May 2020 Wrap Up

Hello my fellow Book Dragons

I hope everyone has had a good May and have a fantastic reading plan for June.

So this is what my May looked like in books, as usual please click the picture of the book to go to my review.

Books I read in May

The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller

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352 Pages

Format read: Paperback

5/5 Dragons

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Fall of Icarus by Ovid

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56 Pages

Format read: Paperback

5/5 Dragons

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Complete Poems by Catullus

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224 Pages

Format read: Paperback

3/5 Dragons

 

 

 

 

 

 

Katherine of Aragon, the True Queen by Alison Weir

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624 pages

Format read: Paperback

4/5 Dragons

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Dolphins, the Whales and Gudgeon by Aesop

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58 Pages

Format read: Paperback

5/5 Dragons

 

 

 

 

 

Total pages read in May: 1314

So not as many pages or as many books as April but still a good month for reading. Please drop me a link with your monthly wrap up or any thoughts on the books I have read this month.

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The Dolphins, the Whales and the Gudgeon by Aesop (Review)

The Dolphins, the Whales and the Gudgeon by Aesop

About the author

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Aesop (c. 620-564 BCE) was a Greek fabulist and storyteller credited with a number of fables now collectively known as Aesop’s Fables.

Blurb

Aesop’s animal fables are some of the earliest stories ever told, thought to have been composed by a slave in Greek antiquity and giving glimpses of a world that is harsh, pitiless and yet also eerily familiar.

Review

Having never read Aesop’s Fables I thought reading this little book of just some of them would be a good introduction to them and now I will be honest I desperately want to read the complete book.

I started reading this little book thinking that I would dip in and out of it but I could not put it down. I just loved every fable and could not believe how relatable they still are for the modern day. These fables will never age in my opinion.

Aesop was clearly a man who had met a lot of people and seen a lot of life to have come up with so many of these very true fables. I really loved how most of the fables used animals instead of people and these animals did not follow the traditional stereotypes of animals so in The Ageing Lion and the Fox the lion is sly and cunning and the fox is the clever one who works out what the lion is doing. Where usually we think of a lion as a brave and noble creature, Aesop is telling us not to judge a book by its cover.

I loved this little book and it took me a tea break to read it. The book made me laugh, it made me smile and it made me think. I give this book 5 out of 5 Dragons and I highly recommend it to everyone.

Purchase Links

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Friday Poetry: Emily Dickinson

Happy Friday!

I hope everyone has some good books planned for the weekend. I have spent a bit of time in the garden today and it was wonderful to see the bees in the flowers which led to me choosing this poem. Sadly our pond has no frogs though.

 

Bee! I’m Expecting You!

Bee! I’m expecting you!

Was saying Yesterday

To somebody you know

That you were due –

 

The Frogs got Home last Week –

Are settled, and at work –

Birds, mostly back –

The Clover warm and thick –

 

You’ll get my Letter by

The seventeenth; Reply

Or better, be with me –

Yours, Fly.

 

Emily Dickinson

 

Have a good weekend!

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This and That Thursday

Good evening everyone.

So this is what I have been up to over the past week…

TV and Movies

I’m still watching Criminal Minds and I am now watching all of the episodes of Absolutely Fabulous. We are also choosing films to watch in an evening which is nice because we are catching up on the films that we missed in the cinema.

 

Music

This week I have been busy playing lots of music which has been lovely. I’m slowly doing more teaching online and it is so nice to see my students again. I’m still practising hard for grade one Ukulele but not sure when I will take the exam.

 

Walking and Exercising

We are still going on regular walks which is lovely in this glorious weather but sadly there is no sheep in the fields to say hello to. The exercise continues, some days are better than others.

 

Cooking

We made a musical pie, and some mini quiches. Trying new recipes continues and I have another cake planned now my wonderful sister has managed to get me some flour.

 

That is about it for this week. I hope everyone else has had a good week.

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Mid Week Quote: Paul Dirac

Hello!

I almost forgot my mid week quote today, thankfully I remembered just in time!

