Tag: fiction

Ten Books About/Set in London I’d Love to Read With My Book Club

Genres: Adult, Nonfiction

TopTenTuesday5 Border

A Book Club of Books About London: Yes, please!

Book clubs are kind of like an obsession of mine. So, I love this week’s topic.

I am currently in a book club made up of my west coast friends/family that tends to be a mixture of Young Adult and Adult fiction. I also recently started a children’s book club with my east coast friends and though it’s just getting started, I’m excited about it!

For this week, I’m proposing a Book Club focused exclusively on books about or set in London. I kind of consider London my second home—after living there twice and visiting usually at least once a year, it’s a place near and dear to my heart.

I’m choosing mostly books that I haven’t read yet, but there are a few classics that are favorites…if you’re interested in joining my London book club, let me know.


As usual, this weekly meme is hosted by The Broke and Bookish. Be sure to link up each week so we can visit your Top Ten!

rivers of londonThe Rivers of London by Ben Aaronovitch

londonLondon by Edward Rutherford

imagined londonImagined London: A Tour of the World’s Greatest Fictional City

london bio

London: The Biography by Peter Ackroyd


Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman

charing cross road

84, Charing Cross Road by Helene Hanff

dallowayMrs. Dalloway by Virginia Woolf

wolfhallWolf Hall by Hilary Mantel

meaning of nightThe Meaning of Night by Michael Cox

high gate,200_Highgate Rise (Charlotte & Thomas Pitt #11) by Anne Perry

If you were in my book club, which book would you vote to read first? Are there any that you would add? Please suggest!

Leave links to your Top Ten Tuesdays and I’ll be sure to stop by and visit!







What Katie Read

The Friday 56: Rain Reign by Ann M. Martin

Friday 56

*Grab a book, any book.
*Turn to page 56 or 56% in your eReader
(If you have to improvise, that’s ok.)
*Find any sentence, (or few, just don’t spoil it)
*Post it.
*Add your (url) post below in Linky. Add the post url, not your blog url.
*It’s that simple.

Happy Friday! Today I’m participating in a new meme that I first saw over at Alicia’s blog, A Kernel of Nonsense.

This weekly meme is hosted by Freda’s Voice, so feel free to join in! In anticipation of my review for Middle Grade Monday, I’ve decided to share a few quotes from the wonderful realistic novel, Rain Reign by Ann M. Martin. I’m excited to share my thoughts on this gem next week–it’s a beautiful story about the homonym-obssessed Rose, who just happens to have Asperger’s. But she also happens to own a wonderful dog called Rain. Tune in on Monday to find out more!

[From the beginning of the book]

“I will name her Rain,” I replied. “You found her in the rain, and rain has two homonyms–rain and reign–so it’s a special word.”

rain reign

[Page 56]

“You’re so lucky, Rose,” says Parvani.

Mrs. Kushel lets everyone visit with Rain for 3.5 more minutes before she says, “All right, class. It’s time to get to work. Say good-bye to Rain.”


What Katie Read

Journey to Sherwood Forest: Scarlet (2012) by A.C. Gaughen

Journey to Sherwood Forest: Scarlet (2012) by A.C. GaughenScarlet by A.C. Gaughen
Published by Bloomsbury Publishing USA on February 14th 2012
Genres: Action & Adventure, Historical Fiction, Legends, Myths, Fables, Young Adult
Pages: 304

Posing as one of Robin Hood's thieves to avoid the evil Lord Gisbourne, Scarlet has kept her identity secret from all of Nottinghamshire. Only Big John and Robin Hood know the truth-that the agile thief posing as a whip of a boy is actually a fearless young woman with a secret past. It's getting harder to hide as Gisbourne's camp seeks to find Scarlet and drive Robin Hood out of Nottinghamshire. But Scarlet's instinct for self-preservation is at war with a strong sense of responsibility to the people who took her in when she was on the run, and she finds it's not so easy to turn her back on her band and townspeople. As Gisbourne draws closer to Scarlet and puts innocent lives at risk, she must decide how much the people of Nottinghamshire mean to her, especially John Little, a flirtatious fellow outlaw, and Robin, whose quick smiles and temper have the rare power to unsettle Scarlet. Full of exciting action, secrets, and romance, this imaginative retelling of the classic tale will have readers following every move of Robin Hood and band of thieves.

