The Silver Mine, a review

A tiny book, which means that this will be a tiny review. My edition of this book is only 25 pages long so it was a super quick read! This is a little Swedish classic, translated into English as unfortunately I don’t speak Swedish, that I got in a set from my wonderful friend.

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This book is about a monarch anonymously visiting a small town and speaking to the priest. They have a discussion where both of them are dancing around the points they’re actually trying to make, but they both know the song that they’re dancing to and they’re partners in this.

It’s hard to say much more without spoiling this little book but I’m really glad that I got to pick this one up as I enjoyed the writing style and I want to pick up more of Selma Lagerlöf translated by Velma Swanston Howard because it’s so beautiful!

For my CAWPILE ratings I gave this:

Characters: 9

Atmosphere: 9

Writing: 8

Plot: 8

Intrigue: 8

Logic: 9

Enjoyment: 9

Which gives a total of 8.57 which is a 4 star read!

Have you got any recommendations for books in translation? I adore reading from different languages and cultures! Or if you’ve ready any other Selma Lagerlöf books? Recommend them to me!

11 Doctor’s, 11 Stories, 11 Ratings

How do you rate short stories? For a while I’d rated collections just as a whole, but after a time it felt like it made more sense to read them story by story! The ratings below aren’t through CAWPILE, but they are my individual ratings for each of the short stories from a Doctor Who 50th Anniversary collection.

I’m actually getting rid of this book. I’m donating it to my old primary (elementary) school, so these were on post-it notes at the start of each story. And I don’t want to lose them. So I thought I’d post them here.

1: A Big Hand for the Doctor by Eoin Colfer – 4*

2: The Nameless City by Michael Scott – 2*

3: The Spear of Destiny by Marcus Sedgwick – 3.5*

4: The Root of All Evil by Philip Reeve – 4*

5: Tip of the Tongue by Patrick Ness – 4.5*

6: Something Borrowed by Richelle Mead – 4*

7: The Ripple Effect by Malorie Blackman – 5*

8: Spore by Alex Scarrow -4*

9: The Beast of Babylon by Charlie Higson – 3*

10: The Mystery of the Haunted Cottage by Derek Landy – 3.5*

11: Nothing O’Clock by Neil Gaiman – 4.5*

Have you read any Doctor Who books? And how do you rate short stories? Let me know!

First Lines Friday! #26

It’s time for another First Lines Friday! Hosted by Wandering Words!!

What if, instead of judging a book by its cover or its author, we judged the book by its opening lines?

Here is how it works:

– Pick a book and open to the first page.

– Copy the first few lines without revealing which book it is.

– Reveal the book!

So… do these first lines entice you?

I’ve made some things for you, Constant Reader; you see them laid out before you in the moonlight. But before you look at the little handcrafted treasures I have for sale, let’s talk about them for a bit, shall we? It won’t take long. Here, sit down beside me. And do come a little closer. I don’t bite.

Except… we’ve known each other for a very long time, and I suspect you know that’s not entirely true.

Is it?

Scroll down to reveal the book!

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The Bazaar of Bad Dreams: King, Stephen: 9781473698888: Books
The Bazaar of Bad Dreams by Stephen King

A short story collection which I picked up second hand purely because of the cover and the authors name! I really do need to get around to this one cause I bought it in December 2019, so maybe this is a contender for this years Spooky Season!! I’ve only finished one of King’s books before, and whilst I enjoyed it I did also find it quite problematic so I’m looking forward to being able to make more judgements on this, and on 11.22.63 to make up my mind about him. Have you read this one before? What did you think?

Friction – a review

Frictions is the second book from a mini box set I was gifted of short Swedish classics, sadly, unlike the first book from the set I read this wasn’t so much of a hit.

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The premise of the story is we’re following a man who is married but has fell in love with another woman. It talks about the ostracisation of the two of them and their struggles. On its own that concept isn’t so bad, but it’s the execution that I’m not so keen on. I’m sure in it’s time this was accepted but nowadays?

Basically, this is ridiculously sexist. Strindberg attempts to make our protagonist seem like a well rounded but troubled man. Instead, in a modern climate at least, he comes off like an unhappy idiot. And a sexist one at that. Our main character demonstrates the belief that men can grow and change over time as they mature and increase their intelligence, but that women are stagnant and cannot match up to the minds of men.

Strindberg seems to be attempting to praise these women for the role they play in essentially mothering our main character, but instead all this achieves is to highlight his antiquated views of gender roles and the place of women within society.

The entire time I was just… annoyed. Annoyed and frustrated at this baby of a “man” who couldn’t seem to grasp that the world doesn’t revolve around him and that him acting as though it does is ruining the lives of the people around him.

This book was a very interesting look into Swedish classic literature and their society at this time, and that’s why I gave it 2 stars. But the poor characterisation and obvious sexism made this an unenjoyable read.

