Bookloving writer

Bookloving writer

I love books (fantasy, mysteries, YA, historic, science fiction and non-fiction) and writing. Check out my Gravatar profile for more info, if you're interested.

Blog Directory

Follow on Bloglovin

Blogorama - The Blog Directory


Blogging Fusion Blog Directory

Ok, maybe it wasn't a false alarm...

So, guys, I'm guessing you won't want to visit my Dreamwidth journal for my reviews so now I'm going to temporarily resurrect an old blog for them. If you like to continue reading my book reviews (and maybe some others) you're welcome to visit this blog instead.

False alarm

Ok, clearly Booklikes is still around, so the recent downtime was apparently temporary. I would just like to tell my friends, if I haven't already, that I'm also on Litsy, LibraryThing, Goodreads and Lbib. I'm also on Wordpress and Dreamwidth, but I never post any reviews on Wordpress. I do post the same reviews on Dreamwidth that I post here though, so if you're there you're welcome to friend me there too. I'm also on Facebook, but I don't post any reviews there either.


I'm Ilirwen on Libib too, but I'm not sure if there's a profile page as such.

0 Stars
The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum
The Wonderful Wizard of Oz - L. Frank Baum

I got this book quite early, but it was a book I chose myself, so maybe somewhere between 7-10 years old? Anyway, I enjoyed it even though it was old. It was a Swedish translation. Then we went to England on vacation a couple of times and my sister found four hardcover books with illustrations that belonged in the same series as that first book (that was hardcover too). It wasn’t that expensive back then, or maybe I didn’t notice because my parents paid for it. :)

Most people have read the book at some point so I won’t say much about the plot - a girl from Kansas is ripped from her family, inside the family home, by a hurricane/twister and comes to a magical fairytale country, called Oz. Because she misses her family she tries to get home. That’s basically the story.

I understand. I’d never survive without my family, even though Dorothy was lucky to get her house with her with, presumably, what little stuff she had.

Whenever people ask what fantasy world you’d like to live in most people mention Tolkien’s Middle Earth, Narnia and Harry Potter’s world, but I usually answer Dinotopia. I’m obsessed with that island with cute dinosaurs.

However, since I managed to download a free copy of the e-book, I now also think that the land of Oz might be an attractive option. :) Especially now. (Doctor Who isn’t primarily a book but to live inside the TARDIS would also be cool).
For instance, in Oz you have trees that grow breakfast- and lunch boxes and bushes with macaroons. :)

At the moment, my sister and I are also watching the first season of animated tv series called Lost in Oz and seems to be a modern retelling of the original story. It’s actually quite good, even though it’s aimed at children. Older kids, I think, because mine don’t find it that interesting. It’s fun, cute and quite thrilling too.

Other book communities

We have lived with the threat of this site disappearing for quite a long time. I'd just like to ask you if there any other book communities that aren't co-owned or completely owned by Amazon? Don't get me wrong. I shop from Amazon. If I didn't I'd get very few books. I'm just wondering. Goodreads is owned by them. LibraryThing is co-owned, isn't it? Litsy is owned by LibraryThing, isn't it? I have an account on Libib, but that's hardly the same thing. If this site vanishes I'd like to find something at least remotely similar.

4 Stars
The Watchmaker's Daughter by C J Archer
The Watchmaker's Daughter (Glass and Steele) (Volume 1) - C.J. Archer

From Amazon’s book page:

India Steele is desperate. Her father is dead, her fiancé took her inheritance, and no one will employ her, despite years working for her watchmaker father. Indeed, the other London watchmakers seem frightened of her. Alone, poor, and at the end of her tether, India takes employment with the only person who'll accept her - an enigmatic and mysterious man from America. A man who possesses a strange watch that rejuvenates him when he's ill. Matthew Glass must find a particular watchmaker, but he won't tell India why any old one won't do. Nor will he tell her what he does back home, and how he can afford to stay in a house in one of London's best streets. So when she reads about an American outlaw known as the Dark Rider arriving in England, she suspects Mr. Glass is the fugitive. When danger comes to their door, she's certain of it. But if she notifies the authorities, she'll find herself unemployed and homeless again - and she will have betrayed the man who saved her life.

