Wednesday, 30 July 2014
One day in 1984, when Jeremy was driving along with one-year-old Amy sitting beside him in the passenger seat, he fell asleep at the wheel and caused a horrific car crash. The first policeman on the scene crawled into the wreckage where he was staggered to see a hairy, non-human hand cradling Jeremy's head amid the glass and twisted metal: having been saved by Jeremy, Amy now refused to let him go. For Jeremy, it was to be a long convalescence, but he and Amy joined forces with Jim Cronin, a tough-talking primate-lover from the Bronx, who shared his vision of creating a sanctuary for abused and abandoned monkeys. Pooling their knowledge, passion and meagre resources, the two men took on a derelict pig farm in Dorset and, over the next twenty years, slowly transformed it into a 65-acre, cage-less sanctuary for beleaguered primates, rescued from poachers, photographers and scientists on daring raids. Monkey World is now internationally famous and attracts some 800,000 visitors a year. This is a high-wire adventure story of grit and determination, and of love, hope and 88 Capuchin monkeys in the back of a Hercules transport plane, but most of all, at its heart, it is an inspiring tale of the life-changing bond between one man and his ape. Jeremy Keeling first met Amy, an abandoned orang-utan, when he was looking after the private menagerie of music impresario Gordon Mills. Amy had been born to an orang-utan with no maternal instincts and Jeremy, feeling a connection with the rejected primate, hand-reared her. A friendship was forged that would become the defining relationship of both their lives
I loved the series about Monkey World and Amy was one of the characters that really spoke to me. It was with this in mind that I picked up 'Jeremy and Amy'.
I wasn't ready for the amazing true story of Jeremy's life. From growing up in a zoo, through his teenage years, to the recent work that I was more familiar with, this book is jam-packed with interesting, heart-breaking, and occasionally hilarious tales. One of the things I particularly liked was the list of animals mentioned in thee book, making each more individual somehow.
A book for biography, animal or Monkey World fans alike.
Tuesday, 29 July 2014
A prince in search of a bride, a lady in search of adventure, and a wizard in search of a job each follow a folktale to a remote castle buried in thorns and briars and find what they seek in this delightful non-Grimm fairy tale from the author of "Eccentric Circles."
A charming and entertaining spin on the world of fairy-tales, this book seemed like a lesser Terry Pratchett to me.
I enjoyed trying to spot the different traditional tales that were woven into the story. However, it seemed rather too familiar at times.
My favourite character was Prince Atheslstain. I felt rather sorry for him at times and I think this was enhanced by the well-rounded nature of the other characters that surrounded him.
A light-hearted easy read.
I wonder, what is your favourite fairy-tale?
When Scottish Formula 1 driver Conor Westfield is injured in a racing accident, could it be mere coincidence that as he recovers from his injuries his childhood nightmare recurs — a strange jumble of terrifying images that feel more like memories than dreams? Or that he is soon informed a mysterious woman with whom he had very brief affair has died and left him as her heir? But this was no ordinary woman and no ordinary affair. Dogged by a niggling feeling of déjà vu, Conor reluctantly travels to Amsterdam to identify the body. At her home he finds an illuminated book that transports him back in time to a past life as a Knight Templar where he rediscovers the woman he left behind and a life lived in the shadow of a tragedy that cries out across 800 years for resolution.
When struck me first about this story was the effective way that the language changed between the 'past' and the 'present'. Sometimes, when chapters just around time periods, it can be hard to follow when exactly you are, but this was definitely not the case in 'The Knightmare'. The writing was clear and understandable and gripped me from the start.
The characters were complex and original. I enjoyed discovering who Mercedes was along with Rhyswr and Conor, feeling as if I was joined in Conor's emotional journey. Conor was a character I didn't instantly find likable, but as I read on his personality grew and by the end I was wanting to know what happened to him. Rhyswr appealed more to me from the start, whilst Mercedes was a mystery ready to be solved.
It was interesting to consider the narrative links between the two time periods and theorise about what they might mean. At first the links seemed a little too contrived in places, but as the story developed I began to be taken in by the twists and turns.
I very much enjoyed this book. I think it will appeal to anyone interested in mysteries, fantasy and history. An original tale.
Deborah Valentine is a British author, editor and screenwriter. She had three books published by Victor Gollancz Ltd in the UK, and Bantam and Avon in the US. Unorthodox Methods was the first in the series, followed by A Collector of Photographs and the Ireland-based Fine Distinctions. A Collector of Photographs was short-listed for an Edgar Allan Poe, a Shamus, a Macavity and an Anthony Boucher award. Fine Distinctions was also short-listed for an Edgar. They are soon to be available as eBooks on Orion’s The Murder Room imprint. With the publication of The Knightmare she has embarked on a new series of books with a supernatural edge. For more visit her website http://www.
