#Recensie @HarperCollinsHL : Hardcore History – Dan Carlin @HardcoreHistory

– ‘The Magic of Wor(l)ds’ blog is een hobby, recensies en andere boekgerelateerde berichten worden gratis geplaatst.
Ik ben dankbaar voor het ontvangen van een gratis boekexemplaar van de auteur/de uitgeverij in ruil voor mijn eerlijke mening. –

De auteur :

84615101_183328253074083_1859451488883965952_nDan Carlin is amateurhistoricus en podcastmaker. Zijn Hardcore History is met meer dan 100 miljoen downloads een van de populairste podcasts ter wereld: zijn passie en verteltalent zijn verslavend en aanstekelijk. The Huffington Post noemde hem ‘America’s history professor’: het is geschiedenis zoals je die op school had willen hebben.

Korte inhoud :

82812798_2487778544769231_8646959096127291392_nBekend van de wereldwijd veelbeluisterde podcast Hardcore History

  • Wie wint er als je het Romeinse leger tegen middeleeuwse troepen zou laten vechten?
  • Wat zouden Julius Caesar en Alexander de Grote met een atoombom hebben gedaan?
  • Wat gebeurt er als de halve wereldbevolking uitsterft, zoals tijdens de pestepidemie?
  • Waren onze grootouders kraniger omdat zij in moeilijker tijden leefden?
  • Zijn we tegenwoordig geciviliseerder dan de Franken, de Vikingen of de eerste christenen?

Zou je huidige woonplaats ooit bekend kunnen staan als het nieuwe Troje?
Wat zouden wij doen als we ons in de grootste gebeurtenissen van de geschiedenis zouden bevinden? Meesterverteller Dan Carlin geeft toegankelijke, diepgaande, originele en humoristische antwoorden op diepe geschiedenisvragen.

HarperCollins Holland

Mijn mening :

Ik moet eerlijk toegeven dat ik nog nooit van Dan Carlin gehoord heb en dat zijn ‘Hardcore History’ podcasts mij dus volkomen ontgaan zijn, toch trok dit boek mijn aandacht.
Dit voornamelijk omdat ik hou van geschiedenis en zeker als het op een, zoals hier beloofde, toegankelijke en humoristische manier wordt gebracht.
Nieuwsgierig begon ik dan ook meteen met lezen toen ik het boek in mijn handen kreeg en al vlug moest ik toegeven dat het toch wel anders was dan ik had verwacht.
Ik vrees dat het wederom bewezen is dat humor iets zeer persoonlijk is, want ik vond het boek nu niet echt geestig.
In tegendeel ik vond de thema’s best wel zwaar en dan zijn er ook nog die toch wel heftige existentiële vragen die de auteur zichzelf, maar ook ons, stelt.
Ik moet zeggen dat het me meer aanzet tot nadenken over de ‘mens nu’ en dat ik, persoonlijk weliswaar, een beetje het gevoel overhoud dat we ergens op aan het afstevenen zijn.
Ik vermoed dat dit vooral te wijten is aan de 2 laatste hoofdstukken aangezien daarin de meer hedendaagse geschiedenis (WW 1, WW 2, koude oorlog) wordt besproken en we nog ergens in die nasleep zitten om het zo te zeggen.
Deze delen van het boek heb ik met de nodige aandacht moeten lezen (in stukken en met herlezing van zinnen), omdat ik het ergens te veel ‘droge’ informatie vond en misschien omdat het te dichtbij komt?!
Ik kan er mijn vinger niet op leggen, aangezien ik wel degelijk geïnteresseerd ben in de beide wereldoorlogen en de nasleep, maar het liet me ergens (te) ongemakkelijk achter.
De andere hoofdstukken waren nochtans makkelijker te lezen.
Ze waren een voor een interessant, toegankelijk en hier en daar heb ik zeker iets bijgeleerd, niet alleen geschiedkundig, maar ook over hoe we kijken naar het verleden.
Het is eigenlijk best een deftig geschiedenisboek, met de nodige voetnoten weliswaar, die niet altijd even noodzakelijk waren in mijn ogen, voor de liefhebber van het genre.
Ik weet echter niet of het de beste vorm is voor Dan Carlin zijn werk?
Na het uitproberen van een podcast kom ik tot de conclusie dat het een pak aangenamer is om te luisteren, omdat je daar interactie hebt met een stem, die niet alleen aangenaam is, maar ook intoneert, en dat kan leiden tot humor en toegankelijk leren over geschiedenis.
Ik denk dus dat ik eerder aanraad om ‘Hardcore History’ podcasts te beluisteren in plaats van ze te lezen!

