Top 10 Tuesday: Titles that would make good band names

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme created by The Broke and the Bookish and now hosted by Jana at That Artsy Reader Girl. For more info please check out Jana’s blog.

Hello!

I’m back again for another Top 10 Tuesday, I must admit I was very excited about this one as it appeals to my my musical background and my love of books. Some titles are linked to the reviews. So here goes…

 

Cat Out of Hell by Lynne Truss

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Dead Men by Richard Pierce

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Fear Itself by James Swallow

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Jaws by Peter Benchley

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The Testaments by Margaret Atwood

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Gooseberries by Anton Chekhov

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Wakenhyrst by Michelle Paver

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Watermelon Snow by William A. Liggett

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Rotherweird by Andrew Caldecott

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Heroes and Villains by Angela Carter

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So that is my Top 10 Tuesday! Drop me a link with your thoughts and with your Top 10 and I will check them out!

Keep Reading!

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The Carpet People by Terry Pratchett (Review)

The Carpet People by Terry Pratchett

About the author

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Sir Terence David John Pratchett OBE (28 April 1948 – 12 March 2015) was an English humorist, satirist, and author of fantasy novels, especially comical works. He is best known for his Discworld series of 41 novels.

Blurb

In the beginning, there was nothing but endless flatness. Then came the Carpet…

That’s the old story everyone knows and loves (even if they don’t really believe it). But now the Carpet is home to many different tribes and peoples and there’s a new story in the making. The story of Fray, sweeping a trail of destruction across the Carpet. The story of power-hungry mouls – and of two Munrung brothers, who set out on an adventure to end all adventures when their village is flattened.

It’s a story that will come to a terrible end – if someone doesn’t do something about it. If everyone doesn’t do something about it…

Review

It was so good to read a Pratchett book again as it has been way too long. During the lockdown to read a book by one of my favourite authors was like a warm comfort blanket wrapped around me. The Carpet People was written by a 17 year old Pratchett but this edition is the one that he republished after going through and making a few changes.

I really enjoyed reading this book as it was full of the typical humour of Pratchett and although it was not as refined as his Discworld novels it was still a joy to read. I loved how this book made my imagination run wild, it reminded me of the Borrowers, a race of people that live in the carpet.

The fascinating world of the carpet is brilliant with all the different tribes, kingdoms and an empire. I loved how the individuality of the people came through. I also loved how the women decided to do battle and fight for women’s rights at the end.

I have seen some pretty bad reviews about this book and it really surprises me as I know this book has a few flaws with characters randomly disappearing but since this was one of Pratchett’s first books it is bound to have some flaws as Pratchett was starting to find his feet as an author. Obviously if you compare it to the Discworld books it is lacking slightly but it is still a highly enjoyable story to read which will give you a good giggle.

I highly recommend this book to all fantasy and comedy lovers, it is a quick read that will make you laugh. I give this book 4 out of 5 Dragons. 

Purchase Links

Book Depository

Waterstones

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Friday Poetry: Jeff Phelps

Well we have reached another Friday, it really doesn’t feel like a Friday but I do have some teaching over Skype this morning to keep me busy.

The sun has been shining here over the last few days and I will be honest I have been enjoying the odd glass of something nice, so this week’s poem reflects that. It also reflects my OCD with regarding washing up, everything has to be washed in a certain order and only one item in the bowl at a time. Anybody else also have this issue with washing up? It drives my family and friends crazy, hence why most things go in the dishwasher in our house.

 

Wine Glasses

Wine glasses must be washed first

in water hot as hands can bear, untainted

by the everyday of cutlery and plates.

Rub out the deep red lines, invert them,

stems-up to stand like potters’ kilns.

I think I had forgotten what a poem was

till you reminded me how the world can be made

to scintillate on a single wavelength.

Now I hold the glass up to the light.

The taut brittle arc of its bowl is faith

in the impossible. I rub a moist finger round the rim,

hear a kind of gathering, a resonance that’s neither

glass nor air, but a new place between.

Its high sound fills the kitchen like a prayer bell.

 

Jeff Phelps

 

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This and That Thursday

Hello!

It is time for my second This and That Thursday! I haven’t started another jigsaw this week although I do have one planned to start. This week I have done a lot more reading.

So here is what I have been up to…

Cross stitch

I had a massive Cross stitch for Christmas off my husband and I have been tackling it bit by bit. It is the largest Cross stitch I have ever attempted and I really want to complete it but it will take a very long time. Should keep me busy through lockdown.

