– Excellent read which I would recommend to fans of ‘The Book Thief’
Somebody on bookstagram recommended that I read this book and, as a fan of historical fiction, I thought I might enjoy it.
From page one, I was hooked. It’s so unusual to read a POV from one of Hitler’s inner circle; usually these kind of books are from the enemy’s POV ie. a Jew, a British soldier etc etc. It was strange realising just how adored Hitler was by his followers. I never thought of Hitler as being a great leader before. A murderer, yes. A psychopath, yes. But a great leader? Definitely not. On reading Gretchen’s story, however, I realised that, although he IS a murderer and a psychopath, he was also such a persuasive leader that he managed to pass his twisted views onto millions of Germans. Millions of people who revered him and began to think the same way as he did.
We also see this in the feeling of revulsion which Gretchen feels when she first comes into contact with Daniel. She’s actually a very sensible and fair girl deep down, not one to ignore injustice, and this becomes clearer and clearer as the book moves on. As for Daniel, unlike the majority of the Jewish community in Munich, he refuses to be downtrodden. He is proud of his heritage and the unjustness of the Nazi society which has taken over sets his heart on fire. He is determined to do right for his community, no matter what danger this puts him in.
The book follows Gretchen’s growing realisation that her “Uncle Dolf” isn’t what he appears to be. At the same time, her brother, Reinhard, is also showing signs of the same violent nature as Herr Hitler and she realises that there are many similarities between the two of them…….Can she save herself or will she continue to be Hitler’s ‘darling’ and part of the ever-expanding National Socialist party which is threatening to eliminate one of the oldest communities on earth………?
Definitely one for fans of The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas and The Book Thief, this is the first book in Anne Blankman’s duology. I am currently two-thirds of the way through the sequel, “Conspiracy of Blood and Smoke” and loving it just as much as the first book.
Ok so it took me a while to get around to this as I have a stack of review books a mile high, but I finally started it the other day and it took around three days in all to read. I have to start by saying that I’m not a fan of fantasy (with the exception of HP and PJO, of course!). The only high fantasy fiction that I’ve enjoyed in the past was The Hobbit. I’ve attempted Got and ToG and LOTR numerous times but got too confused with the strange character/place names. In this book, the world building is definitely explained. In too much detail, sometimes! It meant that the first part of the book seemed to be prolonged and drawn-out and I was waiting on the action to start. Don’t get me wrong, a lot of people would appreciate the excessive detail, it’s just not my cup of tea, as such. Saying that, once the book did get going, I began to get invested in the storyline. I found Elynna to be quite a good female lead and I enjoyed seeing her character develop page by page.
As I said at the start, this really isn’t my genre but I was able to see Dickerson’s excellent writing skills throughout and it was this that kept me reading until the final page. He definitely has a way with words which is entertaining to the reader and I could appreciate this. I would imagine that GoT and ToG fans would devour this book and take far more out of it than I did. As it is, I’m still giving the book 4 stars because of the work that’s gone into the world-building and because of the excellent writing skills. This was the first book in Dickerson’s Daegmon War series. If you’re a fan of fantasy – go and pick a copy up!
I’m absolutely loving life at the moment. All my family are healthy and happy (well most of the time. The other times, they’re killing each other…..siblings,eh?!) and I’ve made some fabulous friends via bookstagram. There’s actually a group of us who connect on What’s App several times a day to recommend our new favourite books, tell each other about new fandom merchandise that’s just been released, talk about our babies and hubbies, or maybe just to have a sounding board to rant at when we’ve had a bad day. As we’re all over the world, I would have never met any of these 6 friends, only because of our shared love of reading and, because of that, starting our Bookstagram accounts.
I’ve also found a new confidence in my photos this past month and follower count is showing that this is shining through in my posts. I started to mix up my plain, white backdrops with all sorts of different backgrounds and these have brought a whole new visual to my feed which I (and apparently my 35K followers) love! It’s very refreshing and means that there’s no pressure to try and stick to an exact theme. If I want a hand shot, I take one……New boots? Make sure they’re in my photo! A simple, minimalist shot which shows mostly the background with the book squashed up in the corner? Yes please!
It means that my account has become fun again and, instead of trying too hard to impress everyone all the time, if I’m happy with the shot, then it gets posted!