The Magic of Wor(l)ds

#Review : No Mercy (Kent Fisher Mysteries #5) – Robert Crouch @robertcrouchuk

– ‘The Magic of Wor(l)ds’ blog is a hobby, reviews and other bookish stuff on this site are done for free.
I’m grateful of receiving a free copy from the publisher/author in exchange for an honest review of this book. –

Synopsis :

41pmdQ4y++LWOULD YOU KILL IF JUSTICE FAILED YOU?
Highways Inspector, Derek Forster, couldn’t go on after the death of his wife. Even though he had a secret lover, he took his own life. Or did he?
Samson Capote, the restaurateur from hell, brutally attacked and left to die in a deep freezer. Did he antagonise too many people? Was he sharing Forster’s secret lover?
Millionaire entrepreneur, Clive Chesterton, falls from his yacht and drowns in Sovereign Harbour. Why did he have Forster’s missing journals in his cabin?
When Kent Fisher becomes a murder suspect, he realises he could be the next victim of a killer who shows no mercy.
Can Kent connect the deaths and solve the mystery before the killer gets to him?

Amazon

About the Author :

Robert Crouch Author ImageInspired by Miss Marple, Inspector Morse and Columbo, Robert Crouch wanted to write entertaining crime fiction the whole family could enjoy.
At their heart is Kent Fisher, an environmental health officer with more baggage than an airport carousel. Passionate about the environment, justice and fair play, he’s soon embroiled in murder.
Drawing on his experiences as an environmental health officer, Robert has created a new kind of detective who brings a unique and fresh twist to the traditional murder mystery. With complex plots, topical issues and a liberal dash of irreverent humour, the Kent Fisher mysteries offer an alternative to the standard police procedural.
Robert now writes full time and lives on the South Coast of England with his wife and their West Highland White Terrier, Harvey, who appears in the novels as Kent’s sidekick, Columbo.
To discover more, visit http://robertcrouch.co.uk.

Social Media Links :
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Facebook Author Page
Amazon Author Page
GoodReads Author Page

Review :

‘No Mercy’ by Robert Crouch is the 5th book in the ‘Kent Fisher Mysteries’ and although you can mostly always read books in mystery series as stand-alone I must now strongly advise not to read this one unless you have read book 4 already.
This because, in my humble opinion, you won’t be able to follow at the beginning with all the characters and how they connect, as it really starts where ‘No Mercy’ (book 4) left off.
This said, I think I never found a book, written in the first POV, that could hook me so quickly!
(Except for the other books in this series of course. 😉)
It all started with some drama for our environmental health officer Kent and a (apparent) suicide.
I say some drama, but actually I need to say a lot, because as soon as Kent goes into office there opens a whole can of worms!
A restaurateur from hell, Samson Capote, is more than a pain in the ass for our favorite sleuth.
Not surprisingly he ends up dead, but who did it?
And is it connected with some other (apparent) suicides?
That’s for the police to find out, you would say, but here it’s of course, that’s for Kent (and co) to find out.
If he does / they do, that’s something I won’t be telling you, but what I can tell you is that I thoroughly enjoyed reading this story.
The plot and characters are well developed and are certainly entertaining throughout as there is, among others, some great humor in this book.
Everything also sounds and feels realistic, which makes it a great whodunit in a kind of familiar, though also unique way, as I never met a sleuth like Kent before.
Definitely more than recommendable for lovers of the genre, with an ending that makes you wonder what will be more in store for Kent Fisher!
I hope book 6 will be out soon, because I hate waiting on books from series I’m starting to love.

