Friday Poetry

Here is my chosen poem of the week, my first Tennyson poem since school. Hope you enjoy it.

The Oak

Live thy Life,

Young and old,

Like yon oak,

Bright in spring,

Living gold

 

Summer-rich

Then, and then

Autumn-changed,

Soberer-hued

Gold again.

 

All his leaves

Fall’n at length,

Look, he stands,

Trunk and bough,

Naked strengh.

 

Alfred, Lord Tennyson.

 

Lady Book Dragon.

Book Haul

Yes, I have bought more books! After my massive book buying binge at New Year I did promise myself no more books till February. I lasted 10 days, to be honest I’m surprised I lasted this long.

Yesterday I ordered four books from Amazon which I do not usually do but I just went a bit crazy and bought the four books based on the Star Trek Discovery series and they arrived today. Also today was my day off and my husband and myself went for a little trip to Shrewsbury and I visited the Waterstones store there and my husband very kindly bought me three books.

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The books I got were:-

Star Trek Discovery: Desperate Hours by David Mack

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Star Trek Discovery: Drastic Measures by Dayton Ward

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Star Trek Discovery: Fear Itself by James Swallow

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Star Trek Discovery: The Way to the Stars by Una McCormack

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These four books I got because I have recently been watching the Star Trek Discovery series on DVD and I have really enjoyed the storylines and was intrigued with the prospect of reading the books based on the series.

A Natural History of Dragons: A Memoir by Lady Trent by Marie Brennan

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Very intrigued by this book. It is about Dragons what is there not to like?

The Mermaid by Christina Henry

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Another book I chose because I was extremely intrigued by the story. Fingers crossed it is a good read.

The Prime of Jean Brodie by Muriel Spark

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This is a book I really should of read but sadly have not so thought I had better correct this.

I’m very pleased with my book haul and can not wait to read them. I would love to hear if any of you have read these books and your thoughts. Please feel free to drop me a comment.

Lady Book Dragon

Mid Week Quote

Firstly apologoies for missing the Mid Week Quote last week, with Christmas and New Year I forgot what the days of the week were.

I hope everybody is having a good week so far.

 

“Whatever you are, try to be a good one.”

 

William Makepeace Thackeray

 

Lady Book Dragon

Winnie – The – Pooh: Gloom and Doom for Pessimists by A. A. Milne with decorations by E. H. Shepard (Review)

Winnie – the – Pooh: Gloom and Doom for Pessimists by A. A. Milne with decorations by E. H. Shepherd.

About the author

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Alan Alexander Milne was born in London on the 18th January 1882. He served in both World Wars, joining the British Army in World War I and was captain of the British Home Guard in World War II. Milne was known at the beginning of his career as a playwright and a writer for Punch magazine but when he created the character Winnie the Pooh all his previous work was overshadowed by the success of Winnie the Pooh. He died in 1956.

About the illustrator

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Ernest Howard Shepard was born in London in 1879. He worked for Punch magazine as a cartoonist and illustrator. He is best known for his illustrations of The Winnie Pooh books and The Wind in the Willows.

Blurb

This gently-humorous collection of A. A. Milne’s most melancholy moanings will bring a smile to the face of even the grumpiest Eeyore.

Review

Waiting at a check out with all the Christmas food shopping I spotted this book sat on the side. I saw that it had Eeyore on the cover, so I had to have it immediately, anything with Eeyore, I have to have. I did not even look to see what the book was about, a definite choice purely from looks, rather than content.

This book is very short but enjoyable. Each page has a beautiful illustration on and there is a phrase and a quote involving Eeyore to back up this phrase.

 

Sometimes you just don’t feel like sunshine and happiness…

‘And how are you?’ Said Winnie-the-Pooh.

Eeyore shook his head from side to side.

‘Not very how,’ he said. ‘I don’t seem to have felt at all how for a long time.’

‘Dear, dear,’ said Pooh, ‘I’m sorry about that.’

 

I loved this little book as it reminded me of reading Winnie-the-Pooh when I was little and to be honest as a child all I wanted to read about was Eeyore, although I liked the other characters they were never as good as Eeyore. The other element I enjoyed was the humour, the carefully chosen phrases that went with the quotes were excellent and at times they made me giggle.

Although I am not a pessimist like Eeyore, I did sympathise with him and agree with some of his feelings from this book. Sometimes we do not feel our best and having a bouncy happy person around does not help our situation.

The illustrations are as beautiful as I remember and they fit perfectly with all the quotes. I was a little disappointed with the ending of the book because it goes away from Eeyore, it just feels like the people who put it together ran out of ideas, I would have preferred for them to have finished the books sooner than what feels like rambling. Due to this reason I only gave the book 3 dragons. An enjoyable and quick read to sit down to when you have a spare five minutes.

