The Weekly Brief

Hello!

This week has been a better week on the blogging front which is probably because I am back into a proper routine with work again.

Posts this Week

Currently Reading

Just 50 pages left! I was going to have break before I moved to the second book but I don’t think I can wait.

I hope everyone has had a good week and I hope you all have a good week to come.

Happy Reading

If you enjoy reading my blog and would like to make a donation I would be very grateful. Thank you

A Scandinavian Christmas: Festive Tales for a Nordic Noel by Various authors (Review)

A Scandinavian Christmas: Festive Tales for a Nordic Noel by Various authors

Blurb

Have yourself a very hygge Christmas with some of the best Christmas stories from across Scandinavia – old and new 

This collection brings together the best Scandinavian Christmas stories including classics by Hans Christian Andersen of Denmark, Nobel Prize winner Selma Lagerlof, as well as the popular contemporary Karl Ove Knausgard. These Nordic tales convey a festive and contemplative spirit laden with lingonberries, elks, gnomes, Sami trolls, candles, church spires, gingerbread and aquavit in abundance. 

A smorgasbord of unexpected literary gifts which make up a vibrant, elegant hardcover volume sure to provide plenty of pleasure and hygge, that specifically Scandinavian blend of cosiness and contentment.

Review

As regular readers of my blog you will probably have noticed I love a Christmas book. So when I saw this book, I bought it for my Christmas 2021 reading (the review is rather late, apologies) because it looked like a good read. The book is made up of short stories which I thought would be perfect for dipping into over the Christmas period.

I will be honest this book was rather surprising to me and at times I almost gave up with it. The reason for this was because at times the stories could be quite depressing and not something I really wanted to read about over Christmas. Yes, I know it is Scandinavian and sometimes their work can be on the depressing side. I have read a lot of Hans Christian Andersen and know that he can be on the bleak side at times but I wasn’t expecting so much bleakness in this Christmas book. The other reason I almost gave up was because certain stories didn’t make much sense to me and felt incomplete or because they didn’t have anything to do with Christmas. 

My favourite stories were the ones by Hans Christian Andersen but I didn’t enjoy the more modern stories. Overall, for me the most Christmassy thing about the book is the beautiful cover. I had high hopes for this book and hoped the stories would have a bit of flare but overall I found the book rather flat and disappointing. I give this book 3 out 5 Dragons because there were a few stories I did enjoy. 

🐲🐲🐲

Product Links

Book Depository | 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.)

If you enjoy reading my blog and would like to make a donation I would be very grateful. Thank you

Friday Poetry: Robert Louis Stevenson

Happy Friday!

I hope everyone has exciting plans for the weekend.

My chosen poem this week is by Robert Louis Stevenson and the poem explores how imagination creates a whole new world for a child to play in.

The Land of Story Books

At evening when the lamp is lit,
Around the fire my parents sit;
They sit at home and talk and sing,
And do not play at anything. 

Now, with my little gun, I crawl
All in the dark along the wall,
And follow round the forest track
Away behind the sofa back.

There, in the night, where none can spy,
All in my hunter's camp I lie,
And play at books that I have read
Till it is time to go to bed.

These are the hills, these are the woods,
These are my starry solitudes;
And where the river by whose brink
The roaring lions come to drink.

I see the others far away
As if in firelit camp they lay,
And I, like an Indian scout,
Around their party prowled about.

So, when my nurse comes in for me,
Home I return across the sea,
And go to bed with backward looks
At my dear land of Story Books.

Robert Louis Stevenson

Happy Reading

If you enjoy reading my blog and would like to make a donation I would be very grateful. Thank you

Village Christmas and Other Notes on the English Year by Laurie Lee (Review)

Village Christmas and Other Notes on the English Year by Laurie Lee

Blurb

From the author of Cider With Rosie, Village Christmas is a moving, lyrical portrait of England through the changing years and seasons.

