine Webb. So if you are really into this, then The Legacy is definitely a book to look out for too. The Orchid House is a re-release with a new name of Hothouse Flower - the UK version.

Original vs Remake or in this case Re-Release

Now for a bit of a debate before getting into the review. As a South African - one's allegiance is always split between the Americans and the Brits. But being one with some British blood, I tend to be on the side of the Brits. The same duel applies with this book - with Hothouse Flower already having been released, and with The Orchid House still due for release I had to decide: do I buy or do I wait? I decided to buy for 2 reasons.

1. I like the cover of Hothouse Flower better. You can compare them yourself, but after reading it I think you'll agree with me.

2. When you have actually read the book the title Hothouse Flower just makes more sense - though the Orchid House is a worthy title too.

But now, back to business...

The Review:

The Orchid House is one of the best books I have read in a long time. It is marvellously written with amazing descriptions and a story that will leave you hanging on the pages for more. I was absorbed by the pages of this book and I felt as though I were in the tropical climates with Harry. You felt the despair and uncertainty of war with Olivia. You felt Julia's heartache and uncertainty. This book was marvellously written!

This story was very well plotted - with so many climaxes that you cannot put it down. I was very impressed with how well the lead up to each climax progressed - there wasn't just a bang in the story - it truly built up to a great revelation each time. And with all the layers to the story it will give you much to think about when you are finally able to pry yourself from the pages - most likely by the forceful interference of someone who is not reading this book.

The Orchid House is one of those magnificent stories where you feel with your characters - they are well developed and will stay with you long after the story has ended. The mystery and suspense that comes in with the diary gives what is already an interesting story so much more. If you are not enthralled by this book then you cannot be overcome by a book. This story is just so beautiful that I hope every one of you will go out and read it because it will be one of those books that are the greats.

I love this book so much - I have not felt this much emotion for a book since Gone with the Wind. A multi-layered story that all comes back to what you do for love. The betrayals of love and the beauty of love are well examined in this book - a must for all readers. This is a book I think will become a modern classic.

I cannot wait to see what Lucinda Riley has to offer next. You can check out her website by clicking here. Have you read Hothouse Flower or The Orchid House before? What did you think?

Tuesday, 7 February 2012

Top Ten Books I would give to a non-Reader

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish. This feature was created because we are particularly fond of lists here at The Broke and the Bookish.

1. Ten things we did and probably shouldn't have.
This is a very fun read, and well if I were trying to convince someone how awesome reading is, this would be the first book I would hand to them. It is just amazing and if you already are a reader then this would be the book I would get you to read to get you out of a reading funk.

2. Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone.
Being the first book in the Harry Potter series this book is just awesome, and well once you are hooked by the Harry Potter books you will be hooked to reading for life.

3. Middlesex - Jeffrey Eugenides
The opening lines will have you hooked, I mean come on after reading "I was born twice: first, as a baby girl, on a remarkably smogless Detroit day in January of 1960; and then again, as a teenage boy, in an emergency room near Petoskey, Michigan, in August of 1974." who would not want to know more?

4. Starcrossed - Josephine Angelini
I dare you to not be addicted after reading this book.

5. Dead until Dark
The same applies for this one as for Harry Potter - the first book really has you hooked, so you will come back for more.

6. The Orchid House
This book has the ability to suck you in and after reading a book that is really powerful and gives you so much more than a movie how can you not be a reader?

7. The Booktown Mystery Series
These books are marvellous mysteries and should not be dissed because they are cozy mysteries. The plots are not transparent and truly do have you hooked.

8. Twilight
I can hear you gasping "how could you" you're probably wondering what on earth is wrong with me. I must defend myself and say that whilst they are not the most highbrow of books they really are addictive. I stand by my description of calling them oxygen for your eyes. The movies are awful but the books really are better.

9. Matilda or anything by Roald Dahl
Roald Dahl is who converted me to being a reader - I had not really read story books before then. My mother had me reading biographies of important people like Galileo and Marie Curie. This I discovered by myself - seeing on the movie Matilda that it was based on a book I could not pronounce his name, but the librarian had patience and directed me to him.

10. Charlotte's Web
This was one of my favourites I must have read it like 50 times. This is a beautiful story that will have anyone wanting to read more.

God Save the Queen

The best of times and the worst of times are often the same - Dickens really got it right in A Tale of Two Cities. Yesterday - 6 February 1952- 60 years ago the Queen last her father King George VI. Today 60 years ago she became the Queen - although her coronation only happened in June 1953. Queen Elizabeth is only the second monarch -the first being Queen Victoria - to reach their Diamond Jubilee.

At 85 the Queen is still going strong and I would like to wish her the best of luck for the years that lie ahead. To celebrate this auspicious occasion this year you can look forward to several royal biographies and a good look at the life of this wonderful Queen and some other noteworthy Royals.

Amongst others you can look forward to Elizabeth the Queen: The Life of a Modern Monarch and The King's Speech.

February Book Loot and some other things

Aside from being sick, February has started off rather well. I have read 4 books so far, and have already received some new books. I am not sure which to start with as they are both exciting so let me start with something else that was rather exciting that happened this weekend.

We have been having a lot of rain - which is such as blessing because for a long time we had very bad drought so the fact that it is raining and that there is an abundance of rain is very welcome. It rained so much that the waterfalls that form in the mountain here in Somerset East made their appearance for the first in a terribly long time. From my back door I had a wonderful vantage point of the three most prominent waterfalls - it was just so beautiful. We went for a drive at the foot of the mountain and saw several more waterfalls in the kloofs. It was breath taking - the last streets in town were just flooded from the fountain water. It was just amazing. It is just a pity that they stoppped flowing so quickly, but word is we are in for some more rain so one can only hope that they appear again.

But now back to bookish things...

I think I'll start with the books that I have read so far. As I sais I have read 4 books so far - the one was a children's book, but it counts anyway. I said I wanted to read 10 books and I am working towards it. So here are the 4 books that I have read so far for February:

1. Destined - House of Night #9
2. Fantastic Beasts and where to find them
3. Up Cat
4. Demons are a Ghoul's Best Friend

I am presently busy with Ghouls just Haunt to have Fun and some other side books so hopefully I'll exceed my goal of 10 books for this month. Though I don't want to get cocky - this is a short month, even with its extra day.

And now for my new book loot...

1. Matilda - I have always loved this book and just had to have it.

2. Out of Africa - having it is the only way I'll read it since I don't know anyone with it and the local library doesn't have it, what other choice did I have?

3. The Virgin Suicides - I love Jeffrey Eugenides. I had to have this book since I already have Middlesex and when I can I am going to get The Marriage Plot.

4. Extreme - Sharon Osbourne. This is possibly the one I am most excited about. I love Sharon and this was the last book I needed to complete my collection.

Well that's me checking in, I need to work on a few reviews so that you can be as regaled by the books that I have read as I am. Have you received any new books? Or read anything superb?

Wednesday, 1 February 2012

New Month New Goals

February has arrived rather quickly, and I expect it will fly by faster than January considering it is a much shorter month - even though it has an extra day this year.

I hope that February will be a better reading month than January was. January was a month of adjustment so things can only get better from here.

I am pretty excited about February because The Orchid House is being released - this is a book you have to get. My review will be up on the 10th of February so be sure to keep an eye out for that.

My major goal for February is to get the Iliad read. I really struggled with my Lattimore edition last year. But I have gotten the Fagles edition and I am hoping that that will be very helpful - as this read is not for fun, but for academic necessity!I think I would like to set a mii goal for myself for this month - I want to read 10 books. They don't have to be long - I just need to read 10 books.

Do you have any reading plans for February?