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Lady Book Dragon

Enid Blyton: Five at the Office Christmas Party by Bruno Vincent (Review)

Enid Blyton: Five at the Office Christmas Party by Bruno Vincent

About the author

Bruno Vincent is the author of several humour titles, including The Famous Five Series, he has also written two volumes of gothic horror stories for children which were adapted for the stage.

Blurb

Join Julian, George, Dick, Anne and Timmy the dog as they try to prepare the perfect office Christmas Party, with no budget at all. Will they succeed, and make everyone happy? Or will all the emergency services be called before the night is out?

Review

I have read most of the Famous Five parodies by Bruno Vincent but I had been saving this one to read over the Christmas holidays and I was pleased I did. I read most of the Famous Five series when I was a child and have always enjoyed reading about the five’s adventures, especially George as I was also a tomboy when I was young.

The four children are now adults and are blundering along trying to get adult life correct. Timmy is now very mature and does not take such an active role in the adventures although he is still present, watching over the four. The story begins with Julian getting fired from his job and managing to get another job working with Dick, George and Anne at the business that their rogue cousin Rupert owns. None of them particularly enjoy their work apart from Julian who finds the simple data input work a lot better than his previous job as he used to over think that job.

Just before Christmas Rupert pulls the four into his office and asks them to organise the Christmas party to help raise morale in the company. This does not end well, especially when the workers sample Julian’s punch.

The story is hilariously funny and well written, Vincent has obviously done his homework and read a great deal of the original Famous Five books because he has each of the five perfect, their childhood characters come through in their adult life. Anne is still homely, petite and pretty, George is still stubborn, bad tempered and boyish, Julian a know it all but now has a drink problem, Dick who is always happy to follow everyone’s lead and is happy to just potter around playing Pokemon Go. Vincent has been nothing but respectful to Enid Blyton’s work and legacy and I think she would have rather enjoyed his version of the adult five.

The only reason this book did not get 5 dragons was because the ending was a little bit disappointing for me and it finished a bit too soon on a cliffhanger no less. This book was a brilliant read I would recommend for anyone who wants a good laugh over Christmas and who enjoyed the Famous Five series as a child. A big 4 out of 5 dragons from me.

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Lady Book Dragon

New Book Rating System

Over the holidays I had a little think about my book rating system and I have decided to change it. From now on it will not be a star rating system but a dragon system. Yes, the rating will be out of dragons, 5 being the best, 1 being the worst.

One Dragon

One dragon will be given to books I have not managed to finish and really not enjoyed and would not recommend to anyone.

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Two Dragons

Two dragons will go to books I have managed to finish but would definitely not want to read again and would not recommend to friends.

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Three Dragons

Three dragons are for books I found enjoyable to read but not amazing and would not read again but would happily recommend to people.

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Four Dragons

Four dragons are for books I really enjoyed but possibly had one or two annoying flaws or faults but would still read again.

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Five Dragons

The big award! This is for the books I just could not put down, the books I adored and want to shout about from the roof tops. Mainly for the books I want to read again and again.

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Lady Book Dragon

Bath

I thought I would share a few snaps of my trip to Bath. This was my third visit to Bath and will not be my last as I just adore the place. This trip I visited some of the haunts that Jane Austen would of also frequented when she lived there from 1801 to 1806. I wish I had taken more snaps but I just enjoyed taking in the history and beauty of it.

The Assembly Rooms

The Fashion Museum inside The Assembly Rooms

Georgian Dresses

 

The House Jane Austen Lived In!

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Lady Book Dragon

Friday Poetry

On the 6th January it will be Epiphany when the Kings arrive to see Jesus, so I have chosen a poem to reflect this ocassion. This is also one of my favourites that I did at school.

Journey of the Magi

“A cold coming we had of it,

Just the worst time of the year

For a journey, and such a long journey:

The ways deep and the weathers sharp,

The very dead of winter.”

And the camels galled, sore-footed, refractory,

Lying down in the melting snow.

There were times we regretted

The summer palaces on slopes, the terraces,

And the silken girls bringing sherbet.

Then the camel men cursing and grumbling

And running away, and wanting their liquor and women,

And the night-fires going out, and the lack of shelters,

And the cities hostile and the towns unfriendly

And the villages dirty and charging high prices:

A hard time we had of it.

At the end we preferred to travel all night,

Sleeping in snatches,

With the voices singing in our ears, saying

That this was all folly.

