April 2019 Wrap Up

Well April hasn’t been exactly as I expected. To be honest I wanted to do a lot more reading but I have struggled to get any real reading done this month. However I have done some Waterstones adventures, so that makes me feel better.

Books I have Read

The Melancholy Death of Oyster Boy by Tim Burton

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Thorns in a Realm of Roses: The Henry Queens by Thomas Crockett

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The Time for Murder is Meow by T. C. LoTempio

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The Priory of the Orange Tree by Samantha Shannon

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Click on the pictures to go to the reviews.

 

Waterstones Stores Visited

Walsall

Peterborough

Wells

 

Poems from April

Last Words by Peter Porter

The Railway Children by Seamus Heaney

Good Friday by Christina Rossetti

St George and the Dragon by Finola Akister

My favourite was Good Friday by Christina Rossetti, I plan on getting the complete poems by Rossetti soon as I really want to read more.

 

A good month but I hope in May I manage to read a few more books. I must admit I am really enjoying NetGalley and the new books I get to read. I hope everyone had a good April.

Lady Book Dragon.

 

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The Priory of the Orange Tree by Samantha Shannon (Review)

The Priory of the Orange Tree by Samantha Shannon

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About the author

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Samantha Shannon studied English Language and Literature at St. Anne’s College, Oxford. She is the New York Times and Sunday Times bestselling author of The Bone Season series. She currently lives in London.

Blurb

The House of Berethnet has ruled Inys for a thousand years. Still unwed, Queen Sabran the Ninth must conceive a daughter to protect her realm from destruction–but assassins are getting closer to her door.

Ead Duryan is an outsider at court. Though she has risen to the position of lady-in-waiting, she is loyal to a hidden society of mages. Ead keeps a watchful eye on Sabran, secretly protecting her with forbidden magic.

Across the dark sea, Tané has trained all her life to be a dragonrider, but is forced to make a choice that could see her life unravel.

Meanwhile, the divided East and West refuse to parley, and forces of chaos are rising from their sleep.

Review

I got very excited about this book and dragged my husband out to Waterstones to buy it for me (he is very good at feeding my book addiction) on the day it came out. I had the last copy in the store. Needless to say I went straight home and started reading it. However due to a heavy work load and falling asleep instead of reading it has taken longer than expected to finish.

I loved this book and at times I could not put it down. I loved the idea of good dragons and bad dragons and that the two dragons are very different from each other. The history and religion in this book are fantastic and very well thought out by Shannon, she gave a thorough background of both, where no holes were visible. I adored the world Shannon created and did not want to leave it.

Ead was such a strong powerful character who you couldn’t help but support and love. I did find Queen Sabran a little bit trying at times and to be honest that is when I had to put the book down for a while and also why the book got 4 dragons instead of 5 but I suppose all monarchs can be trying at times.

The other element I found enchanting was Tané and her relationship with her dragon. I was so worried for both of them and found myself tense with worry and anticipation. It reminded me of the love a human has with their dog or horse, as a dog or horse are fiercely loyal to their owner and will generally do anything to help and protect them. I could not get enough of dear Tané.

I desperately wanted to know more about the history of the trees and magic in this world and I really hope that Shannon does decide to do another book instead of keeping this book as a stand alone. I WANT TO KNOW MORE! Shannon in my opinion has been clever with the ending as she could easily do a sequel. I gave this book 4 out of 5 Dragons because I did love it and have recommended it to friends and family. The reason it didn’t get the full 5 Dragons was because of Queen Sabran and the fact in the middle I found it dragged slightly, but overall an amazing book.

Purchase

Waterstones

Kindle

Amazon

 

Lady Book Dragon.

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Down the TBR Hole #7

Time for another installment of Down the TBR Hole!

Down the TBR Hole was the brain child of Lost In A Story. The idea is to reduce the length of your Goodreads TBR.

How it works:

  • Go to your Goodreads want to read shelf.
  • Order on ascending date added
  • Take the first 5 or 10 books.
  • Read the synopses of the books.
  • Decide: keep it or should it go

The list is now at 482, lets see if we can shrink it a little bit more.

 

  1. The Life of Charlotte Bronte by Elizabeth Gaskell

31171Elizabeth Gaskell’s The Life of Charlotte Bronte (1857) is a pioneering biography of one great Victorian woman novelist by another. Gaskell was a friend of Bronte’s and, having been invited to write the official life, determined to both tell the truth and honor her friend. This edition collates all three previous editions, as well as the manuscript, offering fuller information about the process of writing and a more detailed explanation of the text than any previous edition.

 

 

I was sure I had read this book but it appears no where on any of my old reading journals or Goodreads so obviously I have not read it. I do own it so I might have just read bits of it dipping in when I’m in the mood. This will stay on the list because I would like to read it all at some point.