 

Criminal Minds and Elliptical Machine

I discovered Criminal Minds on Amazon Prime, I love this show but over recent years haven’t really watched it. So I have started watching it right from the very beginning and when I watch an episode I exercise on my Elliptical machine as well so at least I’m not just sat down constantly.

 

Blogging

This week I have really enjoyed blogging and reading people’s blogs. It has really been fun seeing what people have been up and what they have been reading, I now have a very long wish list of books I want to buy.

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Birdwatching

We have a group of bird feeders outside our window and I have been enjoying drinking tea and watching the birds. I got very excited when I saw our first Greenfinch in the garden.

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I have also done some teaching this week over Skype and Zoom which felt very strange to begin with but it was lovely to see my students again and see the progress they are making.

So that is my little update for the week. Drop me a comment with what you have been up to this week.

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WWW Wednesday: 15/04/2020

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

The rules are answer the questions below and a 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’m back again for another WWW Wednesday, I don’t think I have ever done so many in a row before. It is great getting all this reading in.

So here we go…

 

What I am currently reading

The Carpet People I had for a Christmas present and I decided that I needed some Pratchett during Lockdown to distract me. The Iliad is a translation I haven’t read before by Barry Powell and I quoted this version in an essay a while back and liked what Powell had done with the text so I decided to have a read.

 

What did I recently finish

Did really well last week but I will be honest that I could not put down Half a World Away it was brilliant. Review links below

Star Trek Picard

Half A World Away

The Secret life Cows

 

What I think I will read next

I’m finding this tricky at the moment, I’m changing my mind what to read almost daily and it is depending very much on my mood. I’ve given myself quite a few options above but that could all change again so watch this space.

So there it is another WWW Wednesday in April. Please drop me a comment with your WWW Wednesday link because I love visiting your blogs to see what you are up to. Also please leave a comment if you have read any of the books above. Is anybody else finding it hard to pin down what to read next or is it just me?

Thanks for stopping by.

Happy Reading.

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Mid Week Quote: Helen Keller

Hello!

I hope this post finds you all well.

The quote I have chosen for today is by Helen Keller. Some of you might remember a poem by Rachel Rooney that I posted recently which was about this amazing woman Helen Keller, so I decided to choose a quote to share with you all. The poem is here.

At nineteen months of age Keller became deaf and blind but with aid of her teacher and family she learned to read, write and speak. At the age of twenty-four, she became the first deaf and blind person to receive a bachelor’s degree. Keller wrote a dozen books and many articles, she was also a world renowned public speaker, activist and advocate for people with disabilities.

Keller really was an incredible woman.

“Life is either a daring adventure or nothing.”

 

Helen Keller (1940)

 

Happy reading.

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Top Five Tuesday: Five Books That Made Me Laugh

Hello everyone!

So today I have decided to have a go at another book meme this one is hosted by Shanah @  Bionic Book Worm. This one I have seen many times on different peoples blogs and have always liked reading them but have never taken part and this weeks seemed to be right up my street. I love books that make me laugh.

I will be honest I could easily just pick 5 of my favourite Terry Pratchett books but I will try to branch out a little.

Wee Free Men by Terry Pratchett

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Armed only with a frying pan and her common sense, Tiffany Aching, a young witch-to-be, is all that stands between the monsters of Fairyland and the warm, green Chalk country that is her home. Forced into Fairyland to seek her kidnapped brother, Tiffany allies herself with the Chalk’s local Nac Mac Feegle – aka the Wee Free Men – a clan of sheep-stealing, sword-wielding, six-inch-high blue men who are as fierce as they are funny. Together they battle through an eerie and ever-shifting landscape, fighting brutal flying fairies, dream-spinning dromes, and grimhounds – black dogs with eyes of fire and teeth of razors – before ultimately confronting the Queen of the Elves, absolute ruler of a world in which reality intertwines with nightmare. And in the final showdown, Tiffany must face her cruel power alone…

I have read this book more than once and it always leaves me laughing my head off. The Wee Free Men are such brilliant characters.

 

The Martian by Andy Weir

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Six days ago, astronaut Mark Watney became one of the first people to walk on Mars.

Now, he’s sure he’ll be the first person to die there.

After a dust storm nearly kills him and forces his crew to evacuate while thinking him dead, Mark finds himself stranded and completely alone with no way to even signal Earth that he’s alive—and even if he could get word out, his supplies would be gone long before a rescue could arrive.

Chances are, though, he won’t have time to starve to death. The damaged machinery, unforgiving environment, or plain-old “human error” are much more likely to kill him first.

