Book Review: Classic Penguin: Cover to Cover by Paul Buckley & Audrey Niffenegger


Pages: 287 pages

Published: 2016

Publisher: Penguin Books

Genre: Nonfiction, Classics, Art





In Classic Penguin: Cover to Cover, Paul Buckley showcases more than ten years of stunning cover designs from Penguin Classics. This curated tour begins with the now-iconic redesign of the signature Penguin Classics black-spine series in 2003 and moves through award-winning series like the Penguin Classics Graphic Deluxe Editions, Penguin Drop Caps, and Penguin Horror. Exhibiting a mesmerizing array of front covers and full cover layouts, Paul Buckley illuminates the unique and inventive approaches to typography, image, and design that grace Penguin’s covers of the best works in literature. Throughout the book, the artists and designers including Chris Ware, Ivan Brunetti, Jillian Tamaki, Jessica Hische, and Ruben Toledo who have collaborated with Penguin Classics offer commentary on the design process. For lovers of classic literature, book design, and all things Penguin, Classic Penguin has you covered.

Don’t judge a book by its cover. That saying always applied to people but us book lovers try to judge the story instead basing our first impressions on the book cover. However, it is first thing that we see when we peruse through the shelves and impressions our based on how beautiful the book cover is. It mostly influences  us when we are either buying or borrowing the book. That shows how important book cover design is in publishing. It attracts attention to the reader. Classic Penguin: Cover to Cover demonstrates just that.

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Book Review: The Night is Darkening Around Me by Emily Bronte

wp-1477534062038.jpgFormat:  Paperback

Pages: 55 pages

Published: February 26, 2015

Publisher: Penguin Little Black Classics

Genre: Poetry

When I first heard that Penguin was releasing Little Black Classics, I was disappointed they would not be available. So when I made my trip across the pond and saw them in a bookstore, I grabbed the opportunity to grab as many little black books that I could. One of them was Emily Bronte’s The Night is Darkening Round Me.

The only thing I read by Emily Bronte was Wuthering Heights.  I know most of her writings were poems and I never got a chance to read them until now and I am glad I did. These poems were great! You can feel the brutal honesty and see the vivid imagery while reading these poems. Bronte gives a variety of things you may be looking for in a poem: death, love, nature…it is all here. Some of the poems were haunting but yet so beautiful. They are not so many poems that leave me so captivated. I knew she was a great writer but never how great at poetry she truly was! And reading ties in perfectly with Halloween, so if you are looking for a Halloween gothic read, you are looking at the right book.

Just to show you what I mean, I will end this review with one of the great poems in this book:

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Book Review: Where They Found Her by Kimberley McCreight

Where They Found HerFormat: Hardcover

Pages:  336 pages

Publisher: Harper

Published: April 14, 2015

Genre: Mystery


At the end of a long winter, in bucolic Ridgedale, New Jersey, the body of an infant is discovered in the woods near the town’s prestigious university campus. No one knows who the baby is, or how her body ended up out there. But there is no shortage of opinions.

When freelance journalist, and recent Ridgedale transplant, Molly Anderson is unexpectedly called upon to cover the story for the Ridegdale Reader, it’s a risk, given the severe depression that followed the loss of her own baby. But the bigger threat comes when Molly unearths some of Ridgedale’s darkest secrets, including a string of unreported sexual assaults that goes back twenty years.

Meanwhile, Sandy, a high school dropout, searches for her volatile and now missing mother, and PTA president Barbara struggles to help her young son, who’s suddenly having disturbing outbursts.

Told from the perspectives of Molly, Barbara, and Sandy, Kimberly McCreight’s taut and profoundly moving novel unwinds the tangled truth about the baby’s death revealing that these three women have far more in common than they realized. And that their lives are more intertwined with what happened to the baby than they ever could have imagined.”

Kimberley McCreight returns after her captivating and gripping debut novel, Reconstructing Amelia. After an author writes a great first novel, some believe that it is hard for authors to top their debut novel. Most authors are able to overcome this obstacle. Unfortunately, that is not the case for McCreight’s latest novel.

