We also do reading

No spoilers, no putting pressure on you to read them. Reviews of books I have enjoyed. I have reviewed groups or sets of books under one title.

Latest Reviews

The Pursuit of the Pankera

It could only be Heinlein.

Anyone who knows me, knows that I have always been a fan of Robert Heinlein. I read The Number of the Beast years ago. (I’m not saying how many years ago, but if I tell you it was published in 1980, it might give you a clue). That was a story about parallel universes. This is the parallel story of those parallel universes, that hasn’t been published until now. Wow! There were some parts of the story that in Number of the Beast, I was surprised Heinlein didn’t delve into a little deeper – here it is. Some parts of the story are the same, some are similar, some are so different, that you just have to sit up and take notice. If you have already read The Number of the Beast, you will love it. If you haven’t already read it, buy it now.

The Invisible Library (series)

Genevieve Cogman is a new writer for me, I picked up book one on special offer because I was looking for something ‘new’. I certainly found it. From book one, I quickly moved on to book two then three and so on. I thoroughly enjoyed the adventures of Librarian, Irene Winters and her apprentice, Kai. Since reading them, I have bought books for my daughter. I hope that she enjoys them as much as I am.

Previous Reviews

The Hobbit

Studying it in English, some time in the last century, I grew to hate it. We read it so many times and in so many ways. It was many years later that I was able to go back to it with a slightly lighter heart and appreciate the skill of a writer who knew all the rules and obeyed none of them. We are now the best of friends.

RHS Encyclopedia of Plants and Flowers

The definitive work of reference for gardeners in the days before plant ID apps. It still sits on my bookcase and still comes out whenever someone says ‘what is this?’ or if I am looking for a particular plant. Not incredibly up to date today perhaps but a great starting point. It’s also good for browsing with plants listed according to colour, season and size.

Starship Troopers

I have always loved Robert Heinlein’s fiction for boys – read by a lot of girls too. This one was always one of my favourites as a teenager (and pre teen too). It is still is a book I go to when I hate the world. It was adapted into a film, which I didn’t feel did it justice, so please don’t let that be a turn off.

Anne of Green Gables (series)

A timeless classic. For a long time, my daughter wanted to ‘be’ Anne with an ‘e’. It isn’t a coincidence that my granddaughter’s middle name is Anne. I find these books a good period piece, giving true insight to what life was like at that time and place. Today of course it could be classed as historical fiction.

ARMS (series)

Before this series arrived, I was a bit unsure. I had seen the cover and I wasn’t sure if this was going to be ok for me. I should have trusted Stephen to get it right. I have just finished re-reading them now and I still enjoyed them.

Atlantis The Antedeluvian World

A book I borrowed from the library many years ago (shortly after the fall of Atlantis) when researching Atlantis – the myths, the legends and the theories. This is an important book to read, now saved on kindle, so that I always have it. 

Quantum (series)

Time travel is a new area for Stephen Arseneault. Some good research done, the scenarios are well researched and believable. A shorter series but a little more focus needed to read.

It isn’t my favourite of his stories by any means but that doesn’t mean it isn’t a well thought out and well crafted story.

Seven Stones to Stand or Fall

I have to admit that I prefer Diana’s longer stories. These just didn’t click with me. That isn’t a fault of hers; her story telling was as impeccable as always. The fault is all mine (often, you just can’t get good quality readers).

The Squad (series)

A series of novellas. I resisted reading them for a while because I’m not a lover of shorter stories. I then had to read them all, often reading late into the night because I was hooked and had to finish the mission.

The Squad are a great bunch of humans, who together with Xurpok, work as mercenaries, fighting against the Maxans.
As usual, Stephen has created some well thought out battles for his Marines. The characters are well rounded and diverse.

These stories are described as ‘lunch time reads’, If Stephen is watching, I would love to see some longer battles for the team as well.

The Ornamental Kitchen Garden

Geoff Hamilton has always been my favourite TV gardener. I keep a selection of his books as reference, referred to by me and also by my daughters. This was a new purchase for me. Geoff will always be alive in my garden.

Corporation Wars (series)

Not my favourite of Stephen’s stories, but very readable. He has a talent for creating effective characters and great storylines. This one just didn’t quite do it for me.

The Collected Works of Edgar Rice Burroughs

This was a trip down memory lane for me. I remember going through my grandfather’s ERB at the age of seven or eight. His Mars and Venus stories were my introduction to science fiction. I enjoyed the Tarzan stories but preferred the films. I thought the books were a little tedious by the time I read them all and now I remember why. Still, it’s back in my collection now.

Freedom (series)

A good storyline from a writer who usually comes up with good storylines. A fabulous twist at the end, that I didn’t see coming. I should have, but I was too engrossed in the story. That’s what adds that extra star. I would always recommend Stephen to science fiction / fantasy fans.

Hadron (series)

Overlapping genres slightly, is great … after all, who wants to live in a pigeonhole? A great story, well presented. One I re-read occasionally. One man’s view of the future.


I have read some great stories from Michael Crichton. I always think that this is my favourite … until I read one of the others! I love them all. Michael Crichton is one of the writers whose books I buy without question.

Always science based, always explained in a way that is understood by the reader.

Stranger in a Strange Land

Vintage Heinlein. Never afraid to tackle a sensitive subject and (to my mind), always pulls it off. I dare say his editors often had their heads in their hands.

In Stranger, Heinlein set out to challenge social norms, creating whole societies and world views. The story took ten years to write. It received some cool reviews, yet went on to win awards. Certainly, I have read this book on many occasions and enjoyed it every time.

Following on the story from AMP. While I enjoyed the story, I didn’t have quite the same connection with Omega. I just really wish it had been Diane York. Stephen is a great story teller who always promises and action packed adventure, which is exactly what we have here.

First published two years before my grandmother was born, in the days of Queen Victoria. The story is of its generation and perhaps not so palatable to 21st century readers, yet it has inspired many others to pick up the theme and run with it, which must surely make HG Wells proud. I first read it in the 1960s; it was one of the few paperbacks my grandfather had in his collection. I enjoyed it then and I enjoy it now; just don’t expect frenetic activity, it was a slower paced time.