The Magic of Wor(l)ds

#BooksOnTour @bookouture / #Review : The Perfect Sister – Sheryl Browne @SherylBrowne

– ‘The Magic of Wor(l)ds’ blog is a hobby, reviews and other bookish stuff on this site are done for free.
I’m grateful of receiving a free copy from the publisher/author in exchange for an honest review of this book. –

The Perfect Sister - Blog Tour

Synopsis :

417hIPUi9oL‘You don’t know me, but I’m your sister.’
Claire is shocked when she receives a message out of the blue from Sophie, a beautiful young woman who tells Claire that she’s their father’s secret child. Having spent years nursing her sweet little daughter Ella through a life-threatening illness whilst dealing with the emotional fall-out of a devastating marriage breakdown, Claire feels tentatively excited to meet Sophie. Perhaps she might finally have someone in the family to lean on…
As Claire welcomes her sister into her life, she’s delighted to see just how much Ella loves her new Aunt Sophie. But as the pair spend more time together, Claire begins to wonder where exactly her perfect new sister came from and what kind of person she really is. With their elderly father’s mind rapidly deteriorating, is it possible that he’s hiding something from Claire about Sophie’s sudden appearance in their lives?
When Sophie suggests a family day at the seaside, little Ella is beyond excited. But as Claire takes an important phone call from her demanding ex-husband, leaving Sophie in charge of Ella, something unthinkable happens. And as Claire rushes into the ice-cold sea towards the small, limp figure of her daughter, she realises that Sophie was watching the whole time. But why would Sophie want to hurt Claire’s precious daughter? Was trusting her new sister with Ella the biggest mistake of Claire’s life?

If you enjoyed The Girl on the Train, My Lovely Wife and Lucinda Berry’s The Perfect Child, you’ll love this heart-stopping psychological thriller from bestselling author Sheryl Browne.

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About the Author :

Sheryl Browne03 small fileBestselling Author, Sheryl Browne, writes taught, dark, twisty psychological thriller and contemporary fiction. Sheryl’s latest psychological thriller THE MARRIAGE TRAP comes to you from fabulous BOOKOUTURE. A member of the Crime Writers’ Association and the Romantic Novelists’ Association, Sheryl has several books published and two short stories in Birmingham City University anthologies, where she completed her MA in Creative Writing.
So why does Sheryl write in two genres? Quoting E. L. Doctorow, Sheryl says: “Writing a novel is like driving a car at night in the fog. You can only see as far as your headlights.” This she thinks sums up a writer’s journey, you never quite know where you are going until you get there. If Sheryl’s not sure where a character is going, she simply has to trust him to show her the way. Plus, according to one reviewer, she also has a scary insight into the mind of a psychopath. To find out more about Sheryl’s novels, go to www.facebook.com/SherylBrowne.Author/ or follow @SherylBrowne on Twitter. To find out more about Sheryl, go to www.sherylbrowne.com.

Review :

Whenever there’s a new Sheryl Browne on the horizon I get really excited as from the first book I’ve read I immediately became a fan.
Since then she never once disappointed me, which is rare in my opinion.
So seeing there was a blog tour for ‘The Perfect Sister’ I didn’t hesitate to ask for a copy.
Thank God I did, because Sheryl delivered again!
It all starts with some intriguing and thrilling chapters, so before I knew it I was hooked on reading.
Not only is this a book that kept me wondering about who’s deceiving who or what’s true or not, but it’s also very emotive.
It touches a lot of hard subjects, like being a caretaker for a person with Alzheimer or dealing with family secrets.
For me personally that’s the strenght of this book, but also of this author.
She’s not afraid to take stuff from her own life and put them in the story and that makes her so good in describing the characters feelings and getting things so right, so life-like.
It’s, I think, the main reason you always end up devouring the books.
I only can applaud Sheryl Browne once again and say I wholeheartedly recommend this book, again, to everyone!

The Magic of Wor(l)ds

#Review : Cleopatra VII: Egypt’s Last Pharaoh (The Legendary Women of World History, #9) – Laurel A. Rockefeller @laurelworlds

– ‘The Magic of Wor(l)ds’ blog is a hobby, reviews and other bookish stuff on this site are done for free.
I’m grateful of receiving a free copy from the publisher/author in exchange for an honest review of this book. –

Synopsis :

51AhvjVJgDLThe exciting true story of Egypt’s most famous queen!
Cleopatra Thea Philopator refused to do what she was told. In an age where patriarchy denied full citizenship to even the most elite of Roman women, Cleopatra ruled her Egypt determined to keep it independent and free from Roman control — at any price necessary. Demonized as a simple seductress by Gaius Julius Caesar Octavianus (the future Caesar Augustus) and his political allies, Cleopatra VII proved herself the equal to three of the most powerful men of the Roman world: Gaius Julius Caesar, Marcus Antonius, and Octavian Caesar.
Includes a detailed timeline, suggested reading list/bibliography, and a special Easter egg for science fiction fans.

