Tag Archives: Florence Thum

Lit World Interview Week In Review Apr. 13-18.

lit world interview with ronovan writes

Here are the articles for the week, if you missed one, go and check it out today.

FEATURES

What Does a Proofreader Actually Do With Your Book? by Wendy Janes

Some great reaction to this post. People have been shocked at what all a proofreader does.

Fiction Writers Can Write Great Non-Fiction Books Too by Jo Robinson

Do you need an explanation?

 

BOOK REVIEWS

Chaos Is Come Again by John Dolan and Fiona Quinn by Olga Núñez Miret

Olga knew about the writing process of the book before hand and went into the story wondering how it could work. Once in, she no longer cared about the process. Check out the review.

 

The Legacy of Fear by Vanessa A. Ryan by Ronovan

Vampires, mysteries, and Egyptian artifacts? What more do you need.

 

The Fictional Woman by @Tara_Moss by Florence Thum

People were surprised that after reading the review they now wanted to read the book themselves.

BOOK RELEASE NOTICES

Make some noise with a Thunderclap. For me and @PSBartlett

Our very own PS Bartlett has a book coming on Tuesday, April 14. The Thunderclap is for the 21st. Read the article to find out where I come into the picture. It’s free to help her out. Go do it. NOW! Oh, and she’s gone Indie, in case any of you hadn’t heard.

RONOVAN’S WHATEVER

Welcome @JERoyle Newest LWI Team Member.

Our newest member and a little about him.

 

It’s Thunderclap Time for Author @AlienoraTaylor

An author with a need. Part of our sister site Authors Supporting Authors efforts to help authors get noticed.

 

 Authors, be what authors need to be.

More of my thoughts about the future of Authors Supporting Authors and what Indie Authors need to do in order to be successful.

What can you expect next from the LWI Team?

Olga will likely have something great, as usual out Monday, as well as an interview by Colleen of Lisa Tetting of The Mistreatment of Zora Langston, which she reviewed here. You know Jo likely has something great coming up on Thursday. You have no idea what I might come up with, but be on the look out for authors needing help from https://authorssupportingauthors.wordpress.com/. What will the other team members have? Who knows? I don’t assign things or force anyone to write. I see things in the dashboard or get an email and go look.

If you are an author and have a guest post in mind, email me the idea at ronovanwrites@gmail.com. People love informative posts that help them with their careers and to make their novels better.

Follow us, Bookmark Us, do whatever you need to do in order to come back every day for something new. Share this post with your friends.

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Lit World Interview Week In Review Apr. 6-10.

lit world interview with ronovan writes

Here are the articles for the week, if you missed one, go and check it out today.

Author Interview with Ronovan Writes

I Love Anger the truth by @isaacdrowe The interview.

I read the book and asked the questions. It’s the real thing form the real guy. Isaac doesn’t sugar coat life in order to make things pretty for people wanting to find a way to a better place. You have to go through ugly to get out of ugly.

FEATURES

Publishing Your First Book on Amazon for New Indies by @JoRobinson176 by Jo Robinson

Great advice for formatting your book for Amazon. Seriously. There are some things you likely didn’t think of. She even includes images to help walk you through the steps.

Paid book promotions and other ideas to sell your book. The feedback. by Olga Núñez Miret

Olga got feedback from authors about where to and how to promote your book. If you missed it, it’s a MUST READ.

 

New Site: AuthorsSupportingAuthor by Ronovan

I just created a new site last week, more details soon. This is a sister site to LWI. ASA is just as the name says, Authors Supporting Authors.

A Diary of Writing Wisdom (and other nonsense) by Jason Royle

New Team Member, Jason Royle brings us his first article. It’s published under my name only because he had an emergency he had to take care of. Fortunately he had emailed me the article and the image to use. Nice responses for our new kid on the block. His wife took his picture, just so you know. And picked out his clothes to wear. Make sure to check out his profile in the Black Box on the left with the white text.

 

 

BOOK REVIEWS

Sword of Air by RJ Madigan by Florence Thum

We were asked to review this YA book, primarily because of its new format. It’s a multi-touch iBook. Not only did Florence review the book, but her children tried it as well. Read the results. (Too bad I couldn’t make it work for me, but I knew Florence would have an i Something. Well actually her son did. Hey, we get the job done, right?)

BOOK RELEASE NOTICES

Make some noise with a Thunderclap. For me and @PSBartlett

Our very own PS Bartlett has a book coming on Tuesday, April 14. The Thunderclap is for the 21st. Read the article to find out where I come into the picture. It’s free to help her out. Go do it. NOW! Oh, and she’s gone Indie, in case any of you hadn’t heard.

RONOVAN’S WHATEVER

Hear the author of Order of Seven @beth_teliho with @MandiCLBT

A great find this week. Many of you probably know Beth Teliho, well go listen to her. And you get to hear how to say her name the RIGHT way.

 

What can you expect next from the LWI Team?

It’s Monday, so Olga has a Book Review, likely out by the time you read this. On Mondahy I have a great post from our very popular Guest Author Wendy Janes. It is the first of three that will be put out the second Monday of each month starting this month. I’ve heard that Florence has a Book Review for us. You know Jo likely has something great coming up on Thursday. As for me? You never know  what I might do, but expect a formal introduction of our new Team Member Jason Royle, and further details about https://authorssupportingauthors.wordpress.com/. I can say this, our first go at getting some results worked.

Be on the look out for interviews coming from the other LWI team members. That’s right, due to illness and recovery time being indeterminate I’ve had to step back a little in some areas. If you haven’t wanted to approach me for an interview, you now might approach another person you might be more comfortable with. Also, with my amnesia and short term memory problems I’m having difficulties keeping some things straight. I love this site, but it’s not my site, it’s every author’s site.

Follow us, Bookmark Us, do whatever you need to do in order to come back every day for something new. Share this post with your friends.

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Book Review by @FTThum – Adultery by @PauloCoelho

Right, I am not sure about this book. I have been a fan of Paulo Coelho since reading ‘The Alchemist’ some 20 years ago. So let me ramble as I sort through my feelings and thoughts…  🙂

Adultery

 

Title:               Adultery
Author:          Paulo Coelho
Publisher:    Penguin Australia (19 August 2014)
ISBN-10:       1101874082
ISBN-13:        978-1101874080
Website:       http://www.paulocoelho.com/
Pages:            287
Genre:           Fiction – General, Spirituality

 

What’s it about?

Have you ever looked at your life and wondered, ‘Is this it?’

A novel about discovering who you are, where you’re going and what matters to you most.