My chosen quote today is attributed to Paul Dirac (1902-1984) who was an English theoretical physicist who made fundamental contributions to the early development of quantum mechanics and quantum electrodynamics. Dirac is regarded as one of the most significant physicists of the 20th century.

 

“God used beautiful mathematics in creating the world.”

 

Paul Dirac (1982, attributed)

 

Happy reading.

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WWW Wednesday 27/05/2020

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 can’t believe we are in the final days of May, it seems to have rushed by. So here is my WWW Wednesday…

 

What I am currently reading

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I love this book so far! I simply cannot put it down, and it is making me want to dig out my Hunger Games books and read them again.

 

What I recently finished reading

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I really enjoyed reading this and I am very excited to read the next one in the series. To read my review click the picture.

 

What I will read next

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As usual I cannot be exactly sure what I will read next but I’m pretty confident it will be Anne Boleyn A King’s Obsession by Alison Weir because I enjoyed Katherine of Aragon The True Queen so much.

 

So that is my WWW Wednesday, please drop me a comment with your WWW Wednesday and of course any thoughts of the books I have listed.

Thanks for stopping by.

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2020 Goodreads Reading Challenge

Hello everyone, and an especially big Hello to all my new followers! Welcome and thank you for joining me.

So it is usually around this time of year that I review how my reading challenge is going and to be honest it is usually going better than this. My aim this year was to read 70 books and usually this would be quite easy for me but it would appear not so this year as I am now 8 books behind! I only usually do the Goodreads yearly challenge as I don’t usually do very well with other challenges. I tried a summer one last year and failed massively so I just avoid other challenges even if I do love the idea of them.

Now just after Christmas I had a reading slump which obviously did not set me up well for the year and ever since I have been playing catch up and to be honest falling behind. Studying has also impacted as I have been doing lots of reading but not of entire books and I have also been reading a lot of journals and articles.

So what shall I do?

Firstly, I could read lots of small books and make up the total quite quickly, being as I have quite a few of the Penguin Little Black Books series left to read then this is a tempting proposition.

Secondly, I could admit defeat and lower my target, but I hate admitting defeat! This is also a downfall with me because I will read a book I’m not enjoying to the end because I won’t be beaten, but invariably I regret this at the end of the book and realise that the book has actually beaten me.

So which shall I choose?

Well at the moment I’m going to stick to my target and try to read some smaller books as I have been reading quite a few massive books recently. I will review my target again in September as I really hope to get more reading done over the summer.

Fingers crossed I get there.

Please drop me a comment with any advice you may have to hit my reading goal! How are you doing with your reading goals and challenges?

Happy Reading!

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Katherine of Aragon, The True Queen by Alison Weir (Review)

Six Tudor Queens: Katherine of Aragon The True Queen

About the author

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Alison Weir was born in 1951 and is a British writer of history books, and latterly historical novels, mostly in the form of biographies about British Royalty.

Blurb

At sixteen years old, Catalina is alone among strangers. Six weeks from home across treacherous seas, everything is different: the language, the food, the weather. And Catalina can find no comfort in any of it. She misses her mother. She mourns her lost brother. She cannot trust even those assigned to protect her. The first of henry’s queens. Her story.

Review

I have been collecting the series of the Six Tudor Queens since they were first published and finally I have started to read them. Thankfully so far I have not been disappointed.

I have always been fascinated by the Tudors and I have fond memories of my big sister teaching me about Henry VIII and his six wives. Elizabeth I is my favourite Tudor and I am fascinated by her history. Due to this I could not resist a historical fiction novel by Alison Weir.

I love Katherine of Aragon. She was a queen who knew how to rule and her leadership won a war against Scotland. Henry would have done much better if he had followed her advice but sadly she was another woman who was ignored because she was a woman.

This novel is fantastic at portraying the life of Katherine and I love how most of the letters that are contained in the book are genuine letters, although the language has been modernised to suit a modern novel. The other element I love is that it contains songs that Henry VIII composed and performed because as we know he was a very accomplished composer.