Today, I’m bringing you a glimpse into the world of Robin Hood, Will Scarlet, and Sherwood Forest…because a trilogy is concluding this year. In May, to be exact. If you haven’t met A.C. Gaughen’s Robin and his band of Nottingham, you might want to consider it.

Without further ado, I share my thoughts on Scarlet!

Suggested age range: 13 and up


“I do what I do because I will always believe that no matter how awful life gets for however many of these people, there is something I can do about it. There is something I will do about it.”

One thing that Robin Hood and his band of merrymen/woman stand for is justice. At least, they want to see the poor treated fairly, and for the most part, this isn’t happening due to the harsh taxes imposed upon the common people. It doesn’t help to have the Sheriff and his men intimidating and terrorizing the population, so Robin, along with John, Scarlet, and Much do what they can to provide food and relief for the people. Sometimes the rich give willingly to help Robin Hood, and sometimes they don’t. The whole ‘steal from the rich and give to the poor’ issue could be discussed at length, but I want to stick to this notion of the band wanting to protect the people of Nottingham from the Sheriff and his thugs.

An aspect of the narrative I loved is the way we’re reminded that Scarlet, along with Robin, wants to help make life better for people around them. They recognize injustice, and they don’t just sit around. They do something. As reflected by the above quote, there is “something” to be done about injustice. These aren’t passive characters—they are actively doing “something” in order to help those around them.

“ ‘We thank God for your help. We all do.’ ”

For the most part, the people are thankful for Robin and Scarlet and company. But what makes the story even more interesting is that sometimes they aren’t, and tensions arise. Sometimes bad things happen. People don’t get out of prison.

“Because we always have a choice, even when it feels like we don’t.”

This quote illuminates another gem of wisdom—we make choices and we take responsibility for our choices, even if when it’s hard. Even if it doesn’t feel like it was our choice.

Scarlet makes a choice to hide her identity, and naturally, there are consequences for that choice. Being able to communicate honestly with those closest to her is something she struggles with, but the story shows her growing in that, and I’m looking forward to seeing how she changes and continues to evolve as a character in Lady Thief.

Who Should Read This Book

Robin Hood fan? Check this out. Female protagonists that disguise themselves as guys? Check this out. A story set in 12th century England? Go for it! Sherwood Forest? Friar Tuck? Rescuing the poor out of prison? All of these points are reasons for you to try Scarlet. And, guess what? There are two more books in the trilogy to read. The second one, Lady Thief, is already published, and the third, Lionheart, will be on shelves on May 19th!

I love reading re-workings of classics, and so I was naturally drawn to this series. Readers told me it was good, and the author of Undertow, K.R. Conway, said it was fabulous! I felt like I couldn’t pass it up. Fairy tale re-workings are amazing, but this is different in that it’s based on a legend—and with a legend there is the idea that it’s based on a real historical figure. However, we can’t completely know, and that’s where the imagination comes in. I love that A.C. Gaughen includes a segment at the end about her process of writing this book and researching for it.

The Final Illumination

So, yes, I’m a little late getting to the Scarlet party, but I’m here now, with bells on. This was a fantastic read! Of course, I’m a huge fan of historical fiction, and when it’s a narrative that incorporates an English legend, I’m even more interested. So I knew I was going to read Scarlet at some point—it was just a matter of when. I love the spin Gaughen takes on the Robin Hood legend. There’s adventure, intrigue, and even the hint of romance.

There were a few aspects of Scarlet’s character that I was surprised about, considering her real identity, and the whole issue with her liking Robin but not admitting it—that annoyed me a bit. I can understand that her issues kept her from communicating clearly, but considering her background, I did think she would have handled the situation with John and Robin a little differently. Then again, there is her age to consider—she’s fairly young. She’s an interesting character, that’s certain, but I wanted to feel more drawn to Scarlet. That may change in the second book.

To conclude, I enjoyed Scarlet, and have high hopes for the sequels. I’m even more intrigued by the Robin Hood legend, and thank you to A.C. Gaughen for that bibliography in the back of the book. I just may have to snatch up Stephen Lawhead’s Hood one of these days.

Have you read Scarlet? What about Lady Thief? What did you think? Are there other Robin Hood re-tellings you would recommend to me?

What Katie Read
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