This really summarizes the story well. I don’t think I could have said it better. Anyway, this was a good read. I’d read about this book a long time ago and decided I wanted to read it ’some time’. When I had the opportunity to download it for free, I was pleased. I’m even more pleased now. This book was everything I had hoped it would be. It’s very well written. It seems to be a bit ’steampunk’, but to begin with, it comes across mostly as a historic story. India struggles with the role society demands she plays. She knows she has a talent for watches, but doesn’t have a clue how far that talent goes. In fact, there is so much she doesn’t know, but as she works with the mysterious mr Glass, she is beginning to suspect there’s far more to watchmaking than she’s been led to believe. And why do most of her father’s old colleagues seem to fear her?

In my opinion this is a very good fantasy story, at least if you like a sort of alternate history.

0 Stars
Die Noon by Elise Sax

This book’s cover didn’t impress me much. It wasn’t until I started reading that I realized that it so funny. A good mystery too. Hilarious but serious story. A woman with a troubled past inherits a building and a newspaper in New Mexico. And dogs. Did I mention dogs? She also becomes an instant journalist when the editor or whatever the term is, recruits her to write a three hundred word story. This is very much like Janet Evanovich’s Stephanie Plum mysteries. So funny. Quite a bit of talk about sex, but hardly any actual sex. A relatively simple murder mystery and a more serious one that doesn’t get resolved in the book. Also, the editor shares his name with my son. A grumpy old man, but still, he has the same name.

4 Stars
Tarnished Silver by Susan Reiss

"When her aunt dies, unemployed software developer Abby Strickland receives an unexpected inheritance of eight cartons of sterling silver. But first, she must deal with the police when her serving piece for a special cake becomes a murder weapon. With blood on the family silver and officers threatening to arrest her based on circumstantial evidence, she has to protect herself.  Simon, the black Lab puppy, keeps Abby on her toes. Lured to the crime scene in Saint Michaels, a sailing destination on the Chesapeake Bay, Abby finds a different way of life filled with quirky characters, boat races and a handsome guy, all only ninety minutes from the Nation’s Capital. It’s fun until she is tangled in a web of wealth, greed and family secrets." 



This was a well written and well researched mystery. I really liked the characters and I suppose that’s one reason I liked this book so much. It’s a mystery, and it’s about antique silver. I didn’t imagine that I would like that so much, but I did. Abby is nice. Simon is adorable, even though he isn’t Abby’s - she’s just babysitting him for a friend. In Saint Michaels, she meets new friends and ends up really feeling at home there.

0 Stars
Tarnished Silver by Susan Reiss
When her aunt dies, unemployed software developer Abby Strickland receives an unexpected inheritance of eight cartons of sterling silver. But first, she must deal with the police when her serving piece for a special cake becomes a murder weapon. With blood on the family silver and officers threatening to arrest her based on circumstantial evidence, she has to protect herself.  Simon, the black Lab puppy, keeps Abby on her toes. Lured to the crime scene in Saint Michaels, a sailing destination on the Chesapeake Bay, Abby finds a different way of life filled with quirky characters, boat races and a handsome guy, all only ninety minutes from the Nation’s Capital. It’s fun until she is tangled in a web of wealth, greed and family secrets.  This was a well written and well researched mystery. I really liked the characters and I suppose that’s one reason I liked this book so much. It’s a mystery, and it’s about antique silver. I didn’t imagine that I would like that so much, but I did. Abby is nice. Simon is adorable, even though he isn’t Abby’s - she’s just babysitting him for a friend. In Saint Michaels, she meets new friends and ends up really feeling at home there.
!!! spoiler alert !!! Review
0 Stars
Death on the Diversion

From the Amazon page:

Sheila Mackey has a secret. To the world, she’s author of a blockbuster book. Her wily great-aunt, the actual author, orchestrated this mutually beneficial masquerade. Now the aunt’s retiring and Sheila must draft Act Two of her own life. This cruise is supposed to be the perfect time to do that.Crossing the Atlantic on the Diversion, Sheila finds a dead body on deck. She realizes she knows a whole lot more about the interactions of the victim and suspects than the ship’s officials do.