These first and last lines, on the back cover, coupled with the title ‘Adultery’ created a certain expectation even before I began. So, my expectation? A story of a woman who will or has been involved in an adulterous affair and, knowing Coelho’s writing, is grappling with her sense of self and the revelations which ensue.

So did it deliver? Yes and no.

A judgment-laden phenomenon, adultery I expected would invite a richly profound and complex study of the human psyche, at least of the protagonist. This I did not get from the book. Nor did I get depth of characters or the moral debate over adultery. Yet there is something in this book that appeals.

First, a little about the storyline:

The protagonist, Linda lives in Geneva with her husband and two children. Geneva is, according to Linda, a city that has everything but feels ‘sterile’ – like her marriage. All things good but a bit grey, boring. Her husband is the owner of an investment fund, madly in love with her and the ultimate provider, father and spouse. Linda herself is a journalist, who begins a destructive love affair with Jacob, a politician who was once her teenage sweetheart.

Linda’s initial obsession with Jacob borders on being stalker-ish while the affair that follows is fueled by more lust than real emotions, dissatisfyingly shallow. The word ‘adultery’ comes with a whole lot of baggage – judgments about the adulterer, the state of a marriage, whether it is ever justified for adultery to happen; and the whys and hows. Yet this book barely dwells on these; instead it proffers Linda’s depression and the affair as natural consequences of each other – a rather flippant approach at that. While the book has the potential to address many issues in greater depths, Coelho it seems has chosen not to do so.

The narrative written from Linda’s perspective, is easy to read, its spiritual messages simple. Such as “Come, You are heaven and earth, the wind and the clouds, the snow and the lakes” or “Wisdom and experience don’t change the man. Time doesn’t change the man. The only thing that changes us is love.”

The book contains quite a few of these ‘quotable quotes’, as they are to me, about love and living which were not given space to blossom.

The crux of the novel – that no matter how good your life is, sometimes you do have to lose yourself to find yourself again – is offered through revelations to Linda as the affair progresses.

Maybe I don’t actually love him. But I love what he has awakened inside me. He treated me with zero respect, left me stripped of my dignity. Undeterred, he did exactly what he wanted, while I strived, once again, to try to please someone.

Then,

Today I realize that yes, I was in love…that all married people always have a secret crush. It’s forbidden, and flirting with the forbidden is what makes life interesting. But few people take it further…a little thrill to make sex more erotic and hear “I love you” shouted out at the moment of orgasm. Nothing more.

There is no romanticizing the affair.

There is no debasing her marriage and the family that seems loving and functional. Here is a husband who stands by his woman, who tells Linda:

Everyone has days when they say: “Well, my life isn’t exactly lining up with my expectations”…Going after a dream has a price….But however costly it may be, it is never as high as the price paid by people who didn’t live.

And,

I controlled the jealousy I feel because of you…Because I always have to show I’m worthy of your love…I can’t stop you from leaving one day…I would never stop you from being happy.

Ultimately, this is about Linda – her depression and her need to find contentment or fulfillment in her life.

I can’t shake a sense of incompleteness in this simplicity. I wonder if the message is lost in translation – the book being an English translation of the original in Portugese. This is not to offend or criticize the translators but rather speak to the possible loss of the nuanced language it was originally written in.

Perhaps the simplicity of Coelho’s writing is analogous to the need to sometimes take things as they are, not to over-think and to judge but to feel and go with what is, however painful. Perhaps there is a need to ride through the storm, as Linda did, and emerge with greater awareness. Therein lies a journey that each of us may need to traverse.

Or am I over-thinking? 🙂

To get a sense of Paulo Coehlo, whose spirituality is so evident in his previous books and his astute business mind, here is an interview he gave just prior to the release of ‘Adultery’.

Recommendation:

‘Adultery’ is an enjoyable light read though not the book I had expected from Coelho, whose previous writing has been filled with spirituality and wisdom.

If you enter without expectations, you will enjoy it.

LWI Rating:
Realistic Characterization: 3/5
Made Me Think: 3.5/5
Overall enjoyment: 3/5
Readability: 4/5
Recommended: 3/5
Overall Rating: 3/5
 

Buy it at:

Amazon Hardback USD 15.26
  Paperback USD 6.99
  Kindle USD 9.40
Bookdepository Hardback Euro 19.73
  Paperback Euro 13.25
Booktopia Hardback AUD 33.25
  Paperback AUD 23.95
  E-book AUD 11.99

Florence 2 

 

 

 

 

@FTThum

MeaningsAndMusings

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Lit World Interview Week In Review Feb. 23-27.

lit world interview with ronovan writes

Here are the articles for the week, if you missed one, go and check it out today.

Author Interview with Ronovan Writes

The Tower’s Alchemist Q&A Alesha L. Escobar @The_GrayTower

I reviewed her book last week, now here is the interview. Coffee, Tacos, bribery? Is she into espionage herself like her character? Does she have some kind of magical powers over the men in her life? Find out.

 

If Only Interview with Author @NormaBudden

 

I reviewed Norma’s book not long ago and it was a very personal one. Her book hit me deep for various reasons. Now I have a very in depth interview of how the book came to be. Well worth the read.

FEATURES

Make the Back Cover of your Paper Book Work for You Jo Robinson

It’s the part we hate to do but it’s the part that makes the reader want to buy it. Jo gives you a bit more information than that, of course. I mean it is Jo, right?

Erotica: Sex Sells. Ronovan Writes

Read my first editorial here on LitWorldInterviews with Ronovan Writes. With the recent release of the movie Fifty Shades of Grey I took a look at the Erotica genre to see what it’s all about. I found some information that was surprising and in all honesty some that made me rethink a lot of things. As my first editorial here, let me know your feedback in the comments of the editorial.

BOOK REVIEWS

‘The Fallen Angels of Karnataka’ by Hans Hirschi Olga Núñez Miret

A surprise for me in reading the review. Not because it was so well done. I have to say Olga’s review really was very well put together and written. Very impressive. She really put something into this one. A subject worth reading about.

“IF ONLY” @NORMABUDDEN  Colleen Chesebro

You get the female take on the book I reviewed before. Plus Norma was one of the interviews this week. I like the idea of getting a man’s view and a woman’s view of a book. I think it allows for a well rounded way of looking at it.

BOOK RELEASE NOTICES

New Release Crazy On You by @JanelleKahele & @jduncwriter Five Star #MustRead

J. Kahele has been interviewed here on LWI and in truth, she’s one of the most intelligent women I’ve had the honor of questioning. I honestly wish I had been able to read a book before asking her questions. I think this may just be the book I give a try. Brand new release. Buy it and help make it a hit.

