Lyra’s Pawsome Books #5

Hello!

I hope everyone is well. I thought I would do a final Christmas based post for Lyra’s Pawsome Books plus some extra goodies. I have been absolutely loving running my little business and I am looking forward to new plans in the New Year.

Deluxe Christmas Book Box

This box was inspired by all the things I love at Christmas. I think it is always important to take some quiet time over the Christmas period and I hope this book box will help that happen.

Christmas Cards

I have really got into card making recently and I did some Christmas cards for my Christmas stall a few weeks ago and they were so successful I thought I would pop some on my Etsy and they have also been popular on there as well.

Christmas Book Parcel

I have upgraded my Christmas Book Parcel so it now has the option of a Milk Chocolate Christmas Lolly or a White Chocolate Lolly. These have proved popular for Secret Santa presents.

Birthday Cards

I know I said it was just Christmas stuff but I thought I would include my birthday cards as well.

Thank you for stopping by and supporting my little business.

Happy Reading

Etsy

Goodreads Monday: 5/12/2022

Goodreads Monday is now hosted by Budget Tales Book Club.  All you have to do is show off a book from your TBR that you’re looking forward to reading.

Hello!

I hope everyone is having a good start to the week so far.

My chosen book this week is one that I have started in the past but never finished but I would really like to finish the book.

This famous story of man’s progress through life in search of salvation remains one of the most entertaining allegories of faith ever written. Set against realistic backdrops of town and country, the powerful drama of the pilgrim’s trials and temptations follows him in his harrowing journey to the Celestial City.
Along a road filled with monsters and spiritual terrors, Christian confronts such emblematic characters as Worldly Wiseman, Giant Despair, Talkative, Ignorance, and the demons of the Valley of the Shadow of Death. But he is also joined by Hopeful and Faithful.
An enormously influential 17th-century classic, universally known for its simplicity, vigor, and beauty of language, The Pilgrim’s Progress remains one of the most widely read books in the English language.

Please drop me a comment if you have taken part in Goodreads Monday and I will head over for a visit.

Happy Reading

Etsy

The Weekly Brief

Hello!

I hope everyone has had a good week. I have finally started my festive TBR and so far I am really enjoying it although I keep adding more books.

Posts this Week

Currently Reading

I am still trying to finish Ithaca and Warrior Queens and Quiet Revolutionaries because I really want to focus on my festive reads.

Happy Reading

Etsy

The Hemlock Cure by Joanne Burn (Review)

The Hemlock Cure by Joanne Burn

Blurb

A glitteringly dark historical novel of love, persecution, and survival set against the backdrop of one of history’s most terrifying episodes: the Bubonic Plague.

It is 1665 and the women of Eyam village keep many secrets. Especially Isabel and Mae.

Isabel Frith, the village midwife, walks a dangerous line with her herbs and remedies. There are men in the village who speak of witchcraft, and Isabel has a past to hide. So she tells nobody her fears about the pious, reclusive apothecary, on whom she is keeping a watchful eye.

Mae, the apothecary’s youngest daughter, dreads her father’s rage if he discovers what she keeps from him: her feelings for Rafe, Isabel’s ward, or the fact that she studies from her father’s books at night.

But others have secrets too. Secrets darker than any of them could have imagined.

When Mae makes a horrifying discovery, Isabel is the only person she can turn to. But helping Mae will place them both in unimaginable peril. Meanwhile another danger is on its way from London. One that threatens to engulf them all. . . 

Review

I found this book whilst browsing in Toppings and Company whilst in Bath a couple of months ago. I had never come across Joanne Burn before but seeing this book on display I was attracted by the title and the blurb and decided to give the book a read. I am so pleased I decided to read this book because I absolutely loved it. 

This book is based on true events that happened during the plague in 1666. The village of Eyam quarantined itself in an attempt to stop the plague spreading. They sacrificed their own lives to try and save others. Certain characters within this book are also based on real characters from the village as well. 

