This is my review of the book Code to Zero by Ken Follett which I have read recently. I wanted a book that moved along at a reasonable pace following on from Ivanhoe, and this book certainly did not disappoint.
The book goes back to America in the late 1950's and the space race with the Russians. A man wakes up in a railway station, and he cannot remember who he is, or what he is doing there. He cannot even remember his own name.
All he can think is that he is a drunken down and out, but then gradually though a fast moving series of events he gradually discovers who he is, including his name Luke Lucas.
He is tied up in uncovering a Russian spy ring and finds that he has been labelled the spy. So not only discovering the truth he also needs to avoid the CIA and other secret services who are trying to capture him as a spy.
It is a clever book as alongside the main plot line the story goes back to the main characters university days and how they formed relationships. Now having lost his mind the relationships need to be re-born, but will they come back in the same way as they did the first time. Well of course not.
This was a very enjoyable read and kept one turning the pages right to the end and I will record it as book book 47 week 39 fiction 42 (audio books 7) non fiction 5
This is my brief review of the book Ivanhoe by Sir Walter Scott which I listened to recently as a librivox recording https://librivox.org/ivanhoe-by-sir-walter-scott/
This is a very very very long book and not one to read/listen to if one wants an action story. A whole chapter can pass by with almost no action, lots and lots of description about 12th century England, but not much action. I can see that it has become the basis on which many subsequent novels have been written about these times including probably a very large number of stories about Robin Hood and his Merry men, who feature quite considerably in the story.
The librivox summary for the book says the following :- Follows the fortunes of the son of a noble Saxon family in Norman England as he woos his lady, disobeys his father, and is loved by another. Set in late 12C England and in Palestine with Richard Cœur-de-Lion at the Crusades.
There are numerous detailed summaries of the plot lines available elsewhere, which are much better than mine. I did not really enjoy it and felt that it must get better so listened to the end. The fact that I listened to it as driving around meant that I did not really waste any time doing this as the driving was the primary activity, but I could not say it was enjoyable.
The level of detail of the description of the events being described was amazing. Walter Scott's imagination was incredible. All the more so in that it is obvious that his work and imagination has been used as the basis of much of our cultures view of the 12 Century today.
I am pleased I did endure it to the end as looking back it was worth it, and I will record it as book book 46 week 38 fiction 41 (audio books 7) non fiction 5
This is my review of the book The Jewel Garden by Monty and Sarah Don which I have read recently. This book is a mixture of autobiography, come history of how Monty and Sarah created their garden, that is now so famous as the home of gardeners world.
But that is not really the whole story, the main driving force of the book is how Monty and Sarah rebuilt their lives following on from financial disaster, when their Jewellery business went belly up. They lost everything and the book gives a very honest traumatic account of this period in their lives.
Though it was brought about by different circumstances I could relate to their account, having to rebuild my life from a very large negative. Similar I restored a derelict house, though it was considerably smaller than described in this book. It has then taken me a further 20 years before I got a garden of similar size, which we are now working on to restore back to it's original glory.
When feeling disheartened by the weeds, rabbits and deer all doing their best, this book is a great inspiration as to what can be achieved by hard work, good inspiration and a little bit of compost.
The after the first 60 or so pages, which recount how Monty and Sarah get to the point of having the garden the book then goes through the year covering all the major highlights of the Jewel Garden. It explains how they got to that point and how the garden has evolved over time.
Of course it details the finer plants, and the text is accompanied by some fantastic pictures. Which is very useful to someone dyslexic like me who cant remember a plants name.
This is a lovely book which highlights the humanity of a star and his family that I see regularly on the TV. Every time I watch Gardeners World now when Monty is presenting it I will have a much greater insight into what I am seeing
I will record this as book 45 week 37 fiction 40 (audio books 6) non fiction 5
This is my review of the book Traitor by Rory Clements which I have read recently. This story is part of the ongoing saga of the Elizabethan special agent the intelligencer John Shakespeare. Time has moved along a little since the last book, but England is still at war with Spain. The navy has a new secret weapon. An optical instrument that can help one see long distances. (An early telescope).
John is tasked with the job of protecting Dr Dee who has invented this new optical instrument. But of course things do not run smoothly, and he uncovers a much more sinister plot to overthrow Elizabeth. The plot moves from the north of England down to Oxford and then finally to the coast of Brittany.
At the end of the book Rory gives a detailed historical account of the events that surround the story, especially the Hesketh affair and battle of Fort El Leon in 1594, and the death of 394 Spanish defenders, the 6 remaining alive were spared, sent back to Spain, where they were subsequently executed for cowardice.
So the events around which the story has been woven were itself a fascinating and exciting story without having to add the lives of our heroes and their famines. These are just the cream on the cake.
This is a book that is hard to put down, as it is an exciting enthralling story about life in Elizabethan England. I am looking forward to reading the next book in the series.
This was book 44 week 36 fiction 40 (audio books 6) non fiction 4
Dyslexic doodles on photography, food (growing, cooking & of course eating), faith and other fascinating things. This is a personal blog expressing my views.