Most surprisingly, though, are the benefits that have come from this newly-improved feed. When I hit 25k followers, I was contacted by quite a prestigious watch company to ask if I would consider featuring one of their products in a couple of my photos, in exchange for receiving that item free of charge. I must admit to being taken aback at first. Why would a luxury watch company send little old me, a house wife and mummy to 6 kids, a designer watch worth nearly $300 just to include in my photos? Surely there must be some catch……? Well, no, as they explained, with the power of social media nowadays, it’s a perfect advertising arena for brands both big and small. I had already been repping for quite a few small business on IG by showing off candles, mugs etc and these new collaborations with big businesses turned out to be the same idea, only on a larger scale.
Since then, I have received several watches, other jewellery and various other items INCLUDING BOOKS (yay!) to show off on my feed. I am very aware that first and foremost, I am a bookstagram account and I always try to keep that honest by picturing every promoted item with a book and, even while promoting the item in the caption, I will still also talk about the book which is featured, too. I wouldn’t like all these people who have followed me for book reviews and recommendations to suddenly be watching a feed advertising everything and anything BUT books, that wouldn’t be right.
With a family of 8, we have never had money spare to buy luxuries like jewellery and watches; all our money goes on the kids and the mortgage. And books, ok, I’ll admit it 😉 So it’s like Christmas now when the UPS courier pulls up outside with a parcel! I had always wondered how top bloggers/vloggers, despite being so young, seemed to have the coolest stuff! It just didn’t occur to me that by sending free products to popular bloggers/YouTubers/IG’ers, these companies were getting the word out about their brand. I think I’ve been living with my head under a rock!
I know this won’t last forever but, for the moment, I’m enjoying the benefits of having my account just as I like it, being approached by businesses for collaboration, and it’s making those long months of tearing my hair out over crappy photos while building up my account totally worth it! NB>It really was VERY crappy. Those photos are still all their at the bottom of my feed. I refuse to delete them as that was where it all began and that was when I started to meet all those wonderful people who I now call friends…..
Do you have a bookstagram? Or a book blog? Comment and let me know the details so I can check them out!
Until the next time…….Ciao!
PS. I have a couple of book reviews to post shortly so watch this space…….
I’m sorry for the inactivity. With 6 children, this is pretty much a mad house and what little time I have had, I’ve been using to build up my Instagram profile. I’m now sitting at nearly 32,000 followers on IG (SAY WHAT?! That’s nuts, I know!) so I thought I could finally concentrate on blogging a lot more
I have a few review books to read this month so I’ll be writing them up as soon as I finish them. The Gifted by Matthew Dickerson is the first in his Daegmon War series, Storm Front by DL Robinson is also the first book in the Series and, finally, Out of the Blue by EL Irwin which is a standalone, I believe.
For now, I need to finish book 2 of Rick Riordan’s Kane Chronicles, Throne of Fire. I started a RR marathon Christmas Eve and, as usual when I pick up Rick’s books, I couldn’t just stop at one book, or eve one series….nope, I had to read everything he’s ever written once again! He really is a genius!
Anyway, I’ll leave it for now but I really hope to get back into the swing of things soon.
Just a quick note to say that I’m sorry I’ve been absent so long – I have been so busy with the kids (school holidays) and reading my way through the Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon (and WOW, what a series it is!) that I haven’t had time to do anything except keep my Bookstagram going. I promise I have some ideas for posts in the near future and I will be updating the blog soon.
I own eight bookcases. They’re all around the house. That’s not including the kids’ bookcases. We have 6 kids and the 5 eldest have their own bookcases too (the ‘baby,’ aged 3, has a book-box which holds around 150 books, at a guess) As you can imagine, our house is crammed with books. Most of which, I just have one copy of. Then, there are my favourites………………
I have three different copies of The Hunger Games series because….well……they’re all gorgeous covers and I just had to have them. I also have two different covers of the Twilight series because, you guessed it, I loved both. Two and three copies isn’t actually too bad, even if my hubby looks at me as though I’m mad because, after years of being married to me, he’s used to my book-hoarding obsession!