Most Beloved Sister & Mirabelle – a review

For Christmas 2020 my wonderful friend gifted me a set of Swedish classic short stories, so of course my first read of 2021 had to be one of these! Coming in at 19 pages long this book comprises of two short stories by an author best known for Pippi Longstockings. I, however, had never read anything from her before so this was a lovely introduction to her writing! I ended up giving this book 3 stars (out of 5)

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Both of these stories were a little bit odd, but definitely still enjoyable!

Most Beloved Sister follows a young girl who seems to have an imaginary sister who lives under a bush in her garden. She plays with her every day, and not only is this girl her sister but she’s also a monarch of this world under the bush. I don’t want to say anything else as, with it being such a short story anything else would spoil it! It seems to be a tale on growing up and on parental love, which was quite an interesting one to read.

Mirabelle is a story about an unusual doll owned by a little girl. Again, any more would spoil it! This one seems to be more of a focus on encouraging imagination and childish wonder, and was another sweet but odd story!

This has definitely made me interested in reading more of Lindgren’s long works, I want to see what she is able to do when she has more space to flesh out characters, develop a larger plot and how she concludes her stories!

Reviewing Sabrina & Corina by Kali Fajardo-Anstine

I heard of this book from a recommendation video from Noria Reads and I almost didn’t pick it up! I am so ridiculously glad that I did because this collection of short stories is gorgeous and I sped through the book in one sitting, lying in bed curled up in my duvet, unable to put the book down.

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Noria recommended this for the fuck gentrification prompt for the Fuckathon, and I couldn’t find anything on my own tbr shelves for this prompt so I ran with it! I will admit that I picked this because I knew it was short, but I’m so glad that something got me to pick this up!

This collection of short stories follows various Latinx families, looking at indigenous ancestry and focusing on the power and strength of women. Many, if not most, of the stories are sad. With the abuse or abandonment of young children by one or both parents, struggling to get by, and of course as indicated by Noria’s recommendation, the gentrification of areas that were once filled with indigenous Latinx people. Now filled up with white neighbours.

The last story is a little more hopeful. It ends on a more positive note and I think that was really needed after so many stories of loss and sadness. It was the perfect story to end on and really allowed for reflection on the other stories within the collection.

In the end I gave this 4.5 stars out of 5. I would love to own a physical copy on my shelves one day so I can sit and reread it. It’s a really moving work and I wish that Kali Fajardo-Anstine had written more as their writing is absolutely beautiful.


11 Doctors, 11 Stories


My last book for the buzzwordathon! I technically finishing this the day after the readathon ended but shhh!

This book consists of 11 short stories by a variety of well known authors, one for each Doctor (excluding the war doctor and also ones which have appeared after this book was published, Peter Capaldi and Jodie Whittaker). Sadly I’ve only watched nuWho so far, and a bit of the 1st Doctor (I’m working on it!) but those respective authors really managed to embody the way in which each Doctor was portrayed and I really felt like I was watching the show.

Overall I gave the book a rounded up 4*s on Goodreads, as the average of my reviews was around 3.7*s. Now lets break these down into their individual stories.

The First Doctor: A Big Hand for the Doctor by Eoin Colfer – 4*

I really enjoyed this Victorian romp around, with Colfer really mixing the Doctor’s personality around to work for a more modern reader. Hartnel played the Doctor as quite stiff and although that does remain in this story he is a bit more relaxed as would fit a modern audience and I think Colfer blended the two really well.


The Second Doctor: The Nameless City by Michael Scott – 2*

This was my lowest rated story within this book at 2*s. I honestly felt bored reading it and struggled to get through it. The concept was fine but the characters fell flat for me. It would have been a 1* if not for the Flower of Scotland at the end!!! (I’m half Scottish) I’ve never read from this author before and I’m likely to not do so given my unenjoyment of their writing style here.


The Third Doctor: The Spear of Destiny by Maarcus Sedgwick – 3.5*

A fun viking based story which I was immediately engrossed in and really enjoyed, I gave this 3.5* as it lacked a little extra spark to push it any higher. I enjoyed the little details added in but I feel like it could have done with being a little longer, or a standalone book by itself as there were so many small details added which didn’t get to be explored.


The Fourth Doctor: The Roots of Evil by Philip Reeve – 4*

This was a great story, Reeve wrote just the right amount for a novella and the concept of a living tree which had been genetically altered for an evil use is such a great plot. Definitely a fun one!


The Fifth Doctor: Tip of the Tongue by Patrick Ness – 4.5*

I loved this story! Little truth machines which tell people exactly what you think of them, which is usually quite harsh or unwanted information. The Doctor and Nyssa don’t feature heavily in this story, with the focus being on the children involved, which I definitely think was the right decision by Ness as it brings the reader into their world very directly.


The Sixth Doctor: Something Borrowed by Richelle Mead – 4*

A world which based itself around Las Vegas, with the focus being on a shotgun wedding! This was another fun story, as is the theme of this short story collection, and I enjoyed reading about characters which I’ve heard of but not watched myself so far.


The Seventh Doctor: The Ripple Effect by Malorie Blackman – 5*

My favourite story of the whole collection! If you’re familiar with Doctor Who you’ll be familiar with the Daleks, but not like this! Blackman takes the story exactly where you would expect for her favoured writing topics and it works brilliantly with the Doctor and the Daleks. This novella is written brilliantly and I highly recommend it.