But Mark isn’t ready to give up yet. Drawing on his ingenuity, his engineering skills — and a relentless, dogged refusal to quit — he steadfastly confronts one seemingly insurmountable obstacle after the next. Will his resourcefulness be enough to overcome the impossible odds against him?

I will be honest I saw the movie before I read the book but I loved the book and it made me laugh so much. Mark Watney is such a brilliant character.

 

A Scone to Die for by H. Y. Hanna

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When an American tourist is murdered with a scone in Gemma Rose’s quaint Oxfordshire tearoom, she suddenly finds herself apron-deep in a mystery involving long-buried secrets from Oxford’s past.

Armed with her insider knowledge of the University and with the help of four nosy old ladies from the village (not to mention a cheeky little tabby cat named Muesli), Gemma sets out to solve the mystery—all while dealing with her matchmaking mother and the return of her old college love, Devlin O’Connor, now a dashing CID detective.

But with the body count rising and her business going bust, can Gemma find the killer before things turn to custard?

I love the entire series of these books and they all make me laugh, I think the character that makes me laugh the most is Gemma’s mom especially in this book.

 

The True Meaning of Smek Day by Adam Rex

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It all starts with a school essay.

When twelve-year-old Gratuity (“Tip”) Tucci is assigned to write five pages on “The True Meaning of Smekday” for the National Time Capsule contest, she’s not sure where to begin. When her mom started telling everyone about the messages aliens were sending through a mole on the back of her neck? Maybe on Christmas Eve, when huge, bizarre spaceships descended on the Earth and the aliens – called Boov – abducted her mother? Or when the Boov declared Earth a colony, renamed it “Smekland” (in honor of glorious Captain Smek), and forced all Americans to relocate to Florida via rocketpod?

In any case, Gratuity’s story is much, much bigger than the assignment. It involves her unlikely friendship with a renegade Boov mechanic named J.Lo.; a futile journey south to find Gratuity’s mother at the Happy Mouse Kingdom; a cross-country road trip in a hovercar called Slushious; and an outrageous plan to save the Earth from yet another alien invasion.

I read this quite a while ago but it has left a lasting impression on me because of how funny I found it.

 

Carpe Jugulum by Terry Pratchett

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In a fit of enlightenment democracy and ebullient goodwill, King Verence invites Uberwald’s undead, the Magpyrs, into Lancre to celebrate the birth of his daughter. But once ensconced within the castle, these wine-drinking, garlic-eating, sun-loving modern vampires have no intention of leaving. Ever.

Only an uneasy alliance between a nervous young priest and the argumentative local witches can save the country from being taken over by people with a cultivated bloodlust and bad taste in silk waistcoats. For them, there’s only one way to fight.

Go for the throat, or as the vampyres themselves say…Carpe Jugulum

I decided to finish with my favourite Terry Pratchett Discworld novel and the first one I actually ever read. I’ve read this so many times but I still love it. It incorporates some of may absolute favourites The Witches and The Watch!

So that is my first attempt at a Top Five Tuesday. Please drop me a comment with a link to your list and I will pop over for a look. Thanks.

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The Secret Life of Cows by Rosamund Young (Review)

The Secret Life of Cows by Rosamund Young

About the author

Kite’s Nest Farm is on the edge of the Cotswold escarpment. It is run by Rosamund Young, her brother Richard, and her partner Gareth. Nature is left to itself as much as possible and the animals receive exceptional kindness and consideration.

Blurb

COWS ARE AS VARIED AS PEOPLE.

They can be highly intelligent or slow to understand, vain, considerate, proud, shy or inventive. Although much of a cow’s day is spent eating, they always find time for activities such as babysitting, playing hide and seek, blackberry picking or fighting a tree. Drawn from over forty years of organic farming experience, this is Rosamund Young’s affectionate record of a hitherto secret world.

Review

When I bought this book last year I will be honest it was because there were cows on the front. I love cows and have fond memories spending time with my dad when he needed an extra hand with the cattle (my dad is a herdsman). One of my favourite memories is of a bull called Dillon who would happily let you cuddle him and scratch his nose all day, he was just a giant teddy bear. This book is a first for me, I have read many cat and dog books but this is my first cow book.

This book took me no time at all to read and I could have read it in one sitting but started reading it before bed and eventually I had to give in to sleep and finish it the next day. On reflection though I think it is a perfect book to just dip in and out of when you feel like an interesting story about cows.

I love the many characters described in this book. You have the cow who enjoys playing hide and seek, the cow who takes a dislike to one of the farmer’s hats and likes to steal it. The relationships between the cattle are also endearing and I love how they will just go down to the farm house to tell the farmers that they need something.