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Book Review: The World Before Us by Aislinn Hunter

22716411Format: Hardcover

Pages: 432 pages

Publisher: Hogarth Press

Published: March 31, 2015

Genre:  Fiction, Mystery


“Deep in the woods of northern England, somewhere between a dilapidated estate and an abandoned Victorian asylum, fifteen-year-old Jane Standen lived through a nightmare. She was babysitting a sweet young girl named Lily, and in one fleeting moment, lost her. The little girl was never found, leaving her family and Jane devastated.

Twenty years later, Jane is an archivist at a small London museum that is about to close for lack of funding. As a final research project–an endeavor inspired in part by her painful past–Jane surveys the archives for information related to another missing person: a woman who disappeared more than one hundred years ago in the same woods where Lily was lost. As Jane pieces moments in history together, a portrait of a fascinating group of people starts to unfurl. Inexplicably tied to the mysterious disappearance of long ago, Jane finds tender details of their lives at the country estate and in the asylum that are linked to her own heartbroken world, and their story from all those years ago may now help Jane find a way to move on”

I am a stubborn reader. No matter what, I always try to finish a book. So it pains me to say that I was unable to finish this book. Not because I have too much time on my hands, but because it was just so difficult and tough to get through. Continue reading “Book Review: The World Before Us by Aislinn Hunter”

Book Review: Unknown Sender by Ryan Lanz

Unknown Sender Format: E-Book

Pages:  25 pages

Publisher: Applebury Press

Published: June 5, 2015

Genre: Mystery & Thriller


Jessica’s world revolves around studying at college and affording prepackaged meals, which leaves little time for socializing. In fact, she is quite content without being noticed, which only makes the attention of a mystery texter all the more unwanted.

She isn’t unfamiliar with strange advances, but this is something entirely different. This person knows things about her. Things beyond just an average stalker.

Even after all that, Jessica would be much more content to forget than discover who is chasing her, electronically or otherwise. Eventually, she finds out that she can’t outrun her past.” 
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Book Review: The Bones of You by Debbie Howells

Format: E-Book

Pages: 320 pages

Publisher: Kensington Books

Published: June 30, 2015

Genre: Mystery & Thriller

Synopsis (from publisher):

“I have a gardener’s inherent belief in the natural order of things. Soft‑petalled flowers that go to seed. The resolute passage of the seasons. Swallows that fly thousands of miles to follow the eternal summer.Children who don’t die before their parents.When Kate receives a phone call with news that Rosie Anderson is missing, she’s stunned and disturbed. Rosie is eighteen, the same age as Kate’s daughter, and a beautiful, quiet, and kind young woman. Though the locals are optimistic—girls like Rosie don’t get into real trouble—Kate’s sense of foreboding is confirmed when Rosie is found fatally beaten and stabbed.Who would kill the perfect daughter, from the perfect family? Yet the more Kate entwined herself with the Andersons—graceful mother Jo, renowned journalist father Neal, watchful younger sister Delphine—the more she is convinced that not everything is as it seems. Anonymous notes arrive, urging Kate to unravel the tangled threads of Rosie’s life and death, though she has no idea where they will lead.Weaving flashbacks from Rosie’s perspective into a faulty plotted narrative, The Bones of You is a gripping, haunting novel of sacrifices and lies, desperation and love.”

Looks can be deceiving.
That is an underlining theme in most mystery novels but is very prevalent in Howells’ latest thriller novel. One murder rocks an idyllic English town and this traumatic event causes the unmasking of what you thought were your neighbors.This is not your basic “whodunnit” mystery novel. This novel mostly deals with the dark recesses of the human mind. It is a book that focuses more on the characters and the complexity of their relationships with one another. The lacking of police procedure or any other elements of a crime novel may have been the missing element this novel needed but central focus on the human psyche gives you that human emotion that is lacking in most mystery novels.You are unlikely to see and twists and turns in this narrative. Facts sneak up on you and finally shocks when all is revealed. So it has the makings of a mystery novel, but it is clouded, in my opinion, by being a in-depth fiction thriller.