Laurie Lee left his childhood home in the Cotswolds when he was nineteen, but it remained with him throughout his life until, many years later, he returned for good. This collection brings to life the sights, sounds, landscapes and traditions of his home – from centuries-old May Day rituals to his own patch of garden, from carol singing in crunching snow to pub conversations and songs. Here too he writes about the mysteries of love, living in wartime Chelsea, Winston Churchill’s wintry funeral and his battle, in old age, to save his beloved Slad Valley from developers.

Told with a warm sense of humour and a powerful sense of history, Village Christmas brings us a picture of a vanished world.

Review

I ordered this book in November to read in December but sadly it didn’t arrive until the beginning of January but once I saw it only had a few Christmas stories and the rest were all based on the rest of the year I decided to read it straight away. This is my first Laurie Lee book and I really enjoyed it.

The book is divided into the seasons and each season has lots of reflections from Lee’s past. The stories range from when he was a young boy growing up in his beloved village in the Cotswolds to when he was living in London. Lee also writes about some of his memories of when he returned to live in the Cotswolds and his fight to save the beauty of his village. 

I really loved Lee’s descriptions and his way with words in this book which meant that at times I could not put the book down. I particularly enjoyed his beautiful story called ‘The Shining Severn’ which describes the river Severn in all its glory. ‘Harvest Festival’ was also a favourite of mine but to be honest I loved all the stories and you could really appreciate the love Lee has for his country. 

Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book and hope to read ‘Cider with Rosie’ soon. I give this book 4 out of 5 Dragons. 

🐲🐲🐲🐲

Purchase Links

Book Depository | 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

Laurence Edward Alan “Laurie” Lee, MBE, was an English poet, novelist, and screenwriter. His most famous work was an autobiographical trilogy which consisted of Cider with Rosie (1959), As I Walked Out One Midsummer Morning (1969) and A Moment of War (1991). While the first volume famously recounts his childhood in the idyllic Slad Valley, the second deals with his leaving home for London and his first visit to Spain in 1934, and the third with his return in December 1937 to join the Republican International Brigade.

If you enjoy reading my blog and would like to make a donation I would be very grateful. Thank you

Mid Week Quote: Stephen King

Hello!

Happy Wednesday! My chosen quote this week is by the American author Stephen King.

“You can, you should, and if you’re brave enough to start, you will.”

Stephen King

Happy Reading

If you enjoy reading my blog and would like to make a donation I would be very grateful. Thank you

WWW Wednesday: 12/01/2022

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 am back to work fully now but I am making sure I make plenty of time for reading.

What I am Currently Reading

I have almost finished this and I must admit I can’t wait to read the next book. I had forgotten what a great book this is.

What I have Recently Finished Reading

This wasn’t really a Christmas book as it was stories from the different seasons and only a couple of the stories were about Christmas. This was my first book by Laurie Lee but will definitely not be my last.

What I Think I will Read Next

I can’t wait to start reading some of the books off my list for The Classics Club but I also have The Witcher series to start as well.

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

Happy Reading

If you enjoy reading my blog and would like to make a donation I would be very grateful. Thank you

The Classics Club

Hello!

So for quite a while now I thought about joining The Classics Club and this year I have decided to join up. I have chosen 50 books all published before 1900 and plan to complete the list in five years, so my deadline is 11th January 2027. I used to read a lot of classics so it will be good to get reading them again and tick off quite a few books on my TBR pile.

The list has mostly new reads for me but there are a few favourites on the list and ones that I can’t quite remember all the storyline of and would like to read again.

All books that I read and review will be linked back to this list.

