Rating: 4 Stars ★★★★☆
Deep in Honduras, in a region called La Mosquitia, lie some of the last unexplored places on earth.
Since the days of conquistador Hernán Cortés, rumours have circulated about a lost city of immense wealth hidden deep in the Honduran interior. Indigenous tribes speak of ancestors who fled there to escape the Spanish invaders, and warn the legendary city is cursed: to enter it is a death sentence. They call it the Lost City of the Monkey God.
Bestselling author Doug Preston joined a team of scientists on a groundbreaking new quest. In 2012 he climbed aboard a single-engine plane carrying a highly advanced, classified technology that could map the terrain under the densest rainforest canopy. In an unexplored valley ringed by steep mountains, that flight revealed the unmistakable image of a sprawling metropolis, tantalizing evidence of not just an undiscovered city but a lost civilization.
To confirm the discovery, Preston and the team battled torrential rains, quickmud, plagues of insects, jaguars, and deadly snakes. They emerged from the jungle with proof of the legend… and the curse.
Rating: 3 Stars ★★★☆☆
Once on a time there was a poor husbandman who had so many children that he hadn’t much of either food or clothing to give them.
This book is a collection of traditional fairy tales from Scandinavia, collected by Peter Christen Asbjørnsen. Containing such beloved tales as East o’ the Sun and West o’ the Moon and The Three Billy-Goats Gruff it can be read for free on any ereader.
Rating: 4.5 Stars ★★★★☆
I’m hunting, The sun sits low over Battersea, its rays streaking the brickwork like warpaint as I pad through the railway tunnels.
Hidden under the surface of everyday London is a city of monsters and miracles, where wild train spirits stampede over the tracks and glass-skinned dancers with glowing veins light the streets.
When a devastating betrayal drives her from her home, graffiti artist Beth Bradley stumbles into the secret city, where she finds Filius Viae, London’s ragged crown prince, just when he needs someone most. An ancient enemy has returned to the darkness under St Paul’s Cathedral, bent on reigniting a centuries-old war, and Beth and Fil find themselves in a desperate race through a bizarre urban wonderland, searching for a way to save the city they both love.
Rating: 1 Star ★☆☆☆☆
This is the month when Hitler and Stalin meet while strolling in the Castle Park at Schönbrunn, Thomas Mann nearly gets outed and Franz Kafka nearly goes mad with love.
The stuffy conventions of the nineteenth century are receding into the past, and 1913 heralds a new age of unlimited possibility. Kafka falls in love; Louis Armstrong learns to play the trumpet; a young seamstress called Coco Chanel opens her first boutique; Charlie Chaplin signs his first movie contract; and new drugs like cocaine usher in an age of decadence.
Yet everywhere there is the premonition of ruin – the number 13 is omnipresent, and in London, Paris, Vienna, Berlin, Trieste, artists take the omen and act as if there were no tomorrow, their brief coincidences of existence telling of a darker future. In a Munich hotel lobby, Rilke and Freud discuss beauty and transience; Proust sets out in search of lost time; and while Stravinsky celebrates the Rite of Spring with industrial cacophony, in Munich an Austrian postcard painter by the name of Adolf Hitler sells his conventional cityscapes.
Told with Illies’s characteristic mixture of poignant evocation and laconic irony, 1913 is the story of the year that shaped the last century.
Rating: 3.5 Stars ★★★☆☆
The Mole had been working very hard all the morning, spring-cleaning his little home.
Tired of spring cleaning, Mole ventures above ground into the warm sunshine, and happens upon his friend Ratty. Together they picnic on the sparkling, burbling river, brave the sinister Wild Wood in wintertime to visit the bad-tempered Badger, and take to the open road in a caravan with dear, silly old Toad. But when Toad’s attention turns to motor cars, his reckless behaviour goes from bad to worse. Badger, Rat and Mole must save their friend from ruin, and Toad Hall from the clutches of the rascally Stoats and Weasels.
Overall Rating of the Anthology: 3 Stars ★★★☆☆
1. Walpurgis Afternoon – Delia Sherman
A couple wake up in the morning to find that a Victorian townhouse has sprung up on the empty plot next door. But that is not the only strange thing about their new neighbours.
A horticolutralist and an AI researcher who are also a witches? Sounds cool, but the story was all over the place and didn’t work for me.
Rating: 3 Stars ★★★☆☆
Shadow had done three years in prison.
Days before his release from prison, Shadow’s wife, Laura, dies in a mysterious car crash. Numbly, he makes his way back home. On the plane, he encounters the enigmatic Mr Wednesday, who claims to be a refugee from a distant war, a former god and the king of America.
Together they embark on a profoundly strange journey across the heart of the USA, whilst all around them a storm of preternatural and epic proportions threatens to break.