I enjoyed reading this book. It felt a little odd that Sheila could have lived for years with the deception of being a famous author, but I suppose it would be possible. I can feel that Sheila longs to get her real life back. The fact that she’s on a cruise makes the whole sleuthing go a little easier, I imagine, because no one can get away. All suspects have to remain in place. Traveling with Sheila is a boring relative, who shares a name with my daughter. No one could be more different from my fun, sweet, active daughter. Here’s a tiny spoiler: despite being such a wet blanket, the book’s Petronella ends up being somewhat changed for the better. As most of the books I’ve downloaded, read and enjoyed over the past few months, this was a fun, quick read. It was also well written. I think I’d like to follow Sheila’s future adventures.

0 Stars
The Confectioner's Guild by Claire Luana

This was a nice surprise. It reminded me a little of a game I used to play, quite recently, until the levels became too hard and besides, I got a little tired of it too.

This book is about an orphaned girl, Wren, who is found by a confectioner who hired her as an apprentice. She turns out to have an innate talent for bakery magic (yes, that’s a thing in this book). People can have magic powers in certain areas, one being bakery and cooking. There’s another one that I think sounds kind of cool - the power to learn different subjects and skills very easily. Society is more or less run by the guilds for the different magic powers. There’s also a king and unfortunately, it’s an unequal and precarious society. War is threatening any order there might be and there’s corruption.

Anyway, Wren is invited to the confectioner’s guild because her cupcakes are legendary, even after such a relatively short time (five or six years). Unfortunately, after the head of the guild tastes her cupcake he dies from poisoning and Wren is accused of his murder. Fortunately for her, a young, handsome inspector, decides to vouch for her and she’s allowed to stay at the guild and be an apprentice there instead (which she probably would have been if not for the murder). She meets a pompous older man who’s opposed to her being there but also a really hot guy and a tough older girl who is a bit of a teacher for her, plus a nice girl her own age who becomes her friend.

I really liked this book. It was well written and the world it’s set in is fascinating. I felt that this ’bakery magic’ was unique and interesting. There are more books in the series and I’d love to read more about this world.

5 Stars
The Island Dog Squad by Deb McEwan

This was a cute, but also serious story about a dog who ends up in a shelter. She’s the main character and you get her point of view in the story. She’s been on the street for a long time and is very weak and scared, but is taken to a shelter and nursed back to health, then adopted. That’s only the introduction, really. The real mystery is her amnesia, that she doesn’t even find out about until she runs into two other dogs who seem to know her. Apparently, she has another name and so do they, but of course they can’t tell their humans about that. Soon ’Sandy’ begins to remember her whole back story and that’s really what the story is about. There will be more books in the series, but I read that book 3 is probably too sad and gruesome for my taste. I might get book 2 though.

Reading this story also got me thinking about ’our’ breeds and how they probably wouldn’t be as social or helpful, because they’re more like cats and would care more about themselves than other animals and cats would be even less inclined to want to help. Kind of like most people. Sigh.

I liked this story because I can ’suspend disbelief’ and totally buy into a dog thinking almost like a human, but with a ’doggie touch’. It’s also well written and quite nice, even though distressing topics are mentioned. I suppose it’s realistic that cats aren’t the dogs’ best friends. Maybe the author doesn’t like cats or at least not as much as dogs.

What's in a name? LOL

Way back when I was four years old - actually, it was on my fourth birthday - I got a series of two books (very small paperbacks for children) about a girl named Camilla, like me. The girl ends up being an amateur sleuth because of mysterious things happening in the area where she lives. Camilla in the book was ten years older than me and many times that was how it was. I read books for kids much older than me.

Once in a while, I come across a character named Silas, like my son. All of them are crotchety old men. Clearly, Silas hasn’t become one on the ’hot’ new baby names in English-speaking countries.

Lately, I’ve also come across a character named Petronella, in one book I will review quite soon. The lady was about middle aged (maybe a little younger) and extremely dull, a bit of a wet blanket. You can hardly imagine anyone more different from my daughter. Yet, it is her name. It’s both weird and fun to come across familiar names like that.

Even more recently, there was a character in another book, called Althea. That was even more weird. The lady was going senile. Again, as far from my niece as you can possibly imagine.

