First Line Friday: 31/07/2020

First Lines Fridays is a weekly feature for book lovers hosted by Wandering Words. What if instead of judging a book by its cover, its author or its prestige, we judged it by its opening lines?

  • Pick a book off your shelf (it could be your current read or on your TBR) and open to the first page
  • Copy the first few lines, but don’t give anything else about the book away just yet – you need to hook the reader first
  • Finally… reveal the book!


It is time for another guessing game! Here we go…

“Tell me about a complicated man.”


As usual the answer is below the cats.




The answer is…

The Odyssey by Homer (translated by Emily Wilson)


Composed at the rosy-fingered dawn of world literature almost three millennia ago, The Odyssey is a poem about violence and the aftermath of war; about wealth, poverty and power; about marriage and family; about travelers, hospitality, and the yearning for home.

This fresh, authoritative translation captures the beauty of this ancient poem as well as the drama of its narrative. Its characters are unforgettable, none more so than the “complicated” hero himself, a man of many disguises, many tricks, and many moods, who emerges in this version as a more fully rounded human being than ever before.

Written in iambic pentameter verse and a vivid, contemporary idiom, Emily Wilson’s Odyssey sings with a voice that echoes Homer’s music; matching the number of lines in the Greek original, the poem sails along at Homer’s swift, smooth pace.

A fascinating, informative introduction explores the Bronze Age milieu that produced the epic, the poem’s major themes, the controversies about its origins, and the unparalleled scope of its impact and influence. Maps drawn especially for this volume, a pronunciation glossary, and extensive notes and summaries of each book make this is an Odyssey that will be treasured by a new generation of readers.


Did you guess it? Please drop me a link with your First Lines Friday and I will go over for a visit and see if I can guess the answer.

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Friday Poetry: Ogden Nash

Happy Friday!

This week’s poem is a short one that made me laugh. It is by the American poet Ogden Nash and is based on homophones.


A Flea and a Fly

A flea and a fly in a flue

Were imprisoned, so what could they do?

Said the fly, ‘Let us flee!’

‘Let us fly!’ said the flea

So they flew through a flaw in the flue.


Ogden Nash


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This and That Thursday


This week has been a little different to other weeks. We have been planning some house and garden improvements and I hope that in August we can get loads done. I’m still teaching and studying and obviously reading.

Cryptic Crosswords



This week I have been attempting cryptic crosswords with the help and guidance of my husband who has done loads. It is very fun but really makes you think in a different way. I will need a lot of practice before I can get any good.

Cross Stitch

I have spent more time on the cross stitch this week. It is still a very slow process but it is getting there slowly. I doubt I will get it finished this year sadly.

Belly Dancing


This week I also started attending Belly Dancing classes again. The instructor is teaching through Zoom but it is really good fun. I haven’t done Belly Dancing for about 3 years so it was good to get back into it. Might ache a bit tomorrow though.


We have finished watching the Lord of the Rings trilogy and also watched Ghostbusters.

So that is my week! I hope everyone is also having a good week.

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WWW Wednesday: 29/07/2020

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?



It is that time again! The weekly reading update is here. I hope everyone is having a good week so far.


What I am Currently Reading

I started The Odyssey yesterday so far so good.


What I have Recently Finished


I finished this yesterday and throughly enjoyed it. Click the picture for the review.


What I think I will Read Next

It will definitely be one of these but not sure which one yet.


There is my WWW Wednesday. Drop me a comment with the link to your WWW Wednesday and I will head over for a visit.


Top Ten Tuesday: Books I want to read again

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.


So this week’s Top Ten Tuesday is a Freebie so I have chosen books that I would like to read again. Here we go…


Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy

The Martian by Andy Weir

Carpe Jugulum by Terry Pratchett

The Immortal City by Amy Kuivalainen

The Lord of the Rings by J. R. R. Tolkien

Silas Marner by George Eliot

Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte

The Hobbit by J. R. R. Tolkien

The Catcher in the Rye by J. D. Salinger


So there are the ten books I would like to read again, even though several of these I have read many times already.

Please drop a comment for a chat!

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The Iliad by Homer (Review)

The Iliad by Homer (translated by Alexander Pope)

About the author

Homer is the presumed author of the Iliad and the Odyssey. There are loads of legends regarding the life of Homer however, what we can definitely confirm about him is his centrality to ancient Greek culture.

About the translator

Alexander Pope (1688-1744) is considered one of the greatest English poets, and the foremost poet of the early eighteenth century. He is best known for his satirical and discursive poetry, and his translations of the Iliad and the Odyssesy.


The Iliad in Classical Attic; sometimes referred to as the Song of Ilion or Song of Ilium) is an ancient Greek epic poem in dactylic hexameter, traditionally attributed to Homer. Set during the Trojan War, the ten-year siege of the city of Troy (Ilium) by a coalition of Greek states, it tells of the battles and events during the weeks of a quarrel between King Agamemnon and the warrior Achilles.


I have been meaning to read this for many years and have finally got around to it and so I chose Alexander Pope’s translation that I had also used for a recent assignment.

Although I had never read this in its entirety before I am well aware of the story and have loved anything Greek Myth based since I can remember.