RONOVAN’S WHATEVER

Author @MichaelPhelps3 talks about David Janssen & more with @YouAreTheExpert OnBlogTalkRadio

LitWorldInterviews author Michael Phelps was interviewed by our friend Annette Rochelle Aben on her show Tell Me A Story. I’ve been interviewed by her as well thus I tuned in for this one. Get the voice behind the interviews I did, the voice of David Janssen non-Hollywood friend. The man he trusted with everything.

Finds-The 10 REAL Reasons Your Book Was Rejected: A Big 5 Editor Tells All by @RuthHarrisBooks

A Web Find this week. Truth, humor, and a whole lot more. Some you know and some you never thought of.

#MentalFloss 43 Words Invented by Authors 

A Word Nerd Web Find this week. I HAD to share here on LWI.

 

What can you expect next from the LWI Team?

On Monday we have Olga talking about Canva and I have an interview with Elaine Jeremiah from the UK who writes about . . . come back and find out. We have a Book Review by Florence on Adultery by Paulo Coelho. I never ask Jo what she’s doing. I like to be surprised along with everyone else. As for me and anything else? I will be primarily sticking to interviews, book reviews, and an editorial every now and then along with web finds, unless I just really feel moved to share some type of feature article with you that I think will be of benefit.

Follow us, Bookmark Us, do whatever you need to do in order to come back every day for something new. Share this post with your friends.

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Lit World Interview Week In Review Feb. 16-20.

lit world interview with ronovan writes

Here are the articles for the week, if you missed one, go and check it out today.

Author Interview with Ronovan Writes

The Owl Interview with the Owl Lady herself @VivDrewa

If you are around WordPress blog world then you now Viv. She speaks about three books she has out, one about her Grandfather who escaped Poland.

FEATURES

Time Management for Writers Jo Robinson

Jo gives some great advice about how to manage all those demands on a writer’s time. Remember, these days it’s not just writing we have to worry about. There is so much more and then there is that things called life.

50 Shades – Storm in a Teacup a Woman’s Thoughts Florence Thum

Florence has read the books and seen the film. After discussing it I asked her to do an article. You’ll find this in our Feature section as well. Florence gives an intelligent and very different take on the subject at hand and I feel it is a must read for all of us. Both men and women.

 

BOOK REVIEWS

“Fireworks” by Aimer Boyz @boyzbooks  Hugh Roberts

Aimer specifically emailed me and asked for Hugh to review this book. Hugh took his time and did it right. Romance and more run through this book and Hugh tells you what he thinks the only way Hugh knows how. I was tempted to ask if I could review the book as well, but Aimer asked for Hugh and who the author asks for is who they get, if possible that is.

The Judas Apocalypse by @DanMcNeil888 Guest Book Reviewer author N.A. Granger

Based on historical facts and a whole lot of imagination Dan McNeil’s The Judas Apocalypse gets Grangered. What do you think she’ll say? When I find the time I will be reviewing this book along with Dan’s other book Can’t Buy Me Love.

February Farmer’s Market by @MLaSarre  Monica LaSarre welcome to our newest member.

Monica’s specialty is with younger readers, as we all know since she wrote Jasper Penzey: International Boy Detective: The Ruby Brooch of Atlantis. She is starting what I think will be a monthly article about young reader finds from Independent Authors that are in case for February similar in nature or theme to those instantly recognized titles every kid can throw out at us. And I have to say, she did a great job this month. (If you want to get acquainted with Monica you can read my interview with her here. Also you can read her guest feature article How to Get Published: Five Tips No One Ever Told You here.)

50 Shades – Storm in a Teacup a Woman’s Thoughts Florence Thum

Florence has read the books and seen the film. After discussing it I asked her to do an article. You’ll find this in our Feature section as well. Florence gives an intelligent and very different take on the subject at hand and I feel it is a must read for all of us. Both men and women.

The Tower’s Alchemist The Gray Tower Trilogy Book 1 by Alesha Escobar @The_GrayTower Ronovan

Read this today in preparation for the Interview author Alesha L. Escobar on Monday. I read the book on my own without prompting. At first I was just going to interview Alesha without having read the book but when I saw for one the book was free and then it was historical and had wizards and sort of vampires and Nazis. Well, having been a History teacher and having met and spoken with Jim Butcher at great length at one point early in his career, yes, I talked him into going up to James Marsters who had been doing his audio books for the Dresden Files. GUILTY! Alesha doesn’t know that. She’ll be jelly if she reads this. Oh, and I got his autograph on one of his early Dresden books. Well, there went a post I could have written. No one reads these anyway, so maybe I’ll do it.

As for The Tower’s Alchemist? How did I rate it? Well if you’ve read the review or been on Twitter the past couple of days you know. If not, go find out.

 

BOOK RELEASE NOTICES

None that have been thrown in my direction this week. If you are an LWI author, let me know. And if you are an Indie author and want to be mentioned here or have a post created for your book release here on LWI and have it tweeted to all our followers, email me at ronovanwrites (at) gmail (dot) com. Yeah, I’m cool like dat. Word. (People say I don’t know how to use Word right. I don’t know but I gonna keep doing it.)

RONOVAN’S WHATEVER

You lucked out people. No whatevers from me this week.

 

What can you expect next from the LWI Team?

We have Olga with a Book Review. I have a Book Deal announcement from LWI author Sourabh Mukherjee. (His Loves Lost goes FREE starting Monday. Don’t let him know I told you early.) I have an interview with Alesha L. Escobar. But you might know that already. I have an interview with author Norma Budden. She wrote If Only that I reviewed here on LWI. You can click here in preparation of that. She also was the editor for author Michael Phelps’ books David Janssen: Our Conversations. I interviewed Mike and reviewed book 1 of that two book set. I haven’t been able to get to the other one yet. Too many promises made on the schedule, but I’m working on it. I’m sure there will be something from Colleen, I believe a timely Book Review. Jo will more than likely have something Thursday, unless she would like the day off. That’s a hint Jo! You work too hard as it is. And maybe something else from me on the Whatever side of things.

So Follow us, Bookmark Us, do whatever you need to do in order to come back every day for something new.

lit world interviews

 

Lit World Interview Week In Review Feb. 9-14.

lit world interview with ronovan writes

Here are the articles for the week, if you missed one, go and check it out today.

Author Interview with Ronovan Writes

The Godling Chronicles Q&A with Brian D. Anderson.

This guy knows what he is doing. One series out. Another just waiting for the word print, and a sequel to the first series being outlined. This man has you set for years to come.