Finally, only the other day, I read a really great fantasy book, in fact one that I just reviewed and posted about today and in that an aunt by the name of Juliana was mentioned. You didn’t actually get to meet aunt Juliana, but still, her name was mentioned. A name that is also my other niece’s.

I can’t recall the last time I read about a Gabriella (my sister’s name) but it happens now and then. Clearly, that name isn’t as unusual as the others. There is a translator by that name, who translates many of my children’s favorite animated movies and tv series though. Also, an actress in Poldark shares my sister’s name so you see it quite frequently.

Though no more Camillas for a long time. Although Maria Lang/Dagmar Lange has a character by that name in one of her books - an opera singer no less and I seem to recall that Agatha Christie’s Towards Zero has an old lady by that name too. That’s as many as I can remember at the moment.

0 Stars
Storm Glass by Jeff Wheeler

Storm Glass by Jeff Wheeler:

From the Amazon page:

Theirs is a world of opposites. The privileged live in sky manors held aloft by a secretive magic known only as the Mysteries. Below, the earthbound poor are forced into factory work to maintain the engine of commerce. Only the wealthy can afford to learn the Mysteries, and they use their knowledge to further lock their hold on society.
Cettie Pratt is a waif doomed to the world below, until an admiral attempts to adopt her. But in her new home in the clouds, not everyone treats her as one of the family.


Sera Fitzempress is a princess born into power. She yearns to meet the orphan girl she has heard so much about, but her father deems the girl unworthy of his daughter’s curiosity.


Neither girl feels that she belongs. Each seeks to break free of imposed rules. Now, as Cettie dreams of living above and as Sera is drawn to the world below, they will follow the paths of their own choosing.


But both girls will be needed for the coming storm that threatens to overturn both their worlds.


I only just finished reading this book. I didn’t know what to expect. I have all these free books and while the title sounded intriguing I hadn’t read much about it and since it was a while since I downloaded it, I couldn’t remember anything. It turned out to be a pleasant surprise. Freebies are always of varying quality. So many DNF:s, but also a few that are really great. The test of this is whether I would want to buy the book and in this case, I definitely would and continue to buy books in the series, as long as they are as good as this one.


You get to know Cettie very well, and Sera quite well. Also the (former) admiral is someone you get to know well. The others, not so much. Some of them are still quite likable. There are also scary ghosts that you don’t really learn much about. They’re probably ordinary spirits of the dead, but not quite. More like monsters that want to suck your body heat from you. All in all, though, this book wasn’t too terrifying. I would probably have been able to read it at the age of ten and up.


I love the world building. The sky manors are fascinating and they’re not just opulent mansions, but have their own set of rules that Cettie gradually gets to know. I’ll try to keep this spoiler free, so I’m not going to mention one of the coolest aspects of those manor houses but I really loved it.


Poor people participate in lotteries to be allowed to work as servants up in the sky and onyl a few are chosen. The rich use the slums to ’disappear’ undesirables. People can vanish without a trace and children usually don’t live to grow up. People can also ’deed’ away their children for a certain number of years into various positions, some quite prestigious, others backbreaking dull work. Some for so long they’re expected to die in servitude. It’s a sad, dark world inspired by Charles Dickens’ work.


Oh, and the book is well written and fascinating so I can really recommend it to anyone who likes this type of fantasy story.

0 Stars
Poison in Paddington (Cassie Coburn Mysteries) by Samantha Silver

From the Amazon page: When Cassie Coburn moved to London, she never thought she'd be involved in a quadruple homicide. After a car accident ended her medical career before it even started, Cassie moved to London on a whim, expecting to see the sights and live the typical tourist backpacker lifestyle. Instead she finds herself accompanying a French private detective, Violet Despuis, as they attempt to find out who poisoned four people in the middle of London. Cassie's life soon includes this crazy detective, an ancient landlady with a curious past, a mischievous orange cat who likes going for walks on a leash, and a super hot pathologist that Cassie is sure is out of her league. And they haven't even found the murderer yet...The Cassie Coburn mysteries are a cozy mystery series featuring a Sherlock-Holmes style sleuth. If you want a light, fun, modern mystery featuring a San Francisco girl totally out of her element in London, and a crazy French woman who happens to be very good at noticing things, then this is the series for you.

