The Miserable Mill - A Series of Unfortunate Events

The Miserable Mill - A Series of Unfortunate Events

Title: The Miserable Mill - A Series of Unfortunate Events
Author: Lemony Snicket
First Published in the UK:2002
Publisher: Egmont Books Limited
Price on Amazon: Paperback £5.99 Kindle: £5.99
ISBN: 0-7497-4702-1

The miserable Mill says it all really doesn't it about how the three Baudelaire's have gotten along thus far. 

By now Violet, Klaus and Sunny are onto their fourth guardian known only as Sir, They have moved in and been forced to work in a lumber mill. Living in a dormitory with the other employees and working all day with nothing to eat until the evening. The foreman is a horrible man who treats the children terribly. Just when it seems things can't get any worse, Klaus breaks his glasses and has to go to see Dr Orwell to get a new pair, but when he returns something is not right and we all know when things are not right in the Baudelaire's lives it usually means Count Olaf is behind it however, we do not hear about Olaf till almost three quarters of the way through the book, when his cunning plan is 
discovered. Can the children get away this time?

I must admit having read this series of books before when i was a young child i couldn't remember this one at all so it was nice to read it as if it was the first time i had read it. I enjoyed the plot and i am still loving the characters. I found i really liked Charles but i thought him to be a bit useless as he promised to help but his idea of helping was of no use at all. I found Sir to be almost as bad as Olaf himself and should certainly never been allowed to take charge of children, he is a wicked man and again i found myself angry with Mr Poe for the usual reasons but also for wanting to leave the children with Sir at the end of the book. How anyone could leave children with a man like that is beyond me so again i found myself furious with Mr Poe. 

I find i am really enjoying Snicket's Literary techniques i have never read a book which uses these techniques before and i find it quiet refreshing, like i have said in my previous post, i have read posts where people find this technique to be extremely annoying and condescending but i personally enjoy it. 

The Wide Window - A Series of Unfortunate Events

The Wide Window - A Series of Unfortunate Events

Title: The Wide Window - A Series of Unfortunate Events
Author: Lemony Snicket
First published in the UK: 2001
Publisher: Egmont Books Limited
Edition: Egmont Books Limited 2012
Price on Amazon: Paperback £5.99 Kindle: £3.49
ISBN: 978--4052-6608-6

If you have read the previous two books in this series then you know the lives of Violet, Klaus and Sunny Baudelaire are anything but happy. 

This book continues to follow the sad lives of the Baudelaire orphans who are now onto their third guardian after their parents died. After Count Olaf has made two attempts to get his hands on their fortune and committed murder in doing so we are left asking ourselves is there any lengths he wont go to in order to get his hands on the Baudelaire fortune?

Mr Poe has taken the three children to live with their Aunt Josephine, the children soon learn that Aunt Josephine is afraid of everything from realtors to telephones to cookers meaning she never serves hot food for fear of turning on the oven. 

With a hurricane on the way and Aunt Josephine's house being at the hop of a very steep hill and hanging over the edge of the cliff with Lake Lachtymose below could this bring more trouble for the three young orphans. 

And of course Count Olaf is never far away, Plotting and Planning another scheme to get his hands on the fortune and disguising himself to worm his way into the children's lives. Who will fall victim to Olaf this time. 

I really enjoyed this book i found myself swept away the characters again, i sometimes find with series especially one as long as this one (13 books in total) you can find yourself getting bored of the characters and the plot lines however, this is not the case with this story. You find yourself really rooting for a happy ending for these poor children and wanting a terrible sticky ending to come to Count Olaf. You find yourself getting more and more annoyed with Mr Poe each time he dismisses the children when they try to tell him about Count Olaf, you think by the third book he would realise the children know what there on about but no still he is blind to Olaf's plans leading Olaf to be able to get away. This in turn makes you feel even more sympathy for the three children. 

Snicket continues to use his quirky writing technique throughout the books, by talking to the reading directly and explaining the meaning of complicated words. I still find this adds humour to a sad story and fits very well with the book. 

In conclusion i gave this book 5* on goodreads and would recommend to anyone looking for a quick and enjoyable read. But again anyone looking for a plot with happy endings and they all lived happily ever after this book in fact this series is not for you. 


The Reptile Room - A Series of Unfortunate Events

Title: The Reptile Room - A Series of Unfortunate Events
Author: Lemony Snicket
First published in the UK: 2001
Publisher: Egmont Books Limited
Edition: Egmont Books Limited 2012
Price on Amazon: Paperback £5.99 Kindle: £3.49
I wish I could tell you life for the three Baudelaire children improves in the second book in the series ... But then it wouldn't be a series of unfortunate events would it.
After their terrible experience living with Count Olaf, the three Baudelaire children are taking to live with a distant uncle called Montgomery Montgomery ... Yes that is his name. Uncle Monty as he instructs the children to call him is scientist to deals with snakes. He has a lovely home and everything the children want. Uncle Monty plans to take them on am exhibition to Puru to help him find new snakes and other reptiles, needless to say the children are thrilled. Everything is going great but this is the Baudelaire children were on about so it doesn't last long.
Uncle Monty hires a new research assistant but is he all he claims to be?  Will the Baudelaire children ever get a break?
I read this book in a single night, I couldn't put it down. Again I found myself rooting for the three children and so happy for them that Uncle Monty was such a nice man. I again found myself annoyed with Mr Poe for not believing the children especially after the troubles they had in the first book.
I am really enjoying this series and I am going straight onto the third book The Wide Window. Review to follow of course.
Have you read this series? What were your thoughts?

