Snapshots - #37: It, Breathe, Mark Felt – The Man Who Brought Down the White House

It (2017), (♦♦♦♦): Four inseparable friends in middle school bond with other three newcomers. They all have in common that they are bullied by the same people. Over the course of one summer they'll fend off bullies and face a centuries-old demon in the form of a clown, named Pennywise, whom has been disappearing kids and terrorizing the town of Derry, Maine, every twenty-seven years since the town was founded.
Based on Stephen King's novel of the same title, It is a movie with a smart script and a sympathetic ensemble of nerds that deliver light humor, and deep thrills. It doesn't hurt that each and every character has his or her own arc, thus one gets to know their motivations and fears before Pennywise enters head on into the picture.
In a nod to 1980s movie classics such as The Goonies, and the Brat Pack ensemble, the newest adaptation of It takes place at the end of that decade, when it seems, at least from the Hollywood perspective, that every kid harbored a genius insi…

The Bookman’s Tale by Charlie Lovett (♦♦♦)

A Novel of Obsession

Peter Byerly lost his wife Amanda to cancer nine months ago. Reeling with grief, he decided to escape North Carolina and move to a cottage in the English countryside with the prospect of restarting his career as an antiquarian bookseller.

On one of his book hunting expeditions, Peter finds a portrait by an unknown Victorian painter with the image of Amanda. Obsessed, Peter starts tracking down the elusive painter, which leads him to a manuscript that might revolutionize the literary world if it is real, for it reveals the true identity of Shakespeare.

Running against the clock, Peter finds himself in the midst of a family feud going back for at least two centuries, and he may very well lose his own life for a killer is intent on keeping a secret from being revealed.

I bought The Bookman’s Tale because it promised a story resembling The Shadow of the Wind and Mr.Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore, both of which I loved. While The Shadow of the Wind was about a book within a book and a gothic mystery, Mr. Penumbra’s was a sparkly tale about the search for information in the age of technology. The underlying theme in all three books is the love of books and how important it is to preserve them. While I loved the latter two, I didn’t much care about The Bookman’s Tale; I found it erudite yet dry.

The Bookman’s Tale, written by former antiquarian bookseller Charlie Lovett, conveys its message about how profoundly important and cool would be to settle the controversy surrounding Shakespeare’s identity. There’s love, wealth and loss thereof, and murder to spice up the plot, but somehow I found it so unconvincing…I don’t mean to say that the book didn’t have its good moments; it did. I smiled at times with the sweetness and awkwardness of the love affair between Peter and Amanda, and the mystery was good too, but there were too many characters and the book jumped back and forth in time, different years as well, as the provenance of the manuscript was tracked down.

I love books not only because I’m a reader. I practically grew up in a library, so this kind of books holds a special place in my heart. I was hoping The Bookman’s Tale was going to become a new favorite, instead I was somewhat disappointed.


  1. I loved Shadow of the Wind. I would have been disappointed too if the book turned out to not be what you thought.

    I have this on my shelf. I may leave it there for a while longer. :)

    Thanks for a great review and for stopping by my blog earlier.

    Silver's Reviews
    My Book Beginnings

    1. Thanks for visiting, Elizabeth.
      Yes, unfortunately this book didn't do it for me.


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