KEEP

 

2. What Katy Did by Susan Collidge

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Twelve-year-old Katy is constantly making and quickly breaking resolutions about how she will change her ways and treat others, especially her five younger brothers and sisters, with more respect and compassion. When Katy meets her Cousin Helen, an invalid, Katy is awed by her kindness, prettiness, and generosity. Katy is determined to become more like Helen, a resolution that lasts only a few hours. Soon, however, Katy gets a chance to become more like cousin Helen than she ever wished as she finds herself confined to her bedroom for four years as a result of an accident. Much of the story is focused on the change Katy undergoes during her illness. Helen visits again to advise Katy to learn from her experience and to try to become the center of the house by making her room and herself more attractive to others. One way Katy decides to take Helen’s advice is through assuming the responsibility of running the house, a job that consists of giving the servants instructions and ringing her bell to summon her sisters when she has a task for them. As soon as Katy has learned the lesson about how to care for others, she recovers and regains the ability to walk.

This definitely stays on the list! I love the blurb and want to dig out my copy and read it straight away. A book I have long forgotten and this needs to be corrected.

KEEP

 

3. Lorna Doone by R. D. Blackmore

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A romantic adventure story set in south-west England in the 1600s. John Ridd swears revenge upon the evil Carver Doone who murdered his father. But who is the beautiful young girl he meets in Doone Valley?

 

This is a real mystery as I have already read it! I have many copies of this book, one a very treasured copy that my mom gave me, which she won at school when she was little. My parents took me on holiday to Lorna Doone country and I read the book whilst on holiday. I really do not understand why it is on this list. Anyway it leaves the list and goes on the Read list instead, but I think I will read it again in the future.

GO 

 

4. Homeland by R. A. Salvatore

 

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Drow ranger Drizzt Do’Urden, first introduced in The Icewind Dale Trilogy, quickly became one of the fantasy genre’s standout characters. But Homeland first reveals the startling tale of how this one lone drow walked out of the shadowy depths of the Underdark, leaving behind a society of evil and a family who want him dead. It is here that the story of this amazing dark elf truly began.

To be honest I do not remember adding this book or why. It is also a series and I’m really struggling committing to series at the moment. So I am afraid it is bye-bye for this book.

GO

 

 

5. The Railway Man by Eric Lomax

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During the second world war Eric Lomax was forced to work on the notorious Burma-Siam Railway and was tortured by the Japanese for making a crude radio.

Left emotionally scarred and unable to form normal relationships Lomax suffered for years until, with the help of his wife Patti and the Medical Foundation for the Care of Victims of Torture, he came to terms with what had happened and, fifty years after the terrible events, was able to meet one of his tormentors.

 

 

This has been on the list for a while and to be honest after seeing the film I am not sure I can cope with the book. I found the film very sad and disturbing and I do not think I want to relive it in the book.

GO.

Fantastic 3 down this time. I was planning on trying to do 10 books today but we are having major issues with our wi-fi and I have lost the will to live trying to use Goodreads and the fact that everything I was writing was failing to save on WordPress. Thankfully my phones hotspot came to the rescue to finish the job.

Anyway, 3 down is a massive improvement and the total has gone down to 479! Next week I definitely plan on doing 10 books, otherwise I will be here for years if I keep just doing 5 books.

Happy Reading!

Lady Book Dragon.

The Time for Murder is Meow by T. C. LoTempio (ARC Review)

The Time for Murder is Meow (Purr N’ Bark Pet Shop Mystery #1) by T. C. LoTempio

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This book was gratefully received by me through NetGalley and Midnight Ink in exchange for an honest review.

About the author

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LoTempio is the national bestselling author of Meow If It’s Murder, the first book in the Nick and Nora Mystery series.

She has been a staff reporter at a young adult magazine for over a decade.

Her love of mysteries started when she was first introduced to the Nancy Drew mysteries at the age of 10. She also owns four cats: Trixie, Princess, Maxx and Rocco. LoTempio and her four feline companions currently live in Clifton, New Jersey, just twenty minutes away from the Big Apple.

Blurb

Shell and her two furry sidekicks must cat-ch a killer to save their pet shop

Crishell “Shell” McMillan sees the cancellation of her TV series as a blessing in disguise. The former actress can now take over her late aunt’s pet shop, the Purr N’ Bark, and do something she loves.

While getting the shop ready for re-opening, Shell is asked to loan her aunt’s Cary Grant posters to the local museum for an exhibit. She finds the prospect exciting–until a museum board member, who had a long-standing feud with Shell’s aunt, votes against it. When she discovers the board member dead in the museum, Shell becomes suspect number one. Can she, her Siamese cat Kahlua, and her new sidekick–her aunt’s Persian Purrday–find the real culprit, or will her latest career go up in kitty litter?

Review

This is my second book that I have received from NetGalley and I was so happy to receive it. I must admit I was hooked from the beginning and very pleased to see two wonderful cats involved in the story and a big friendly dog called Rocco make an appearance as well.

I loved the idea of Shell giving up her life in Hollywood to come and take over an old pet shop and let her love of animals take her life somewhere different. I immediately sensed that Shell was no pushover but a strong independent woman who was happy to make bold decisions in her life.

I also really liked her co-star and friend Gary, who came over to stay with her and help in any way he can. He was the perfect friend to Shell, he noticed things about her, knew how she played with the string of her tea bag, when she was making an effort with her appearance and so forth. In my opinion he was the perfect gentleman and the unsung hero of this story.