The book is not just all about cows it does mention pigs, sheep and chickens. I love chickens and think they are amazing little characters so it was lovely to read some little stories about some hens. My particular favourite was the friendship between a pig and sheep.

The main thing I struggled with with this book was the many, many names of the cows, at the start of the book there is a family tree of the cows and their names but this does not contain all the many characters within the book and I must admit I was starting to forget who was whose child, sibling etc in the great cow family tree so in the end I gave up trying to keep them all related. It would have helped if the book was laid out in family groups but the stories were randomly scattered through the book with no kind of link.

I love the ethos that Kite’s Nest Farm live by and fully agree with it because animals should be happy and free as much as possible. I did find though that during the introduction Young gives she did tend to repeat herself a great deal and I just found that the whole ethos was a bit in your face at times.

I really enjoyed this book and the only things that let it down for me were the many names and the repetition that appeared within the book. Otherwise I loved the stories of the cows and the many different characters and highly recommend this book to animal lovers. I will be passing this book on to my dad next as after I mentioned it to him he is very keen to read it. I give this book 3 out of 5 Dragons.

Purchase links

Book Depository

Waterstones

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Half A World Away by Mike Gayle (Review)

Half A World Away by Mike Gayle

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About the author

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Mike Gayle was born and raised in Birmingham. After graduating from Salford University with a degree in Sociology, he moved to London to pursue a career in journalism and worked as a Features Editor and Agony Uncle. He has written for a variety of publications including The Sunday Times, Guardian and Cosmopolitan.

Mike became a full time novelist in 1997 following the publication My Legendary Girlfriend. Since then he has written thirteen novels and his books have been translated into more than thirty languages.

Blurb

Kerry Hayes is a single mum, living on a tough south London estate. She provides for her son by cleaning houses she could never afford. Taken into care as a child, Kerry cannot forget her past.

Noah Martineau is a successful barrister with a beautiful wife, daughter and home in fashionable Primrose Hill. Adopted as a young child, Noah never looks back.

When Kerry contacts Noah, the sibling she lost on the day they were torn apart as children, she sets in motion a chain of events that will change both of their lives forever.

Review

This is the first book I have read by Gayle and the only reason I have discovered him is because it is the first set book in a book club I have joined. I am so happy I joined the book club.

I will be honest I simply could not put the book down, it was amazing. It was truly an emotional rollercoaster and I did cry my eyes out to the point that my poor husband got quite worried about me but it was fantastic. When I had finished the book I was also mourning the loss of the book, I just did not want to leave the characters behind.

The first thing I liked about this book was how each chapter came from either Kerry or Noah’s point of view and the narrative passed smoothly between them. It was never confusing and worked brilliantly, it really was expertly written.

Kerry was endearing and through the whole book I was on her side, she would do anything for family and most of all her son Kian. She had got a good little business going of cleaning houses and although the work was hard and sometimes frustrating she got up every morning with a smile and did the best possible job she could with pride. Kian never wanted for anything and even though it might not be designer he still had everything he needed. Kerry’s life had not been easy but she never complained or let it show. She was kind and welcoming to everyone and a woman you would love to have as a friend.

Noah had what appeared to be the perfect life, a nice house, fantastic job, beautiful wife and daughter and a brilliant upbringing, he had the easy life. However, Noah will not talk about the past or his feelings and this drives his wife mad and causes them to have marital problems. However, with Kerry now in his life things start to change and that change is heart warming and very emotional to see. Noah grows through the story and is such a different character at the end.

I loved all the characters in this story and the effect that Kerry and Noah had on these people. The book is just beautifully written and Gayle is an extremely accomplished and talented writer. I honestly can not praise this book enough and it is definitely my favourite book so far of 2020, I will be ordering more of Mike Gayle’s books to read ASAP. I give this book a massive 5 out of 5 Dragons.

Purchase links

Book Depository

Waterstones

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Happy Easter!

Happy Easter!

I know for most people this isn’t a normal Easter because we can’t visit family etc. My husband and myself had an hour’s video chat with all of his family. I hope to have a video chat with my parents later, but it can’t be for too long as it upsets my dog as she can hear me but can’t see and runs around my parents house trying to find me. I miss my Coco dog so much at the  moment. I hope everyone can catch up with family over the holiday whilst adhering to social distancing.

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The main thing  this Easter that I miss is Church and playing the organ for two Easter services. It seems so strange to not have done an Easter service this morning.

Anyway, I hope everyone has a good Easter today which includes some yummy chocolate and maybe a glass of something nice. My sister-in-law sent us an Easter book mark that I have nabbed for my current read.

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Happy Easter and Happy Reading!

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