In no particular order, here is the list…

  1. Mansfield Park by Jane Austen
  2. The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas
  3. Dombey and Son by Charles Dickens
  4. Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoevsky
  5. The Mill on the Floss by George Eliot
  6. Silas Marner by George Eliot
  7. North and South by Elizabeth Gaskell
  8. Tom Jones by Henry Fielding
  9. Clarissa by Samuel Richardson
  10. Villette by Charlotte Brontë
  11. The Man in the Iron Mask by Alexandre Dumas
  12. Shirley by Charlotte Brontë
  13. The Woodlanders by Thomas Hardy
  14. The Red Sphinx by Alexandre Dumas
  15. The Vicomte de Bragelonne by Alexandre Dumas
  16. Ten Years Later by Alexandre Dumas
  17. Louise de La Valliere by Alexandre Dumas
  18. Lady Susan and other works by Jane Austen
  19. Vanity Fair by William Makepeace Thackeray
  20. Evelina by Frances Burney
  21. The Moonstone by Wilkie Collins
  22. Rob Roy by Sir Walter Scott
  23. Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen
  24. Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe
  25. Love in Excess by Eliza Haywood
  26. Gulliver’s Travels by Jonathan Swift
  27. Candide by Voltaire
  28. Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson
  29. Scenes of Clerical Life by George Eliot
  30. The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne 
  31. Lorna Doone by R. D. Blackmore
  32. The Way We Live Now by Anthony Trollope
  33. The New Magdalen by Wilkie Collins
  34. The Runaway by Elizabeth Anna hart
  35. Tom Brown’s School Days by Thomas Hughes
  36. Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea by Jules Verne 
  37. Middlemarch by George Eliot
  38. Meditations by Marcus Aurelius
  39. Moby Dick by Herman Melville
  40. Under the Greenwood Tree by Thomas Hardy 
  41. A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens
  42. Bleak House by Charles Dickens
  43. Cecilia by Frances Burney
  44. Pilgrim’s Progress by John Bunyan
  45. Moll Flanders by Daniel Defoe
  46. Three Men in a Boat by Jerome K. Jerome
  47. The Vicar of Wakefield by Oliver Goldsmith
  48. Around the World in Eighty Days by Jules Verne
  49. Agnes Grey by Anne Bronte
  50. Persuasion by Jane Austen

Wish me luck!

Happy Reading

If you enjoy reading my blog and would like to make a donation I would be very grateful. Thank you

Reading My Height in Books #12

Hello!

It is time for my final update of my 2021 challenge. I had to change location of the book stack because I could no longer keep it upright without it leaning on against a wall.

Sadly, I failed the challenge. The final stack came to 64 inches and it needed to be 67 inches. I was so close but I just came short.

Here is the year in full.

Maybe, I will try the challenge again another year.

Happy Reading

If you enjoy reading my blog and would like to make a donation I would be very grateful. Thank you

The Weekly Brief

Hello!

It is time for the first Weekly Brief of the year.

Not much has happened on the blog so far this year because I have taken a bit of a rest from blogging.

Posts this Week

Currently Reading

I ordered Village Christmas by Laurie Lee in November and it turned up a couple of days ago but being as it isn’t all about Christmas I decided to read it and so far I am loving it and finding it very funny.

Happy Reading

If you enjoy reading my blog and would like to make a donation I would be very grateful. Thank you

December 2021 Wrap Up

Hello!

I am playing catch up on the blog at the moment, as over Christmas and New Year I took a little bit of break. So here is my last wrap up from 2021.

Statistics

Books

Pages: 374

Dragon Rating: 🐲🐲🐲🐲

Review

Pages: 288

Dragon Rating: 🐲🐲🐲🐲🐲

Review

Pages: 64

Dragon Rating: 🐲🐲🐲🐲

Pages: 416

Dragon Rating: 🐲🐲🐲🐲🐲

Review

Pages: 18

Dragon Rating: 🐲🐲🐲🐲🐲

Pages: 172

Dragon Rating: 🐲🐲🐲🐲🐲

Review to follow

Pages: 144

Dragon Rating: 🐲🐲🐲🐲🐲

Review to follow

Pages: 140

Dragon Rating: 🐲🐲🐲

Review to follow

Dragon Rating: 🐲🐲🐲🐲🐲

Pages: 74

Dragon Rating: 🐲🐲🐲🐲🐲

Goodreads Challenge: 71/70

Happy Reading

If you enjoy reading my blog and would like to make a donation I would be very grateful. Thank you