Why not share your favourite mystery?!
OK so I'm a little late starting this challenge, but when I saw it I thought- that just fits me perfectly!
I currently have several shelves and 6 boxes of unread books, and my review request list is set for the next two years, unless I speed up a bit. It would be great to be able to get rid of some books because I've read them, rather than because I've decided their not my style any more.
Objective: Read as many books from your TBR pile as possible during the two weeks this event will span.
My goals: Simply to read as many unread books as possible. I'm on holiday so this should be a little easier than usual, although I may get distracted by blogging and twitter I suspect.
More info and sign up at Fly To Fiction
How many books are in your TBR Pile?
Monday, 28 July 2014
Musing Mondays asks you to muse about one of the following each week…
• Describe one of your reading habits.
• Tell us what book(s) you recently bought for yourself or someone else, and why you chose that/those book(s).
• What book are you currently desperate to get your hands on? Tell us about it!
• Tell us what you’re reading right now — what you think of it, so far; why you chose it; what you are (or, aren’t) enjoying it.
• Do you have a bookish rant? Something about books or reading (or the industry) that gets your ire up? Share it with us!
• Instead of the above questions, maybe you just want to ramble on about something else pertaining to books — let’s hear it, then!
I've been on a bit of buying spree recently on the Aslan Books website. My problem is that I get catalogues both electronically and physically on a regular basis. I sift through and circle all the books that I like the look of. Then I add any children's ones I think would be good for our church bookshelf and are only a few pounds (I'm not supposed to pay for these myself, but I can't resist sometimes). Occasionally the magazines then sit on the side until the offers are over and I forget it I've bought the books or not. More often than not, I go immediately online and buy about £100 worth of books to add to the overflowing bookshelves and 7 boxes of books that won't fit on them. That's what I did recently.
The problem is that, due to my enormous about of books, I recently promised myself 1 book in, 1 book out. So, on Saturday I made the sacrifice of sorting through all my books, recategorising them so that I'd (hopefully) be more likely to find the perfect read in the future, and deciding what I could bear to get rid of. It was a great exercise, but it did make me wonder who much I've spent on books that I'm never likely to read.
On the plus side, I'm now looking forward to the fun on BookCrossing all my unwanted books (as well as sharing some unregistered ones with the charity shops). Most of them will be coming to my next London meetup in a few weeks time. A few may be wild released more locally.
So, I'm now wondering: what are your book buying habits?
More Musing Mondays
I'm currently reading two books:
- The Knightmare by Deborah Valentine
This is an ebook which I was asked to review by the author.
This is its blurb: When Scottish Formula 1 driver Conor Westfield is injured in a racing accident, could it be mere coincidence that as he recovers from his injuries his childhood nightmare recurs — a strange jumble of terrifying images that feel more like memories than dreams? Or that he is soon informed a mysterious woman with whom he had very brief affair has died and left him as her heir? But this was no ordinary woman and no ordinary affair. Dogged by a niggling feeling of déjà vu, Conor reluctantly travels to Amsterdam to identify the body. At her home he finds an illuminated book that transports him back in time to a past life as a Knight Templar where he rediscovers the woman he left behind and a life lived in the shadow of a tragedy that cries out across 800 years for resolution.
According to my iPad, I have about an hours reading time left, so I'm hoping to finish it today or tomorrow.
2. 36 Arguments for the Existence of God by Rebecca Goldstein
I'm not sure when or where I picked this one up. I resorted my bookshelves on Saturday and this is one that struck in my mind as something I'd like to read sooner rather than later. I started it last night and its quite a long one, so it may well take me the rest of the week to read.
My next review request book to read is 'A Vision of Angels by Timothy Smith'. I may read something else at the same time, or I may not- it depends what mood I'm in at the time.
What are you reading? What do you plan to read next?
It's been a while since I've done one of these (the picture file on my computer still contains the banner for number 3), so here goes:
The Bout of Books read-a-thon is organized by Amanda @ On a Book Bender and Kelly @ Reading the Paranormal. It is a week long read-a-thon that begins 12:01am Monday, August 18th and runs through Sunday, August 24th in whatever time zone you are in. Bout of Books is low-pressure, and the only reading competition is between you and your usual number of books read in a week. There are challenges, giveaways, and a grand prize, but all of these are completely optional. For all Bout of Books 11 information and updates, be sure to visit the Bout of Books blog. - From the Bout of Books team
I'm planning to read for as many of my waking hours as I can in the hope that I get more done than usual as its holiday time, and that I'll catch up on some of my book reading backlog.
Do join me during the week beginning the 18th August, and why not read along as well?!