It took me a while to get into this as I must admit I found the translation rather stilted to begin with. However, once I got into the style I really began to enjoy the text and was happily reading it whenever I could.

This poem is absolutely wonderful. It has love, sex, violence, friendship and much more. Oh and it also has some very interfering Greek Gods who can’t help but meddle in the Greek and Trojan affairs.

The war between the Trojans and the Greeks begins because of Paris stealing Helen from Menelaus, or Helen went willingly depending on your take of events. Menelaus goes to his brother Agamemnon who immediately uses the situation to go to war on the Trojans who he has long wanted to conquer. Achilles the half man half god hero is the main character in this tale who goes to war with Agamemnon. Achilles does not take being told what to do well though and causes many problems for Agamemnon, including refusing to fight in the war for a very long time.

This is essentially a love story and not a love story about Paris and Helen. This is the love story of Achilles and Patroclus. Patroclus is everything that Achilles isn’t. He is a much better man, he is loving and he hates to see all the death caused by the war, he wants to help stop this war. Achilles on the other hand is too proud and when his pride is injured he refuses to help and does not care about the damage it causes.

Overall, I can see why this book has lasted through the centuries as I absolutely loved this book and I really want to read other translations of the text to see how different translators treat the story. I give this book a big 5 out of 5 Dragons.

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 Weekly Brief

Welcome to the first Weekly Brief!

This post will appear every Sunday and it will list the past weeks posts (links included), a reading update and what books I have acquired in the week. Oh, and probably anything else I randomly think of.

Posts this week


Currently Reading


Books Acquired

Looking forward to reading these soon.


So that is my first Weekly Brief. Now I’m off to take the lemon drizzle cake out of the oven.

Have a good week everyone.

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Dear NHS: 100 Stories to Say Thank You, edited by Adam Kay (Review)

Dear NHS: 100 Stories to Say Thank You, Edited by Adam Kay


Created and edited by Adam Kay (author of multi-million best seller ‘This is Going to Hurt’), ‘DEAR NHS’ features household names telling their personal stories of the health service. Contributors include Joanna Lumley, Naomie Harris, Kate Tempest, Lee Child, Tanni Grey Thomson, Bill Bryson, Trevor McDonald, Jack Whitehall, Michael Palin, Stanley Tucci and many, many more.


I had this book preordered as soon as I heard about it and I couldn’t wait to read it when it arrived. I love the idea of this book, celebrities, people we know so well, tell us their stories and thank you’s to the NHS in the format of stories, poems, essays and letters.

The first celebrity’s story is Graham Norton and I was hooked and could not put the book down. I loved how heart felt some of these stories were and how most people wanted to give their sincere thanks to the NHS. They also didn’t just thank the doctors and nurses, they thanked all the NHS staff, the porters, cleaners, everyone.

Some of my favourite stories were by Graham Norton, David Tennant, The Hairy Bikers, Stephen Fry, Dame Jacqueline Wilson and many more. This book really was an emotional rollercoaster. One minute you are almost crying and the next minute laughing at someone like Jonathan Ross getting a lollipop for being brave even though he is an adult.

There sadly were a few in this book that spoiled it for me. Some like Frankie Boyle who used his story as political rant and Jamie Oliver who promoted his own recipes and website. Some celebrities were just too self obsessed for me in this book and I really didn’t think that this wonderful book was the time or place.

I really did enjoy this book but because of certain people it was slightly ruined for me. However, I still recommend this book to everyone who loves the NHS and the fact that every copy bought gives a donation to the NHS is even better. I give this book 3 out of 5 Dragons.

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: Edgar Allen Poe

Happy Friday!

This Friday’s poem is by the great Edgar Allen Poe.


Annabel Lee

It was many and many a year ago,

In a kingdom by the sea,

That a maiden there lived whom you may know

By the name of Annabel Lee;

And this maiden she lived with no other thought

Than to love and be loved by me.


She was a child and I was a child,

In this kingdom by the sea,

But we loved with a love that was more than love – 

I and my Annabel Lee – 

With a love that the winged seraphs of Heaven

Coveted her and me.


And this was the reason that long ago,

In this kingdom by the sea,

A wind blew out of a cloud by night

Chilling my Annabel Lee;

So that her highborn kinsmen came

And bore her away from me,

To shut her up in a sepulchre

In this kingdom by the sea.


The angels, not half so happy in Heaven,

Went envying her and me:

Yes! that was the reason (as all men know,

In this kingdom by the sea)

That the wind came out of the cloud, chilling

And killing my Annabel Lee.


But our love it was stronger by far than the love

Of those who were older than we – 

Of many far wiser than we – 

And neither the angels in Heaven above

Nor the demons down under the sea,

Can ever dissever my soul from the soul

Of the beautiful Annabel Lee:


For the moon never beams without bringing me dreams

Of the beautiful Annabel Lee;

And the stars never rise, but I feel the bright eyes

Of the beautiful Annabel Lee;

And so, all the night-tide, I lie down by the side

Of my darling, my darling, my life and my bride,

In her sepulchre there by the sea – 

In her tomb by the side of the sea.


Edgar Allen Poe


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