 

 

Then at dawn we came down to a temperate valley,

Wet, below the snow line, smelling of vegetation, 

With a running stream and a water-mill beating the darkness,

And three trees on the low sky.

And an old white horse galloped away in the meadow.

Then we came to a tavern with vine-leaves over the lintel,

Six hands at an open door dicing for pieces of silver,

And feet kicking the empty wine-skins.

But there was no information, so we continued

And arrived at evening, not a moment too soon

Finding the place; it was (you may say) satisfactory.

 

 

All this was a long time ago, I remember, 

And I would do it again, but set down

This set down

This: were we led all that way for

Birth or Death? There was a Birth, certainly,

We had evidence and no doubt. I had seen birth and death,

But had thought they were different; this Birth was 

Hard and bitter agony for us, like Death, our death.

We returned to our places, these Kingdoms,

But no longer at ease here, in the old dispensation,

With an alien people clutching their gods.

I should be glad of another death.

 

T. S. Eliot

 

Lady Book Dragon

Happy Birthday!

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On this day in 1892 John Ronald Reuel Tolkien was born and what a gift to the world of fantasy his birth was to us all.

I have read The Lord of the Rings Trilogy so many times I have lost count, in fact at one point, I read it every year without fail. It is my favourite trilogy and I doubt that will ever change. I also collect different editions of the trilogy from the very expensive to the cheap paperback, I have a dream of owning a signed first editon but that is definitely a dream as I will never be wealthy enough. In fact I collect anything Tolkien!

I also love the Peter Jackson films of The Lord of the Rings but sadly I did not appreciate what he did with The Hobbit. 

Thank you Tolkien for giving us the gift of Middle Earth and all your other wonderful worlds.

“One ring to rule them all, One ring to find them, One ring to bring them all and in the darkness bind them.”

 

Lady Book Dragon.

Book Haul

First book haul of 2019 and it is a big one.

For New Year my husband and myself spent a few days in our favourite place, Bath. Bath truly is my happy place. I always go a bit Jane Austen crazy when in Bath. I know Austen was not very keen on Bath but the fact that she lived here is just amazing.

Anyway I went to two book shops yesterday. First Waterstones and then Topping and Company.

At Waterstones I bought 8 books, these are:-

The Real Jane Austen: A Life in Small Things by Paula Byrne

I got this book because the hotel we are staying at has a copy and I started reading it and I’m really enjoying it but doubted that I would finish it before I went home.

Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson

Ashamed to say I’ve never read it so I thought it was high time I corrected this fault.

The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath

I want to read this but I’m also nervous about reading it as I find Plath’s poetry a little depressing.

Fight Club by Chuck Palahniuk

Love the film so decided to read the book. Hopefully it does not disappoint.

Breakfast at Tiffany’s by Truman Capote

I ordered a copy of this a couple of years ago from Folio Society and got Gentlemen Prefer Blondes instead. Hopefully this book does not turn out to be as disastrous as Gentlemen Prefer Blondes turned out to be.

The Diary of a Bookseller by Shaun Bythell

Not something I would usually read but to be honest I liked the look of the cover and thought it might be interesting.

Mythos by Stephen Fry

Looking forward to this as I do enjoy the Greek myths.

Catch-22 by Joseph Heller

Another classic I have not read.

The Topping and Company book haul is as follows:-

Emma by Jane Austen

I already have a very worn paperback of Emma but I am collecting the Everyman’s Library series and this is the first Austen I have bought from the series.

Queen Mary The Official Biography by James Pope – Hennessy

I saw this and was intrigued, again not something I would generally read but I want to give it a try. Another reason was that I saw some of Queen Mary’s dresses at the Bath Fashion Museum.

The Secret Life of Cows by Rosamund Young

Seriously, who does not want to read a book about cows?

Monty Python at Work by Michael Palin

This book is signed by Michael Palin and was the main reason I got it. I do love Monty Python as well so I’m hoping it will be a good read.

What If? by Randall Munroe

I mainly bought this for my husband but I must admit I want to read it as well. You can not beat a little bit of craziness in the world.

Smoke and Mirrors by Neil Gaiman

I’m trying to read all of Neil Gaiman’s books and this is next on the list.

The Little Drummer Girl by John Le Carre

My mother in law recommended this book to me and I’ve been meaning to get it for a while.

The last book is a special one, as I have mentioned before I collect Tolkien books and so I bought a hardback illustrated The Lord of the Rings. The illustrations are done by Alan Lee and the copy is signed by Alan Lee.

So here is my massive book haul. I can not wait to get reading them all.

Please drop me comment if you have read any of these books. I would love to hear your opinions on them. Thank you.

Lady Book Dragon.