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April Reading Round-Up

My initial plan was to post a round-up every three months, but judging by the number of bloggers posting monthly ones and by my own longer-than-usual list of books for a month, I’ve decided to go with the majority and post monthly. This may inhibit the quality of my Quotation Reports (I’ve given the feature an official name) but it will mean that there are less books for you, my readers, to wade through here.

I’m now formally splitting my round-up posts into two sections where before they just ran on from one to the other. The first section will deal with the books, the second the quotations. There will be, on either side, an introduction (this is it for April) and ending.

All books are non-fiction. As always the books are ordered by author’s first name and the books reviewed written in italics.

The Books

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C S Lewis: The Magician’s Nephew (The Chronicles Of Narnia) – Two children, on the demands of an eccentric “magician”, use rings to transport themselves to other worlds. They meet a witch – who they bring back to our world and who causes much alarm when she tries to take over London using ancient means – and a lion who is creating a new land. Contains many parallels with the Bible. A fantastic fantasy for children that can be enjoyed by adults alike.

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C S Lewis: The Lion, The Witch And The Wardrobe (The Chronicles Of Narnia) – Lucy finds that the wardrobe in the spare room has no back, in fact walking through it leads one to a mysterious new world. Once her siblings finally believe her stories and join her in Narnia the White Queen’s power begins to weaken, but they will still have to fight to save Narnia from everlasting winter. A classic that’s well deserving of it’s status.

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Jane Austen: Sense And Sensibility – Elinor and Marianne are both very different sisters looking for very different men. But one thing they would agree on, especially now, is that their men should be proper gentlemen. Not as good as Pride And Prejudice and takes a while to get going, but well worth the read.

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Lisa See: Peony In Love – A lovestruck and romantic-dreamer teenager dies because of an opera and must learn more about love and life before she can move on. The main character is practically an anti-heroine and the plot difficult to get through but the writing is exquisite.

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Markus Zusak: The Book Thief – Death relays the story of a girl growing up in Nazi Germany in a place where people just want to live their lives. Incredible story-telling and use of language, engrossing story, and even illustrations – this book has it all.

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Victoria Hislop: The Return – A woman travels to Spain for dance lessons but didn’t realise the extent of her family history. The Ramirez family were split up; they were jailed, left in solitude, travellers, in a country in turmoil. And because of the children: a teacher, a matador, a guitarist, and a flamenco dancer, there is a connection with Sonia that will change her life. An engaging tale set against a factual and horrifying backdrop.

I can’t believe I read so many books in one month – 6 is a record for me. Albeit that two were short. If I had to pick a favourite it would probably be a toss up between The Return and The Book Thief. I love The Chronicles Of Narnia but somehow citing a children’s fantasy instead of historical fiction that deals with war seems wrong.

I participated in the Read-A-Thon which accounts for the two C S Lewis’ but because of the problems with scheduling time I’m not sure if I’d do it again. This month seemed so long in reading terms, however!

Quotation Report

Apparentally, if Polly of The Magician’s Nephew is anything to go by, if you bring an evil witch queen from one world to your own, it’s fine to go home to dinner and leave her where she is. No matter if she’s intending to start her take-over of your world in the morning. And Elinor of Sense And Sensibility reckons it’s fine to tell your sister she can’t write a letter to her mother on the same day you do, no matter if you’re both at an age where petty issues like this should have ended long ago. Though you should trust her if she tells you never to wait in a shop queue if the man currently being served is looking for a toothpick case. He might be a while.

One round-up per month? Well I’ve managed it this time but I have a feeling the next will be shorter.


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