The main issue I had with this story was the fact that Shell got so worked up and upset about some movie posters not being displayed by the local museum. I can understand that yes the collection was her aunt’s and a great collection, but surely if Shell was so desperate to loan them out to be viewed by the public she could have gone to another museum? She didn’t have to go completely mental and start arguing to the museum board members about it. This whole part of the story for me a was bit unbelievable and stopped me giving the story 5 out of 5 Dragons and instead only 4.

The story was well written and flowed brilliantly, in fact I struggled to put it down. I could tell that LoTempio is a true animal and cat lover by her cat characters Purrday and Kahula. I loved Purrday the cat and found him a true hero of the day kind of cat, a true gentleman and friend to all who know him. Kahula had too much of a chip on her shoulder for my liking and needed to be taken down a peg or two.

I loved this book and hope there will be many more in the series to come of the same excellent quality. I gave this book 4 out of 5 Dragons and highly recommend it to people who love cats and crime thrillers.

This book will be released on the 8th August 2019.

To preorder from Waterstones

To preorder from Amazon Kindle

Paperback Amazon

Lady Book Dragon.

 

New Books (25/04/2019)

Yesterday on our way back from Wells we visited the National Trust property Tyntesfield, which was stunning, possibly one of the best National Trust properties I have visited so far.

A brief history before we get to the books. Tyntesfield was purchased in 1844 by the merchant William Gibbs as a country retreat for his family. The Gibbs family made their fotunes from Guano, or dried bird poo, which the Victorians used as fertiliser. The house was in the family for three generations and each generation made their mark on the house by expanding it and adding extras. Richard Gibbs was the last Gibb in residence and sadly passed away in 2001, the National Trust then bought the house in 2002.

Whilst we were there we checked out the second hand book shop and the main National Trust shop and I managed to buy quite a few books. In my defense some are very small books.

New Books

In the second hand book shop I started off inside and to be honest I was not that impressed. However as I went outside my husband spotted a complete set of Penguin 60’s. These little books were published in 1995 for Penguin’s 60th Anniversary. After some research I discovered this set with the orange spines are based on 20th century writting and that the black set which I am now hunting down is based on classic writing. The whole set cost me £25, well my husband £15 and myself £10, I only had change and I didn’t think at the time the lady taking the money would be impressed with £25 in change of varying sizes.

The set is gorgeous and in rather good condition. I certainly can not wait to start reading them.

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The next two books I bought were in the main shop.

I bought:-

A Poem for Every Day of the Year Edited by Allie Esiri

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I’ve seen this book a few times and after having a little look through I thought I would buy it and read a poem a day. Still trying to further my knowledge and understanding of poetry.

Tyntesfield 

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This is the guidebook done by the National Trust. When I visit new places I always like to get the guidebook and read it when I get home. It helps me absorb more about the visit and helps me remember for the future.

 

So here is my book haul, I hope you like it.

Happy Reading

Lady Book Dragon.

Friday Poetry

This weeks poem is in honour of St George as it was St George’s day this week.

I chose an old favourite poem from my childhood, which appeaeled to me no end because I loved the idea of having a pet dragon when I was a child and to be honest I still do.

 

St George and the Dragon

 

St George looked at the dragon

And much to his surprise,

He noticed that the dragon

Had large appealing eyes.

‘Pardon me,’ said brave St George,

‘I hear you’re cruel and sly.’

‘Oh no, not me,’ the dragon said,

‘I wouldn’t hurt a fly.’

‘I’ve come to slay you,’ said St George, 

‘And save the maiden fair

That you have captured, and no doubt

Imprisoned in your lair.’

‘I used to be both cruel and sly,

Of that there is no doubt,’

Replied the dragon, ‘but not now,

My fire has all burnt out.

The maiden you have come to save

Has made a pet of me.

She takes me walkies on a lead

And feeds me cups of tea.

So if you want to do brave deeds

The like of which I’ve read,

Please take the maiden home with you,

And so save me instead.’

 

Finola Akister

 

Lady Book Dragon

 

 

Waterstones Challenge: Wells

This week we went on a little holiday to Wells, so of course I had to check out the Waterstones store. We also visited the Cathedral and Bishops Palace.

This store is 9/283 on my list, nearly into double figures!

I really liked this store, it reminded me of Narnia, it just kept on going, it was a very long store. It was brilliantly laid out and the staff were fantastic. It was an excellent store to visit on my holiday.

I was also very restrained and just bought two books!

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I Am Legend by Richard Matheson

I read this book a long time ago and would love to read it again as I remember I really enjoyed it the first time, but because I originally borrowed it off my cousin, I did not own a copy so I thought it was high time I had my own and I would also like my husband to read it as I think he would enjoy it.

The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman

This is to continue my work reading all of Neil Gaiman’s books! I also really liked the cover.

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So far I am thoroughly enjoying my Waterstones adventures as each store has its own character and style. I am also getting quite a following on Twitter from different Waterstones stores. One store has even promised me cookies for when I visit! Thank you for all the love so far.

Here are also some snaps from Wells.

 

Lady Book Dragon.