Silver Lightning Q&A with @AuthorWDarling

Do you believe in magic, or whatever it is? Author and Audio Book Voice specialist Wendy Anne Darling talks about her work.

FEATURES

Protection Jo Robinson

Write for a year, 5, 10, and then the computer virus hits, the lightning strikes. What do you do then? Cry. Yeah. Cry. Well do something before it happens.

The Author’s Role in Representation  by Guest Author Natacha Guyot @NatachaGuyot

A highly intelligent look at the world of writing and what our part in it as authors is when it comes to representation of characters of gender and diversity. All from one of my favorite people and favorite interviews.

BOOK REVIEWS

Ales Haley’s Roots. An Author’s Odyssey by Adam Henig  Olga Núñez Miret

Olga reviews this account of Haley’s life after Root’s aired on TV. As an author and research fiend herself she was looking forward to this one. See what she thought of it.

“OUTSOURCED” by Eric J. Gates @ETHRILLERWRITER Colleen Chesebro

It sounds like an interesting book with some unique twists. Read to see what she thinks though.

 Grá mo Chroí Love Stories from Irish Myth Ali Isaac @aliisaac_ & Jane Dougherty @MJDougherty33 Ronovan

Irish or Scottish? What am I? Who knows? But these short stories tell a tale. Check out the review to see exactly what I thought.

Review of Letters of Note by Shaun Usher @LettersOfNote Florence Thum

This is an anthology of letters from the 17th century to present day written by a myriad of personalities including the likes of Zelda Fitzgerald, Albert Einstein, Mick Jagger and Roald Dahl. Florence is a professor of Law, Attorney, Therapist, and writer. See what her take on this one is.

If Only by @NormaBudden Ronovan

A very personal and somewhat emotional review of a book that hit me in so many ways that I wanted to hide for days and did.

 

BOOK RELEASE NOTICES

ROMANCE SHORTS by Sourabh Mukherjee

LWI author Sourabh releases a book of romance for the month of Love.

A Galaxy of Possibilities: Representation and Storytelling in Star Wars @NatachaGuyot

Love Star Wars? Love highly intelligent and in depth looks into that universe? Natacha has the book for you that was a long time in the making.

RONOVAN’S WHATEVER

#Authors #Marketing Yourself and Your Work Part ONE This was a reblog from our furry friend Chris Graham the Story Reading Ape Blog. I got lazy this week with Two Interviews and Two Book Reviews and Two Book Release Notices.

 

What can you expect next from the LWI Team?

Should be an interesting week. Monday I have an interview with one of our author friends Viv Drewa. Olga usually has something for us on Mondays, although I never hold anyone to anything because life does happen. She’s been beyond a rock though. You guys have no idea how dedicated this lady has been. Florence has something timely and special coming up, hopefully by Tuesday at the latest. I do believe I see a Book Review in there from our man Hugh Roberts! You know you’ve all missed his entertaining reviews. Jo will no doubt have something on Thursday. And I will have at least one Book Review this week. And I’ll be reblogging a guest post I did on another site I hope you will all enjoy. It’s getting busy around here. And to think, I’m only supposed to do anything thinky no more than 30 minutes at a time then rest for a few hours. But there are books! And Authors! And stuff! Oh My!

So Follow us, Bookmark Us, do whatever you need to do in order to come back every day for something new.

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#BookWorm @FTThum Review of Letters of Note by @LettersOfNote

February 2015, and I am here (finally!) to share a book which I bought myself for Christmas 2014 – a little self-love J. Yes, it has been a busy January but better late than never because I am compelled.

Title:               Letters of Note: Correspondence Deserving of a Wider Audience
Compiled:      Shaun Usher
Publisher:       Canongate Books Ltd & Unbound (24 October 2013)
Website:         http://www.lettersofnote.com/ & www.shaunusher.com
ISBN-13:        9781782112235
ISBN-10:        1782112235
Pages: Hardback, 384 pages
Genre: Literary Non-Fiction, Anthology

What’s it about?

This is an anthology of letters from the 17th century to present day written by a myriad of personalities including the likes of Zelda Fitzgerald, Albert Einstein, Mick Jagger and Roald Dahl.

These letters compiled by Shaun Usher were selected from a vast number of online contributions (see website above) consisting of different types of letters ranging from humorous to angry, sentimental to dispassionate letters, and in different contexts. They provide deeper insights to the events of history and the people we thought we knew so much of.

This is a book filled with beautiful words, expressions, styles; and worth having a copy if only for posterity.

To quote the website’s blurb about the book:

Letters of Note is a collection of 125 of the world’s most entertaining, inspiring and unusual letters.

 From Virginia Woolf’s heart-breaking suicide letter, to Queen Elizabeth II’s recipe for drop scones sent to President Eisenhower; from the first recorded use of the expression ‘OMG’ in a letter to Winston Churchill, to Gandhi’s appeal for calm to Hitler; and from Iggy Pop’s beautiful letter of advice to a troubled young fan, to Leonardo da Vinci’s remarkable job application letter, Letters of Note is a celebration of the power of written correspondence which captures the humour, seriousness, sadness and brilliance that make up all of our lives.

And it is indeed the case.

And here’s an excerpt from a letter from Rebecca West to HG Wells. To understand the context, the book provides the background story. In this instance, HG Wells invited Rebecca West to dinner in response to her scathing review of his book, ‘Marriage’ in 1912. They met and fell in love, and went on to have an affair which lasted 11 years. This letter was West’ response when HG Wells’ attempted to break out their relationship about a year into the affair.

I don’t understand why you wanted me three months ago and don’ wan me now…Of course, you’re quite right. I haven’t anything to give you. You have only a passion for excitement and for comfort. You don’t want any more excitement and I do not give people comfort….

I always knew that you would hurt me to death some day, but I hoped to choose the time and place…I can’t conceive of a person who runs about lighting bonfires and yet nourishes a dislike of flame: that seems silly to me.

… I know you will derive immense satisfaction from thinking of me as an unbalanced young female who flopped about in your drawing room in an unnecessary heart-attack.

…But I hate you when you try to cheapen the things I did honestly and cleanly…You once found my willingness to love you a beautiful and courageous thing. I still think it was. Your spinsterishness makes you feel that a woman desperately and hopelessly in love with a man is an indecent spectacle and a reversal of the natural order of things. But you should have been too fine to feel like that.

I wish you have loved me. I wish you liked me.

Now doesn’t that give a certain insight to this relationship and perhaps to HG Wells, the man? Doesn’t it cause your imagination to take flight?