The bad beginning - a series of unfortunate events

Title: The bad beginning - A series of unfortunate events
Author: Lemony Snicket
First published in the UK: 2001
Publisher: Egmont UK Limited
Edition: Egmont UK Limited 2012
Pages: 162
Price on Amazon: Paperback £6.99 Kindle: £2.49
ISBN: 978 1 4952 6606 2
If your looking for a story with a happy plot line, I wouldn't suggest this one.
This is the first book in a 13 book series by Lemony Snicket following the life's of three children, Violet, Klaus and Sunny Baudelaire. When the children's parents perish in a fire and they lose everything the children are sent to live with a wicked and evil man named Count Olaf. The only thing Olaf wants is to get his hands on the Baudelaire fortune which the children will receive when Violet comes of age.
The story follows the children in there new lives living with Olaf and his terrible plan to get there money. He will stop at nothing to get what he wants.
I have read other reviews on this book who find Snickets way if writing. To be annoying and patronizing. Throughout the book, Snicket uses words and then explains what they mean for example on page 114 he writes " casing the joint, casing the joint means observing a particular location in order to formulate a plan" 
While some people find this to be annoying and patronizing I myself find it adds a little humor and quirkiness to Snickets writing.
Snicket also talks directly to the reader which I found really made you feel involved and part of the storey. I thought this to be a good plot technique.
All in all I really enjoyed reading this book. I found I loved the characters of the three children, I hated Olaf and felt so sorry for the children for everything he did. I also found myself to be really annoyed by Mr Pie the banker. The characters in this book really grab you and make you want to read on, so just so I read this book in just a single night, I will now be moving onto the second book.

Shop Girl - Mary Portas

                                                    Shop Girl - Mary Portas

Title: Shop Girl
Author: Mary Portas
First published in the UK: 2015 
Publisher: Doubleday
Edition: Black Swan Edition published in 2016
Pages: 275
Price on Amazon, Paperback: £7.99, Kindle: £4.99
ISBN: 9781784160319

Mary Portas queen of shops tells her life story with lighthearted humour. 

Mary Portas was born into an Irish catholic family living in Watford. Mary was not your average catholic schoolgirl however, always in trouble, eating dog food for a bet. The book begins with Mary as a young girl visiting a shop with her father, the book follows Mary's life and all her struggles. We see Mary grow up, leave school and head off to college. Soon after Mary's mother passes away and Mary has to take charge of the family, this inspirational story shows how a young girl grows up very quickly when she has to suddenly take care of her family. Soon Mary's father is remarrying and leaving the children behind once again Mary is forced to fend for herself. We see her get herself a job working at Harrods dressing windows, she take to this like a duck to water. Portas also writes about her first kiss, her heartbreak when her fiance broke up with her and the day she met her husband. She also talks about her own cluelessness to being gay saying “Am I in love with Kate Jackson? I wonder, as I fold my hair into the Babyliss. And if I am, then does it mean I’m a Lebanese?” later in life portas is in a happy same sex relationship. 

I gave this book 4* on goodreads. I really enjoyed this book. I'm not normally one or memoirs but this book was one of the selection for my book club, Bilsthorpe Bookworms. I would of given this book 5* but i found that the book jumped a lot which i found to be slightly off putting. This book had lots of little chapters rather than the usual set amount of long chapter However, the story is an inspirational one and touched me. It is defiantly a book i would recommend for anyone looking for a good read and i would certainly read it again. 

Author of the week #2 Maria V Snyder

                                          Maria V Snyder

Name: Maria V Snyder
Nationality: American 
Genre's: Fantasy, Short Stories

Maria V Snyder is an American fantasy author, her first book was published in October 2005. Maria originally wanted to be a meteorologist she even earned her bachelor of science degree in meteorology. Maria worked as an environmental meteorologist until boredom took over and she had her children. Maria enjoyed writing much more than she did meteorology and soon went back to college to earn her masters of Arts degree in fictional writing. Maria's love for writing hasn't stopped with her books, she is now a teacher and mentor with Seton Hill's MFA's programme. 
Maria's Books:
Chronicles of Ixia
  • Poison Study (2005)
  • Magic Study (2006)
  • Fire Study (2008)

Glass series

  • Storm Glass (2009)
  • Sea Glass (September 2009)
  • Spy Glass (September 2010)

Soulfinder series

  • Shadow Study (2015) 
  • Night Study (2016)
  • Dawn Study (2017)

Insider Series

  • Inside Out (2010)
  • Outside In (2011)
  • Inside (Collection of both novels in one book)

Healer Series
  • Touch of Power (2011)
  • Scent of Magic (2012)
  • Taste of Darkness (2013)

Short stories
  • Godzilla Warfare, a short story in No Man's Land, Dark Quest Books, 2011
  • Sword Point, a short story in The Eternal Kiss (2009)
  • Assassin Study (2009) ( Online) [Study series #1.5] 
  • Power Study (2008) (Online) [Study series #3.5] 
  • Ice Study (2010) (Online) [Study series #3.6] 
  • E-Time (Online)
  • The Wizard's Daily Horoscope Black Gate Magazine Issue 11 (Summer 2007) (Online)
  • Protect the Children Eye Contact Seton Hill University's literary arts magazine (Online)