I must admit to begin with I was a little confused with who was telling the story but I soon worked out the different voices and thought it was really cleverly done. I won’t say any more about the different narrators because I don’t want to spoil it for people. 

Mae is a confused young girl who lives in fear of her father but at the same time desperately wants to prove to her father that she is worthy of his pride and can be useful to him. To escape her rather tense life at home she visits her friend Isabel who is the village midwife and whose family welcomes Mae as one of their own. At Isabel’s she feels loved and welcome and of course there is also Rafe who is the ward of Isabel and her husband. Mae has feelings for Rafe but due to her age she is confused and can’t quite make sense of these feelings. 

This book is full of secrets. Mae has secrets she keeps from her father, Isabel has secrets she keeps from public view and Wulfric has secrets he only tells his diary and God. The whole village is full of secrets and as the story progresses we begin to see glimpses of these secrets and what they mean for the characters. 

The book is beautifully written and I will be honest I couldn’t put it down. The book kept me on tenterhooks all the way through and I loved every page. It is probably one of my favourite reads for 2022. I will be definitely reading Joanne Burn’s first novel and any further books. I give this book 5 out of 5 Dragons. 

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Purchase Links

Book Depository | Bookshop.org | Foyles | Waterstones | Wordery

(All purchases made using one of the above affiliate links gives a small percentage of money to myself with no extra cost to yourself. All proceeds go towards the upkeep of this blog. Thank you ever so much, your support is gratefully received.)

About the author

Joanne Burn was born in Northampton in 1973, and now lives in the Peak District where she works as a writing coach. Her first novel, Petals and Stones, was published in 2018. The Hemlock Cure is her second novel.

Etsy

Friday Poetry: Thomas Hardy

Happy Friday!

I hope everyone has had a good Friday so far and have some exciting plans for the weekend. My chosen poem today is by one of favourites, Thomas Hardy.

Birds at Winter Nightfall

Around the house the flakes fly faster,
And all the berries now are gone
From holly and cotoneaster
Around the house. The flakes fly! - faster
Shutting indoors that crumb-outcaster
We used to see upon the lawn
Around the house. The flakes fly faster,
And all the berries now are gone!

Thomas Hardy

Happy Reading

Etsy

November 2022 Wrap Up

Hello!

I can’t believe we are now in December. It really is scary how quickly this year has gone. Sadly, I have only managed another 4 books this month. I am really hoping I manage to read more books in December because usually December is my best month for reading apart from the Summer holidays. I certainly have a rather substantial TBR for December lined up.

Statistics

Books

Pages: 320

Format Read: Paperback

Dragon Rating: 🐲🐲🐲🐲🐲

Review to follow

Pages: 316

Format Read: Paperback

Dragon Rating: 🐲🐲🐲🐲🐲

Review

Pages: 336

Format Read: Hardback

Dragon Rating: 🐲🐲🐲🐲🐲

Review to follow

Pages: 130

Format Read: Hardback

Dragon Rating: 🐲🐲🐲🐲

Review

55/60 Goodreads Challenge

I am so behind on my book reviews so I am hoping to catch up with them all this month before the end of 2022. Hopefully I manage to catch up and I really must start writing my reviews as soon as I finish the book so I don’t fall so behind again.

I hope everyone had a good reading month in November.

Happy Reading

Etsy

Mid Week Quote: Freya Stark

Hello!

My chosen quote this week is by Dame Freya Madeline Stark (1893-1993). Stark was a British-Italian explorer and travel writer. She wrote more than two dozen books on her travels in the Middle East and Afghanistan as well as several autobiographical works and essays.

“I have no reason to go, except that I have never been, and knowledge is better than ignorance. What better reason could there be for travelling.”

Freya Stark

Happy Reading

Etsy

WWW Wednesday: 30/11/2022

WWW Wednesday is a meme hosted by Sam at Taking on a World of Words.

