Book Review-The Prince and the Pauper by Mark Twain


Prince and Pauper

I recently began re-reading some classics from my childhood and it has been a joy to read this tale again.

The Prince and the Pauper by Mark Twain is a charming story of a bored with life Prince and a poor lad who aspires to the life of nobility. An opportunity arises and they tried changing places. The fact that they look almost identical makes this far-fetched idea believable. Before they have a chance to switch back to their own identities, they are stuck in their new roles. The unusual for them, adventures and challenges become part of their everyday life and are extraordinary.

We know Mark Twain for his humorous look at humanity and as always some still makes its way into this story. In this book, however, we see another side of the man who loved humanity and could see the humor in all we do. We see the political side of Twain. The issues he dealt with in this fun story showed that he recognized the great disparity between the classes. He focused on some of the problems that were normally judged by the Prince. He was able to show how a different approach to these issues had at its heart a caring for people and a fairness of conscience. Meanwhile, the pauper learns that being royalty is not all it’s cracked up to be. In fact, it is often very difficult.

The book is full of well – defined characters and a surplus of unique personalities that people this tale.

The Prince and the Pauper is considered a tale for ‘young people of all ages.’ I suggest you give it a try, whether for the first time or revisiting it once again at a more mature age.

I recommend this delightful book for everyone. Humor accompanies anything that is Mark Twain, but this is also a wonderful statement about what Twain sees as the problems in society, even way back then when this was written.


Book Review of The Other Boleyn Girl by Phillipa Gregory


 other Bolyne girl


If you love historical fiction is much as I do and royalty, courts, Henry VIII and his wives and lovers is your cup of tea, you must read this book.


Written in 2001, it explores the Boleyn, the sister and mistress of Henry VIII that was less known, Mary. Part of an ambitious family, Mary was forced into the court and shortly thereafter the bed of the King because her family played each member like a pawn in a game. She or any young girl had little say as to what became of her at that time in history and if their family wished to rise and status she did what she is told. No problem, because girls were of little importance at that time. They were of no consequence and could be moved, married or disposed of with little bother.


The Phillipa Gregory has brought this tale to life because of all the research she has done for her books. I recently reviewed her nonfiction on somewhat the same subject and she is a scholar who is credible in all she writes. She did an interview investigation in order to bring this is compelling to her readers and make it such an enjoyable story.


I recommend this book as an eye-opener as to the role women played in their families who wished to get ahead. I recommend this book for the sheer number of facts about King Henry’s court, the over-the-top lavish lifestyle, the decadence that was barely hidden and the role each person had to play in the intrigue and the court for just enabling this childish, selfish, lustful King to get his way.


I recommend this author since she is so authoritative and still can write a book of fiction that is enjoyable while almost being read like a nonfiction work.

Review of Rumpole by John Mortimer




This is a collection of seven new stories for those who have been reading RUMPOLE for years. This volume was published in 2001. John Mortimer authored at least 10 other Rumpole books. As a former barrister at the Old Bailey, London’s Most Important Court, Mortimer writes about Rumpole with authority and credibility.

Rumpole’ s character is one that amuses us with his less than lordly appearance and his humor, wit and irreverence for all things that touch humanity. He fights for what is right beyond the impossible odds of winning and he is a solicitor you would want on your side because of his values and regardless of his appearance.

He respects the law in that he reveres justice. He disdains rules, however, and only seems to buckle under them when they are made by his wife, whom he refers to as She Who Must be Obeyed.

For a fun read, I recommend Rumpole books, but this collection contains some new cases which give another view to the mechanics of his investigating and some of them show another side to his character.

If you are a fan, this may be the last time heard from Rumpole. Please check it out now.





Book Review-The Other Tudors by Philippa Jones

The Other Tudors



Even if even if you’re not a student of royalty and courts from the past, most know of Henry VIII and his six wives. The usual fate for these wives was either to be divorced or beheaded. In some case they died.

It seemed simple for King Henry to floater from flower to flower like to bee. When the flower began to fade in his opinion, there were lots of options to make way for a new bloom.