As an  aside, this book began as a blog (see website above) by Shaun Usher, wanting to share what he considered to be correspondence deserving a wider audience.  The book compilation was published by Unbound, a crowd-sourced publisher, and Canongate.

Recommendation:

If you enjoy or love the written word, then you can’t miss this book. It is a book you can flip open, even if you have only 5 minutes to spare, and find yourself moved by the sentiments. You will be inspired to find within yourself that expression of your soul.

Long live the art of letter-writing.

LWI Rating:

Realistic Characterization: N/A
Made Me Think: 4/5
Overall enjoyment: 4/5
Readability: 5/5
Recommended: 4.5/5
Overall Rating: 4/5

Buy it at:

Amazon Hardback $28.09 USD
  Kindle $9.80 USD
Bookdepository Hardback €28.07 Euro
Booktopia Hardback $41.75 AUD

 

Florence 2

 

 

 

 

@ftthum

MeaningsAndMusings,WordPress.Com

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Lit World Interview Week In Review Feb. 2-6.

lit world interview with ronovan writes

Here are the articles for the week, if you missed one, go and check it out today.

Author Interview with Ronovan Writes

Atonement, Tennessee Q&A with @TeaganGeneviene the Southern Voice.

Q&A with the Irish @aliisaac_ & @MJDougherty33 Discussing their latest collaboration.

FEATURES

The benefits of reading. The reader organisation and what are the benefits reading has for you? Olga Núñez Miret

Genre Blending Jo Robinson

Co-Writing With My Best Friend  by Guest Author Wendy Janes @wendyproof

 

BOOK REVIEWS

BOOK REVIEW OF “SILVER LIGHTNING” @AUTHORWDARLING Colleen Chesebro

 

RONOVAN’S WHATEVER

Hyphens & En Dashes & Em Dashes Oh My.

 

What can you expect next from the LWI Team?

I have two Author Interviews this week with one being from Brian D. Anderson of The Godling Chronicles fame and Wendy Anne Darling of Silver Lightning. I see THREE book Reviews coming this week one from Olga on Monday,  Colleen on Tuesday and the other from Florence on Wednesday. Jo always comes through on Thursday. Then you will suffer whatever I come up with on Friday.

So Follow us, Bookmark Us, do whatever you need to do in order to come back every day for something new.

lit world interviews

 

Lit World Interview Week In Review Jan 26-30.

lit world interview with ronovan writes

Here are the articles for the week, if you missed one, go and check it out today.

Author Interview with Ronovan Writes

The Judas Apocalypse & Can’t Buy Me Love Q&A @DanMcNeil888

FEATURES

Text to Speech: Editing Through Listening PS Bartlett

Authenticity and Honesty as an Indie Author Jo Robinson

Most Mortals Need a Proofreader by Guest Author Wendy Janes @wendyproof

 

BOOK REVIEWS

The Serpent Papers by Jessica Cornwell Olga Núñez Miret

RONOVAN’S WHATEVER

Patience and Integrity-The Secret to Success

LWI Who we are and what we do.

 

What can you expect next from the LWI Team?

I have an Author Interview with well at least one interview this week one will be out on Monday with Teagan Geneviene author of Atonement, Tennessee. Wednesday I have Irish authors Ali Isaac and Jane Dougherty of Grá mo Chroí‘Love of my Heart’ Love Stories from Irish Myth. I’ve read the book and my review is coming. Olga has a Feature coming out on Monday, another Feature from Guest Author Wendy Janes coming up Wednesday, and you know we will have something great from Jo Robinson on Thursday. And we have Colleen back with a Book Review on Tuesday. A full week of variety.

lit world interviews

 

LWI Who we are and what we do.

Who are we here at Lit World Interviews with Ronovan Writes and what are we about?

First let me explain the ‘with Ronovan Writes’ part. When I started the site it was just little old me. Thus, I put my name with the site name. I suggested later as the site grew about thoughts of my removing that part but was told “No”. Those I spoke with liked the way it sounded, thought it gave the site something different, especially since the Author Interview is such a central part of what the site is about, and well, they said it was my site and my name should be there. I don’t rock the boat. And in truth, the with Ronovan Writes part is rarely ever mentioned.

Now on with what it’s all about.

Now that the doors have been opened for a time, the what we are about has become clearer even to myself. My original idea was to have a place to share my Author Interviews, to give the Author a place to turn to for another opportunity of having their name out there on the internet for readers and Literary industry people to find. Yes, I wanted LWI to be a part of the Author marketing and web presence.

I also wanted to share my tips on creating a web presence as well as blogging for authors and writing. Having my own personal blog that does quite well and a writing career that is picking up caught up with me. Enter Author and Self-Publishing expert Jo Robinson. I interviewed Jo and practically begged her to join LWI as a Feature writer.

I realized her Feature writing and finger on the pulse of what interests the Writer could not be matched by me nor anyone else. Her advice in her articles have been helpful to everyone that has read them, including myself. She. Nails. It. Every. Time. Honestly her Feature writing has made me focus on mine more. Yes, there is a competitive thing there of my wanting to write just as well as Jo does or at least just as helpfully as she does.

Then Book Review requests came in and I could not find time, even in my 3-4 hour sleep days to keep up with everything. Enter the rest of the team; Author PS Bartlett and Author and Therapist Olga Núñez Miret, Attorney, Therapist, and College Professor Florence Thum and the indispensable Book Reviewers Colleen Chesebro and Hugh Roberts.

Now enter the newest member Author Monica LaSarre as Book Reviewer and Feature Writer, who will be bringing a look into the younger reader market and world that I have very much been wanting. I have been looking for Interviews in this area for quite some time, and Monica was a great discovery. I loved her book and loved writing an Author Interview with her.

Looking at the LWI Team, I can honestly say this is a classy group of people who are professional and share a love of the printed word.

I am still amazed it is all happening.

That’s a little of who we are with a touch of what we do. Now having the site running for a time I can give a realistic account of,

What we do.

Author Promotion.