Amazon

About the Author :

kk0YiqxI_400x400Born, raised, and educated in Lincoln, Nebraska USA Laurel A. Rockefeller is author of over one hundred books published and self-published since August, 2012 with print editions spanning across ten languages and counting, plus audio books on Audible in English (German and Spanish editions publishing in 2020). A dedicated scholar and biographical historian, Ms. Rockefeller is passionate about education and improving history literacy worldwide.
With her lyrical writing style, Laurel’s books are as beautiful to read as they are informative.
In her spare time, Laurel enjoys spending time with her cockatiels, travelling to historic places, and watching classic motion pictures and classic television series. Favourites: Star Trek, Doctor Who, Stargate SG-1, and Babylon 5.

Website

Review :

‘Cleopatra VII : Egypt’s Last Pharaoh’ is the first book I’ve read written by Laurel A. Rockefeller and although it’s a very well known story for me I thoroughly enjoyed reading this.
It may be a rather short version of this well-known female pharaoh’s life, but it was interesting and exciting to read as it gives you the real strong woman that Cleopatra was and not the romanticized version.
For this I applaud the author and I would recommend everyone, huge history buff or not so much, to read this book.
However, I must be honest and admit that I didn’t really know what to think about the prologue and epilogue.
I understand the need to have a starting point to get to the real subject, but for me it didn’t connect / work somehow.
Of course this is just my opinion and a small hiccup as the real story is a big YES for me!
Afterwards you also get an intriguing time-line and a lot of suggested reading links as a bonus.
For me this felt like I was Alice who went down the rabbit hole as I clicked on links and links and … full of more interesting articles on the main characters and the time period.
I just loved it!
I would somehow hope that the author would write more books about Ancient Egypt and the Roman Empire as it was just a really fascinating book and internet journey.
So as already said, a wholeheartedly recommendation from me for this book in ‘The Legendary Woman of World History’ series!

The Magic of Wor(l)ds

#Review : Gloved Heart (Hearts of Amberley #2) – Charlotte Brentwood @charbrentwood

– ‘The Magic of Wor(l)ds’ blog is a hobby, reviews and other bookish stuff on this site are done for free.
I’m grateful of receiving a free copy from the publisher/author in exchange for an honest review of this book. –

Synopsis :

GH-cover-smallCan she ever trust again?
Amy Miller is struggling to come to terms with her new life as a mother, while being a reluctant guest in a rigid gentry household. A victim of abuse, she is determined to never trust a man again.
Henry Russell has loved Amy for as long as he can remember, but his family want nothing to do with her. A chance encounter with Amy rekindles a friendship which might save them both.
The discovery of a secret which holds the key to Amy’s past will change them forever, and jeopardise any chance they have for happiness. Can Henry show Amy that true love will give her everything she could ever need?

Note: Although this is a ‘sweet’ read, there is some subject matter that may offend sensitive readers, including mention of a rape and very mild violence and coarse language.

Goodreads

About the Author :

9788462Charlotte developed serious crushes on a series of men from age fifteen: Darcy, Knightley, Wentworth and Brandon. A bookworm and scribbler for as long as she can remember, Charlotte always dreamed of sharing her stories with the world.
Earning a degree in communication studies, she was seduced by the emerging digital world and has since worked with the web and in marketing. She is a member of the Auckland chapter of RWNZ.
Now mother to an adorable human tornado, Charlotte is trying to find the time for reading, seaside walks, warbling at the piano and quaffing far too many hot chocolates.