The Eighth Doctor: Spore by Alex Scarrow – 4*

A really interesting take on an alien virus and a great stepping stone from the original Doctors to the new series. There is a virus which is melting people down into goo and conglomerating it to make a form for itself. The Doctor goes in on behalf of UNIT and deals with the virus himself.


The Ninth Doctor: The Beast of Babylon by Charlie Higson – 3*

I probably would’ve given this story 2.5*, but I boosted it up a little because I loved that Higson chose to fill up the gap from when the Doctor left Rose after they first met and then appeared back, mere seconds later, to re-offer her the opportunity of a lifetime. This was actually a large gap in time for the Doctor, and this story takes place within that. Sadly the actual story wasn’t my favourite, the concept was good but it just wasn’t for me.


The Tenth Doctor: The Mystery of the Haunted Cottage by Derek Landy – 3.75*

In this story we follow Martha and the Doctor inside of a Famous Five story knock-off which has come from Martha’s own brain. This is very much Landy’s ballpark and you can feel him having fun with the story. Again, similar to previous novella’s in this book, I think this needed more pages in order to be a fully developed and enjoyable story.


The Eleventh Doctor: Nothing O’Clock by Neil Gaiman – 4.5*

Gaiman perfectly encaptures the madness of Matt Smith and Karen Gillian as their respective characters and really sticks with the style of story which was used within their series’ on the show. It was a great end to the book and I really loved it. I’d be happy to read a lot more from Gaiman writing for the 11th Doctor!


Overall, some of these stories did need more time and space in order to fully reach their potential, but I definitely recommend having a look at these. They were originally published as individual short stories for eBook so if you only want to pick up the ones from your favourite authors or a few that sound good then you can definitely do that. I’m really glad that I’ve finally read this book and it was a lot of fun being back in the Whoniverse while we wait for the next series with Whittaker to be released. Definitely recommended reading for Whovians!

Finishing the Divergent Series!


My third pick for the Buzzwordathon was Four by Veronica Roth, which I bought not too long ago this year. I was so excited to find this cover as it matches the covers I already had for the main series and I honestly loved being back in this world.

I do think that I’m “growing out of” younger YA, this sort of romance heavy literature aimed at younger teenagers, which is a pity because omg they can be so addictive! But I still did love this read as it was nostalgic and I really enjoyed seeing events from Four’s point of view. I had already assumed a lot about his character which turned out to be true, but it was nice to see it written down and to confirm his actions in the first book and what had lead up to them.

If you enjoyed the Divergent series, excluding the ending obviously, then I definitely recommend picking up this little set of short stories and delving back into the beginning of the story of this world and enjoying yourself! I gave Four 4*s!

The First Poirot Short Story Collection!

Book three in the Poirot series, and the first collection of short stories. These tales don’t have any linking between them other than Poirot being the great detective to solve them all!

I love reading Agatha Christie, I speed through the books so fast and struggle to put them down. I really enjoy short story collections as well, and read through those super fast, so this mixture of the two was bound to be a success for me.

The Short Stories:

1. The Adventure of The Western Star
2. The Tragedy at Marsdon Manor
3. The Adventure of The Cheap Flat
4. The Mystery of Hunter’s Lodge
5. The Million Dollar Bond Robbery
6. The Adventure of The Egyptian Tomb
7. The Jewel Robbery at The Grand Metropolitan
8. The Kidnapped Prime Minister
9. The Disappearance of Mr. Davenheim
10. The Adventure of The Italian Nobleman
11. The Case of The Missing Will

I enjoyed all 11 of these and absolutely sped through this book, if you like a traditional mystery then this is an obvious pick up. Although to be fair I don’t need to recommend Christie. I hopefully will be able to read all of her books and complete my collection one day, as I really love her works.

Classic Western Fairy Tales

You’ve probably heard some of these tales before, but likely, they were a little sweeter. The Brother’s Grimm and Hans Christian Andersen are known for their gory, not-for-kids, fairy tales, so when I saw this book compiling the both of them I knew I had to pick it up.

What I didn’t know when I purchased this book is that all of the authors changed the intensity of their stories over time. They started out writing for adults, and then when they received letters from parents complaining about the goriness they realised their stories were being told to children. It’s at this point that they started to tone down their tales. This does impact some of the stories, I was expecting horrific endings and some of the tales lived up to this, but many of them did not. So just be aware when you pick this up that they aren’t as bad as people make them out to be!

I did really enjoy seeing the base stories for many fairy tales and Disney stories which I’ve seen for years, and I also found it interesting that many of them don’t have any sort of moral attached to them. As this is a common feature of fairy tales when aimed at children.

This was a quick read, and one that I think you should go for if you’re even vaguely interested. These are the foundations of so many tales and stories in Western society and I personally think it’s really interesting to see their origin. I’d really like to pick up more origins of tales from a variety of cultures.

Comment down below any fairy tale stories you enjoy and whether you’ve read tales from the Brothers Grimm or Hans Christian Andersen!