The rules are answer the questions below and share a link to your blog in the comments section of Sam’s blog.

  • What are you currently reading?
  • What did you recently finish reading?
  • What do you think you will read next?

Hello!

I hope everyone is having a good week so far. I have managed to get a bit of reading done this week but I must admit this week has been quite tiring work wise so I am looking forward to my day off tomorrow.

What I am Currently Reading

Still plodding along with these two books. I got distracted with a Christmas book which has slowed my reading of these two books down.

What I have Recently Finished Reading

I really enjoyed this book and read it in one day. Here is my review.

What I have Recently Finished Reading

I am planning on starting my Christmas reading tomorrow but I might also throw in some normal books as well.

Please drop me a comment with your WWW Wednesday and I will head over for a visit.

Happy Reading

Etsy

Christmas Is Coming: Traditions from Around the World by Monika Utnik-Strugala (Review)

Christmas Is Coming: Traditions from Around the World by Monika Utnik-Strugala

Blurb

The perfect book for long wintery evenings—not just under the Christmas tree!

Why do we decorate Christmas trees? Do all children receive gifts on the same day?

Come find out as Monika Utnik-Strugala captures the smells, tastes, and unforgettable traditions about the most popular, exciting, contemplative, and unqiue Christmas customs and legends from around the world. Find out why celebrate Christmas on December 25th, who invented the first glass ornament, why people build nativity scenes, and more!

A truly international collection of legends and traditions are included in the volume such as –  Glögg, Kutia, Lutefisk, Jansson’s Temptation, Julskinka, Bûche de Noël, Hallaca, Kourabiedes, Christmas Pudding, Panettone, Christmas carols, talking animals, and The Nutcracker!

With the atmospheric illustrations by Ewa Poklewska-Koziello, this is an ideal companion for the Christmas season.

Review

I bought this book December 2021 but I didn’t manage to read it before the end of December so I decided to save it for this year instead. I usually start my Christmas books on the 1st December but today I couldn’t resist starting my Christmas reading list. Turns out I also couldn’t put this book down and read it in one day!

The thing that attracted me to this book was the gorgeous illustrations by Ewa Poklewska-Koziello. Every page contains beautiful illustrations which really help make the book come alive. 

The book starts at the start of Advent and ends with Epiphany on 6th January. The book explains the traditions that different countries follow on the run up to Christmas, during Christmas and after Christmas. 

I will be honest but I found that certain countries had a lot more attention than others. Considering the book is meant to be from around the world a lot of the traditions mentioned are from Poland and Russia which I suppose is because of the author’s background. 

I think this is a great book for children and adults but the occasional errors in the text did put me off and the repeated sentence was an error that really should have been picked up. In all honesty what made this book for me was the gorgeous illustrations and without the illustrations I would be giving this book a much lower rating. I give this book 4 out of 5 Dragons. 

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Purchase Links

Book Depository | Bookshop.org | Foyles | Waterstones | Wordery

(All purchases made using one of the above affiliate links gives a small percentage of money to myself with no extra cost to yourself. All proceeds go towards the upkeep of this blog. Thank you ever so much, your support is gratefully received.)

About the author

Monika Utnik-Strugala studied romance studies at the University of Warsaw in Poland and is a lifestyle and design journalist. She made her debut with a children’s book about Italian culture. In Italy she likes to spend her free time in her beloved country house. 

Etsy

The Weekly Brief

Hello!

I hope everyone has had a nice weekend so far. I have fallen behind on my blogging this week because I was busy prepping for my first Christmas stall with Lyra’s Pawsome Books. The stall was yesterday and it was great fun and when I came home I also discovered I had an order on Etsy which was fantastic. I am thoroughly enjoying my new little venture.

Anyway, back to the blog.

Posts this Week

Currently Reading

I am really enjoying Ithaca so far and finding it a really interesting take on the story of Penelope.

Happy Reading

Etsy