the last couple of weeks I was very busy and didn’t have the time to read as much as I’d have liked, so you only get two reviews this week. But I hope you will enjoy them:
HRH Prince Philip: Escape from the Palace by Thomas J. O’Mara
If you like books with sensible plots, stay away from this one. HRH Prince Philip: Escape From The Palace is a very surreal read that makes the less sense the further on you go. But if you just relax and go with the flow, you may really enjoy it.
1960s. A middle-aged Prince Philip, father to four children and husband to the Queen of England, is living a privileged and comfortable life. But he doesn’t see it that way. He feels trapped in a gilded cage. He doesn’t want to abandon his duties completely, but needs at least a taste of freedom. But how? One night, Jones, the butler, informs him that he has found, in the Prince’s bathroom, a mysterious hole. Curious, Philip decides to explore it. The hole is the entrance to an underground tunnel that runs under Buckingham Palace, connecting it to the outside world. It’s an entrance very few people know about. One of these is the Earl of Buckingham, a hermit who lives under the palace to protect the royal family.
Philip asks his help to escape in disguise from the palace on a regular basis. It’s not long before the Queen realises something’s wrong with her husband. She decides, with the help of her mother and a few ladies-in-waiting, to investigate. Will she find out his secret? Will the press? That would create such a scandal, and every precaution must be taken to make sure they never get even the slightest hint of what’s going on.
I found it hard to get into this book. At the beginning, I just kept thinking, “I can’t imagine Prince Philip suffering from depression,” “the Queen can’t possibly be that petulant,” or “this development in the plot doesn’t make sense at all. There’s no way this could ever happen.” But, after a while, I decided to do something that made me enjoy the book a lot more: I took it for what it is. A surreal, senseless tale that however, explores serious issues. Are the lives of the privileged really that privileged? How much personal freedom should a person give up to do his/her duty and the right thing?
The book is written in a witty and entertaining writing style. And even though there isn’t just one narrator (Prince Philip is, however, the main one), the story is not confusing at all. It flows easily and is a pleasure to read. Until you reach the last chapter at least. Even though at that point I didn’t expect the story to make much sense and was glad with that, the end was so unbelievable it turned into a bit of a farce. But that’s just me. I’m sure those who are into the surreal will love this book from the very beginning to the very end.
Available at: amazon
How the Stock Market Works: A Beginner’s Guide to Investment by Michael Becket
A lot of people are scared of the stock market and prefer to keep all their savings safely in the bank. But to invest some in stocks, bonds, and other financial products can make you a lot of money, even now in a time of recession. You just need the necessary knowledge to make the smart and right choices. Michael Becket, with his book How The Stock Market Works: A Beginner’s Guide To Investment, helps you do just that.
Becket starts by explaining all the financial products being traded are, how they work, what their pros and cons are, and who should invest in them. He then explains how to evaluate the market, financial information, and individual shares to help you choose which ones are worth buying, how to buy, trade, and sell them, and the consequences, duties, and benefits of being a shareholder. The last chapter is dedicated to taxes. At the end, you will find a glossary explaining all the financial terms used in the book. But the most important advice he gives is this: listen to everyone’s advice but follow your instinct. No one, not even experts, gets it right all the time. Following someone else’s advice’s blindly could cost you a lot of money.
Michael Becket is a financial journalist who worked for the Daily Telegraph, so the book is aimed at an UK audience. Some chapters, like that dedicated to taxes, will be of little use to those living in other countries, although there is a lot of information in here that anyone will find useful.
The book claims to be a beginner’s guide to investment. I think that’s partly true. I found some sections, like those who explained what stocks and bonds are, very straightforward and easy-to-understand even for newbies who know nothing about finance. But other parts, such as that dedicated to derivatives (quite a complicated topic I must add), were more difficult to grasp, and I had to reread them a couple of times to make sense of them. If you already know something about the topic, reading this book will be much easier for you. Even so, it is a very informative read. If you are interested in starting to invest in the stock market, and ready to master some financial language, you will find this book very useful.
Available at: amazon
Would you like to read these books, or already have?
Disclaimer: this book was sent by PR for consideration. In addition, this post contains affiliate links.