Website

Review :

Although ‘Gloved heart’ by Charlotte Brentwood is the second installment in the ‘Hearts of Amberley’ series I found it an interesting and enjoyable stand-alone read.
I must however admit that reading the books in order is always the best way to go for background reasons and getting to know (some) characters better!
This said, I enjoyed the story as it’s overall charming and heart-warming.
Henry is a nice fellow with a lot of patience and a big heart.
I immediately liked him, which wasn’t the case with Amy.
I can’t relate (luckily) to her situation, but her reactions sometimes frustrated me.
I wanted to shake her multiple times as I thought she was a bit too childlike at times.
The plot itself was okay, but there’s a secret which, in my opinion at least, is revealed way to soon and therefore doesn’t really add much more to the story than a hiccup, because of Amy’s reaction(s) towards it.
(Which again I do not fully understand. What’s lying really?)
Maybe I’m just thinking too much as a modern woman as this book is all in all a nice, sweet love story set in the Regency era where people are trying to overcome some traumatic experiences.
The fact that the author succeeded in keeping it a rather light and clean read makes it worth reading / recommending and keeping your eyes open to other books written by her.

The Magic of Wor(l)ds

 

#Review : Love Potions and Other Calamities – Charlie Laidlaw @CLaidlawAuthor @headlinepg

– ‘The Magic of Wor(l)ds’ blog is a hobby, reviews and other bookish stuff on this site are done for free.
I’m grateful of receiving a free copy from the publisher/author in exchange for an honest review of this book. –

Synopsis :

Book CoverTitle: Love Potions and Other Calamities
Publication Date: November 7th, 2019
Genre: Comedy
Publisher: Headline

Welcome to the strange world of Rosie McLeod, an amateur detective with a big difference. Her deductive powers are based solely on the careful preparation and use of plants and herbs.
Love Potions and Other Calamities is pure comedy, with a bit of drama thrown in, as Rosie sets out to discover whether her husband is having an affair and, as the story unfolds, to solve a murder – before she becomes the next victim.
Rosie McLeod, pub proprietor and a gifted herbalist of some renown, is thirty-nine and holding, but only just. The talons of her fortieth birthday are in her back and her bloody, bloody husband hasn’t laid a lustful hand on her for months.
She has the fortune, or misfortune, to live in one of Scotland’s most famous places – the East Lothian village of Holy Cross, which takes its name from the legendary Glastonbury Cross that was spirited away – and subsequently lost – when Henry VIII purged the English monasteries. The cross of pale Welsh gold, reputedly buried within the village, had at its centre a fragment of emerald from the Holy Grail. The story is, of course, complete baloney.
But the association with the Holy Grail and the later witch persecutions of James VI mean that the village is as well known around the world as Edinburgh Castle, haggis or Loch Ness. It has been described as “the heartbeat of Scotland” and is a major tourist destination – many of whom visit the village with metal detectors, hoping to discover the elusive cross.
However, a sighting of a large, black cat by the local Church of Scotland minister sets off a chain of events that lead back twenty years and, although the villagers are blissfully unaware of it, to a woman’s murder. The black cat had last been sighted near the village some two decades before, and the minister’s predecessor was sure that it had triggered something evil. The villagers, of course, think otherwise.
Nothing ever happens in Holy Cross.

Goodreads

Amazon UK
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About the Author :

Charlie LaidlawI was born in Paisley, central Scotland, which wasn’t my fault. That week, Eddie Calvert with Norrie Paramor and his Orchestra were Top of the Pops, with Oh, Mein Papa, as sung by a young German woman remembering her once-famous clown father. That gives a clue to my age, not my musical taste.
I was brought up in the west of Scotland and graduated from the University of Edinburgh. I still have the scroll, but it’s in Latin, so it could say anything.
I then worked briefly as a street actor, baby photographer, puppeteer and restaurant dogsbody before becoming a journalist. I started in Glasgow and ended up in London, covering news, features and politics. I interviewed motorbike ace Barry Sheene, Noel Edmonds threatened me with legal action and, because of a bureaucratic muddle, I was ordered out of Greece.
I then took a year to travel round the world, visiting 19 countries. Highlights included being threatened by a man with a gun in Dubai, being given an armed bodyguard by the PLO in Beirut (not the same person with a gun), and visiting Robert Louis Stevenson’s grave in Samoa. What I did for the rest of the year I can’t quite remember
Surprisingly, I was approached by a government agency to work in intelligence, which just shows how shoddy government recruitment was back then. However, it turned out to be very boring and I don’t like vodka martini.
Craving excitement and adventure, I ended up as a PR consultant, which is the fate of all journalists who haven’t won a Pulitzer Prize, and I’ve still to listen to Oh, Mein Papa.
I am married with two grown-up children and live in central Scotland. And that’s about it.