As it says, it’s a Sherlock Holmes-style story. It was pretty obvious, though both ’Sherlock’ and ’Watson’ have their genders changed. All I can say is I like the characters, mainly Cassie. Violet is quite a bit like Sherlock - arrogant and a bit abrupt, but fun in a way. The story is well written and as I said, because I like the characters I wanted to find out what would happen. I also enjoyed reading about how Cassie made herself at home in London. As someone who has moved quite a few times in the past year, this made me nod in recognition at some of her experiences. The book is no longer free, except as an audio book, as part of an Audible trial. The paperback isn’t that expensive, and I would probably have bought it if I’d known how good it was.

0 Stars
Adventures of a Vegan Vamp

Since I said I’d start reviewing or at least commenting on books I’ve read lately, I decided to randomly pick this title, since it struck me as funny. The actual book turned out to be fun, interesting and well written, so I felt I had to review/comment on this one.

Adventures of a Vegan Vamp: Volume 1 (Vegan Vamp Mysteries) Paperback
by Cate Lawley


Blurb, sort of:


Undead and vegan? Not the afterlife this girl had planned. Waking up thin is one thing. But waking up gaunt, hangry,and undead makes for a very bad day. Mallory's killer better hide, because she's just discovered blood, meat, and dairy don't agree with her, and a future with no cheese is grim indeed. She's out to find her killer...and maybe a vegan cheese that doesn't melt her nose hairs. Click to see how Mallory conquers a killer hunger while hunting a deadly vampire.

Since I’m vegan myself, I thought this was funny. Not that Mallory is strictly speaking, vegan. More like vegetarian, but it’s still quite fun. And normally I don’t even like vampire stories. This was a bit different. Not so much of the cliches. Well, since I don’t read vampire stories I can’t say for sure what they are like, but I think there aren’t that many cliches in this one. Mallory is ok. Maybe not someone I love, but I definitely liked her enough to keep reading.

The book isn’t free anymore, but in paperback it’s not that expensive and if you sign up for an Audible trial, you can listen to it for free anyway. Personally, I’m not that much into audio books either, but I know many people are.

So if you like mysteries and books that aren’t that dark and depressing, I think you’ll enjoy this.

OT: 'Corona Chic' ?;)

Since the Corona/Covid 19 crisis began, I’ve read a lot about what you might call ’Corona Chic’, which I assume is ironic. I’m not usually very chic, but I do try my best (according to my own taste, not the latest fashions). Since this started I have mainly been wearing a tank top and either sweatpants or leggings (the apartment is far too hot). Normally, I try to get a haircut maybe twice or three times a year, since I have quite long hair. Usually, I fail and sometimes i only get a real haircut at an actual hairdresser’s maybe once a year or even once every two years. The stress of being a busy mom. :) Now with the risk of getting infected, I’ve decided that from now on, I’ll try to do without professional haircuts. I try to cut it myself, but the ’styling’ must be done by my sister - who can see what’s she’s doing. It’s not that big a deal anyway. A scrunchie helps me keep my hair away from my face.

I do hope I won’t need to go to the dentist. That would be really complicated. Fortunately, no one in my family has needed any medical help, medication or dental work (although I do have half a tooth after I bit into a really hard snack when I was out traveling). After my children broke my glasses, I have even ordered a pair without trying them on, using my old prescription (though sadly, because of the so called postal services in Scandinavia, I haven’t received them and I’m still not sure if I’ll get them at all. 50 euros wasted.

What are you guys doing about your personal style these days? Do you risk getting a professional haircut? Do you go to the dentist? I assume I would try to find a way of going if I was in severe pain, but fortunately, I haven’t been. Do you choose a more relaxed clothing style? Or don’t you ever bother about fashion? My mom has an idea that being into fashion, haircuts, make up or even enjoying elaborate meals is being vane and self centered. She thinks you should ignore the body as much as you can, but she does enjoy her tea and sandwiches and occasionally a bit of chocolate. My sister and I have tried to discreetly buy her new clothes but she tends to put those away and then use her old clothes, thirty years old or more. Hopefully people won’t think we’re mistreating her. She says that people should mind their own business, but that’s something Scandinavians have a hard time doing.