  • Author Interviews with Ronovan Writes – The reason LWI began in the first place. This is the one area that I enjoy the most and takes more time behind the scenes than people would ever know. If you ask an author I’ve interviewed if the final product looks like what it started out with, most of them will say no way. And it’s not just Authors that are interviewed. This site is called Lit World Interviews for a reason. Are you a Book Cover Artist, a Proofreader, a Publisher or even an Agent?
  • Social Media Promotion – This takes on the form of tweets of various kinds as different kinds bring different results, and promotion in various other outlets.
  • Book Reviewing by Ronovan Writes – This goes along with the Author Interview. For a better interview, having read the work to be discussed helps. Yes, that means a copy should be provided to me in some form, usually electronically. The Review is as honest as they come. I may love interviewing the Author, I may rave about the author’s personality and even a great deal about their abilities, but that does not mean I will rave about the book. My rating is based on certain factors and whatever that number is, is what the Rating is. I may really enjoy the story of the book, but there are things that take away from an enjoyable read and a well put together book. However, I never put out a completely negative review. If it is below a 3 I feel as though unless the Author specifically asks me to publish it, I won’t do it. And yes, Authors have asked me to publish a Review regardless of the score.
  • Continued Promotion – As long as I am emailed what’s going on in an Interviewees career, such as a new release or a special book promotion offer, a post is put out and shared around for everyone that we know to have an opportunity to see and take advantage of.
  • And More – The more is all those things that come along for each person such as creating certain images to be used, connecting them with people for Book Blog Tours, and in a few cases connecting them with blog radio interviews. And More.

Feature Articles.

  • Writing.
  • Self-Publishing.
  • Book Promotion.
  • Editing.
  • Book Cover Creation.
  • Character Development.
  • Author Services-Noted in the Right Hand Side Bar.
  • And More.

Book Reviews.

  • Every Genre is covered
  • I can only speak for myself in this regard but if I do a Review then I attempt to not only publish it here on the LWI site but also on the various sales platforms such as Amazon, Barnes&Noble and even GoodReads. I even created a Smashwords account to put Reviews there.
  • Again only speaking for me-I share the Reviews not only on Twitter but through various other outlets and reading groups. This process has recently grown. I will also from time to time share links to my Amazon Review on Twitter.

Overall my hope is that an Author feels as though they have been treated with respect and professionally through everything we do here at LWI. I do get a little crazy during some of my Author Interview formatting to create a good time, and my email exchanges sometimes are just as crazy. Each Author is someone I instantly call a friend. Don’t we all want to make sure we do the best we can for our friends?

Looking back through this article I can see that it doesn’t capture close to what the LWI Team does as a whole for an Author. Most of the pieces are there but there is more to it than what you see. Through each person involved our reach to potential readers numbers in the many thousands and that does not include when our articles are then picked up by other sites. We here at LWI have great friends in the Author Community that help promote and help assist Authors just as we do. I am aware of it and have begun to focus even more on the quality of my output to hopefully get others to want to share with their readers.

Thank you for lasting through the long winded words of Ronovan Writes. I am greatly honored that even one of you show up and read anything I have to share. I take it for granted you want to read what others here say. Seriously, they are that good.

Much Respect,

Ronovan Writes

 

lit world interviews

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Lit World Interview Week In Review Jan 19-23.

lit world interview with ronovan writes

A very good week here for Lit World Interviews. I believe our focus on quality over quantity is showing.  Our two feature articles this week by Jo Robinson and Guest Author Wendy Janes struck a chord with our Readers and the feedback has been tremendous. Our Book Review Team continues to be strong as well with Olga Núñez Miret. I personally was thrilled to interview Anne JohnstonBrown. 

Here are the articles for the week, if you missed one, go and check it out today.

Author Interview with Ronovan Writes

Singer, Actress, Teacher and Author Anne JohnstonBrown Q&A @AJohnstonbrown

FEATURES

Advertising Your Book Jo Robinson

Is My Novel Ready for Proofreading? by Guest Author Wendy Janes @wendyproof

BOOK REVIEWS

Interconnected by Mary Meddlemore/Martie Preller Olga Núñez Miret

RONOVAN’S WHATEVER

State of the LWI Address

 

What can you expect next from the LWI Team?

I have an Author Interview with Dan McNeil of The Judas Apocalypse and Can’t Buy me Love on Monday. I know we have another Feature from Guest Author Wendy Janes coming up Wednesday.  And you know we will have something great from Jo Robinson on Thursday.

dan-mcneil-author

 

#BookReview @FTThum – All Souls Trilogy by Deborah Harkness @DebHarkness

The ‘All Souls Trilogy’ by Deborah Harkness consists of:

 

discovery of witchesTitle:               A Discovery of Witches (Book 1)
ISBN 10:        0670022411
ISBN 13:        9780670022410
Publisher:       Penguin USA
Publication date: 8 February 2011
Pages:             592 pages

shadow of night

 

 

 

Title:               Shadow of Night (Book 2)
ISBN 10:        0670023485
ISBN 13:        9780670023486
Publisher:       Penguin USA
Publication date: 10 July 2012
Pages:             592 pages

book of life

 

Title:               The Book of Life (Book 3)
ISBN 10:        0670025593
ISBN 13:        9780670025596
Publisher:       Vikings Books
Publication date: 15 July 2014
Pages:             561 pages

 

 

 

Genre:            Fiction – Fantasy
Website:        http://deborahharkness.com/all-souls-trilogy/
Twitter:         @DebHarkness
Facebook:     https://www.facebook.com/AuthorDeborahHarkness 

 

What’s it about?

The All Souls Trilogy centres on two protagonists, Diana Bishop, a witch yet to come to her full power, and Matthew Clairmont, a vampire determined to find the origin of species. It is set in our world with one distinction – daemons, vampires and witches dwell here too, hiding their essential nature, and unbeknownst to humans, have been co-existing with us since forever. If you are associating this with the ‘Twilight’ series, don’t. It is not. To suggest it is a thinking person’s ‘Twilight’ would do the Trilogy a great disservice. It is so much more.

Deborah Harkness is a professor of history and teaches European history and the history of science at the University of Southern California. Her vast scholarly knowledge is evident within the pages of these 3 books. The science is so intricately woven and the history exact. Of course there is literary or artistic license but then the reader will know where they lie.

Harkness’ depiction of the creatures and each character in this compelling tale is flawless. It is so believable that I can almost see demons, vampires, and witches living in this world of ours.

All Souls Trilogy is a story of acceptance and denial, of collaboration and division, of love and loss, of trust and betrayal, of family and enemies, and ultimately it is a story of acknowledging and being true to oneself.

Now, to each book in the Trilogy:

Discovery of Witches (Book 1)

I picked this book up in the local library. I was bored and thought to try something new – I am not usually a Fantasy book reader. I was hooked from Page 1 and finished the book in no time.

This first book touches the heart. It begins with Diana, an American and Yale historian over in Oxford researching at the Bodleian Library whereupon she attracts from the archives an alchemical manuscript of Elias Ashmole with missing pages of great significance. Diana is also a woman in denial of her genetic heritage, for she is a witch of potential great powers.