Links:
Website
Facebook
Twitter

Review :

‘Love Potions and Other Calamities’ by Charlie Laidlaw is a quirky read to say the least.
It’s a story about a little village in Scotland with some very interesting characters and one big, mysterious black cat!
Speaking of them, I’m not sure if I love Rosie, the main character, who thinks turning forty is the end of her life.
She’s a bit too whiny and attention seeking for my taste I guess, but she certainly the cataclysm for everything funny that happened in the book.
So I guess she can stay, but I don’t want to be around when she turns fifty. 😉
I think it’s also fair to say that this book wasn’t really what I expected from reading the blurb as it was more a story about life in a village than a real mystery novel.
I had the feeling that the latter was almost added on to fit the genre somehow.
It wasn’t, in my opinion, a necessary add as the characters and the history about the village and the herbal parts were interesting enough to be a plot / story on their own.
I mean it’s fairly obvious how much research Charlie has done whilst and before writing this book on these topics.
That’s the main reason I read this book I believe as I was very intrigued and impressed with the details of the history about witches, the village and herbs and what not.
Very well done from the author!
This together with his writing style makes it, for me at least, an unique story, which may not have been completely my cup of tea, but was more than worth my reading time.
So I guess I’d recommend the book to everyone who likes a bit of experimental reading.

The Magic of Wor(l)ds

 

#BlogTour #DamppebblesBlogTours @damppebbles / #Review : Dawn of Dreams (Destiny #1) #DawnofDreamsBook – Bronwyn Leroux @bronwyn_leroux

– ‘The Magic of Wor(l)ds’ blog is a hobby, reviews and other bookish stuff on this site are done for free.
I’m grateful of receiving a free copy from the publisher/author in exchange for an honest review of this book. –

dawn of dreams banner.png

Synopsis :

FINAL2_TITLE_DawnPSDLost family heirlooms. Sinister mutants. An ancient book hiding legendary secrets. Such mythical things should not exist in the futuristic world of 2073.
Yet, this reality is forced on two strangers. Jaden and Kayla are blissfully unaware their world is about to be invaded. When a relentless, age-old force casts them together, the shocking truth is revealed. They are hunted by the hideous, malevolent monster prowling their community. Worse, it’s invisible to everyone but them.
Forced down a dark and dangerous path, the pair discover their stalker isn’t the only thing they have in common. As they quest for solutions while trying to survive, their unique abilities surface. They team up with other-worldy allies. After deciphering an enchanted tool, they get their first answer. But knowledge comes at a price.
In a world on the verge of destruction, can Jaden and Kayla solve the puzzles and find a way to save it, all while trying to make sense of this inexplicable connection they feel for each other?

Purchase Links:
Amazon UK
Amazon US
Kobo
Nook

Publishing Information:
Published in paperback and ebook formats on 25th July 2017.

About the Author :

Leroux_WebBorn near the famed gold mines of South Africa (where dwarves are sure to prowl), it was the perfect place for Bronwyn to begin her adventures. They took her to another province, her Prince Charming and finally, half a world away to the dark palace of San Francisco. While the majestic Golden Gate Bridge and its Bay views were spectacular, the magical pull of the Colorado Rockies was irresistible. Bronwyn’s family set off to explore yet again. Finding a sanctuary at last, this is Bronwyn’s perfect place to create alternative universes. Here, her mind can roam and explore and she can conjure up fantastical books for young adults.

Social Media:
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Review :

This is book one in the saga, so the author spends some time building up the world and introducing the characters.
In my opinion it means it started off a bit slow, but I must say it’s all easy to follow and really imaginative.
The book was so intriguing to read as it’s like a futuristic version of our own world with hidden secrets waiting to be unraveled.
The dialogues were maybe a tad to ‘teeny’ for me, but in the end it didn’t really matter as it’s something I enjoyed as it was a quite unusual read.
Definitely want to read more by this author so I will be following her in the future.

The Magic of Wor(l)ds