Most of us do not realize is that six wives were not enough for him. In between, he had numerous mistresses and even though they were not legitimate children, he had many bastards. In his search for the perfect woman and a legitimate heir, Henry produced a few children and spread his love to include many low born women, but almost always beautiful.

This author, Philippa Jones, gives us the facts and figures that truly shine the light on Henry’s amorous goings on in a court that looked at flirting as a way of life. The social norms for the time and the sexually explosive atmosphere made it easy for romantic liaisons to be formed at every turn.

This is a factual, nonfiction book, but still reads like a fairytale since the love life of this king it’s hard to believe. Of course, she gives a good count of the extravagance and power of the court and its results.

I love anything to do with courts and royalty, so I found this particularly interesting. Though not a novel, you may still enjoy the stories it is required to relay just to report the facts. It is totally amazing that royalty lived this way. I am always surprised that people enjoyed such excesses and and thought it was their due. I am astounded at what they would do to gain favor of the King.

I recommend this book to those who wish to know more about the history of the Tudors.



Book Review-The Night Watch by Sarah Waters

Night Watch

This is a very worthwhile book to read if you are interested in history and learning more about the real cost of war.

The night watch focuses on England during the time of the blitz (the merciless bombing of London during World War I). It is a time when tragedy strikes quickly and no one is immune or safe.

Since most of the young men are serving in the military, those that are too old for services serve in another capacity as air wardens. Many of the women now work and this story features some gals that make up the rescue crews. It was their job to go into the dangerous, bombed out areas to hunt for survivors and more often bodies. They are courage, dedication and columnists make their story so compelling.

This book by Sarah Waters also features a sometimes tangled web of the present and former relationships between these women. It reveals a large amount of same-sex relationships and experiences in this novel, but waters does so with delicacy and tact. This should not stop you from reading this book as Waters is a class act and a wonderful storyteller..

I highly recommend this book as it is hard for us in the US to get a feel for what war-torn countries go through. 911 was the closest we ever came to experience such overwhelming tragedy and evil.

Waters has more books available and I for one am looking forward to reading them.

Hand-feeding Backyard Birds by Hugh Wiberg-Book Review

Handfeeding birds

This 1999 addition is a step-by-step guide to introduce you to the hobby of hand feeding birds.

For more than 20 years, this author has focused on hand feeding birds that come to the feeders he keeps and those that regularly visit some of the parks he attends.

The book explains the joy and connection to nature hand feeding brings. It goes through the methods of hand feeding for many different species along with what their favorite foods are and how to attract different kinds of birds.

The guide tells how to start, the best times to hand feed and what the timeline is likely to be till you are successful. This is a hobby which requires patients and a slow hand to win over these feathered friends. It promotes trust and a sense of intimacy between species.

This book features 80 color photos to help you identify birds and show the hobby as it progresses.

I highly recommend this book to anyone wanting to learn from the experts how to pursue this hobby.

This book is available here-

The Baglady’s Guide to Elegant Living by Dina Dove -Book Review

Baglady's Guide 

Angela’s life just fell apart when she met, by chance, a lovely elderly woman named Rose. She finds her in the park where she runs.

Rose carries a large bag with her wherever she goes, but it does not can contain all her worldly possessions, nor does Rose live on the street. Her bag contains quotes, helpful advice and articles which she dispenses to Angela just at the most appropriate time. Her timing is perfect and her advice is golden.

These tidbits that she passes on to Angela are like a blueprint as to how to regain her life again, only this time much better. Who is this Rose? Is she just a very nice adult who discovered the secret to living a meaningful and elegant life? Or is she much, much more?

She guides Angela to the peace she needs so badly. She helps Angela accept certain facts about herself and how she contributed to her present circumstances. Acceptance has been more than difficult for Angela.

This book is easy to read and very enjoyable. Use it to rediscover truths you forgotten or as a guide to gain equilibrium, sanity and joy at just being.

A wonderful book for anyone who could use a little pick me up. I highly recommend this as a book for a special friend you wish to encourage and uplift.