However, 18 years ago this year, the first book in a series of seven was published for the first time. It was written by an (at that time) unknown author by the name of Joanne Rowling. That book, of course, was Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone. I picked up the first book, buying into all the hype, and planned on keeping it for my future kids. It sat on my shelf for a few years, along with book two, Chamber of Secrets and book three, Prisoner of Azkaban which I had bought as they were respectively published. At this point, I had had my first baby and she loved me reading to her so I decided I would take out the Harry Potter books (that everyone had been talking about) and read them aloud. It didn’t matter that she was so young and didn’t understand one word that I was saying, all she wanted was to listen to my voice while she fell asleep. Night after night, I read and, as I did, I fell completely under Harry Potter’s spell (excuse the pun!) I started to read the books even when Rosie was sleeping and I had soon read all three AND WAS CRYING OUT FOR THE NEXT RELEASE!!! I had awakened a monster…….While I was waiting for Book four to be published, I decided it might be nice to get the paperback UK editions to go alongside my hardback versions. Then I spotted the adult paperbacks and I just HAD to get those too………you get the idea; I was completely in love with all the beautiful Harry Potter editions and this began my obsession.
18 years later, I am the proud owner of 9 full sets of Harry Potter editions. (I finished off my American hardback set this evening when I ordered the two that I was missing!) I also own Harry Potter : Page to Screen and Harry Potter : Film Wizardry. I’m hoping to add The Creature Vault to these soon!
It’s not just the books that hold the attraction for me; I was ‘sorted’ into Gryffindor on a dozen different fan sites so I have the maroon and yellow tie and scarf. I have a time turner, a golden snitch, Xenophilius’ necklace, a diadem, the marauders’ map…………I pick bits and pieces up whenever I can. It would probably have been easier if I’d have had a limitless supply of money and could have just bought the box sets/merchandise whenever I wanted. However, I don’t believe I would have had half the fun that I have had over the years, looking out for bargains! The thrill of finding a near-impossible-to-find copy in my price range, bidding on it then chewing off my nails until the auction ends, well that means a great deal of satisfaction when I win and the book is delivered in mint condition!
Everyone likes to collect things, whether that be handbags, shoes, make-up. Me? I’d probably go barefoot before I’d waste my book money 😀 😀 😀
My obsession is books. More specifically, Harry Potter books.
From being a very young reader, I was always under the impression that when you started a book, you read it through to the final page. I’ve read hundreds of books in my 30 odd years that I just didn’t enjoy but I still struggled through to the end. I don’t know what I thought would happen if I just gave up and set the book aside….Maybe a bolt of lightening from the God of books? Anyway, for whatever reason, I ALWAYS finished every book that I started.
Then, about 8 months ago, I was reading a book and really struggling to get through it. I set it on my knee (for the hundredth time) with a sigh and looked over at my six foot bookcase which was stacked with books that I still had to read and I decided to rebel. Why should I make myself unhappy for another couple of days, reading a book that I clearly wasn’t enjoying and just couldn’t get into, when I had so many more books waiting for me? Wasn’t reading supposed to me a hobby, a pastime, a fun thing?? I closed up the hated book and set it on my shelves to try again another time. I’m not unfair, the author has put an awful lot of blood, sweat and tears into their book so it’s only fair that I give them a fair chance and maybe I just wasn’t in the mood for this particular book at this time. I then started a new book and, guess what? No bolt of lightening, nothing. I’d been stressing myself out for no reason.
Since then, I don’t waste time struggling with a book that I’m not enjoying or can’t get “into”. I don’t give up in the first few chapters, I always give each book a fair chance because, let’s face it, sometimes the good stuff doesn’t start at the beginning of the book but some slow-starters turn out to be wow! when you keep reading.
My other rule is that, if a book is a did-not-finish, I don’t review it. I don’t think it’s fair because I’d be judging a book on reading just a half or two thirds of it. It wouldn’t be fair to the author. The only books that I now read in their entirety, even if I’m not enjoying them, are books that have been sent to me for review. I read ARC’s and review books from start to finish so that I can give a clear review of what I thought. I don’t count these books as reading-for-fun (although I usually DO enjoy them!), more like a reading-for-work so it doesn’t matter what my thoughts are while reading, I read the whole book.
What about you? Do you continue to read a book to the bitter end, even if you struggle with every page? Or are you a rebel like me who thinks that there are just too many other books out there that still need read and why faff about on this one that you’re not enjoying? I’d love to know what you all think!