To start with I could not get enough of this book and I couldn’t put it down but as it drew to the inevitable I had to keep having a break because I felt so sorry for poor Katherine. She was the perfect wife, who did everything that was expected of her and more apart from producing a male heir and for that she was punished most severely and unjustly.

Katherine was unbelievably strong and never stood down from her principles and the rights of her daughter Mary. She could have so easily stood down and possibly have had an easier life, but then she would have lost everything she stood for and a woman of Katherine’s character would never have lived with the thought of giving up.

This book was beautifully written and the detail included was excellent. I also liked the characters that Weir created for the ladies in waiting and maids because no real knowledge about those characters are known so that was pure Weir. Maria was an absolute favourite of mine. She was a woman of fire and spirit.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book and I am very excited to start the next one in the series about Anne Boleyn who in my opinion helped change the course of history, although I don’t think she was a very nice person. I highly recommend this book to historical fiction fans and just Tudor lovers. I give this book 4 out of 5 Dragons. It did not get the full 5 sadly because I did have to take a few breaks from it.

Purchase Links

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(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)

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The Complete Poems by Catullus (Review)

The Complete Poems by Catullus (Translated by Guy Lee)

About the author

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Gaius Valerius Catullus (c. 84-c. 54 BC) was a Latin poet of the late Romans Republic. He favoured writing about personal life rather than the classical heroes.

About the translator

Guy Lee was a Fellow of St John’s College, Cambridge. He is the translator of numerous Latin texts including works by Ovid, Virgil, Tibillius, and Persuis.

Blurb

Of all Greek and Latin poets Catullus is perhaps the most accessible to the modern reader. Dealing candidly with the basic human emotions of love and hate, his virile, personal tone exerts a powerful appeal on all kinds of readers. The 116 poems collected in this new translation include the famous Lesbia poems and display the full range of Catullus’s mastery of lyric meter, mythological themes, and epigrammatic invective and wit.

Review

I had to read about 40 of the poems from this book for one of the assignments in my Masters but I loved the poems so much that I decided to read the whole book.

This book has the Latin on the left hand page and the translation opposite which was a massive help when I was writing about how different translators have treated certain poems. At the beginning of the book there is lengthy introduction by Guy Lee the translator which is very informative as it gives you details about Catullus’ life, work and translation. I loved this introduction as it was very interesting and gave me a compact introduction to Catullus. The Explanatory notes were also useful and the Appendices.

This book of poems had me laughing out loud and that is not something I do often when reading poetry as I am not generally a poetry fan. I loved the humour in the poems and I will be honest I was quite shocked at how rude some of the poems were. Some poems were just two lines long and some were pages and I will be honest the lengthier ones could be a struggle to read in full.

I will be honest I have taken breaks from the book and have dipped in and out of the poems. I have also returned to old favourites and re-read them with joy. I have also found some of the poems useful to reference in my assignments.

I really enjoyed the book and I am grateful for it being part of my required reading because it has been a good read. It is also in my opinion a good translation because it is less wooden than certain translations I have also read. I highly recommend this book of poems to people who want to read more of the classics. I give this book 3 out of 5 Dragons because I did find some of the lengthier poems a bit trying.

Purchase Links

 Book DepositoryWaterstones 

(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)

 

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Friday Poetry: Vita Sackville-West

Happy Friday my fellow Book Dragons!

I hope everyone has some good books planned for the weekend. My chosen poem this week is by Vita Sackville-West who was part of the Bloomsbury Group.

 

Full Moon

She was wearing coral taffeta trousers

Someone had brought her from Isfahan,

And the little gold coat with pomegranate blossoms,

And the coral-hafted feather fan,

But she ran down a Kentish lane in the moonlight,

And skipped in the pool of moon as she ran.

 

She cared not a rap for all the big planets,

For Betelgeuse or Aldebaran,

And all the big planets cared nothing for her,

That small impertinent charlatan,

But she climbed on a Kentish stile in the moonlight,

And laughed at the sky through the sticks of her fan.

 

Vita Sackville-West

 

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