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Book Review: Love in the Elephant Tent: How Running Away with the Circus Brought Me Home by Kathleen Cremonesi

Love in the Elephant Tent: How Running Away with the Circus Brought Me Home

Format: Hardcover

Pages: 400 pages

Publisher: ECW Press

Published: May 12, 2015

Genre: Memoir

Synopsis (from Publisher): 

“If you live life without a net, what happens when you fall?

Kathleen Cremonesi knew early on she wanted to be different. Determined to avoid following in her mother’s footsteps to an ill-fated marriage, Kathleen left Oregon in her early 20s to travel across Europe. On a whim, this former administrative assistant with wanderlust took a job as a dancer in a circus and, working her way up, became an ostrich-riding, shark-taming showgirl.

Kathleen bonds with the exotic animals that could strike and kill at any moment, but instead bring her a peace she has never known. And when she stumbles into the arms of Stefano, the sexy elephant keeper, she finds a man who understands her wild spirit.

With thrilling prose and vivid descriptions, Kathleen takes the reader around the Mediterranean, where she discovers unexpected friends and learns how to cook, forgive, and love — across language barriers.”

Continue reading “Book Review: Love in the Elephant Tent: How Running Away with the Circus Brought Me Home by Kathleen Cremonesi”

Book Review: The Sound of Glass by Karen White

The Sound of GlassFormat: Hardcover

Published: May 12, 2015

Pages: 432 pages

Genre: Fiction & Literature, Women’s Fiction


“It has been two years since the death of Merritt Heyward’s husband, Cal, when she receives unexpected news—Cal’s family home in Beaufort, South Carolina, bequeathed by Cal’s reclusive grandmother, now belongs to Merritt.

Charting the course of an uncertain life—and feeling guilt from her husband’s tragic death—Merritt travels from her home in Maine to Beaufort, where the secrets of Cal’s unspoken-of past reside among the pluff mud and jasmine of the ancestral Heyward home on the Bluff. This unknown legacy, now Merritt’s, will change and define her as she navigates her new life—a new life complicated by the arrival of her too young stepmother and ten-year-old half-brother.

Soon, in this house of strangers, Merritt is forced into unraveling the Heyward family past as she faces her own fears and finds the healing she needs in the salt air of the Low Country.”

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A Misunderstood Heroine – Book Review: Emma by Jane Austen

Format:  Paperback

Published:  1816

Pages: 432 pages

Genre:  Fiction & Literature, Classics, Romance




I am going to take a heroine whom no one but myself will much like”

–Jane Austen

That quote cannot be any truer, especially when talking about a character like Emma Woodhouse. Emma is definitely unlike Austen other heroines. And it is no surprise that a lot of people are not to fond of the novel due to Emma’s personality. But in spite of Emma’s many, many flaws, Emma is still one of my favorite novels.  Continue reading “A Misunderstood Heroine – Book Review: Emma by Jane Austen”

Book Review: The Daughter by Jane Shemilt

The Daughter: A Novel

Format: Paperback

Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks

Published: March 3, 2015

Pages: 352 pages

Genre: Mystery & Thriller



“Jenny is a successful family doctor, the mother of three great teenagers, married to a celebrated neurosurgeon.

But when her youngest child, fifteen-year-old Naomi, doesn’t come home after her school play, Jenny’s seemingly ideal life begins to crumble. The authorities launch a nationwide search with no success. Naomi has vanished, and her family is broken.

As the months pass, the worst-case scenarios—kidnapping, murder—seem less plausible. The trail has gone cold. Yet, for a desperate Jenny, the search has barely begun. More than a year after her daughter’s disappearance, she’s still digging for answers—and what she finds disturbs her. Everyone she’s trusted, everyone she thought she knew, has been keeping secrets, especially Naomi. Piecing together the traces her daughter left behind, Jenny discovers a very different Naomi from the girl she thought she’d raised.

Jenny knows she’ll never be able to find Naomi unless she uncovers the whole truth about her daughter—a twisting, painful journey into the past that will lead to an almost unthinkable revelation. . . .”

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