Then there is Matthew, an Oxford biochemist, whom Diana encounters in the Bodleian Library. A vampire fully aware of his power and on the search for that elusive manuscript. A man of apparent strength and intelligence is so attractive (okay, I was drooling :-)).

Bound by a common purpose, Diana and Matthew begin their journey of discovery of their history and their future.

Harkness has created multi-dimensional characters – of Diana and Matthew, and their family and friends – which makes me so curious to meet them, to want to know their depth, and Harkness did not disappoint as I delve. Each of Diana and Matthew’s strength and vulnerability are endearing. Their relationship of love resplendent with complex emotions yet so honest. This book is a page-turner and a surprise at every turn.

Rating: 4.5/5

Shadow of Night (Book 2)

This book begins with Diana and Matthew arriving in 16th century London, using Diana’s time-walking ability. Elizabethan England is a place which Matthew is familiar. So it continues, Diana and Matthew’s search for the manuscript with stunning revelations about the manuscript, and of Matthew’s and Diana’s history.

Of the three books, this book is especially captivating for lovers of history and science. Based primarily in Tudor London, we meet the likes of Queen Elizabeth, Kit Marlowe (a daemon playwright in Harkness’ world), Thomas Harriot (a daemon astronomer) and Sir Walter Raleigh (a human confidante to the Queen).

The progress of Diana and Matthew’s relationship creates new intrigue, as they cross the great divide prohibited by the Covenant, an agreement between the 3 species, daemon, vampire and witch, which have governed the way of being for centuries. The book canvasses the notion of what intimacy can be and how it can be demonstrated through these two different-natured creatures.

It just gets better and better, as Harkness explores the meaning of loyalty and trust, and tests the limits of love. Diana accepts the possibility of her immense power and takes steps to own it. Matthew’s vulnerability is exposed, his strength a mask behind which he has hidden for centuries from all that he has been and done.

Rating: 4/5

The Book of Life (Book 3)

The Book of Life was published some 2 years after Shadow of Night. It was too long a wait for me :-).

Diana and Matthew return to 21st century France, the location of Matthew’s ancestral home. Their fiery relationship continues to be challenged as Matthew wrestles with his past and attempts to build his future, with great implications. Matthew’s journey has tested his resolve, his sense of self.  Will he learn the ultimate lesson – to trust himself and others who love him? That love is not destructive but constructive, and all powerful?

Diane fully in control of her magic and confronting the Congregation is an imagery to behold. As she takes charge, it is clear she has travelled a long way from her mind to her heart, both in her relationship with Matthew and her past.

Harkness continues to weave a story of enchantment, heartbreak, and resilience into her amazing alternative world. Reading the third book of this Trilogy, it is clear the magic of Harkness’ writing is how she manages to insinuate the supernatural creatures and substantiates normalcy in the daemon-vampire-witch-human world.

So the array of creatures is now bound by a common purpose to retrieve the manuscript and the secret to survival of the species. This final book of the All Soul’s Trilogy captures the imagination, speeding to a climatic end which comes full circle…”It began with a discovery of witches…”

Rating: 4.5/5

 

Recommendation:

Need I say more than, this Trilogy is a must-read?

If you don’t enjoy historical or fantasy fiction, step off and read something different…

And for Fantasy enthusiast, this Trilogy delivers on so many levels.

 

LWI Rating:
Realistic Characterization: 4.5/5
Made Me Think: 4/5
Overall enjoyment: 5/5
Readability: 4.5/5
Recommended: 5/5
Overall Rating: 4.5/5

Buy it at:

Amazon Hardback  
  Paperback  
  Kindle  
Bookdepository Hardback
  Paperback
Booktopia Hardback
  Paperback

 

Florence 2

 

 

 

 

– FlorenceT

@FTThum

MeaningsAndMusings.WordPress.com

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#books #boOKs & more #BOOKS Recommendations from @FTThum

If you are in doubt as to which books (I am using plural as I presume one won’t be enough! 🙂 ) to read over the holiday season, here are some suggestions from some creative and innovative people who were presenters on the TED stage.

I have only read 5 of the many on that list, I’d better get cracking… If you wish, listen to the TED Talks of these talented people.  They seem interesting and might just inspire… I for one plan to catch up on my viewing… thus speaketh the nerd 🙂

 

OR you can browse these Lists for ‘recommendations’:

If you are into poetry or plain curious, the anthology for the 2013 Montreal International Poetry Prize Longlist is available for free download. So enjoy!

Then again, I find I spend far too much time browsing Lists, sigh!  Of course, there is the road less travelled 😉 .

Follow your heart, your intuition and have a wonderful reading experience!

 

Florence 2

 

 

@FTThum

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#BookReview @FTThum – The Children Act by Ian McEwan

I had to read this book. Why? Because

  • I am a lawyer and am fascinated first by the title then its subject matter
  • I enjoy Ian McEwan’s writing
  • I am intrigued by the female protagonist, Fiona, a judge and a woman of a certain age

And the book delivered more than I had expected.

ian mcewan the children act review banner
Title:               The Children Act
Author:          Ian McEwan
Publisher:       Jonathan Cape, Random House, London ( September 2, 2014)
ISBN-10:        0224101994
ISBN-13:        978-0224101998
Website:         http://www.ianmcewan.com/bib/books/childrenact.html
Pages:             Hardback, 213 pages
Genre:           Fiction

What’s it about?

Fiona Maye is a leading High Court judge, presiding over cases in the family court. She is renowned for her fierce intelligence, exactitude and sensitivity. But her professional success belies private sorrow and domestic strife. There is the lingering regret of her childlessness, and now, her marriage of thirty years is in crisis.

At the same time, she is called on to try an urgent case: for religious reasons, a beautiful seventeen-year-old boy, Adam, is refusing the medical treatment that could save his life, and his devout parents share his wishes. Time is running out. Should the secular court overrule sincerely held faith? In the course of reaching a decision Fiona visits Adam in hospital – an encounter which stirs long-buried feelings in her and powerful new emotions in the boy. Her judgment has momentous consequences for them both.”

First, the title “The Children Act” refers to a piece of legislation in the UK which, in general, seeks to regulate local authorities and governmental entities in dealing with intervention in the interests of children.

Second, the protagonist, Fiona, is a female High Court judge, approaching the end of her sixth decade of life and potentially of her near 30 year old marriage.

Third, the child concerned, Adam, is an almost, but not yet, 18 year old male born and bred within the faith of Jehovah Witness.

In this relatively short book, Ian McEwan has woven a tale filled with conflicts and dilemmas.

“…Didn’t you once tell me that couples in long marriages aspire to the condition of siblings? We’ve arrived, Fiona. I’ve become your brother. It’s cosy and sweet and I love you, but before I drop dead, I want one big passionate affair.”

With this statement, Fiona’s marriage fractures. And soon after, she is confronted with the legal case involving Adam.

As Fiona struggles with the emotional upheaval, she is disturbed by the potential cliché of her marriage breakdown – that she, a highly intelligent woman with immense self-control, is nevertheless just a woman and susceptible to thoughts and actions, reminiscent of the parody of a woman ‘rejected’. The irony is the readers’ attention is also brought to the clichéd of Fiona’s life as a successful female judge – the cold, analytical, always busy, cultured and sophisticated childless woman. While this accomplished woman is reasonable and wise, she is also plagued by loneliness and shame. McEwan handles these conflicts with a deft hand, inviting much contemplation.

With the internal conflict of rediscovering a ‘new’ identity, Fiona is confronted with questions which cause me to lay the book down and ponder and wonder. This, for me, is the hallmark of a good book.

Who has the right to determine the life of an almost adult? The child’s parents, the religious elders, the medical profession, the law, a judge…the almost adult himself?

Is it ultimately about rights?

What is ‘evident’ truth? Is anything ever ‘evident’?

Is there such a thing as ‘destiny’ or ‘fate’? Can an act, such as Fiona’s decision, change the course of a life? Or does her later action reinforce the inevitability of destiny?

What is faith? What does it mean to the faith-ful? Who has the right to ‘remove’ someone’s faith, the meaning to a life? What is the consequence when no substitute is found for this faith?

Without faith, how open and beautiful and terrifying the world must have seemed to him…. she offered nothing in religion’s place, no protection, even though the Act was clear, her paramount consideration was his welfare… Welfare, well-being, was social.”

McEwan’s narrative is riveting, by the ability to convey so much with so few words. In essence, McEwan did not arrive at a triumph of science or the humanist perspective. Rather, the book highlights the fragility of human life, and how careful we must be to interfere with another’s well-ordered life.

A must-read, in my book :-).

 

Recommendation:
LWI Rating:
Realistic Characterization: 4/5
Made Me Think: 4/5
Overall enjoyment: 4.5/5
Readability: 4.5/5
Recommended: 4.5/5
Overall Rating: 4.5/5
Buy it at:

Amazon Hardback USD 15.00
  Paperback USD 11.77
  Kindle USD 10.99
Bookdepository Hardback Euro 14.62
  Paperback Euro –
Booktopia Hardback AUD 20.95
  Paperback AUD –

 

– FlorenceT

Florence 2

 

 

 

@FTThum

 

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Book Review by @FTThum – Empress Dowager Cixi by Jung Chang

I am fascinated with strong female characters, real-life or fictitious. So it is no wonder this book caught my attention when it was first published in 2013. Unfortunately with time constraints, it wasn’t until the paperback was released that it found its way into my home. Cixi Title:               Empress Dowager Cixi: the Concubine who Launched Modern China Author:          Jung Chang Publisher:     Vintage Books, London (3 July 2014) ISBN-10:        0099532395 ISBN-13:        9780099532392 Website:         http://www.jungchang.net/ Pages:              Paperback, 528 pages Genre:             Literary Non-Fiction – History    What’s it about? Empress Dowager Cixi was never ‘crowned’ empress. But she was the de facto ruler of China from 1861 to 1908. At the age of 16, Cixi was ‘honoured’ for being selected to be a concubine to the Emperor Xianfeng. At the death of the Emperor, she (then 25 years old) with the official Empress Zhen, “sat behind the throne” of the successor, Cixi’s son, Tongzhi who was then 5 years of age. From that position, literally behind a yellow silk screen, Cixi ruled China. Whilst she has been credited for her efforts bringing China into the modern age, Cixi’s private life remains very much just that – private, partly contributed by the loss of her personal archives during her reign. In contrast, the public life of this formidable woman was subject to a lot conjecture and criticism for she had dared to thwart the traditions of the patriarchal system and perhaps misogynistic culture of the times. And in comparison to the likes of say, Elizabeth I or Josephine Bonarparte or Cleopatra, Cixi’s life has received relatively little attention, and largely demonised. In similar style to her previous bestseller, Wild Swans (1991), Jung Chang has presented the life of Cixi in a matter-of-fact and impassive manner. It would seem there is a concerted effort to be impartial both in language and the events of that era. In this sense, the book allows the readers to come to their own conclusions as to the morality and values of that Chinese era, and in particular, of Cixi, and the different political parties of the time. Factually, there was enough to provide a political context to Cixi’s rule while not inundating the readers with details. In saying this, the simplification of the rich and complex events belie the political and cultural obstacles Cixi must have had to navigate. Note this was a woman who was not ‘educated’ as compared to her male counterparts. Jung’s depiction of Cixi gives a hint of the chameleon – a public persona and a deeply private person, a traditional woman with modern perspectives. It would have been a treat if Jung had canvassed in greater depth the psychological and emotional landscape of this clever woman. I wonder what it was like to live in that era, being within the Imperial Court, and being responsible for China and its progress. A small detail stood out for me – Cixi collaborated/worked closely with Empress Zhen to make the changes required. While astute, decisive, incisive and at times uncompromising, she it would seem did not perceive ‘female competition’. Quite capable of ruthlessness to achieve her ends, Cixi nevertheless sought first to collaborate. Her political astuteness, in maneuvering  for powers besetting China, is rather incredible. She was courageous enough to fight and/or retreat. The book highlights the ingenuity, and political and strategic savviness, of Cixi in wrestling and maintaining power for 47 years. As Charles Denby (an American minister to Beijing during her mid-reign) stated:

At that time, she was universally esteemed by foreigners, and revered by her own people, and was regarded as being one of the greatest characters in history…Under her rule for a quarter of a century China made immense progress.”

This book is worth a read, for it gave great insight to the comings and goings of the intrigue within the Chinese Imperial Court, and the strength and vision of one woman to bring China into the modern age.   Recommendation: LWI Rating:      Realistic Characterization: 4/5      Made Me Think: 3/5      Overall enjoyment: 3.5/5      Readability: 4/5      Recommended: 3/5 Overall Rating: 3.5/5   Buy it at:

Amazon Hardback USD 21.60
  Paperback USD 13.61
  Kindle USD 9.67
Bookdepository Hardback Euro 19.98
  Paperback Euro 10.63
Booktopia Hardback AUD 40.75
  Paperback AUD 23.25

Book Review By: Florence Florence 2      

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